12 April 2012

Self reliance and the yoghurt jar

Now that the hot weather is over for another year, I'll have to bring my maturing yoghurt inside again. I've had great success over summer making yoghurt and leaving it outside on the warm verandah. I really dislike buying new equipment to make something we use here at home. I don't want any new appliances or gadgets here. I prefer to find a way of doing what I have to do without bringing in the specialist piece of equipment. Most of the time, it's easy to find a way.

When you make yoghurt, the milk needs to be held at a warm temperature for a few hours - or overnight. That temperature is easy to reach when you're warming the milk, so if you can keep the temperature constant for a few hours, you'll have yoghurt. Leaving it outside in the warmth works well. A warm day will give you the temperature you need, and often you don't need to leave the jar in the sun, it just needs to be sitting on the verandah in the warm air.

This is what I do. When the yoghurt is made in the usual way - there is a post here about it - I pour the warm yoghurty-milk into a warm sterilised jar. It's vital the jar is warm. Then I wrap the jar in a flannel sheet and place it outside in a warm area. It doesn't matter if it gets some sun on it occasionally, but it doesn't have to have the sun beating down on it. At the end of the day, I bring it inside and check the yoghurt is made. It's then stored in the fridge.

But now that the cooler weather is here, I have to find that warm space inside. Instead of flannel, in winter I wrap the yoghurt jar in a woollen blanket, then leave it on my laundry bench top all day. If the day is particularly cold, I might place the wrapped jar in a warm oven in the afternoon, but usually, just the woollen blanket is enough.

So if you've been thinking about buying a yoghurt maker, try this method first. You'll save yourself some money and increase your self-reliance at the same time.

If you've been following my cheese making ventures, you might be interested in this photo, taken yesterday, of the two camemberts made a couple of weeks ago. This is the white mould growing on the cheese. They smell divine and I can hardly wait to try them. It will be a couple of weeks more before we will taste them.

Hello to Sarah and Tim, thanks for sending the photos. Good luck in your new home.
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