Saturday, October 3, 2009

Yogurt--it's not just for hippies anymore

It's cooking season again, as my husband says. I made yogurt yesterday; I made it regularly for a while, but took the summer off. I guess I wasn't looking for rich dairy products in the hot weather.
Dusted off the yogurt maker--yup, I do it the easy way with the little glass jars instead of the way my doctor makes it, in a chipped earthenware bowl, on the counter, wrapped in a sweater that gives it just the right amount of warmth. When I told her I had a yogurt maker, she basically called me a wimp. Whatever--I wasn't gonna argue with her--she knows my darkest secrets!

I guess the biggest issue with making yogurt is the milk. It's got to be processed by the dairy at lower temperatures than the supermarket milk--can't be "ultra-pasteurized." The higher-temp flash pasteurization kills all the good microbes and your yogurt will never set up. Luckily, we can get just that kind of milk locally at Shaw Farm in Dracut. They do the lower-temp pasteurization, not the flash kind, and it makes lovely, tangy yogurt. I'd love to get my hands on some raw milk, but the germ-phobes around here won't let anyone sell it. Julie, I know your neck of the woods has some places you can procure it, sometimes surreptitiously if you say it's for your cats!
I also use a powdered yogurt culture, as in the past I've used already-made yogurt for my culture, and it's hit and miss whether the new batch'll set up.

The Girl helped me with the yogurt-making, and she was surprised that it mainly consists of boiling the milk, cooling it a bit, mixing the culture, and pouring it into the jars. Then it's into the yogurt-maker for 12 hours. If you do this in the morning, you can put the jars in the fridge overnight and have fresh yogurt for breakfast. That's what we all did this morning.
Let me tell you, it's tangy. Definitely not like the candy-flavored yogurt my kids used to clamor for (bubble gum? Are you KIDDING me?) but so good with honey or jam mixed in. Plus it's healthy for your,, do I say, your innards. Eat a jar of this stuff every morning and you'll be talking about your happy colon on national TV just like Jamie Lee Curtis. :)


  1. One of my favorite childhood memories is eating homemade yogurt with strawberry freezer jam mixed in - YUM!

    There are a few farms out this way where you can procure raw milk. Our CSA will serve as a pick up place for one of them (it might be Sidehill Farm; that's where I get my yogurt because they carry that at our CSA). Berkshire Organics also serves as a pick up point for those in the raw milk buying group for Blue Hill Farm. I've actually toyed with the idea of joining a buying group; Tom's a bit squeemish about that (I drank raw milk as a child and my dad was raised on it).

    I did come across this site, which lists farms by state where you can get raw milk. There's one in Foxboro - may be worth a weekend trek!

  2. Wow, that's wild! Lisa, the things you make are so amazing!

  3. I so want to make yogurt and I would love to find raw milk. One day I will do it!