Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day 19: July Food Challenge $1/1/1

Never again will I buy yogurt!
Money spent: $10.19
Wow! What an amazing day!
I MADE YOGURT! This is just about the easiest thing in the world to make. You just need milk, a little yogurt, heat and time. I used the recipe from About Food and then later saw this (which I'll use in the future) from Northwest Edible Life. Bottom line is: unless you are using raw milk, scalding your milk is not necessary. 110 degrees, which is barely over your body temperature, is all. Because I'm impatient and consider myself an innate genius, I did not follow the directions exactly. Yes, I used a quart of milk. Yes, I used a non-metal bowl. But I put my milk/yogurt mixture in the bottom of three mason jars versus using the same big bowl that my scalded milk cooled down in. Since, I just guessed at how much of the said mixture to put in the bottom of each jar, the third jar got a little skimped. As a result, it just turned into buttermilk and not yogurt. No problem. I'll make cheese with the buttermilk. If, by chance, you are local and need a starter, I'll gladly share. If not, I recommend a small container of plain, full-fat greek yogurt to start your new obsession with.

Today, I drove over with one of my amiable co-workers to the local health food store and spent a Hamilton and some change on two of my favorite food products. Very comforting to have that on hand now.

Harpsichord, Anyone?
Later, The Spouse and I took the children to a free music concert at our local art museum. We walked through a lovely flower garden and alongside a mosaic in-ground fountain to the main entrance and joined a shockingly packed house of all ages to listen to "John Paul, harpsichordist, performing Preludes and Fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier of J.S. Bach." I know, the excitement is mind blowing. It would be tempting to say, "Oh, I'd rather wash my hair." However, we went and are so very glad we did. Dr. Paul was a lovely combination of teacher and musician. He gave little talks before each of the five pieces, explaining what the fugue was for each piece and then playing it in parts, so that you could listen for it. By the end, two of the three children were squirming to be relieved of the duty of listening, but we stayed. And afterwards, we were gifted with a lesson for the children, where they could touch the keys, see all the little parts, learn a little more history and hear some of the differences between a harpsichord, lute, guitar, and piano.

Yes, the kids asked if this
was made for playing in, not just looking at.
Then amid thunderclaps and light rain, we walked back through the Art Garden, where I snagged a couple of seed pods (native hibiscus and Black-eyed Susans) and went into the Mississippi Art Center to see our artist friend (and one of my favorite people in all the world) -- Ellen Langford and her latest exhibit with fellow artists from Bottletree Studio. Oh my: what a treat! We met several of the artists, including Ms. E, and just relished the energy and vibrancy of the art. You want to feel alive? Go see this exhibit! Deep breaths, then dance. That's what the kids did and what my insides were happily doing as well. I love artistic souls and seeing them with their work. I love to look at art that leaves me room to play with it in my imagination. To join in the visual dance with the piece itself.

We drove home through the rain to clear skies and a sunset of golds and pinks and cotton-candy blue. The fountain, which has been turned off for the last week, in running again and now, magically, glows warmly in the darkened night.

"Then Everything is Safe"
painting by Ellen Langford
Obviously, I need to be surrounded by family, friendship, music, art, good food, and beauty. Today, incredibly, all of those things were mine to savor, relish, and enjoy. I truly must be the luckiest of women to have had a day a lovely as today to call mine.