Yogurt

About a month ago we started getting fresh milk delivered from a local farm. Every Thursday Gumaer Farms drops off a few cute glass bottles of milk and cream. Pure dairy bliss, I tell you.

Since then, I’ve stepped up my dairy repertoire. Yogurt is very easy to make. The only special equipment you need is a candy or digital thermometer. I recently broke my candy thermometer and had to buy a new one. David at Hood & Company (a very cool kitchen/home store) in Catskill, NY was extremely helpful. Being a gadget gal, I really wanted a digital one, but being a frugal gal, I went with an economical one.

Here’s what you need for the yogurt:
-milk (use the amount of milk you want to turn into yogurt. I use about a quart)
-1/4 cup of plain yogurt, choose a brand with live cultures (use store bought to start, but after your first batch you can just save some for your next batch. How cool is that?)
-non-reactive pot and stirrer. I use one of my favorite All-Clad pots that my little sister gave me.

Slowly heat up the milk, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 180 degrees. Don’t let it boil.
Turn off the heat.
Once the temperature drops to 110 degrees, stir in 1/4 cup of yogurt.
Cover and keep in a semi-warm place for 8 hours. It needs to be about 110-115 degrees. In the summer, I just put mine in the oven and the pilot light keeps it warm enough. If you have an electric stove, turn the oven light on and that should keep it warm enough. In the winter, I turn the oven on for a bit first. Some people pour the hot mixture into a thermos and it keeps the temperature constant. Another way is to wrap it in an electric blanket on low for about 4 hours.

That’s it. Easy, right?

I usually make mine at night and in the morning I have delicious fresh yogurt. Stir in honey, sugar or fruit if you want it sweet or leave as is and use it as a sour cream substitute. And just think of all those little yogurt containers you won’t have to toss.