Friday, May 31, 2013


You may know I'm wild about buttermilk. I have a favorite brand, available in the Bay Area. Always have a bottle of it in the fridge, for drinking or cooking. (The other day we soaked a cut-up chicken in buttermilk overnight, for the most tender fried chicken ever.)

Cranky knows where to buy the stuff, and every week or so, he makes the slightly arduous trek and loads up... Never more than one carton at a time.


During my absence from blogging, I had the opportunity to go back and read several of my old posts, to see whether this endeavor is worth it or not. I decided I rather liked some of what I had written, and therefore, here I am again.

I read an old post about my love affair with buttermilk, and in the comments, a good, lovely blog pal of mine suggested I could make my own buttermilk at home. She is a dedicated homestead farmer, and pretty much feeds her family on what she grows and raises. She knows whereof she speaks.

And I forgot to take her advice.

Until I reread that comment, and suddenly I was all "Get me a quart of whole milk!"

Here's how it goes. Open the new carton of milk. Spoon in a couple of blorps of buttermilk, the kind you bought. Close the carton, give it a shake, and leave it out on the counter overnight.

Oh, sweet queen of dairy!

It works. You shake it again, and chill in the refrigerator.

The texture is velvety, creamy, thick and caressing. The flavor is hard to describe. You definitely taste the culture you used to create this treasure, but you also taste the fresh, whole milk you cultured. Better than buttermilk. Bettermilk. I can't tell you enough how good it is. (And cheaper than store-bought!)


Zoomie said...

I gather you can also "make" buttermilk from whole milk and an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. I haven't tried that - if you do, I'll be interested to hear how you liked it.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: No, sadly, that's not real buttermilk. It's a substitute to use in recipes, like pancakes, *right away*.
Otherwise it will curdle. The milk solids separate from the whey, and you get a fresh cheese, like paneer. Not creamy.
Besides, I LOVE the flavor of Berkeley Farms Bulgarian Culture buttermilk. I don't think lemon juice could even get close, even if it didn't curdle the milk.
I'm hoping I can now use blorps of my homemade buttermilk as a culture for the next batch.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, some ideas take a while to cultivate. Heh.

Glad you are back at it, dear CC! And so glad you have gone down the home-cultured path. Surprisingly easy, eh?

much love!

katiez said...

Darn, I was all set to make buttermilk until I read the comments - I can't get the real thing and, for most cooking, I substitute half yogurt and half milk. I thought the acid might work. Oh well.... Glad it works for you!

cookiecrumb said...

Fast: OMG!!! El is here!
I didn't know if I woul ever see you again, and you just pop up. I'm so happy.

PEOPLE -- El is the one who taught me how to make buttermilk. She is the owner of the blog FastGrowTheWeeds. A brilliant and inspiring site, indeed.

El, the Seattle restaurant Herbfarm just got a goat milk separator. It looks like a simple, dinky contraption... You may already be there; it's been a while since I visited.


cookiecrumb said...

KatieZ: Oh, no commercial buttermilk? If I were you, I'd try with a spoonful or two of yogurt, and see how that works. It could, it could...
Good to see you, honey.

tammy said...

I've done this with cream and it was soooo awesome. Now I'm gonna try it with milk!

cookiecrumb said...

Tammy: We do it with cream about once a week. Never out of creme fraiche! And it's mind-boggling how good it is.
Yeah, try milk! :)

Elizabeth said...

You're back! I'm glad your foot is healed and you're cooking again. Or culturing, at least. We all need more culture in our lives.

cookiecrumb said...

Elizabeth: When I was rereading old blog posts, I kept coming across comments from you. So, in a way, you were with me all along. :)

Amy Sherman said...

I'm crazy about Berkeley Farms Bulgarian Buttermilk! It gets harder and harder to find in the City but it is divine--both in texture and flavor.

cookiecrumb said...

Amy: I can't even remember where I bought it when we lived in Glen Park. I will settle for Clover if I must, but that Berkeley Farms stuff is magic. :)

wot larx said...

So so glad to see you back. Can't believe it's been a year.

My partner adores buttermilk ans we are so excited to try this tonight!!

Looking forward to more madness ...

cookiecrumb said...

wot larx: It's you! Great to see you.
Guess what else about buttermilk. We made cultured butter, and the leftover whey is BUTTERMILK. More on that to come.
Thanks for the kind words. xx