Talking of milk use…
I often had it that between 4 and 6 pint canisters (I can’t call them bottles anymore) of milk have sat in the reduced-to-clear pile for 10 p each. I can’t go past anything like this. What to do? The most important thing is to increase its longevity. You do this by heating milk to simmering point. Then you’ve got lots of options:
Keep the milk as UHT milk
Make obscene amounts of porridge
Eat obscene amounts of cereal
Make Yoghurt (or later soft cheese)
Make rice pudding, semolina pudding or kheer
Make chocolate/vanilla/caramel etc pudding (with corn flour)
Make custard/vanilla sauce/banana sauce
I usually make some yoghurt and some desserts for the week. Unfortunately rice pudding goes off quickly, so I usually have it a hot main meal with sugar and cinnamon or some hot or cold fruit. I then make some other puddings and custard. The last one I made was a caramel pudding.
My basic pudding recipe goes as follows:
1. Decide what flavour you want the pudding to be e.g. chocolate (use melted chocolate, cocoa powder), vanilla (use eggs, vanilla sugar, vanilla flavour or vanilla pods), caramel (the cheapest pudding you can make!), cardamom, almond (like the delicious Turkish Keskul pudding), coffee, mint, lemon, strawberry, banana etc. Some friends have achieved acceptable results with milkshake powder, however I try to go for the closest-to-natural ingredients possible. But really, just use what’s in the house!
2. Heat milk and ingredients, mix and stir in corn flour until the desired consistency is achieved.
Here is a recipe for a dead easy pudding which can be eaten warm or cold which I have adapted from a German website:
Heat about 4-5 tbsp sugar (I use brown sugar, but any sugar should do – add some vanilla sugar if you have any) in a pan with a tiny bit of water (not quite a tbsp) so that it is just moist. It will first froth, then go dry and lumpy – and finally it will melt. When the sugar has melted, add a knob of salted butter or butter and a bit of salt. Keep stirring and add nearly 1 pint of milk (keep the remaining milk and dissolve about 1 heaped tbsp of corn flour in it). When the hard sugar bits have dissolved, stir in the corn flour. Don’t stir in all of it at once – see how thick you want the pudding (remember that it will get thicker once it has cooled, so don’t make it too thick). Usually a light creamy consistency is just right – don’t wait until you have problems dragging the spoon out!
The pudding can be eaten hot or cold.
An even easier pudding is vanilla pudding:
Heat about 1 pint of milk with 3 tbsp sugar (you can add something like vanilla sugar, vanilla flavouring or pods), stir in the dissolved cornflour (about 2 heaped tbsp in milk) until you have got the desired thickness. Take the creamy pudding off the fire, stir in 2 egg yolks and, if you want, 2 beaten egg whites (or you can use them for baking etc) to make it fluffy. Stirring eggs in adds nutrition, texture, taste and colour! If you don’t have any eggs, don’t worry.
I can also recommend chocolate pudding with chopped almonds and custard or vanilla sauce (as a main meal or meal substitute of course!)…