Thursday adventures

This morning, I woke up feeling warm for the first time since we moved here. So warm, in fact, that I was not huddled in a little ball like an animal trying to hibernate deep, deep in the polarfleece sheets and overstuffed comforter that adorns our bed. I had my arms out all willy-nilly and the comforter was down past my chin. After telling Mr Darcy about this momentous occasion, he promptly went downstairs to the thermostat and returned to our room. He then looked me tenderly in the eyes as he cupped my chin with his strong hands and said, ” You forgot to turn the thermostat down last night when you came in from picking up Hayden from his smallgroup.” Tender moment gone, I realized that I had done exactly that and mentally moved “learn how to program programmable thermostat a.s.a.p.”

In other news, I came downstairs this morning to find that my crockpot had been working hard all night making the most AMAZING chicken broth – evah. I forgot to take a picture, but here’s a picture of the aftermath:

This is round two. Less color, less chunky. Still good stuff here.

Yes, I noticed that I have broth on the outside of my crockpot. I didn’t feel like cleaning it just so I could make the same thing right away. The first batch was darker but this still smells so good and will taste delicious.  I cooked my two Amish chickens (you don’t know how much fun I have had thinking about Amish Chickens) with water, celery, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper. After they were cooked, I de-boned them and put all the delicious meat in one dish while I put all the rest in another pile. When I was done with that step, I put all the “rest” back in the crockpot with the broth and added two capfuls of apple cider vinegar (Braggs, with the mother) and set it on medium. That was somewhere around 7 pm last night. This morning, I strained all the “rest” out again, ladled out the broth in my a pot to cool and dumped the “rest” back into the crockpot with more water.

All bagged up - I got 10+ cups of broth from the first batch. I put it in 2 cup amounts. It sounded like the right amount to me!

I am so excited! As I type, I have rice cooking so I can make up my poppyseed chicken casseroles. Family favorite. Delicious. Thanks be to Sandy J for this recipe that I will probably make until I die. 🙂

Yesterday, I also made some yogurt. We love yogurt at our house and go through a LOT of it – especially with my homemade granola. It’s really easy to make. People make it in the crockpot or even on a heating pad, but I am scared of warm dairy and I bought one of these on Craigslist – brand new:

yogurt, yoghurt...why does it make me feel so cool and European to write "yoghurt?"

This little guy makes 7 jars worth (6 ounces each) of yogurt for me in 8 hours. I put 7 jars’-worth (is that really a word?) of milk in my pot and heat it to 180 degrees, stirring every once in a while. I use a thermometer – I have not worked on my fantastic superhero temperature-reading skills enough to do anything else. After it reaches 180 degrees, I add 1/2 of a jars’ worth of plain, Greek yoghurt (had to use the European spelling there, don’t you think?) and whisk until smooth. Then I put the pan (with the trusty thermometer still in it) into a sink of cold water until it cools down to 110 degrees. Then I add 1 teaspoon of vanilla because we like vanilla yogurt. We are like that. I have made plain and tried to add stuff later but we don’t care for it. I need to make some plain, though. We like it with Indian food. Cools the  mouth off. That’s nice. Where was I? Oh yes, after I add the vanilla in, I put the little jars in my yoghurt maker without their lids and put the lid on the machine and turn it on. 8 hours later, I put their lids on and place them carefully in the fridge. They really are ready to eat today, but I am not telling the boys because we still have some store-bought in the fridge that I want them to finish up first. That’s it, friends. Call me Fage. Or Oikos. Or Stonyfield Farms.

 

Ohm by the way, in case you were curious about the GIANT cans of veggies I bought, I got about 7.5 cups of corn (we forgot to measure before cooking some last night) and about 7 cups of green beans. I got 32 ounces of marinara sauce from the can of crushed tomatoes and I am still staring at the 6 lb, 9 oz can of tomato sauce that’s sitting in my coffee bar-throwing off my coffee bar vibe. It will probably be marinara, but I have also been thinking about chili. I’ll research today.

That’s it for Thursday’s adventures. I hope you enjoyed them. Any questions? 🙂

~Janna

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. elaine
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 17:01:16

    It DOES get cold in IL. Grew up in Ohio!
    Do you have that poppy seed chicken recipe anywhere on this blog? And you freeze it?

    Reply

  2. Janna
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 17:53:00

    Elaine,
    It does, but we love it here!

    I don’t think I have ever posted the recipe for Sandy’s PoppySeed Chicken, so I’ll post it tomorrow!

    ~janna

    Reply

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