My husband did not argue.
I’ve been on a month-long dairy-free experiment these days, partly hoping to clear up a six-week plugged ear, and partly as an exercise in solidarity with my dairy-free fifteen-year-old.
Dairy is one of those things that gives me cold sweats to consider living without. I love it. Cheese makes everything better. Sour cream is purchased in our household by the stack. Heavy cream is one of my favorite ingredients. And butter. Oh, sweet butter. I love thee so.
Of my seven children, only one has latched onto my genetic propensity for dairy. She would be the one that Grandma caught fingering the butter dish on more than one occasion in her early childhood. She is also, sadly, the same child who developed a sudden dairy allergy last summer. Life is cruel.
So it was that I thought an act of solidarity might help me to help her. We’d transitioned quite nicely into massive quantities of canned coconut milk to break the heavy cream addictions, and it turns out that almond milk and Earth Balance aren’t so bad as replacements for the Big Two. But living without cheese and yogurt are just plain hard. And coconut yogurt is pricey, to say the least, not to mention lacking in the protein that a good dairy yogurt will provide. Not to mention… a bit shy on yumminess.
Anyway, I’ve been in it with her for a month now. It’s not terrible. I miss cheese.
In response to the yogurt budget, I decided to invest in a yogurt maker, the foolproof appliance that acts as a little yogurt incubator, no matter how wildly the temperatures in my house fluctuate. I found a few recipes for coconut yogurt online. Onward.
Trial number one resulted in a white substance that was capable of bouncing. The recipe was a little off on its recommended amount of agar agar to thicken the protein-less coconut milk. Smoothies. Lots of smoothies.
Trial number two is better, but the agar still leaves a lot to be desired. Stir the stuff and it resembles stirred finger jello. More smoothies.
One of the biggest reasons I went for the yogurt making was the prospect of making our own dairy-free sour cream. The highly processed stuff the local co-op has provided us with has been on back order for months. Some say a little lemon juice in some strained coconut yogurt and you’re good to go. That was enough to send me to Amazon.
We tried it, hastily, with the store bought yogurt a few weeks ago, by the way. Not bad. A bit runny, but straining would help that.
We tried it with the homemade stuff of trial number two tonight.
No one even tasted it. Nasty, nasty, nasty. It went right into the honey bucket.
I hate wasting food. My husband regards it as one of the seven deadly sins. But this stuff had to go. Trial number three had better churn something better out than this opaque jello.
If you need me, I’ll be incubating,