Incubation Station


Homemade yoghurt. Let me explain.

If only I could live on well-paid odd jobs. I mean, I could, I suppose, anyone could in the right market for their strengths. But my current situation requires a swift kick to the visa. I’m applying to ALL THE JOBS, natürlich. Longterm office-y things, a lot of assistant work, as well as more challenging artistic stuff that I feel is unlikely to pan out given the French adherence to formal training and internships. For example, my dream right now would be to work as part of a production crew here in Paris. But the likelihood of being able to get a gig like that, without a certain status, is slim to none.

So my last work adventure blurs into my new one: last week I was a fashion designer’s trade show assistant, and in a couple weeks more I will be at yet another trade show. This one, for natural foods companies, promises to be a little more prêt-à-porter. My client is a UK-based company coming to present their products to the French market. I will be hanging around to act as interpreter.

See, this is how work should be: a couple of long days here and there learning something totally new and seemingly unrelated to your life, and then going home to think about that, recuperate and find another 3-day gig that starts in a few weeks. And who knows, maybe I’ll go home with some food samples ohpleasepleaseplease.

And speaking of being at home, and incubation, and food: I just made my first batch of homemade yoghurt last night. Before my one of my favourite multinational couples moved out of the hood this summer, they gave me a bargain deal on one of the prized possessions that didn’t make the Box-Up-and-Send-to-Argentina cut. Most people don’t even know that they can make their own yoghurt, and I’m not just generalizing based on the fact that I personally had had no idea until presented with this odd little device.


Here is my mini yoghurt factory. The pots are filled with the milk/ghurt mixture, and ready to be covered and incubated!

The yoghurt maker, a round plastic platform with little glass jars and a plastic lid, has been sitting around waiting for me to whip up a batch. When I mentioned I wanted to use it, the Boy replied totally offhand that they always made yoghurt in Sardegna. And for some reason, I’m just like, Of course they do. I had been all stressed about measurements, but he just told me to mix together one small container of yoghurt with a liter of milk, fill the containers and turn on the machine.


One of them has a duct taped lid BECAUSE LIFE ISN’T PERFECT.

12 hours later, I awoke to the alarm I’d set, letting me know it was time to turn it off. And this morning we enjoyed some deliciously creamy yoghurt. My friend had convinced me to take it based on the quality of the products you can choose for it, truly making it your own. Not to mention cheaply, if you imagine that you need less than one individual yoghurt to start a whole batch. For the less than 2 euros I spent on ingredients, I made 7 good-sized pots. And it was way easier than I imagined – which is how things usually are, when the Boy reminds me to take a deep breath and put down the measuring cups.

At least now I have fuel for the hours I spend glued to and something to chat about with the natural foods peeps who hired me for the show.

By the way, my friend Jo discovered that the wikipedia entry for yoghurt is maybe the web article of the day. Especially the part where Suleiman I (1494 -1566, AKA Suleiman the Magnificent, longest reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire) sends a doctor to aid Francis I with an extreme bout of diarrhea that no French doctor can seem to cure…and how does the second doc succeed? Why, with yoghurt of course!


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