Precautionary Warning!The Other Side of the Coin


I was thinking the other day, and it dawned on me that I should

Ramie Goddard 2012
Nest in a Shoe

give a few rules for foraging among all the wild plants on this earth.

There is the other side of the coin in every subject in existence. Good and bad, Light and dark battling against each other for top billing! So is your glass half full or half empty? I prefer picking neither… mine is plumb full with an occasional spill. Oh I have days when I’m dehydrated but for the most part all my days are full. I’m going to talk to you about exercising caution as you forage and try new things from the wild. You are now going to see an aspect of my personality. ~~~~~

Simple things delight me! It can make me go on a tangent of major proportions.

Like the picture on the right… my brother in WV, Ramie was mowing grass, and

came across these boots thrown over a limb. The birds thought it looked like a nice

condo. I love seeing things like this. Look at the construction of the nest.

How superb. Hope he gets to see when the eggs hatch~

OK…OK…I’m back to the subject!

The first thing is to research the plant you are thinking of eating. Is there a plant that is so similar that you could confuse the two plants? You ever hear the saying that carpenters have, “Measure twice, cut once!”. It’s kind of that way with plant foraging. You have to check your facts twice or more. If you are uncertain then don’t eat it.

Here is a check list I found on Wikihow:

http://www.wikihow.com/Test-if-a-Plant-Is-Edible

Please go and check it out. Make sure of what you are doing. There are skin tests and taste tests. There is so much information in books and on the internet that it should be fairly easy to check things out. One thing you can do is find things that don’t have  a copy cat. I found out that Wild carrots (Queen Anne’s Lace) has a plant that’s similar called Hemlock. Socrates, let’s see…he died from drinking something with Hemlock in it?… I think. Extremely poisonous but I thought it seems there are some pretty obvious differences. Wild Carrot has hairy stem that’s plain and one color where as Hemlock has purple flecks in the stems. The groups of flower heads  of the QAL are more tightly grouped together while the Hemlock has small groups that make up a larger whole flower head and are more loosely grouped together.

Poison Hemlock Flower

Even though this isn’t from the Northeastern US, the simple straightforward description from Washington State @ http://www.co.stevens.wa.us/weedboard/other%20weeds/HTM%20pages/poison%20hemlock.htm is the easiest one to follow and doesn’t seem to have any differences from this area.

Poison hemlock
Conium maculatum                       
Parsley family

Key identifying traits (more in a second year plant). First year plants are harder to distinguish. Much shorter first year.


  • A big plant normally 6 to 8 feet tall
  • Flowers are small and white consisting of 5 petals and borne in numerous umbrella like clusters
  • Stems are erect, stout, and purple spotted with distinct ridges and extensively branched
  • Leaves are fern like and have a musty odor

    Poison Hemlock ~ Smooth Speckled Stem

  • Has a large white fleshy tap-root
  • Seeds are paired, 1/8 inch long, brown, ribbed and concave
  • Musty Smelling Plant
  • NO BENEFICIAL USE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Queen Anne’s Lace              

(Daucus carota  ~  Carrot Family)

  • A medium size plant normally 4 feet at its tallest
  • Stems are hairy and solid green
  • The leaves of the wild carrot can cause phyto-photodermatitis, so caution should also be used when handling the plant.
  • Flowers are similar to the hemlock but are packed together tighter and there is a red dot right in the middle of the entire umbrella of blossom clusters which attracts wasps
  • The root is edible when it’s young but grow extremely woody as it ages
  • INTERESTING BENEFITS: This species is also documented to boost tomato plant production when kept nearby, and it can provide a microclimate of cooler, moister air for lettuce, when inter-cropped with it.
  • Distinct Carrot smell in the leaves and in the root

Queen Anne’s Lace with Blue Chicory

So you can see by this one example that it is important to do your homework. When in doubt…. don’t. That is the best practice for a foragers.

