A Gratuitously Food-Related Post

Since school started, I feel ever so slightly guilty about not coming up with very thoughtful blog posts which represent a more scholarly and professional ethos. But since I’ve been doing homework since 9 am this morning (minus four hours for a date) here is the titular food post!

Homemade yogurt is completely rocking my world right now. It requires much less thought than my homework and causes much less anxiety than the final papers I know will be due before I know it. It’s so easy I can’t believe it. And sometimes a person just needs something easy, you know?

Here’s how to try it out.

  1. Get some milk…if you want fat-free yogurt, start with skim milk. If you enjoy a slightly richer tasting yogurt, go for 1% or 2%, or if you’re feeling particularly bold, whole milk.
  2. Stick it in a pan and bring it to a boil, or put it in a microwaveable dish and zap it until it’s about 175 Fahrenheit. I use a cheap-o candy thermometer for this.
  3. Transfer the hot milk to a ceramic or stoneware dish (not metal!) and let it cool to between 110 and 120 Fahrenheit.
  4.  Whisk in a couple of tablespoons of yogurt containing live & active cultures. For half a gallon of milk, I use four tablespoons. I like Mountain High, or Dannon, or Stonyfield for starters. Just make sure it’s plain – a flavored yogurt will mess it up!
  5. Cover the dish and put it somewhere reasonably warm for 6 – 12 hours. Leave it completely alone!
  6. Uncover your dish and discover the magically created yogurt, thank the lovely little bacteria that did all the hard work for you, and stick the yogurt in the fridge to stop the yogurtization process. I think I may have just made that word up.
  7. Eat the yogurt.
  8. Alternatively, you can strain the yogurt to make yourself some delish, creamy, thick Greek yogurt. As you can tell by the adjectives, I’m a big fan of Greek yogurt. Since I’m a cheapskate with these things, I bought a very thin flat bedsheet and cut it up into big squares that I use to line a colander or strainer – this is much more effective than grocery store “cheesecloth” and you can wash them and re-use them.

And that’s how you can make homemade yogurt. My favorite thing is how much money it saves. A 32 oz container of Greek yogurt is usually $6, and I can make half a gallon of Greek yogurt for about $3 – or however much a gallon of milk is. AWESOME.

Peace, love, and yogurt,

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