Normally, I’m not a gadget gal, but in the last six months, I’ve purchased two electronic wonders that have changed the way I cook and that actually make being in the kitchen not so mind-numbing.

Don’t get me wrong – I love to cook and eating good food is even better, but after more than fifty years of making meals, it’s become tedious most of the time. I mean, how creative can you be with boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs, fish, pork and beef after you’ve made thousands of meals?

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Plus, Hub will eat anything except cauliflower, so if I decide to make omelettes three times a week, he doesn’t complain. This is a man who has yogurt and Holy Crap cereal with fruit every day for lunch. No challenge there.

BUT, I was challenged to make yogurt that was tasty rather than bland and not filled with chemicals and binders. So after tasting the mind-blowingly delicious coconut milk yogurt my cousin Leslynn produced (she’s lactose intolerant), I decided to get back into making my own.

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Whole unpasteurized milk in glass bottles? Available from our local grocery store. Dried starter? Bought from our local health food store. I wasn’t about to get into little jars and finagling oven temperatures and timing, so I bought an electronic one.

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Tried to use ‘natural yogurt’ for the first batch, which was an epic fail because the product may have advertised itself as having lots of culture and good bacteria, but it was a flop. However, when I strained the final batch, I got a cup of great yogurt cheese from a quart of milk.

So I gave up on that Earth Mother approach and followed the directions to scald the milk, let it cool then stir in powdered skim milk and the starter and let the machine do its work. Eureka.

The freshest-tasting creamy yogurt imaginable with little waste.Ummmm.

Before I store it in a 4 cup Pyrex container, I whip in a couple of capsules of probiotics and we’re good to go. It may not be cheaper when you factor in the cost of the machine ($99 at Amazon), but the fact that I can put all the prepared ingredients in the machine, set it and leave it to ferment for six hours then cool is a godsend.

Mixed with sweet or savory ingredients, the yogurt is a joy to behold.

yogurt-1235353_1280The only hitch is when Vince’s market doesn’t have whole milk. But one batch a week lasts us and since it doesn’t take that long to be finished, the convenience factor is huge.

So yes, it sits on the kitchen counter. Next up, the Instant Pot!