I love sharing nature with you and I hope you will become excited about the things that have been provided for our benefit. Let me know if you go foraging and what you find. I would be so excited to hear about your adventures. Thanks for coming for a visit.  Be Careful and See you soon.       Jan

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Discovery of May Apples


I am on a journey of discovery! My eyes have been reborn and as poor as my sight is,

May Apple Plants on the Forest Floor

I am seeing things I never saw before. It is an absolute delight.  We were on a stroll and came across a plant I didn’t know what it was. It had a single stem and a large leaf that looked like a patio umbrella with 8 points on it. Under it hung a little green object that I wondered if it would develop into fruit or some kind of seed pod. We cut one stem and took it home and put it in a vase.

The search began as I dug through my vocabulary to find the right words to describe it. Ultimately words must lead your direction down the search engine path to the destination that will tell you “All” things. 🙂 I tried everything I could for several days. I was feeling CRAZY! I am an information sponge and everything in me craves new information. Finally I found a site that gave up the details I was searching for, after several rabbit-trail diversions and here it is:    http://livingafield.com/Index.htm

It has headings like, edible plants, medicinal plants, etc. Under edible plants you will find May Apple or American Mandrake. http://livingafield.com/Plants_Mayapple.htm

It was listed under edible plants on this site. The ripe fruit can be eaten raw, cooked, or made into a jam or jelly. It can also be used to make a lemonade-like drink. It actually looks like a small lemon.

You may have to gather for some time to use in recipes. I’m going to try freezing them till I have enough. From this site I found some recipes   http://www.schools.lth5.k12.il.us/bths-east/mayapple.html

May Apple Plant with Single Flower

May Apple Chiffon Pie

The pie is greatly improved by first cooking the may-apple and pressing the pulp through a colander, then let the pulp stand 20 minutes. Soften 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Dissolve the mixture, add 1 T lemon juice, and a dash of salt. Chill until partially set. Fold in a package of whipped  cream, pour into a graham cracker crust and chill thoroughly.

May Apple Marmalade

Cut off both the flowering and stem end of the may-apple and quarter into a large pan. Simmer for 15 minutes and use a colander to get the pulp. For two cups of thick pulp, add 1/2 package of Sure-Jell and 2 3/4 cups of sugar. When the mixture boils and thickens, pour it into jars and seal.

May Apple Cider

A good drink is made by peeling and chopping chunks of  the may-apple into a large bowl. Add sugar and let the mixture set to draw out the juice. Mash the mixture and run it through the colander. Now, add a jigger of this liquid to a glass of lemonade for a pleasant iced beverage. Others prefer to add half of the juice to a half portion of grape.

Some more information:

The name, Podophyllum, comes from the Greek podos (foot) and phyllon (leaf), which alludes to a fanciful resemblance of the leaf to an aquatic bird’s foot: hence, the seldom used common name of duck’s foot. More often, it is known as mayapple (our native mayapple blooms in May). The beautiful but exceedingly toxic plant has several other perplexing common names that lend themselves to confusion: wild lemon (presumably because the ripened berries resemble tiny lemons), ground lemon, devil’s apple, hog apple, raccoon berry, Indian apple and American mandrake.

You can read more:

http://www.herbcompanion.com/Herb-Profiles/MAYAPPLE.aspx#ixzz1tIC2Py9N

I’m just discovering these things in nature. Do any of you out there have information that would be valuable to others about using this plant? I found this intensely interesting and am looking forward to trying to use this resource.  While it isn’t a major providing source, it brings variety into the food mix. I happen to like variety.

I’m looking forward to your comments. Thanks for letting me share my discovery with you. Stop in again soon and visit.  I am continuing my quest to find all the edible resources at my disposal. It’s awesome to discover God‘s worldwide free grocery store. Help me search and tell me what you have found. You are always welcome to come along my garden path.  🙂    Jan

NOTICE: Nothing is edible except the fruit. Handling of the plant itself should be kept to a minimum. Pick the fruit and leave the rest alone. 🙂 Want everyone to stay safe.

