Monday, April 1, 2013

Kitchen Culture

In my endless quest to be more self-sufficient, I've decided to expand my repertoire into the home dairy business.

Well, not exactly a business--chickens don't make milk, and while the rabbits do, I don't even want to contemplate how arduous it would be to actually milk them daily.  (Shudder, shudder.)

Luckily, there are organic farmers who have happy cows that actually like to be milked, and who sell their product in the store so I can buy it.  My first foray into home dairying was to make yogurt.  Now, I am not a yogurt fan.  I find it eerily textured like snot, and the commercially made & horribly flavored stuff makes me want to go upchuck in a convenient corner.

I have started liking Greek Gods brand greek-style yogurt (although not all the flavors--plain is my current acceptable option), but it is kind of expensive.  So when I read in Home Dairy with Ashley English that I could use GG as a starter for my own homemade yogurt, I was game to give it a try.

It starts as simple as measuring out four cups of cold milk.  I had whole milk in the fridge, and because I like my yogurt stand-your-spoon-upright-in-it thick, I whisked in two packets of dry gelatin powder.  No mucous texture for me, thank you!

After heating it to just under boiling, you simply remove the pot from the heat and whisk in three heaping tablespoons of the plain yogurt of your choice. 
Then, it's ladling, capping, and popping into a preheated  crockpot. 

 My crockpot has a "warm" setting, so I just keep it on that overnight.  I also added about an inch of warm water into the bottom of the pot, simply because I was worried about the ceramic overheating and possibly cracking.

 After an overnight gentle warming encourages the active yogurt cultures to grow, it made the heated milk all nice and thick and delicious.  Perfect for a simple breakfast such as this:
Gooseberry jam and a touch of honey...mmm!
I'm still not a huge yogurt fan, but its growing on me. And, for just a couple dollars worth of ingredients, I have three pints of the stuff that will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.  Not too shabby, all things considered.

Next step: simple cheese making!

1 comment:

  1. Well done!! it looks delicious :) I was given a yogurt maker from a friend and plan on trying it soon. We eat alot of the plain yogurts and I use a ton of it in baking. I like the idea of being able to flavor it with whatever you want when it's ready so I'm hoping this will work for us.


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