Suburban Pioneers

The Adventures and Misadventures of Homesteading in 21st-Century America

Lauren: Yogurt and Homemade Deodorant May 7, 2013

I feel as if I should confess a couple of my most recent misadventures: yogurt and homemade deodorant. I was really excited about both endeavors, but alas, my enthusiasm wasn’t enough.

Endeavor #1

I bought a half gallon of whole milk and followed all the directions for Crock Pot Yogurt. I was excited to use milk of my choosing, to save money, and to have live active cultures (it’s questionable whether there are any live cultures in store-bought yogurt; by the time they get shipped to the store, end up on the shelf, and then eventually sit in your refrigerator, they most likely aren’t “live” anymore) . I even put my homemade yogurt in the fridge at three in the morning because that was the time it was finished sitting out. It seemed to slosh a little more in the pot that I thought it ought to, but I was also half asleep. But no, it turns out my observations at o’dark thirty are pretty accurate. In the morning, I saw that it resembled milk more than it did yogurt. The flavor was okay; it’s not really a taste problem so much as a consistency problem. All was not lost, though; we’ve been using it as a replacement for milk over our granola cereal.

Endeavor #2

Dave and I both started using the homemade deodorant I made from coconut oil, baking soda, and essential oil. He sweats like a typical guy and I thought that the homemade version might work better for him than the commercial products. He would really slather on the latter in an attempt to help it last all day, but still, his white undershirts would end up not so white. (Side note: What’s the deal with white undershirts? They end up stained in about six months. What a good marketing job Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, and Calvin Klein have done! But the white undershirts and I are done. We have broken up and I will no longer be buying them! If anything, I might start a relationship with dark blue ones or black.) Anyway, we even wore our natural deodorant on a hike in 85 degree weather and it fared okay. But yesterday, when it was 92 degrees, I opened the deodorant bottle and dumped (poured) the entire contents all over myself and my shoe (if my room had been clean, it would not have ended up in my shoe, but it’s enough work to keep the rest of the house looking decent). In high temperatures, coconut oil turns into a liquid, which I knew but didn’t think about as I was opening the deodorant bottle. And now that my clothes and my shoes smell citrusy, I vaguely remember the directions saying something about keeping the homemade deodorant in the fridge. I also have a problem with my brain being selective about what it decides to remember. . . and when.

I am not done yet. I vow to continue my quest for homemade yogurt and deodorant.  (Updates to follow.)



I have successfully made homemade yogurt! I found a slightly more involved recipe that requires taking the yogurt’s temperature every so often. It comes out perfectly. My favorite thing about the yogurt is that my three year old, who was getting a stomach bug every other month, hasn’t been sick since he started eating it! That’s a win. No more holding buckets for me!


5 Responses to “Lauren: Yogurt and Homemade Deodorant”

  1. Mark Lee Says:

    My goat milk yogurt recipe calls for a drop of rennet per gallon of milk. Goat’s milk proteins won’t knit together enough on their own. With the store bought milk, it might have been flash pasturized at high heat (200 degrees) rather than 145 for 15 minutes or 161for 30 seconds, which also damages the protein structures so it doesn’t thicken. So if the acidity seems right, maybe a dab of rennet would do the trick. Don’t worry if you get too much and end up with a firm cheese-like curd, you can always drain it through a cheesecloth for a few hours to make a nice soft cheese spread (season with a little salt & pepper and chopped chives or whatever other herbs strike your fancy).

  2. Linda Miller Says:

    Maybe you should change the pairing that you attempt at the same time – yogurt and deodorant? What if you really get mixed up? This post made me laugh out loud!

  3. […] Lauren owned up to her Suburban Pioneering failures in her previous post, I thought I should come clean as well.  It’s not always smooth sailing around […]

  4. Little late on this bandwagon but still want to add my two cents. I have been making yogurt at home from store bought milk(any kind) and store bought yogurt( any kind but prefer stoneyfield) for 15 years. The key is one not boiling and I have never read a thermometer when making but waited by stove stirring milk until when I put my pinky finger in it is hot but not scalding. I would say the temp is close to a nice bath soak that is not going to cause you to turn red. Then I remove from heat In a separate container put a ladle of yogurt then half a ladle of warm milk. Stir not whisk!! then add a little more milk tempering the yogurt to the heat.Then slowly pour yogurt mix into milk while stirring. Once again not whisking. Cover with a flour sac or cheese cloth and a loose fitting lid. I usually use a corning ware dish with glass lid or just a normal stove top pot. Place the pot on a towel (large one) wrap the towel like you are wrapping a gift and place on the counter where it will not be moved around or bothered. 12-24 hours later this is really a preference of taste the yogurt is ready and full of live cultures for the next batch. I make any where from 1 gal- 2gal each time and am very amazed at how fast my fam of 6 uses this up. I hope this helped

    • I’ve been making yogurt in the cooler overnight (keeping it warm with thermoses of warm water and towels in the cooler to make sure it’s happy yogurt temperature). Not sure exactly what Lauren’s method has been beyond the thermometers, but mine with the cooler has been hit and miss. Thanks, Heather!!! I’m going to try your method next. ~Sarah

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