Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Not The Mayflower

A week or so ago, Sue posted a funny piece about her almost Amish children. You should go read it. But first you should hear about how my children want to be good little Marches. You know, I never set out to have the Little Women household, but it sure is looking more like that every day.

We have no television, so the girls are forced to entertain themselves. And it's not like they didn't do so before we cut the cable cord; none of them has ever had that tv addiction thing where they couldn't pull themselves away ... or where we could use tv time as a reward/consequence currency. They'd rather be outside. If you tell Sarah she can't go outside because, for instance, she has a bad cough, she'll cry and whine -- I mean -- she'll logically explain how important fresh air is to her recovery. Whatever.

What I'm trying to say is, the girls would way rather read or create huge crafty messes with permanent paints (oilcloth is my friend) and hot glue guns than watch television. They would way rather create a new game (their latest board game is called "Uh-Oh") or write a play and rehearse it all day and then wheedle Daddy into buying tickets to the performance.

They get a little confused when they go to friends' houses where tv is the main event. But what're we gonna do?!

And I'm aware this makes me sound like a beyond-PBS mother. I'm fully cognizant that this could be construed in that hyper-competitive parenting way that some folks have fun with. Trust me, I'm not judging. The girls still fight over computer time, if that makes anyone feel better. The Marches had to share gloves to go to a dressy party, and my girls won't share clothing unless forced (or, in a pinch, if Grandma's watching).

So when my beloved white Suburban gave up last week (I know: broken hip + chicken massacre + family car demise = fantastic seven days) it was time to buy a new one. We really need a Suburban because it's the only vehicle to seat our whole family and to haul a horse trailer. Just in case you're worried about the minivan dilemma.

I had narrowed my choices to a couple of used Suburbans. The final contender seats nine (one more than the old one!) and has low miles, snappy red paint (cop magnet, anyone?), FlexFuel, heavy duty towing package, etc. It doesn't have only one thing on my wish list: leather. I decided that I could give up the leather for a car we could afford that also drives. Down the road.

It also has highly embarrassing Fresno-style blindingly bright chrome 18-inch wheels.

And a television.

So Madeleine knew about the new car one day earlier than anyone else. She was torturing her sisters-- I mean -- she was handing out hints about our big "appointment" like the tiny niblets of power that she knew them to be. It is so awesome to be in the know, isn't it? She gave Sarah the news that "you can watch movies in it."

Sarah thought. And thought.

"We're buying a THEATER?"

They still haven't watched any tv in the car. They already have colored pencils and notebooks all over the back two rows.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Forgetful Katie

Well, while I was out enjoying a bit of this:

I forgot all about this:

and this:


Umm, this was supposed to be my yoghurt. Not so much. I am not sure what one would call this. Maybe YO-cheese?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yo' Mamma

Yesterday I decided to try my hand at some homemade yoghurt .

So, I dug out the starter.

I had bought this yoghurt a while back, for the sole purpose of making my own yoghurt but I am a procrastinator by nature and I just hadn't got to it. I knew that this little gem had been in the back of my fridge for some time, the exact amount of time I was unsure.

So, when I caught a glimpse of the "Best by" date, I was slightly shocked. I say only slightly, because I don't like to clean out the fridge that often. And this little number was expensive, that much I did remember. But really, 08-18-07!

So I peeled back the plastic to reveal the most beautiful sight. Staring back at me was lovely plain yoghurt, teeming with probiotic life and only the tiniest bit of whey pooled on the top.

I sniffed. Smelled like yoghurt. I gave it the taste test. Tasted like yoghurt. (Then, I waited to make sure I didn't die.)

After a few hours, of no food poisoning effects I broke out my supplies.
Clean quart jars. Check. Stainless steel pot. Check. Thermometer. Check. Milk and starter. Check.

I called my smart tres' chic, hippy farm friend to get directions. Heat milk ever so slowly, to 100F (or till bubbles form around edges). Add 2 Tbsp starter and 2 Tbsp Powdered Milk. Mix well. Pour into jars.


(read: note the placement of the cell phone, just in case I needed technical support)

Jars were filled, capped and placed in this insulated bag covered with towels and placed on top of my water heater to incubate. Where it is to remain untouched and undisturbed for a few days.


I am such a mother hen. I want to peek and shake and poke these little jars, just to see how things are going. It's taking all of my will power not to mess with them. Just the idea of all that homemade goodness just sitting there.... It is going to be a long few days while I patiently wait for my little concoction to be ready for consumption.

I will let you know how it all turns out!