Thursday, January 28, 2010

Moro yogurt vs. Brown Cow

On the left is homemade yogurt with strawberry jam. What's on the right was marked down at Whole Foods this week.

Although I make yogurt all the time, I've hesitated to send a child to school with homemade yogurt in a canning jar because I worried it might be embarrassing, like going to school in a dress made from a flour sack. But Owen, who is a 9-year-old ecofreak, loved the idea. I questioned whether, for all his scruples, he would find strawberry jam an acceptable substitute for "fruit-at-the-bottom." He did. Amazing. It has really bugged me to make great yogurt and then feed the kids expensive and mediocre single-serving cartons of Dannon/Yoplait/Brown Cow just because they're pre-sweetened and portable. Non-serious problem now solved.

As for the yogurt itself, I used the Moro recipe, which is much fussier than my go-to recipe in Anne Mendelson's Milk. 
Mendelson's recipe involves heating milk and cooling it, adding a few spoonfuls of "starter" yogurt then putting the mixture somewhere warm to sit overnight.  In the morning, you strain the yogurt for a few hours to thicken. It's like Greek yogurt, and it's fabulous. (This is virtually identical to Mendelson's formula, and if you've never made yogurt, you should try it.)

The Moro recipe calls for boiling milk until it reduces by a third, which takes a while, then adding cream. You cool this decadent mixture, stir in your starter, and put it somewhere warm to sit overnight. It is also fabulous, perhaps slightly more fabulous than Mendelson's yogurt, if not fabulous enough to merit the extra effort. It is also extremely fattening.
Still, I count this yogurt as one more reason to love the Moro cookbook.

In other news, I finally got around to reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Not for everyone, this best-selling mystery, as it is lurid, grisly, intricately (some might say "implausibly") plotted, and overpopulated with sadistic Swedish sex maniacs. I never wanted it to end. Have now embarked on the sequel instead of taking down the Christmas tree. There are times when serial killers are better companions than sentimental Christmas ornaments, though I really do need to take down that tree. 


  1. Totally loved the Millenium trilogy! Twisted, but addictive. I even ordered the third book from and have been passing it around to my family members. It's definately worth paying for the shipping.

  2. Isn't that tree dropping needles everywhere by now? My tree was so dry this year I got rid of it on the 27th of December.

    This is not a criticism AT ALL, I'm just curious.

  3. did you ever get a chance to test the moro bread with wheat flour? i'm very curious, as i'm just now running out of the first batch i made, and want to make it again.

  4. Every time you talk about making yogurt, I want to try it, but I confess to being intimidated. I am not sure why - your description sounds simple, but despite having bought "everything" three times, I am still picking up store made. Sigh. Now with your tale of Owen being good with taking it to school, my personal "I should do this" kicks back in AGAIN. LOL! Tell you what: sneak some into the hospital for your mom, and as soon as our family finishes fighting the cold misery (avoiding dairy), I'll try it. Really. For Sure! LOL! All the Best, Ida

  5. my tree is still up, too - and every weekend seems so full I have no idea when it will come down.

    ours is synthetic, tho - so at least I have the fire hazard thing covered.

    I am having guests next weekend and I think that means staying up all one night to get it done...

  6. Is finding cream without additives an issue for you? I have found in cheesemaking that it is worthwhile to go to the extra effort to get plain cream products without additives. Is it the same for yogourt?

  7. Anonymous -- I am addicted and will probably do exactly what you did.

    ALW -- There are probably needles everywhere. I avoid that room.

    Balabanian -- I am doing that today.

    Ida -- Easy! Try it.

    Daney -- I saw synthetic trees at Border's this year and thought, for the first time, maybe.

    Krista -I don't think it matters for yogurt. I used local, unhomogenized milk and cream for this yogurt -- I'm trying to do better this way -- but in some ways it was less successful than yogurts I've made from "standard" milk. (I've never made yogurt with cream before.) This yogurt developed a buttery skin on top, which I took off, and it was slightly lumpy when I tasted it today. I attribute this to the less processed dairy products I started with, but it could be something else. Doesn't really bother me, but I am curious.

  8. Not that it's an issue anymore, since Owen doesn't mind the canning jar - but you could have sent the homemade yogurt to school slyly concealed in a recycled Brown Cow container.

    Your homemade yogurt looks really good. Reminds me of the best yogurt I ever ate, in Germany in the early 90s, a commercial brand which came in a glass jar. Yogurt and ice cream are so much better in Europe (or at least they were then). Probably higher milk fat content.

  9. Believe it or not I - who cannot read anything grisly - and never reads mysteries am reading the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo... I skip over the grisly parts as best I can so i won't get nightmare - and it certainly is a fun read.

    BUT does it have to be THAT grisly???
    Why is this necessary? What kind of an author makes up this stuff?

  10. No such thing as too many Swedish sex maniacs.

    As always, vicariously enjoying your cooking ambition from afar. Am I ever going to really make yogurt? Nah, probably not. Am I ever going to stop ready Tipsy? Never.

  11. whoops, I mean _reading_ Tipsy. Should've previewed that comment!

  12. Love the Millenium books also. Could not put them down, ignored life and read.

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  14. Well both are delicious to me, but actually it deppends of the person, is like many people that doesn't like yougurt.

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