Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Sunday mornings I generally burn a couple of slices of French toast for breakfast. Last Sunday, I realized I didn't have any milk, so I used yogurt. Weird, but it worked. Today I made my first batch of yogurt from the yogurt maker that Angela gave me. Angela left today for Cincinnati. She is going to be working on her PhD at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

It's really easy. Just pour in a liter of milk. The recipe from Angela's mother calls for 30 grams (six coffee bar sugar packs) of sugar. That seems like a lot, but I decided to go by the book until I have experience. Then you have to add one little package of bacteria. Angela's mother had some packages that she sent along, but I am going to have to figure out where to buy these, because this is the one ingredient that cannot be picked up at most stores. But this simple process makes surprisingly good yogurt. And it doesn't have any preservatives or other stuff like that in it.

Since I have come to China, there is one part of my diet that has changed very significantly. In America, yogurt is a desert snack. But in China, it is a beverage. It comes in plastic jugs that you find in the refrigerated part of the dairy section in any supermarket. Milk is kept in the aisles, because most milk sold in China is UHT milk. It has a shelf life of six months. But yogurt is generally fresh. And I drink it or eat it with fruit every day. I used to just pour a little fruit juice in a glass, and then pour in a little yogurt. Since I moved to the village, I buy fruit at the little produce market near my place and eat it in a bowl with yogurt. But the point is that I eat or drink yogurt every day and have since I came to this country. When I lived in the United States, I used to get a 24 hour stomach flue about once a year. Some years I got lucky, but most of the time, I would have one day in a given year that I didn't feel very well. But I have not had a stomach flue since I came to China. I have literally forgotten how to vomit. What could be the reason for this? There's just no other explanation that makes sense. It has to be the yogurt.

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