Last year around this time, I attended a Cheesemaking 101 Workshop with the Cheese Queen in South Deerfield, MA. It was a fascinating mix of young and older people and several stood up and declared that the workshop was on their bucket list. I thought it was very interesting however, it did not make me yearn to make cheese on my own. Sometimes it’s just as valuable to learn what you don’t want to do. I have a sincere appreciation for the artisan cheesemakers out there but I’m not patient enough to make aged cheddar, nor do I have the desire to buy any additional equipment since my house is so small. I’ll stick with the 30-minute mozzarella when the mood strikes me, thank you very much.
I did learn about how easy it is to make yogurt using the Yogotherm that I purchased at the workshop. Since last year I’ve been fermenting a batch of yogurt (with the DS sweet culture) almost every week. My son and I eat it for breakfast every morning. Did you know that studies show that the bacteria in yogurt communicates to your brain from your gut? Yogurt might even reduce anxiety and stress. The probiotics in yogurt could actually boost your mood. Simply put, yogurt makes people happy. I know that it makes me happy when I eat yogurt for breakfast. My ideal breakfast is homemade yogurt with fresh berries drizzled with local honey. I also like that I can control the amount of sugar that my son consumes when he has yogurt. I use about half a teaspoon of confectioners sugar and vanilla powder for his breakfast and he loves it.
Making yogurt is really quite simple. You heat milk to 185°, then cool it to 110°, pour it into the Yogotherm, add the culture (either in the powder form or as some of the previous batch of yogurt), stir and cover for 10-12 hours. Refrigerate to halt the fermenting process and enjoy once fully chilled. It really is such a quick and simple process that I’ve even made a batch in the morning before heading to work so it was ready by the time I got home in the afternoon.
I would recommend attending the cheesemaking workshop if you are interested. Ricki holds the workshops in a large room in her victorian home and provides a delicious lunch which features many of the cheeses you learn how to make. The only thing that was a little strange was since Ricki is bothered by artificial scents she asked us to smell our neighbor and ask them to wash up if we could smell something on them. I don’t think anyone was brave enough to sniff the strangers in the workshop. I understand the request to not wear anything scented since the workshop is being held in her home.
Now that I’ve shared my love of making yogurt with you I have a favor to ask. This month I started another blog… a project that I hope engages my whole family. So far it’s been great fun and we have a long list of ideas for future months. I’d love for you to visit A Month of Something and provide some feedback. What kind of collections do you have? Why do you think we collect things?