Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Excitement Builds...

Spring is approaching!

I have great hopes that spring will arrive a little early this year. Maybe it's due to the fact that winter came hard and fast, or maybe it's only because I am so eager to begin my outdoor homesteading.

As I've said in my previous posts, we are getting four chickens! Most hatcheries I have looked at will only ship a minimum of 15, if you are looking for less you can purchase as few as 3 here, if you are unable to find any near you.

The original plan was to build onto the back of an existing small shed, but that plan has changed. We have decided it makes more sense to simply use the shed! I want to get it ready today of course, does need a new roof, and a few modifications first. Darn!! I want those chicks now!

Since I have to wait for better outside conditions, I've been spending my time looking at gardening books. I do believe I am going to try at least one raised bed, and a south facing wall along the garage of vertical planting.

I've also been busy working inside making my fermented drinks! That probably sounds awful to you, but they are very tasty! My personal favorite is like a homemade soda, and so easy to make. More on that in a bit.

I made yogurt! This is my very first batch and I made it in my crockpot!

I found the recipe at Live Simply and it was super EASY.  The only thing I've added to it, is to take 4 layers of cheesecloth and place it in a strainer, over a deep bowl. Then I poured the yogurt into it and strained out the whey before I put the yogurt into containers and put it in the refrigerator! It makes it a bit thicker, like Greek yogurt.  It took no time at all to make, I did it last night and this morning it was done.

The flavor is wonderful...very mild, not really tangy at all. I understand the longer it sits, the tangier it becomes. Mine sat for about 10 hours.

If you don't own a crockpot, you can place your bowl on a heating pad set at the lowest temperature, cover it with 2 towels, and leave it overnight!

Just a little ps. here. I just had a bowl of the yogurt after it sat in the refrigerator for several hours. I am so pleased! Thick and smooth and absolutely delish. I added a spoonful of maple butter to it and it was like eating a dessert! 

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