Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How Not to Make Yogurt (or) So Easy a Monkey Could Do It

I should entitle this post "I Am a Doofus" because when you read this you'll agree that's what I am.

Long ago my mother had a yogurt maker and occasionally made a batch and I thought it would be a great thing to try for myself. I started with this Make Yogurt in a Crockpot recipe which not only claimed to be easy but cost effective for achieving great mounds of creamy yogurt goodness. However, what the recipe doesn't tell you is that to succeed you must have enough intelligence to remember the word "yogurt" without being distracted by the first shiny thing you see.

It's all about heating milk--which I'm quite capable of doing--but the hard part comes when you have to remember that you've got it going in the crock pot. The first batch I started I began heating it and then somewhere along the way I forgot about it and the whole batch was ruined.

So I tried again the next week and heated up another batch. Sure enough, I forgot it again and ruined it.

Third time I set timers, picked a time when I could be around to give it my full attention and I STILL forgot it and ended up ruining yet another half gallon of milk. The fourth time I tried it I was actually able to see the project through to completion but I must have done something wrong because the yogurt was hardly thicker than the whole milk was when I started and hardly tasted like yogurt.

My conclusions? That at the bottom of the recipe there ought to be a little asterisk that says *Caution, you may end up wasting enough milk to produce forty-seven batches of yogurt if you're as stupid as Michelle. Cost-effective for all but the very lowest on the IQ scale.

Sponsored by Forty Fish Eggs

28 comments:

Jennifer said...

So does this mean you forgot to add the yogurt bacteria?

Patricia Linehan said...

I swear I'm not laughing at you, but with you...hopefully you're laughing about this. :) Reminds me of the time I tried to make fudge and ruined about 10 batches before finally giving up. The cookbook labeled it "EASY" but apparently it wasn't easy enough for me.

Bee said...

I'm going to try this. I think I'll wait until the weekend, though. Not that I would forget or anything like that. No, not me.

Kathy G said...

I'm going to try this too. I LOVE a challenge!

Flea said...

We should let Mr. Monkeysuit try it. I'll bet he'd do a great job!

My mom had a yogurt maker when I was growing up and made it all the time. It was wonderful! Maybe Ebay has one ...

Kristen M. said...

No yogurt for you :(

I made yogurt for the first time this summer & it worked out great. (I too was inspired by the crockpot recipe but I made mine in a pot on the stove.) Unfortunately, I was the only person in my home who actually liked it. I'll probably make it again but being the only one who ate it, I can't say that it was life-changing.

Heart2Heart said...

Michelle,

Even though I am an avid yogurt lover, I can't see tackling this project on. I guess I'll still be picking mine up when it goes on sale at the market.

Glad to see at least you gave it a try.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

why do you hate monkeys so much? Stephanie really wants to try this.

Scribbit said...

The recipe has you put in fresh yogurt as a starter, which I did, but obviously something went wrong.

I thought I'd checked to make sure it was live active cultures too.

So obviously I'm no yogurt genius. Though I have it on good authority that it is easy to make.

Nancy Astudillo from 2MO said...

Sounds like something that would happen to me...I'm definitely staying away from trying to make my own yogourt! LOL Way too many distractions in my house. :) Good luck to the rest of you.

mo'jenn said...

Ooh! I could try this. Cooking I cannot do, but crockpot watching may be right up my alley.
Send the recipe? Maybe I can best your efforts with soy. Will that make me king monkey?

~Jenn

Emily Gerow said...

Ok, I was really excited to read this post - because I thought you'd eventually get to the part where it was a success and worth every failed attempt. Bummer. You'll surely have to let us know if you ever make yogurt successfully.

lexied said...

Hi Scribbit,

This may be a silly question, but I was wondering at what point you added the yogurt? It confused me a little, but I belive the yogurt should be added after the cooking time. Just a friendly trouble shoot.
Respectfully,
Lexie

Anonymous said...

Hello from North Carolina! I found your great site while looking for winter activities (in Anchorage) for my friend and her almost 2 year old. She's newly preg and feeling a little blue... So, thank you!

Yogurt - I've also "ruined" a batch or 3 and just use that milk for cereal, pancakes, casseroles, quiche, etc.

Peace!

