February flotsam

Do you see this blue sky? It’s 5pm and the remains of the day are still vivid and azure-washed.

Sunshine: I sat for 15 minutes in the sunshine at the library, the first extended period of sunshine I’ve had in weeks. I felt like a limp hibernating stalk coming back to life.

Technology: I got a facebook message from AP photographer Gurinder Osan–it makes me incredibly happy to imagine him sipping morning chai somewhere in the Himalayas, sending me a message at 2 am Pacific Time.

Learning theory: Teaching as a Subversive Activity caught my eye recently. “Good learners are not usually fearful of being wrong. They recognize their limitations and suffer no trauma in concluding that what they believe is apparently not so. In other words, they can change their minds. Changing the character of their minds is what good learners are most interested in doing” (32).

Homemade yogurt adventures: I’m on my seventh batch from the starter culture of Fage plain, still going strong. So far, I’ve made yogurt cheese (I think I’ve perfected the technique of straining yogurt now), ranch dip, ranch dressing, honey mango yogurt, gogurts, and honey greek yogurt. Plus, fresh yogurt smells like brand-new babies (cue K. gagging), but still, I find it an endlessly creative medium.

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2 thoughts on “February flotsam

  1. I love that quote. It is a timely reminder of why I chose to homeschool during the early years. I love encouraging my kids in their learning – both in their successes and in their mistakes.

    And I LOVE Fage!! I need to take a moment to culture some myself. What milk do you use in your yogurt making? And please share your technique for straining yogurt into cheese. I’ve attempted it (simply placing some in a cheese cloth and putting the whole thing in a strainer with some weight on top). I’m sure there is a probably a better way. I love to mix fresh basil or fresh ground pepper into mine. How ’bout you?

  2. Hi Brooke!

    Years earlier, my yogurt cheese-making attempts included a cheesecloth bag strung over the sink, and I was just grossed out when I came back to inspect it.

    Now, I simply line a fine-mesh strainer with a strong paper towel (currently using Kirkland Select), set the strainer in the top of a saucepan, and pour the fresh yogurt into the paper towel. This rests overnight in the fridge, so 8-10 hours. Come morning, I lift the paper towel out and the yogurt cheese just peels off. No pressing necessary–this gives a consistency similar to cream cheese, perhaps a bit firmer.

    For dip, I’ve been doing a simple recipe of fresh chopped parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and a little dried dill weed. Fresh basil would be divine–I’ll try that come summer!

    As for milk, I’ve been using fat-free Natural Directions organic.

    The one no-go was making cheesecake with yogurt cheese. The texture was just all wrong, but the experiment was fun.

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