(The following piece was part of a longer rambling essay on mothering in the social media age–I know, I know…not exactly breaking new ground there. ANYwho. I took this one segment, tightened it up and presented at my Friday Toastmasters meeting as part of my humorous speech workbook and I thought I would share it here. This version is more aligned with the original piece in that it has more swears in it. I don’t bring my swears to Toastmasters. They seem like nice people and I like to have them think I’m a nice person too.)
Can we talk about Pinterest Moms? You know those women who whip up all manner of home made delights—usually served in a mason jar and with a side of smug. Despite my best efforts, I am not a Pinterest mom. I’m more of a Pinterest bomb.
Oh I’ve tried. I’ve made household cleaners, salves, scrubs, lotions, and potions—even booze and baby food, (don’t confuse those two) All with varying degrees of “meh” and disappointment. And all for about 7-8 times the cost of just buying them outright. Today I want to tell you my Pinterest origin story. It centers around Yogurt.
Yogurt was my gateway drug.
Mmmmmm I could really go for some yogurt right now. It’s a statement that has probably never been spoken in all of human history, certainly not by me—yet there was something about the photo onPinterestt. Maybe it was the 70s era crock pot. Maybe it was the bamboo spoon. I don’t know, all I know is that it triggered in me this fantasy. Maybe delusion is a better word. This delusion of me sitting on the proch of a farmhouse—a wrap around porch. My feet on the railing. A mason jar of koombatcha in my hand. My goats frolicking in the yard. My free range chickens, chickening. Me ordering some birkenstocks off amazon prime.
I made my announcement on facebook. Hey y’all I’m fixing to make yogurt. Watch out.
My best friend, Melissa called me right away.
“Jenn Jenn, I don’t know if you know this but you can buy yogurt. At the store. It’s super easy”.
I told her all my issues with our food system and rampant consumerism. How I didn’t want to be a part of it. I was going off grid.
“Get real Jenn, you can’t even get off Facebook”.
I prattled on about sustainability and the earth.
“Jenn, I cant anything about the earth but in terms of sustainability, I go to the store two, three times a week. It seems like a sustainable practice to me. Honestly, I think you are just making more work for yourself”.
I was undeterred. I set off to get the ingredients. The first ingredient—raw milk. I don’t know if any of you have ever set out to purchase raw milk, but I’m pretty sure its easier to get heroin. Essentially, you have to know a guy who knows a guy who knows a cow. I could not just buy it, I had to order it in advance and I didn’t have time for that. I bought a gallon of milk that came in its own fancy glass jug instead. It said it was organic and had cream on the top. It was the fanciest milk I had ever seen. The next ingredient you need is the living cultures that make yogurt -youg. And how do you get these live cultures? You get it from….yogurt. And since I just got done slamming mainstream yogurt, I cannot show up with some mainstream Dannon for Pete’s sake. I had to track down some damn small batch hipster yogurt.
I get home, I prep the ingredients, put it in my slow cooker and I wait. And I wait. At the end of the prescribed period, I removed the lid. Ready to be amazed by the fresh dairy goodness that I had lovingly prepared.
It was gray.
It smelled funky.
It was soupy.
I wouldn’t feed that to my worst enemy. But I did have my husband try it and he scrunched up his nose. I was terribly disappointed. I owed an apology to the cow “from one lactating mammal to another, I squandered your hard work. I am so sorry.”
To this day I’m still not sure what went wrong but it did sour me on edible projects, for a while. I learned that I needed so slow down, pay careful attention to instructions and accept that for a lot of these things your mileage may vary. I also learned that there are something that you—or at least I should leave to the professionals.
That was, until last week. OMG y’all I made butter.