Sunday, August 01, 2004


Yogurt Making

A few years ago, my friend Catherine gave me a 'low tech yogurt maker'. A small cooler, two liter jars which fit perfectly in it, and a candy thermometer. I would heat up milk, maybe add some powdered milk, and let it cool down to lukewarm. Add some starter yogurt, put it in the cooler, surround it with lukewarm water and put it somewhere out of the way, preferably where the toddler couldn't reach it :-) A few hours later, or the next morning, the yogurt would be ready.

This worked very well for a while, but at some point, I got out of the habit of making yogurt, it seemed too much work. I think it coincided with all the miscarriages, baking samed therapeutic, yogurt making just seemed too much work. Not sure why the difference, but it sure was there. I kept thinking I should make yogurt soon, but instead I was buying it at the store...

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I had been thinking about getting a 'real' yogurt maker, hoping that that would get me back into the habit of making yogurt, since it's a bit less work. I had looked at them before, but the cost always was holding me back, usually at least $50 or so. I checked ebay and found some reasonably priced ones, and wanted to compare them to the prizes at Amazon. To my utter surprise, I found a promising looking yogurt maker for only $14.99. That was even cheaper than the ones I had found on ebay!

What a cool find! Now I only had to figure out how to spend ten more dollars, so I wouldn't have to pay for shipping. Somehow that wasn't very hard, I decided on Angels and Demons and Life of Pi. Both books were on my very long 'want to read someday' list.

It arrived late last week, now I just needed to find time to try it out. I managed to mess up my first batch, but that might have been because I didn't add any powdered milk. I just emptied a quart of soy milk in a pan, heated it, added some starter yogurt and dumped it in the yogurt maker. It did make something, but I couldn't really call it yogurt... It was kind of separated, like lots of curdles in something waterish. It did smell and taste like yogurt though, it just didn't look very appetizing. I ended up blending it for a few seconds, which solved the separation problem, but it was a lot thinner than normal yogurt now. Then I used it to make a great tasting curry sauce, just added some corn starch to make it thicker. It tasted wonderful. I think if I had added some fruit when blending, it would have been a great yogurt to just drink instead of eat with a spoon. It also would have worked fine for baking.

Yesterday, I tried it again, but this time used soy milk and some soy protein powder. That one turned out much better. I think we'll have it tomorrow morning with some granola. That reminds me that I want to make some home made granola again, haven't done that in a while. I guess I am starting to feel better, since I am motivated to do stuff like this again, which I wasn't a few weeks ago.

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