Crazy accomplished

Man, it’s nuts how good I feel when I Get Stuff Done. Highlights from the last couple days:

  • Strawberry and blueberry preserves (I wanted to crawl face first into the pint of strawberry)
  • Chopped holes in clay and planted 5 tomatillos, 4 tomatoes, and 1 pepper plant that I got for free Friday at an end-of-season sale
  • Good yard sale find: down/feather “mattress” or super-thick comforter
  • Cut and burned all the Canada thistle that was going to seed in the back (witness the ten thousand minute puncture wounds on my forearms)
  • Good-bye and good riddance to the hot tub, my most expensive mistake to date
  • Great conversations toward some very interesting consulting work
  • Started playing with the Kill-A-Watt and discovered that toasting my breakfast uses more power than leaving the fan running 18 hours straight
  • Made sag daal for dinner…oh so tasty! And just for fun, figured out that it costs about 50 cents a serving, including rice. I think I paid $7 last time I had it at a restaurant.

Cow AngelIn other news, he doesn’t know it yet, as he’s been out all afternoon, but my sweetie’s first batch of homemade yogurt came out really well. I bent the no-sugar rule to sample one spoonful topped with the cherry preserves I made last week. His assessment of “almost obscenely good” is pretty spot-on.

I did the math, and a quart of homemade yogurt comes to about $2.25 plus the price of homemade preserves. Enough to flavor a quart runs from 35 cents (blueberry) to 85 cents (organic strawberry). A quart of his old favorite yogurt – available only in 6-oz cups – would be $5.50; the price of my favorite just jumped to $6/quart. With the quantities of yogurt we eat in this house, we’ll easily save $20-25/month.

The homemade yogurt and preserves aren’t organic, but they are local (including the sugar) and made with essentially no waste. The milk even comes in glass bottles. The real impetus for doing this was to quit throwing out all those little plastic cups. In addition, his fave is trucked in from California and mine from Pennsylvania. By switching to homegrown, we’ve cut about 3000 food miles per quart.

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9 Comments

  1. Eva said,

    July 26, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    post saag dal recipe, s’il vous plait?

  2. Matriarchy said,

    July 26, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Me, too, for the sag daal recipe, please.

    I also recently started making yogurt, and it’s amazing. I bet your favorite yogurt was Seven Stars Farm – I live in Pennsylvania. But homemade is pretty darned good, especially if I start with raw milk. I will also use grocery-store milk, which make yogurt only a little over $1/quart. Organic raw milk is twice as much.

    I got 10 pounds of free peaches and made preserves last night – I see a lot of yummy peach yogurt in my future.

  3. Suzie said,

    July 26, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Toast vs fan – Wow. !!!
    Yogurt – We need to make more.
    Consulting – This is totally cool!
    Tomatillos – Bob discovered some in our sideyard! (Or lanterns)

  4. Matriarchy said,

    July 26, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Oops – I found the recipe in your “Vegetarian Menus for a Month.”

  5. mandi said,

    July 26, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    what an inspiring post! i need to get on making yogurt. my kids are nuts over it! and tomatillos!?! i was just asking my farmer friend at dinner tonight (tomatillo sauce enchiladas) if they’d be successful here. crazy!

  6. Emily said,

    July 27, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Eva – I’ll post it as a separate post!

    Matriarchy – Yes! Seven Stars maple rocks my socks.

    Suzie – Tomatillos apparently reseed fairly easily, so it’s quite possible some have wandered into your yard.

    Mandi – How’s that for synchronicity? 🙂 The yogurt is dead easy…hmm, should probably post a recipe for that too, huh?

  7. sizzyphus said,

    July 27, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Gorgeous. May I add you to my blogroll, please?

  8. Oldnovice said,

    August 3, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    In which step did you add the sugar to the yogurt? I made my first successful batch last week. We like the “custard” type, so I did everything to make it gel solidly (which it did). I think it could have used a little sweetening, though. I’d added 1 T flavored gelatin powder during the boiling stage and that gave a mild raspberry flavor to it, but I think it could have used a bit of sweetness, as well. TIA.

  9. Emily said,

    August 4, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Oldnovice- I add sweetening after it’s all made. These days, we’re keeping plain yogurt in the fridge and adding a tablespoon of homemade, rather runny, fruit preserves for sweetness and flavor just before we eat it.


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