DAIRY PRODUCTS >> all start with milk from mammals, with the exception of mother’s milk for breastfeeding babies and young children.

Dairies or dairy factories process the milk collected for processing for retail sale. In our area, most milk comes from dairy cows. But milk does not come only from dairy cows — it also can come from goats, sheep, camels, reindeer, yak and several other sources.

Nutrients and the carbohydrate lactose are an important factor in the make-up of milk. A majority of the world’s population is lactose intolerant, which can cause a great deal of problems. In the United States, a milk product is available today without lactose. Non-dairy milk comes from soy, rice, almond and coconut milk.

There are over 260 million dairy cows in the world producing 730 million tons of milk.

In refrigerated cases at the supermarket, you can find gallons, half gallons, quarts and pints of whole, 1 percent or 2 percent, low fat, skim and non-fat milk. Evaporated and condensed milk can be found on the shelves.

Grade A milk is used mostly for drinking, while Grade B is turned into ice cream, butter and cheese. All three of these products are big favorites of ours.

For many years there has been a challenge between butter and margarine. With World War II came a shortage of butter substituted with margarine. Before margarine as we know it, there was what was called “Butterine.” It was one pound of lard in a soft, plastic, sealed bag with a pimple of yellow food coloring in the middle. By squeezing you worked the food coloring through until the contents looked like butter. Actually, what you had is yellow lard that looked like butter, but still tasted like lard. Both butter and margarine have a high fat content. Today, the use of butter has reached its peak and is deemed healthier than margarine.

In the United States, ice cream is government regulated as to specific types. Products that do not meet the standards for ice cream become what are called frozen dairy products. I want to pass a tip along to you that my friend Michael in Florida showed me: When you have a rock hard container of ice cream, put it in the micro wave for 20 to 30 seconds. It softens it just enough to dip it out easily and the ice cream does not melt.

Cheese is processed by adding an acid, such as rennet, vinegar or lemon juice, to milk. There is a wide range of flavors and textures. Cheese predates the keeping of records. Most cheese is better the longer it is aged. Cheese is portable and has a long shelf-life. How long of a shelf-life depends on the cheese.

White (Milk) Sauce• 2 Tbsp. butter

• 2 cups milk• 2 Tbsp. flour• salt and white pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan; incorporate flour, stir and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in milk until you get a smooth sauce. Return mixture to heat, stirring all the time, bring to a boil. Slowly simmer for 8 to 10 minutes; add salt and white pepper to taste. This sauce can be used on vegetables, meat or any way you would like.

DILL WEED & DILL >> are important in the processing of pickles. We consume on average nine pounds of pickles each year — per person. Seafood and the crisp taste of dill pairs wonderfully together. Dill weed is similar in flavor to caraway and fennel leaves. Fennel and dill leaves are often mistaken for each other. Dill is from the parsley family and dates back before 3,000 B.C. Mature dill weed seeds are toxic to birds. Might I suggest buying your dill weed from the market, which would eliminate problems of birds eating the seeds?

Good Food for a Good Life!Let me hear from you - banjack303@verizon.net. Check out Downtown Kitchens at HealthTipsAndAdvice.com or search YouTube for Look Who’s Cooking.

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