Monday, May 4, 2009

Fermentation. Mmmm...

I've discovered the joys of homemade yogurt. It's remarkably easy to make and tastes better than the store bought stuff. I decided to try it after reading an article in the New York Times that I can no longer find, so I can't currently give you the link.

It's simple. Scald a quart of milk. Let it cool to 115-120F. Add 2 tablespoons of yogurt with live cultures, pour it all into a warm bowl, cover and keep warm (115-120F). An oven with the light on is almost warm enough, I turned the flame on a couple of times for 15-20 seconds to keep it warm enough. In 4 hours or so you have yogurt, the byproduct of millions of bacteria breeding and digesting. That's it! It's smooth and creamy and soothing.

When I made yogurt yesterday I strained it to thicken it up some as I didn't let it sit for as long as I should have. But boy, it's good. And it's one of those foods that feels as though it's good for you at the same time.

I like the idea of eating cultured food. This used to be an important part of how people cooked, though not so much anymore. Good, tangy flavors - yogurt, sour dough and sour pickles for example (not to mention wine and beer) - come about from fermentation. We needn't be so afraid of our environments that we stop experimenting with foods like this. I think I'll try sour pickles next. Mmmm....

(c) 2009 Laura S. Packer

2 comments:

Karen said...

My grandma used to "clabber" her own buttermilk by pouring a gallon of regular milk into the top of a plastic cake carrier. Then she'd add a quart of purchased buttermilk and stir to combine. She would then set the mixture in front of the heat register in her dining room and by bed time the whole thing was ready to go into the fridge for consumption beginning the next day.

AlwaysJoy said...

I have a bunch of great pickle recipes, remember last year I went on a make pickles quest... If you want some let me know