Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Whole Truth About My Big Fat Greek Yoghurt Mistake

Oops! Did it again!

My hub says I am slipping up on so many little things because I will be hitting the big 65 mark in June. I think it is because I am just being too sloppy and sometimes too sure of myself. Old people do that, don't they?

This week was no exception. I goofed! Not just a little bit, but a lot!

Monday I was scheduled to give a demonstration to my Master Gardeners group on making Greek yoghurt. So Sunday I was up early to give away my Mammaw's old sewing machine to my niece, and I started my batch of Greek yoghurt to use for the demonstration. 8:00 am sharp I poured the gallon of 2% milk into my triple crock pots and turned that on LOW. So far so good!

Around 11:30 the milk temperature was 170 degrees F, so I set the pots without lids out on the cooling rack and set the timer for one hour. Still good!

When the milk temp was down to about 115 degrees F, I lifted off the milk skin and whisked in two or three tablespoons of reserve active culture yoghurt per pot. Then I popped the lids back on the crockpots, placed them back into their triple crockpot apparatus, covered the whole thing with four heavy beach towels and sturdy packing paper, and told myself that around bedtime I would have yoghurt. I had left the machine plugged up to electricity and set on LOW, since I wanted the temperature to be warm enough to keep my crockpots from cooling off. I told myself that I would simply unplug the main cord after I tucked in the towels.

An hour and one-half later as I was browsing through info about yoghurt for my demo, I remembered that I never unplugged that cord. Yipes! Ruined! 170 degree F milk and dead cultures! Now what to do?

Well, I cooled down the pots to 110 degrees F one more time. Spooned the "failed yoghurt" into the largest glass jars I had and stirred in a heaping spoonful of my leftover yoghurt (with live cultures) into each jar. Then I lidded them, wrapped them in towels, and stored them in an insulated shopping bag in the warm pantry.

Then I proceeded to start the yoghurt process once again. Luckily we had more 2% milk! But now I was almost 9 hours late in preparation for my demonstration. That batch also almost got wasted. Instead of wrapping it in towels, I decided to place it into the oven with the light turned on. Around bedtime, I noticed that the oven was hotter than 100 degrees F. I told my hub that I was going to turn off the light in the oven, but I DIDN'T. By some sheer luck, that batch turned out fine.

And my demonstration Monday morning went fine, too. (sigh :)

As for the double "yoghurt, yoghurt," my hub put the jars in the fridge around 2:00 am Monday morning. I strained the contents when I came home from the meeting. Now it is packed in little plastic tubs in the fridge. Think we will try to eat it. It really isn't bad at all.

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