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Really, don't hate me :)

I know that some people I know (friends and otherwise) get annoyed with the amount of stuff I insist on doing myself- it is possible they think that baking my own bread and making my own stock and yogurt makes me sanctimonious.  I'm not.  I do think it would be beneficial to everyone (except possibly the yogurt, bread, and stock industries) if everyone at least tried to make just these three things from scratch because they are so easy (to varying degrees) and gratifying to make, not to mention much healthier and cheaper than their industrially produced counterparts.  But if you don't like yogurt or baking isn't your thing likely to get much satisfaction from it.  And if you try and find it to be too much work, to undependable (things don't always turn out perfectly), or too much planning (because while it's easy, you have to plan ahead to make sure you have dough ready to bake tomorrow when the bread runs out, for example), then, well, at least you tried.  But my point is that I don't do these things to be "better than everyone else."  Her's why I do.
  1. I'm tight, and the older I get the tighter I get.  These things save big bucks over the long run.
  2. I have expensive taste in yogurt (I like Fage).  See #1.
  3. Stock (broth) from the store is overpriced and lacks a lot of the nutritive value of stock made at home.
  4. Bread from the store is loaded with sugars and other stuff I don't want to injest, and it makes me feel yucky to eat it.  Plus, now that I'm used to the homemade stuff the stuff from the store tastes downright boring.
  5. We burn through prodigious amounts of all three of these products.  I seriously think buying them all at the store would blow my grocery budget out of the water not only because there is a huge price gap between homemade and store bought but because we would be buying so much.
And real quick, I am going to try to give an off the cuff estimate of the cost difference:

  • Yogurt: The store bought stuff, depending on the brand you buy, is .60-.80 a cup (8oz, am I right?).  Fage is 1.99 or more a cup.  Homemade yogurt costs as much as the milk you buy, so for me it's about 2.30 for a gallon.  That's about the same as buying 3 or 4 8oz. cups of yogurt.  Even if you strain the yogurt a gallon of milk makes at least three times that amount.
  • Stock:  Store bought boxed stock (quarts) are around $3.  Making it at home from whole chicken or chicken pieces costs around 1.80 a quart AND you also get poached chicken meat you can use for recipes like chicken enchiladas and chicken salad.  If you make it from a chicken carcass it's nearly free.
  • Bread:  When I was buying store bought bread I tried really hard not to spend more than $2-2.50 per loaf.  From what I have figured (and depends mostly on the price of your flower) my super yum homemade bread costs about .50 a loaf.
Anyway, I began this post simply to report that I made a successful batch of yogurt today, and that yesterday I made some really delicious soaked granola.  Because another food shortage related freak out I've had this month (and forgot to mention in this post) is the cereal I eat in my yogurt.  My favorite way to eat yogurt is with a little honey and something crunchy (lately it's been Grape Nut Flakes).  But I ran out of flakes last week.  Plus I know that boxed cereal, even the "healthy" kind, isn't that great for you.  I've made granola in the past and was never happy with it, plus granola is difficult to digest and can cause some people problems.  But I found a recipe for soaked granola and it is easily the best I've ever eaten!  So I took the picture above.  Then I started thinking about how crunchy it would make me sound, thus the ramblings above:)

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