Monday, May 19, 2008

beating the system

Life is getting harder. Don't you all agree? Grocery's are way out of whack, gas is high and believe me when I say "it will stay high". Wages are not getting higher to help and on top of all that my property tax goes up yearly higher and higher.
But it's not a downer I am sharing today, nope! It's clever, tricky beating the system ideas. It started with the yogurt. Yes we are back to Yogurt sort of. I wanted to settle an on going tummy upset. Stress maybe but I knew yogurt would help if I just ate some each day. WELL! Those tiny cups of yogurt were much too expensive so I began making my own on a regular basis. Very satisfying and with a 1/2 gal of milk I can make a lot of yogurt. (I keep an orange and a lemon in a baggie in the fridge and give my yogurt a zip of peel and a few squeezes of juice)
Next came the Buttermilk. A friend ,who's a great cook, make blueberry scones for our book club. They were so good I wanted to make some for husband. To save gas I had him stop at stores on his way home from swimming. Trip after trip didn't yield any buttermilk. Why? I wanted a quart and no one sold it in quarts any more and it was all non-fat and runny and expensive. How can you make anything work without thick, sour buttermilk. I began applying the yogurt principle to the buttermilk. I bought one of the expensive little pints and a half gallon of whole milk and I went online and found a buttermilk recipe. (this is not the same as adding lemon or vinegar to sour milk, this is thick wonderful stuff)
I always find my favorite and more trusted web sites are colleges, they end in edu in the web addresses. In this case most rural colleges have dairy programs. Our middle daughter went to our states agricultural college in the East. We always treated ourselves, on visits, to some ice-cream and a can of cheese at the dairy shop at the college. Wonderful stuff. Before I get off subject with my mouth watering, I found a buttermilk recipe, the dairy proffesor's recipe, it was perfect. You make it very much like yogurt, heat the milk, cool the milk add a cup of cultured buttermilk. When I opened the jar I had thick, clotted buttermilk. Just as it should be. The Blueberry scones were heavenly. I have enough for pancakes or even chocolate cake!
So with one half gallon of whole milk I made a quart of buttermilk, and two quarts of yogurt. Amazing. Read your Basics cd to discover why cultured milk is so good for you. I am a happy lady to beat the system once again.
In the 70's it was hard like this and my sister and I shared all kinds of ideas on how to save money by doing it ourselves. We made our own bagels, our own sausage, our own soap (still do!) and all kinds of things. You have to judge when the ingredients might cost more than the end product, it's not always better to do it yourself. Soap I make because my skin is happier with handmade. Cereal in the morning is ever so much cheaper for me to make my own. (Check the basics cd for all kinds of grain cereal recipes and granola.
I will make this Beating the system an on going blog. Pass along your ideas, ask your questions. We can smile in the comforts we ourselves can have despite the lack of money in our lives!
Laughing as I go down the grocery isles


Shandrath said...

Have you ever made goat milk soap? If you want to give it a try let me know. Now that we are milking our own goats we will on occasion have some extra. I love you soap!

Fonnell said...

Yes I've made lots of goat soap. It smells like carmel and is a delight in the shower. If anyone wants a very easy recipe for soap goat's milk soap is the easist