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Home » Kitchen Tips

My Starter Cultures Are Here!

Submitted by on December 21, 2012 – 7:18 pm 11 Comments
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Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. This whole Sandy Hook tragedy has been weighing so heavily on my mind and heart. There is so much I could say about it all. For two days I sat in front of my computer, reading story after story, watching video clips, staring at photos of each beautiful child who fell victim to a purely evil plot that day.

I sat crying, sobbing, heartbroken for these parents, imagining if that had been my child. I can’t even fathom what they are experiencing right now. I am outraged that the deaths of these poor babies has been turned into a political feeding frenzy. Out of respect for these families, I will refrain from ranting. May these precious children rest in peace, and may their families be able to find the will to go on.

It seems out of place for me to proceed with posting my everyday stuff, but even in the face of tragedy we must gather the strength to continue with our lives, and praise the Father above for every day we have with our own family.

With this in the back of my mind…

starter cultures

I was really excited to get my first ever starter cultures in the mail today.  I’ve been wanting to learn to make my own cultured dairy products for some time now, so I determined to get the starters ordered and make this goal a reality for 2013.

I have no experience whatsoever using starter cultures. I don’t really know what to expect. So this is a completely new adventure for me. I went all out and ordered:

  • Rennet to make hard cheeses
  • Buttermilk Starter
  • Sourdough Starter
  • Kefir Grains
  • and Greek Yogurt Starter

Every one of them is an heirloom variety which can be used to make more batches indefinitely, so it was definitely a worthy investment! I’m thrilled to have these added to my pantry, and can’t wait to start making my own homemade dairy products at home.

Have you ever made anything using starter cultures? Any tips you wanna pass on to this newbie before I get my feet wet?!

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11 Comments »

  • Penelope says:

    I love the Matsoni yogurt starter from Cultures for Health. It’s Mesophilic, so you don’t need to keep it extra warm like regular yogurt, you can just leave it at room temperature. Very convenient. I just ordered their water kefir culture and am in the process of making my first batch of water kefir.

  • Janis says:

    I have been making kefir for about 6 years. I got some very old grains from europe. Making it with raw milk gives it a much better taste and consistancy, and all the better health effects. I mix mine with fruit juices or fruit in a blender. I also make kefir cheese and mix in fruit OR veggies to it. One word of caution about the cheese: don’t eat more than 4 tablespoons of it, or you will get very “plugged up.” Since I started making kefir, I dont eat yogurt anymore. Have fun and share the magic of kefire with your friends.

  • Justine says:

    I’ve just started making my own cheese. It’s the easy stuff but I find it very satisfying! Once I get the soft cheeses down, I’m going to move on to the harder cheeses.

  • Noel McNeil says:

    I have the kefir grains and they are awesome. I could almost do without yogurt. Almost. I am trying my hand at fermenting too. Next up, kombucha. So excited. Can’t wait to see how your fermenting adventures go.

  • Nikki R says:

    Oh so much fun Kendra. :) We have made our own soft cheeses using starters, yogurt from a good store bought yogurt as starter and Buttermilk the same way . Sooooo yummy. Can’t wait to hear how yours turns out.

  • Abby says:

    Kendra,

    I just started making kefir about a month ago. I tasted it at a friend’s house and thought it yummy, but growing it in my house has proved a challenge. It has a different taste. I would suggest tasting it after various stages/lengths of time of “cooking”. I find mine to taste better after a shorter time of growth than my friend suggested. Merry Yogurt and Happy Ke-fir!

  • Sharon Goist says:

    Where did you order your cultures? Always wanted to try this also. Can’t wait to see your results. I’m sure they will be great! Love your site! Sharon

  • Rebecca says:

    Fun! I look forward to hearing about the buttermilk starter — that’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, now.

    For the yogurt, there is a fantastic method for mild, thick yogurt using just a heating pad that is credited to Amy Dacyzyn in Tightwad Gazette. There are about a gazillion tutorials for it online, but this one is great. http://thecrockstar.blogspot.com/2009/03/homemade-yogurt-per-tightwad-gazette.html

    For the sourdough starter, many of us use pineapple juice in place of water to prevent bacterial growth when initially starting up. The scientific explanation and discussion is on The Fresh Loaf website. They also have links to rescuing a starter that’s been in the fridge a little too long.

    Have fun with your new “friends”!

  • Blessed Mama says:

    Jealous! ;)

    I can’t wait til I have enough set aside to place an order! We use a LOT of buttermilk and I really want to start making sourdough breads. I already make my own yogurt (but I do use a little store bought yogurt as my starter)…

    Be sure to let us know how your recipes go :D

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