By Sylvie Rowand / Photography by Molly McDonald Peterson
Yields 4 to 6 SERVINGS
2 cups plain yogurt, homemade (recipe below) or purchased
2 cups cleaned, hulled and sliced fully ripe strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons red wine
A few mint leaves, finely shredded
1 tablespoon honey
Place a sieve over a bowl and line the sieve with a triple layer of cheese cloth, butter muslin or thin cotton kitchen towel (like a flour-sack towel). Put yogurt in sieve, gather and tie the corners of the cloth and hang from a kitchen cabinet door knob. Let yogurt drain 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile toss together 1 cup strawberries, sugar, wine and mint. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour.
In the food processor, process until smooth drained yogurt, the remaining cup strawberries, and honey.
Distribute the smoothies evenly among glasses or parfait dishes. Spoon 1/4 cup marinated strawberries over each parfait. Serve immediately.
You don’t need a yogurt machine to make yogurt. Three years ago I learned how my friend El does it (fastgrowtheweeds.com). Nothing could be simpler; mix the batch in the evening and yogurt will be ready for breakfast.Use the best local whole milk you have access to. To make a super rich yogurt, replace a few tablespoons of milk with heavy cream. For starter use a plain unsweetened yogurt with active live cultures and no thickener (no carrageenan nor gelatin, please!). Not all yogurts are created equal: use one of which you like the taste. If your first batch is soupy, increase the starter quantity, or switch brands for the next batch. In future batches, you can use you own yogurt to start. After a while the strength of the live cultures may decrease – start fresh again with purchased yogurt.
1 scant quart whole milk, raw or low-temperature pasteurized
1/3 cup plain unsweetened whole yogurt
Heat the milk in a thick bottomed sauce pan until tiny bubbles form on the side and it reaches 180F. This could take as long as 15 minutes. Do not let boil.
Let milk cool till it is between 116 and 120F. (Speed it up by putting the pan in a cold water bath). Meanwhile heat up 1 quart of water to boil.
Whisk yogurt into cooled milk until fully dissolved. Pour into one wide-mouth quart Mason jar or into 4 cup-size ones. Tighten lid on and place jar(s) into small cooler.
Fill one quart Mason jar with just boiled water. Tighten lid and place it in the cooler touching the yogurt jar. Close cooler and leave alone — undisturbed – for 12 hours. Refrigerate.
Note: the lunch-size type cooler is ideal as there will be almost no room left after the 2 quart jars are placed in there, allowing the temperature to remain fairly constant while the yogurt is incubating.
Sylvie Rowand of Washington, Va., grows, forages, and preserves food; cooks for others and teaches the pleasures of growing your own food and eating seasonally through workshops and her blog, www.laughingduckgardens.com.