Well, this morning I bounded into the kitchen (I blatantly didn't bound. It was 8am.), and peeked into the Thermos. Lo and behold, all that friendly bacteria had spent the night busily growing, breeding, building tiny cities, inventing religions, creating rudimentary systems of economy, fighting wars - and in the process turned my boring old pot of cow juice into delicious, creamy yoghurt.
It was just the right consistency, smooth and spoonable and actually tasted better than the poncy Yeo Valley Organic stuff I'd used as a starter.
Now, a less adventurous sort would stop there. Not me. Oh no. I decided to take the process one step further. I know. I live life on the edge. Stop reading now if the excitement is getting too much.
I decanted half of my yoghurty winnings into a pot to have as it is. The other half I put through a muslin cloth and left to strain while I went out for a few hours, thusly:
(I have included the above picture as it makes me look like a proper cook who actually has things like muslin, sieves, and ambient yet sensual kitchen lighting).
When I returned I had - ta da! Greek Yoghurt! Well, Greek style I guess - I should clarify that before herds of irate Hellenic types start pelting me with olives.
It really is as yummy as the expensive stuff from the supermarket - if not more so. I've mixed mine with honey and it is divine. It'll be lucky to last till morning.
Here are the yoghurt babies:
The one on the right is not half eaten. That is how much Greek yoghurt you get from the same amount of ordinary yoghurt. The other 50% is whey. I've heard that you can use this in place of milk in scones or bread, but that's an experiment for another time.
Here's the thing. This was probably the easiest bit of 'cooking' I've ever done. All I did was make milk hot, let it get a bit cooler, then leave it for a number of hours. Bit it's funny how the simplest things are the most rewarding. Look at that warm snuggly feeling you get from baking bread, for instance. Making something very basic out of other, even more basic things. It's brilliant, like magic.
I think everyone should knit their own yoghurt. Dairy alchemy: it's the way forward.
EDIT: Things I learned about yoghurt knitting
- Fishtank thermometers only go up to 40 degrees and are thusly useless for yoghurt knitting, which is an oversight on the part of the manufacturers, in my opinion. 50 degrees can be measured by sticking a clean finger in the milk. If you can hold it in there for about 10-15 seconds before it gets to the 'Ow, that's quite painfully hot now' stage, it's about right.
- The milk powder addition is essential if you want a nice thick yoghurt.
- The whole 'skipping gaily downstairs to have fresh yoghurt for breakfast' thing doesn't work. When you open the Thermos, the yoghurt will still be warm. Warm yoghurt is rank. Science fact. Put it in the fridge and have it tomorrow.
- I still don't know how you're really meant to spell yoghurt. Does it even have an 'h'?