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Flotsam and Jetsam

September 10, 2009

You know, I’ve always liked the phrase flotsam and jetsam.  It’s just fun to say.  But perhaps it is a little redundant.  After all, flotsam is defined as “the floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo.”  And jetsam is defined as “1) the part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo that is cast overboard to lighten the load in time of distress and that sinks or is washed ashore;  or 2) FLOTSAM!.  Really?  So Jetsam = Flotsam?  So it’s like this posting is entitled Stuff and Stuff.  Or maybe Floating Stuff and Floating Stuff That I Actually Threw Overboard On Purpose.  But all fancified up for you.

Flotsam #1: Sometimes I am an idiot.

I know that may seem hard to believe, but it is true.  And it is proven by the ants that took up residence in my kitchen this week.  I have NEVER had ants.  Bugs in general kind of skeve me out.  Last night we had music practice in Tall Guy’s garage and there was a daddy long legs hanging over me from the ceiling the entire practice!  Ugh ugh and ugh.  Funny enough, I see spiders all the time when hiking and they don’t bother me then.  It’s kind of like I’m on their turf.  I can respect that. 

Anyway, back to the ants.  I could not figure out the source.  I would just see a couple here and there on the floor.  Not on the counter where there might be a crumb, but on the floor.  And the ants didn’t seem to have any purpose to their wanderings.  Honestly, I haven’t really observed ants all that much, but these little guys just seemed confused.

That’s when I realized I am an idiot.  Because who besides me would prune a hydrangea bush and then throw away the cuttings in the kitchen garbage?  I mean, if you think about it a hydrangea flower is like an ant condominium!

A few days and several squirts of vinegar cleaning solution later, my kitchen is once again ant free. 

Jetsam #2: I am not yet ready to quit my day job to become a yogurt maker.

I was all excited this weekend to try my hand at yogut.  It fills so many nice niches for me.  The frugal-girl niche, the eat-healthy niche, the save-the-environment-from-plastic-yogurt-containers niche, the random-topic-of-conversation niche, the blogworthy-posting niche…  I could go on, but I’d just bore you.

I got this recipe from Debby.  I didn’t have a container exactly like hers, but I had a glass batter bowl with a lid from back before I learned to say no to Pampered Chef / Party Lite / Longerberger parties.  It looks like this:

Batter Bowl

I thought it would work ok.  Plus, if I purchased a whole new container to make the yogurt, it would kind of go against the whole frugal-girl niche.  I did spring the $4 to buy a candy thermometer.  From the Walmart. 

Well, the experiment did not go quite as well as I had hoped.  I ended up with yogurt, but it is not very tart.  And it was very soupy, which necessitated the purchase of a cheesecloth (also $4, but not at the Walmart).  Then the whole straining thing was a debacle.  Let’s just say that someone on this blog needs remedial cheesecloth lessons.  I now have still-soupy not-very-tart yogurt with clumps in it.  Sounds appetizing, yes?

But I can’t blame Debby.  I blame myself.  First, I used greek yogurt instead of the recommended Dannon starter.  Second, I don’t think I insulated the container as well as I should have when the bacteria was doing it’s work.  Third, perhaps a differently shaped container would be a better choice.

I’ll try this again and report back to you in a few weeks.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. debby permalink
    September 10, 2009 12:45 pm

    Ooh, I just noticed you are reading ‘My Life in France’ by Julia Child! I am fascinated by her after watching that movie yesterday!

    I don’t think the shape of the container makes any difference to the yogurt making. And I think I tried the greek yogurt once and it didn’t work very well. Their main point is saying Dannon (which I have never used) was to say to choose a yogurt with 4 or 5 bacteria listed, and also to use one that doesn’t sit on the shelves long–has a fast turnover–so it is as fresh as possible. And unfortunately, greek and organic yogurts sometimes sit longer than the 3 for a dollar store brand! Try again, frugal girl! I flunked cheesecloth too. I decided if I wanted good greek yogurt, I would buy it. But I read somewhere about making almond milk that you could buy a ‘nut bag’ for straining the almong milk, and maybe this would work for the yogurt too. Our frugalness would appreciate that you can use it over and over. I might check the health food store today. Also, I don’t like tart yogurt, so maybe this homemade stuff will never get tart enough for you.

  2. allthingsjuice permalink*
    September 10, 2009 3:36 pm

    Oh my goodness Debby your picture just showed up next to your comment! How did you DO that?

    I watched the movie a couple of weeks ago. It was a bad date but a good movie. I then suggested that my book club read My Life in France this month. But I haven’t gotten the book yet so technically I’m not reading it this minute. But I will. I’m 18th on the wait list at the library.

    We are so twins separated at birth – I was totally thinking the nut bag might work too! But I suspected that would not be very frugal. Let me know if you get it and how it works.

    • debby permalink
      September 10, 2009 6:29 pm

      Computers are so weird. On my computer on your blog, my ‘picture’ is still a generic quilt patch design. But when I replied to a comment, my picture showed up next to it…

      Okay, here’s how I did it, I think. I went down under users (on my blog dashboard) and I think I made myself the author, and then it let me add a picture of myself as a gravatar. I think you already did this. That is why your little tiny picture shows up somewhere. But then I went under ‘appearance’ and under that clicked on widgets, and that let me choose ‘gravatar.’ and I added that to my side bar. See on my blog how I have added my picture and a clever sentence or two about me? LOL.

      BTW, how lovely a thought to think that I have a TWIN 20 years younger than me somewhere. You have made my day!

  3. September 10, 2009 9:36 pm

    I used to see only quilts here and now I see both of you. Just thought I would butt into your conversation. That’s the kind of girl I am.

    • September 10, 2009 10:20 pm

      I love butters. And butter, but that’s another post for another fat-conscious day. Anyway, butt away!

  4. debby permalink
    September 10, 2009 11:21 pm

    Juice, using your blog to experiment and see if I can see me.

  5. September 10, 2009 11:22 pm

    Trying one more time.


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