"Choose you this day whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Make Homemade Yogurt

Want to save money and know what's in your yogurt? May Grandma always used to make her own, and my sister reminded me how to do it. It's pretty easy to make your own. Here's how:
1. Pour milk (I use 1 gallon) into large pan. Set yogurt starter-"store bought" yogurt out to warm on counter top (I use at least 2 cups).
Bring milk to scalding point-it will get a bit of a "skin" on top.
Remove from heat and add sweetner. I like to use Splenda and it only takes about 1/2 cup because milk is already sweet. You can experiment with the amounts and sweetners that you like. Stir well and then let it cool to room temperature.

2. Once the milk has cooled to room temp. it is time to mix in the yogurt starter-stir well. If you do it too soon and the milk is too warm, it will kill the starter and the yogurt will not set up. If it is added too late, after the milk starts getting cold, it will not activate the starter, and it will not set up. So, this step is important. Timing will depend on how much milk you are doing and how hot it got, so just keep an eye on it. It will probably be at least 30 -60 min. to cool. Then, comes the fun part. You can add whatever flavorings and colorings you like. Some that we like are vanilla, strawberry, raspberry, peach, blackberry. We buy the big bottles of syrup (they also make sugar-free) at bulk places, like Winco or Smart and Final.

Ya, this picture is out of order. When will I get it? It should be second.

3. Put newly mixed yogurt into clean, dry containers and set on a cookie sheet in the oven. My grandma always just turned the oven light on overnight to keep it warm enough to set up. If you don't have a light, you can slightly preheat the oven but be sure to turn it off before you put the yogurt in. Too much heat is bad! About containers-I use glass jars and plastic containers and they all seem to work equally well.

This is what the yogurt will probably look like after it has set up overnight. After it is stirred, it will look "pretty".

1 gallon or 4 quarts of milk: $2.70
1 quart of yogurt: $2.49
Homemade yogurt is less than 1/3 the cost of storebought.

Organize Chaos

1. Find a pile of junk (you know, the kind you're goin' to need someday.

2. Move Pile of Stuff

3. Put up shelves or some type of organizing unit.

4. Organize "Stuff", clean up, get Ada to help sweep.

5. Take a well deserved nap! :)

Refill an ink cartridge

Thanks to my mother-in-law for showing me how to do this, I have saved a TON of money on cartridges. We go through lots and lots of ink for homeschool and church stuff. There are some days that I refill the cartridge twice, if I am downloading and printing preschool books, etc. I ordered this large container of black ink online several years ago for $13. It is only about half gone, and I have refilled the cartridges MANY times. Love it!
1. Open the lid on the printer. On my cartridge, I push down as I am pulling it out, but others may be different. You may want to buy an official cartridge refilling kit to begin with to have what you need. But, all you really need is the ink and a syringe.
2. Put the syringe in the ink and trying not to take up air, pull it out with the ink entering the needle. For the black, if the catridge has begun to run out, it takes about 6 cc's of ink. When I am refilling the color catridge, I try not to get more than 2 cc's of each color. If I put too much in, (which I have) it overfills inside and mixes the colors. NOT good! That means it's time to go buy a new cartridge.

3. Carefully insert the syringe needle into the cartridge. If it has not been refilled before, you may have to poke around abit to find where the opening is. If it has hard plastic instead of a hole, you can make a hole with a nail or screw. When the needle is in a little over half-way down the cartridge, start to SLOWLY push the ink in. If it is pushed too fast, it will come out the top. If it pokes in too deep, it will puncture the bottom of the cartridge and then it will all leak out and have to be thrown away.

When the cartridge is refilled, snap it back into its place in the printer (I push in and up on mine). And, then, try it out to make sure it's working.
Tip: Don't let the cartridge run all the way dry. Once it does that, it's really hard to get it to work well again. The longer it is dry, the lower the chances of getting to perform well. It's best to catch it when the ink starts to fade on the printed page. Good luck!

Keep those towels on the racks????

Can I just say how tired I am of towels in a pile on the bathroom floor, every. single. time. I walk in there? I cut a square piece of fabric that doesn't fray, and using my sewing degree, sewed like I would for a welt pocket in tailoring. It's pretty easy-just sew a rectangle, and then cut a slit with angles at the corners.

Then turn the square through to the other side, and topstitch. Since I did this a couple of months ago, and it's taken me this long to post it, I can tell you how well it works. Well, let's just say that at least they stay on when I hang them up. The kids? still need more training on how to hang towels up. But, if you've got some really bright kids, they might be able to "pick it up" quicker:)

Replace an ironing board cover..

Well-I got the pictures out of order, so start at the bottom if you like.

I put it on and the string worked great, and being lazy, I was glad I didn't have to find any new string for it. I am happy with the way it turned out.

I saved the drawstring out of the old one and sewed it into the serged edges, being VERY careful not to let it get caught-even one stitch could prevent it from moving. Of course, getting caught on the other side with the knife wouldn't be too pretty either.

Ya, I think so. Took off the old one and pinned it to fabric to use for the pattern.

I've had this ironing board since we got married...21 years...think it needs a new cover?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy 19th Birthday, Jesse!

Jed is saying, "up like a rocket...round and round like the great big sun"