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June 13, 2012 / RA


Making my own yogurt
Remember when I proclaimed that I hate yogurt? As it turns out, I hate storebought yogurt. Shortly after I wrote that post, I found a method of making homemade yogurt using lowfat milk and a small container of yogurt as a starter. I don’t know why it tastes better to me and doesn’t bother my stomach. After all, it’s the same exact culture. It makes no sense, but I’m not arguing because it’s half the cost of buying the cheapest Greek yogurt, and it only takes a half hour of hands-on time. I use this method every week like this:

  • I use a half gallon of generic 1% milk.
  • For a starter, I use a small, 6-ounce generic Greek yogurt every 3 weeks. In between, I use about a half a cup of my own yogurt as a starter.
  • For incubation, I turn on my oven to Warm for 1-2 minutes, shut it off, put the milk (with yogurt starter and wrapped in a towel) in the oven, shut the door, and turn the light on. I have the best results when it incubates for 14-15 hours, so I do this overnight.
  • I drain the yogurt through a coffee-filter-lined wire strainer for a couple of hours and end up with 32 ounces of Greek-style yogurt.

Between the yogurt, granola, and chomping our way through an awesome weekly CSA produce share, I asked JG at one point, “Is this the year we become hippies?” Perhaps.

Listening to more audio books
Now that my drive to work is much longer, I’ve stocked up on books on CD from the library to pass the time. These are the ones I’ve enjoyed the most in the past month of commutes:

Right now:

On my library list to reserve in the future:

Any audio recommendations out there?

Stockpiling sugar cookie dough
I signed on to make sugar cookie favors for my SIL’s bridal shower in July (hearts with yellow and gray polka dots), and I’m planning on bringing patriotic cookies to the beach, per usual. It’s hard to estimate how much dough each project will take so I’m making a batch of dough every weekend to prepare. As long as the butter is soft, it takes me about 20 minutes, including clean-up, and when it’s all said and done, I’ll have 6 batches at my disposal. The freezer is slowly filling with pale yellow, plastic-wrapped discs of dough, lying in wait to be cut, baked, decorated, and devoured.

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  1. Jane / Jun 13 2012 10:10 am

    My mom used to make homemade yogurt when I was little. Mostly because in the 1970s it wasn\’t as readily available and more expensive. She had a styrofoam cooler with a light bulb put through a whole in the side that provided the heat. How funny is that. She also shopped at the food co-op. Again because it was cheap, but I like to think of her as WAY ahead of her time.

  2. Janelle / Jun 13 2012 11:54 am

    What do you put your milk in (other than a towel and the oven)? I tried a crockpot method once and it wasn’t such a win, so I’d love to try your method.

    • RA / Jun 15 2012 6:43 am

      I have a glass batter bowl very similar to the original poster that I use. It’s microwave safe, so I just warm up my milk in it, and after I cool it and add the yogurt, I stick the whole thing in the oven. I think a glass bowl with loose-ish plastic wrap would work, too. Maybe a casserole dish?

  3. Merrick / Jun 13 2012 2:19 pm

    Wow, look at you, making your own yogurt! Impressive!

    And I really want to try my hand at sugar cookie making sometime soon…

  4. Anna / Jun 13 2012 7:09 pm

    Oooh thanks for the book recommendations!

  5. Mary Frances / Jun 13 2012 9:01 pm

    OK, you’ve inspired me. I’m trying the yogurt tonight. I’m also listening to Quiet on audiobook! Go team! If you want a quick audiobook, I love switching it up with PG Wodehouse. I’ve heard that Mindy Kaling’s memoir (is that the right genre?) is really funny on audio as well.

  6. audrey / Jun 14 2012 4:55 pm

    Listening to audiobooks on your commute is such a good idea! My office is looking at moving out of its current ghetto-rific location, and it’s possible my commute could get longer as a result. If that happens, I’m definitely going to give audio books a try.

  7. Saskia / Jun 17 2012 12:58 am

    I loved The Professor and the Madman. Also The Wednesday Wars.

  8. Janssen / Jun 21 2012 4:09 pm

    SO glad you liked Quiet. Anything by Malcolm Gladwell is a good listen!

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