The Glob, Part II

For those who are wondering how in the world one would get a glob from making yogurt….

The process of making yogurt produces a product that is comprised of both curds and whey after the milk (with a starter of some form) has incubated for several hours at 100 degrees F. The longer the incubation time, the more sour the yogurt becomes. Greek yogurts tend to be on the more sour side of the spectrum. Our yogurt incubates for 10 hours, a little longer that what would be needed for whole milk as we are using 1% milk. Regular yogurt is rather soft (depending upon the amount of fat in the milk, the more fat content the thicker the yogurt). Often, yogurt purchased from the store has had a thickener of  some sort added to bring it to the consistency that we normally associate with yogurt.

The last couple of years has seen an explosion of Greek style yogurts hitting the market place. They’ve always been around, but recently they have become one of the most favored forms of yogurt. So what’s the difference between regular and Greek style yogurt? There are several differences, but the most significant factor in relationship to the glob is that Greek yogurts tend to be thicker (without additional thickeners) which creates a higher protein content due to the milk proteins being more concentrated. This is accomplished by removing some of the whey from the curds.

The whey is strained from the curds using a fine meshed material letting the force of gravity do the work. After sitting for 2-3 hours the yogurt has become the consistency of what is known as Greek yogurt. But a glob, it is not. So how does it become a glob? Well, when one gets a batch started incubating at noon it is not fully ready for straining until 10pm. Waiting until midnight or 1am for it to become the correct consistency is not a welcome thought. Instead, into the refrigerator it goes to continue straining until the next morning. And, what do you have the next morning? A round glob of Greek yogurt that looks like and is the consistency of a cheese ball. The whey by that point is mostly in the collecting dish located below the strainer. To get the yogurt back to the desired thickness, just mix whey back into the glob.

Thus, the story behind the story, of the glob.

My Wife’s Blog

As my wife and I were talking this morning, she opened the refrigerator to grab something, and with her head in the fridge she said, “Have you looked at my blog?”

I’ve been married to this woman for almost 36 years. I think I know her pretty well. And what I know is that she is not the kind of person who likes to write (though she writes very well) and certainly not the kind of person who would write for all the world to see. I at least like to think that if she indeed DID start a blog, she would have alerted me to the fact before now.

But all that aside, there she was, with her head in the fridge, asking me, “Have you looked at my blog?”

“What?” I replied.

She turns around with a delighted grin holding a bowl. Barb is a woman who is a scientist at heart. She loves experimenting, and that love of experiment, and love of yogurt, has lead her to begin making her own yogurt. With the pride of a creator of a great work of art, she turned from the fridge with a bowl in hand, pops the lid, and repeated herself: “Have you looked at my glob?”

I must admit, it was a fine looking glob.

Survivor

Last week my wife left my 12 year old son, my 21 year old daughter, and me at home to fend for ourselves while she went to be with my oldest daughter who had just given birth to our newest grandchild. What follows are actual quotes from actual conversations held thereafter.

This first was a phone conversation with my 21 year old daughter on Friday, four days into her absence:

Daughter: You’re mowing the lawn?

Dad: Yes.

Daughter: You know how to do that?

Then, five days out, as my son and I were packing the car to join my wife, this:

Son: We actually made it all week without Mom.

Dad: Yup.

Son: Miracles still happen.

Draw whatever conclusions you like.

A Good ‘Find’

My wife spent $300 the other day.

Spending such sums is not something we do easily. And when we do, we will often spend many days second guessing our decision.

But there she went and spent $300. Actually, that’s my guess. I did not actually ask how much she spent. It may have been more. But that’s the thing. We normally discuss the details of such purchases. But not this time.

I was telling a friend this when I began to laugh. I realized what a wonderfully unique woman I married.

You see, she does not spend $300 on clothes – she’d feel so guilty doing that. Spending $300 on jewelry would only make her feel ostentatious. She does not spend $300 on decorations or accessories or, ordinarily, kitchen appliances.

No, my wife went out and spent $300 on a leaf blower. (I’d show you a picture of her wearing it, but our couch is not THAT comfortable.)

One of her greatest joys is mowing and caring for our lawn. So, she was as pleased with this as she was years ago when I gave her a mower for Mother’s Day. (Guys, KNOW your wives well before trying THAT stunt.)

Her virtues go way beyond this, I know. But this is a part of who she is, and it makes me smile. King Lemuel asks, “An excellent wife, who can find?” (Proverbs 31:10) I can’t answer how to find one, but I can say that I have graciously been given one. And I’m grateful.

Happy birthday, Mrs. Greenwald.

Milestones

There are huge milestones in life, of which we are all aware. Perhaps I have missed a few, but these come to mind:

At age 35, one may become president of the United States, not before.
At 25, one may rent a car.
At 21, of course, one may buy an alcoholic beverage.
At 18, all kinds of major (!) transitions occur: voting and enlisting come to mind.
And at 16 one may drive without accompaniment.

But it wasn’t until last night when I was getting some medicine for my sick newly minted 12 year-old that I realized all the changes that happen at 12.

