Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Talk About It Tuesday - Powdered Milk

I have always tried to maintain a pantry stocked with staple items. Since we moved to a rural setting nearly two years ago, however, I try to only grocery shop every two weeks and am sometimes challenged to keep fresh items on hand. Of course, Steve can stop and pick up what we may need on his way home from work, but I try to keep from doing that.

One thing I have recently decided to try to keep on hand is powdered milk. I have not advanced to the level of drinking it straight up or using it on cereal. I have discovered, however, that it is wonderful for cooking. I can make any amount I want, and it works equally as well as fresh milk.

When I received my bread machine years ago, many of the recipes I used called for powdered milk. The brands I bought had a flavor that I couldn’t stomach, so I quit using the recipes that called for powdered milk. An article I read suggested Wal-Mart’s store brand of powdered milk, so I decided to try some. I have discovered it has no unusual smell or flavor.

Last night for dinner I made Chunky Potato Soup (recipe below) using powdered milk. I couldn’t tell the difference between using it or fresh milk.

Hillbilly Housewife has a page devoted to powdered milk here. It is chock full of great ideas.

As far as cost savings, right now in our geographic area, the cost for powdered milk is about the same as fresh. Milk has been very reasonable lately. So I am keeping it on hand for cooking and emergencies versus the economic benefit. But the way things you are, you never know when it will be more economical to use powdered milk.

Do you use powdered milk? Have you considered using it? Let me know your thoughts.

For more kitchen tips, see Tammy's Recipes.

Chunky Potato Soup

This is a very simple and tasty potato soup recipe I have used for a long time. Over the years I have tweaked it to suit my family's tastes. If you try it, let me know what you think.

4-5 medium-size white potatoes
2 cans (14.0 oz.) chicken broth
1 small onion
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Crushed red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper
3 cups milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed cooked ham (leftovers, deli ham, bacon, anything with a smoky flavor)

Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Cover with chicken broth and bring water to a boil in large saucepan. Cook potatoes until barely tender. Set aside potatoes and liquid. Peel and finely chop onion. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion to saucepan; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and tender, but not brown. Add flour to saucepan; season with pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually add potatoes and cooking liquid and milk to onion mixture in saucepan; stir well. Add cheese and ham. Simmer over low heat 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Store leftovers, covered, in refrigerator.

Bible Reading Plan

Judges 1-3; Psalm 82; Mark 5:1-20; I Corinthians 9:1-12

I appreciate you dropping by! Hope you have a wonderful day!


  1. I may have to try the Wal-Mart powdered milk. I, also, have been turned off by the sour type smell associated with most dry milk. I actually don't use milk at all in my bread anymore. Another idea is keep evaporated milk on hand for potato soup. They also have shelf-stable milk that comes is a square carton. We've tried it and it DOES taste like milk! So far, this is the best option to just keep on hand for me.

  2. That soup looks so yummy! I haven't had potato soup in a while.

  3. Jerri, it is very good, and very simple. I highly recommend you try it. Thanks for reading. Please stop by again.

  4. Years ago, when I had two children and a couple of jobs, it was imparative to purchase in quantities and make meals ahead with storable pantry items kept at hand. One set of cookbooks that I found utilized dried milk and also many other "dried" foods you wouldn't think of using. Even making gifts with these items for the "brownies" in a jar type thing. The cookbook set is called Make-A-Mix and More Make-A-Mix Cookery. It tells you how to make your own "bisquick" type of mix, or premade cake mixes, soup bases, etc. A wonderful pair of books with ways to utilize those dried ingredients so that we can keep a larger array of ready to make and eat foods at hand. Books are by Eliason, Harward, and Westover.

  5. Your recipe is almost just like mine! It is very good and tasty. For those who don't have time to wash and cut up potatoes, you may want to try substituting Potatoes O'Brien from the freezer section of your local grocery. I use it whenever I am in a "big" hurry


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