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Ask Carb Diva: Questions & Answers About Foods, Recipes, and Cooking, #33

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Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

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Life is busy. Mothers' Day, good-weather (which means picnics, hikes, gardening), home repairs ('tis the season), home buying or selling, Farmers' Markets, and the list goes on and on.

We're busy, and reading (and writing) online are not always top priorities. That was certainly evident this past week. The crickets have been chirping (which is another way of saying that online traffic this week has been almost non-existent). But a few of you did write, and I'm replying because (1) it's what I've promised to do, (2) I'm hoping more of you will jump on board this next week and the weeks to follow, and (3) I'm an old softie--I love you guys!!

OK, let's look at the questions that showed up this past week.

Is There a Substitute for Evaporated Milk?

I have a few more questions. The first one is about evaporated milk. I've never seen it here but several of the recipes in my Mexican cookbook call for it. Can I use dried milk and reduce the amount of water I add?

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Mary, this is a great question. Sometimes evaporated milk just isn't available (and don't you just hate having to run to the grocery store for just one item?). And I'm sure that other people have done without because they are lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply don't like the taste of evaporated milk. Fortunately, there are many options:

Dairy Substitutes

  • To make 1 cup of evaporated milk from whole milk - Heat 2 1/4 cups of regular milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it come to a gentle boil while stirring continuously. After 10 minutes, or once the milk has reduced in volume by a bit more than half, take it off the heat.
  • Cream can be used as a replacement for evaporated milk in sauces, soups, pie fillings, baking, casseroles, frozen desserts and custards at a 1:1 ratio. But, keep in mind that it is high in calories/fat.
  • Half and half (a mixture of 50% milk and 50% cream blended together) can also be used at a 1:1 ratio. It is a little thicker than evaporated milk.
  • Powdered milk (your suggestion, and it's a good one!).You can simply reduce the amount of water you would normally add. This will result in a thicker product that you can use like evaporated milk. You might need to experiment with the exact amount of water to use.

Non-Dairy Substitutes

  • I'm not referring to the synthetic coffee creamers. Soy and nut milks can be used to replace evaporated milk, but they will not have the same thick, creamy consistency.
  • Canned coconut milk is thick and can be used on a 1:1 ratio, but it is high in calories and has a sweet flavor that might not work in savory meals.

Questions About Using Raw Milk

Another milk related question. Sometimes we can get raw milk, can I turn this into drinkable buttermilk? I know you mentioned adding vinegar to milk to make a sour (buttermilky) taste for baking recipes, but what about for drinking. The majority of the milk here is UHT, but like I said, occasionally I see raw milk. (straight from Bessie, put into a bag and taken to the small corner shop.)

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Some of you might be wondering what UHT milk is. UHT is the acronym for ultra-high temperature. In the 19th century, French scientist Louis Pasteur invented a method of heating milk to kill pathogens. This technique (pasteurization) heats raw milk to around 70 – 75 °C for 15 seconds.

UHT milk is heated to 150 °C for 5 seconds. At such temperatures, all harmful pathogens, including spores, are killed, as well as the enzymes which could spoil the milk, which is why you can keep at room temperature for months. The milk also goes directly into the container after heating, which eliminates possible contamination.

There are those who claim that UHT-processed milk, and even pasteurized milk, are not as wholesome, that eradicating those 'bad' bacteria also removes those that are beneficial to your gut health. However, in the United States, there are strict regulations on the processing of milk. In fact, in 18 states the sale and distribution of raw milk is illegal.

The dangers of unprocessed milk are many, and they are real. Rather than re-invent the wheel so to speak, I'll share here the link from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) which explains the issue in detail.

A Few More Garden Photos

Just because I want to (and many of you seem to appreciate them).

Forget-me-Nots. How could I forget them? They are everywhere. No longer contained in the "wildflower garden". They appear in the perennial garden, in the midst of the paths, and even pop up in the lawn. They are an annual but self-sow like crazy so there is always a new crop in the springtime.

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Bleeding hearts. My dear sister gave me one as a birthday gift, and it is a gift that gives again and again. One plant soon became a dozen, and now there are countless bleeding hearts in the shade garden and along the nature trail through the woods.

Lily of the valley. Oh, how I love these sweet little blossoms. Their fragrance is intoxicating. One small bouquet will fill an entire room with the Heavenly aroma. They die to the ground in winter but are one of the first flowers to awaken in the springtime. The deer do nibble the leaves a bit, but I have far too many. Let Bambi have his fill and I will still have many more.

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Speaking of deer - this handsome gentleman wandered past my window last week (yes, I took this photo from the kitchen breakfast nook).

Lexicon of Cooking Terms

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Long, long ago (I believe it was Issue #10) I began this series, an alphabetical listing of strange, odd, unusual, and/or obscure cooking terms. Keep these in your memory to (1) impress your friends, (2) win at Scrabble, or best of all (3) not be stumped by a recipe.

Vegan – Referring to dishes prepared absolutely vegetarian, without the use or contact of any animal product whatsoever. There is no dairy (milk, cheese, butter), no eggs, no meat of any kind (beef, pork, poultry, fish, seafood), and not even honey. Vegans also will not wear leather or suede, furs or feathers.

Venison – A term describing the flesh of deer.

Venue – A French term for the assembly and preparation of confections or pastries.

Vin – French for "wine".

Vinaigrette – A basic preparation of oil and vinegar combined with herbs and seasonings.

Vitamin – A water or fat soluble organic substance contained in foods and vital for proper growth and development.

Vitello – The Italian word for "veal".

Viticulture – The science or study of wine grapes.

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A short one this week--not the "standard" 1,250+ words desired by Hub Pages (but ask me if I care).

I hope all of you have a wonderful week. I'll be back here next Monday.

© 2018 Linda Lum

Comments

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 22, 2018:

And Shauna, I would love to have you here. The lily of the valley have faded now, but there is always a "show". Now the foxglove are standing tall and beginning to bud out. I'll post a pic or two next week.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 22, 2018:

Diva, I literally gasped when I saw your Lily of the Valley photos. That's my all-time favorite flower. We had them growing on our property in Pennsylvania when I was a little girl. The scent is intoxicating. Sadly, they don't grow in Florida. I'd love to take a walk through your gardens. I'd be in olfactory heaven!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 21, 2018:

Bill, you know your goats and their health and you know that the equipment is sterile. But Mary doesn't have those same assurances, nor do the rest of us purchasing raw milk. I just wouldn't do it.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 21, 2018:

Flourish, honestly the juxtaposition of the buck and the word venison was unintentional. I am not familiar with lemon balm, but that is about to change. Will clue you (and the rest of the readers) in on it next week. Thanks.

Have a great week.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 21, 2018:

We drink goat's milk right out of the udder....delicious!!! I tell people that and they go all weird on me, but I think it is a great taste experience. As for evaporated milk, I just can't do it. :) Happy Monday to you Linda!

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 20, 2018:

That gorgeous deer gave you a snort and a huff (I HEARD him all the way across the Internet!) for putting venison as a vocabulary word in there with his photo nearby! My dad doesn’t hunt them but looks for fresh deer roadkill and makes deer jerky out of them. I kid you not. Makes me want to gag. We all tease him relentlessly about it but people return to their philosophical roots as they get older. He grew up very poor.

Question for you. My dad also grows a fantastic garden but one thing I can’t figure out is lemon balm. Is it used for food or beverage?

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