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
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.