Homemade yoghurt made easy

Thursday, February 25, 2016

So I said I'd tell you how I did this, the homemade yoghurt thing. I know you don't really eat it, but might be worth it for the kids? It's just so much cheaper! And you don't have to read the labels to find a yoghurt without weird ingredients in it.

Okay so in the beginning, I had planned to just switch over to Easiyo. There were some good reasons why:

  1. Cheaper than yoghurt from the fridge section.
  2. You can make it overnight at any time, just by having a stash of sachets in the cupboard. When you live half an hour from town via a highway, and you don't drive in on a daily basis, running out of basics like milk, yoghurt, bread and toilet paper becomes more of an issue. 
  3. We tend to eat a lot of yoghurt. 
  4. For some time now I've only bought a plain greek full fat for the little guy, and plain natural low fat for the rest of us. No added anythings. If we want it flavoured, we add stuff ourselves. So this makes the transition to Easiyo much easier! Of course they have flavoured ones too, but so much more convenient to grab a handful of plain sachets and be done.

At this point you might be thinking, why a blog post to tell me you use Easiyo now? Well this is where things take a turn. I personally found that I wanted a thicker yoghurt. We were used to having a thicker, not pot set, yoghurt. Pot set can separate a little, and isn't always creamy when you mix it back up. I looked up how to thicken the yoghurt, that was easy, just tip half out and strain it for a while in the fridge, maybe 2 hours tops (otherwise you end up with a type of cheese called labne), then mix it back through. Works well. But by then I was off in a wonderland of Easiyo hacks. I found a blog post about making yoghurt from scratch using the Easiyo equipment. Boiling milk, using a starter, I decided that was perhaps a step too far for me, I didn't want to be buying yoghurt to use as a starter, or making it harder than my initial plan.

Then I stumbled across a blog that had the perfect plan, but I can't find it now! I didn't pin it! WHY!!! It's okay, I can remember it, but I wish I could credit the source. So here it is, the perfectly easy homemade yoghurt plan.

What you need:
1. Easiyo thermos
2. 1l of unopened, long life milk
3. 3 tablespoons from an Easiyo sachet
4. half a cup of powdered milk

See there, we are still using the Easiyo sachets, that's the trick to keeping it too simple. By using the longline milk we don't need to heat the milk first, and the milk powder helps to thicken it. Oh and did you notice here I'm using a glass jar? That isn't part of the standard Easiyo kit! But it would be great if they did glad jars, I'd be all over that. This ball jar I bought from Woolies does the trick, but not being a wide mouth is not as great as a wide mouth jar would be. If you have the old Easiyo thermos I hear you can use the wide mouth Fowlers jars, with lid off though, you have to cover the top of the jar with glad wrap to fit it in the thermos. I did have to remove the standard red baffle and substitute in a small plastic container to raise the jar off the bottom of the thermos, but still allow the lid to close. If that's all too much, stick with the Easiyo plastic container. I just started getting a bee in my bonnet about plastic.

The steps are simple. Boil the kettle. Tip half the milk into the jar. Add three tablespoons of the Easiyo sachet. Seal sachet well until next time. Add half a cup of powdered milk, put the lid on and shake it like a polaroid picture. Haha. When you take off the lid and there's no lumps, you are done shaking. Top up the jar to a 1cm (or follow the line marking if using Easiyo container) below the top, gentle shake just to combine liquids. 

If you use the Easiyo container and baffle, pour the boiled water in to the top of the baffle, as normal. If you want to try using the jar, I sit the small container in, add some water so it is filled and surrounded, sit the jar in on top to hold the container down, then top up the water to just under the lip below the screw top.

Then it's just a matter of being patient. Pop the lid of the thermos on and leave it for 8 to 12 hours. It's a big difference isn't it? I like to leave it closer to 12 hours, I get a thicker yoghurt.

