A few weeks ago my Dad asked me what I wanted for my birthday (Oh yeah, check out what we did on my birthday and enter the contest!!!). I took a look at at my kitchen wish list and decided I would like a yogurt maker so that I could continue growing my from-scratch repertoire. I never thought it would be so simple, but it really was!
The yogurt maker came with seven 1-cup glass jars to make the yogurt in. Reusable and dishwasher safe!
You only need two ingredients: milk (your choice, non-fat, 1%, 2%, whole or soy.) I used 2% from Twin Brook Creamery.
And either a yogurt starter, which my Dad also got for me to go with my birthday present, or 1 cup plain yogurt with live cultures.
I started by pouring 42oz of milk into a large pot and heating it up to 180 F.
You know it is at about the right temperature when the milk starts to crawl up the side of the pan, or you can use a thermometer.
Then cool it down to about 110-115 F. To help this along, I filled the sink up with cool water and then placed the pan in the sink.
Once the milk cools down, I added in the yogurt starter and mixed until it was dissolved.
Then I poured the milk into the glass jars, set them in the yogurt maker (which essentially is an incubator), put on the cover, and set the timer for 8 hours.
Then cool the yogurt in the refrigerator which stops the incubation process. That's it!
It's got a great flavor, not too tart, and was nice and thick. I used it to make my birthday cake! Yogurt is an acceptable substitute for buttermilk in any recipe, great with granola and fruit in the morning, and is good for you!
Lately I've had a number of people ask how I find the time or energy to make so many things from scratch. I suppose the easiest answer is that it I enjoy it - it's a recharge for me. It's also challenging and engaging; I am learning so many new things by going to back the the roots of my food. I'm learning about seasonality, organics, growing foods, and it's exhilarating for me to s l o w d o w n and make it from scratch.
I read a short article last night by Carol Flinders called The Work at Hand in the book Food and Faith. In the article she wrote that "Life... really does militate against home cooked wholesome meals - just as it does against friendships, marriage, parenting, and almost everything else that makes life worth living. It has to be like that, because the spirit of our time is to look only at the profit line."
It is OH SO easy to get busy - whether you're working your butt off in graduate school, working overtime, or caught up in the rat race of life; we are a busy, multi-tasking people.
For me, I am determined and dedicated to rediscovering my food, its source, its vitality, and its being, and that is how I find the time and energy.
It just simply matters to me enough to find and make food that is good, clean and fair. It's a personal choice for everyone, and there can be a bit of a learning curve, but I truly believe that it's good not only for your health but for your soul.