Monday, July 27, 2009

Making yogurt and a little of the harvest

I've now got my yogurt making routine pretty well down. And it's such a good feeling to be making this myself. It sure cuts down on the plastic to be recycled! And since I've been able to find grass-fed, low-heat pasteurized, un-homogenized milk from Sky Top Farm, we've got a healthier, tastier yogurt! I'm diggin' the french canning jars I got. They work really well for making cordials as well as making yogurt.

I'm using a starter "bulgarian" I found at the New England Cheesemaking site. And I have a very low-tech process.

I heat 1/2 gallon of milk in a stainless steel double boiler to 185F while stirring. Meanwhile, I've filled a small six-pack cooler with hot water – about 120F, and close the lid. I've also sterilized my jars by pouring boiling water in them to the top (and in the lids as well) When the milk is at 185F, I remove it from the heat and cool in an ice-water bath in the sink until at just 120F. That's when I add either the dry starter or approx. 1/2 cup of yogurt from the last batch. I use an old-fashioned egg beater to make sure the milk and starter are well blended. Then I pour the boiling water out of my clean jars, pour in the yogurt, close the jars, place in the cooler, checking that the water is still between 110F and 120F and only comes up to just below the lids. I close the cooler, wrap in a towel and let it sit for about 7-8 hours. The yogurt is not as thick as store-bought but very tasty.

We like our yogurt thicker so I place the jars in the fridge over night, to stop the culturing process. Then I pour the yogurt into a butter muslin lined strainer placed in a pitcher to catch the whey. I fold the butter muslin over and cover with a plate, weight with a jar and place in the fridge. A few hours makes a greek-style yogurt and a day makes a rich creamy yogurt cheese. delish! my favorite is throwing some raspberries fresh from the garden in the thick yogurt and drizzle with a little local honey. A scrumptious snack!

And as for this week's IDC challenge:
Plant Something:
Planted some raspberry and borage transplants

Harvest Something:
Picked the last of the peas and started prepping the bed for cabbage and mezuna, picked raspberries, and lots of beans. Harvested the last of the garlic.

Preserve Something:
Froze raspberries and green beans. Bottled another batch of raspberry cordial. Braided the first half the garlic crop for storage. Hung the second half the crop for storage.

Waste Not:
Michael brought another bag of clothes for donation. Whipped up a peach/blueberry cobbler with some peaches that had started going over to the dark side.

Want Not:
Picked up three chickens from the local farm (meat CSA) for our freezer. Had one today. Delish!

Build Community Food Systems:
Bought eggs, greens and chickens from the local farm. Talked with a friend about "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle".

Eat the Food:
Cobblers, salads, chocolate chip zucchini bread, turnip green fritatta, garlic green beans

And a few gratuitous shots of the garden...

A lacy dill flower

A an echinacea bloom

Stay cool!

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