It feels wonderful.
Last night I finally whipped out my candy thermometer, and got around to doing something I’ve been thinking of since last summer: making my own yoghourt. There was really nothing stopping me, I’d just gotten distracted with other things, had let it languish, then forgotten about it for awhile.
Last week, in a fit of madness (and not remembering properly what we already had at home) I bought milk which we had no need of. It seemed like a good time, then, to try this yoghourt experiment. After all, if it went very badly, I wasn’t going to be down to my last bag, so… I did it.
It’s too early (in my opinion) to tell how the results went. There was solidifying for sure (is that curdling? is there a word for it? yoghourt-ification?) but as I wasn’t armed with cheesecloth to strain it, there was still too much whey still mixed in for my taste. (I’m not even sure where to buy cheesecloth, but I’m definitely including that step in my next attempt. Also in the next attempt? Throwing in any remnants of cartons of cream I may have in the fridge.)
So although I’ve tasted a little bit (tastes like runny yoghourt!) I consider this batch in its current form to be too runny for prime time. I’ll wait a bit for more whey to separate out and give it a whirl.
This pickiness is, of course, part of what inspired me to look up the process (super-easy by the way) in the first place. I have nothing against commercial yoghourts in general, but it was something of a struggle to find one that properly balanced texture (more solid than liquid) with taste (less sourness, more creaminess) all without the addition of gelatin (weird) or excessive sugar. Naturally, the candidates were sparse.
I expect it’ll take more than a little trial and error, but I’m hoping to get to the point where I can just make a yoghourt I really like and never have to do the supermarket shuffle of experimenting through the different brands and flavours to find good yoghourt (especially if the one I currently use is discontinued).
I’m recently reading Sleeping Green Is Naked, a book about a woman’s efforts (back in 2006) to “green” her life by making one change (big or small) per day for a year. While entertaining (particularly for me, since she lives in my hometown and writes for a national paper there), it’s also shifted my focus a little to where I’m starting to look at habits I have and whether or not there is an easy way to change them to live less wastefully. (I am desperately hoping this won’t turn me into one of those tiresome, overly analytical zealot-types, but it does seem to me that if there’s an easy lifestyle change that’ll make a difference, we really should do it.)
It occurred to me that were I to start making my own yoghourt, I wouldn’t be sending a plastic container off to be recycled every week (more or less) and better still (for me anyway), I wouldn’t be left dreading the remnants of the occasional tub of plain yoghourt I buy (mostly because a recipe or plans for curry call for it) which I never use up entirely and then eventually endure in my granola, even though its sourness intimidates me. Instead I can just do what I did this morning: portion off a small part of the proto-yoghourt into a tub destined to be bland plain, and mix in some vanilla and honey into the remainder (destined to be breakfast). It’s both freeing and (hopefully) delicious.
Oh, I’m excited to be waking up with the spring and finding energy for new projects again!