First, the recipe.
Seed Yogurt: Go to the store, buy yourself a small container of plain unsweetened and unflavored yogurt that you enjoy. There are multiple types, each culture has a different flavor. But make certain that it says “Active Cultures” or what ever your nation says for active or live bacteria in this yogurt. I personally use a “Greek Yogurt” and what I make with it tastes just about like what came out of the Seed Yogurt Cup.
Even better, if you have a neighbor that has a yogurt that they have been making out of their own cultures, get a couple tablespoons of that. It’s bound to be better than anything commercial.
Jar for your yogurt: Get an appropriate jar with a sealable lid. Approximately a quart/liter in size. Sterilize the jar – wash and make sure it is as clean as you can get. You don’t want this stuff to spoil. I use a Mason Jar with a wide mouth and a large plastic lid. This jar must fit in your microwave.
Milk. I use 2%. Whole will taste better but will give more calories. Skim Milk will taste “milder”. The Calorie Count will be the same as that of the milk that goes into it. It’s up to you.
Add milk to your jar until it is about 3/4 filled. 750mL or 3 cups. Or so – it does not have to be exact. My Mason Jars have vertical lines on the side that I fill to the top of, below the narrowing for the neck. You just want it to have some room for bubbles to form if it goes to boil in the microwave.
Heat the milk slowly to at least 180F/82C. This can be done in a sauce pan if you do not have a microwave. I heat the milk in the Mason Jar, in the microwave at High or Full Power for 4 minutes, then give it 30 second bursts until it begins to bubble. This will kill off anything that will make things spoil.
Pour the milk into the Mason Jar.
Move the Mason Jar to a warm spot in the kitchen, on the counter where it won’t be disturbed..
Allow the milk to cool for about two hours in the Mason Jar.
When the milk is below 105F/40C, add two tablespoons of the plain yogurt that you got for this purpose.
This is your Seed Yogurt.
Finish the rest of the seed yogurt, I suggest with either honey or a good jam. This is your treat for the job.
Stir the seed yogurt vigorously into the milk.
Cover the Mason Jar with your lid, and allow it to sit at least one day.
Check the Mason Jar periodically. It will be done when the yogurt begins to gel when you tip the container to the side.
Refrigerate and use within about a week.
Remember – since you already made the stuff here, you can take a spoon or three of your current batch and use for seed yogurt for the next batch. The taste will change over time, certain bacterias will express themselves stronger or weaker within the food. If you don’t like that, go get more seed yogurt at the stores.
So… about my dog?
Rack, the McNab SuperDog sits on his mat in the corner next to my recliner. It’s off in the distance so he can’t see what is going on in the kitchen from that spot.
There’s just enough noise in the house that I personally would not be paying that close attention to what goes on in the kitchen, but I would be wrong to ignore that completely. Ceiling fans and clocks are all making a constant racket.
In fact, just putting on noise canceling headphones is a nice change of pace from hearing all that din.
Rack does not need that.
There are certain noises that get him up from the corner and to the kitchen. If I grab ice cubes, he comes in asking for one. Luckily he is not brave enough to take liberty to press on the ice dispenser on the refrigerator.
He will get one when I make my first mug of coffee, but only the first one. The second one he stays put and ignores whatever else is going on.
Or so you think.
Certain kitchen noises may make him pay attention like crumpling a chip bag or rattling the doors on things in there but this is one thing that sends him running to the kitchen.
I store the Mason Jar with the plastic top and the wide mouth on the “Breakfast Shelf” in the fridge. I’m tall, 193CM/6’4″ and it’s at chest height.
Nudging the jelly, yeast, and cottage cheese aside, I grab that yogurt jar. If he’s in the room, he expects some.
But I tend to play tricks on my dog as it keeps his mind going.
Waiting for him to be in the corner, out of site, I get the Yogurt Jar out of the fridge. Since I move things in and out frequently, he hasn’t figured out that specific jar’s noise.
Quietly stepping out, I see he’s not watching and blissfully sleeping.
Turn the lid just a quarter turn and he leaps off his bed and runs to the kitchen sliding into my right leg with a skid.
Mind you he’s not a Labrador Retriever but this is the closest to the Lab Feeding Frenzy that I get with my own McNab Dog.
He then gets his 1/2 cup of yogurt in his bowl.
It’s gone so far that I can’t use the word Yogurt in the house without having 46 pounds of black dog with white tips and highlights glued to my leg.
So yes, if you want the Yogurt for your recipes that will make the dogs come running, this is how you make the stuff. The only time I buy yogurt is for seed if the original spoils.