On Taste

Tuesday night I pulled out my new yogurt maker and decided to give it a spin (there’s no actual spinning – just a warm water bath). I definitely need to find a better, easier, faster way to prep the milk, because my way was much too long, awkward, and messy. Regardless, eventually the 2 pints of milk eventually got up to 180*, then went into a cool water bath to get down to 114*, and then went in the Yogourmet. And then I waited. For four hours. Which wasn’t supposed to be a long time, considering that I started at 5 pm. However, the time it took me to prep the milk meant that the yogurt wasn’t going to be ready until 11. See? I told you I need a better way. (The wheels in my head are already turning.)

Presto-chango, at 11 (not at 9, when things looked very unpromising) there was yogurt where there was once milk. The container was quickly moved to the refrigerator (I was tired and wanted to go to bed), where it was supposed to chill for at least 8 hours. Unfortunately, 8 hours ended at 7 am the next morning, and I left for work at 6:30. [Does it seem wrong to anyone else that the time between when I go to bed and when I leave for work is less than 8 hours? Add in half an hour for reading and/or falling asleep, because it takes me quite a while to fall asleep, and you’ve got a very sad amount of sleep.]

So, finally, last night after dinner, I pulled out a small spoon and grabbed the homemade yogurt. I was… hesitant, probably because I had no idea what it was going to taste like (ingredients: milk, powdered milk to replace lost milk fats in the 1% milk, and yogurt starter). Hrm. It did not taste like what I wanted it to. Think… sour cream, without the sour. Definitely tart. Very creamy, but not what I wanted to eat. I made try some. We decided that it indeed tastes like what it’s supposed to, but that we do not like plain, unsweetened, unflavored yogurt.

Not a problem. I’ve already found at least one interesting way to flavor the yogurt during the process (vanilla beans in the milk as it heats! brilliant!). There are lots of suggestions on the internet of how to sweeten homemade yogurt, though there are also a lot of people who apparently like to eat it plain. Who are these people? Do they not like sugar? One very valuable thing I’ve learned is that the plain yogurt can be used as a substitute in many baking / cooking ventures, which would be nice if I ever again have kitchen adventures. Tomorrow I will try it as suggested, with honey and granola (I almost always eat my yogurt with granola, so that’s no change), and see if that works. Many of the other suggestions involved fruit preserves or other forms of fruit, which, if you know me, you know that’s not happening.

Tonight, however, I’m going to work on thickening the yogurt, Greek-style, by removing the whey, using the very cute bag that was included with my yogurt maker. Its called the yogurt cheese bag. Hehe.

Maybe some of the people coming over on Saturday to make potstickers will want to taste my homemade yogurt (? I know you’re adventurous when it comes to food). I think my next batch will be 1 pint instead of 2. Why did I choose to experiment with the large batch? I’m not sure. Sometimes I just jump into these things feet first.

That said, I have 8 different potsticker recipes to evaluate before making a shopping list. Clearly we’re not jumping into that one. (I am, after all, taking several others with me. It’d be irresponsible to make up a couple hundred potstickers for other people to take home without doing at least a little bit of research. Wait until you see the “how to fold a potsticker” tutorial I found. It’s amazing! Hope it works!)