Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Culture

Mrs. Harridan and I frequently chat over the IM. Most of the time, to paraphrase Marge Simpson, we talk about products that we'd like to purchase.

During one such recent conversation, we talked about the possibility of my procuring a yogurtmaker. Not long thereafter, a friendly man dressed in brown arrived at my door, carrying a great big box.

This past weekend, I made yogurt! When I say "I made," I mean I followed 85% of the directions for "easy" yogurt and disregarded the other 15%, and then, the next day, wound up with culturedy-tasting milk, and then I went and took a nap while my mom lovingly cleaned out the yogurtmaker jars, boiled and cooled fresh milk, and prepared the yogurt mixture for culturing. This kind of behavior isn't even considered unreasonable now! Nor is falling asleep IN THE MIDDLE OF A CONVERSATION! Pregnancy has its perks. The decaffeinated tea, sushi ban, and the things that are happening to my torso are not among them (just you wait for my Friday update!), but it definitely does have its perks.

The yogurt that my mom made turned out delicious--smooth and thick and with a nice tangy taste, but not sour, like store-bought plain yogurt. I've been enjoying it with nuts and honey.

But now I need your help! I want to try flavored yogurt with the next batch. What kinds of flavors should I use? I'm thinking interesting combinations of fruits. Any suggestions?

12 Comments:

Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

I think you can see what flavors of jam you like and go from there, since the mashed fruit will not be a dissimilar texture. Since it's still summer, you have lots of choices: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries ... obviously, I personally would go for a mixed berry combo.

I always like strawberry banana. Or you could go all Sabor Latina and do mango/papaya/pineapple.

Can you use frozen fruit when it gets to be winter?

10:10 AM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

I knew a woman who used to flavor her yogurt with maple flavoring..or syrup. And of course...blueberry is really good for you.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Mmm, homemade fruit yogurt! Let us know how it turns out.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

Yum! I don't like yogurt but there's something about homemade yogurt that sounds good. I love strawberries...I think strawberry yogurt would be good, and Field Berry is a big hit with my kiddos. Maybe mixed berries?

Julia LOVES peach yogurt, too. :)

1:46 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

Maybe you could do nuts and honey, since you eat it with those anyway. Even though What to Expect When You're Being Guilted Into Eating a Macrobiotic Diet says no-no to honey - PFFFT! I think the nuts could get soggy, but you could mill them first or use nut meal.

And WG's right on with the maple - you love maple! Right? You could do maple/brown sugar. Of course, it won't count towards the nine (9!) servings of fruit and veg you should be eating daily. Nine! Argh.

Do keep us posted. :)

2:18 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Yes, I third the Maple idea. We get an organic kind of cream-on-top maple yoghurt and it's pure heaven.

Also a little vanilla flavoring is delish, mixed with sliced apples and bananas.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

NINE???????

Oy.

Mixed berries it is. And peach. And every other kind of fruit I can cram in there.

I do love maple, too. That's a really good idea. Perhaps maple vanilla?

2:40 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

I had a friend who used to make homemade cinnamon and apple yogurt. I never tried it but it sounded delish.

4:44 PM  
Blogger ptg said...

Baby food. That is what sweetened yoğurt is used for in the middle East.

The turks taught me to make yoğurt in an ordinary glass pan in a gas oven with just the pilot light for heat. Once you get a tasty strain of bacteria, you can use a little of it to start the next batch.

I have numerous recipes for delicious yoğurt dishes and drinks. None of them involve fruit, sugar or syrup. my favorite summer dish is called Cacik (Ja-jik) and it is a sort of cold soup or salad. (like gazpacho)

1 large cucumber, peeled
1 garlic clove or more
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
2 cups plain yoğurt
3 Tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt or less
3 Tablespoons good olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

Finely mince, almost puree the cuke and cream the garlic, mix in the rest. Let it sit in the fridge long enough for the flavors to develop. Serve ice-cold. Some folks use a blender or processor, but I don't like to get so much air incorporated. You eat it from a bowl with a spoon, like soup.

Yoğurt, (with a silent g as in yo-oort) is part of the whole 'being a Turk' thing. This is a pretty good source of Turkish recipes, many of which contain yoğurt.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Louise said...

I used to make my own yoghurt before moving to China, and in a pinch I would use pureed baby food (fruit flavours, not liver or anything like that!).

It sounds crazy, but natural, unflavoured yoghurt and whole green grapes makes the most delicious summer cooler. You gotta try it to believe it.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous c.s. said...

i'm just catching up on your blog...you're pregnant!!?? just kidding.

the yogurt maker. honestly, i'm still disgusted by the idea. i love yogurt, i eat it almost every day, especially for the bacteria. but the yogurt maker...too much information for me. granted, i don't do well with milk: in my stomach, in my range of vision, in existence. in your case, i get the impression that culturing things and pregnancy don't mix well.

that being said, would you consider carob? you could probably get it in chip form from the natural foods market...back to the land? can never remember the name.

and mrs. harridan -- how about agave nectar instead of honey? maybe that's macrobiotic-kosher. i tried it in my tea when i was in boulder. they like macrobiotic diets there.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

You with the carob, C.S.! I can't eat it. I just don't understand the point. My mouth always wants chocolate and then is woefully disappointed.

9:35 AM  

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