Thursday, March 29, 2012

I made yogurt

You'd better believe it, bucko.

In my recycled storage container. Resourceful, eh?
 Isn't it beautiful?

And it's yummy too. And cheap! Now I can eat yogurt on a more regular basis and not feel guilty at how much money I'm currently eating.
You see, I buy (or used, to, hehehe) Stonyfield's delicious whole organic yogurt. I love that they are organic (and honestly, I don't buy a lot of organic because it's very pricey, but this was one of my few exceptions) They have live cultures and are delicious. But at $3.69 a quart, they were one of the most expensive things on my receipts every shopping trip (unless I happened to buy meat, that time 'round). A gallon of (non-organic) milk is $2.49. So.... a gallon of milk can make me 4 quarts of yogurt for 2.49. That's a lot cheaper! I might even be able to justify buying organic milk for my yogurt making processes at a price like that! But we'll see about that.

You know, we're kinda trying to save money to buy a house right now.

I'm not going to go into super detail about how I made it, because there's quite a few picture by picture directions on the internet. The one I followed is here, with a few back up researches just to make sure I had everything in a row. But it was so easy and successful I could explain it to you in, like, three sentences.

Ready? Here goes.

Take yer milk (and you wanna go whole, because it's the best, you know? I heart fat) put it in your crock pot, heat on low for 2.5 hours. Turn your crock pot off and let sit 2-3 hours. (The directions say 3, I did 2, because I was impatient, I think you mainly want it warm but not TOO warm) Add a little yogurt (I read the ratio was generally 2 tablespoons of yogurt per cup of milk) stir it up, replace the lid on your crockpot and cover with a towel to keep things warm. Let it sit for 8-12 hours. I went to sleep and in the morning: amazing! Yogurt!

Well, maybe that was a few more than 3 sentences, I wanted to put my own spin on it, you see?

I also chilled mine before stirring it or disturbing it at all, because I read that it can help make it thicker. Not sure if this is true or not, though, because I never tried not doing it. But it's only my first batch, so maybe we'll try some right away and see if this is so...

Some good things to remember:
*save a half a cup or so of your yogurt so that you can use your homemade kind to start your next batch. *I've read that it lasts 7-10 days in your refrigerator, so only make as much as you can eat at a time. I have a feeling it will probably last longer, and if I find out, I'll let you know. But just in case, I only made 3 pints. One of which is already gone....and I just finished it yesterday!

Even though I now have a method that works, I'm kind of curious to know the how behind it all. Why heat it up and let it sit? Why not just heat to the temp you need first and then add your yogurt? What happens in the milk that makes this step necessary? I'm kind of food-scientist in this area. I love just doing things that work, but I really love knowing why it works. Then I can change things all I want, so long as I know the rules.'

So if I find out, I'll post about it!

I also bottled my first batch of komboucha a few days ago.  Sometime around lunch I'm going to break one open and taste it. I'm SO excited about it. I'll update you on that too, sometime soon.

tehe, love the empty vodka bottle.
Meantime, I want to give a little shout-out to one of my favourite blogger's new blogs. Even though she has no idea who I am (I'm not much of a commenter, see?), I've been a pretty regular reader of Kathleen's previous blog for about a year now. She just launched a new one that sounds sooooo interesting. So check it out at Becoming Peculiar. If you're interested in Christianity, being kind of radical, or just like reading new ideas or new spins on old ideas, you'll probably find something that catches your fancy. I'm eating it up right now.

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