When I was very young I learned something very important: Make friends with people who are different from you because you can see and learn a lot of interesting things. When I was living in Nigeria, among others I made friends with, I made friends with some Mennonite missionaries. They were American, but they were different from me. The Mennonites are a branch of the Amish. The Amish are a group that doesn’t believe in progress. The women wear little white bonnet type hats and very plain looking clothing. The men wear black suits and Abraham Lincoln type hats, and if they are married, they grow beards. They don’t have electricity in their homes, and they don’t drive cars. They go around in buggies pulled by horses. The women cook on wood stoves, and they are fantastic cooks! The Mennonites believe everything religiously that the Amish believe except they think it is just fine to drive cars and have electricity. The men don’t always wear bears or wear Abraham Lincoln style hats, but the women do wear the little white bonnet style hats. The Mennonite women I made friends with were just like the Amish women who have a reputation for being good cooks. These Mennonite women were making homemade bread, homemade cheese, homemade yogurt, etc. They taught me a few things, and I gladly learned. One of the thing they taught me was how to make yogurt.
In Nigeria, I used the liquid yogurt drink that was being sold to make my yogurt. I heated some milk, and I added just a little of the liquid yogurt. I put the milk with yogurt in it in scalded jars, put lids on them, and then put them in a nest of towels. The next day, I had yogurt. However, I tried that here in Korea with Korean yogurt, and I got cottage cheese. My daughter and I did some research to figure out what happened. Evidently, there are different kinds of yogurt, and you can’t do what I did in Nigeria with just every type of yogurt. After that, my daughter found some “yogurt starter” and suggested I try again, so I did.
This time, I began by heating a quart of milk. I let the milk come to a boil, and then I turned it off to let it cool. When it cooled to the point that it felt like nice hot bath water, I put a package of yogurt starter in it and mixed it up.
I already had my little jars I had saved in the sink. I had taken the lids off of them and poured scalding water over them, and then dumped the water out. I poured the milk with yogurt starter in it into the jars, and then I put the lids on.
I set the jars aside in my kitchen in a place they wouldn’t be disturbed. The directions said just to set them there like that. They didn’t say anything about a nest of towels, so I didn’t wrap towels around them.
I put the jars in the fridge for people to eat at their leisure.
The next day, I came back, and what I found was indeed yogurt! I had learned how to make it with starter. My son in law is giggling saying, “I can eat it with jam!” I actually thought I might make some compote to put over it, but he wants to eat them with jam, so that is fine with me. I put the jars in the fridge for people to eat at their leisure.