Thursday, April 23, 2009

Making Yogurt

One of my absolute favorite things is to ride my bike about a 1/2 mile from here with an empty 2 gallon container and buy milk from the farm around the corner. This used to be something of a quasi-legal purchase, but now it is pretty much legit. The issue is that the milk being sold is raw milk and there is a limit to the quantity that can be sold from the farm its self. Anyway, the pleasure is in the simple and direct trip to the farm, buying wholesome milk and bringing it home. Elementally good stuff.

When I get home with the milk we make yogurt. If you've never made yogurt it would surprise you how simple it is: Heat milk to 190, let it cool to 110. Put in a jar and add a tablespoon of live culture yogurt, keep it warm (we put ours in a cooler with a hot water bottle) for about six hours and presto, you've got yogurt. We make about two gallons at a time and it seems to keep just fine, in part because the heat of the milk creates a slight seal when its put in the mason jars.

You can use the last of your current yogurt as starter for your next batch. I've always hoped that we could get to a "multigenerational" iteration, but we seem to frequently finish off one batch and then need to go out and get a store bought variety to start the next batch.

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