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Thursday, January 7, 2010

No, wait- don't throw that out yet!

Your kids left the milk out for hours. Again. You smell it. It's spoiled.
You forget that there is a carton of milk in the back of the fridge behind all the food until its too late. The expiration date has already passed.

You were away all week and when you come home, you realize you had some milk left in the fridge while vacationing and it is sour.

You head over to the trash can, lift the lid-
No, wait! Don't throw that out yet!

My father, also known as Coupon King, has a knack for never letting any food go to waste or get thrown out. He has a great way of reinventing leftovers into brand new creations.
Growing up, most of the time his revamped food was delicious. But sometimes his concoctions truly were disgusting as the food was quite non-salvageable.

I will be making a series of posts entitled “No, wait- don't throw that out yet!” sharing my father's most successful tips for preventing food wastage, and leaving out the not so successful ones. (Perhaps I'll make a post or two about those, entitled “Don't try this at home.”) I will also be adding my own “saved from the trash” recipes to the lot.
And now... the moment you've all been waiting for- what on earth can possibly be done with spoiled milk?

Ever see a recipe calling for buttermilk? Spoiled milk can easily be a substitute in that recipe. When you cook the spoiled milk it kills any bacteria, leaving you with a somewhat sour tasting milk.
That milk can be used for any recipe that would be OK with a hint of a sour taste- like bread recipes or pancakes.

I love pancakes. I always liked when we had spoiled milk in our house growing up as it meant we got pancakes for breakfast. I'd come down the stairs in the morning to the delicious smell of sizzling flapjacks and see my father standing there, New Settlement Cookbook open and batter splattered beside him, spatula in hand, frying my favorite breakfast.




Pancake Recipe

 (modeled after the New Settlement Cookbook recipe)

2 cups flour (should be fine with whole wheat, white flour, rye, spelt, or any other flour)
2 cups milk (regular milk or spoiled milk do well here. Spoiled milk even makes it taste better and more flavorful, in my opinion.)
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Oil, butter, lard, margarine, coconut oil or whatnot for frying (I usually use canola oil but coconut oil probably would be healthiest)

  1. Mix the first five ingredients together very well. Use a fork, whisk, egg beater or mixer to ensure no clumps of flour remain.
  2. Heat up a frying pan or skillet with oil on medium-high. If you're using non-stick you'll need very little oil.
  3. Drop tablespoons-full of batter into the hot pan. I usually am able to fit four or five small pancakes into the pan at one time.
  4. Let them fry until you see small bubbles forming in the batter. Flip them over for another few minutes.
  5. Remove from frying pan.
  6. Eat- either plain, with syrup (maple or otherwise), with butter or however else you enjoy your pancakes.

Yield: 40 small pancakes. (Fewer shown in the picture, as my son was eating these up as I was making them, so never had a full 40 on the plate at one time.)

Tips and alterations: I sometimes use spoiled yogurt or cottage cheese or sour cream or any other dairy product that is past its prime in exchange for the milk. If you do that, you'll need to add a bit more water or milk to compensate.
Sometimes milk spoils so much that it separates into curds and whey. If this happens, shake it up or mix it really well so there aren't huge clumps of whey and then use it in the recipe.

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