Thursday, July 18, 2013

In Which I Go a Little Nutty

Here's one of the cookbooks I wanted to tell you about. I'm afraid these days I mostly enjoy cookbooks as a fun read, but, dawg! We've been using this one.

Cranky spotted this book on one of his prowls, and he knew instantly that I would have to have it. Truthfully, it makes me feel a little like a wackadoodle, knowing (and knowing he knows) that I'm so avid about buttermilk that a book like this would give me paroxysms. But it does, and I'm admitting it. {smiley face}

Let me extol the author's credentials. Diane St. Clair is Thomas Keller's personal butter maker. Making butter results in buttermilk. QED. When we dined at the French Laundry a few months ago, our server specified that he was giving us little pots of butter from the Animal Farm in Vermont. St. Clair's Animal Farm. That good.

OK, the book. It features recipes using buttermilk, ones that you already know about. Biscuits, fried chicken, salad dressing, chilled soups. Desserts, of course, but also main dishes, sides, salads (and I left my copy of the book in the kitchen, so I can't cite specifics because there's a dog in my lap right now). Oh, yes, breakfasts!

Yep. The first thing we tried from the book was buttermilk French toast. Easy, nothing special or time-consuming. Just like regular French toast. Except it's made with buttermilk. (Duh!) The resulting product was soft, elegant, and obnoxiously adorable with that tart tang. By the way, St. Clair implores you to use the best buttermilk you can find. We're making our own at home these days, and it's very good. So, yeah, we loved the French toast.

Turns out, there's a recipe for homemade buttermilk in the book, and I got the smug wiggles knowing I have already made my own. But it also turns out there's a recipe for butter. You have to have some good cream, and you have to have some good buttermilk.

We just made some butter today. I'll tell you about it soon. Taunt, taunt.

My only wish is that you explore this book a little. I selfishly want the author to do well, sales wise, so she'll write another one.

(Yeah, wackadoodle.)


Zoomie said...

I don't know you nearly as well as Cranky, and yet I'd have thought of you instantly had I seen that book in a bookstore. I'm interested that you are making your own buttermilk - will you tell us about that as well as the butter? When I was in fourth grade at a wonderful school in Berkeley, we made butter in the classroom. Mrs. Vohs - the best teacher ever.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie, I explained how to make buttermilk here. And if you read the comments, you might get a little chuckle.

Zoomie said...

Oh, yes, now I remember. Senior moment.

Greg said...

Books are like so retro! I wish I had my own personal butter maker :)I made butter back in 2007 and still remember the mess.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Isn't it cool that we get to say "senior moment" now?

Greg: We had no problems with a mess. We used our Cuisinart mini prep which holds two cups, and the blending bowl is dishwasher safe. My hands, though! Coated. I shoulda licked them.
Still, impressed that you gave butter-making a try.