End of Term

I’m currently in end of term craziness…so I really should go back to studying for my evil 8am math final. But tune in tomorrow for an amusing discussion on Biblical inconsistencies and the like. Brought to you by the emails of myself and the elusive Simon…


As I write this, it’s 81 degrees in my bedroom, which is significantly cooler than, what I imagine is at least 10 degrees cooler than the study and about 5 degrees cooler than the kitchen. Outside I imagine it’s about 5 degrees and very windy. [Editorial note: This was written last night. Today at church the boilers weren’t working and so the sanctuary got it’s first glimpse of heat an hour after I got there. I was suddenly missing my tropical condo.] 

But that’s not what I’m really writing about. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of cooking. I guess I take after my dad a bit in that writing is somewhat soothing and relaxing for me. This does, I know, make me weird. I actually banned myself from cooking this week in order to get some work done. That was a successful move, so I may have to repeat the ban in the future.

The first of my recent culinary adventures was yogurt. The recipe that inspired me was a blog post by the folks at White on Rice Couple They had a recipe for Vietnamese Yogurt which made yogurt making seem easier than it had seemed before. They use sweetened condensed milk which made the yogurt a bit too sweet for my tastes, but nice and creamy.

If you’re really interested, you can go to their site, but the basic gist is mix sweetened condensed milk and water. Then mix milk and live yogurt cultures (translation: already made yogurt). Then mix them all together. In the mean time, heat up water in pots and heat up canning jars (I ended up using 9 half pint jars). Then pour the yogurt into the canning jars and turn off the heat to the pots. Then place the jars in the pots (uncovered) and fill the pot til the water is higher than the yogurt. Then place a cloth over the pot and wait until the water cools (this will take FOREVER…as in 2-3 hours) Be vigilant. You don’t want the water to be cool for too long. Then put the heat back on and heat the water. Then turn it off again. And wait, again. When the water is cool, the yogurt should be mostly set. So you put the lids on the canning jars and throw it in the fridge. (Well, not literally. That would be super messy.) They’ll set up more in the fridge.

So that’s it folks. That’s how you can make yogurt. At least one way. For future adventures, I probably won’t make this recipe, since I prefer my yogurt a little less sweet. It was really good mixed with pomegranate since the pomegranate increased the tang while needing the extra sugar. I also mixed in some cranberry-orange relish that I’d made pre-Thanksgiving. If that hadn’t had sugar in it, it might have been perfect too. I’m a big fan of cranberry. I bought three bags of cranberries a few weeks ago. I made scones and muffins and relish and froze a bag. Delish.

So folks, that is my story about making yogurt. Sometime I’ll write about making bagels, but not tonight. 

Baking, Blogging, and Blue Sky

I just finished two batches of cookies. Unfortunately my batch of all-purpose flour (one of two  canisters I had lying around) for the chocolate chip cookies was bad. So they went in the trash. The ginger cookies were absolutely phenominal though. (I left the cloves out.) I thought about bringing them into work to share, but I might not let them out of my sight. Gourmet magazine just posted their favorite cookies from the December issue of Gourmet from 1941 to the present and I found a group of bloggers who are making 12 of the cookies from that list in 12 days (and blogging about them with pictures and reviews). The instigator of this event is apparently Andrea. I had regularly been reading the blog of one of the contributors (Sass and Veracity) and came across this baking bonanza. After looking through all of the first four days cookies and reviews I was overcome with a longing for soft, chewy ginger cookies…which I then made.

I have a long list of things to blog about, but find that everytime I sit down to post it takes me over an hour. And to be honest, I’d rather be making bagels. So instead I don’t blog. But I am keeping a list of things to blog.  Right now the list is Yogurt, Smores Souffle, Switzerland, and Bagels. In particular Montreal bagels because they are the best. (Please don’t send hate mail!) So those are coming. But it might be Christmas before they get posted. Also my digital camera has appeared to die, so I can’t photograph my culinary attempts which makes them more boring. I will take it to Liz at Christmas, however, and she will touch it and then it will work. (This really did work on a former digital camera of mine. She apparently has a touch for electronics.)
But onto why I really posted today. I read a liberal blog (perhaps mentioned here before) called Progressive Alaska. Philip Munger, the blogger, is an Alaskan activist and musician, so while most of his posts relate to Alaskan politics, he also posts tributes when famous musicians die (recently Odetta and Miriam Makeba). Today he simply posted a picture. I’m not going to lnk to the image, but to the blog post, so click through for the picture. It’s right next to where my dad used to work and where we used to go on a mid-December Saturday afternoon to get a Christmas tree…but that’s a story for another time. Lots of good memories.
Stay warm! While some people (Gina!) may be living down South, others of us are deeply immersed in winter and already layering to protect ourselves from the -5 windchills.