Monday, January 3, 2011

Homemade yogurt

I received my long longed for yogurt maker for Christmas. I know it's possible to make homemade yogurt without an actual yogurt maker. However, I need something simple and easy.

This year I discovered Greek yogurt. They were a dollar a cup though. When the store had them in stock. And all the store yogurt seems to have lots of extra ingredients. Jam should have pectin. Yogurt should not. Yogurt should have milk.

So anyway, I got the yogurt maker on Saturday. On Sunday, we went to the store basically so I could buy milk to play with my new yogurt toy.

It's not as easy as dumping the milk in the machine and plugging it in though. (which you would think it would be, for what the machine retails for). So I heated up the milk til it was frothy (there was a thermometer in the box? Really?), let it cool down til it felt lukewarm, added two packets of freeze dried yogurt starter to one cup of warm milk, added that to the rest of the milk, poured it into the yogurt machine. THEN I plugged it in and waited 8 hours.

It actually made yogurt. It was thinner than the greek yogurt because I didn't get around to draining out the whey for three more days. And being accustomed to store bought yogurt, it was quite tangy. But pure intense yogurt flavor. But I spent the week eating it at work with various toppings/sweetners.

Still experimenting. So far I've tried diced peaches and sugar (good), honey (nice contrast) and a jar of baby food pears (not good).

Saturday I tried to make a new batch of yogurt using some of the previous batch as starter. Not successful. Not sure why.

Sunday I bought more milk (hopefully I will break even from the yogurt making before too long) and went back to the freeze dried starter. I also pawed through the recycling until I found the yogurt machine box and the thermometer still in the box. Then I had to stay up til 10:30 waiting for the yogurt machine to incubate for 8 hours.

Currently I am draining the whey out of the latest batch. Did I mention how purely white the strained homeade yogurt is? Love it. My co-workers are all intrigued by the great yogurt making project. I suggested getting a department yogurt machine.

Tomorrow I can have yogurt for morning snack again.

Jupiter had a great day at school today. She had a great night at home tonight (there was no money counting homework). She did Wii obstacle coursing for 15 minutes, ate a cucumber and dip, declined to eat her soup and peanut butter toast, and sat down to her homework. She did all four assignments and took the time to do quality work. She helped pack her lunch for tomorrow. We read for a half an hour. While we were reading she ate two yogurt tubes (unfortunately she is not interested in converting to homeade yogurt) and a banana. She's listening to her music but not asleep yet. Whoohoo!!

Maine almanac: 01/03

Sunrise: 7:15

Sunset: 4:16. (we've gained five minutes since the solstice).

Temperature at 4pm: about 30.

Weather: dusting of snow overnight, sunny and windy during the day

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