Making Yogurt Magic

A brief humblebrag of my kitchen shenanigans

I believe I have awed many of you by mentioning — casually tossing off, in fact — that I have made my own yogurt during the pandemic. Even I am awed by having done it. I wish I could say it was really hard, or that I studied yogurt-making on MasterClass before attempting it myself. Will you think less of me if I admit that it’s easier than flossing? As in, you push a button?

We eat a lot of yogurt in my household; my teenage son vacuums down a large container in a day or two. When I first bought an Instant Pot, I noticed its dashboard included a “yogurt” setting, but I never gave it much thought because my son only likes Trader Joe’s yogurt. Besides, I assumed you need access to some complicated alchemy in order to transform milk into yogurt.

Then came the pandemic, and taking frequent trips to Trader Joe’s just to replenish our yogurt supplies seemed insane. I took another look at the yogurt setting on the Instant Pot and thought, “Hey, I went to college! I bet I can do this.” And indeed, I could. As I learned by reading the Instant Pot Owner’s Manual, that super-secret codex I had failed to ever open, all it involved was putting a tablespoon of yogurt into a bunch of milk and pressing the “yogurt” button.

Eight hours later, presto: Yogurt.

The first time I made it I was so astonished that I kept poking the yogurt, expecting it to devolve back into a gallon of milk. I started making it regularly, but I never got over feeling like it was some kind of magic trick. The day I visited the baby horse felt enchanted enough as it was but finding a giant tub of yogurt in my refrigerator that I had, with my very own hands, made earlier that day seemed like another part of the spell.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Tiard Schulz on Unsplash

Written by

Writer, writer, writer. Oh, I also write. Staff writer, The New Yorker. Author of The Library Book, The Orchid Thief, and more…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store