Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Reviewing Yogurt and a Sneak Peek

   Many of us are facing a new year with concerns and convictions about our health and our finances...I know I am. One habit we have been cultivating is a daily yogurt/smoothie made with our home made yogurt. In the past I posted some explorations in the yogurt making process, but I felt it high time to set right down and get real about it.
   I tried the powdered cultures and the starter base culture, but for me this just wasn't a sustainable process. My home does not have central heat and air to keep a steady indoor temp. Each of the cultures I purchased really needed a consistent temp to maintain and grow the my home this just wasn't practical. After many trial runs, the powdered cultures and starter system ended never to return.
   So how do we make yogurt consistently and repetitively? gallon of milk, one carton natural yogurt with live cultures and my oven set to 100 degrees. Here we go.
   My process starts with the container of natural yogurt on the counter...I like it room temp for culturing. The gallon of milk is poured into a heavy bottom stock pot and brought to 180 degrees using a medium heat. Once the temp is reached, the pot is placed into a sink of cool water to cool to 110 degrees. With the milk at the right temp yogurt is stirred in before I cover it with a lid and place it in my oven heated to 100 degrees. It sits there overnight (at least 6-8 hours, but I like overnight).
   After culturing I ladle my finished yogurt into canning jars and refrigerate until use. Over the years I have tried several varieties of yogurt as a starter culture, but Dannon natural is my first pick for consistent results every time. If my goats are in milk then that is the milk I use, otherwise, purchased cow's milk is next in line.
   The question has been asked whether or not to flavor the yogurt..I don't. We tried it twice learning that adding to the culture speeds up the growth and seriously shortens the self life of the yogurt. When it is time to eat it honey, vanilla, fruit or home made jams are stirred in at the last minute and since smoothies are our current mode of eating plain yogurt is just fine.
   In other news, I have been spending some time at the design table sketching and planning some pretty little cuties. Our prairie dolls are pretty and quite lovely to look at, but a real baby to stand up to loving and toting has been on my mind. For months I reviewed patterns and looked at ideas but just couldn't find what I was looking for. So with some sketching and figuring three sizes of lovable and practical prairie dolls are coming to life.
   Loving little mini's, the tiniest dolls are being cut first. These babies are just the size of my hand! Pretty little dresses, bonnets and even an apron are set to dress these precious ladies, but that isn't all..oh no, we will have a handsome fella to join our gals. Keep your eyes open for some sweet little Prairie Tots to make their debut in the family shop..just in time for Valentines day!



Dicky Bird said...

Thanks for the yogurt tips. I've been on the look out for one of those yogurt makers at the thrift shops. The ones from like the 70's. Have fun sewing. Blessings from Wisconsin.

Simply Scaife Family said...

I know family members who use the modern yogurt makers, but for me they just seem to make very little at a time. Hope you find one!