Just thought I’d follow up that last canning post with a few instructions. Making yogurt is super easy, ya’ll – wish I’d been making it ages ago. Woulda saved quite a few bucks during my smoothies kick, lemme tell ya.

1) Pour any kind of milk into a clean jar. I used some organic whole milk, because I like me some butter. Moo. (You can simmer the milk first if you like; I didn’t.) I used an old pickle jar that a friend gave me for canning that – alas – cannot be reused for actual canning because the lids won’t reseal properly and may infect you with the botulism. Ah, well, they work great for things like refrigerator pickles, dressing, and yogurt.
2) Stir in a heaping spoonful of any plain yogurt (room temperature) that proclaims “Active Culture!” on the side.
3) If you like thicker yogurt (homemade tends to be runny) add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dry milk. I tried to find fatty dry milk (see moo above) but could only find nonfat.
4) Leave at 100 degrees for seven hours.
5) Leave in the fridge for a week or two.
6) if you want it thicker, tie it in a double or triple layer of cheesecloth (I used a strip of gauze from a dress of mine) and hang it over a bowl for an hour or more. This is also how you get the whey out of cheese, by the way. I saved my whey – I’m not sure for what yet. You can boil it way down to make gjetost, or you can pickle feta cheese in it. Some people drink it.
7) Flavor (or not) and you’re done! Use jams, honey, or mashed fruit (brown bananas work great).
8) Don’t use up the entire jar – remember you need to carry over a tablespoon or two of this yogurt over to make your next batch.

I’ve heard you can also do this process for cultured buttermilks. I like the idea of a jar full of buttermilk that I just keep in the fridge, use when necessary, and top up with regular milk whenever it gets low. Sure would beat having a whole half gallon to use up (and go bad) at once.

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