Friday, February 24, 2012

Saving Milk and Dairy Products - February 24, 2012

Our CSA box comes with a half gallon of milk every other week.  We rarely drink that much milk unless we have house guests for breakfast or have a big baking project.  So, I am always looking for something to do with milk that is getting near its sell date.  For me, the greatest thing was to learn that milk can be frozen.  The thinner the milk (skim is best) the better it freezes.  Basically, when you pull it back out and defrost, it is as close as it was to going sour that day as the day you stuck it in the freezer.  We also like to make homemade corn bread and biscuits with buttermilk and for some reason, we can never find small containers of buttermilk.  So, now, I pour the left over buttermilk into ½ cup muffin tins and freeze just like in the vegetable broth recipe I included in January.  I pop these out and freeze in a zip lock bag and pull out just what I need for a recipe with buttermilk.

Unfortunately, I don’t always have time to think ahead and some milk, yogurt or sour cream gets lost in the back of the refrigerator and becomes a lost cause.  Here is a recent example of sour cream that has been lost for a while.  I gladly chunked it in the trash.  (OK, My decaying food is not very interesting, but check out Klaus Pichler's photography of food waste created to make a statement about the fact that one-third of food is wasted:

But, when milk, yogurt or cream first sours, you can use it in many great recipes just like sour cream.  In fact, you can dedicate a glass container in your refrigerator for this purpose.  When milk first sours, pour it in and allow to thicken for recipes.  Don’t leave it too long or it will get a bitter taste.  Here are two great examples of what I did with the soured yogurt in my refrigerator that hadn’t reached the stage of the sour cream above:

Basic Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup dry oatmeal
1 cup sour milk, cream or yogurt (or buttermilk)
1 egg
1/2 cup brown or white sugar (I use brown Splenda)
1/3 cup oil
1 1/4 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

In a large bowl, combine the oatmeal and sour milk. Let it stand for a few minutes, for the oatmeal to absorb some of the sour milk. Add the egg, sugar and oil. Beat very well with a wire whisk or fork. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Mix again, just until dry particles are moistened. You can add ½ cup of any type dried fruit at this point.  I tried dried cranberries.  Spoon the batter into a dozen well oiled muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Emergency Biscuits

2 cups flour
1 T shortening
1 cup sour milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Sift the flour, salt, and soda together.  Drop the shortening in with a spoon.  Add the milk and stir lightly.  The dough should be soft.  Drop by spoonfuls into greased muffin-tins and bake in a hot oven about twenty minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment