Step One

Carefully pack a candy thermometer in your luggage. I rolled my up in my yoga pants. I took a chance. I could very easily have opened my suitcase up and found a ball of mercury rolling around inside. Alternatively, visit a dollar store when you arrive at your destination and purchase a thermometer then.

Candy thermometer

Step Two

Source out a local milk supply. Easier said than done in some places. It was very easy to find local milk here in Kamloops. They sell it at the grocery store. However, I still don’t know how to find local milk in my own city of Saskatoon.

Also buy a small container of “starter yogurt.” Look for plain yogurt containing milk or cream, and bacterial cultures – nothing else.

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Step Three

Pour the milk into a large pot and heat it on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the temperature reaches 180 F.

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Step Four

Remove the pot from the stove and plunge it into an ice bath. I didn’t have any ice, so I just poured a sink full of really cold water, and that did the trick. Leave the pot in the ice bath until the temperature drops to 110 F.

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Step Five

Put two tablespoons of the starter yogurt into a small bowl, and whisk in half a cup of the heated milk. Then whisk the mixture in the small bowl back into the pot.

Step Six

Pour the milk into a large container with a lid. You may want to preheat the container by filling it with boiling water. This also sanitizes the container. Wrap the container in a towel to keep it warm, and put it in a warm, dark place where it can sit, undisturbed, for at least eight hours (maximum 12hours). I stuck mine in the microwave. Then I wrote a note to myself not to use the microwave for the next 12 hours, and thereby avoided started a fire.

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I did this at 9 p.m., and the next morning, I had a litre of fresh yogurt.

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Some people will say, why bother? Just buy it at the grocery store.

I have my reasons, mostly to do with my food philosophy of eating whole, unprocessed, local foods. Also because I know exactly what’s in this yogurt. Store-bought yogurt can have all sorts of unknown fillers and thickeners in them, not mention artificial food colouring and flavours. But also because it’s economical. I get a litre of yogurt for the cost of a litre of whole milk ($2.59), whereas half a litre of store-bought Greek yogurt would cost me upwards of $5. And I eat A LOT of yogurt.

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