Mayapple fruit

May Apple Fruit

Mushrooms and Strawberries :-)


What an exciting day!  The sky was a beautiful blue and the temperature was comfortable.

I’ve been walking everyday I can. Some days I’m too weak but I try to walk even if it’s just a little. Today was one of those weaker days but I went with my husband for a small walk and we were rewarded with the most amazing discovery. We found a morel mushroom. After I got back home, Darnell, my husband went back there and looked more hoping to find enough for a meal. He searched several areas but came home empty-handed. Bummer!! On the bright side we did find one huge mushroom. It’s almost as big as my hand. I’m making us an omelet with ham, mushroom, tomato, and  cheese so we can savor that wonderful find.  I know we will enjoy it. There is enough there for us to share. I’m glad!!!

Wild Strawberry Plant with White Flower

After a little rest, I went for another walk to where I found the wild strawberries. Only one plant had a bloom on it and it was white which is the sign it is the right one. There is a fake strawberry plant. It is not  poisonous and is edible. Called  Wood Strawberry, has yellow flowers, and a similar fruit that has no flavor. I was glad the plants I dug had the white bloom. I left ample dirt around the roots so as to not disturb the growth process. They say that the strawberries that they produce are smaller than cultivated strawberries but are much more flavorful. I may not get any this year because of moving them but I’m a patient woman. I waited till the third year before I could fully harvest the rhubarb that I planted from roots given to me by good friends. Here in the middle of April, we picked from one plant enough rhubarb to make Rhubarb Bread. It flopped terribly but tastes delicious. We can eat it with a spoon.

What is wonderful about sharing plants is that every time I look at those rhubarb plants I think about the friends who gave it to me. I have another friend who gave me  Rose of Sharon bushes. When I look at them, it gives me a chance to pray for them and ask God to bless them and care for them. What they gave me is treasures that produces joy in my life. I love those gifts.

It will probably be a while before I can bake a Rhubarb Strawberry Pie. It’s a work in progress. It will be worth the  wait. We all have to wait for things. I’ve heard that things that we have to wait for usually produces something lasting that is of value so  how about we wait together. Come and visit.         Jan

What things have you gathered, pampered and waited for? Tell me about your experiences.

I’m in learning mode always so any contribution will be welcome. Leave a comment. 🙂

Learning to Forage


It’s been so nice outside and when it is, I find anything I can do so I can enjoy the weather. It’s been chilly but not bad. Before it rained a few days ago, I planted zinnias and marigold seeds. We planted more plant starts out in the garden too. The rain helps them get started better than watering. Why is that? Is it that it is more natural? I just know that I am always glad when it rains. It cleans and waters and makes all things fresh.

Carya glabra

Hickory Nuts

I found a hickory tree near by with tons of nuts strewn under it. I brought a few home at first and cracked and tasted them. The nut meats were so sweet and good. I found them hard to crack and not have a million little pieces so I went to the internet and started searching for a way to get the nut meats out in more whole pieces. We are so spoiled. Factories crack them with a machine and you go to the store and buy packages of nuts without any little pieces. I have a very patient friend in Arkansas who gathers black walnuts and saves the nut meats. She has jars and jars of them but they are all in little tiny pieces. I love them and when she gives me a jar, I know how many hours of work went into gathering those precious gems of flavor  and nutrition. I am going to have to develop my persistence and tenacity to forage food from around me. It definitely takes patience and determination. I watched a few videos that showed a man cracking these nuts and taking out whole nut meats. He cracked it all over with a hammer or a stone, like a boiled egg and then gently picked the shell off piece by piece.That’s my goal.

Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot)

I gathered dandelion greens early this year before they started blooming. I was told that they aren’t good after the blooms start. They were delicious. That wasn’t hard.

