Leftover ingredients never go to waste in our house

After our Lunar New Year lunch, while we certainly had far more leftover food than I initially imagined, we also had some leftover raw ingredients that I needed to use up soon. Some of these things included an extra king oyster mushroom, chives, sweetened condensed milk, and six egg yolks. In the past when I used egg whites in different desserts or soups, I usually used the remaining egg yolks to make a chocolate mousse or something related. But I didn’t have any chocolate or cocoa powder this time, which led me to look at what else I had on hand: brown sugar that was hardening, plus several lemons. I decided to make something I’d always wanted to try out, but never did: lemon curd! Lemon curd is one of those indulgent spreads that is used on scones and muffins, but people rarely think to make at home, though it’s actually quite simple. Lemon curd only requires four ingredients (sugar, fresh lemon juice, egg yolks, and butter), some stirring on the stove, and then straining. The straining will take the longest if you want to be very careful about straining out any egg bits that may have curdled, but once that is done, you will have a decadent spread for toast, muffins, scones, or just to eat straight from a spoon. When I was done making this yesterday afternoon, I couldn’t stop marveling over how delicious and fancy it tasted, yet it took very little time or effort (other than the straining).

I used the remaining king oyster mushroom in a quick and easy sugar snap pea stir fry that Kaia enjoyed as part of her dinner yesterday. And for the sweetened condensed milk, since it has a long refrigerated life, I decided to gradually use it up in some homemade Hong Kong style milk tea. Before yesterday, I actually had no idea how Hong Kong style milk tea was made. You boil water, add your tea leaves, boil again, then simmer/steep for 15-20 minutes, then strain. To finish and serve, you add whole/evaporated milk and a little sweetened condensed milk per cup. If you don’t like strong tea, you will NOT enjoy Hong Kong style milk tea! It uses an insane amount of tea, which is why you get such a caffeine jolt after having a cup, and the tea most typically used is Ceylon tea (that’s right: I used my DILMAH!). While the typical cup of black tea will use one teaspoon of tea to one cup (240ml) of liquid, Hong Kong style milk tea requires FIVE teaspoons per cup of hot water, with about 1/3 cup of milk added. I didn’t have evaporated milk (which is usually used, and far richer than whole milk since it’s literally evaporated down), so I used regular whole cow milk with a teaspoon per cup of sweetened condensed milk. I had just over a cup-size serving, and it’s evening time now, and I am still feeling the effects of this caffeine!

No waste in our house. 🙂

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