What do you get when you combine no throwaway packaging with local food only? Not too many tasty treats, I can tell you.
So the other night, I trundled along to a party thrown by the environmental magazine Plenty and bumped into David Kistner, founder of the Green Apple Cleaners, which uses CO2 instead of the highly-toxic perc to dry clean clothes. David introduced me to his wife Effie, and she happened to tell me that her mother, who immigrated from Greece, makes yogurt nearly every day. Why I jumped with joy to hear this news is that, on this damn regime, I haven't been able to get yogurt or just about any other snack food because it always comes in some sort of throwaway plastic packaging which would break the no trash rule.
So Effie emailed me her Mom's recipe, I made it last night, and it's the best. Mix with honey. Yum. Just to have--at last!--some sort of food that I don't have to cook. I mean, I making my own bread every day, for crying out loud. So having yogurt in the fridge is crazy good. Anyway, in case you're interested, here is Effie's Mom's incredibly easy recipe for homemade yogurt:
1) Boil whole milk (for some reason it doesn't come out right with less than whole milk) in a large pot until it boils and foams at the top. Shut if off before it spills over.
2) Let the milk cool off until you can keep your pinky finger in the milk for 10 seconds without burning it (a temperature reading would have been great for this step but I don't think they had these back in Greece 70 years ago), so this will be the most difficult step.
3) In a small bowl (that holds about 2 cups) add one tablespoon of live yogurt and beat it until smooth. Slowly add to this starter one cup of the milk from the pot stirring slowly until combined.
4) Transfer this mixture (in #3 above) to the pot of boiled milk slowly pouring it in the pot while mixing the pot of milk the whole time to combine thoroughly (with a spatula or long spoon).
5) Pour into glass or plastic containers and seal them.
6) Arrange the containers together and cover with 2 to 3 towels keeping them in a warm place of the house (and no, you don't need some sort of a yogurt maker gadget to keep them warm). Let them sit overnight.
7) In the morning place them in the refrigerator and they will get cold. Yogurt is done.
8) Do a dance!