Are you a yogurt fan? I know it’s good for you and I’m Greek so I’m supposed to love it right? For me it’s kind of a love-hate relationship. How so? Let me explain.
My grandmother used to make yogurt in her kitchen with milk and cultures from a previous batch. She would put it in an earthen jar and wrap a sweater around it to keep it warm while it became the creamy, delicious yogurt that you could eat plain or with just some honey added.
When I grew up, I made my own yogurt using her recipes but I used a thermos instead of an earthen jar and sweater. And it was delicious. I used it in place of sour cream. I used it to make dressings. I drained it through a strainer to thicken it. (Thus becoming Greek yogurt) The only time it was sweet was when I added honey. Fruit was a no-no.
So, fast-forward to my busy today life. I don’t make yogurt anymore. And my refrigerator is a yogurt graveyard. There are containers of every brand sitting there just waiting for their sell by date to expire. I don’t like any of them. Every time a new flavor or kind comes out I buy it. I take a few bites, grimace and then toss it in the circular file. (Trashcan)
So after my latest purchase of “Greek” yogurt with the limited edition flavor of chocolate mint, I can it after a few forced bites and vow to never to buy another “new” flavor again. Sorry yogurt makers everywhere. Who are you kidding anyway? Yogurt does not and never will taste like a slice of Boston cream pie!
But it is good made into a tzatziki sauce for Gyros. It’s delicious as a substitute for sour cream on baked potatoes. It’s wonderful to use when making dressings for salads. And if you must have it sweet a dollop of honey is just divine.
1 quart of milk
2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (starter)
Bring starter to room temperature. Pour milk in a heavy pot. Heat milk till it reaches 180 degrees on a candy thermometer. Stir so no top skin forms. If you don’t have a thermometer, let the milk come to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool to 110-115 degrees or when you hold your little finger in the milk for a slow count of ten, the milk has cooled sufficiently. Thin the starter with four tablespoons of cooled milk, add to the pot and stir to blend. Pour mixture in a wide mouth thermos, cover and leave undisturbed for 5-6 hours. When mixture has reached a thick consistency, refrigerate. If your want it even thicker drain in a strainer over a bowl.