Daily Connector | Making yogurt again | Sarah Werner

Back in late March I was bemoaning on Facebook the constant lack of unflavored yogurt at the grocery store. Yogurt, plain, is a staple of my diet since I have it for breakfast every morning, and I was feeling disoriented enough with everything else. I didn’t want to lose yogurt too. Jenny Campagna gently suggested that I just make my own in the Instant Pot. This has been a long-term goal, to make my own yogurt, for a few years in order to cut down on my plastic waste, but I always drug my feet about it. It’s hard to do new things, but since I didn’t have any other options, I gave it a try. And it was amazing! It’s actually really easy and tastes delicious, much better than store-bought. The lack of plastic waste also felt delicious. I went even further and started making my own granola—rolled oats, walnuts, pepitas, and sunflower seeds with maple syrup—all my favorite ingredients and nothing extra. It’s also much cheaper than buying a box of granola at the store each week.


I used to make both of these things and more when I was in college at Warren Wilson, a hippy farm school in Western North Carolina. I used to go down to the dairy barn with my large glass ball jar to exchange for more milk, sometimes still warm from the dairy cow, aptly named Daisy. I heated the milk over the stove and poured it back in the ball jar with the starter, wrapping it in a blanket and keeping it at the foot of my bed for a day to ferment, sleeping with it at my feet at night. Since I was friends with someone on the farm crew (it’s a work college), I even got to help him milk Daisy once a week, an incredible earthy life experience I highly recommend. We would listen to NPR and squirt milk directly into our choc-full-o-nuts coffee, and enjoy the quiet soul time of being in a barn with a large animal and a friend early in the morning when the sky was still dark and full of possibility. Eating my yogurt with my homemade granola each morning in the dorm reminded me of those moments, and I felt nourished.


I had forgotten all of this until I started making yogurt again. And now when I sit down to breakfast, I think about those quiet moments with Daisy, the enormous dairy cow, and feel connected to a larger web of life even though my current world is mostly my own house and yard with the occasional trip to the park