What to do with ?

What to do with sour milk or over ripe bananas? Throw it/ them away I hear you say! Well, I was a child of post war England, where my mother through necessity never threw anything away, well almost nothing, even she was shocked when a fairly affluent friend darned her dishcloth! But food, no, even before she had a refrigerator, food was not wasted. Milk delivered to the front door, left sitting in the early morning sun, tea with bits of cream floating on top, or bits of milk floating on top, where it was begin to go sour.

Living in central London, nowadays we never have the problem of ” Oh the milk is off”! 100 yards down the road, Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s are open from 7-11, 7 days a week, so there is no need to “Stock Up” on milk.

A different story when we lived in Belgium, although we did have a village shop, but I don’t remember it selling fresh milk and I gave up buying it from the supermarket, as it seemed to go Off faster than I could use it, even with 6 of us in the house. So there, I resorted to Long Life. One friend told me that her children would never drink Long Life, mine didn’t know any difference, so they drank it, as did #1 daughters children whilst living in India or Mexico, Long Life milk was used as a necessity.

Here in the Alps, fresh milk is good on the whole, but being at least 7 hairpins and then some away from a supply of milk! I tend to buy it perhaps in larger quantities than I should but up until now, have never had a problem. BUT yesterday, with Himself making our morning Cafe Latte fix, it was declared that the milk was off! Quell Horreur! 2 litres of it!

Deciding to be frugal ( and it was raining anyway) I put my thinking cap on to decide what on earth we could use the sour milk for!

The answer was Scones and Cottage Cheese.

Himself had been badgering me to show him how to make pastry and now scones. They are exceedingly easy to make especially using a food processor.

Most of English women would have learnt how to make scones whilst in school, it nowadays, cooking classes are defunct as are the kitchens, after all when one can buy all things ready made, why bother?

I started to teach the ‘All in one Method’ more years ago than I care to remember and am actually surprised that it has yet to become mainstream. This is what Himself learnt on a rainy morning in the Alps.

  1. 300 grams (3 cups) plain flour plus extra for rolling out
  2. 2tsp baking powder
  3. Pinch salt
  4. 125 grams cold unsalted butter cut into chunks
  5. 50 gram fine sugar (1/4 cup)
  6. 1 beaten egg
  7. 120 mls milk can be fresh, sour or buttermilk
  • Preheat the oven to 200 C/gas 6.
  • Put the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar into a food processor and process until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs or ground almonds. It only takes seconds and is usually recognised by the machine stopping thumping! Switch off. Mix together the egg and the milk, and with the machine running, pour it in and continue to process for the mixture to begin to from a ball. STOP processing and tip the mixture out onto a floured surface. Knead very briefly to make a smooth ball and rollout to about a thickness of 4 cm.
  • Using a 6 or 7 cm cutter cut out about 8 scones, cutting straight down and not twisting. Put them onto a lightly greased baking sheet and and bake for about 15 mins. They should be golden brown, test by holding one upside down and tapping, it should sound hollow. Cool on a rack and serve with preferably raspberry jam and clotted cream ( ooh memories of many years flying Continental Airlines to Houston, they always served Scones and cream , it was Chicken or beef flying into London though !)
  • And so we move onto homemade cottage cheese. This was a first for me and I have to say not at all disappointed and so easy.
    1. 2 litres of milk ( whole works best)
      3 tablespoons vinegar ( I used cider vinegar as that was all I had, but would suspect that Malt is too strong and red wine would also give your cheese a funny colour, so maybe white is best)
      1 tsp salt
      Small amount of whole milk or cream.
  • Heat the milk on a medium heat so as not to scorch the pan, nor the milk. Using a thermometer, heat to 185 F. Add the vinegar and stir gently to separate the curds and whey. Strain through a sieve, rinse with cold water and then squeeze out the water, it is best done through a cloth ( old men’s hankies would work….. if the are clean !) Pour the curds into a bowl and crumble until they are the size you like, add a little milk or cream and refrigerate.
  • I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised, by my cottage cheese, I liked the flavour and the consistency. Will I make it again? maybe, when I am in the Alps and have sour milk to use!

    Bananas? They look pretty disgusting, but watch this space for Bananas Foster!

    3 thoughts on “What to do with ?

    1. Loving the sour milk chat – my mum used to let it drip through a muslin suspended ( never push – only drip ) then she salted the curds to make a pretty decent cream cheese
      Never tried cottage cheese but those bananas are def consigned to the bin as we would be inundated with fruit flies long before that black colour
      I do make many a banana loaf for the starters hut and Ken in particular


      1. Actually the bananas did go in the bin, as I flew back to the UK to be Mommy for a couple of days and they got chucked, so will grave to make the Bananas Foster another day! It is amazing what I get up to here! Actually not a lot !


    2. I throw the brown bananas in the freezer. They keep forever.

      Instead of vinegar I use lemon juice. Yes, it tastes a bit like lemon, but that is a good thing. Oh, and I call there result Ricotta….which sounds so much classier!


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