Monday, August 8, 2011

making yogurt in secret

Speccy and Jane must never know that I'm still making yogurt. Jane says it's one thing that's not meant to be homemade, while Speccy says I'm ruining good jam by adding it to something healthy. They must surely be right, being wise and wonderful women both, but what about my fragile self-confidence? What about that? Besides, if the Railway Children have to make do with butter or jam, but not both, while their father is in prison, accused of a crime he didn't commit, the least I can do in sympathy is to be frugal. Who is with me on this?

[secret homemade yogurt]

My first attempt was in my mother's 1970's electric yogurt maker. It's the perfect electrical appliance, utterly simple, has no controls and does not threaten to download iYogurt apps. The yogurt turned out beautifully, creamy and with a natural tinge of fresh sourness.

So then I tried to make yogurt on the range, the old-fashioned way. You can do it too! Here's how:
Heat some milk until it is starting to simmer.Let it cool down, pour it into a glass jar along with a tablespoon of powdered milk and a tablespoon of your favourite natural yogurt. Sit the jar on a corner of the range overnight. By morning, it has become yogurt. Cool it in the fridge, add some jam or fruit and sugar, and serve.

[wonderful Scottish Husband has bought a copper saucepan so that I may heat milk in great dignity]

I like my homemade yogurt a lot. Shop-bought yogurt can be a bit unctuous and samey; this tastes more natural and always turns out differently. Once the initial excitement has worn off, I'd better not make it too frequently in case medical science later finds that overconsumption causes complacency.


  1. I like this idea. When you say "a tablespoon of your favourite natural yogurt" what do you mean by natural? What makes a yogurt unnatural?

  2. I used to have one of these yogurt makers of the 1970's. Wish I still had it, because my attempts at making the stove top in a pot kind have all failed. Yogurt is one of those things that is so expensive in the stores and really not if you make it yourself.

  3. I'm not so fussed about the yogurt - but I want one of those saucepans, and I want it now (but unfortunately we don't live anywhere near a shop that would sell such wondrous saucepans!!)

  4. Ah, this post takes me back.... back in the '80s, I used to make my own yoghurt all the time (Denise, 'natural' means unflavoured and unsweetened, and it should be 'live' yoghurt too) in the airing cupboard, covered with a clean cloth to deter certain cats. Come to think of it, deterring certain cats sort of summarises the '80s for me...

  5. ooh that looks delicious....I wish I had a warm place!!

  6. ooh that looks delicious....I wish I had a warm place!!

  7. Mise, next you be making ice cream. I've been making my own, tossing in bits of biscuits, cake, even rhubarb pie.

    Can you really leave a milk product out of the fridge overnight?

  8. Chania, I guess the live cultures fight the baddies and win. I've been watching the facial moisturizer ads so am well up on science.

  9. I love it. Secret homemade yogurt on your secret blog. The next thing will be that PFW is only open to invited readers only! That has happened to me already with blogs I follow and I have been excluded!

    How's this - because you obviously want to do it so much I hereby give you permission to do it in the open. Please proceed.

  10. I like the idea of homemade yougurt - homemade always tastes better than store bought in my humble opinion. I have some Greek yogurt in the fridge which I am going to use to make frozen yogurt. I might have to learn to make my own yougurt for it. xx

  11. Hi Mise,
    Well, I now feel totally inadequate ( OH, I have just realised that I have made a play on words as TOTAL is a brand of yoghurt !!) as I don't make my own yoghurt. I can remember when I was young ( just about !!) when, the only yoghurt we could buy was from the milkman, and it was either natural or strawberry but, it was really good yoghurt. It came in glass jars and was very thick.
    You will be telling us next that you tan leather and make your own shoes !!!!
    Thanks for your comment today. Actually, some of the violence is quite near to me although, hopefully, not on my doorstep .......I just hope that it calms down soon. XXXX

  12. It sounds so simple. And the copper pot is truly lovely. {Such a nice Scottish husband.}

  13. iYoghurt apps? Have I missed something? Am I missing something?
    Stand proudly by your yoghurt Mise! xx

  14. yogurt homemade is great - that way you can have yogurt with a little bit of jam with the kids for pudding and then when they go to bed you can have jam with a little bit of yogurt for second pudding.
    soldier on I say.
    what colour ribbon should yogurt makers proudly wear I wonder?

