Today is the day I would ordinarily make my bi-monthly trip to the grocery store. I’ve got other things to do and I’m going to wait a week at least to see what I’m needing. Of course we’re almost out of milk and bread, so I decided now was as good a time as any to break out the powdered milk.
I grew up drinking powdered milk. I raised my older children on it. But our youngest, (Sep-Thomas) (If you’ve seen ‘Cranford’ you’ll remember what ‘Septimus’ represented,) has never had it much.
But I digress. I crawled into the back of the closet that goes under the stairs to rout out a box of milk. I just bought a new batch two months ago and I was sorely tempted to open the fresh stuff. But then the old stuff might NEVER get opened. I dug past the ’02 box (pulling out a vacuum pouch of 120 servings of vanilla pudding as I went) and found 1996. Perfect! In fact it was packaged in August of 1996, just weeks after Thomas was born.
I forgot that you’re supposed to open the #10 cans on the bottom. I almost jammed my can opener. It smelled fine. The powder tasted. . .fine. I think I remember that if it was instant milk, I noted it on the outside. This had no such note. So I blended it, two cups of powder to two cups of water. I half filled the gallon milk jug and strained the blended milk concentrate into a funnel that I filled with ice. (There was no need to strain it. It was thoroughly mixed. I added water to make a gallon and tried it out.
It tasted GREAT! (Considering that it’s 17-year-old milk powder.) But truly, it isn’t any different than it was when I dry-pack canned it with an oxygen packet.
Actually, it wasn’t great when it went in and it still isn’t great, but it isn’t any worse. I also know that letting it sit in the fridge for 5-6 hours will tone down the ‘powdered’ taste. I added half a teaspoon of Mexican vanilla to help it along, too.
I learned from a friend that mixing it initially with very hot water helps to eliminate the “powdered” flavor. CHILL it well before using.
FYI, The powdered milk producers have continue to progress in getting rid of that suspicious flavor. I’m confident that if we can get through the old stuff, we’ll taste a progressively better product as we approach the present-day technology-flavor.
Last night we had tostadas with mashed beans, chopped grilled chicken, salsa, cheese and lettuce. The LAST of the potato salad on the side.
I also made cookies using peanut butter powder, powdered eggs, butter and margarine, (I’ll run out of that pretty soon), oats, wheat/flax seed flour. (All brown sugar) and a pack of chocolate chips. They’re good! Thomas usually objects when I “add all that junk” (as in whole grain flour or bean flours) but the peanut butter powder adds a nuttiness that mutes the “healthful” flavor that he objects to. I’m realizing that I don’t have enough peanut butter or PB powder if we were to live on stored food very long.