Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Whiffing Jar from 1945
1. Every morning, I drink a cup of Constant Comment tea. They are celebrating 70 years and are commemorating that with specially wrapped tea bags. I think there are 10 pictures depicting special moments in their history. My favorite is the Whiffing Jar. I don't know why but it makes me giggle, maybe because when we visit a tea store like Margaret's, we always open the jars of tea and take a good whiff. Even at home when we open our containers of loose tea, we always stick our noses in and take a whiff!
2. Big breakfast news: I switched yogurt again. Long ago, I ate a Dannon Light & Fit yogurt for breakfast every single day (with my Constant Comment tea). One day I decided I didn't like the fake sweetener crap. Googer got us a yogurt maker which we used for a long time but then after a few not very good batches we backed off homemade yogurt because it was too much effort for mediocre results. Meanwhile, I started eating Dannon Plain yogurt. SP would stir in a few drops of simple syrup and then add fresh fruit. That was good and I was happy but last week, we ran out of my yogurt so I had to eat his Greek yogurt.

I was apprehensive because I am very picky about yogurt. But! This stuff! It's so thick and rich and creamy it's like dessert for breakfast. So much better. One day my yogurt reappeared and I was so sad because it's so thin and lackluster after eating his yogurt. So I decided to switch to Greek yogurt. Now we'll have only one kind of yogurt in the refrigerator.
3. Last Friday we went to the Pirates game. Fortunately, we didn't get rained on getting to the park. After we got there, it started raining and there was a rain delay. While we waited, we watched the rain fall and munched on these:
Nachos with pulled pork and BBQ sauce and nacho cheese. The photo color is off because somehow, I screwed up the brightness setting on my cell phone. Anyway, the cheese was spicy (for me) and the BBQ sauce was sweet and it was pretty tasty in that this-is-so-not-good-for-you kind of way.

I paid for it later when we got in bed and I started burping, a lot, and my tummy was gurgling like mad and then felt like I was going to barf it all up. Ick. Don't think I'll be eating that dish again.

The game was a long game. We left during the 7th inning because it was already 10:30 and we were tired! They won in 13 innings, in a game that ended around 1 am.

4. We are caught up on Orphan Black Season 3. The season finale is this Saturday. Until then, we've moved on to OITNB Season 3. So far we've only watched 1.5 episodes.

5. Game of Thrones! Noooo! Everyone probably knows about "the big death" but I won't say anything except that I hope the person isn't really dead.

6. True Detective starts this Sunday and I am pretty excited. However, I think expectations for the show are so high that there will be disappointment.


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  2. I definitely love plain strained / Greek yogurt with how versatile it is. As you said, it's so thick and smooth it seems far more indulgent than it actually is.

    I've ditched using my yogurt maker as well, not because I stopped making my own yogurt but rather because after around 6 years of use it sprung a leak. :p For a little while after that I used my food dehydrator for incubating my yogurt but I didn't like how inexact its temperature control was for this use and it seemed like an awfully inefficient way of holding around a half gallon of milk in the 115-120 F range for the 5-10 hours it takes for it to become yogurt. Given I already have a cost-effective and easy-to-use sous vide setup (I got an Anova circulator as a BF deal last year to replace my separate aquarium pump plus water heater w/ PID controller, I figured I'd give it a shot. It's definitely my favorite method so far - it's quiet (its integrated pump isn't silent but is far quieter than the dehydrator's fan), doesn't significantly contribute to heating up my place in the summer as the dehydrator does, and of course is super-precise - I just float my yogurt container in the water bath and let it go at 118 F until it's nice and set (typically 6-7 hours at that temp) with no concern that the milk might get too hot and kill off the bacteria.

    I actually don't bother to strain it most of the time so it's technically not Greek yogurt but it's still far thicker than store-bought 'traditional' yogurts. Most of the year I use it for bowls of yogurt with something mixed in (fresh fruit, maybe a small handful of freshly-toasted nuts or seeds, etc.) but my recent kick has been to make a smoothie with it with the aforementioned mix-ins instead, mainly thanks to the warm weather. If I want to use some as the base in a dip or the like, then of course yes I'll strain the whey off (on a related note - yogurt cheese if you strain it for long enough is pretty awesome stuff :)).