Foods Made from Milk

There can't be too much milk. You'll find that in order to get enough milk in the winter for household use, you'll have to live with a surplus of milk in the summer. That's okay When your family doesn't need it all, you can raise calves, pigs, and chickens on it, feed the dog and cat, and make butter, cheese, and many other wonderful dairy foods. I separate the cream out for butter-making, refrigerate whole milk for cooking and table use, and separate out the curds from the rest for cheese, which you can make and store. The animals get the whey. My recipes use real cream and butter in them because you are milking and have these. Here are ideas for good ways to use, preserve, store your milk. MlLK Soups: Soups made with milk are so easy to make, good-tasting, and good for you. We just finished a lunch of tomato soup. I made it by thickening some of my V-7 juice with flour. Then I added salt, a little pour of molasses, and gradually stirred in milk. I was going to add some soda but couldn't find any. It came out good, anyway

As a general rule, milk or cream soups shouldn't be boiled. Boiling hurts the flavor and makes a mean scum to clean out of the kettle. Always add the hot milk to the other ingredients at the last minute. You can make a milk soup out of any vegetable using the same general formula as in the following recipes. They're mostly called "cream of whatever" but are really made with milk.

<i> CREAM OF FRESH MUSHROOM SOUP The old-timers around here go out in the spring and come back with pans of mushrooms. They saute them in butter and eat them right away, can them, or make soup: Wash Vi lb. fresh mushrooms, bruising them lightly if necessary, but do not peel. Chop rather fine. Brown slightly in 6 T. butter. Then blend in 4 T. ftour, and gradually stir in 6 c. milk Cook in the top of a double boiler for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with crackers.

^ ONION SOUP Chop about I lb. onions. Cook the onions with a couple of tablespoons butter over a gentle heat for a few minutes without browning. Add 4 c. chicken stock and salt and pepper to taste, and cook 30 minutes more. Add a little flour and milk paste for thickening and 2 c. milk Cook, stirring, until thickened. Good with bread and cheese.

<i> CREAM OF ONION AND POTATO SOUP Boil about 4 cubed potatoes and 4 sliced onions together in water until tender. Drain, saving the water. Rub the vegetables through a coarse strainer or blend them into a puree. Melt 2 T. butter and then mix into it 2 T. Pour, Vi t. salt and a pinch of pepper. Gradually add 3 c. scalded milk and the potato water. Stir constantly as you add the liquids. Add the potatoes and onion puree, stir, cook 3 minutes, and serve.

<i> CREAM OF SPINACH SOUP Puree 3A c. cooked greens in a blender or chop fine or rub through a sieve. Combine 2 c. milk, I bay leaf, 2 sprigs parsley, and I t. minced onion, and heat to boiling. Melt 3 T. butter, blend in 3 T. flour, a pinch of paprika, I t salt and the milk mixture. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the spinach to the mixture and 'A c. cream. Reheat arid serve.

<i> CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP Peel about 6 tomatoes and cook, or use about 2 c. canned tomatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes after you have mashed them to break up large pieces. Now cool and then puree in a blender or just finish mashing. Add Vi t soda, I T. honey, and I t salt In a separate pan melt 2 T. butter. Mash in 2 T. flour. Then gradually stir in 2 c. milk, stirring constantly until it thickens. Now stir in your tomato mixture, 2 c. more milk, and I T. finely chopped parsley, if you have it Heat and serve.

Milk Beverages

<i> HOT FLAVORED MILK Combine I c. or more scalding hot milk and a pour of molasses (or some instant cocoa, or a little honey and vanilla). Beat it up with the eggbeater or put into the blender. Pour into a glass. Sphnkle nutmeg on top. Serve with toasted homemade bread.

<i> BANANA MILK SHAKE Slice 2 bananas and beat until creamy, or put through a coarse sieve, or blend. Add 2 c. cold milk, mix thoroughly, and serve at once.

