The creamy and sour taste of homemade yogurt is nothing like what you buy at the stores. It’s fresh and without preservatives. It sounds difficult but it really isn’t. You can make a whole gallon of yogurt for the price of a gallon of milk. It just takes some patience to get it right.
You need to heat up 2% or whole milk on low, stirring frequently so that the sugars don’t stick to the bottom. After you get the milk hot enough to see steam and bubbles on top, you turn the heat off and stir every 15 minutes until you can put your small pinky in the milk for 10 seconds, just enough to stand the 10 seconds, not too long so that it doesn’t affect you. There is definitely pain involved. I am pretty sure now, a thermometer to a certain degree, but I haven’t been taught yet. Once your pinky is exactly how you want it, you add in one cup of homemade yogurt as a starter to get the probiotics/bacteria cooking. I then wrap the pot in a blanket and leave it in the oven for 24 hours. I then move the pot to my refrigerator for another 24 hours. I know it sounds time consuming but it is so worth it!
My mom used to make 2+ gallons every few weeks. We eat it with rice, veggies, and other main middle eastern dishes. You can also enjoy it plain, with fruit, and even better with crushed mint and cucumbers. Last night, my kids asked me to make them “basela ou riz” or “peas and rice” for dinner next week. Of course, that dish needs fresh yogurt on top to enjoy. I am thankful that my kids enjoy our traditional dishes and ask for them. I don’t want them to forget, but know that they are American and need to be proud to be in this great country. I make one traditional dish a week for them, hopefully they can continue them as well.