Recipe: Natural Yoghurt

I just love cooking and I'm into eating wholefoods, because I like to know exactly what I'm putting into my body. I also love using trusted recipes that have been passed on from others, and hope you do too, because I'm going to share some trusty recipes here.

Fabric and food don't have much in common, you might be thinking. But I reckon what we put into our bodies is so important and effects everything we do - our mood, our energy levels, how we sleep and so much more. What and how we eat is part of the bigger picture of who we are and who we want to be (whether we think about it that way or not).

The first recipe I'm going to share is for something that used to be readily available in most supermarkets here in Australia, but recently it's been replaced by a faddish upstart. Yep, I am finding it really hard to find natural yoghurt now, because it's been usurped by Greek yoghurt. Pot set natural yoghurt is tangy, a bit tart has a great texture. Greek yoghurt seems to have lots of added cream and thickeners and is a totally different, much more processed beast. And don't even get me started on those sugar-filled fruit 'yoghurts'!

I started making my own natural yoghurt a while ago but was never all that happy with it - it was too runny and not very tangy. But after a few tweaks I now make a weekly batch that is just as good, if not better than anything I've ever bought. It's SO easy to make, it's healthy and best of all, it's cheap. You just need two good quality ingredients, a couple of tools and 10ish minutes and you're done.  I like to make 2 litre worth at a time but you can easily halve or double the recipe, depending on how much you're going to need. Do let me know if you have any feedback :)

 

NATURAL POT SET YOGHURT

 

INGREDIENTS

2 litres good quality milk (preferably organic or biodynamic)
5 tablespoons natural yoghurt, with cultures (I like to use Jalna Biodynamic Whole Milk Yoghurt)

TOOLS

Cooking thermometer (mine ranges from 40 to 200 degrees celsius)
Medium sized saucepan
1 litre jar/s (I use 2 x Ball Mason pint jars plus one smaller jar)
Esky

METHOD

Warm the milk over a medium heat, stirring regularly so it doesn't stick. When it reaches 84 degrees celsius (183 fahrenheit), turn off the heat.
Let cool to 44 degrees celsius. You can add it to an ice bath to speed this process up - add a tray of iceblocks to a sink half filled with water; put the saucepan in the sink, being careful not to get any of the water in the pan, and stir until the mixture cools.
 
Whisk in 5 tablespoons natural yoghurt and mix until smooth. Pour the milk/yoghurt mixture into clean jars and seal. Add a kettle full of very hot water to the bottom of an esky (I use a small 6-can one my boyfriend bought many moons ago - it's the perfect size) and add the jars, so they're sitting partially submerged in the water. Leave for 24 hours for a medium tang yoghurt, or 36 hours for a delicious super tangy version. Refrigerate until cool. Lasts 5+ days in the fridge.

September

Not only is it September, but it's nearly the end of September. How did this happen? The Royal Melbourne Show is on, another radiothon is over for my favourite station RRR and it's definitely spring in still-cold Melbourne.

Here are some snaps of the things I've been working on lately - lots of ceramics, lots of watercolour patterns and lots of fabric (that I don't have proper photos of yet), soon to be added to the shop and/or for sale at some upcoming events

Lots of new spoons including the above, just listed on Etsy.

Lots of new spoons including the above, just listed on Etsy.

The first and only mug I've ever made. 

The first and only mug I've ever made. 

Lots of hand painted porcelain studs now available in my shop.

Lots of hand painted porcelain studs now available in my shop.

I'm obsessed with pattern making in watercolour. This is my latest.

I'm obsessed with pattern making in watercolour. This is my latest.

I did an ink audit this week and sorted them by colour group. Pinks and reds win.

I did an ink audit this week and sorted them by colour group. Pinks and reds win.

This cake is THE best banana cake ever. Thanks, Hello Lunch Lady.

This cake is THE best banana cake ever. Thanks, Hello Lunch Lady.

On a different not, today I listened to this podcast from The Jealous Curator while working (found via Tess at Creative Minds Publishing & CWC) and recommend it to any creatives who love hearing artists talking about their work and their thoughts. Sandra Eterovic is so generous with her thoughts and her ideas, what a gem.

