I’m working for a summer camp right now which is navigating its inaugural year. Anyone who has ever begun anything knows that the beginning is rife with problems that have yet to be resolved. As the assistant director, I get a front-row seat to most of the miniature disasters and often have an active role in finding a resolution. Last Monday, it was milk. Due to a comedy of errors regarding the number of students attending, the amount of milk they would be likely to consume, and who was ordering said milk, we ended up with a bounty of milk. One might even call it an excess.
The trouble is…milk only keeps so long. Last Monday, the ten-gallon bag and a half we had on site decided they had had it with their bacteria count and went quite decidedly sour. Our food suppliers were able to deliver a fresh bag on Wednesday, so for Tuesday I stopped and picked some up on my way home from work. The problem with this is that I was tired and cranky after a bad day and I missed my turn for the grocery store. Instead of trying to turn around, I just pulled into the drug store and bought my milk there. Fine. But do you know what’s wrong with drug stores? They don’t sell enough milk, which means their sell-by dates aren’t always as far away as they could be.
To shorten this longish story, at the end of the day on Friday I realized that the kids had only consumed a half gallon of the two I had picked up. The sell-by date was Friday. If I didn’t bring the milk home and do something with it, it would be wasted. This weekend has been very instructive in demonstrating exactly how much milk a gallon and a half is for two people who go through less than half a gallon in a normal week.
Rather than walking you play-by-play through my discovery, I’m just going to share with you the recipes I made with all of that blasted milk.
This chowder recipe is modified from one of the first chowders I was ever happy to eat, made by a wonderful woman who has sadly passed away. I renamed it “Bet the Farm” chowder for reasons that I hope you will find obvious. You can’t go wrong if you whip up some buttermilk drop biscuits or corn muffins to go with it.
Pudding is another great way to cook milk up, so I made a pie. After I made the third recipe, I still had enough milk to go back and make the second serving variation. Anyone want to come and help us eat it?
Okay, I know, this calls for cream. I was using milk. I compensated by beginning with a roux…try this at your own risk. I’m rubbish at white sauces, quite frankly, so don’t take my advice. John brings home a vast quantity of odd free cheese, being a food photographer, so I also substituted there. I used smoked cheddar and Romano. It was…well, if you have the option of buying whatever you want, just follow the recipe. The one I have posted above is the one my chef sister used for the vegetarian lasagna at our wedding, so it’s guaranteed delicious.
By the by, I just noticed that my very clever solution for presenting formatted recipes backfired because screen capture is not forgiving of Word’s spell check lines. Ah well, c’est la vie. I’d fix it, but…I still have another quarter gallon of milk to salvage tonight.