  15. What ambition!!! And love wonderful Scottish husband's wonderful contribution to the process...

  16. I am quite envious of your new copper saucepan! But I have never made my own yogurt. I always forget about yogurt - when does one eat it? It does not stave off hunger pangs, it is therefore an insufficient breakfast or snack (for me, at least - I have a voracious appetite). I suppose I don't see the point of yogurt. I like it, and would eat one if offered, but it never occurs to me to buy one. Perhaps I shall buy one on my way home today - I am feeling extravagant.

  17. Whoa, I didn't know it was so simple to make yogurt. It seems as though neglect is a major component of success. Even I am capable of leaving the milk out all night...

    Maybe I'll have to try this, since the supermarket yogurt doesn't satisfy, on account of the aforementioned sameyness. Also, I've always had the sneaking suspicion that American yogurt is especially inauthentic and dumbed-down.

    By the way, that copper pan is a beaut'. Well purchased, SH.

  18. I have decided that I will never make yoghurt. I just cannot compete. The pressure of having to live up to such high standards is, quite simply, too much. I will, however, live vicariously through your yoghurt making adventures.

  19. There is no peer pressure in blogtopia, so you must make your yogurt.

    If people are offended by the healthy nature of the homemade natural yogurt you must advise them to stir in too much sugar and pieces of fudge and to store it in their fridge just beside their goose fat and behind their bacon jam. That solves that problem.

  20. Whew! I was afraid I was the Jane who had forbidden you to make yogurt.

    I thought I had been sleep blogging again and being very bossy while doing so.

    I'm wiping the dew off my forehead in relief.

    I still have my birthday yogurt maker in kitchen cupboard.

    Perhaps I'll put in on the counter and I'll start sleep yogurting?

    xo jane

  21. You make your own yogurt? That's quite stellar. I have never even thought of making it...I just might give it a go. Your yogurt portrait is lovely by the way.

  22. Given the style of the yogurt saucepan and pot, and the 'ignore it' nature of its creation, you may just have won me over.

    Go forth and procreate probiotics

  23. I'm so very impressed! and not only with your mad yogurt making skills but also with your Scottish hubby for getting you that beautiful pot...he must like the yogurt too!
    xo J~

  24. "in case medical science later finds that overconsumption causes complacency."

    Hahahaha! I love yogurt and I remember when those first machines came out. Wasn't a fan the, however. Now I'm stuck on the Greek yogurt.

  25. This is a very Indian (dot not feather) thing you are doing here Mise. Very important to stir intention into the yoghurt (no, I am not kidding).
    Whether it be child's exam success, husband's increased income or own inclinations, it must be uttered, out loud, in the final stirring. Again, I am not kidding!
    Oh yes...step away from that 70's machine.

  26. Thank you, you have inspired me to try making yoghurt again- I had quite a few disasters but will give it another go now...

  27. Is that Bonne Maman I spy nestled into that frugal yogurt? Very lifestyle blog.

    I must add my nutritionists penny to the pot though. Dried milk? The process that milk goes through when it is dried damages the cholesterol and other fats, turning them rancid. Rancid fats cause inflammation and cellular damage. My suggestion would be to either slowly and gently evaporate your milk before adding the culture - to produce a thicker yogurt, or add cream in place of the dried milk to make a greek style yogurt, or strain your yogurt through muslin once you have made it for 12 hours in the fridge to produce thicker, dripped yogurt and 'whey' which you can use to soak grains, make probiotic pickles and lacto-fermented ginger beer with.

    There - lecture over. x x x


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