Lately, I’ve been on a yogurt-making kick. Every few years, I decide to try my hand at yogurt making, but get frustrated when my yogurt doesn’t turn out as thick, smooth, and tart as I’d like it to be. Inevitably, I go back to buying my favorite yogurt at Trader Joe’s like a normal person. Making yogurt is, in theory, a simple process: you slowly heat milk to 210˚and then you let it cool to about 115˚ and then you stir in a little bit of yogurt and then you try to keep it sort of warm for several hours while it incubates and magically turns into yogurt. Nothing too complicated, except that the milk tends to burn, especially on the bottom of the pan, as it comes up to temperature. This means a lot of stirring. So, I tried the crock pot thinking that maybe the milk wouldn’t burn. But it did. Then theres’s the issue of consistency. I’ve made lots of runny, lumpy yogurt; it tastes fine, but is not as satisfying as a nice thick European-style yogurt. I read that adding a little powdered milk can help thicken the yogurt, and this does indeed work. You can also add gelatin, but, in my mind, this defeats the purpose of trying to make a simple yogurt with just milk and a yogurt starter. If you have any yogurt-making secrets, please let me know.
When you have a couple of big jars of homemade yogurt in the fridge, it makes a darn fine kid lunch. Yogurt + jam + Crazy Good Granola = awesome lunch. Or, awesome breakfast. Or, awesome snack. You can call it a parfait, which sounds fancy. You can serve it with some nice fruit. And perhaps a little roll with aged cheddar cheese like a packed in the lunches today.