Cooking Day

Today was a cooking day in spite of being busy. It rained, which kept us inside, but even still there were things to cook for dinner and snacks. It is time again to make granola bars but that will be on the list for tomorrow. Maybe in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast.

I made 2 qt of yogurt, 7 cups of garbanzo beans and a pot of soup (with some of the beans). All of these items required minimal input, time-wise, from me. Having the right tools helps but you can make them all with basic kitchen supplies. I have been fortunate enough to receive kitchen gadgets as gifts.

The first item, yogurt, is very simple to make. You can do it without a specific device to incubate the yogurt but having one takes the babysitting and guesswork out of the recipe. To make yogurt you bring the milk up to 180 degrees to sterilize it. Then cool it to 108-111 degrees, add yogurt culture (this can be powder or just plain yogurt from the grocery store that has live active cultures) and then keep the mixture at 108-111 for 4-8 hours. That’s it! You can add sugar, vanilla, honey or other flavorings but I prefer to do that after the yogurt is made. That way I can feed it to the kids without making separate batches. This is the maker that I have Yogourmet Multi 2 qt but there are others out there. Some that make individual cups and others that have a 1-2 qt container. You can even make it in your oven or a thermos if you watch the temperature yourself. I also purchase the powdered starter to have on hand (Yogourmet Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter, 1 Ounce Boxes (Pack of 3)) Or, you could just use 8 oz of yogurt from the grocery store (or save your own!) Be prepared, homemade yogurt tastes totally different from the store kind. It is yummy and I can make organic whole milk yogurt for half the price of the store bought kind even with using local grass-fed milk.

We’ll talk beans and soups another day. For now, I’ll let you get your yogurt started.

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