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An ingredient in "made-up" milk

Bringing up a family with 7 children on one modest income meant my mother and father had to stretch a dollar and cut corners wherever they could. As an adult now trying to make ends meet, I respect and appreciate their efforts; as a child there were times I wished I had more, but I had ENOUGH. That being said, I wanted to write about a couple of my childhood food adventures that I vowed I WOULD NOT repeat.

“Made-Up Milk”

To make the milk go further, my parents would mix one-half gallon of powdered milk and water with one-half gallon of whole milk. My older brother and I had to take turns making the powdered milk in a plastic container and stirring in the whole milk; thus, we called the concoction “made-up milk.” We used to argue about whose turn it was to do it. It makes me laugh now to think about it; it probably took all of 5 minutes to do, but we whined about it. I couldn’t wait until I was on my own to drink whole milk…it seemed so decadent. Of course now I drink skim milk for health reasons and it probably tastes closer to “made-up milk” than whole milk. The joke’s on me.

Frozen Bread

I recently heard some coupon divas on the Nate Berkus show talking about going to the bakery outlet store and stocking up by freezing the bread to save money. My parents did that when I was growing up; we would make the trip to the “bread store” and come home with bags full of loaves of bread (usually Wonder bread). I hated seeing the bread go into the freezer. My peanut butter and jelly sandwiches didn’t taste great with thawed-out white bread — I swore it had a “freezer” taste (no wonder I never liked sandwiches). Of course, I’m talking white bread here, so it ONLY tasted good when it was soft enough to make breadballs (but that’s another story). Although the invention of the microwave changed that somewhat — I think you can now “defrost” frozen bread quickly and it will stay soft and not get soggy — I vowed when I grew up that I would not freeze bread. And guess what? My grown-up compromise is that my husband and I do freeze whole grain bread or English muffins and we only use them for toast.  No frozen white bread though.

So…I compromised my “vows” due to economics…hmmm. I know my parents enjoyed seeing that. 🙂

 



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