Of board games and yoghurt

We’ve pulled out the boardgames this summer – the lad and lass now old enough to enjoy playing more complex games. It was a quiet achievement for the lad to play Scrabble, undaunted by picking out words and spelling. Mind you, spelling ‘fart’ has never presented a problem for him, regardless of his dyslexia.

At the moment, the three of them are at a game of Chameleon which I haven’t played yet. But I did see how the lass beat the Bloke in her first game so I think some respect might be in order when I come up against her. I watched for five minutes and was told to leave the room or keep quiet. I can’t help myself – something like Tetris or Chameleon and I start shouting out where the player should go. Which means I get told where to go.

I’ve been pursuing my own passions since Christmas, kindly fuelled by gifts. The Bloke gave me Saraban, the latest cookbook by Greg and Lucy Malouf. Oh my, it’s beautiful. The food looks good too. I’ve already prepared a few meals and realised just how much yoghurt is used. This is not a bad thing but it would mean anywhere between $10-15 worth of yoghurt a week. What to do? Make your own.

First I tried the simple method that is recommended in the book which means using a tablespoon or two of a commercial yoghurt as your starter culture. This turned out fine but it was thinner than I prefer. So, just a few minutes noodling on the net and I found Green Living Australia who supply yoghurt cultures. What you see above is my first batch of Greek-style yoghurt!

It’s delicious with a full, lingering taste. I shall divide this 1 litre batch into three and try it flavoured with honey, salted and the last will be drained to make labneh, a soft yoghurt cheese.

It was so utterly simple to make that it seems ridiculous. The dried culture will make between 80-100 batches and cost about $12. No particular equipment is necessary, though I decided that I would buy a tightweave cheesecloth, calcium chloride (2-3 drops ensure a thicker set) and a set of mini measuring spoons.  Separately I bought a dedicated 1 litre thermos since I’m not keen on coffee-infused yoghurt.

All up, a $50 outlay means I’ll be able to make two litres of yoghurt for the rest of the year (for each alternate batch I’ll use four tablespoons of yoghurt as the starter rather than the dried culture).

And I’ve noticed that Green Living Australia have a feta making kit. Yum!