Trans-Foods

I have realized that the foods that I really enjoy making are foods that involve some sort of physical, chemical, or biological transformation. This started many years ago making breads. Over the years, I discovered pop-overs (physical), sauerkraut (biological), caramel (chemical), and now yogurt (biological).

Because these foods involve transformation, and because this is a trans related blog, we will call them Trans-Foods.

Yogurt

I make a gallon of yogurt each week. This yogurt is as yummy as any regular or Greek store-bought yogurt I have tried, and the total cost is the price of a gallon of milk (three dollars and something here in Pennsylvania, in fall of 2014).

You will need:

  • 1 gallon of milk (start with a half-gallon, or a quart the first time, if you would like)(I use skim)
  • a few tablespoons of starter culture (this can be any store-bought yogurt that says “live cultures” on the label, or else a little held back from your last batch of homemade)
  • a pan with a lid and a heavy bottom (I usually use my dutch oven)
  • a warm spot
  • a cooking thermometer (I use a candy thermometer. Strictly speaking you could do without this, because it is very apparent when the milk is at the right temperatures. But I love measuring things.)

Steps:

  1. Heat the milk to at least 185 degrees Fahrenheit: this is frothy stage. Stir the milk so it does not scorch. (For skim milk, I have read that it helps to hold the milk between 185 and 200 degrees for 15 or 20 minutes, which changes the protein structure of the milk, and makes yogurtier yogurt. Whatever the reason, this trick works for me.)
  2. Let the milk cool below 120 degrees. I just leave it on the stove top for an hour or two with the lid cracked.
  3. Mix in your starter culture.
  4. Allow the yogurt to work in a warm spot for eight hours or so. Overnight, maybe. The key is to keep the yogurt warmer than body temperature, yet cool enough not to kill the culture. An old oven with a pilot light is great. Or throw the pan in the oven with a tea towel over it, then turn the oven on for a few minutes every few hours. A dutch oven is great for keeping a stable temperature.
  5. When you open the lid, you will know that the yogurt is done by the smell!
  6. Spoon the whey off the top. Mix up the ‘gurt, and divide it into containers.
  7. You can get a greekier yogurt by straining some water out. Cheesecloth is funny stuff to work with. A clean towel or pastry cloth can work better. Experiment.
  8. You can get the richest mostest yummiest yogurt cheese by draining most of the liquid out, overnight.

Apple Sauce

1.  Stop at a farm and buy some yummy apples.  They do not need to be supermarket-ugly-beautiful.  Just apples, blemishes and all.  I bought a peck of Smoke House apples for $6.

The equipment

The Equipment

2.  Put a dozen of the biggest nicest apples for eating.  Put aside another dozen big apples for pies.

3.  Chop the remaining apples into quarters, and throw them into your 13 quart pot with some lemon juice.  (13 quart pot, where would I be without you?)

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4.  Cook covered on medium heat for an hour or so, until they are mushy.

5.  Run them through a food mill.

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6.  Can as recommended in your U.S Department of Agriculture canning guide.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. soibrandz1
    Nov 30, 2014 @ 12:48:30

    Nice recipes content thanks….

    Like

    Reply

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