<i> GOAT MILK SHAKE From Sonya Lizarraga, Salome, AZ: "You just freeze the goat milk in small containers (neighbors give me their plastic cottage-cheese cartons). When you want your shake, you cover the blades in your liquifier (blender) with just cold milk, then put in 2 big spoons of carob powder (a good protein) and a banana. Then add as much frozen goat milk chunks as will make it thick, blending to mix up well. Fun to experiment with other flavors too, but banana is our favorite."

W> REAL STRAWBERRY MILK SHAKE Crush about I qt strawberries, and press through a coarse sieve in order to get at least I ¥3 c. puree. Or blend. Combine the strawberry puree with 5 c. milk and Vi c. cream. Add Vi c. honey, Ai1 salt, and 2Ai t. lemon juice. Mix well and chill. Top each glass with a spoonful of whipped cream.

<i> BANANA-STRAWBERRY SHAKE Mash 2 medium-ripe bananas and combine with I c. slightly sweetened, crushed strawberries. Mix in I T. lemon juice, I qt milk, and I qt. slightly softened vanilla ice cream with a whisk. You could garnish each serving with a fresh strawberry.

<i> APRICOT MILK Put I c. cooked apricots and their juice through a sieve, or blend. Mix the pulp with 3 c. milk Put Vi pint vanilla ice cream in a pitcher and pour the milk mixture over it. Stir slightly

PRUNE MILK Pit and mash the prunes until you have I c. pulp. Add that to 3 c. chilled milk, and beat them together or shake in a jar. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream.

W> PEAR AND GINGER ALE MILK Press I c. cooked or canned pears (not the juice) through a sieve, or blend. M ix with I qt. milk Pour into glasses, and to each glass add a splash of fizzy ginger ale (recipe in Chapter 5).

W> MAPLE AND GINGER ALE MILK Add 'A c. maple syrup to I qt milk, and mix well. Pour the milk into tall glasses and add ginger ale to taste.

<i> MILK LASSIE Stir I T. molasses into I c. milk, hot or cold. Easy and nice.

BANANA LASSIE Mash I ripe banana until smooth. Stir in

I T. molasses and a pinch of salt Add % c. milk and mix well c^ ORANGE JULIE Combine A3 c. frozen orange juice concentrate, Ai c. milk, Aj c. water, A4 c. sugar, Ai t vanilla, and 6 ice cubes in a blender, and whir until smooth. Serve right away.

W> SHAKER SYLLABUB The Shakers heavily sweetened I gal. warm apple cider with maple sugar or syrup and grated a nutmeg on top, then milked the cow right into the mixture and served it at the table while still hot and foamy. Some winter I'm going to try that just for adventure! custard: Custard can be made by baking or boiling, or can be thickened with rennet, which causes a yogurt-like result. Custards have to be cooked at a low temperature and not too long or they will curdle. But frankly, I'm always in such a muddle my custards "curdle" more often than not, and they are still delicious. All "curdle" means is that some water separates out. I just pour it off and serve what's left. The best way to regulate the cooking temperature of baked custards is to surround the pan with water. Set the individual custard dishes in a pan of hot water. Make all boiled custards in the top of a double boiler. Milk that is a little sour can also cause curdling.

If the custard does start to separate, remove it immediately from the heat, set the custard pan in a pan of cold water, and beat to redistribute the particles. Any acid such as lemon juice would reinforce the tendency to curdle. Baked custards come out firmer than boiled custards. You know it is done when the blade of a knife run into the center of the custard comes out clean. The firmness of the custard is also a result of the amount of egg in it. The more egg in your custard, the firmer it will be. Two eggs per cup of liquid is a good general guide. One egg per cup of liquid makes a soft custard, all right for baking in small cups.