At 12, one gets adult dosages, pays adult movie ticket prices, loses access to the child’s menu, and graduates to the front seat.

Huge day for a special boy in our family!

Family Surprise

I have three siblings, two brothers and a sister. The oldest brother lives in Ohio, as does my sister. The second oldest lives fifteen minutes from me now, which has given us a chance to reconnect. I am the ‘baby’ by a substantial margin (my brothers are 14 and 15 years older than I).

On Friday morning of last week, my Ohio brother considered the snow that was about to fall, and decided that right then would be a good time for him and his wife to take a Florida trip. He would, they decided, visit their Orlando brothers. They also decided that one of the brothers would be informed, and the other kept in the dark. In addition to getting up early and working with wood, surprises are a deep part of the Greenwald male DNA.

My brother’s intention was to sneak into the worship service of Covenant Presbyterian Church without the preacher, me, knowing about it. He was determined to savor the moment in the middle of my sermon when I suddenly saw him sitting there. And he almost pulled it off.

A minute before the start of worship Sunday, my daughter came to my wife and asked, “Isn’t that Uncle Jerry and Aunt Mary over there?” My wife then came to me and said, “Your brother’s here.”
So the surprise was blown, but the joy only began. That evening I had the rare, very rare, pleasure of sitting with my brothers and wives eating pizza, talking about kids, and being family. Family that has had its share of disruptions and brokenness over the years. But family nonetheless.

I consider myself richly blessed.

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How Pleasant

Though our whole family could NOT be together for Thanksgiving, I know that they would have LIKED to have been. And so one of the things I’m thankful for is that I have children who like being with one another. My wife and I have six children, three children-in-law, and three grandsons. And they all love to be together.

And that is one of the greatest happinesses in my life.

Yes, they irritate each other. They know and tolerate each other’s foibles. They sometimes have to put up with one another. But all in all they like each other and have a great time when they are together.

That is a good thing, and it brings happiness to my heart.

And that makes me wonder: when God’s people dwell in unity, whose heart is made happy?

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity! (Psalm 133:1)

Vows

Here is a corny little movie that I put together a couple years ago as an experiment (and posted here for the first time a year ago).

What it amazingly preserves are the actual voices of two very young and naïve and very much in love people making some incredible promises to one another 32 years ago today. (I post it again because, well, I like it, and there are new readers to this blog.)

We are no longer young, and not quite as naïve, and our love is richer having aged and weathered a few storms.

But the vows. How does someone keep such promises? Barb, in my case, has made it so much easier than it should be with her steady and ever certain love for and commitment to me. And we were told early on to never let divorce ever be an option for consideration. So we were wired for this.

And yet ultimately, we give praise to a gracious God who has given us the courage to deal with differences when they arise, the good sense to apologize when we have messed up, the humility to forgive when forgiveness is sought, and the brokenness to know that we are at all times dependent upon Him.

(Plus, I think she was and is really cute!)

For Dads of Pretty Daughters

Seeing this morning that there is a Facebook group called “Guns don’t kill people. Dads with pretty daughters do”, I was reminded of this poem, found many places on the internet (and clipped from here).

As the dad of three pretty daughters, two of whom are single, I understand ‘dreams infanticiddle’.

Song To Be Sung By The Father Of Infant Female Children

by Ogden Nash

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;
Contrariwise, my blood runs cold
When little boys go by.
For little boys as little boys,
No special hate I carry,
But now and then they grow to men,
And when they do, they marry.
No matter how they tarry,
Eventually they marry.
And, swine among the pearls,
They marry little girls.

Oh, somewhere, somewhere, an infant plays,
With parents who feed and clothe him.
Their lips are sticky with pride and praise,
But I have begun to loathe him.
Yes, I loathe with loathing shameless
This child who to me is nameless.
This bachelor child in his carriage
Gives never a thought to marriage,
But a person can hardly say knife
Before he will hunt him a wife.

I never see an infant (male),
A-sleeping in the sun,
Without I turn a trifle pale
And think is he the one?
Oh, first he’ll want to crop his curls,
And then he’ll want a pony,
And then he’ll think of pretty girls,
And ho ly matrimony.
A cat without a mouse
Is he without a spouse.

Oh, somewhere he bubbles bubbles of milk,
And quietly sucks his thumbs.
His cheeks are roses painted on silk,
And his teeth are tucked in his gums.
But alas the teeth will begin to grow,
And the bubbles will cease to bubble;
Given a score of years or so,
The roses will turn to stubble.
He’ll sell a bond, or he’ll write a book,
And his eyes will get that acquisitive look,
And raging and ravenous for the kill,
He’ll boldly ask for the hand of Jill.
This infant whose middle
Is diapered still
Will want to marry My daughter Jill.

Oh sweet be his slumber and moist his middle!
My dreams, I fear, are infanticiddle.
A fig for embryo Lohengrins!
I’ll open all his safety pins,
I’ll pepper his powder, and salt his bottle,
And give him readings from Aristotle.
Sand for his spinach I’ll gladly bring,
And Tabasco sauce for his teething ring.
Then perhaps he’ll struggle though fir e and water
To marry somebody else’s daughter.