Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What to do with a bushel of grapes.

Concord grapes ready for jelly! A fun fall activity thanks to the generosity of my friends the Weavers, yet again. Although this will be my first attempt, so we'll see how fun it really is. If you come to visit me and my kitchen has mysteriously turned purple, you'll know why. P.S. It's forecasted to SNOW tonight! Do you think that will help my jelly set? :-)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Greek Yogurt... attempt number one

This isn't very good for my track record.  The second cooking failure in 2 months!  And I post it on the internet anyway!  :-)

A few weeks ago, I tried making greek yogurt "from scratch".  I didn't think it would be very complicated because it only has two ingredients: whole milk and yogurt.  Look at that, it's not even "from scratch" because the recipe itself calls for yogurt, which, if you don't have a starter going, must be bought from... the store.  The recipe I had was pretty simple.  Steam the milk, pour into a bowl and cool down a bit, then add a few tablespoons of yogurt and let it do its thing.  Here's how it all went down(hill):

First, I prepped my equipment (bowl - check!, strainer - check! and cheesecloth - check!).  Next I brought the milk just to a steam, but not boiling.  I was feeling pretty comfortable with this step because I've made ice cream oodles of times, and this is an integral step to ice-cream-making.  Check.  I poured the hot milk into a bowl to wait for it to cool.  After a few hours (guesstimating...), I added the live yogurt and covered it with a damp tea towel.  The bowl sat out overnight to... cure?  To cultivate... cultures?  Not sure what that little process is called.  But you know... do its thing. 

The next morning, I poured the mixture into the strainer, although I was puzzled because it looked awfully thin and very non-yogurty.

Aaaannndd... I was right.  I got to this stage in about 2.6 seconds.  Not good.  I was left with a few dabs of yogurt in the cheesecloth and a whole bowlful of.... cultured milk!

This is my attempt at showing you how thin the milk was, by swirling the bowl with one hand and trying to operate my camera with the other.  Kinda psychedelic.  What do you do with yogurtish, tangy, creamy, perfectly good milk... hmm... what to do...  

Well what did you think I would do?  Make ice cream of course!

This concoction turned into some pretty tasty vanilla frozen yogurt with strawberry sauce swirl and walnuts on top.  All's well that ends well, right?

Eat well!