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.
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.
Pour the milk into a large pot and heat it on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the temperature reaches 180 F.
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.
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.
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.
I did this at 9 p.m., and the next morning, I had a litre of fresh yogurt.
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.