Sometimes, I come across something so simple, but so good, it changes the way I think or do things. I become an infomercial type convert, telling everyone I know about this new amazing thing I’ve found. One of the latest ones is making my own yogurt. I’ve done it before. It was fussy, I used a yogurt maker with the little jars. It was more annoying than worth my while, I thought, plus it was yet another thing clogging up my kitchen. Which, trust me, is full of almost every kitchen tool known to man. So I gave up yogurt making, and bought it at the grocery store for years. Until I stumbled on a blog post. The lovely Alana of Eating From the Ground Up, wrote a great post about yogurt making. You use…. get this….your crockpot!! Voila!!! Yogurt! (yes, this does make me excited. This is where the infomercial type announcer comes in.) Minimal fuss, less expense, more taste. How could you go wrong? Here’s a link to her post: http://www.eatingfromthegroundup.com/2012/05/crock-pot-greek-yogurt/. I love her blog. She feels like a kindred spirit in food and frugal. So basically, it goes like this: take out your crockpot, put 8 cups of milk in it, turn it on high, walk away (See, liking this already, right?) Come back awhile later and check the temperature of your milk. When it hits 185, which takes about two hours with mine, turn off the crockpot and walk away. (I know!!! Isn’t this great?) Come back awhile later, and when the temperature of your milk drops to 110, turn it off and add 1/2 cup of plain yogurt. If it’s your first batch, you’ll need to buy some at the grocery store. I like the Astro Balkan style plain, so that’s what I used. Now, I just save a half a cup from each batch for the next one. Now, here is the part that makes your friends look at you funny when they pop over during yogurt making. Unplug the crockpot and wrap it up in a warm blanket. Leave it on the counter for 6 hours. I use a fuzzy pink blanket that belongs to my daughter so I get a lot of questions like “what the hell is that?” when people come over. My oldest son thought that I was employing an ingenious way to protect baked goods from his midnight snack runs and took pictures of it while he unwrapped it, thinking I would know how the blanket was originally wrapped and “catch” him. He was mighty disappointed to discover yogurt, which he doesn’t like.
Now at this point, I like to pour mine into a large sieve lined with cheesecloth and sit it on top of a large bowl.
Then I put it in the fridge overnight and wake up to thick, tangy Greek style yogurt. How’s this for fabulous?
Super fabulous. In fact, revolutionary. It has revolutionized my yogurt eating. I realize this may seem like a rather grandiose statement, but it’s true. Then, guess what? Great yogurt by product!! Whey!
I use the whey when making bread. I’ve got a couple of mason jars in the fridge full of whey, then on a cooler day I’ll bake 6 or 8 loaves of bread using the whey instead of water in my bread dough. It truly is the little things in life…
Sometimes small revolutionary things pop up in the garden. Like the first crop of radishes. My Nana says everyone should grow radishes because they always come and give you a sense of accomplishment. They come no matter what. So when the whatever it is that keeps nibbling the tops off my carrots makes me crazy and I’m waging war on the slugs, these little spicy red gems make me feel like I’m doing something right.
I love revolutionary things, no matter how big or small. It’s important to try and take them where ever you find them. And even more important to be grateful for them.