A few months ago, I blogged about the yogurt culture that I bought from Cultures for Health. Unfortunately I let it die, and got lazy and started buying yogurt again. I thought about buying another culture, but I was still randomly having the yogurt turn out runny (I'm pretty sure it was due to the cold-ish temperatures in my kitchen) and it was frustrating me a little, so I started looking into yogurt makers.
I really don't like "extra" kitchen appliances. Especially ones that sit out on the counter. I'm sure that they make life easier in a lot of ways, but I'm obsessive about decluttering the house so things like that just don't belong in my kitchen. I was debating if I REALLY wanted to deal with all those individual jars and parts...clutter, clutter, clutter!
That being said...I broke down and bought a yogurt maker. But it's not your typical "plug in and let it sit" yogurt maker. It's an Easiyo! You are technically supposed to buy their powdered yogurt starter and use that, but here's what I did instead:
Pour milk into the jar. Put some yogurt in. Put on the lid and shake. Boil some water, pour it into the outer jar (NOT in with the milk!) up to the line. Put jar (with milk and yogurt) into the outer jar, put the lid on, let it sit on the counter for 8-12 hrs. I think it actually says you can be done in about 6 hrs, but I think it seems to get thicker when you let it sit for longer. It made the THICKEST homemade yogurt I have ever made. It also got the approval of 3 little yogurt connoisseurs who said it was the best homemade yogurt yet (okay, 2 out of 3 said that...the other 1 just ate very enthusiastically).
Easy, minimal parts, electricity free (well, if you have a gas stove, or another way to boil the water), consistent results, and GOOD. Plus it's pink! I used a quart size canning jar, but the plastic jar is BPA-free and food grade. The plastic jar on mine was cracked on arrival, and I don't think I want to deal with sending it back in since I would probably opt for using a glass jar anyway.
Bacteria, Part 2.
I attempted lacto-fermented vegetables.
I found a REALLY easy lacto-fermented carrots recipe, and since I have a bunch of whey leftover from making cheese, I thought I would give it a try. YUM. They are so good. They taste like dill pickles, and they are just the right crispness after about 4.5 days of fermenting on the counter. It's definitely going to be a repeat recipe. Preston, Archer, John, and I all liked them. B only took one bite, but he didn't say anything negative so I'm not sure if he didn't like it or if he was just in one of his non-eating moods.
I'm now on a quest to find some more easy lacto-fermented recipes so let me know if you find something that looks good/easy/interesting...especially if it's appealing to kids like the "Pickle Carrots" (as Preston calls them).