Book Shelf: The Urban Homestead

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 The Urban Homestead

I heard of Erik Knutzen about two years ago. He did a talk at a local gathering promoting his new (at the time) book The Urban Homestead. He spoke of water harvesting, brewing spirits, gardening, etc. Needles to say he had my full attention. I bought this book that same night.

I gobbled up the book very quickly while at the same time taking notes. One thing that caught my attention was the section titled “Fil, Piima and Viila”. In it Erik describes a yogurt like substance called Filmjolk. Try as I might I could not find these cultures any where and so decided to make plain old yogurt in stead. It is comparatively an involved and time consuming proses. Not to hard, and you do get tasty yogurt for cheap. However the stuff described in the book was supremely easy. All you have to do is put a spoon full or two of the culture and a cup of milk in a jar. Lightly cover, let sit in the kitchen for 24 hours and you are done.

Fast forward to a week ago. My wife (Erin) goes to a pregnant friend’s home to take photos and massage her (lucky). As all this is happening they started unknowingly talking about the magical cultures of my desire. After a while Erin noticed that what they were talking about was that “yogurt” I had been obsessing about for a while now and asked to take some starter culture home for me. This made me the proud caretaker of a Finnish strain of Fil and Viila, and have now made a couple of jars of the stuff. It’s so good and so easy. If you are interested in some starter and live in the Silverlake area, then contact me and we can arrange the adoption…

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