Sunday, April 27, 2014

From Farm to Table Part 3: Buttermilk

Now that we have pasteurized our milk, skimmed the cream and churned our butter, it's time to get to the true gem of this whole entire process, the buttermilk!
 I can't even begin to tell you how many recipes I've been excited to try...I'll skim down the ingredients list and mentally tick them off in my head saying, "I've got that...and that one...Oh! we still have some of that..." only to reach "buttermilk" and have my heart sink. Toss the book aside and make something else! Since I live at least 20 minutes away from nearest convenience store, if a recipe calls for an ingredient I don't have, I'm not going to go and get it. I'm too lazy for that.

 Now however, thanks to our handy dandy home pasteurizer that has unlocked a floodgate of new possibilities, I can try these recipes that call for buttermilk and sour milk.

 I stated earlier that I called the liquid that was left over from the butter making process, "buttermilk"... it says in my butter making book that: "'true buttermilk', which is the liquid that remains after the solids have formed as cream is churned into butter. However, there is not really a consensus as to what true buttermilk is." (Helweg, Pg. 62)

 Whatever it is, I use the leftover liquid and it makes AMAZING pancakes! It's become a known thing in the Shawhan household...pasteurize milk one night and two days later we have pancakes for dinner. I found a simple recipe in a cookbook I already had.

Since I normally get about a quart or more buttermilk, I've been doubling the pancake recipe (though I could triple it I guess) since the instructions call for 1 cup of buttermilk.

 The recipe called for an egg too! Nothing like using your own eggs with your farms' milk!

 I like to make extra so I can freeze a bunch of pancakes. They freeze well and I just pop them in the toaster in the morning while I get Carl's breakfast ready. Nothing like a good hot breakfast that is ready in just a couple of minutes! Carl and I then both sit at the table and start our day together.

 This picture says it all. From farm to table. I'm not sure how else to say it or present it. A fresh glass of milk with buttermilk pancakes and homemade butter. (Complete with John Deere silverware!)

  So far I've only tried buttermilk in pancakes, but I can't wait to try biscuits and many other tasty treats!

I'm sure some people think I'm a complete fruit loop... why go through all this work when I can go to the store and buy everything? Well, that's part of my answer "buy"...why "buy" when I can get it for free? (Free of money anyway, there is a lot of work involved).

 The other part of the answer is that I'm weird I guess!

Helweg, Richard. The Complete Guide to Making Cheese, Butter and Yogurt at Home. Ocala: Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc, 2012.

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