June is National Dairy Month, a time to rediscover the rich history of dairy farming in America.
Since colonial days, dairy farmers have played an important role in their local communities. By milking their cows twice a day, 365 days a year, dairy farmers ensure there is an abundant supply of milk and milk products.
Milk long has been a popular beverage, not only for its flavor but because of its nutritional attributes. Milk is considered one of the best sources of calcium in the American diet and also provides protein and vitamins B-2 and D, among others.
There are several varieties of milk, including:
Whole milk contains at least 3.5 percent milkfat and at least 8.25 percent milk solids that are not fat.
Lowfat milk has had enough milkfat removed to produce milk with milkfat contents of 0.5 to 2 percent.
Also called nonfat milk, skim has had as much fat removed as possible.
Chocolate milk is made by adding chocolate or cocoa and sweetener to whole or lowfat milk.
Evaporated milk is made by evaporating enough water from whole milk under vacuum to reduce the volume by half. The resulting concentrate is homogenized, fortified with vitamin D, canned and heat-sterilized. It contains 7.25 percent milkfat and 25.5 percent milk solids.
EVAPORATED SKIM MILK
Evaporated skim milk is concentrated, fortified skim milk containing up to 0.5 percent milkfat and at least 20 percent milk solids.
SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK
Sweetened condensed milk is a canned milk concentrate of whole or skim milk with a sweetener added. Sweetened condensed whole milk contains at least 8 percent milkfat and 28 percent milk solids.
Eggnog is a mix of milk, eggs, sugar and cream. It can contain flavorings such as rum extract, vanilla and nutmeg.
Cultured buttermilk is made by adding a bacterial culture to milk to produce the acidity, body, flavor and aroma characteristic of this product. It most often is made with skim or lowfat milk.
ICE CREAM CUSTARD
Makes: 1/2 gallon
1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs, well beaten
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients, except vanilla. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats a metal spoon. Cool slightly; stir in vanilla. Chill several hours or overnight.
Fill the freezer can of an ice cream maker. Process according to manufacturer's direction. Place plastic container with tight-fitting lid. Freeze several hours or overnight.
PINEAPPLE CAKE PIE
3 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
Grated rind of lemon
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup drained pineapple
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
Mix sugar, flour, rind and juice in beaten egg yolks. Add heated milk. Cool; fold in beaten egg whites. Pour in unbaked shell. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
HOT FUDGE SAUCE
1 1/2 can evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat milk and sugar to rolling boil. Boil 1 minute, add chocolate. When melted, beat with an egg beater until smooth. Add butter, vanilla and salt.
This can be stored in refrigerator and reheated in double boiler. It's delicious over vanilla ice cream.
Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at email@example.com.