Well, I must have angered the yogurt gods with my over-confidence and blase attitude toward measurements, temperatures and times. A few nights ago, I made my second batch of attempted yogurt, and was even foggier than before about following directions. I'll tell you what -- when I opened my oven door in the morning, I was greeted by two warm bowls of milk. Oh no!
I was determined not to let all that milk go to waste. Perhaps, if I boiled it again, I could start over? I put the milk in an extra-big soup pot, turned it on high and covered it. And then the phone rang; my milk and good intentions were completely forgotten. About ten or 15 minutes later I returned to find a pot of very hot milky water and what looked like giant cottage-cheese curds. Again, oh no! But perhaps all was not lost -- cheese is made from milk too, right? Maybe I've accidentally made cheese? I scoured the internet to try to discern what happens to milk when it is boiled and separates, but came up empty-handed. Certainly, cheese is made from milk, and you can make it at home, but the information I found about that made it seem like a far more complicated process.
At any rate, I strained my cheese-like concoction through a colander and refrigerated it. At lunch time I made a cold pasta salad with whole-wheat penne, black beans, sunflower seeds, balsamic, olive oil, avocado and my curds. Absolutely, completely delicious.
I have no idea what this is -- cottage cheese? Ricotta? Whey? A completely stumbled-upon creation. Yogurt gods, I promise to amend my non-measuring ways. Cheese gods, thank you for stepping in and opening the door to a whole new realm of experimentation.