Have I mentioned I miss my cow?! I so want another one. First, however, fencing. I know. I know!
In the meantime, I’ve been getting a gallon of raw milk every week from Jersey Girls Farm in Gassets, Vermont. One of the things I do with it is make yogurt for Frank to take to work for lunch. I make plain yogurt, and send him with stuff to add when he eats it, like fruit, jams, nuts, honey, etc.
I like to make it in half-pint mason jars for easy transporting.
I start by sterilizing all of my stainless steel cheese making stuff from when I had Elly. (I miss my cow!) I don’t have a dishwasher, so I boil water in the pot, add my whisk, the mason jars, my ladle, and the bits of cheesecloth that I use on top of each jar for straining.
Then heat one quart of raw milk to 180°F. Immediately put the pot into cold water to stop the cooking, and cool it to about 120°F. Then whisk in a small container of your favorite plain yogurt with active, live cultures. I use Fage. (Most weeks, I use yogurt from the previous batch, actually, but start over about every two months with a new one or it starts to get too sharp for my taste.)
Pour into the half-pint mason jars, place cheesecloth over the top, and screw on the metal lids. Then set in a warm place for eight-ish hours or overnight. I like to use the dehydrator – it has a setting for yogurt and everything, and my house can always use a little extra heat, it seems.
When it’s nice and thick, put in the icebox overnight or another eight-ish hours, then place the jars upside down on a metal rack over a bowl. My mixer bowl works well, and I like to keep the whey that drains out to feed to my birds instead of throwing it away. In warmer weather, I mix the whey with lemon juice and maple syrup for a tasty lemonade.
Ta-da! Nice and thick yogurt, in small containers, easy as can be. No plastic involved!