Friday, 17 March 2017

10:28 – When I took Colin out around 0730 it was 24.9F (-4C) with a light breeze.

Herschel from Shaw Brothers showed up about 0900 yesterday to install our new dishwasher. It took him about 90 minutes to install it and test it for leaks. In the afternoon, the FedEx guy sneaked up on Colin, who was outraged. The box had a dozen more 28-ounce cans of Keystone Meats canned pork.

Speaking of which, I think I’m going to start ordering Keystone canned chicken. We’ve been buying the Costco canned chicken, which comes in 12.5-ounce cans “packed in water” that specify the drained weight as 7 ounces. In other words, you get 7 ounces of chicken in 5.5 ounces of water. The Keystone chicken is 28-ounce cans that specify “no water added,” so they contain four times as much chicken at 3.08 times the price.

Several of the LTS food recipes I’d like to try call for sour cream. Obviously, the fresh stuff is out of the question for long-term storage. Even in the refrigerator, its shelf life is about a week. So I started thinking about alternatives that do have long shelf lives.

There are, of course, numerous companies like Thrive Life and Emergency Essentials that produce dehydrated sour cream powder and buttermilk powder that are intended for LTS. (The stuff sold in supermarkets, like Saco sour cream powder, require refrigeration once opened, so they’re not really an alternative.)

Sour cream (and cultured buttermilk, another useful LTS item) are simply cream or milk that’s been intentionally inoculated with bacteria that produce lactic acid, which in turn sours the milk. But that’s not the only way to produce them. Adding any acid, like vinegar or lemon juice, to cream or milk has the same result.

Cream is simply milk with a higher butterfat content–typically 18% or so versus 1% to 3.5%–so one can reconstitute cream from powdered milk simply by increasing the powder to water ratio. That’s assuming, of course, that one uses powdered whole milk like Nestle Nido rather than the more common non-fat dry milks. But even the latter work in terms of flavor, if not in terms of fat content.

I intend to experiment with this, starting by mixing 2/3 cup of Nido dry whole milk with 3/4 cup of warm water and a teaspoon of vinegar and allowing it to sit for anything from a few minutes to a couple hours at room temperature to sour. Just for comparison, I’ll try the same thing with LDS powdered non-fat dry milk. I suspect either one will work fine and taste much like commercial sour cream. We’ll try it the next time we make Beef Stroganoff.

And if that does work, making a buttermilk substitute for pancakes, biscuits, and so on would be just as easy. We’d simply increase the ratio of water to milk powder.

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