Friday, September 14, 2012


depression sucks.
not the my-cat-just-died depressed.
the mind-numbing, bone-aching, unending-grey-swirling-mess depression.

it sucks.


admit it. look yourself in the mirror.
say, yes, I am depressed. I am having a hard time functioning on a day to day basis.  I will make an appointment to see a health care professional.  i will go to said appointment.

giving in and sleeping all day is easier.
easier for whom?

you?  sure, probably.
your family?
nope.  not a chance.

deal.  get up. function.

you don't have to like it, it will probably hurt and totally suck.
you'll get frustrated that you can barely manage to switch the loads of laundry before you're exhausted.

it doesn't matter.
get up. do it.
grit your teeth and deal with it.

switch the laundry.
someone is counting on you.  someone needs you to switch the loads.

what you do is more important than how you feel.

great.  now there are clothes in the dryer so everyone will have clean clothes in the morning.

what's next?

food.  yup.  kids will want to eat.  spouses want to eat. pets, they want to eat too.
believe it or not, you need to eat, even if the thought of food makes you sick to your stomach.

deal with it. eat. something.

Ramen.  mac and cheese. easy dinner.  feed your family.

now they are fed and clothed.  the basics.  sit at the table and listen.
don't put your head down.


listen to your family, talk with them, love them.

even if you aren't worth the effort, don't be selfish.
they are.  live for them.  deal with it for them.
don't lay on the couch and whine.

just deal with it.

overwhelmed yet?


deal with it everyday until you realize you are no longer dealing, but living.  figure it out.

but don't, don't, tell me you can't do something, or you're too tired.
it's a cop out.

been there.  done that.

I dealt. I functioned.  it sucked.

and now it doesn't.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Easy-Peasy Homemade Greek Yogurt

Tess loves flavored yogurt, but all the sugar-free ones in the store taste like aspartame.  Blech.  So I looked online for a method of making yogurt that didn't require a yogurt maker...or a bunch of effort... and I found one.

It sounded way too easy to actually work, so I kept looking.  and I found another recipe almost identical to the first.  hmm.  could I really make greek yogurt in my crockpot???

I can.  and it is delicious.  I shall strive to remember to take pictures of the steps next time I make a batch.  until then, here's the basic recipe.

Homemade Greek Yogurt
makes: about 32 oz

·         ½ gallon (8 cups) milk
·         ½ cup (6 oz) plain yogurt (with live cultures)


1.      Pour milk into slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 2 -2½ hours, or until temperature is 180 ºF.
2.   Turn off slow cooker and unplug it.  Let milk cool in slow cooker on counter for 3 hours, or until temperature is between 105 ºF and 110 ºF.
3.    Pour 1 (ish) cup of warmed milk into a small bowl.  Add yogurt.  Whisk to combine.  Pour milk and yogurt mixture back into slow cooker.  Whisk to combine.
4.      Put lid back on slow cooker.  Wrap entire bowl and lid with a towel and place in oven with light on.  Let sit in oven for 7-8 hours.
5.      Remove from oven.  Place in refrigerator for 3 hours, or until yogurt is cooled.

at this point you have "normal" yogurt.  to make it Greek:

6.    Line a strainer with multiple layers of damp cheesecloth or a layer of damp cotton (muslin).  Place strainer over a bowl.  Pour yogurt into strainer.  Return to refrigerator for 1 hour. 
7.      Pour off liquid in bowl and return to refrigerator to strain for 1 more hour.
8.      Sweeten yogurt to taste if desired and store in refrigerator in sealed containers.

~I usually scoop out 1/2 cup of unsweetened yogurt and save it in the fridge as the "starter" for the next batch.

~unsweetened it can be used as a sour cream substitute. (I used it in a bean dip this weekend and no one could tell it was yogurt)

~I've used both whole milk and 1%.  I liked the 1% better, it tastes less fatty.

~The liquid that is strained off is whey.  It can be used in cooking or fed to tomato plants.  Personally, I soak a bunch of oatmeal in it overnight and feed it to my chickens in the morning.  They love it.

a 1/2 gallon of milk cost me $1.44, and the initial yogurt purchase was ~$1.00, so that first batch cost me $2.44 for about 32 oz of yogurt.  Since then, I've been using my own starter, so now, it's about $1.44 for 32 oz, which is less than $0.30 a serving. 

I've been making about a batch a week, and then turning most of it into Low-Fructose Fruit-at-the-Bottom yogurt cups.

Perhaps you'd like to see how I do that?

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Well, there you go.

In case you hadn't noticed, I've not been sewing much around here.  When we figured out that Tessa's tummy couldn't process fructose, I did a bunch of research and am now re-learning how to cook and bake gluten-free (GF) and no/low fructose (LF).  So the few extra minutes I had been sewing, I am now trying to find food that taste good and Tess can eat. 

Since I really don't want to make two of everything - blackberry cobbler, cupcakes, cookies - I've been making our sweeet treats Tessa-safe.

Trying to find a balance between the effort expended in preparing meals that everyone can eat and the additional cost of making enough GF/LF foods for the entire family has been tricky.  GF flours are stupidly expensive.  So, we've limited our cakes and cookies at the house because I'm too lazy to make a batch GF/LF, wash everything and clean up, then make a second "normal" batch.

I'd rather spend my time elsewhere, thank you very much.  One of my least favorite chores is cleaning the kitchen, why on earth would I subject my self to doing that twice as often?

Tonight I whipped up a batch of brownies using a master baking mix recipe I modified.  Josh gave it the name "Tess-Quik" and it stuck.

No recipe tonight, we haven't tasted them yet.   But they sure smell promising!

I miss blogging, mostly because I felt like it was an outlet for the random thoughts and happenings I want to share.  So, perhaps I will be back more often, but there will be little to no craft-sewing going on here.

Instead, I'd like to use this as a platform to share with my friends and family, who I don't see/talk to much.  Mostly because I dislike "chatting" on the phone. 

I'm also using the Blogger app on my tablet, so be prepared for not-perfect posts.