Wednesday, September 25, 2013

wordless wednesday - a day in nazareth

gallery of mary and baby jesus from all over the world
mary and jesus from thailand
and from china
the church of annunciation
the new testament
this was shared on wordless wednesday

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

making yoghurt

photo by
one of the reasons we came to yarok az was to learn how to make cheese and other dairy products. the first thing hadar (her family owns the farm) showed us was how she makes yoghurt. it is a very simple procedure and very rewarding. unfortunately i cant find my camera for some days now, so all the photos we took are probably lost...anyway, here is the procedure:
  • you will need milk and a bit of yoghurt that you like (you can also buy some freeze dried culture at the cheese supply but i prefer the other method). we usually use the goats milk from the last days of milking, i am sure you can use any other milk that is not too processed (so not the ultra heated ones) as well.
  • first you need to heat the milk slowly to 90°C (we heat it on the stove, using a medium to high setting) this will take some time.
  • shortly before it reaches 90°C prepare a tub or the sink with cold water and ice (this is needed to cool the milk down rapidly to get it to the temperature you need for the thermophilic yoghurt bacteria and don't give any other bacteria a chance to multiply). i am still learning about all the processes, so this is a very simplyfied version of what is really happening.
  • at 90°C take the milk from the heat and place the pot in the cold water. it is important now that you stir the milk and also keep the water moving to cool it down evenly. you want the milk to cool down to about 47°C as the yoghurt culture is thermophilic (likes high temperatures).
  • when you reach about 47°C you take the pot out from the water and stir a good deal yoghurt into it. then wrap the pot in a blanket or keep it warm otherwise and let it sit over night. the bacteria we put inside will quickly multiply as we made the environment perfect for them. this means that they will have a big advantage over all other bacteria we don't want. 
we eat a lot of yoghurt for breakfast so we make some every few days. you can also make other cheeses out of yoghurt but that will have to wait for another post.
have you tried making yoghurt at home? i would love to hear about your experience!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

yarok az - settling in

so we finally arrived at the small farm in the north of israel that i have been talking about - yarok az.
we arrived some days ago after a rather stressful move. as we are moving to germany right after our 3 months here we gave away/sold most of our things and started sending some packages to germany.
findus, the cat had to come with us of course and is settling in better than we thought. he really hates driving in a car but he seems to like the small caravan that we are living in.
here on the farm there are some goats, chicken, roosters (very loud ones), a duck, a lot of baby cats and two horses. we milk the two goats that are giving milk every morning and evening (7:30 and 18:00) and feed the animals. it is surprisingly hard to milk goats if you are not used to it as it requires that you have strength in you hands. i had no idea that you have to press so hard. but it is getting better every day =)
yarok az is not a farm in the conventional sense. they don't own huge fields and live off the yields off those but offer accommodation for tourists and israelis alike. the farm is located close to the jesus trail and a lot of people stop here on their way.
 there is a garden with vegetables and some raised beds and so on. they also have a lot of fruit trees.
we mainly came here to learn useful skills and get away from the office jobs we had for the last 2 years. there is such a huge difference in sitting in front of the computer for 9 hours and being outside, working with animals and plants. it seems to me that everyone who chooses the office has no idea what they are missing...