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Happy New Year Grand Lakers! I can’t believe that 2015 is over!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday.

We spent a few days in Oklahoma City with grandkids, then drove home in the pouring rain and wind Saturday afternoon.

That storm was crazy. It seemed like the rain was never going to stop and the wind was ridiculous!

But then, the weather has been ridiculous for the last two months. I still have petunias blooming!

The few times we have had temps in the 20’s, I have moved the pots under a porch overhang, or next to the house and rolled the wheelbarrow full of flowers into the garage, and voila! Petunias in December!

Anyway, since I’ve had some extra time on my hands for a change, I decided to try my hand at making yogurt.

Wow, that is a switch from gardening, huh?

But I love the Lebanese yogurt and I’ve had a recipe forever but was too afraid to try it.

So, I had some yogurt that I had bought at a Mediterranean restaurant to use as a starter and the recipe is actually a done by microwaving so that removed the fear of scalding the milk.

So you put 1 1/4 quarts of milk in a glass bowl and heat to between 190 and 212 degrees, (about 26 minutes on power level 8).

Then let it cool to 120 degrees, about a half an hour. Use a candy or meat thermometer to check temps.

Once it is at 120, remove the skim and add about 3/4 cup of the yogurt starter.

Then cover it, wrap it in a towel or small blanket and let it sit on the counter for 12 to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the more tart it gets so I left it 24 hours.

To make it more the texture of cream cheese, put the yogurt in a colander lined with coffee filters and let the water drain into a bowl or pan in the frig overnight.

Presto, homemade yogurt!

Save some for your next batch and enjoy the rest as a spread on toast (great sprinkled with lemon pepper seasoning), as a substitute for sour cream or mayo, or enjoy with some fruit and nuts. It works!

Happy New Year and Enjoy the Earth! Diana