Monday, April 18, 2011

Home-Made Yogurt

One of the thing I've been doing in the Excalibur dehydrator is home-made yogurt. It's pretty simple, tasty (when I don't make a mistake), easy to make with limited ingredients, and I know what's in it.

I start with a pot and 1L of milk (usually one bag of whole milk), and most of the time I add some milk powder (1/4 cup or more, optional), which results in firmer yogurt. Whisk thoroughly, then heat:

Heat that up to 180ºF and either let it start cooling immediately or hold it at that temperature for a little while, say twenty minutes. Some recipes seem to feel this helps convert the milk proteins to make them suitable for yogurt, although I don't find it makes a huge difference.

Let it cool down to 115ºF. Take a ladle-full out, mix in one of these:

  • a package of yogurt bacterial culture

  • a few tablespoons of commercial yogurt with active culture

  • a few tablespoons of your previous batch of homemade yogurt

I usually start with the bacterial culture, do three or four batches in a row using one batch of yogurt to start the next, and then go back to the commercial culture. Some recipes recommend that you avoid using your own culture too many times in a row in case you end up accidentally culturing something else along the way, something that you don't want to be eating in quantity. I'm not convinced that's totally necessary, but commercial cultures aren't terribly expensive, so I don't mind going this route.

Whisk the mixture thoroughly, then return it to the pot and whisk the mixture into the milk thoroughly, then distribute into jars:

This is a reasonable time to add a little sugar, honey, maple, vanilla, if you like. Don't go overboard, you can always add more sweetener later if you like. Put the jars in the dehydrator at 115ºF for four hours to let the culture do its work:

Check on them, if they don't seem firm enough, or you decide you want a very tangy yogurt, you can let it sit another couple of hours in the dehydrator. It won't be at its firmest yet, and there may be some whey at the top. That's ok:

Cap and chill the cans in the fridge, for a while, perhaps overnight. It'll firm up further, as well as cool down:

At this point it's at it's firmest, and is "set" yogurt. If you want to mix in some additional sweetener here you can. If there's whey, you can pour it off or stir it in. If you mix it at this stage it becomes "stirred" yogurt, which many people prefer:

If you want, you can put your yogurt in a cheesecloth or coffee filter overnight to drain some of the whey out, at which point it will become Greek-style yogurt.

Finally, eat, or feed to your children:


Sly by diathesis
Sly, a photo by diathesis on Flickr.

This is C's "sly" expression when he's trying to see if you're watching him without you noticing that he's checking. It's fleeting, and hard to catch on film, but in this case I was shooting through an "EZ-Fort" while he was checking out Grandmama, so I don't know if he knew I was there.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Christophe's Third Birthday

It's taken me a month to process the photo's, but C's Third Birthday was a good day:

He enjoyed himself, and his three guests (we decided to try the 'one guest per year' approach). There were chocolate cupcakes and lots of fun. Pierrette had been talking about spreading the gift-opening out, one per day, to encourage him to enjoy the gifts individually. It sounded like a good idea, but I can't report on how it worked, because somewhere along the way she caved and he got to open them all.

Three years already. Hard to believe. C is now 40 lbs and I forget the height; I think Pierrette said 97th percentile on both weight and height on his last doctor's visit. We're trying to decide how to incorporate bicycling into the summer, and at 40lbs, C is leaving the weight class of many rear seats (although some go up to almost 50lbs). I'll let you know what we end up doing.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

TTC Yard

One of the absolute free things The C monster loves to do is watch trains. I think we can spend hours here just waiting for a subway train to emerge from the tunnel. Most times we get to see a few. If we can make close to when rush hour starts then well you will get to see lots...

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Location:Oakvale Ave,Toronto,Canada

Meet my new front yard

We have been working on my front yard for a while now. We plan on planting some herbs and veggies in the garden patches.
Here is the result....

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