It is yogurt!
I was admirably disciplined during the eight hours that the warm bacteria-laden milk sat in the crock pot. I didn’t check on it once.
But at about 8:30, I hesitantly unwrapped the home-made incubator.
This is what I saw:
No longer milk!
My brother was at our house at the time, playing a game with Husband and me.
“It worked!” I squealed. “I have yogurt!” I glanced from the crock pot to my husband and brother and back again, expecting them to jump up with gasps of amazement at my superior ability to nurture the growth of bacteria, but neither one moved.
Husband looked up from his cards long enough to say, “Oh, good!”
Ah, well. I think Husband was excited; he was just more excited about his game, and he had put less energy into making the yogurt happen. My brother was not excited: Plain yogurt? Eeew. Gross.
Because my bacteria colony festered and multiplied the way it was supposed to, I was able to move onto the next step. If I had wanted plain yogurt, I would have been done at this point. But because I wanted Greek plain yogurt (which is thicker and creamier), I still had one more step to take.
I lined a colander with a cloth napkin (the directions call for a linen towel), and emptied the crock pot contents into the towel:
This was supposed to allow the yogurt to drain off more of the whey. Just to make sure the directions weren’t leading me false, I picked up the colander (over the sink), to see underneath it, and lo and behold, clear-ish whey was dripping from beneath the colander.
I let it sit that way overnight, and early the next morning, I took a spatula and scooped the remaining yogurt into a container. This is what my finished product looked like:
I probably could have let more whey drain off, and maybe for the next batch I will, but even this tastes creamy, full-fat, and delicious.
Other than some worrying, and one dream during the night about teaching our ESL class to make yogurt, this process really took very little physical or mental energy on my part. In fact, making yogurt made me feel resourceful, frugal, and fond of bacteria.