Store Dairy Produce Right

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dairy-produce_cDairy produce needs great care in preparation and packing for the freezer, but results can be good, and useful savings can be effected if bulk supplies are obtainable. Here are methods of storage such dairy produce: butter and margarine, milk, cream, cheese, cream and cottage cheese, eggs.

 


Butter and margarine

Preparation and packing Freeze in original wrappings, with packages overwrapped in polythene bags for easy storage.

Thawing and serving Only thaw enough fat at a time for one week's use.

Storage time Unsalted fats 6 months; salted fats 3 months.

Milk

Preparation and packing Pack in cartons, allowing 1 inch headspace. Only freeze in small quantities which can be used quickly at one time. Milk should be pasteurised and homogenised.

Thawing and serving Thaw in cartons at room temperature.

Storage time 1 month.

Special notes Emergency supplies are rarely necessary in the freezer, with today's dried products and 'long life' milk available, but a surplus can be stored in this way.

Cream

Preparation and packing Cream for processing should be pasteurised and cooled rapidly, and packed in waxed containers leaving 1 inch head- space. 1 tablespoon sugar to each pint of cream will improve the keeping time. Cream must contain 40% butter-fat; low butterfat cream tends to separate.

Thawing and serving Thaw in container at room temperature, and beat lightly with a fork to restore smoothness. Use with puddings, or for making ice cream.

Storage time 4 months.

Special notes The texture of frozen cream can be heavy and grainy, but light beating will improve it. If used in hot coffee, the oil will rise to the surface. Only really good, thick cream responds well to freezing.

Cheese

Preparation and packing Hard types of cheese such as Cheddar freeze most satisfactorily. Freeze in small quantities sufficient for one or two days' supply (i.e. 8 oz or less). Divide large cheeses and repack in small quantities. Divide slices with double cellophane, and wrap in foil or freezer paper.

Thawing and serving Thaw in wrappings at room temperature, allowing 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Cheeses are best cut when still slightly frozen as they are less likely to crumble.

Storage time 6 months.

Special notes Camembert, Port Salut, Stilton, Danish Blue and Roquefort may be frozen successfully, but tend to crumble. All cheeses must be carefully wrapped and sealed to avoid drying-out and cross-contamination.

Cream and cottage cheese

Preparation and packing Cream Cheese tends to separate on thawing It is best blended with heavy cream to be used as a cocktail dip. Pack in waxed tubs or rigid plastic containers Cottage cheese should be packed in waxed tubs or rigid plastic containers, and must be frozen quickly to avoid water separation on thawing.

Thawing and serving Thaw in containers in refrigerator, preferably overnight. Blend cream cheese with a fork to restore its smoothness.

Storage time 4 months.

Eggs

Preparation and packing Eggs must be very fresh and of top quality. They should be washed and broken into a dish before processing to be checked for quality. Pack in small or large containers according to end use. Pack in waxed or rigid plastic containers, or in special waxed cups for individual eggs. Eggs can be frozen in ice cube trays, each cube being wrapped in foil, then bagged in polythene for storage. Eggs can be frozen whole, or the yolks and whites can be frozen separately. Salt or sugar prevents too much thickening.

Yolks Mix lightly with a fork. Mix with 1/2 teaspoon salt to 6 yolks, or 1/2 tablespoon sugar to 6 yolks. Label carefully.

Whites No pre-freezing treatment necessary.

Whole eggs Blend lightly with a fork but avoid getting in much air. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt or 1/2 tablespoon sugar to 5 eggs. Label carefully.

Thawing and serving Thaw in the unopened container in the refrigerator. For rapid use, thaw unopened at room temperature for 1 ½ hours. Use as fresh eggs, but use up quickly as quality deteriorates when they are left to stand. Egg whites may be kept for 24 hours in a refrigerator after thawing.

Storage time 8-10 months.

Special notes Eggs should not be frozen in their shells, as the shells may crack and the yolks harden and will not beat smoothly into the whites.

When eggs are packed in quantity, their equivalent in liquid measure for use in cooking is:

2 1/2 tablespoons whole egg = 1 egg

1 1/2 tablespoons egg white = 1 egg white

1 tablespoon egg yolk = 1 yolk

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