Is there any knitter out there who doesn't read Norma's blog? If there is, there shouldn't be – she can always be relied upon for a great story, a fantastic sense of humour, top-rate photography, and a healthy dose of down-to-earth environmentalism. So if you don't already read – go check her out! (Also, cute dog pictures).
Anyway, enough of the suck-up blogging. Yoghurt! This was my breakfast this morning, and boy was it delicious:
Actually, that was about half my breakfast. I ate it, then went back for seconds. That's homemade yoghurt, folks, and as thick, creamy, light and tasty as can be. And it's all thanks to Norma, and her lavish praises for Custom Probiotics yoghurt starters.
Given that I'm a sucker for pretty much anything that ferments or does other magical, cauldron-y things on the kitchen worktop, I've had numerous flirtations with yoghurt making. The usual UK approach is to use some supermarket-obtained 'live' yoghurt for a starter, and boy, I've had my share of nasty, pucker-up homemade yoghurt using that method. The kind where you *know* it must be doing you good, because it sure isn't fun.
Most recently, I bought an Easi-Yo yoghurt maker a couple of years back, which is a very simple incubator system, complete with its own brand of powder-based mixes (just add water!). The incubator itself is awesome, requiring boiling water to set up, then no further power to run, but I've never been too sure of the powdered mixes. For a start, they're not much cheaper than the reasonably good, organic yoghurt I can buy in the supermarkets. Secondly, I bet the food miles are horrendous (Easi-yo is an Aussie company). Thirdly: can you say processed? How much energy does it take to sterilise and dehydrate milk, even if nothing weird is added? (I had a few of the 'mango flavoured drinking yoghurt' packages at one point. They tasted nice, but …chemical.) Then there's the packaging – plasticised foil, or foilised plastic, but anyway, about as stubborn as cockroaches and definitely not recyclable.
Oh, yeah – recyclable. I'm trying my hardest to only buy things that come in recyclable packaging, but it's difficult. My local council only recycles some kinds of plastic, which, as it happens, includes the kind that milk bottles are made of, but not the kind yoghurt tubs are made of.
So, when Norma started singing the praises of Custom Probiotics, I started thinking seriously about getting hold of some quality culture, and just using the milk we drink every day to make my own. I have tried, hard, to source some from within the UK, but have failed miserably to find any that I really trust (hmm…). And, you know, if Norma raves about something – I'm going to trust her.
Boy, I'm glad I did. I'm so totally smitten.