And finally, there's a post about me at the Maribyrnong Makers Market blog. 

 

More watercolour patterns

Here are some watercolour patterns I painted yesterday and today, when I realised I had a full blank pad of watercolour paper that I'd forgotten I'd bought. I've been quite into making freeform watercolour doodles lately - it's fun and therapeutic and relaxing. And because I'm so colour restricted with screen printing and with ceramics, I've gone a bit nuts on colour overload. Who needs a colouring in book? 

Happy Friday.

Urban and sweets

There is something about decaying urban landscapes that I just love, and the old typography/signage/handwriting that often goes alongside it. There's lots of this in the photos I've taken this week, while walking around my neighbourhood (and bits of the city). I've also got a thing for sweets and baking, it would seem. Happy Monday.

Vegetables

I just love fruit and vegetables and most weeks I go to the local farmers market and buy produce directly from those who grew it. Although often not perfect looking, it tastes so good (and who wants perfect looking produce anyway?) I like that there's dirt on the potatoes, mushrooms and beets, that the apples and pears have russeting. 

The other day I decided to draw some of the produce I'd bought that weekend. I'm no great drawer but trust me when I say that the first few greylead sketches looked terrible. I was about to move onto doing something else but then I picked up a new pen I bought in Japan and it was like the pen took over (seriously!) and I was drawing things in a different way. And the drawings just all seemed to fit together. Yesterday I finally had time to sit down at my computer and turn the drawings into a pattern. I might yet tweak it a bit but think it might soon find itself onto a tea towel. 

Autumn/winter

I feel like I'm getting nothing done lately...just running around in circles each week. But I just had a look at the photos I've taken in the last month (it seems I take my camera with me almost all the time) and I realise I have been doing things, just not what I was planning on doing. So instead of making ceramic things, refining new designs and doing lots of printing I've been walking the dog, cooking winter food (it seems I also do a LOT of cooking), shopping at the market, hanging out in my local Masonic hall and then doing other, non-fun work. But that's OK, because Melbourne in winter is pretty nice. 

Patterns: Watercolours (& fabric packs)

Because screenprinting requires a different separation for each colour, I tend to think about design/patterns in a certain way. As I'm also a massive fan of minimal colour palettes (two or three colours maximum), this has been just fine. But lately I've had a hankering for a change, so the other day I bought a set of watercolours. Here are a few patterns I've been playing around with (ie: me going colour crazy).

On a different note, I've just posted a couple of fabric packs in my Etsy shop. Snap them up while you can...

Japan Things

One of the things I most love about travel is noticing the differences between the place I'm visiting and home - the architecture, the light, the plants, the people. I find this stuff fascinating, even if the 'travel' is just going to a country town an hour away. Going slight further afield, say from Melbourne to Sydney or Hobart is great, as each city is so different in terms of climate, architecture and more. And going overseas blows my mind - I notice everything, am fascinated about how & why things are the way they are.  

All this year I'd been reading about Japan (well, I'd read bits of Hello Sandwich's Tokyo Guide and also Tokyo Precincts and Monocle's Tokyo Travel Guide, all highly recommended, along with a few general online travel guides and some blogs) and I knew what to expect generally. But when I got there, there were all these little quirky differences that I loved. So I decided to write them down, so I wouldn't forget them. And as I know a few people going to Japan soon, I thought I'd share them in case they're interested.

I'd heard there were vending machines everywhere in Japan but I didn't know they'd often be surrounded by so many well tended pot plants.

I'd heard there were vending machines everywhere in Japan but I didn't know they'd often be surrounded by so many well tended pot plants.

JAPAN THINGS:

Thank you. I don't speak Japanese but I already knew one thing - "thank you" is "arigatou". But when thanking you (which happens a million times a day - everyone is so polite!) people actually seemed to be saying something else. It took me a while to figure out it was the more formal "arigatou gozaimasu" (pronounced "goes eye moss" with a silent "u").

