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In light of the coming weekend forcast full of 80 degree temps and sun shinning,  I am spending the day in the kitchen.  The only housework I want to do tomorrow is the kind that hangs laundry on the line or plants flowers in the window boxes (Pansies as we have been known to get more snow.)  If it is going to be that nice in April I am going to enjoy it, darn it!

On my list today is:

  • yogurt
  • ricotta (homemade since we can’t buy any fresh here…it’s not hard)
  • sausage
  • roasting a chicken
  • a special dessert (for Mr “I’m not so into this” Trying Traditional)
  • Vietnamese meat balls
  • hardboiled eggs

This is on top of the usual homeschool, dishes (and if I accomplish all on my list, we will have lots of dishes, picking up,meals, etc.

This reminds me.  Why is it that the twins are like a tornado?  If the older two and I go around picking up, they are in the opposite rooms making a mess.   There are only 8 rooms in our entire house and while we are picking up three rooms, they are messing up at minimum two of them.  And I am not a neat freak.  I would love to have a nice, neat home, devoid of stuff, clutter, and well, more stuff.  I would love to have a decor and even more so an actual living (but that is another battle.)  What I am talking about is the general mess of four children, a three-legged dog, and two adults.  From where I sit I could reach laundry (all clean and on it’s way to being put away), dishes, four purses, pencils, erasers, cloth napkins, random socks, sippy cups, two squeaky toys, a towel, a lock for at the YMCA, books, one pen and a ruler.  This is all around my kitchen table.  Sigh.  So, when naptime hits I try to really work on the house and schooling when I feel like collapsing for an hour.

Back to my kitchen list:

So far I’ve finishe the hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, and ricotta…well, almost.  The ricotta is straining and the yogurt is heating.  I started at about 10 this morning on both.  Mind you there was lunch, potty-training, and all sorts of interruptions mixed in.  The yogurt is in the dehydrator (to keep it warm) until 7 tonight.   Next is the chicken (can it really be after 2 already) followed by the sausage and meatballs.  I’m making my own sausage to avoid nitrates and processed sugars, besides it isn’t hard.  The special dessert may or may not get done today, we will have to see. 

Here is how to make raw milk yogurt and ricotta in case you are interested:

Raw Milk Yogurt

The yogurt is pretty much like the recipe in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

  • 4 cups of raw milk
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (with active cultures)

That is it, only two ingredients, if only all recipes could be this way!

In a double boiler (or a heat safe bowl set over a pot of boiling water for a home-made double boiler.)  Heat milk to 110 degrees.  You want to heat it slowly.  Have a 1 quart jar ready to let your yogurt culture in with a lid that fits (always an issue around here.)  Once milk gets to 110, remove from boiling water and remove/discard/drink 2 Tbsps of hot milk, stir in a heaping tablespoon of your yogurt into the remaining milk.  Pour this into your prepared jar along with two more heaping Tbps of yogurt.  Stir really well and screw lid on tight.  Place in your dehydrator for 8 hours at around 90 degrees.  This is to maintain a warm temperature ideal for culturing all those beneficial bacteria.  Ive heard of people using warm towels and a cooler, a crock-pot, and all sorts of things.  I’ve blessed to have my handy dehydrator to do the work for me on this one.

Whole Milk Ricotta

Not necessarily a true ricotta (traditional ricotta is made from the leftover whey when making other cheeses), this is made from whole milk.   It works quite well for me, though, seeing as I would have at minimum an hour drive there and back to pick up the real deal.  The ricotta was made pretty much like this, though I used 11 cups of raw, un-skimmed Jersey milk, 1 cup of cream, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and healthy 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar.  I would type it all out, but really, why re-invent the wheel when there is so much that needs done. 

So, now that it has taken me 2 hours to write this, my ricotta is drained and very tasty thank you very much.  Time to go get that bird roasting and to season some sausage, suppose I could put it in the Kitchen Aid?

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