I am sure I’m not the only one whose heart beats faster when she finds short-dated milk at the supermarket. Whenever I see those good jugs of fresh milk selling for less than 50 cents a litre, my mind goes through a million things at once. I swear I cannot be spoken to for about ten minutes.
Yesterday was one such day, and I came home with four litres of Farmer’s Own Reduced Fat Milk. All four litres of creamy goodness, for a princely sum of $1.32. It has been a while since I made cheese, so I knew exactly what to do: fresh homemade ricotta.
Here are some of the things I do with short-dated, good quality, supermarket milk.
- Drink the same day, or freeze for about a month. We go through about four litres of milk weekly; often, a litre of milk can be used up in two days.
- Use it for baking. Our white sandwich loaf recipe contains milk, and we sometimes bake three whole loaves at a time (one to eat, two to freeze). A batch of twelve muffins usually uses up half a litre.
- Pancake or waffle batter. We use up about half a litre for five to six pancakes; the batter can be made up the night before. Our usual waffle recipe calls for nearly a litre of milk and that makes plenty of waffles for eating and freezing.
- Homemade Cheese. I have made paneer, ricotta, and mozzarella. Hopefully I can graduate to the aged cheeses in time. Any type of fresh milk can be used for paneer and ricotta, in my experience. Mozzarella is entirely different, however. I have only had good results with the Farmhouse Gold Unhomogenised milk so far.
- Yoghurt. We go through about a litre of yoghurt every 10 days. I don’t often use up the fresh milk for it anymore, though.
- White Sauce. My daughter’s favourite snack is mac and cheese, using a bechamel- based cheese sauce. Any leftover cheese sauce is usually frozen for a quick supper.
- Ice Cream. We don’t often make ice cream, but when we do, it saves us a fortune making it from frozen, short-dated dairy.
- Smoothies. We like smoothies in the summer when mangoes are in season.
- Cheesecake. A baked cheesecake is a tradition at the Meagre house at Christmas time. In the lead up to Christmas, I usually scout the dairy section to find marked-down double cream and sour cream. Philadelphia cream cheese is bought on half-price specials; if we can’t find it, the homebrand cream cheese more than suffices.
- Ganache. We make ganache from milk (not cream) and butter. I freeze the excess and bring it out when we want a quick frosting or filling for cupcakes.
- Custard or creme caramel. For custard, I always whip out my Mrs Beeton cookbook.
- Soap. I am due to make soap for the stash within the next week. Fingers crossed I come across some marked-down goat milk to freeze into cubes. I really want to make a goat milk / lavender soap batch. The other one will have avocado oil and a bit of rosehip oil in it.
What do you do with short-dated dairy in your home? Do you actively search for it in the supermarket?