Do­mes­tic dilem­mas solved

Don’t be daunted by that diva de­meanour – Fri­day’s very own chef Sil­vena Rowe is happy to an­swer all your kitchen queries

Friday - - Leisure -

What is the best way to store bak­ing soda or bi­car­bon­ate of soda?

In the re­frig­er­a­tor. Once you open the seal of the pack­ag­ing, place it in a zip-lock plas­tic bag along with the pack­ag­ing it comes in and re­frig­er­ate it.

By plac­ing it in the zi­plock bag, you pre­vent it from ab­sorb­ing the smells of other food items in the fridge.

To check if the bak­ing soda is still good enough to use, sprin­kle a tea­spoon­ful of the pow­der in about 50ml hot wa­ter. If the wa­ter im­me­di­ately be­comes ef­fer­ves­cent and cloudy and has lots of bub­bles on the sur­face, the bak­ing soda is good enough to use.

Some recipes re­quire slightly sour yo­gurt, but most brands avail­able here are sweet and creamy. Can you rec­om­mend a yo­gurt that has the re­quired sour­ness?

I think the only way to get sour yo­gurt is by mak­ing yo­gurt at home. Be­fore you hit the panic but­ton, let me tell you that it is ex­tremely easy. Here’s how to do it: Boil about four cups of full-fat milk. Let it cool down un­til it is just about warm, then trans­fer it to an oven­proof bowl with a tight lid.

Whisk in a ta­ble­spoon­ful of shop-bought, nat­u­ral/plain yo­gurt and cover with lid. Now pre­heat your oven to 180°C for about three min­utes and then switch the heat off. Place the bowl in the oven and leave it for about three-and-a-half hours. Do not open the oven door dur­ing this pe­riod.

This will pro­duce yo­gurt that tastes a bit tangy but not sour. If you want re­ally sour yo­gurt, then leave it in the oven for about five to six hours. The longer you leave it, the more sour it’ll be­come.

Re­frig­er­ate yo­gurt once the de­sired con­sis­tency and taste has been achieved.

The rea­son why I’m sug­gest­ing you make the yo­gurt in a warm oven is merely to en­sure that you have the ideal warm tem­per­a­ture re­quired. Since most of us live in air­con­di­tioned homes, it’s just too cold to make yo­gurt. But if your apart­ment isn’t too cold then you can leave the bowl on the kitchen counter in­stead.

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