This Readers Write letter in the Yated today brings back bad memories of a sour milk experience I had once involving Chalav Yisrael Milk. I can't drink the stuff any longer.
Chalav Yisrael is not something that we keep and I often wonder how big of a dent keep chalav yisrael puts in the budgets of those who keep it. Several of my friends who keep chalav yisrael do have financial issues, but for them chalav yisrael is non-negotiable. But worse yet, the chalav yisrael milk spoils quickly and ends up in the trash, frustrating its drinkers, like the one who wrote the following editorial to the Yated. If anyone has tips on maintaining the freshness of chalav yisrael milk, offer them up. Who knows, maybe it will help someone in need.
Does anybody in the Tri-State area have a solution for me? I have a problem that when I buy cholov Yisroel milk, it spoils very soon. I admit that this problem is not as serious as the shidduch crisis or the fact that so many people in our community have fallen ill, but it is a problem nonetheless. Why is it that the cholov stam milk lasts and our milk doesn’t? It’s gotten so bad that I now put one bottle of milk in the refrigerator and the rest I put in the freezer so that it won’t spoil so fast. If you pay $2.79 for one half gallon and you end up throwing out a third, the money adds up. I know that I am not the only person with this problem, because people are always returning milk to the store. What’s the solution? What are the cholov stam dairies doing differently than our Jewish companies? If anybody has any answers, I’d like to read them.Thank you.
Milkless in Monsey
And while we are talking about eliminating food waste, I will offer a few tips of my own and I really want to hear your tips (especially MominIsrael and JugglingFrogs). We have cut down on waste significantly, but I still find some and I get really sad when I have to throw out food. Any tips on keeping children's' eyes and stomachs in sync would be highly appreciated too.
1. I tend to bake smaller challah rolls. We really don't want leftover slices sitting around because nobody wants to eat them, and during the week we usually eat dairy, which renders slices left on the table during Shabbat useless. After Shabbat, I try to remember to freeze leftover whole challah rolls immediately. There are some challah reciepes that call for stale challah processed into bread crumbs. That is a great use for leftover challah if you make kugel. I can't remember the last time I made a kugel.
2. The best storage containers are clear or at least semi-clear, so you can see what is inside. I try to keep leftovers in the front of the refrigerator and jars of things we don't need all the time like pickles at the back. Newer refrigerators have clear baskets for fruit and vegetables, and although I didn't appreciate having to buy a new refrigerator, I really am glad that my produce stares at me every time I open the refrigerator.
3. Plan menus in advance so you know what perishables and produce you need on hand. I've definitely preached stocking up on super bargains. But that does not work for perishables.
4. If your produce on hand is looking sad, make a soup or a rice or grain pilaf. The base of almost any soup and pilaf includes onion and garlic sauteed in olive oil. At least for me, celery is one of the produce items that I find ends up going bad because you don't need nearly as much as you have to buy. Lately, I've been cutting down on waste by sauteing celery alongside onions for pilafs.
5. Fresh herbs are probably the most frustrating produce item for the frugal homemaker. I haven't taken to growing my own and cutting straight off the plant, but I do try to cut down on waste by planning enough side dishes calling for fresh herbs so that they can be used up entirely. If that doesn't work, you can always make a rub for chicken by grinding herbs like cilantro and parsley in a food processor along with garlic, olive oil, and spices commonly found in middle eastern cooking like cumin, paprika, coriander, and turmeric. This mixture can easily be frozen in small portions and used as a rub for grilled chicken.
Let's here your tips.