Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 UFO Challenge and In The Kitchen (the YOGURT story)

Every year, my dear friend Margaret (of the Kawartha Margarets) organizes a UFO Challenge for a few of us.  Normally we send her a numbered list of 6 projects, and every two months she pulls a number out of her...we'll say HAT.  This year there will be no numbers.  And no lists.  This year she will have us PICK A PROJECT every two months.  The nice part about that is by the time November rolls around we are not stuck with something we thought about way back in January.  There is nothing to stop us from making a clandestine list, which I may do, since my memory is good for sh*t.

As for me, for the past two years this baby has been on my list, yet has not seen the light of day.  No more procrastinating!!!  Piece 'O Cake, here I come.
Just after Mom died at the end of March my friend Noshi came over and got me started on making my own yogurt.  Ever since then I've been making a batch about once a week.  (on a side note:  most people including DH are afraid of home made yogurt and will not eat it.  Curious, eh?)  Fast forward to Christmas when DH and I went to Calgary for a week.  On Jan. 2nd I started a batch of yogurt using a clump of starter that I had put in the freezer before I left.  It doesn't set.  Huh???  Damn.  Down the drain with that four cups of milk.  I have no more starter of my own yogurt, so I opened the last packet of commercial starter and put another batch on.  It doesn't set either.  WTF???  Down the drain goes THAT four cups of milk.  I headed to Goodness Me for supplies and brought home another box of commercial starter.  OK.  Four more cups of milk and ANOTHER failed batch.  Twelve cups of milk have gone down the drain now, and I'm beginning to wonder if Mom is annoyed with me for not visiting her plot since the summer.  Or, maybe it's too cold in the house?  I decided to live it up and try one more time.  But this time I'm going to leave the batch in my lovely warm workroom where there is a nice toasty fire.  Hah.  Fail.  Four more cups down the drain... I'm up to 16 cups of milk down the drain at this point.  I do the math...every four cups is about $1.33, sooo I'm out of pocket over $21.00 just in milk.  Never mind the hydro to heat it up to 185 degrees and the half hour of time to make each batch.  The other part of my brain is calculating how much it would have cost me over the past nine months if I had been buying Greek yogurt.  This half decides that I am still plenty of $$ ahead of the game.
I will try one. more. time.  But THIS time I will put the oven on 'bread proof' setting, which stays at 100 degrees.  We have a dinner date with friends for Chinese food so the yogurt should be done by the time we get home.
... oh dear... much blue air... still runny after eight hours... and the oven is NOT warm.  (There may be an automatic shutoff on the bread proof setting.  After all, who proofs bread dough for eight hours???)
By now I am pretty pissed off.  Pour a glass of wine (size:  large).  Decide "what the hell" and turn the LIGHT on in the oven and shut the door.
When I got up at 8:30 this morning, magic fairy dust had sprinkled itself all over my milk and turned it into yogurt.

The short part of this long story is that the house was too cold for the yogurt culture to ... culture.  Leaving the light on in the oven totally solved the problem.  See?  You are never too old to find out you don't know what the hell you're doing.


  1. You are hilarious! Love your sense of humor and bit of stubbornness,lol. Don't comment often, but just want you to know I enjoy reading your trials and tribulations.

    1. Hah - everyone likes to hear about somebody else's problems. It makes us feel better about our OWN life. Thanks for the kind words. :-)


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