Homemade yoghurt

yoghurt.jpg

It’s been awhile since my last post. I’m sorry about that. It’s been a wild year – between a lengthy healing time for a concussion that forced me off all my devices, a busy pregnancy, and now new babe, poor Foodiologie has been long neglected.

Since my last set of posts, I’ve been experimenting with a lot of DIY and making my own cleaners, baby gear, and household items. I’m still undecided on whether I’ll post about those somewhere for those interested – case in point, look how badly I’m keeping up with just my food blog – but if I do, I’ll let you know here.

All that said, at my mother’s suggestion and armed with her great recipe, I did try my hand at making our own yoghurt. It came out splendidly and I’m loving how simple it is – no yoghurt kit, expensive equipment, or laborious process needed. And it tastes great.

What you’ll need:

  • 2L of 2% or Homogenized milk. The higher the fat content, the creamier your yoghurt. I don’t suggest using less than 2% as it will be quite runny – but if you like your yoghurt runny, by all means, try it! As a note, avoid lactose-free milk products as you’ll need the lactose in the milk for the bacteria to feed on to make the yoghurt.
  • 250mL of existing organic, probiotic, plain yoghurt. Nothing with added flavours as that will interfere with the process
  • A large pan with a lid – something like a Dutch oven is best

Continue reading

Advertisements

Love candles, hate the mess: Getting the wax out of your mason jars

masons

Today’s post is a bit of a departure from our usual posts around food and all things related to food, but I thought that this tip could be useful to those of you who have run into this problem. I’ll explain.

In our household, we love candles, and we love our mason jars. So much so that we had a couple hundred at our wedding that served mainly as candles. But once the night was over, what we had left over were well over a hundred perfectly good mason jars with wax melted firmly into the bottom.

I searched high and low for the best solutions on getting the wax out. Some tips suggested softening the wax by putting the jars in the microwave. Others gave instructions around either putting boiling water into the jars or boiling the jars in water to boil out the wax – as melted wax floats on water. Another recommended placing the jars in an oven and heating no more than 200F and pouring the melted wax out onto a piece of wax paper. All great solutions, but none very practical for the girl that needed to attack the waxed jars en masse.

Finally, the best one surfaced and it was beautifully simple. Freeze the jars. Wax shrinks slightly when frozen, so it pulls away from the jar and is very easy to snap from the bottom with a good old fashioned butter knife. It also works beautifully in getting that tricky waxy residue off the glass. So no scrubbing required. The only downfall with freezing the jars is how to get the wax out if the lip of your jar is smaller than the base (where the wax has melted into), like is the situation with mason jars. You can chip away and try to break the wax (as we did initially), but then you’d run the risk of using too much force and either chipping or even breaking the jar, or worse, getting hurt (as we also did initially).

So in light of that, I’ve made some adjustments to my mason method madness.

Here it is. My simple four step process of getting wax out of your mason jar:

1. Freeze the jars. You only need to keep them in for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how much wax you have in your candle. Depending on how big your freezer is, you can put a lot of jars in and freeze them all at once.

2. Pop out and flip the wax. This is easy. All it takes is either a shake of the jar or for the more stubborn ones, a butter knife and a little twist. The wax will pop free. Now flip the wax over upside down in the jars (or just turn the jar on its side with the wax resting on the side of the jar) and let it all thaw (only takes 30 minutes or less).  Letting the wax thaw will allow you to break it up without the risk of breaking the jar or hurting yourself. Flipping the wax over in the jars so it’s not resting back on the bottom of the jars makes sure the wax doesn’t thaw and get stuck to the bottom of your jar again. Obviously, you only need to flip and thaw the wax if it’s a lot of melted wax that’s too big to get out of the jar.

3. Break the wax. Use that same trusty butter knife and gently, but firmly press the knife into the angled wax to break it. Usually, the wax will run in currents – I usually break the wax in one of the creases and find that it comes apart really easily.

4. Quick rinse. You can give your jar(s) a quick rinse to get any stubborn crumbs of wax out. But at this point, you’re basically all done!

Now you have your full unwaxed jars back for their next candle or use. And the great thing is that they’re so versatile. We now use our abundance of masons for drinks, dried food, canning, lighting, flowers, and still as the occasional candle. Although if anyone wants to buy a dozen or two, we could probably afford to give some up – we have lots!