<P> BAKED CUSTARD Combine 3 lightly beaten eggs, A41 salt, and A3 c. sugar. Add 3 c. scalded milk slowly, stirring constantly Add Ai t vanilla. Pour into custard cups. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Place the filled custard cups in a pan of hot water and bake in a moderate oven (325°F) for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the custard comes out clean.

For chocolate custard: Add IA2 oz. (squares) of chocolate to the milk and heat until melted. You can't use that instant chocolate stuff

For coconut custard: Add Ai c. shredded coconut to the mixture.

For coffee custard: Scald 2 T. ground coffee with the milk, strain, and proceed as for the baked custard.

For date custard: Add Ai c. chopped dates to the custard before baking.

For honey custard: Use Ai c. honey instead of sugar.

For rum custard: Leave out the vanilla and add 2 T. rum.

BOILED CUSTARD Combine 2 lightly beaten eggs, As t. salt, and A c. sugar. Add slowly 2 c. scalded milk, and cook in the top of a double boiler until the mixture coats a spoon. Add A t vanilla and chill.

For almond custard: Use almond extract instead of the vanilla, and top with shaved, toasted almonds when ready to serve.

For caramel custard: Use brown sugar instead of white.

For chocolate custard: Melt I oz. (square) chocolate in the milk.

Custard making is so simple and yet such an art. My mother's custards were carefully made in little individual dishes. They always came out just perfect, and were such a gift of love it makes me both hungry and homesick just to remember them.

Rennet Puddings: Rennet puddings made from scratch turn out like yogurt. When Little Miss Muffet was sitting on a tuffet, eating her "curds and whey," I figure it was a junket rennet pudding. They used "essence of pepsin" or "liquid rennet" or a "junket tablet" to make them. That's the same rennet that is used in cheese-making. (See "Cheese" for how to make rennet if you don't buy it.)

BASIC RENNET PUDDING Just stir in the acid, let the milk stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes, then refrigerate. Serve with cream and sweetening, or fruit. It's very bland.

VANILLA RENNET CUSTARD Combine 2 c. milk 2 T. sugar, and a dash of salt in a small pan. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until lukewarm. Remove from heat and add I t vanilla. Crush I rennet tablet in cold water in a cup, stirring until dissolved. Add it quickly to the milk mixture, stirring only once or twice. Pour immediately into a quart dish or into individual dishes. Let stand at room temperature until the mixture is set (do not move) then chill. The custard will set in 10-30 minutes, depending on the temperature of the room. The higher the room temperature the more time is needed. Sprinkle top of custard lightly with nutmeg or cinnamon just before serving. Rennet is sometimes available at grocery stores.

flour-thickened Milk: Mrs. Lillie R. Balph, Beaver Falls, PA, wrote me: "My mother served this to us as a breakfast cereal. It isn't a soup. She used flour to thicken the milk to a pudding consistency. She put butter and salt in it and heated it until it was very smooth and creamy. She served it in cereal bowls. She ate it with sugar and more butter, but Father and us children used cream and sugar. My aunt made hers lumpy as did other women in the community. Sometimes I make it for myself."

Kat Atkins, Coquille, OR, speaking of goat milk, wrote me: "I keep a quart made and in the fridge, and I add at least 2 eggs to each quart and thicken with 3 heaping T. flour. Then I just make toast and pour the milk over, after rewarming, add some nutmeg now and then and Instant Breakfast. Also great over oatmeal. Good for people with queasy stomachs. Good frozen. Makes soup and a good base liquid for any cooking. I make it ahead when I'm not busy. It lasts about 3 days. 'Thickened milk' made with a dash of vanilla, poured into a bowl with granola topping even pleases and fills my husband at breakfast."

cultured Milks: Store-bought buttermilk, kefir, and yogurt are the 3 common cultures in use, but they are not the only ones. For more information on these quick milk cultures, read Making Your Own Cheese and Yogurt by Max Alth (1973) (also good on cheese-making); and Yogurt, Kefir, and Other Milk Cultures or Fermented Foods and Beverages, both by Beatrice Trum Hunter. You can order the appropriate culture starters from dairy or cheese-makers' suppliers, or start with some grocery-store product. Kefir grains and other specialized products for yogurt and kefir-making are available from GEM Cultures: 707-964-2922; 30301 Sherwood Rd., Fort Bragg, CA 95437; www.gemcultures.com. GEM also sells a culture thermometer ($7), cheesecloth, and Kombucha Tea Fungus.

