Goe-Pa and Nomad Yogurt Making
Lots of feedback on the entry on making your own yogurt (‘Anusha’ – see post below). The best conversation came when a Buddhist friend of mine in Old Saybrook called to urge me to return the pricey yogurt maker I’d bought and instead invest in a simple, large, lead-free clay bean pot.
Making yogurt in the Tibetan style requires nothing more than that. The fancy job I bought ferments for 8-12 hours, changes gear, then cools the yogurt, and it’s great. I’ve used it 3 times. It makes a woefully small amount (only 4 cups), but the yogurt always turned out just right.
Here’s how my friend makes her perfect, fresh yogurt. She heats milk to boiling. Takes it off the fire, and cools it to just above body temperature (when you stick your clean finger in it, it will feel warm, but not hot). Adds a tablespoon or so of fresh yogurt from her last batch, stirs it up, and places it in a large, unglazed clay pot. Wraps it in kitchen towels, and leaves it on the stove overnight. In the morning, she has fresh yogurt.
She uses no thermometer, no freeze-dried culture, no electric anything. Perfect yogurt every time.
This is the original, nomad way of yogurt and kefir making.
I confess, I was drawn into and became attached to this technological age too easily, and spent our scant money on something I could have done without. I have to think on that for a while, and not do it again.
The Tibetan word for ‘want’ - goe-pa – also refers to attachments, and the negative effect attachments have on us. Buddhists pray to be freed from attachments, which includes anything in the world that one can become attached to: addictive mental habits, food, drink, smoking, shopping, gambling, drama, emotion, flesh. Things.
When I decided to go back to yogurt and kefir making, I intended to simplify, ground, nourish, and purify myself. I missed the mark big time.
So the expensive electric yogurt maker is on its way back to the seller (I feel kind of weird about that). And next payday, which is only 2 days away, I’ll invest many fewer dollars in this:
It’s beautiful, and there are no plugs, timers, blinking lights, humming motors, beeping, plastic, or wires. It simply and quietly does its work.
I like this. I like it a lot.
Keep it simple, keep it sane.