Buried in the comments in mumtaznepal's diary about creating mobile farmers markets to serve food deserts, is mumtaznepal's diet. Lunch is yogurt, berries and maybe some walnuts or peanuts sprinkled on top.
Ah, yogurt. I like yogurt, but I don't eat it very often. It's rather expensive, and I'm rather cheap. Besides, yogurt making has a reputation for needing special equipment, has many steps that must be done on a specific time schedule, all things anathema to a lazy cook such as myself. Still, if illiterate Mongolian horsemen could make yogurt by carrying milk in their saddlebags (or was that cheese?) I guess I couldn't mess it up too badly.
Turns out making yogurt is ridiculously simple.
I made it in my oven. I need to mention that, because that's what made the process so simple. My oven runs on natural gas and has a mechanical thermostat. The dial has an "off" setting, then, starting about 1/4 turn around the dial, it has markings for 250 to 550 degrees, with a "warm" setting below 250 and a broil setting above 550. There is a lot of unmarked dial between "off" and "250."
Here is yogurt making in a nutshell:
(Step 1) Heat milk to 180° F and hold it there for a while to sterilze it.
(Step 2) Cool the milk to under 120°F (so you don't kill the yogurt culture) and add yogurt culture to the 120° F milk.
(Step 3) Hold the milk between 110° F and 120°F for several hours while the yogurt culture is fruitful and multiplies and turns the milk into yogurt and whey.
(Step 4, for high protein Greek yogurt) Strain the whey out and chill the yogurt.
The markings on my oven thermostat are too high to be of any use, besides, they aren't all that accurate. I do have an accurate meat thermometer, an inexpensive one with a thin metal probe and a dial at the end, marked from Zero to 220 degrees. I tested its accuracy in ice water (32°F), boiling water (212°F), and room temperature (I think it was in the 70s).
I set the oven to below 'warm' and checked it every now and then, making adjustments to the setting until the oven stabilized at 180°F on my accurate thermometer. I was ready to make yogurt.
I poured about 3 ½ cups of milk into a clean 1 quart glass jar and put it in the oven. Since the oven was at 180°F, eventually the milk in the jar would reach 180°F, as well. But I didn't have to worry about scorching the milk, or stirring it, either. Just let it warm up to the point where an hour or so at 180°F would kill any bacteria or other nasties in the milk, leaving me with sterile milk in a sterile jar. I suspended my thermometer in the milk so I could tell when it reached the proper temperature.
Since this was my first time making yogurt, I checked on it every hour or so. Next time I'll know to let it sit in the 180°F oven for five hours.
Then I moved on to the second step: I turned the thermostat down to what I hoped was around 120°F, and went to bed, leaving my sterile milk to cool in its sterile jar inside my sterile oven with a sterile thermometer suspended from a sterile slotted spoon (Next time I will poke a hole in the jar lid, and use that instead of the spoon.)
The milk was still a little too warm when I got up the next morning, so I turned the thermostat down just a bit, and an hour later the thermometer registered just under 120°F. To complete step 2, I opened a container of store bought Greek yogurt, stirred a heaping teaspoon's worth into the warm milk, and had the rest for breakfast, mixed with some strawberries and some peanuts.
I checked on the jar in the oven every hour or so, and after about six hours (I'll set a timer next time I do this) the milk had turned into yogurt with a bit of whey floating at the top. At this point, I have yogurt. If you like regular yogurt, stir the whey into the yogurt, and put the jar in the refrigerator to cool.
I wanted to make Greek yogurt, so I continued on to step 4. I lined a collander with cheesecloth, wetted it down, put the collander in a large bowl and dumped (this yogurt doesn't pour) the yogurt into the cheesecloth, helping it along with a large spoon. I put all this into the refrigerator to cool and strain. After about an hour, around ¾ of a cup of whey was in the bowl, and the yogurt was chilled. I left it for another hour, but only got a few more tablespoons of whey in the bowl.
I finished up by spooning the yogurt into three small jars, each jar filled with around 6 oz. of thick, smooth, mild and very delicious Greek yogurt. For about 30 cents a jar. I am definitely going to do this again.