Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Staple Foods- Milk

I went shopping for some basics last week, you know, milk, sugar, flour,etc. and you can't help but notice how much food prices have gone up in the last 8-12 months. For example, at a local store that sells the Western Family brand, I had bought some dry beans for .98/lb. this spring. Those same beans are now $1.78/lb. That's a 55% increase in the price of a staple food item, not the 3-6% increase that the media tells you. In my little area of the PACNW, milk prices have remained relatively stable, at about $2.49/gallon over the past year or so. But I noticed that milk is creeping up, anywhere from $2.59-$3.19 a gallon. Dry milk prices are about $15 for a box that makes 5 gallons, so that works out to about $3/gallon. So it may be cheaper for some folks to buy nonfat dry milk and reconstitute it for drinking and baking.

Some people don't like the taste of nonfat dry milk, but where I grew up, our milk was frozen and barged in from Seattle and mom always mixed 1/2 reconstituted dry milk with 1/2 the regular milk from the store. There were times that if the barges didn't make it, we were drinking straight up powdered milk. I liked chocolate Nestle Quick in mine and my brother had Strawberry Quick in his. That was how mom got us to drink a tall glass of milk at every dinner. But I also had it on cereal and with cookies, and I drank it however we had it.

You can improve the taste of nonfat dry milk by adding a tsp. of sugar or vanilla to it. But I like it just plain, too. If I am running low on milk and am not going to be making a trip to town, or when money has been tight, I often mix up a quart of powdered milk, and add it to what is left in the gallon of milk that is in the fridge to stretch it. Just shake it up. You won't even notice. It is a good staple food item to have on hand. If you find it cheaper to buy, or necessary to use dry milk, here are some ways to use it.

To make 1 quart of milk, mix 3 3/4 C water with 1 1/3 C dry milk and mix well.

To make 1 Cup of milk, mix 1 C water with 1/3 C. dry milk and mix well.

Condensed Milk

(14 oz. can)
1/2 C. Hot Water
1 C. Dry Powdered Milk
1 C. Sugar
1 T. Butter
in blender or with beater.

Evaporated Milk
(12 oz. Can)
1-1/2 C. Water
1/2 C. + 1 T. Dry Powdered Milk
in blender or with beater.

Add a tablespoon of
lemon juice or white
vinegar to a cup of
milk and let it stand
for 5-10 min.

Whipped Topping
1/2 C ice water
1 TB lemon juice
1/2 C instant nonfat dry milk
3 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Put water and lemon juice in a bowl and add instant nonfat dry milk, stirring until mixed. Beat until stiff with electric mixer, beat in sugar and vanilla. Use right away.

White Sauce Mix (Magic Mix)


  1. Good advice. I always keep dry milk in my pantry.

  2. Thank you! Very useful recipes (for the white sauce as well). I've bookmarked them for future reference.


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