Sunday, December 21, 2008

First Day of Winter

Wow. Can you tell?

"Cool! It's like a soft, fluffy bed! I wonder if I stick my face...lalalalalalala...Oh! Sweet Greenies that's cold!"

You know, this time of year, I get busy. Knitting this and that. Yet, because of the time of year, I can't show this. Or that. Because you know. Readership and all...

So. The pickings? They are slim.

Instead, I bring you this -


I have a good friend from India, and she once told me that once you make your own yogourt, you'll never go back to the store bought stuff.

Now. When it comes to yogourt, I'm a finicky sort of girl.

" Mae!..."

"Who said that??? Oy..."

Anyway. I've been known to spend far too much time in the dairy aisle, trying to find the right yogourt that doesn't taste like...well...cow-ass; or, that doesn't have sugar/fake sugar as the second ingredient. Instead, I started going for the plain, organic yogourt, and loved it.

Of course. You have to like plain, organic yogourt. If not. Well.

Then, my friend Puneet told me how she makes her yogourt.

First, you heat the milk.

I use about a litre and a bit (um, I think that's about 5 to 6 cups of milk) of organic 2% milk. Heat it to JUST before boiling, remove from heat, and let cool. It should be cool enough that you can put your knuckle on the surface without scalding and swearing. Or, no steam should come off the surface.

Then, take your "starter" -

I use about 3/4's of a small container of the same brand of plain yogourt I used to buy. You can also buy commercial yogourt starter, but personally, I like using this better. Plop it in a big enough bowl, and smooth it out with a plastic or wooden spoon (no metal...).

Add some of the cooled milk -

...and make sure to mix just enough so that the milk smoothes out the yogourt starter. Keep adding a bit at a time, and when it's done, cover it up with a lid (not too tight though) and a cloth.

Then -

...pop 'er in the oven with only the light on. Shut the oven door, leave the light on, and forget about it for the 16-24 hours. And what ever you do - no peeking! After all, the bacteria are breeding. Heh.

I used to do this in my gas stove - the heat from the pilot light was enough to do the bacterial job.

I put this in at around 8:30am this morning, and I'll take it out tomorrow morning when I get up for work.

And the result? The best damn yogourt this side of Delhi.

Of course. If you don't like plain yogourt, then all of this means nothing to you. Well, you learned something at least. You may be saying - hey Brig, I'm lactose intolerant! Can I still have some of this stuff? Yes! I have issues digesting lactose, and milk proteins, and I don't worry one bit with this stuff. The heating process manages to banish both nasties, and I feel no ill effects.

As a matter of fact, all that good bacteria? Does wonders for the uh, plumbing.

And hey Brig! Doesn't it seem like a long, drawn out process?! Well, it's not! Apart from heating the milk, which I do recommend you watch like a hawk, there's really not much else to it. While it's cooling, you can go off and do something else for a half hour or so. Once cooled, it takes barely 5 minutes to incorporate the milk into the starter. Then the whole oven thing...well, you really shouldn't stand next to the oven for 16 - 24 hours. Unless you want to. But that's just weird.

When it comes out of the oven, let it rest at room temperature for a couple of hours before popping it into the fridge. The consistency may be slightly less firm than you're used to, but the taste? YUM.

So there you go. Brigitte goes all granola on you.

In other news...

You know when they say you should rummage through your closet, and discard anything you haven't worn in the past couple of years? Yeah, well, I thought I should do the same with a couple of WIPs.

Now, you know what? There is a difference between taking a long time to knit something - not because you don't love it - but because it's a project that requires a lot of concentration (like Fulmar); and those that take a long time to knit because, well, there is NO love. Any longer.

Can you guess what these are?. No, not the black paws and long whiskers. We already know what those are and who they belong to.

Those are Arangenser, and Western Seas. *sigh*

You both were making me miserable. I do not believe in finishing something for the sake of finishing it. Especially if I'm on the verge of tears everytime I work on you, and working on you is usually the result of guilt. While I didn't hate you (after all, I will be reusing the yarn, and would rather not burn my bridges with you), I could no longer stand looking at what I was making with you.