I spotted some wild onions  and wild carrots. I knew about the onions before and had heard of the carrots but had never investigated them. I don’t know that I will gather the roots of the wild carrots but if I ever needed to I could now. The research I did said they are not tender, sweet and good like their garden cousin. The big surprise was that the wild carrots was a plant that I have always called Queen Anne’s Lace. I never looked at the leaves because of the beauty of the bloom. I wonder what God was thinking when He put the one small purple dot in the middle of the bloom? You will see these along the road or in a field. The blue flower is Chicory and the roots can be roasted and ground to use as a coffee substitute.

Ever use pine nuts in a recipe. I have a couple Sicilian recipes that have them in them. I had no idea where they came from nor why they were called pine nuts. Now I know that they are little seeds hidden under every scale of the pine cone. I read that you pick them up off the ground or pick off the tree when they are tight together not more opened.

They are high in protein and fiber but after you get them out of the pine cone you still have to crack a shell similar to a sunflower seed from around the nut.

After I gathered them, I wrapped a cookie sheet with foil to protect it from the sap, and baked them for an hour at 200 degrees. Amazingly the scaled started lifting apart so the seeds could drop out. The pine smell while I did that was very pleasant.

It is good to know how to do these things. I do know that some things, I will probably not do on a day-to-day basis because of how hard it is. I want to become proficient at it so that what things are worth it to me to do… I will do and the rest I will store in the recesses of my brain for a rainy day when it might come in handy. That makes good sense, doesn’t it?

When all six of our children were home, we didn’t have a lot of money. I’m sure there were times when they felt it but I tried very hard to focus on things much more important than money.  We used what we had in the most creative way we could. I focused on the things in life that are free. Nature, God, Music, Books, and felt wealthy for all that was available to us. I don’t regret one day of my life. It is a gift!

Thanks for dropping by, Love having you visit and come again,                                                     Jan

P.S.   Had to show you this idea for the garden. I saw it on http://www.gardeners.com. It is an awesome way to save space in the garden. It shows it for cucumbers but I think it could be used for any of the smaller spreading crops like squash or muskmelon. There is a wealth of  great ideas available.

Cucumber or Vegetable Trellis

Gratitude and Contentment and How Gardening Helps!


Gratitude is a good thing.

Knowing what is a need and what is just something you want is also a good thing.

I was thinking about the attitudes I experience from people who cross by my path and the people I rub elbows with everyday. Attitude and perspective makes a big difference. Some people have created an attitude of dystopianism no matter what benefits they enjoy in life.  What they have is never good enough and the value and joy of a day is wasted on wishing for something else and hating what they have. Contentment is a valuable commodity worth more than gold. That doesn’t mean that you never set goals for something else that you think is important but can you do that and be happy today while you reach for it? I imagine except for maybe a few, we are all in survival mode. The cost of living has gone up. The farther you have to fall maybe the harder it is. Attitude is paramount no matter what level you are experiencing. The richer a person is, the more they might have to give up. They are used to having certain luxuries and we are creatures of habit. Whether we are rich or poor, if we need to pull in the cinches, it is important that we do it the best we know how. Change is hard for everyone. One of the things we can do is look for information and make it an adventure of learning and experiences. We can find it in ourselves to focus on  the good and be grateful for it. Even the things that are bad, we can be thankful for the strength God gives us as we go through the challenge and be grateful. Seems like when I have a pity party day, I will find someone who has it so much worse. Now on to an adventure. Adventure is what I call all the little quirky tips I find that helps me provides for the family something that is needed in a less expensive way. Gardening is one way I can help our family. I also do things like make my own yogurt or cottage cheese or make cakes or pancakes from scratch. I got a tip the other day. A friend of mine directed me to a site and told me about something I could do that I had never thought of. This is kind of a silly thing but its something that kids or grandkids will enjoy doing. This way they learn to help. It’s good when they are involved.

Grow your own celery from your celery remains. Just chop off the base and plant. One week of growth shown in photo.

