This Is Not A Food Blog

k2zch

But this is a food entry, part of my ongoing quest to prove that you, yes you, loser that you might otherwise be in every other aspect of your life, can still cook good. That’s despite what you may think, and what every FoodTV program and Pinterest porn shoot tries to intimidate you into believing.

So. Tonight’s episode: Yogurt.

I love yogurt. But with even generic brand tubs running north of 4 dollars now – 7 if it’s got the word “Greek” stenciled anywhere – I don’t buy it often.

But I do make it often.

You should too. Even if you don’t like yogurt. Just so you can see how easy it is to make yogurt, which might possibly lead to, ‘Hey, I wonder if anything I like is actually this easy too!‘ (The answer, by the way, is “yes”.)

Here’s all you need:

A pot with a lid.

Milk.

A small amount of already made yogurt – your own, or store bought. If it’s store bought though, make sure it says “Active Cultures” somewhere.

Here’s all you do:

Heat the milk to just below boiling (about 200 degrees), stirring so it doesn’t scorch.

Cool the milk down in the pot til it’s just warm (about 110 – 115 degrees). Putting the pot in a sink with ice water helps it cool more quickly.

Once it’s warm, whisk in some yogurt.

Cover the pan and set it aside in a warm place.

In a couple of hours it will be yogurt.

I repeat: in a couple of hours you will be spooning real, honest-to-Emeril, creamy rich yogurt out of that pot. No 60 dollar Cuisinart yogurt maker that just pops out a few of those espresso size cups. No fancy culture packages. No thermometer (although that might give you some peace of mind at first, if you’re not used to gauging by feel). Not even measuring cups.

A few tips:

I generally make a batch with a half gallon of whole milk, using about half cup of whole milk yogurt starter. You really don’t have to measure, but out of curiosity I measured what I added as I went along this time for purposes of this entry. Really, “some milk + a small amount of yogurt” works just as well.

If you like it thicker, add some dry milk powder or unflavored gelatin. You can strain the final product through cheesecloth or muslin to get it even thicker, like Greek yogurt texture.

If you want actual Greek yogurt, use skim milk and strain for a pretty long time.

I make my batches before I go to bed, setting them overnight in an Igloo cooler with hot water poured around. You could also put it in your oven with the oven light on for a little warmth. Or wrap the pot in some warm towels to keep the heat in.  It’s not critical to keep a specific temperature. Just keep it generally not too cold or not too hot, and it will make yogurt.

One other thing about the batch I made tonight. More a point of interest, rather than instruction. I found un-pasteurized milk at the grocery store for the first time, and decided to try it. It produced a nice layer of “cream” on top (that yellowish layer you see). Companies like Stoneybrook Farms feature this, and charge out the wazoo accordingly. Now I know it’s easy to make that style at home, and for only about a dollar more. If you see any on your own store shelf and have the dollar to spare, I say go for it.

So there ya go. Heat some milk, cool it a bit, add a little live yogurt, and wait a couple of hours. Voila! Great yogurt, cheap.

I honestly can’t believe people buy the factory stuff.

When they could have this:

Yogurt 1

Can you?

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “This Is Not A Food Blog

  1. Thank you, D.S.! Think I’ll give it a try. For the LAZY cook: check to see if there is a Middle Eastern Market in your bailiwick; they have lots of the stuff at amazing prices and it is thick and creamy. It will have an odd name but it is lovely and it never met a cucumber it didn’t like.. (I kinda have a thing about tzakziki…) Hope you are cooking LOTS for New Wifey before you go on disability. Behave yourself in PT and don’t bite the therapist; they’re dangerous when riled…

    Like

    1. Let’s get this out of the way right up front: I am NOT a lazy cook. Yes, Middle Easter food is the fo’schnizzle, and I do indeed have access to several markets around here. But BUY yogurt, even good stuff? Pfff. Mine’s better. (I – and you – can make it just as thick and creamy with a bit of straining through cheesecloth or muslin. Not muslim. Don’t make that mistake, like I once did. The horror….)

      Behave myself in PT?? Why should I change for them? And how do you know they’re not like NewWifey(tm) and LIKE getting bitten? Huh? HUH?? Sheesh.

      And yes. I’m gonna be testing the capacity of my freezer with pre-made goods shortly 🙂

      Like

      1. Funny lad. I didn’t mean YOU, only those who won’t even try. LOVE your remark about straining through Muslim. I intend to steal that one.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If they won’t even try, they have no business reading this blog. I disavow them, man and woman.

          A few years ago I had a good line on one of my morning shows. The host mentioned the TSA was confiscating even supposedly “safe” knitting needles. I opined they were worried some little old lady would knit an Afghan. You can steal that one too 🙂

          Like

          1. Yup, I’ll take that one, too. Several years I had a pair of tiny stork scissors taken away by the TSA but my daughter at about the same time was allowed to keep her circular needles, the sort with the two pointy shafts connected by a long Mylar chord. Would make either a terrific garotte…or a sweater.