Cindy

Jackie @ Lilolu said...

Very funny! I take it we will not be getting that recipe.

Jackie @ Lilolu said...

oops I missed the link.

Jeana said...

Here's what I do:

http://www.stretcher.com/stories/971110c.cfm

I use a cooler with hot water, just like the writer. If you leave it a little too long, no big deal.

Adding dry milk at the beginning will thicken it up, or if you let it set longer it will thicken some, but homemade does tend to be thinner.

I have also done this without heating the milk first, and it worked fine.

Stephanie Frieze said...

My grandson Gabriel, who eats enough bananas and yogurt to BE a monkey (and I lay this to his mother having consumed copious amounts of bananas while pregnant with him), will be excited about this! He already enjoys making yogurt cheese with his mama.

sassypriscilla said...

Should I be embarrassed to admit that I bought an actual yogurt maker? This is it here:

http://www.amazon.com/Salton-YM9-1-Quart-Yogurt-Maker/dp/B00004SUHY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1258581653&sr=8-2

There is something wrong with the Amazon pricing, though. I think I only paid about $30.

illahee said...

i dunno. i think making yogurt is difficult. my husband went on a yogurt thing a few years ago and tried to make it himself using ideas from the internet. nothing worked. finally he got a yogurt maker (which is basically a thermos in which you pour hot water in around a container--small mason jar--with the yogurt mix (yogurt and milk) and pretty much make perfect yogurt every time) and now he doesn't have time to make yogurt!

Mirien said...

Your first post about yogurt inspired me and I tried the crockpot method that very day. Didn't work for me either. The yogurt was crusty and burnt around the edges and watery in the middle. Yuck. So I did some research and tried a couple of different methods until I found one that works for me. Every single time. It makes thick, creamy, yogurt from powdered milk or store-bought if you prefer, using a small cooler and a blanket or towel. This is where I got the info: http://www.simplylivingsmart.com/simplylive-videos/vfs/article/36.html

I have a couple of additional tips, gained by my experiences. Let me know if you're interested. I'm glad I stuck with it, so thanks for the original inspiration.

Carrie said...

My friend uses a similar recipe, but she said it needs to be full-fat plain yogurt that you start with, she said that's really important. But this recipe didnt' work for me either, actually, I've only tried it once, though, I hope to try it again soon. :) Here's the link to her recipe:
http://amomentcherished.blogspot.com/2009/10/greek-yogurt-in-crock-pot.html

Lori said...

I'm a fool. I had no idea you could make yogurt at home, just like I had no idea that cheese could be made at home. I always thought it was the yogurt or cheese fairy that came and dropped it off at the store!

Kudos on the many, many attempts, though.

Kris said...

Most crock pots are too hot even on low setting to make yogurt in.
The cooler with bottles of hot water method works for me every time.
Homemade yogurt is also quite a bit thinner than store bought. But it tastes sweeter naturally and therefore doesn't need as much sweetening.
Also, when I use powdered milk I make sure to make a rich mixture (extra powdered milk) which helps it be thicker.

Stephanie said...

after reading your experience, I couldn't pass on a $2.50 looks new yogurt maker at a consignment store. Should be able to stick in a let go....:)

Emily said...

I make yogurt very simply and very non technical. It turns out every time. It has a strong taste--my kids will not eat it alone, but great for smoothies. I put on my blog how I make it. emilymommily.blogspot.com/2008/11/homemade-yogurt-with-powder-milk.html

Good Luck!

cafay1 said...

I tried to make yogurt in the crockpot too. We use so much of it I make it all the time in little jars in a yogurt maker. I thought it would be great to make more at a time in the crockpot. I failed badly, so I just poured into the little jars of my yogurt maker and made it that way. It came out great. I also use about a teaspoon of unflavored gelatin to thicken it up (or my picky husband won't eat it). I got the yogurt maker at Walmart for under $20.00. Good luck with how ever you decide to try it. I do recommend that if you are going to get a yogurt maker and you are going to make a lot of yogurt then get the kind that has a large container as opposed to the small jars. Thanks for the great post.

Anonymous said...

Instead of leaving the crock inside the container, try putting it on the counter, and place a heating pad under it before you wrap the towel around it. It worked well when I tried it.