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I finally gave up on my old yogurt makers from the 1970s. They were five-container Saltons I’d picked up at garage sales during the back-to-the-land era. Sometimes I would get good yogurt from them and sometimes I didn’t–mostly at the end I just didn’t!
I started to look around for a new yogurt maker and found one “new” in the box with a new unopened thermometer and a muslin bag for straining yogurt into cheese at my local St. Vincent de Paul store for about $13.
I’m hooked on Greek-style yogurt and make it thick and mild from whole milk and a single half-cup serving of plain yogurt from the dairy aisle at the local grocery store. I mainly eat it with fruit and granola with a drizzle of honey and a few tablespoons of sliced almonds on top–Breakfast of Champions!
My new yogurt maker works very nicely, and I’ve fine-tuned just how to get the thickest Greek yogurt without straining it or adding gelatin or milk solids (I let it come to a boil. It’s often a mess, but it works for me.)
Until I discovered my boiling method, I had a few “failures.” The worst one was a batch that I couldn’t even strain into a thicker product. I couldn’t bear to pour 2 quarts of it down the drain (which would have been the acme of foolishness anyway)!
I ended up using my soupy yogurt a couple of different ways–mainly as a substitute for buttermilk in cooking our Saturday morning pancakes. I also used it to make a fruit lassi drink in the Vitamix to go with some chicken tikka I made for supper one evening.
If you are getting used to a new yogurt maker, don’t throw away your failures.