A Mixed Bag – A bit of everything under the sun

Archive for August 2008


Why buy yogurt every time from the superstores when you can make the same at home? It is cost effective and healthier as well. It is a very simple process and the most non complicated procedure using the most simple of equipments is given here:

1. Take 2 cups of milk and microwave it for about 5-6 minutes. You can use any kind of milk – 1%, 2% or whole milk. The thickness of the yogurt varies with the milk used. Just when the milk begins to boil, take it out. You can note the time and time it precisely the next time.

2. Allow the milk to cool a little. Store it at room temperature for around 40-45 minutes until it is lukewarm. You can test by dipping your finger into it just a bit. This is the main step. If the milk is too hot, the curd will get ruined and if it is too cold, it might not facilitate the growth of the bacteria.(Don’t panic at the use of the word bacteria! It is nothing harmful. They are the ones which will turn your milk into yogurt)

3. Once it is lukewarm, take one cup of plain unflavored yogurt. This is the starter. When you are doing it for the first time, you can use the yogurt from the store. From the next time, you can use yogurt left over from the previous batch.

4. Add the yogurt to the milk and mix it well.

5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven for 2-3 minutes and switch it off.

6. Keep the milk-curd mixture in the oven for 4-5 hours. This is the normal amount of time taken for the curd to set. Leaving it in the preheated oven quickens the process.

7. You can check whether it is done by just looking at it. If you still feel it is still milk, leave it there for some more time. But if it has thickened, take it out of the oven and refrigerate it. Once the curd has formed, leaving it out without refrigerating it will make it sour.

Lo! The yogurt is ready! Enjoy it and don’t forget to save some for the next batch!

PS: The quantity mentioned here will last for two people for two days. Do not be baffled by the number of steps the first time. Believe me, it is very simple. And once you get used to it, you will never feel like buying yogurt from the stores again!

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Long weekend is usually the time to plan a vacation, especially for non residents who’d like to see most of the country while they are here. But for some of them who can’t make it this year, either due to lack of funds or lack of friends(to carpool), you may have to spend it at home. There’s no need to be disappointed. Here’s a list of things you can do to have some holiday fun while not spending too much.


1. Call a few friends for dinner

You can have a potluck lunch or dinner with a couple of friends. Or if you are fond of cooking, you can cook a gourmet meal yourself. Then follow it up with some fun group games like bluff, scrabble, poker etc. A good way to pass the time and enjoy.


2. Rent a movie.

There is nothing unique about it except that, you can make it more enjoyable with a proper setting. Play it on a big screen, dim the lights, draw the blinds, make yourself some popcorn and then cuddle with your loved one and watch it. You can invite friends along for added fun. And charge them for the tickets too!


3. Have a picnic.

Maybe you can’t go far this time. But you sure can plan a day trip to a place nearby. Check out the unexplored areas in your vicinity. They might be visit-worthy after all!


4. Go to a bookstore

This one is for book lovers like me. Just go to a bookshop near your place and get lost in the world of words. You can sit there and browse for as long as you like. If you are a coffee junkie, they have that too!


5. Have a housie party in your apartment

Put up a poster asking everyone to sign up. There may be many others in your apartment who’d be bored out of their skull. For a nominal fee, they will be willing to participate too. Use up that money for prizes and gifts and lo! You’ll have an evening full of fun. Browse the net for tambola tickets and there, you have a party going!


6. Just relax

Get up late, have breakfast in bed and just laze around if you want. After all, you’ll have to run to work the next day!


One last word, do not use up the weekend for menial chores around the house. There are other weekends for that!


Hi, I’m another of millions of bloggers who’s joined the kingdom rather a bit late. But i’ve heard an old saying. Does that say, ‘Better late than never’? Ok, here’s a question-answer session with myself mainly for my benefit, but also gives you a fair idea of who i am and what you can expect out of the blog.

Why this sudden revelation?
Being an avid journal fan, i like writing about what’s on my mind. The problem with the journal is that only i see it and hence i’m not accountable to anyone. I tend to write the same things again and again and there is no interaction whatsoever. I don’t get to know others’ views on a subject, no encouragement for a good deed done. It’s basically a lonely planet in there. But in a blog, i will be more choosy about what goes in and how it is presented. Plus, i get to meet all the wonderful minds like you and share opinions and learn a lot more. That is my motivation to start a blog. Simple, but reasonable nonetheless.

What will I be writing about?
Life has so many things to teach us. Everyday is different, bringing along with it new experiences, new thoughts, new processes, new people. There are innumerable things which we learn each day, but I don’t really make the most of it. Do you? One reason for me is that i forget it very soon. So here in this blog, i plan to record all the interesting things i notice and learn everyday. I will be entertaining as well as educating myself and probably a few of you who’d be interested too. The posts will be as varied as tips on doing chores to recipes, reviews of books that i’m reading, travelogues, funny incidents and sometimes even insane talks with myself. The essence is pretty much summed up in the blog title. Melange is a hodgepodge. Of anything. Of everything.

How often will i be writing?
I initially decided to write everyday. But on second thoughts, knowing myself i better don’t make that promise. I am a pretty moody person and will write when i feel like there is something to write. That way i won’t be pressurized and led to thinking this as a work. It won’t even make me write things just to fill in each day’s quota.

What do i expect from you?
I’d love hear from you. Nothing is perhaps more exciting in a blog than a stray post sparking off dialogue and debate. Please feel free to comment on anything you feel like. I’d be glad of that.

So that should do for a starting post. I hope you will have a good time on my blog. Will be back again.