Posted by: Rachael | January 21, 2010

start the day well

We have friends who our children think the world of – except for one aspect of their lives. They drink green barley for breakfast. My lot know I approve highly of this practice in spite of not enforcing it in recent times….but just today Grandpa gave us his decades old juicer….and so in the not too distant future, our children may well be swallowing green barley mixed in with carrot juice!
In the meantime, we’re re-starting this blogging effort with a few breakfast posts.

One of the most simple breakfasts is local seasonal fruit.
In Cambodia a year ago we would walk down to the market early each morning to choose a watermelon and pineapple for breakfast along with some dragonfruit or mandarins or papaya or starfruit or bananas (admittedly, they were usually fried in batter 😉 ) In Italy it was watermelons on the menu – big nine kilogram ones – along with grapes, juicy green or black. Right now in New Zealand, it’s nectarine and plum time. The latter come from our own trees, and the former are the cheapest fruit at the vege shop (this, by the way, is often a hint as to what is seasonal – it can be hard to know what is in season if you haven’t grown up in a horticultural community, because we are becoming experts at providing all fruits and vegetables all year round – but the fact remains you CANNOT beat a local seasonal anything! And yesterday watermelons finally dropped in price, nothing near the Asian or Italian equivalents, but cheap for New Zealand. Must be the end of summer!)

Yes, on that plate (attractively arranged by Jgirl15) is also a dollop of yoghurt. It’s easy-peasy to make.
Heat a litre or two of milk until you can hold a finger in it for ten seconds but no longer. Add some yoghurt left over from your last batch (I usually do about a quarter of a cup regardless of whether I’m making one or two litres, so you cna see this is not an accurate scientific formula – but it does work). Pour into jars (I use glass agee jars), bundle them up in a few blankets (through trial and error you’ll work out how many it takes to hold the temperature for long enough – I have my cooking bag stuffed with three baby blankets and an old scrap of felted wool, and I bung all that in the biggest pot we bought in Berlin). After six hours I find the mixture has transformed from milk to yoghurt. Leaving it for a couple more hours will see the whey starting to separate and you’ll be left with Very Thick Yoghurt Indeed. (I should remark at this point that I use non-homogenised full fat milk. I doubt you’d have the same results with trim milk). If you want the Really Truly Thick Greek stuff, you can pour your yoghurt into a sieve lined with a muslin cloth (or just tie the ends together and suspend it from a wooden spoon) – either way pop it over a bowl to catch the whey, and the yoghurt will thicken before your eyes. It’s a good idea to do it during the day and keep an eye on it so you can pop it in the fridge when it’s thick enough for your liking-  if you leave it overnight you will definitely ahve something more resembling cheese in the morning. Should this happen, the addition of crushed garlic and chillis or fresh basil or dill and onion or whatever you might fancy makes a wonderful spread!



  1. Green Barley……..hmmmm, delicious!!! I still have to block my nose to be able to drink it!!! Wonderful to share a meal with you all again……good kiwi fare;-) Looking forward to doing it again soon and being inspired by this blog again.

  2. I have been wondering how you make your youghurt and now I know! Thanks so much for posting that I will have to have a go.

  3. Hmm, must try this! And I’d better hang on to that baby wool blanket that has a hole which is in the take to sally army pile. I normally only make yoghurt in easiyo with easiyo or hansells powder, so would that be okay as a starter?

    • I think so. If it doesn’t work, buy a small plain yoghurt and go from there.

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