Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet eating fresh Mozzarella

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Cheese is a staple in most American house holds, I know it is in ours. A foreign exchange student once told me that he thought that Americans smelt like cheese. Most places in Uganda it is very hard to find cheese and if you can find it at all it is very expensive so I was overjoyed when I found a recipe for homemade Mozzarella. Last week I ordered the supplies and to my delight they were in the mailbox and Micah was asleep when I returned home this afternoon.

What you need:
1 gallon of whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
A big pot
Thermometer
Slotted Spoon
Colander
RUBBER GLOVES (so it didn’t have this in the list and I didn’t have them… I WILL get them next time)
1tsp citric acid*
1/4 rennet tablet*
2 tsp cheese salt*
* I ordered these online from cultures for health. I got enough to make 40 batches and it cost $17.46 with shipping and tax. You might be able to get it at a cheese making or natural store.  I also bought vegetable rennet not animal.

Pour the milk in the pot with the thermometer, and sprinkle 1 tsp citric acid over the milk. Stir it in. You can either put the pot on a burner or in the sink with HOT HOT water around it. You are going to heat it to 90 degrees F. The citric acid makes that milk start to curdle.

 While the milk it heating dissolve 1/4 rennet and 1/4 cup cool water.

Once the milk reaches 90 degrees, turn the burner off, and pour the rennet over the slotted spoon into the milk. Stir all of it for 20-30 sec. Don’t touch it again for 8-10 minutes while the milk thickens. When it is ready you can pull back part of the gelatin textured milk from the pan. 
 Cut the curd into a grid pattern and scoop into a colander. You are separating the Curds and whey (and after doing so will wonder why Little Miss Muffet ate the whey with the curds) Turn the curds over and over to release as much moisture as possible. * I think I might also get a cheese cloth next time because I lost a lot of my curds. 

 There are two variations at this point you can either microwave the curds or dump them into a bowl of 175 degree water. Since I didn’t have gloves I used the microwave because I couldn’t put my hands in the water. Microwave for 1 min. pour off liquid and stir. Heat for another 40 sec. The cheese should start to stick together. If you are putting it in the hot water fold it over on itself with a spoon or your hands until  it starts to stick together.

 Microwave for 40 more seconds and kneed, or kneed in the water until it is smooth and shinny.

 To set the cheese put 1 quart of really cold water in a bowl and add 2-3 TBS. of the whey and 2-3 tsps cheese salt. Let the cheese sit for 5-10 min. And TADA! Its ready to enjoy. I think i had a little under 1 pound of fresh Mozzarella cheese.

 And TADA! Its ready to enjoy. I think i had a little under 1 pound of fresh Mozzarella cheese.

When God’s Plan is Better

Nostalgia, what a funny thing, it is kind of like deja vu only it comes with a much warmer feeling. Matt and I went to Chicago to visit friends and Grace Bible Church last weekend, and we had such a wonderful time. On Monday before we came home we took the train into the city and walked in the places where we fell in love and began our marriage. We fought the rain so that we could make it down to the shore of Lake Michigan laughing all the way as we were getting drenched. (Micah was safe and sound, sleeping in the front pack under the hood) Finally arriving at the beach a flood of memories rushed in of when we began dating and the free entertainment it provided when Matt was working at Starbucks and I was going to school.
We had a wonderful time eating Chicago dogs and pizza with our Chicago family. Seeing our Chicago family that prayed for us and supported us as we tried to stay in Chicago and Matt searched and searched for a job other than at Starbucks. It was really such a short time ago, but so much has changed.
We would have loved to stay in Chicago, but God had different plans. Now we have Micah, are almost debt free, and headed to Uganda in the Spring. We never would have guessed when we were living on the 14th floor in downtown Chicago barely making enough for rent that less than two years later we would be here. God is good, all the time and all the time God is good because that is his nature. Thank you God for the good especially when it isn’t what I pray or ask for. You know much better than me.

Missions Begins with the Church

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At church today Matt and I got to share the exciting news that we are moving to Uganda with eMi (Engineering Ministries International) to build buildings for ministries that share the gospel and disciple local construction workers. We are so excited and have been so blessed already by our missions committee and individuals that have been so supportive but I was reminded today how important the church body is.
In 2004, I had just started my freshman year of high school thinking that I was on top of the world. In the years to follow I put my self in situations that could have greatly changed who I am today. God so graciously saved me from so many things,
but most importantly realizing that I didn’t want to live life apart from Him, and eventually that I wanted to serve Him in Missions. I take no credit for any of those.
Pastor Jack reminded the congregation of the prayer that our church began praying in 2004 as we set a goal to send out a full time vocational missionary from our church. Matt and I are an answer to that prayer and I am humbled that the prayers of the church protected me from sin and led me into a surrendered relationship with Jesus Christ my LORD. Not only that but Matt finished an excruciating degree in architecture, a job fell through forcing him to come back to Casper where we met and the rest is history.
The prayers of a righteous man availeth much!
Thank you church for prayers even when you didn’t know you were praying for us.
I also realized that going to serve God among the Ugandan people means that we have to leave a people that I have grown up with and deeply love. It was more real today than it has been as I looked at my family, the best friend that God gave me when I needed her, the people that taught me as a child, and the church family who has been just that, a family.
The following lyrics are from the song we sang right after we shared. Since God has protected, led, and changed us so far we trust that He will complete the work He started so that His church will be built and He will receive all of the Glory!

