Recipes for Useless Men 1 - Yoghurt
How to Make Yoghurt
We men are generally quite useless in the kitchen. Unless of course we put our mind to it for a bet, or we become professional chefs, or if we are married to a Goddess-in-Human-Shape who can’t boil an egg to save her life. In the latter case, with starvation staring us in the face as the only other alternative, we decide to learn how to cook.
As a busy lawyer and also a university lecturer in “Economics in Law”, my wife felt that the simple art of cooking did not somehow acquire a priority status in her life and resolved the problem by eating out. And then she made the mistake of marrying me.
Her attempts to cook for me have been of a tragic-comedic nature to say the least, usually ending in tears for one of us. Me. She, on the other hand laughs with pleasure at the various dishes she prepares, thinking that she has actually achieved something impressive and will eagerly sit watching me to make sure that I am enjoying her culinary skills.
After loosing 16 kilos over a relatively short period of time, and having spent all my savings in restaurants, I have decided to investigate the possibility of experimenting with other people’s recipes and I have discovered that it is not that difficult really.
I like yoghurt, so that was the first thing I learned how to do and I am now the champion yoghurt maker of the world, bar none. Knowing that there are other poor chumps like me out there, and in the spirit of Manly Brotherhood, I intend to share what I have managed to learn, starting with yoghurt, as follows:
We men are tinkerers and general handymen of one level or another, so by bringing our skills to the kitchen we can find ways and means to resolve problems in a practical, efficient and economical manner. Therefore, do not be surprised when I tell you to go to your local supermarket and obtain two scrap corrugated cartons for free, ideally 3-ply, one smaller than the other. In other words, one carton must be able to fit inside the other. If you have a cooler, then it will do just as well.
While you are at the supermarket, buy two to four litters of milk (half - one gallon for those across the pond) and one Greek style yoghurt to use as starter for making your own. This is the last time you shall have to buy yoghurt. Low fat milk is just fine, if you are on a diet.
· Start by putting one corrugated carton inside the other, after first putting any reasonable insulation between them at the bottom. Sheets of corrugated carton will do for this purpose.
· Put one old, double folded blanket inside the carton, with its ends protruding on all sides, leaving a space in the centre.
· Put some of the milk in a bowl and add two or three large spoonfuls of yoghurt and leave it aside at room temperature.
· Heat the rest of the milk, but DO NOT boil, as by boiling you will kill the necessary bacteria required to actually make yoghurt.
· When you see bubbles beginning to form on the top of your milk (about 85 degrees centigrade - 185 F), switch off the heat and pour the hot milk into one, two or more containers. (Not metal containers). I used two large glass or ceramic containers.
Milk & Starter
· When you can put your finger in the milk without being scolded, your milk will be about 45 degrees centigrade (113 F). As a rough guide, if you leave your containers uncovered, your milk should reach this temperature in about 20 minutes.
· Take the bowl of milk and yoghurt you have put aside and pour the contents in the containers with your warm milk.
· Cover the containers with plates and then put them in plastic bags.
· Now lift the plastic bags containing the milk containers, into the space formed by the blanket, in the middle of the corrugated carton. Wrap the blanket all around teh containers, creating insulation.
· Leave for 8 – 12 hours, depending on how sour you want your yoghurt. The longer you leave it the more sour the yoghurt will be.
· If it is winter, put the carton against one of your central heating radiators.
· When you take out the milk hours later, you will see that the milk is still a little warm.
· Place the containers in the fridge for two or more hours.
· Put a clean kitchen towel over a sieve and hang the sieve hooks on the edges of a large bowl.
· Poor the yoghurt from one of the containers into the towel which is over the sieve. Return the yoghurt to the refrigerator.
· The longer you leave it, the more liquid will drain off and the thicker the final yoghurt will be. Also, the longer you leave it, the easier the yoghurt will come away from the towel. If want thin yoghurt, you will have to scrape it off the towel with a spoon.
· If you are like me and you like thick yoghurt, then you will end up with half the milk you started out with in the form of yoghurt. In my case, I start out with four litters of milk and end up with two litters of yoghurt each time I make it.
· Remember to save some of the yoghurt to use as a starter the next time.
Do not be fooled by the long list above into thinking that this is at all difficult. On the contrary,, it is dead easy. If a useless man like me can do it, then anyone can. And the strange thing is that I now enjoy a sense of achievement, every time I make something in the kitchen.
In case you are raising goats in your backyard and you want a more professional approach to making goat cheese, there is a clever child who specialises in goat milk yoghurt by the name of Joy At Home and you can visit her to learn how. Also useful if you wan to learn about gutting a chicken.
The next thing I learned how to do was bread, and I hope to be able to describe this to you at another time.
I am sure that you will have pleasure from visiting some of my own favourite authors on HubPages, who are:
Zsuzsy Bee, Gypsy Willow, _cheryl_ , Joy At Home, lisadpreston, Feline Prophet, Lee B, glassvisage, jcwin228, sunflowerbucky, tonymac04, IzzyM, Merlin Fraser, Internetwriter62, gaming-guru, Ladybird33, Nicole Winter and i scribble.
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“Go West Young Man” has already been done, so if one is to give Advice to Youth one must try to think up ways and means to keep Youth from falling asleep during the advice giving process.