Tuesday, May 5, 2009


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!


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 <><

Joy Metcalf 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.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sister Janet of Beit Mery Hermitage 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!

Sister Janet of Beit Mery Hermitage 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.