I check in the supermarket, just in case, because maybe they have it. I search, between the strawberry and the soy and the sugared kids version in their bright packages. I just want simple, plain, white, and lactose free. I'm looking for yoghurt, for my breakfast and as a snack in the afternoon but there isn't any to be found. There never is.
At home I gather my tools. A blanket off my bed, and the hot water bottle from the drawer. A few empty jam jars. Skip the pickle ones, because cereal does not go with a whiff of onion and vinegar. A pot and a bowl and a spoon. The thermometer, hiding away at the back of the drawers again. The milk.
And then I measure and stir and wait, and stir and wait some more. I fill and seal and stack and wait. I wrap it warmly, snuggly, with a blanket and a hot water bottle. And I wait. It is a slow process, this making, that takes patience and restraint. Don't peek under the blanket. Don't jiggle the jars. Leave the little bacteria be, to do what they do. Wait.
And when I finally lift the blanket, there it is. All white and firm and set, and still just a little warm. Ready for that first smooth, milky, slightly sour mouthful. Ready for my oats in the morning, or that midnight hunger, that needs just a little snack. To be mixed with fruit, or sugar, or honey, or eaten just so. Yoghurt, nothing else. Do what you can with what you have.