so i've been experimenting with making my own yogurt. i love yogurt and i love being frugal and i love knowing what ingredients are in my food. not that i always follow those rules (the frugal and ingredient knowing) but it makes me happy when i do it. so i've read a lot about making your own yogurt. i've tried it. in fact, i've tried it three times. all were successful, but last night's was the best. the first time i tried it i used a hot pad and number 10 can to insulate and warm it (can't find the site i used for direction). i failed to realize my heating pad would go off periodically, though, and it took longer than i'd intended. also that technique only made one quart. last week i made it using the crock pot. that technique may have been my worst, but there were a few factors that played into its failure. i shouldn't say failure, it just wasn't ideal. anyway, last night i tried the cooler technique. this was the most successful, but it was also the longest i've cultured it - pretty much 12 hours. last night's was a double success because i made plain yogurt and greek style. the greek one was just a starter i got when smith's was doubling coupons so basically i got a cup of yoplait greek yogurt for free. i'd tried greek before with the crock pot, but my store bought cup of yogurt was near expiration and i think i cooled the milk too much. i didn't use a thermometer. i liked last night's technique because it incorporated a thermometer. by the way, i always just use powdered milk since i have a lot of it on hand.
at this very moment i have my plain yogurt mixed with some failed strawberry freezer jam in my cuisinart ice cream maker. hooray for ice cream treats whenever i want! i'm excited to see how the frozen yogurt turns out. there's plenty of sugar in there from my failed jam, though, to make it decently unhealthy in case you were concerned. and no, there's no story in the failed jam. just that it's come in very handy for mixing into our breakfast oatmeal along with a banana or two. i think i may fail at jam more often - no guilt about using it up.