It is odd to title this "labor" day, as I've really done nothing that even approaches labor. A few weekend thoughts -
- I finally made home made yogurt, using this general procedure, though skipping the ice bath. Hot enamel over cast iron pans don't react well when plunged into an ice bath. It only took about ten minutes for the milk to cool down enough to add the yogurt. Since I like a fairly thick product, I did add a few tablespoons of dry milk along with the commercial yogurt, but did not go whole hog and drain off the whey to get a Greek-style thickness.
This afternoon, I had my first bowlful, sweetened with a bit of honey and flavored with a little vanilla, topped with some granola. Yum. After having chilled overnight, the texture was both a bit thicker and creamier than it had been when I stopped the fermenting. I do wish I had some berries in the house, so I could flavor some that way (in a fit of nostalgia for the summer-that-wasn't, I ordered both a watermelon and a cantaloupe in my Friday grocery order, but no berries). Overall, I do think I'll be doing this again, though I still have about nine or so of the over-sweet yoplait to finish off first.
- A friend has a start up martial arts studio, combining learning the moves with discipleship - learning about Jesus, learning good character. He has a few new students, and had the outfit thingees (I still don't know what to call them) to be hemmed. For whichever branch he teaches, they need knee length pants and above elbow jackets. He dropped off four sets...the actual sewing doesn't take long, even with four separate lines of stitching around each opening, thanks to the 1100 stitches per minute the machine offers, but the measure, mark, cut, turn up, turn the edge under phase? Yeah, more than two long movies' worth of work. But they are done, and once the sewing itself started, fun to do.
- On the personal sewing project side, not much was done. I did pull fabric for the back and binding of the pillow whose top I finished last weekend. At this rate, I may have an actual pillow in another week or so. I also sewed a sample buttonhole. Another cool feature of this machine: when you tap "auto buttonhole", a screen pops up. You line up your actual button with the left edge of the screen, then turn the stitch length knob until the big black line is at the right edge of the button. A little graphic above shows you (and tells you in millimeters - hey, the machine is Swiss) the exact size not only of the buttonhole, but of the width of the slit inside it. Hit record, and the machine will stitch that exact buttonhole as many times as you would like.
- Cooked my favorite chicken-and-rice dish, using brown rice instead of the white rice I usually use (and was out of). Note for the future: an hour and fifteen minutes of baking is not enough to thoroughly cook brown rice. The initial meal was a bit...crunchy, but the leftovers, microwaved for a while with additional water, were great.
- Almost forgot the best surprise! About five thirty today I was sitting watching the news, thinking about ordering pizza. The doorbell rang (why yes, the doorbell that I fixed, which shortly after that died for a day or two, has come back to life, working perfectly)...it was my neighbor from across the sidewalk, with a huge plate of food. She said I never came over, so she fixed a plate for me. I'm confused - I know they seem to have company on the holidays, since their big patio umbrella goes up, but if it's a community thing, I didn't know about it. I actually had several things I was trying to get done, so couldn't join them. Wonderful gesture, wonderful food. It really is more than time for me to have the neighborhood over and start getting to know people a bit better.
- Lots of little stuff going on this week. Hair appointment, embroidery class, will signing. Somewhere in there, I need to do other little things, like clean. Maybe even cook some more. And finish that throw pillow.