Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
But its so helpful for a forgetful mind. I drink powdered milk. I started drinking it long, long ago because it was more convenient than catching a city bus to pick up a gallon of milk.
There are various brands but some taste better than others. I did a lot of research looking for a way to make it taste better to kids. I found out that the difference in taste comes from the way the milk powder is made. Instant milk is made in two ways. One uses heat to cook the water out and the other uses air drying. The air dry kind has a taste closer to fresh while the cooked kind takes on a different taste. Not that either way is wrong, just that your own tastes may prefer one over the other.
I tried several brands before finally finding one that suits my taste buds. Currently I buy the Meijer brand for drinking. It is an air dry type. I also get instant milk from the senior commodity program. It is the cooked to dry kind which is perfectly fine for cooking needs. The two milks look different and mix differently. The cooked kind is a fine powder (right) and the air dried kind looks more like grains (left).
The way the milk mixes is different too. Cooked milk does better if mixed in hot water. Not boiling hot. Maybe coffee water hot. The air dry kind mixes better using cold tap water. I mix a quart at a time using just slightly less than the instructions say. I mix only one cup per quart instead of the one and one third cup the mixing directions call for. This is a personal preference for me. You may find your tastes different. Ok, maybe you just can’t find a brand that suits your taste buds for drinking. You can still save some money by using instant milk for cooking. Biscuits or loaf bread or cream soups won’t mind being made with instant milk. I use the instant milk to make ice cream and to cook puddings for the grands. Nobody has complained so far. Ladybug prefers my milk over fresh milk for drinking too.
Now for my simple idea. I had a problem keeping the two milks separated and recognizable without tasting. Instant milk looks alike but it was a quick “yuck” whenever I poured the wrong kind and tasted it. I didn’t like using the drinking milk for cooking by mistake either. I pay for the drinking milk but cooking milk is free. A few days ago I solved the problem by writing the type on the lids with permanent markers.
DUH. So simple why didn’t I think of it long ago? I tried various labels over the years but washing the jars always ruined them. Those are quart canning jars. Did you know the lids from peanut butter jars fit canning jars? Much cheaper than paying for the Ball kind.