There I was standing in the health food store minding my own business when a woman opened up the refrigerator and pulled out a tub of Liberté Greek Yogurt.
I couldn’t even believe she did it. She stood there, right in FRONT of me, holding yogurt. To purchase. I mean, I don’t want to say there was something wrong with her, but clearly … there was something wrong with her.
To do that and not expect to me to jump right up in her face and start telling her about how she can make her own yogurt, is insanity.
INSANITY I SAY.
I tried to be kindda cool about it, but 3 sentences into my inspirational diatribe on how she could make her own yogurt, I realized my speech was getting really rapid and maybe a touch too animated for anything outside of a meth amphetamine lab.
I … I can’t help myself.
I once stopped a lady in line at Costco to tell her she shouldn’t be buying pre-cut stewing beef because it’d end up making her stew gross instead of delicious. Go buy a blade or a cross rib roast and cut it up I told her.
These things always happen when I’m by myself because no one will go shopping with me anymore.
So, the woman with the yogurt. I spent a couple of minutes telling her how easy it was to make yogurt, and how I was actually going home right that second to make yogurt myself. As I was telling her the 2 temperatures she had to remember, her eyebrows scrunched together and she appeared to be trying to commit them to memory. Either that, or she was trying to memorize my facial features.
I skipped out of the store, confident in the notion that I had either supplied this woman with a life changing recipe, or gave her a really good story to tell her family. Or the cops.
As I mentioned, I just can’t help myself. I’m not being a know it all, I just want people to do things better, smarter, cheaper. I want everyone’s life to be more enjoyable.
And homemade yogurt is a one way ticket to an enjoyable life. It really is.
I only started making this a few weeks ago and I’ve managed to make exactly 14 billion batches in that time.
You can use whole, 2%, 1% or skim milk.
I always use homogenized milk. (do not use ultra pasteurized)
To “activate” your yogurt, you need 2 Tablespoons of plain yogurt with active cultures. Just look for the words probiotic or active cultures.
Heat your milk to 180° F (until almost boiling) over medium heat. It won’t take long so keep an eye on it.
Once your milk has cooled to 115° F, stir in 2 Tablespoons of active plain yogurt.
Stir well until combined.
Pour your milk mixture into a glass jar. I use a large mason jar. Put a lid on it.
Your yogurt has to stay at 115° F for the next 6-8 hours. Overnight is best.
So. How to do this? Well some ovens have a warm temperature that will keep the oven at 120° F. Heat your oven to this temperature, then put your yogurt in the oven and turn OFF the oven. Leave the oven door closed with the yogurt inside for 6 hours.
If you have a big enough insulated thermos, you can just put the yogurt in the thermos, wrap it in towels and leave it.
Or you can do what I do. I put my mason jar of yogurt into a cooler, fill the cooler up with hot water from the tap (hottest possible) and close the cooler. Let it sit for 6-8 hours.
For extra insurance, I wrap the cooler in a towel.
Once the milk has sat for 6-8 hours like this, you will have yogurt! You can either put it in the fridge as is (your yield will be 4 cups) or you can make Greek Style yogurt, which is what I do. I love a good, thick, creamy yogurt.
To make Greek Yogurt, after letting your yogurt sit for it’s prescribed 6-8 hours, just pour it into a cotton dish towel or cheesecloth and allow it to drain over a bowl in the fridge for 1-2 hours. You’ll be amazed at the amount of whey they drips out. Once it has drained, just scrape the yogurt out of dish towel/cheese cloth and stir it up well with a whisk. Your yield will only be 2 cups of yogurt, but it will be a smooth, rich, delicious Greek Yogurt.
You can either eat it plain, stir in some honey for sweetness or top it with a dollop of jam to make a fruit yogurt. Of course, you can also put the jam on the bottom and top it with yogurt, creating a fruit on the bottom yogurt.
I always remove 2 Tablespoons right away and put them in a little dish in the fridge. That way I know I have my starter for the next batch of yogurt.
I really hope that woman I accosted went home and made yogurt. She admitted she’d better go home and do it right away, otherwise she’d forget about it and never make it. And I could see she really wanted to. Honestly.
The woman in Costco with the stewing beef? Maybe not as impressed with my food exuberance. As I mentioned. I can’t help myself.
The grocery store to me is the airport to the Hare Krishna. Even though I’ve never actually seen a Hare Krishna anywhere let alone at an airport. They’re probably at home because they’re all bunged up from not eating enough yogurt.