I bought some kefir, a fermented milk, from a health food store and since then have been making my own. I don’t strain and rinse the kefir grains; I just spoon some lumps from the fermented milk to a new jar and fill it up with milk. It ferments while protected from dust but exposed to air, as I lay a paper towel over the jar. The resulting mixture tastes something like buttermilk or watered down yogourt. I let it ferment for about two days at room temperature as I like it sour.

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Homemade light whipped butter

I’m stealing this from a friend’s FB page so it doesn’t get lost. Homemade light whipped butter:

This has less saturated fat and cholesterol than butter, fewer calories, it spreads, and it’s cheaper than comparable prepared spreads. It’s also delicious.

1/4 cup (four tablespoons) butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
1/4 cup neutral-tasting oil, such as canola, grapeseed, etc.
1/4 cup Greek yogurt at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
drops of warm water as necessary

Make sure everything’s at room temp. A stand mixer works best, but you need at least an electric hand mixer. Whip butter on high for two minutes. Scrape bowl. Whip on high while slowly pouring in oil. Add salt. Continue to let whip for five minutes (really, all the way on high). Add yogurt while whipping a bit at a time. Use drops of warm water to soften if the mixture is clumping.

Let whip on KitchenAid mixer high setting for at least 10 minutes. Just walk away from it.

When thoroughly whipped until the barest soft peaks form, scrape into a bowl and refrigerate. For best taste serve in a mid-century pressed-glass refrigerator butter dish.

Homemade chai mix

This sounds absolutely delicious: home-made chai mix. It contains black tea, cardamom, cloves, fennel, and ginger.

Pub Italia


The Pub Italia is the People’s Church of beer & wine.


It’s thoroughly decorated inside.




Winter pleasures

Warm pie and coffee go together.


Note the new stove in the background, thanks to the negotiating skills of my friend Libbye.

The cats like to visit, too.

A cat sits on a kitchen table, beside a bowl of fruit, and looks at the camera.



Home cooking

Made bacon-turkey soup last night based on the generous servings of turkey, potatoes, and corn from a local restaurant in my home town, plus bacon, onion, and green veg. from around the house. It was quite acceptable.

Random thought: The first recipe was probably barbecued meat, but the second was probably stew, closely followed by soup. What do you think?

Recipes: Texas red chili

Ripe jalapeño pepper, cooking onion, chili poblano pepper, & red bell pepper

I’m going to have to try this recipe for Texas red chili. It’s all (organically raised) meat, herbs, and condiments, and uses bales of cumin. Could be interesting! Well, that one’s disappeared: here’s another: Martha Stewart’s Texas Red Chili.

r more about chili peppers, see The Learning Channel Cooking: How to cook chili peppers.