Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cooking with your computer

The appeal of homemade stuff is so easy for me. If it's cheaper, tastes better, and only requires minimal work and attention from me, I'm bound to give it a try at some point. I had bought the packets of kefir culture over a year ago while in a period of love with the natural foods grocery store, New Life. They carry items that Sunflower, the larger chain of natural foods, does not, and it is relatively close to my house. I only visit them about twice a year, mostly to stock up on bulk herbs and spices.

Two weeks ago I cracked open the box of kefir packets and read the directions. Just cook the milk to sterilize it, cool to room temperature, then add the packet of beasties and wait for them to have a party. Since the ambient temperature has been in the low 60s I wanted to boost the bacteria's growth potential. I tried putting the jar of cultured milk in my old Wipie Warmer, but then realized that the heat coil was in the lid, which was opened to make room for the jar inside. Placing the jar on the underside of the Wipie Warmer lid was too precarious. The laptop computer's small amount of heat generation prooved to be perfect for the job. I just placed the jar near the computer while I burned a DVD and voila! Kefir! As you can see from the picture it also makes a good butter softener.

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