Mix your own milk at home and save

A Dairy at Your Doorstep

by Jerry Buerge

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Those having a large family and a small bank account might do well to consider inviting a new type of cow into their household. No, I'm not talking about a Guernsey or Jersey, but rather a "cash-cow." You know, the kind that puts money into your pocket with very little effort and with full assurance that you will be able to enjoy the savings.

This invitation also includes anyone experiencing anything close to sticker shock when visiting the dairy department of their grocery store with the intent of replenishing the family milk supply. When the price per gallon of milk is the same or sometimes even greater than gasoline, you want to purchase both wisely. While there may not be much you can do about the price of gasoline except to plan your automobile trips as wisely as possible, there is something you can do about the cost of the milk purchased for use by your family.

You would do well to consider the comparative economy of purchasing dry milk solids in place of the otherwise often reconstituted skim milk manufactured from the same identical dry milk solids product by many local area dairy, particularly within those areas located well-beyond the dairy farmer production centers. A surprisingly high level of that ready-to-use skim milk you've been drinking can be produced by you at about half of the cost of the fluid product.

Why do so many processors choose to reconstitute the product rather than to simply bottle the fluid product? Simply because it is a more economical way to transport the primary ingredient of the finished product at every step of its journey from the initial producer to you. The weight of the dry product transported is far less than the fluid milk would be. It need not be refrigerated while in transit or storage, and it can be purchased at a more economical price in large quantity whenever the price is favorable. These cost savings, and others, automatically result in increased profit to the commercial processor and a reasonable part of that saving can reach your pocket too.

If you have ever attempted to use this product in the past and found it less than palatable, please don't let that experience discourage you from trying it again. Perhaps nobody explained the need for a very critical step in preparing this product. That vitally important step is simply that the reconstituted product must be properly chilled and aged, at least overnight. The commercially prepared fluid product automatically receives this type of treatment through its time in transport and the following stocking operation at the retail merchant. On the other hand, when this product is used for cooking purposes, there is no need for delayed use after preparation.

There is another very important technique in the preparation of this product that should be mentioned. The quantity of the dry milk solids used must be measured by weight rather than by volume. The reason for this is simply that the dried product may be slightly variable from batch to batch and the resultant dry substance created will settle during transport and handling, thus becoming unpredictably denser.

The knowledge of these two factors may prompt you to slightly modify the mixing ratio of solids to water in order to create a product that will satisfy your family's tastes.

In addition to saving money, you will certainly reduce the chore of wrestling with heavy containers of milk every time you visit the store, will eliminates the need to dispose of those pesky milk containers, probably free up some space in your refrigerator, and with a little planning, you will have an immediately-available and easily-stored milk supply.

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