Meanwhile, which is to say just in time for the move, Kaspar caught some nondescript germs that sent him into a full seven days of 101-and-change fevers (which we kept in check with Tylenol) and copious amounts of snot, followed by coughing. Which meant no school for him, and more juggling for us. Very little sleep for all involved. We were told his ‘cold’ was viral, but when it didn’t improve by one week and counting, we went back to the pediatrician and came home with an antibiotics scrip. Sinus infection. Good times.
We generally try to skip antibiotics; they take good bacteria out with the bad, and a kid with a food allergy pedigree like Kaspar’s needs the most balanced belly he can get. They’re also rumored to contribute to a major long-term Superbug problem, which is worth noting, but not my focus for today. In the case of Kaspar’s snot and coughing, the drugs performed a minor miracle; Kaspar went back to school yesterday, and slept through the night last night… which should perhaps be attributed to his running around at school above taking the meds, but either way, I was grateful. I’ve been in massage classes every day, plus swinging by my office to take care of things there, and jamming out that freelance project I mentioned a week ago (there’s still time to throw in on that, for those of you I haven’t yet heard from. And many thanks to those of you I have!). I’m loving doing massage, appreciative that my job is so flexible, and enjoying the extra project (maybe not so much at 1 AM, but I’ll enjoy the new couch it will buy, and the editor is a total joy). Sleep plays a significant role in my keeping all of this together, though. Without it, I show up in the wrong place at the wrong time and am extra impatient in traffic. So, thank you, antibiotics, primarily for making Mister Kaspar comfortable again, but also for hooking me up with some shut-eye. I was missing it so.
Now that everyone’s feeling human again (what? You just heard Aaron cough in the next room? Yeah, me too…), I’m being proactive and pumping Kaspar full of probiotics to help his intestines along. I give him probiotic supplements as a matter of course, and, this week, he’s eating yogurt like it’ll soon be internationally banned. He loves the stuff, and while he can’t tolerate straight milk (it gives him hives on his chest), yogurt is A-okay. I think that’s because it’s partially digested by the beneficial yogurt-hosted bacteria or something—the same bacteria that help offset the potentially harmful digestive effects of antibiotic drugs. Doesn’t that work out nicely?
As it happens, I like to make yogurt. It’s easy. In fact, it makes itself while I sleep ("sleep"). And, I told you last week that I’d share my method with you. This is me delivering. Better late than never!
Click Read More below for details on covert raw milk procurement, and my super-slacker yogurt-making method!
Hey Hey Yogurt! The Super-Slacker Method
What You’ll Need
½ gallon milk (whole is best, and actually quite good for you… but 2%, and even 1%, will do)
½ cup store-bought plain yogurt (make sure that it contains live active cultures. The more, the merrier)
What You’ll Do
Pour milk into a heavy pot (like a Dutch Oven) and heat until bubbles just begin to break on the surface, stirring constantly.
Turn heat off, and let milk cool until warm to the touch (go ahead and dip a finger in… but wash your hands first… We’re going for helpful bacteria here, not E.Coli).
Whisk yogurt into the milk, cover, and wrap with your biggest bath towel.
Place in oven (turned off) for the night—or the day, if you start this in the morning.
Remove towel, and place the pot in the fridge until the yogurt has cooled. You can strain any liquid off the top, and some people add gelatin or dry milk powder when adding the store-bought yogurt to the milk, for extra thickness. I find that my batches vary, so don’t be discouraged if your first is more runny than you prefer. Make smoothies, and try again with a different store-bought brand as your add-in, or even a greater quantity.
Store your yogurt in air-tight containers in the fridge. I have no idea how long it’ll be good for—we eat it too quickly—but it should be fine for at least a couple of weeks.
The Slow Cooker Method
I sent this link to just about everyone I know when I first discovered it. If you have a slow cooker, this is the easiest way to make yogurt. (The site is also a gold mine for simple and reliable slow cooking recipes—all gluten free. After you make yogurt, make Carnitas. Perfection by way of pork.)