            Like

            1. Ahh, the Italian necklace. I know them well, thanks to my Sicilian mom. Omerta!

              Yeah, NewWifey(tm) I think gave up some cross-stitching stork scissors also once. But in her case, she actually was going to try to hijack the plane. So I guess it’s better they snagged ’em.

              Like

  2. I myself have just re-discovered Yogurt as my go-to staple for curing my insatiable sweet tooth from Hell. Since all of the fruit that I love is now in season I always add at least 1-2 cups of diced fresh fruit (Peaches, Strawberries, Blueberries, etc) to a large tub of plain yogurt and add a teaspoon of Splenda to keep the sour taste at bay. In fact I am eating the rest of this morning’s Peach Yogurt right now and already thinking about tomorrow mornings’ fresh Blueberry’s in my Yogurt for my breakfast. Do you think having a large hot fudge sundae for dessert would be guilding the Lilly a tad much? (My Diabetes just screamed ‘NOOOO’ so fuck the dessert). By the way, I have been following your blog for at least 8 or more years and I think you are a brilliant writer and I always look forward to new postings from you when you are able to type without too much pain in your elbow(s). I hope this next surgery goes smoothly for you and wish you and New Wifey the best that life has to offer !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Hey John, that’s just awesome! Seriously, thanks for the nice words, and for letting me know you’ve read my stream of often ridiculous written effluence for so many years. (Really? EIGHT FUCKING YEARS? Dude, you need a hobby….) I’m quite flattered, and thank you sincerely.

      Woo hoo that you’re on the Yogurt bandwagon, buddy! Er, although it sucks that it took Type-2 to get you on board, Still, I’m impressed. Good on ya’, mate!

      And as a general rule of thumb: don’t listen to screaming voices in your head. Have the fudge sundae. What do voices know?

      All the best!

      Like

  3. I used to make yogurt back in the days when we had an airing cupboard and a pilot light on the gas hob, and had been planning on doing so again, if I could think of how to keep it warm. Towels – brilliant. Everything tastes better made from scratch. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, that’s great! Yeah, try the warm towel trick – it really works a treat. The heavier the better. In fact, a warm shawl, throw, or even small blanket would probably be a great idea also. And don’t worry, even if you can’t find something particularly insulating, as long as it’s not cold for a prolonged period it will still turn into yogurt. It will just take longer. The same principle as yeast risen breads, which you can let rise in the fridge, but it does take all night – or longer.

      BTW, one thing that might also be an option for you, now that my memory’s been jogged a bit. When I make bread, I often do the first rise by boiling a measuring cup of water in the microwave for about 5 minutes (about 500ml water). Then I place the dough in to rise. Microwaves are well insulated, and as long as you don’t open the door (or turn it on, lol) it holds temperature for a remarkably long time. It works so well for bread dough that I might just try it next time with yogurt. Stay tuned!

      Great to see you here again, kiddo. I do hope things are as well as can be for you. I often think about your travails when I’m perusing various D-Land diaries. All the best.

      🙂

      Like

  4. This is not a food blog comment. One of the things I like about d’land is that when I’m bored and start clicking names in the box and reading a bit, if I ever feel moved to leave a note I can almost guarantee that you’ll have been there before me. Cool. I have a litre of full fat milk and the remains of some shop-bought live yoghurt so I’m on my way. Ciao x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m only usually there before you because I have no social life and feel the need to overcompensate by leaving sensitive notes to people I will never meet. Pity me! Lol…but yeah, there are actually a number of things I still really like about D-Land. That ‘Recently Updated’ box is really useful, for instance, as are the uncluttered pages for things like entering new posts, and editing old ones. A simple man appreciates simple things 🙂

      Woo hoo! Let me know how your yoghurt turns out! I actually just made another batch yesterday and left it to drain in cheesecloth overnight. This morning I turned out a perfectly formed block of yoghurt cheese (like farmer’s cheese in consistency, but obviously more tart).

      Rock on, babe!

      Like

      1. Re d’land – I know, I wasn’t being mean, I was just saying I’ve seen you – I really like it, finding you’ve just left a note to someone I was going to write to, makes it feel like we’re a bunch of pals hanging out. Happy grilling. I have green Le Creuset dish envy x

        Like

        1. LOL! Oh, the joys of not being able to convey inflection with the written word. I most assuredly did NOT think you were being mean. I was – unsuccessfully apparently – trying to be humorous with an over-the-top response. Rather poor attempt I admit, but still. No worries. I do know what you mean, the “clubby feel” at D-Land. I like it too!

          Oooo, a fellow green Le Creuset dish club member! I feel closer to you than ever now 🙂

          Like

    1. I’m so glad to hear you make your own! But seriously: if you can make that, you can make ANYTHING you see me whip up on my blog(s). Nothing I do is magic, even if I like to claim it is sometimes 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s