Cultured "Buttermilk": Real buttermilk is the liquid left over after you've churned butter. It is delicious and good to use in cooking or to drink straight. Commercial dairy "buttermilk" or homemade cultured "buttermilk" never was near a butter churn. It is made by adding a culture to milk to thicken it. At the dairy, sometimes dots of melted butter are sprayed into the cultured milk to make it look "buttery" (real buttermilk doesn't have any butter in it). They add 1 or 2 percent butter that way—whatever they think the customers want. Then the "buttermilk" is ready for sale.

So dairy-type "buttermilk" is skim milk that has been cultured with a variety of bacteria in the same way you make yogurt. It sets up (thickens) 12-14 hours after the culture is introduced. Then you stir to break up the mass. That's why it doesn't have a yogurt-like consistency. NOTE: To substitute in a recipe for store buttermilk, you can use your homemade yogurt plus a dab of butter.

^BUTTERMILK-CULTURED MILK Mix 2 c. raw milk or home-grown milk with !4 c. store buttermilk Cover and set in a warmish place for 24 hours. (Read instructions under "Yogurt" because it's the same procedure.) You can use A c. of your resulting thick milk to start a new batch and so on. You can make cottage cheese out of the results. Both curd and whey are good and nourishing to eat if you want. Any little mold that forms on top can simply be scraped off and given to the animals. Buttermilk culture is the least sour tasting of the three. Sourness also depends on how soon you eat it. The sooner you eat any of these 3, the less sour they will be. The longer you wait to eat your cultured milk the more sour it will be—up to a certain point You can keep the culture going until it gets contaminated in the same way yogurt does. yogurt: This is milk soured by a selected variety of bacteria. Yogurt is thickened because the bacteria consumes the milk sugar and changes some of it to lactic acid. Once you have made a yogurt culture at home you can keep making more by using a little of your last culture to make each new batch, but eventually the mixture gets invaded by an off-breed of bacteria. In that case you could start over with some dairy yogurt. This happens about once a month. Once you learn to make this wonderful stuff, consider getting The Stonyfield Farm Yogurt Cookbook by Meg Cadoux Hirshberg, available from Harrowsmith (see magazine list in Chapter 1) for 300 yogurt-using recipes. Garden Way offers Cooking with Yogurt, Bulletin A-86: yogurt gravy, salad dressing, soup, frozen, etc. Electric yogurt-makers are nice but not necessary. Getting Your Culture to Start. An easy way to get started is to buy a pint of yogurt and add 3 T. of that to a quart of your own milk. You can use cow, goat, or soybean milk— even powdered skim milk. Or use a commercial yogurt culture for a starter. You can't make your own culture (starter) unless you're a bacteriologist, because that involves isolating a batch of 1 kind of invisible bacteria from all the others and growing it alone.

Yogurt Thickness. The thinnest yogurt is made from nonfat dry milk liquefied with water. Mixing it with skim milk gives you a thicker yogurt. Starting with whole milk makes it thicker yet. Making the yogurt from whole milk with some nonfat milk mixed in gives you thicker yet. If you add evaporated milk, or light or heavy cream to whole milk you get the thickest yogurt of all! Secrets of Great Yogurt

1. Start by pasteurizing the milk.

2. Cool milk to 105-110°F

3. If you start from store-bought yogurt, make it an unfavored, additive-free one: 2 T. per quart of your milk.

4. Keep the mix as near 105-110°F as possible while it's working.

5. It takes more than twice as long for yogurt from a freeze-dried culture to get going, as for starts from active yogurt culture.