You get hand towels at eating and drinking establishments. Sometimes it's a real towel (face washer sized) and it's hot. Sometimes it's a small wet napkin in a plastic bag (like you used to get on planes!) It's always nice.

You don't need to press the button at traffic lights (and often there is no button). Well, this was the case pretty much everywhere we went. Occasionally you need to press the button at night but generally the lights just cycle through, as there are always pedestrians everywhere.

People wait for the green light at traffic lights. Yep, no crossing on the red! Generally, anyway. Why rush? 

Crows. There were loud, squawking crows everywhere we went. Initially they freaked me out (is it an omen?!) Then I got used to them. Apparently they're very smart, remember faces and do swoop people, so don't be mean to them, as they'll remember you next time!

Footpath = road. It's not the case everywhere, but in lots of places we went to there's no footpath and you just walk on the side of the road. It's how it's always been so it's very safe, but it took me a little while to get my head around the idea.

So many pot plants. It's definitely not the case everywhere, but in the first area we stayed in Tokyo, there are pot plants all over the place. There often isn't room for everyone to have a garden but you can still have greenery this way. Excellent!

The train station music/jingles. They're unique, to say the least. According to the sister of someone I know, the tunes have "baroque foundations and excellent augmented triads." So kawaii.

Stripes. So much striped clothing. Who would have thought you could have so much variation with stripes!

Folded toilet paper edges. Everywhere - in all the AirBNB places we stayed, in little bars, restaurants, even in department stores. Everywhere. And public toilets are everywhere and clean, amazing. But finding a bin...well, that's another story.

Toilet flush confusion. Sometimes it took me way too long to figure out how to flush a toilet (push a button here? Push a button there? Hover your hand over a sensor? Pull a lever?) that I'd accidentally hit the flush sound effect button. Yep.

Craft beer. OK, I knew Japanese craft beer was a bit of a thing. But it's actually a super big thing and there are so many great local artisan brews. If you're into beer, prepare you palette and your wallet - they're excellent but can be pricey.

A beer stall at the UNU Farmers Market.

A beer stall at the UNU Farmers Market.

The taps at The Watering Hole.

The taps at The Watering Hole.

Hydrangeas and ivy. Unfortunately we couldn't time our holiday to coincide with cherry blossom season (just missed out) but the hydrangeas everywhere more than made up for it. They're one of my favourite plants but I had no idea they came in so many varieties and in such vibrant colours. And ivy, often variegated, also seemed to be everywhere. I used to hate ivy and thought of it as a weed but now I'm going to have to find some and pot it in an indoor hanging basket ASAP.

Let me know if you've been to Japan and have more things to add to this list! 

Oh, Japan

So I've been on holiday in Japan for a couple of weeks and oh my, I wonder how it is that I've never been before - it's is soooo amazing! So many people but so much order, so much politeness, so much good food, so much good coffee, so many adorable pot plants everywhere, so much matcha everything, amazing hydrangeas and ivy everywhere, home of the best sweets ever (mochi!), so much good and simple design in the right places. And the home of Muji - going to the flagship store was a semi-religious moment for me (sad but true!) And I cannot wait to share the latest instalment of Studio Space, and the first international workspace. Here is a really brief edit, in photo form, of some of my highlights so far. Now I'm off to Nippori Fabric Town, home to more than 80 fabric stores. It's going to be a good day :)

Sneak peek of the next Studio Space shoot.

Sneak peek of the next Studio Space shoot.

Hydrangeas are one of my favourite plants and are just everywhere, so great.

Hydrangeas are one of my favourite plants and are just everywhere, so great.

Delicious matcha icypole from Paletas.

Delicious matcha icypole from Paletas.

There are so many amazing gardens everywhere.

There are so many amazing gardens everywhere.

Simple soba and beautiful ceramic wares.

Simple soba and beautiful ceramic wares.

Ivy is so popular in Japan!

Ivy is so popular in Japan!

There has been a bit of karaoke! This dapper gent speaks no English but sings very, very well.

There has been a bit of karaoke! This dapper gent speaks no English but sings very, very well.

So much simple but good everything in Japan, including graphic design.

So much simple but good everything in Japan, including graphic design.