I buy celery all the time and I don’t remove one stalk at a time and chop it. I cut off whatever I need from the end of the stalks so that when I’m done I’m left with the piece at the end of the celery where the roots were when it was harvested. This is perfect because they said to take the root end of the celery and put it in the ground and it will produce more celery stalks. I’m going to replant my first celery at the end of this week. To me when you can do things like this, it’s an adventure and makes surviving more fun. Pretty soon it isn’t surviving but it is joyful living in the present. You can be happy while you accomplish it. I planted my cucumbers the other day in a hanging basket. I’ll let you know how that works. We don’t have room in our little garden for anything that spreads. One spreading plant and it would fill our whole garden. She had this link connected to this picture:

http://homesteadingsurvivalism.myshopify.com/blogs/news

This link will take you to a gardening guide with lists of plants. It’s very well presented and easy to refer to it for information. It tells you when to plant and other valuable information. I found several things on the site that might be of value. One was a cold frame set up made by setting bales of straw around a small section of your garden and start the plants there. Cover the area with clear plastic so that it rests on the bales. That way you get a head start and the plants are already where they are going to be planted so you don’t have to even move them. That is pretty awesome. This is the link to the original site that had the Straw Cold Frame:          http://ozarksalive.org/larrapin/?p=929

Straw Cold Frame

They used sliding glass doors but you could make frames and cover with plastic. That might be safer for kids and animals.

I am definitely going to try this next year. Love finding new ideas…new to me anyhow. 🙂 Hope you benefit from my travels on the internet. Love technology! How much do we all have in our lives that we can be grateful for?

I read an article in Wiki about gratitude. Here is one section out of that article:

“While many emotions and personality traits are important to well-being, there is evidence that gratitude may be uniquely important. First, a longitudinal study showed that people who were more grateful coped better with a life transition. Specifically, people who were more grateful before the transition were less stressed, less depressed, and more satisfied with their relationships three months later.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratitude

Gardening exposes you to the whole cycle of life. It is usually a quiet task that gives you time to think, meditate, calm your mind, and bring something wonderful to others.

It is a great time to contemplate the good things in your life. Make a list of those things and be grateful, and share with others.

Thanks for stopping by,

Jan

Does Anyone Know What’s Important?


What a week… been talking about politics!  Yuck…must be the most

The western front of the United States Capitol...

The western front of the United States Capitol. The Capitol serves as the seat of government for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located in Washington, D.C.

irritating subject in the world. The reason for me that it is an awful subject is that I feel like there are very few in politics that can be taken seriously. Just when you think there is someone then they do something that just makes you scratch your head. You can’t believe what they do. There is so much propaganda flying around … how in the world do you make a solid productive decision about who you will vote for. I am so disgusted with the whole mud-slinging thing that goes on during election times.

I wish that the governmental bodies in Washington functioned as part-time jobs.  If the  senators held jobs other than their job in Washington then they would be more connected with the real world and would be less likely to waste time when doing the governmental job. If they were insured like every other person and had to think about their retirement the same as every other person in the USA then they would have a totally different perspective.

I believe that the statement made by Warren Buffett about Congress persons not being able to be reelected if the budget was not balanced. If it were that way, then I truly believe they would work together harder to accomplish what is needed. Where is their accountability?

It is discouraging to think that it makes very little difference who gets elected for the presidency since if the Republicans and Democrats can’t work together then how can a president accomplish anything good for our country.

It is strange to me that there are so many rules in the income tax book…they say it is longer than the bible! I believe they need to simplify…simplify… simplify!! If they lowered the amount of tax% required but then no matter your income you all paid the same it would be much better.  That’s one opinion.

My daughter said the middle class is disappearing. It should be the largest group in the US but the effects of the recession seems to have hit them the hardest. The very poor are doing very little different from what they have been doing to survive. They are living within their budget…or are avoiding it. They have no choice in the matter. The middle class probably are the worst offenders at living beyond their budgets. This made them most likely to fail because living beyond their budget makes a weak link in their financial structure.

The corruption and lack of morals makes me crazy!  I wish there was an awakening.

I know this post is just a way for me to voice my frustration and I think I have lots of company. I am always amazed when I hear what a small percentage of people vote. I’ve talked to a few who say they aren’t voting because they say there aren’t any good choices…they don’t want anyone on the ballot.

I find it very hard to decide how to vote but I will continue to search out what is absolutely verifiable about the candidates and  cast my vote. We can’t complain and not do what we can to have an effect on the government. I hate it that some people get elected because they are the lesser evil. There is something totally wrong about that picture.

Do you know even when I try to not listen to all the news reports out there, every once in a while. something will sneak through and freak me out! Yesterday I heard the congressman from GA in a town meeting say that 78-80 members of congress are communists. I can’t quote him since it’s been quoted so many different ways. That’s why I just want to plug my ears and not hear anything because so many claims are hard or impossible to validate. It’s just clutter! I think their main goal is to cause confusion.

I know that this should not be a personality contest but many times I think that is what happens.

Our country is in such a state that it is so important what happens. I will definitely be praying for wisdom to know what to do and do all the research I can. Seems  there is nothing simple in this world but even though I’m discouraged… I will never give up. What seems important is to work at this thing and do our part to sift through all the information and GO VOTE!! We don’t keep our freedoms by doing nothing!

Thanks for listening  and giving me a chance to get some things off my chest!!

Stop by again and leave your comments… let’s share our frustration or our clarity..there must be some out there somewhere!! I’m still looking…

Thanks again,

Jan

Faith and the Egg


Eggs have become such a prevalent part of Easter. What do you think it stands for?

Easter eggs

Easter Eggs ~ Symbol of New Life

One of my recent posts was about how we develop our philosophy in life. I told you one of the ways I developed my philosophy was through reading the bible. I was raised in church and it was the “normal” thing to do in my life. I embraced that life until I left home. When I left home, I started spreading my wings and thinking, “I can choose whether I make that my life or not.” I tried and tried to choose a different way. My family was always pretty straight-laced. I thought it would be awesome if I flew by the seat of my pants so to speak. I wanted to be like some other people I knew that didn’t follow so close to the line. I experimented with the feel of making choices opposite of what I had always made during my life so far.

From a young age I learned about God and His son, Jesus Christ.  I  tried just cruising along when I reached this time in my life but I found out the price was too big.  No matter how I tried to brush it away, I found that the way my life had played out up to the time of being on my own, was the true belief of my heart and not just a rote display of tradition. It was then that it transformed from tradition to the fabric of who I am. I knew then what I believed for myself and not because of how I had been raised.

Jesus with the Children

I believe that the bible is the inspired word of God. And the Bible says that God send His son to earth as God/man to tell us about God and to become the payment for the shortcomings of humans on earth. He died on the cross and was raised from the dead and then ascended up into heaven.

This is the essence of the spiritual celebration of Easter. This is a very important time of year for me. I am so grateful for what God has done for us. By paying the debt for our sins, if we believe then we have been promised a place in heaven. That is only the tip of the iceberg.  For me the promise of heaven is what comes later but what is so much more important is the comfort and guidance He provided for us post assention through the Holy Spirit. He is with us constantly and we can turn to Him at any time for direction.

These are things I rarely speak out loud so I am just wondering what every readers response will be. I know it sounds strange but I’m as sure of this as life itself. God is real and He is miraculous in every way and it is a source of great joy and peace for me.

The eggs that are used in the celebration of Easter are symbolic of the “New Life” that

Jesus with the Soldiers

is available through believing in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. The way you accept Jesus and the gift He provides is to realize that all humans make choices that are wrong. In any justice system there is a price for wrong and Jesus paid the debt and offered to cover our imperfections. We only have to realize what the gift is, why you need it and accept it from Him. I did and it has made an amazing difference in my life. I’m glad to have Him be a part of my life. I appreciate everything He has ever done for me. This is the only thing in my life that doesn’t change. All other things that make up my life, can and do change. I have had some very good things in my life but there is very few things that are secure or guaranteed. My faith that God gave me is the rock I stand on.