And you know what? I actually felt NO pain while frogging them. It was quite...entrancing actually, watching the ball winder unwind the kinks out of those WIP's. Yes, it represented a lot of work, but, I'd rather have frogged them both knowing I could reuse the yarn, than look at the knitting bags gathering dust and pissing me off.

See? Win-win.

And hey everybody!

Happy Holidays to you all from all of us here (meow!)! My Christmas will start in a week or so, however I'll be thinking of you all, and hoping all is well in your worlds.


Marina said...

Hey Brig, my stove is close to 50 years old & the light goes off when I close the door. Can I leave the door open a little? And can I add jam or defrosted cherries?

Poor Arangenser and Western Sea! What do the Vamsegarn and Scottish Fleet want to be, when they grow up?

Lorraine said...

Hey Bridge- With the price of organic yogurt these days, it makes total sense. I eat the vanilla Activia low fat, but I would probably add fruit to the plain stuff.

Good for you, if you're not feeling the love, you frog. It can be cathartic.

Hope you and the dudes have the bestest holiday, and I'll see you in the New Year.

miyamojo said...

I love yogurt. You make it look easy to make.

Yeah, why be miserable. We don't need guilt either. Good for you!
We'll have a good time in 2009! :)

My Little Room In The Corner said...

Well, I now know what is happening at my house tonight. A quick run up to the local health food store for milk and yogurt and my DH will think I am a goddess. Well, he sometimes thinks that anyway. Thanks for the recipe! And, Happy Yule, Merry Christmas, gotta love the snow!

Bridget said...

I LOVE homemade yogurt - it's so much better than even the best store-bought stuff!

And I'm all for starting the new year with as clean a slate as possible, knitting and otherwise.

I hope you and yours have one of the best Christmases of all!

Chris said...

I haven't made yogurt for years - maybe I should give it a shot and see if I can digest it happily. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

And yay for guilt-free frogging. RIP, unloved and unwound projects!

Anonymous said...

"Sweet Greenies" ROTL!

Go, Brigitte! Frogging a sweater where the love is gone is a great feeling. Two? Awesome! I'm w/Marina though, what are they going to be when they grow up now?

My mom used to make yogurt. It was faboo. We like plain unsweetened yogurt. Maybe a little fruit. I wonder if I can get her to make some again? She won't bake bread, the mean thing.

Go vote on my blog. Mary Tudor and I are having words.

Sonya said...

I'm so going to try this yoga making thing. Hurray for frogging projects that don't give the love. No sense in torturing yourself. New plans for the yarn yet?

Merry Christmas, Brigitte!

knitseashore said...

Good for you for frogging the unlovelies. Guilt is not a good thing, esp. when it comes to something that is supposed to be fun and stress-free. :)

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and the Santa Kitty treats everyone well!

carolyninAlaska said...

I used to make home made yogurt too... but then I got too lazy. It's so good though maybe I should try again.
I'm sorry you had to frog Western Seas but I would have frogged it, or never started that one, a long time ago!
I think that lovely blue fleet want to be a gansey! ;o)

Anonymous said...

I refuse to let my husband see this post, he's goign to be making yogurt by the quarts and quarts. Although it probably would be much healthier.

Thanks for sharing!

Nicole said...

Have a happy holiday! Give the Little Dudes extra scritches for me.

Have fun with the yarn! Frogging unwanted WIPs can be so liberating!

kimberly said...

Happy Holidays to you! Home made yogurt is so much better than store bought. You can make it a little thicker by adding a tablespoon of powdered milk to the batch (Organic Valley sells a nice sized bag of powdered milk online) when the milk is still very hot. We stow ours in a cooler with an inch or so of warm water when we make it, and that works very nicely too.

DeeAnn said...

Happy Holidays Brigitte!! and the Lil Dudes of course ;-)

Snoopy Happy Dances on the frogging party!! So liberating. I can't wait to see what you come up with instead :)

Thanks for the yogurt recipe, I'll have to try that. And then yogurt cheese too! Yum!

Traceyleezle said...

Oh I love making my own yogurt! I buy raw organic, pasture fed milk from a farm near us. The.Best.Yogurt.Ever! So, yeah, I totally get you.
Now you need to start making kefir. Mmmmmm. If you love plain yogurt, you will love kefir.