6. Move from the warm "incubating" place as soon as it has thickened, and chill at least 12 hours; keep refrigerated until used up.

Heat milk to 150° to pasteurize, cool to 110°

Add milk powder if desired for extra thickness and nutrition

Heat milk to 150° to pasteurize, cool to 110°

i\ Stir in starter and maintain at 110° until thickened. Disturb as little as possible

Add milk powder if desired for extra thickness and nutrition i\ Stir in starter and maintain at 110° until thickened. Disturb as little as possible

BASIC YOGURT From Connie Hughes: "Use I A c. canned milk, V3 c. skim milk, and I t. unflavored gelatin. Put the milk in a 2-qt. pan and sprinkle on gelatin. Let soak 5 minutes or so, then stir with a wire whisk while heating to almost boiling (to pasteurize). Cool to warm (I set the pan in a dishpan with cold water and watch it until it's just warm). Add !4 cup commercial yogurt (unflavored) and whisk in well. Rinse out small jars with hot water and fill with warm yogurt mixture. Set in a warm place overnight until set Taste it to see if it's ready or not Then refrigerate." To thicken this recipe add anywhere from 2 T. to I c. powdered milk. From scratch with powdered milk, use 2Aic. dry milk powder with 3% c. water.

CHRISTINE'S YOGURT From Christine Roelke of Manchester, PA. "I have a yogurt maker/warming tray. Use I qt whole or skim milk and add V3 or Vic. powdered milk (optional for a firmer or pudding-like consistency). Scald, then let cool until it feels lukewarm to the touch. Add vanilla (I t.) and honey (less than I t). Mix in 2 to 3 T. plain yogurt Let sit on warm surface for 2 to 4 hours. Cover the containers with a cookie sheet to keep the warmth down where the yogurt is."

<§> HEATING PAD YOGURT From Kat Atkins, Coquille, OR: Heat 10 c. goat's milk to 162°F. Cool to 110°F. Add A c. noninstant milk powder, 8 oz. Dannon brand plain yogurt A t honey, and (optional) a dash of vanilla. Pour into l-qt sterile jars. Cover the top of each jar with plastic. Put a heating pad into a canning kettle (36-qt) and turn pad on to high until the kettle is warm inside. Put a down pillow on top of pad, then the jars—wrapped in towels—then another pillow. Don't leave airspace. Change heating pad temperature to medium and wrap kettle in a blanket Let go 3 days. Unwrap and put jars of yogurt in fridge. For Your Next Batch. Save about V4 c. of your first batch. Keep it in the refrigerator or in a covered container. Use it within 5 days to start another batch of yogurt. And so on until your yogurt gets that off-taste that shows you that some sort of bacteria has moved in on the original variety. That's when you have to get some of the store kind again. You could also buy yogurt culture direct from a dairy supplier if you have use for so much at once. More Yogurt Recipes. There are so many good things you can make from yogurt.

ci> FLAVORED YOGURTS Blend in with the finished yogurt berries that have been put through a sieve or blended, or any fruit juice. Use about V4-V4 c. flavoring per 2 c. yogurt Sweeten with honey or sharpen the flavor with lemon juice as you prefer. Rhubarb sauce and yogurt go well together. Or serve it with any whole fruit Use it for a vegetable salad dressing combined with seasoning—parsley, horseradish, tomato juice, onion, or Roquefort cheese.

<i> VANILLA YOGURT Mix A t vanilla flavoring into your quart of milk that's going to be yogurt. Sweeten to taste.

«§> YOGURT AND CUCUMBERS Peel 3 large cucumbers and slice into As-inch-thick pieces. Combine 4 c. yogurt I clove garlic—ground or finely chopped—and I t salt Pour over the cucumbers and serve cold.