Easter is a very private, important part of my life. It is a time of extreme worship. I know that many people go to church on Easter but I actually like to be alone with God on that day. The most awesome Easter for me was when I was up early on a beach in Florida. I

God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit

was there with one other person. We didn’t talk. It was a time of worship for me. The sun was almost representative of the Glory of God and I just talked to Him and expressed my thanks for His presence in my life. I hope you will find peace this Easter. This peace fills my life every day and it is the greatest gift ever given.

May you find the blessings of this Easter Season,

Thanks for stopping by,

Jan

Please talk to me… leave your comments.

Yogurt~New Day~New Way!


Made Yogurt Tuesday. Tried something different.

Yogurt Straining Tools

Took a plastic container that was almost a gallon size. (Ice Cream Pail)

INGREDIENTS :

1 Quart 2% milk  (4 cups)

3 & 3/4  cups warm water

1 & 1/3 cup dry milk powder

1 cup dry milk powder (this is extra ~ more that what you need to make a Quart of Milk with dry milk powder)

Mix all above ingredients with a whisk

1/2 cup yogurt with live cultures Set out on the counter to warm to room temperature when you start the project.

(Use either yogurt from the store that says it has live culture in it or if you make yogurt save a half cup from the last batch)

DIRECTIONS:

Put container in the microwave and  set it for 7 minutes. It was bubbling when the time was up. Set it on the counter to cool.

It will depend on the power of yours, how many minutes it will take. Mine is 1000 Watts so I set mine for 7 minutes

I use a candy thermometer to keep track of the temp so I laid that in the large container of  milk and watched for it to drop to 110 degrees. I think it was about an hour when it reached the goal temperature. The 1/2 cup of yogurt will be room temperature. Put it in a bowl that will have enough room so you can whisk in a cup of the 110 degree milk .  I took two soup ladles of milk and whisked it quickly into the yogurt. Pour it back into the milk in the larger container whisking all the time. I found a good smaller size cooler chest and poured the milk into a container. It needs to fits but have room for another container. I pre-warmed the cooler chest by putting a jar of very hot water in it with the lid on to raise the temp of the container. Once it was warm, I placed the milk mixture in the cooler chest with a lid on. In the extra space I have a microwave heating pad that I warmed up and put in a ziplock bag and placed in there beside the other container. You could also use a jar with very hot water in it. Put a towel between the jars. Close it up and cover it with a blanket for extra measure. I totally forgot about it till the next morning.

I love it in the morning when you get up to something nice.

Straining into Large Bowl to Collect Whey

I use a plastic strainer and line it with a cotton cloth that I have rinsed out so it’s wet. I poured all the yogurt into the lined strainer. Saved the new whey in a bowl under the strainer and just let it set for a couple of hours.

I save my whey to use in the place of buttermilk in recipes. If I have whey in the frig that I haven’t used. I pour it out, wash my container and put the new whey in it and back in the frig. This way it is always fresh. I also limit how much I save to 4 cups. (1 Quart).

Final Strain Over Pie Plate in Frig
Results: Greek Yogurt

After it drains setting on the counter for a couple of hours, I just put a pie plate under the strainer and put it in the frig. Let it continue to drain the rest of the day. Put into containers then and put in the frig. This amount makes three 16 oz. containers of greek style yogurt. You could cut this recipe in half and it would work also. We use all of ours for beef stroganoff, condiment on baked potato, just to eat plain or with fruit, blended with frozen fruit for smoothies. Lots you can do and I make mine about every 2-3 weeks and it keeps quite well for that amount of time.  I thought you might like this easier process to make your own yogurt.

Thanks for stopping by,

Jan     🙂

Journey Along the Garden Path

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