Awesome right?! Now I'm a yoghurt novice. If I find that blog post I'll come back and edit this post, because the author had done trial and error, and knew a lot of the whys and wherefore of yoghurt making. All I can say is I've tried a couple of different types of plain yoghurt sachets, and used both skim and full fat milks. All variations worked well. Interestingly, the full fat was not so much thicker or yummier! Going skim here doesn't feel like missing out.


That's it I quit!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I have been workin like a lunatic on my 2ply shawl, keeping up a cracking pace, but niggling thoughts are pervading my determination to get this done in time. 

There are errors in the work:
That's ok, I tell myself, I can fix that. 

Well bugger, that's not meant to be there but it's ok I can fix that. 
Hmm that centre stitch doesn't look right but it's ok I can fix that. 

But then a letter came in the post telling me I have to deliver my work 10 days earlier than I thought I had to...crap! Mr Doh called it, he said 'not this year Louise, next year' 
No I cried if I do five rows a night and more on Sunday I can do it. 
'Nope' he said 'next year' 
And then I pulled my knitting out of the box, intent on fixing those errors and knitting my 5 rows of 350 stitches and then I saw this

That, my dear, is the symbolism of my shattered dreams, otherwise known as a broken needle. 

Mr Doh is right, next year. 

But at least I'll get to fix those botches properly. 

Quick Knitting update #1

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
After casting on last week, I suddenly realised how little time I have to complete my latest lace piece. (I'm pretty sure it has to be completed at least a week before Easter, I'm too scared to look it up and confirm the details). This knitting based terror has resulted in me waking up, on two occassions, at 3am. Both times I got up and started knitting!

I've had a good couple of knitting sessions since then and worked on it most nights.

Anyway here is my progress:

And stretched out so you can see the pattern 

Surprise knitting post

Friday, February 12, 2016
This post is a surprise for two reasons: firstly, I have completed a hat for my favourite little man (but he's not getting it until his birthday in April); and secondly, because I didn't realise that this was going to be a knitting post until about half an hour ago.

Mr F will be 8 in April and like most 7 and a half year olds he is obsessed with Star Wars. I knit this pattern from Ravelry, changing the words from 'THE FORCE AWAKENS' to 'THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE' 

I had intended to enter this into the Royal Easter Show but I'm not sure it falls into the category for "Adult Accessory" and I stupidly didn't enter the one for "Child's Accessory". 

My other knitting news is that the book, that I dithered about buying for about 6 months, is finally here. I recently discovered that I couldn't buy the PDF through Australian Amazon and that shipping from American Amazon cost more than the book... Well screw you Amazon, it arrived today! It was smuggled into Australia by a friend's American relative. Admittedly, Amazon still got my money but it really shouldn't be that hard to buy a book!
Here it is, it is lovely and well worth the effort.
And I have cast on my shawl after freaking out that I only have 35 days to knit a 2ply shawl!

Neon and Neutral Colour Inspiration

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Image Source

I have to tell you that ball of neon (fluoro?) yarn you bought keeps popping up in my mind. It inspired this little collection of neon & neutral images. Purl Soho has the best projects doesn't it? They nailed the neon & neutral colour combination too, in a few variations. Grey, white or an oatmeal/off-white work beautifully with the bright pops of colour. Have you decided what you'll do with the yarn yet?

Super cute beanie from Purl Soho
I've had this granny stripe blanket project on my to-do list ever since I saw it, one for me I guess rather than you, as it's crochet! And hopefully apart from the size of it, relatively easy.

Granny stripe blanket with neon detail

I like this idea of the neon edging. Maybe a neutral blanket (various squares in different stitches, but all in the one neutral colour - so you don't get too bored knitting it!) or dress for miss.k with a neon edge?

I spotted this here
Or maybe not just a little edge, but a big block of neon. This sort of project makes me want to pull out the sewing machine.

Boxy shirt project by Purl Soho

Okay back to your yarn. It's sock yarn I know, so here we go, one last project inspiration, that might be more relevant! Colour blocked socks. I could see the neon for half the sock and the neutral for the other.

Cutest socks ever, over at Purl Soho
Notice how much pink there was here? I know, I'm surprised myself.

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