Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yogurt & Stories

While in Washington, DC last week, my coworker mentioned that making yogurt was really easy. So I found a recipe online - from a woman who used her crockpot every day for a year. She had a very simple way to make yogurt in your crock pot: put in the milk, heat for 2.5 hours, unplug crock pot let cool for 3 hours, add yogurt to milk, wrap crock pot with towel for insulation and let sit for 8 hours.
It really is that easy. I tried with whole milk - it said that would be easier. And it worked really really well. Now I have two tupperware tubs of yogurt ready for dog feedings. I think tried it with non-fat yogurt, for me. I added some gelatin with the yogurt, as suggested, but it didn't come out as well as well as hoped. It was runny and not as tangy as desired.
I found this online:
http://www.epinions.com/reviews/Donvier_Yogurt_Cheese_Maker
A yogurt sieve. I may have to try it. While I don't really resent buying yogurt, I dislike throwing away a plastic container every few days. As a result, I'm now going to make my own! I am excited.

With this victory comes the celebration of my birthday (today). I'm happy to be turning 34. My mother once told me I was more agreeable when in an even year - we'll see. But with my happy day is some sadness. My good friend's brother is in the final stages of with terrible cancer. I'm sad for him. I'm sad for my friend. It leaves me feeling so helpless. I did find my friend on IM and was amusing him with silly thoughts & ideas. I felt like I was cheering him up - I think that is all I can do.

I read this:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/keillor/2009/03/04/brothers/
Garrison Keillor's essay on losing his brother. He writes with such clarity. I want to share with my friend, but his brother isn't dead yet. It might be pre-mature.

4 comments:

Blue in Bristol said...

Hmm, home-made yoghurt. I too have thought this might be nice, but it always seems like a lot of faff for something that is perfectly nice and cheap from the supermarket. But let me know how yours comes out. If it's OMFG Amazing!! then I will reconsider.
Top tip!: use your old yog pots to start seedlings off for the garden. See you can get more uses out of them...

Jen DeLano said...

So, I think that making the yogurt was less work than making a special trip to the store to purchase yogurt. Now, the whole milk yogurt definitely came out better than the non-fat version, but I was quite impressed about how easy it was. Quicker, lower stress and simpler than making coq-au-vin or even a quiche. I think the dogs like this yogurt better than the store bought stuff - but that might just be my ego.

I have to say, the yogurt was thinner than the store bought variety, it was also much more milky tasting - fresher and less adulterated. So I liked that.
I do want to try to strain it better - so we'll be doing more along those lines on the next batch.
The other thing is the culture. I know I can keep using the culture I have in my yogurt or I can get some special starter - which I'm contemplating now.

So I say try it - worst case you don't like it and feed it to Dave.

Blue in Bristol said...

I might have try this... I like cooking with yoghurt as an alternative to cream and it's good for Indian food too, so we usually have a pot kicking around. I LOVE some greek yoghurt on muesli at the weekend, with chopped banana too. Actually, thinking about it, I eat quite a lot of yog. Hmm, maybe a yoghurt maker would save money?

Jen DeLano said...

I do think it saves money. 1 1/2 gallon of milk at $3 has fed our dogs for as much time as two $5 containers of yogurt... and there is no plastic containers to haunt me or the environment. And THANK YOU for the suggestion of using those old yogurt containers as storage for new ones.

I'm making round #3 - this time using yogurt starter to see if it is more tangy. I read that the younger the strain of cultures, the tangier the yogurt. We'll see. I'm also prepared to strain it more this time.

I would skip the yogurt maker - a crock pot does the job. Do you have a crock-pot?