YOGURT-FRUIT DRINK In a blender combine I c. fruit juice, I c. yogurt a little honey, if you need more sweetening, and A c. ice, if you want it really cold.

<§> BANANA-YOGURT DRINK Combine in a blender: I c. yogurt A c. milk, I banana, and honey to taste. Ice is optional.

YOGURT SALAD DRESSING Combine 4 cloves finely minced garlic, 4 T. lemon juice, A4 c. cooking oil, and 4 T. grated onion with 2Aic. yogurt 2 t salt A4 c. chopped parsley, and a pinch of red paprika. Serve chilled.

<P> FROZEN YOGURT Soft frozen yogurt is good topped with nuts, honey, granola, fruit fruit juice, or any other sweetening. Mix yogurt with fruit (I c. yogurt to I c. fruit). Use fresh fruit finely cut The procedure is to freeze your yogurt to a soft mush, then beat it up with fruit freeze again, and serve.

<i> CARDAMOM FRUIT YOGURT Mix 3 c. yogurt with I c. any fruit add I Va t ground cardamom.

YOGURT CHEESE See "Yogurt Cream Cheese" in the "Cream Cheese" section.

kefir: This is very similar to yogurt except it is a little different in taste, more fluid in consistency, and made a little differently. To a dairy bacteriologist, kefir is a symbiotic association of certain organisms: a gum-producing microbe that manufactures the polysaccharide grain, a lactose-fermenting yeast, and several lactose-fermenting bacteria (Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus kephiri). In plain English, it's a variety of cultured milk, like yogurt. Yogurt is firm and eaten with a spoon, but kefir is liquid. That's because it has very low curd tension, unlike yogurt in which the curd holds together. So you drink kefir. Kefir is a great tradition in Caucasia and the Eastern Mediterranean. It's nourishing and healthy stuff and is supposedly more digestible than yogurt because of the smaller particles. It's good to drink mixed with fruit juice or fresh or frozen fruit, or sweetened with honey, sorghum, or molasses.

For success make your kefir by stirring the grains (see below) into your home-grown raw milk and let stand at room temperature overnight.

EASY KEFIR Combine 2 c. raw milk with 'A c. unfavored store-bought kefir. Cover and let rest for 48 hours.

KEFIR MADE FROM "GRAINS" Mrs. George 0. Nordmann, Topton, NC, wrote me this recipe for kefir: "First obtain some kefir grains. The surplus may be dried, frozen or held over for a short period in the refrigerator. The grains may be used with any good quality milk: powdered, skim, goat's, cow's, or soya milk When using powdered milk, avoid chlorinated and ¡or fluoridated water. Place the grains (after rinsing in cold water) in the amount of whatever kind of milk you use in a quart jar and let set at room temperature overnight Next day, strain out grains, rinse them and place in more milk in another container. The milk from which the grains were removed is now ready to drink The sourness depends on the length of time the grains were allowed to stand in the milk Always rinse the grains in cold water before reusing. The proportion of grains to milk should be about I c. grains to I qt. milk They multiply fastest in skim or low-fat milk at about 68-70"F."

ci> KEFIR FROM A BLOB Alan Cute, Sunnyvale, CA, got some kefir culture from a friend: "Ours is a gelatinous blob, about A inch across, which we recently got from a friend. You just plunk it into some barely warm milk and let it sit covered and wrapped, at warm room temperature—no need for special heat as with yogurt. Next day you fish it out and repeat sort of like milking a cow. When the blob grows big enough, it can be divided and shared. Our friend said the culture needs to be used every couple of days or so, which means that as with a cow, somebody else has to care for it while you're away." koumiss: A popular old-time fermented milk beverage, this was originally of mare's milk. Put milk fresh from the cow into a scalded pop or small wine bottle. Fill it almost up to the top and cork tightly. Shake it up thoroughly every day for 10 days. At the end of that time it is koumiss and ready to drink.

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