Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Yogurt

Last night I made 1/2 gallon of yogurt before bed. I used the Wonder Box that I made earlier this year. You can learn more about Wonder Boxes and find a pattern for one here. I made two Wonder Boxes so that I could use it for two batches of cheese or whatever I wanted to do at the same time.
Wonder Box with lid on top.
Wonder Box with the lid to the right
A Wonder Box is basically a bean bag chair for pots. It is an insulated 'box' that will keep food warm for a long time. Last night when I checked the temperature for the yogurt it was 100˚ F, this morning it was 95˚F. Not too bad for 10 hours. If I thought the temperature needed to hold a bit warmer, I would have heated up a rice bag that we store in the freezer for a cold pack.
 
It doesn't say on the pattern, but a Wonder Box should be made from 100% cotton material. You could probably get away with a poly/cotton blend, but any fabric that might melt would be a bad idea. You can check to see if a fabric would be safe to use in a Wonder Box by taking a scrap of the fabric and burning it with a match. If the fabric melts instead of burns, don't use it for a Wonder Box.
Wonder Box inside the plastic tub. The yogurt is inside.
I like the Yogourmet starter for my yogurt. I know you can use regular yogurt from the store if it has live cultures, too, but I like the flavor this starter has.
I buy my starter from the local health food store, but you can purchase yogurt starter online, as well.
Here is what the yogurt looked like right before I took it out of the Wonder Box. A friend gave us the idea of storing and using the Wonder Box inside a plastic tub. It works very well. I've also used it inside a square laundry basket. Having the Wonder Box inside another container makes it easy to move. It is also necessary if you are planning on bringing it to a Pot Luck dinner with your dish inside.
Our favorite way to eat yogurt is to mix it with fresh strawberries and a bit of honey. Our yogurt is made from goat's milk, of course! Vet2Be likes his yogurt a bit thicker than regular home made yogurt, so I add a bit of Ultra Gel thickener for him when we mix the yogurt with fruit and honey. Yummy!

9 comments:

Busy Grandma Elsie said...

You make me wish I was young again with my family at home to cook good stuff for.
Yummy stuff and strawberries ...to swoon for... I would love blackberry's in it too.
Enjoyed a lot. Elsie <><

Crooked Shade Farm said...

You mention a pattern for the wonder box, but where is it found? Inquiring minds would like to know...

TJ said...

It's linked in the first paragraph :) You can copy and paste this link, too.
http://ourldsfamily.com/wonderbox/

Thanks so much for stopping by!

goldensolitude said...

How much yogurt can you put in the wonder box at one time? It looked like you used only 1 qt. jar. I would want to make more than that.

TJ said...

I use 1/2 gallon canning jars to make yogurt. It looks like a quart jar in the photo, but it's a 1/2 gallon jar.

I'm pretty sure I could fit a 1 gallon jar in there if I wanted to. I can fit my 8 qt stock pot in there, too, although I have to take the Wonderbox out of the plastic tub and set it on the floor.

smartwool said...

You can also strain your yogurt in a cheese cloth to thicken it like Greek yogurt.

TJ said...

@smartwool, you are absolutely right! Many people don't realize that Greek Yogurt is just strained yogurt. Save the whey for baking bread!

goldensolitude said...

8 qt stock pot? that is great! I ordered some organic twill and it is supposed to be here Monday. I can't wait to make the Wonder Box and start using it. I just received a Sun Oven, so I have great plans for reducing my use of electricity.

TJ said...

Yes, it holds an 8 quart stock pot :) But it only fits if I take it out of the plastic tub.