Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Frugal Food – Stretching Milk

I’ve started stretching the milk again, much to my husband’s dismay.

“My expensive organic milk?” he asked, alarmed.

“Yes,” I replied calmly, pulling out the gallon pitcher and whisk.

I can stretch a half-gallon carton of milk to a full gallon by mixing it with powdered milk, an easy frugal trick. I double the recipe on the box of powdered milk, putting two and two-thirds cups powdered milk in the pitcher. Then I whisk half a cup of warm water into the milk, creating a relatively smooth paste. Next I add seven more cups of water to make a half-gallon of powdered milk. I finish by adding the half-gallon carton of milk to the pitcher. Voila! A full gallon of milk.

“Why don’t you just mix up powdered milk and be done with it?” my husband asked in a half-sarcastic, half-disgruntled tone, eyeing the empty carton of organic milk.

“Because mixing powdered milk with two-percent tastes better, as we’ve discussed before,” I returned, unruffled.

“You’re ruining the organic milk with that cheap powdered stuff,” he pointed out.

“Well…” I began, my voice trailing off. He had me there. As my smart sister-in-law once told me, organic produce is a bit of a waste, since you can effectively wash off the pesticide residue with plain water. However, organic meats and dairy have more value, as it’s impossible to avoid whatever antibiotics and hormones the poor beasts have been given. Although I suppose you’re diluting those nasty additives by mixing powdered milk with organic, it really doesn’t make much sense. I might as well go on and by conventional milk to mix with powdered…unless I can find organic powdered milk.

“I guess I’ll look for organic powdered milk when I look for soy powdered milk,” I answered finally. The soymilk I buy for my milk intolerant child is much more expensive than anything cows can produce.

“Soy powdered milk?” my husband repeated. And, shaking his head, he rolled his eyes and shrugged.

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