Friday, August 12, 2011

Yogurt Making & Other Creations

Today I decided that I would attempt to make my first batch of yogurt with my newly acquired yogurt maker (see my August 7th post).  FYI, you don't need one to make yogurt, it just makes it easier to keep the temperature even.  I started off by looking up some YouTube videos on yogurt making, watched a few,  then read the directions from the package of "Yogourmet starter" and felt like I had enough information to get started.
The ingredients, milk & yogurt starter..........................
The supplies are very basic, something to measure the milk, a pan, a spoon, a candy thermometer, containter(s) to put yogurt for "fermenting", and a place/method to keep it an even temperature for "fermenting".  

After measuring the milk, in my case 4 cups, I poured it into the pan and put the heat on low.  I started very low and went a little higher (but still in the low range), you only want the temperature to reach 180 degrees, not boiling. 

Stirring, drinking, and reading................

It is important that you stick around while it is heating, you need to stir frequently and check the temperature.  After it reaches 180 degrees, you take it off the heat and let it cool to approximately 75-80 degrees.  I used a packet of powdered starter (the Yogourmet), I took out a little of the cooled milk and mixed the 'starter' into it.  After mixing well I poured it back in with the rest of the cooled milk.  (Sorry, I forgot to take photos of this part)  Then I poured the milk mixture into individual small jars and placed them into my yogurt maker.  I set mine for 9 hours.........stay tuned to see how it turns out. 

There are MANY variations and I am sure that I will be "tweaking" my batches each time until I get it just right.  You can use a yogurt with live active cultures instead of a "starter" packet, there are also other cultures you can purchase.  You can use whole milk, 1%, 2%, skim, or raw milk, the number of hours you let it set in the maker will also vary depending on your taste, a lot of this process is personal preference.  If you have always wanted to try making your own do some research and go for it!

Earlier this morning I made some Pizza Sauce with some tomatoes that were ready from my garden.  I did cheat and use a store bought mixture to add to the tomatoes (Mrs. Wages brand),  it tasted pretty good.  That was in the canner while I started the yogurt.  It only made 4 pints, but was a great use of a small amount of tomatoes!

Another experiment that I started at the end of last month.........

No I didn't start drinking, it's Homemade Vanilla..........consisting of a fifth of vodka and 4 vanilla beans, I cut the beans "open" before I put them into the bottle.  Now I just need to wait a few months to use, it is already smelling like vanilla..........Considering the cost of a tiny bottle of store bought vanilla this is going to be relatively inexpensive.  The vodka cost 10.00 and each bean was $2.50,  for a total of $20.00 I would say it's a bargain! 

Later I hope to finish up at least two more quilted bags for Kathie's Challenge, I have one done and the supplies to do two more, maybe three if I can round up a couple more strips for the straps.  The bags will be donated to our local chapter of Caring Unlimited (domestic violence program) where in turn they will be given to "new arrivals" filled with necessities!  Of course in my usual fashion I procrastinated only have this afternoon and evening to finish them up (we have known about this challenge for several months).  At least I have one done in case I don't get the others finished, or I can just drop them off to Caring Unlimited myself.


  1. I love yogurt and you have me thinking seriously about getting a yogurt machine.

    I love the bag and I'm sure the person who receives it will love it too.

  2. Have you tried yougurt before or is this your first time

  3. Denise, you certainly have been productive! I have been making my own vanilla for a few years now. Let me just say, once you use your own vanilla you will never go back to "store bought" again. Hope you are enjoying your summer, I'm ready for fall! Hugs, Julie.

  4. I never thought of making my own vanilla! What a great idea! :0)

  5. Love the cause for yor bags, Denise.

    Would you be so kind to (& tell your friends) comment on my BLOG ONLY (emails don’t count), for the Miracle Makeover fund drive. Charlie, 8 yr. old, & his story are fabulous. Every comment brings us a $1 for the next person that will be sponsored.

    Have a beautiful weekend.
    TTFN ~

  6. TYSM Denise. You are so sweet to do this. My blog ~

    Have a lovely week.
    TTTFN ~ Marydon

  7. Denise, you are definitely a "Susie Homemaker". You are doing so many things in the kitchen and sewing room these days. I think yogurt making would be a neat thing to learn to do.


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