Wednesday, 23 October 2013

How I've been making yoghurt in the dehydrator

Some people were asking, so here's my method... I've been making yoghurt, and using the dehydrator to incubate it.

I start with some milk, about a litre. Warm it up to 80 degrees Celsius, then let it cool down to 37 degrees. Stir in some yoghurt from the last batch. That's plain, unflavoured yoghurt. My very first starter was some Jalna Greek Style, which was delicious, and I haven't bought any since.

Now, the dehydrator comes in. Instead of pouring this milk/yoghurt mix into a thermos or other container, I portion it into very clean Tupperware containers (snack cups, which are 1/2 cup sized). Here they are, all neatly filled.

Do you notice one of them is half the size again? There's a reason for that.

I put the seals on, then stand them in the dehydrator, which is set at about 37 degrees.

This is a Harvest Maid dehydrator. These cups would normally NOT fit in the trays, but I've added a spacer ring. It works perfectly.

The lid of the dehydrator goes on after this, of course. I test the temperature from time to time, because, although the machine has a temperature dial, it's not that accurate.

Most of the cups have colourful lids, but I make sure one has a clear lid.

Now we go away for a few hours. Don't fuss with the yoghurt, it doesn't need you.

Some time later in the day, if you pick up the cup with the clear lid, you'll be able to see that it has set. No need to open it. If it's clearly still liquid, let it incubate some more.

That's basically it, you've made yoghurt. And look, it's already in portions.

See how nicely set it is. This is how yoghurt is supposed to look.

If you want it to be fruity and sweet, stir in some jam (or fruit, obviously, but jam is less runny). Or just eat it unsweetened, with lovely fresh fruit!

So what was the half sized cup for? That's the starter for next time! You won't eat it by mistake if it looks different.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

A gleaning excursion

As if I needed any further motivation to go on bike rides... I can't help but notice, on a lot of bike paths, there are fruit trees overhanging public areas. Now, fruit falling there is likely to go to waste. And in some cases, even cause paths to get slippery and dangerous. So, it's very much my duty to collect it and get it out of the way.

Here's the haul from my last fruit gathering excursion. Plenty of cumquats (from several different trees), some lemons, grapefruit and mandarins.

And here's what I did with it! Some "found" marmalade.

And in case you are wondering, I've checked, and as far as I know, fruit gleaning is perfectly legal, and even quietly encouraged. Here's a map of "feral" fruit trees.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Bagelquest 2013

You know how teenagers just love getting involved in stuff their parents are doing? And how they cheerfully go outside and have fun?

Nope, me neither.

Last weekday of the school holidays, and I felt we had to do some serious family stuff. We started with a bike ride to Jells Park - easy ride, good distance. Then, we went on a BAGELQUEST!

What is a Bagelquest? Well, it's basically a quest for bagels. Thomas asked specially for onion bagels, a real favourite snack in our house, and not a flavour that Aussie Farmers deliver, sadly. My usual source is Costco, but until they open in Ringwood, they are a bit far away.

I looked up where you can get onion bagels. Well, of course, Glicks! I used to live near this traditional bakery in Balaclava, and they've opened lots more branches. We quested all the way to Malvern.

Well, they certainly have some good things to eat!

The quested-for onion bagel. We bought a dozen. They are delicious!

Oh, and we stopped at Dairy Bell for ice cream on the way home. That's TWO Melbourne food icons in one day!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Getting very meta at the Royal Show

Last year, one of the highlights of the royal show was the cheeky yarn bombed tractor in the arts and crafts hall. This year, one of the cakes in the cake decorating competition is a cake representation of the yarn bombed tractor!

This year they decorated a car and caravan!