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The Traditional Use Of Dairy Produce: Part 1 - Milk
By Owen Jones Published: 08/26/2009
These basic tips may seem unnecessary for most modern households with a refrigerator in the kitchen, but modern devices do make people lazy and it is still well-worth while knowing 'why' we must do some things. It is also worth remembering these tips when there is no refrigerator to hand or when it so small that it will not hold everything you need, such as when camping, boating or on holiday in some countries in the world.
Milk is known as 'nature's perfect food', because no other food, consumed on its own, can support adult life. It is of the utmost importance for the growth and development of adolescents, but it must be clean as bacteria also find it very nourishing and quickly grow in it. If your milk was not bought pasteurized, then it should be scalded and cooled quickly before drinking it.
How To Scald Milk: Rinse a clean saucepan with cold water, pour in the milk and apply heat until bubbles form around the side of the pan. Keep it at this temperature, that is not letting it boil, for 3 minutes. Do not overheat, as milk burns easily. Pour immediately into a clean jug and place in a basin of cold water and cover with a fine cloth to prevent the ingress of flies and dust.
How To Keep Milk Fresh: If milk is not be preserved in the containers in which it was bought, transfer it into a clean receptacle, which has been rinsed with cold water. A warm bottle will cause milk to stick to the sides and go off more quickly. You should always keep milk in the coolest place in the larder and always keep it covered. it is good to remember that draughts occur usually at ground-level and that hot air rises. Never keep milk in an airless cupboard and in hot weather stand the jug in a bowl of water with the cloth covering dangling in the water. The cloth will soak up water, which will evaporate, which dissipates the heat, ensuring that the receptacle remain cool. Keep milk away from strong-smelling foods, as it absorbs odours easily. Never mix new and old milk together.
Sour Milk: Milk straight from the cow is slightly alkaline, but as it ages, lactic acid is formed and it becomes what we call 'sour'. Pasteurizing or scalding the milk slows down this process. Milk which is 'just on the turn' can be revived by boiling with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda to restore the alkalinity. Once the milk has gone too far and has curdled, it can be strained through (cheese) cloth, thereby separating the curds from the whey. The curds can be used as a filling for cakes, tarts, scones etc and the whey can be used as the liquid for making scones, cakes and soups etc., as it still has much goodness.
Evaporated Milk: Evaporated milk is ordinary milk, which has had some of its water evaporated by heat in some way or another before being containerised. Once reconstituted by adding water, it will last only a little longer than fresh milk does.
Condensed Milk: This is simply evaporated milk to which sugar has been added before canning. The sugar acts as a preservative and will keep the milk for about a week. Do not keep in the tin, but decant it into a jug.
Dried Milk: Dried milk comes is available in a variety of forms and particular attention should be paid to the instructions on the label. Niche market products can be bought especially for babies, invalids, convalescents and dieters, all of which contain varying amounts and types of added vitamins and minerals. Usually, they contain a great deal less fat than normal milk.