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.

Wife of a Disciple

I have been wrestling with something that caught my eye in scripture this week. Jesus went to Peter’s mother in laws house to heal her of a fever. Peter had a wife! I guess I figured that someday the disciples got married 1 Corinthians 9:5 gives freedom to take a wife like the “rest of the apostles and the brothers of he Lord”. I just assumed that they got married after their 3 years of following Jesus during which time they traveled around to many places. 
What was this like for Peter’s wife? 
Did he have kids at this time too? 
What does this mean for me?
I have been fascinated by this new discovery and have been asking questions of the text and some people that I admire. Indeed Peter was married. The marrying age at the time was about 18 for men. This was also when the men had to start paying the tax. Peter was the one worrying about the tax when Jesus provided the coin found in the mouth of the fish. Supposedly this amount was only enough for two men possibly signifying that Jesus and Peter were the only two of the disciples that were over 18. 
Interesting, but Peter still had a wife, was called by Jesus, and spent many days away from her. 

Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”   

Peter was called to be a disciple and as a true disciple of Jesus Christ he was called to love Jesus more than his wife and children. Jesus wanted true disciples who had counted the cost he was not looking for a crowd of undedicated followers. The Greek word for hate can mean hate, even with an intention to kill, but it can also have a sense of choice. Disciples should follow Christ in a way that  all others are rejected compared to Him. This is not contradicting all of the teaching of Jesus about husbands loving their wife and children. 
I should pray for my husband’s priorities to be right. 
I should correctly put Christ above my husband. 
I should rejoice when my husband has opportunities to serve and follow Christ even if it means time away from me. 
As he knows and follows Jesus more and more he will become an even better husband and father. I would say that this has been the hardest thing about being married. I often put Matt above Jesus and when I think about putting Christ first, the easiest way would be to love Matt less than I do, but that isn’t what Jesus is calling us to do. 
He is calling us to love Him MORE. 

Do you find it hard to be a Disciple of Christ and a spouse?

Mov’n

The Robbins children stayed with us for the weekend and Micah learned to move. I’m not sure if it was to move out of their way or to join in the fun but he is loving his new trick! I think that the better he gets, the more life is going to change.

How to Make Yogurt

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Update: I have made yogurt in Uganda a time or two but the milk tastes different here so the yogurt does too. Usually we just buy the flavored brand at the store. Although I’m so glad I learned how and would consider doing it again if the milk or my home changes:)

I have heard about making yogurt from a few different places and I kept hearing how easy it was. I like yogurt and in Uganda cereal can be pretty pricey but fruit is much more abundant and delicious than in Wyoming so after talking to a friend and getting a step by step how to guide, I decided to give it a try. My grandma had given me a bunch of mason jars because I had mentioned attempting to can a thing or two and we bought a cooler for the camping we planned on doing before the fire ban so I was ready to start. Here is my version and warnings: )
Place the milk in the mason jars and then in a pot and fill it with water. (Put a washrag in the bottom first)
Boil the water until a thin layer appears on the top on the milk (that makes it the right temp) then set jars on the counter and put the lid on the pot and place it on a towel in the cooler (so you don’t ruin the cooler with a burn) Let the milk cool until you can hold the mason jars and count to 3 one thousand. Add two tablespoons of plain yogurt stir it in and put the mason jars in the cooler.
I was telling a friend about the process and at this point she said, ” No, but I thought you MADE the yogurt.” Well I hope I can buy some plain yogurt in Uganda or freeze some and take it because creating live cultures is something I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle.
Release the heat from the pot by removing the lid and wait 4-6 hrs. ideally. I found that the yogurt is sweeter the shorter amount of time you let it sit.
Then you put it in the freezer… carefully… I hit the bottom of a mason jar on the shelf in my freezer and oops! yogurt all over.

Leave it in the freezer for about an hour and refrigerate. And TaDa!


It is delicious and so much cheaper than buying yogurt. I used some of the yogurt I made for the next batch so its just the cost of milk. I have eaten it plain with fruit, added honey, vanilla, and next homemade granola.

Beginnings


I am new to blogging just as I am still a newlywed and a new mother. I love reading blogs and finally gave in. I am thoroughly enjoying pinterest and the new projects it has brought into my life. But I have an issue with the illusion of perfection. I never use a knife to scrape off the bulging flour, homeless piles are a constant in multiple places in my house, and I embrace more and more my imperfections as a sinner in light of a Holy God. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus is found in repentance according to Mark 1:1-8. John the baptist, the one sent to prepare the way, made straight the path in the heart of man exposing sinfulness and the need for a savior.

I have always wondered about John the baptist, his strange wardrobe, and strange diet, but I realized that he was someone the broken of the broken and the dirtiest of humanity could confide in, confess to and be assured that they would not be looked judgingly down at. I want to be like that, accepting of people completely as they are and preparing the way for the Redeemer.

Matt and I are reading When Helping Hurts in preparation for our new adventure with eMi in Uganda, Africa and that has sparked many of these thoughts. It has been a life changing book and I’m only on chapter 3. This new adventure has been a spring board for this from a box brownie maker as I soon leave the comforts of adding an egg, oil, and water, for a market of fresh ingredients.