Finding Alternatives to Genetically Modified Food: Using Yogurt as a Base

Okay, I’m back from an extended, although, unintended break. Planning the posts in this series has been problematic for me. First, I thought following the progression of breakfast, lunch, dinner made sense. Then, I thought about what areas are the easiest to find alternatives for to give instant success and what areas are the most difficult. I’m now at, for me, a difficult area. Mayonnaise, salad dressings, dips and sandwich spreads from the grocery store are rife … Continue reading

Cajeta (Mexican Caramel) – To Stir or Not to Stir…

Perhaps, this dilemma is not imbued with the despondent urgency as Hamlet’s original question. Still, for those of us who love the rich flavor of cajeta but find it hard to devote so much time to making it, the question opens up some possibilities. What happens if we refuse to stir? First Try – Lots of Stirring My first attempt at making cajeta involved a lot of stirring while reducing a gallon of milk over medium low heat. That … Continue reading

Junket!

If you have a dairy animal, you know what it’s like to be overwhelmed by milk. Some days it’s hard to stay on top of the supply. Especially, if changing it into another product, like cheese, is going to take much time. As I was looking at all the jars of goat milk in the fridge, I wondered what else I could use it for. Something simple. Something I hadn’t tried, yet. Then it hit me…junket. … Continue reading

Reusable Yogurt Cultures

One of my frustrations with homemade yogurt is that you can only use your yogurt a few times to start new batches. It seems to lose its ability to ferment the milk properly. Then it’s off to the store to buy fresh yogurt for starter or buy the freeze dried packages from a dairy supply. How did the people in ancient times replenish their supply? I wondered how authentic my yogurt really was.
Then I stumbled upon reusable yogurt cultures at Cultures for Health and learned there are different types of cultures. I’d been using direct set cultures that are good for a few times only. Reusable cultures can go on indefinitely. Now we’re talking. An heirloom culture is a third type that is reusable & has a distinctive flavor and consistency. Like an heirloom vegetable variety. I was intrigued.
I used their dandy chart to choose my culture. Bulgarian was my choice because it is reusable & the most popular culture in the world. I figured it must taste great.
It came with thorough instructions that even included some recipes. But, I failed to read the troubleshooting section that explained that temperatures above 112 could cause the culture to die. I was going to incubate the yogurt as I usually did on a heating pad inside a cooler. My programmable probe thermometer finally gave up the ghost after years of use, so I had no way to tell how warm it was inside the cooler. Seven hours later it appeared to have been too warm. I had a solid mass of yogurt in the middle of a lot of liquid.
I had to use my second packet of starter and begin again. This time I took a small styrofoam cooler & surrounded my starter jar with other jars filled with 110 degree water. I put the small cooler inside the larger cooler & filled the gaps with wool. Success!
вкусен кисело мляко! That’s Bulgarian for yummy yogurt. I might never have to buy another culture again to have the best tasting yogurt I’ve ever made. I should say I may never have to buy Bulgarian culture again. There are several others on that chart that I might want to try.
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