26 January 2010

Toddler law school

Since turning two last September, Beeb has completed his course work at baby law school and sat for the baby boards (and passed with flying colors), so I thought I would let him explain property law.

Beeb sez:

1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my hands, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a week ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it’s mine.
8. If I think it’s mine, it’s mine.
9. If it’s near me, it’s mine.
10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.

Today's post brought to you by the word: Mye-in!

25 January 2010

Yogurt 101

I have been making my own yogurt weekly and eating it most days for breakfast.  It is much yummier than the stuff that I have gotten at the grocery store and it (fortunately) isn't very difficult to make!  I got the culture (more on that in a sec), a recipe, and some helpful hints at Dairy Connection, Inc., which is a short hop away up in Madison.  After some experimentation, I think I have it down and thought I would share.

The equipment and ingredients are pretty easy.  First off, equipment:

An appropriately sized seal-able container.  I find that canning jars work swimmingly as I usually make a quart or half-gallon at a time

A kitchen thermometer.  I love my nifty digital thermometer, but I have a cheapy analog that works just as well.  The important temperatures are 185°F, 115°F, and 110°F.
A sauce pan.
A picnic cooler.  It just needs to be big enough to hold the container upright.

Next, the ingredients:
  • milk (a quart to make a quart of yogurt, a half-gallon to make a half gallon, etc.)
  • the culture.  I have done this two different ways.  One is using 1/8-1/4 tsp of a freeze-dried culture (I use ABY-2C).  The other is using about a 1/2 cup of a yogurt that you like.  I have had consistently good results with the freeze-dried culture and generally good results with the second option using yogurt from the previous week's batch.  I have found that the results have tended to dwindle with time, but I suspect that as I get more consistent from batch to batch the piggy-back results will be better.  I have had a couple of batches that have wandered away from the ideal temperatures and I think that may have degraded the culture for reuse.
The process (taken from here):

Heat milk to 180°F.  I use medium heat and I stir pretty frequently to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan.  Since I have a tendency to be easily distracted I keep some knitting or a book nearby so I can keep myself from wandering off.  I have been known to run to the computer to check my email and then head right back to the kit---ooo, shiny.  *time passes*  Hmmm, I wonder why this scorched milk is sitting on the stove?  Oh crud.  Yeah.  Not pretty.

Put the milk into the jar and cool to 115°F.  I use a sink of cold tap water.  When cooled add culture and stir gently to mix.  Put lid on jar.
Fill the cooler about 2/3 full with warm tap water (110°F).
Put jar in water in cooler.
Put lid on cooler and leave for about 8 hours.
Put finished yogurt in refrigerator and, when cool, enjoy!  I usually eat with some granola stirred in or some combination of nuts and/or fruit, a little honey or maple for sweetness, some cinnamon or nutmeg.  The possibilities are pretty much endless.

22 January 2010

Oh boy(s)!

The big boy is down a tooth.  The very wiggly front tooth came out last night, so we have sent notification to the tooth fairy that she should schedule a visit for tonight.  This is number three and he's not a bit pleased with himself!

The wee one helped pick up the toys last night and then put himself in the bucket.  He kept trying to lift it and announced "Hebby" when he couldn't lift himself.  Naw, he ain't a bit pleased with himself either.

Yeah, I think all three are probably keepers.

20 January 2010


Don't fret.  It isn't real.  It's a craft project from the kids' class at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center.  The topic was Stories in the Snow and they learned about figuring out what animals are up to based on tracks and other stuff left behind in the snow.  I think they enjoyed it...mostly the liberal use of the word "poop" in describing their craft projects.

19 January 2010

Come to the dark side...

we have warps, and wefts, and sheds, and shuttles.

Miss Bean and I have been reading the American Girl stories about Josefina, who lives in 1824 New Mexico. After her father lost many of his sheep in a flood, Josefina and her sisters and aunt started a weaving business to make blankets to trade for new sheep. So we hinted to Grandma that a loom might be fun for Christmas! So far it is strictly a team approach as Miss Bean doesn't have quite enough small motor control to weave the shed stick through the warp, but it is fun for both of us to sit on the sofa and pass it back and forth.