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A Need for Precision

I am having more problems making yogurt.  It took me several failed attempts before I realized that my little yogurt maker is not working correctly and is not holding the yogurt at the required temperature.  Since the machine has no indicators on it, I don’t know exactly what that temperature should be.  I have done a little more reading about making yogurt and tried a bunch of different options but keep having failures.  This week, thinking I had the problem solved, I made 4 liters of yogurt at once.  It all failed.  What a pain!  The result is a curd and pale green whey mixture that simply doesn’t appeal to me to eat.  Most of it will go to the dogs and some will be used for baking.  Or perhaps I’ll try hanging it in cheese cloth and mixing in herbs and making some kind of savory cheese spread.

The biggest problem (I think) I am facing is that the incubating mixture must be kept at a certain temperature in order for the correct bacteria to be dominant.  Since my little machine is no longer working and my house is quite cold, I haven’t found a way to keep the temperature high enough for long enough.  I even tried putting the yogurt jars into a pot of hot water and then putting the pot into an insulated cooler.  That is supposed to work, according to websites I’ve read, but it didn’t.

Some cooking endeavours can be successful with a casual approach, while others require a considerable amount of precision.  Sourdough bread and yogurt are two that fall neatly into the latter category. My goal today is to do some more in-depth research into making yogurt and then babysitting my new batch in hopes that it works.  I’m also getting some sourdough going as well as I’m almost out of bread.  Good thing I can work from home a few days a week.  This sort of undertaking would be impossible otherwise.

First, I’m going to get the woodstove going because it is freezing in here!  The temperature did a big dip last night and this morning I woke up with three border collies curled up against me on the bed.  I guess that’s what they mean by a “three dog night”!


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