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ButtermilkJust recently I wanted to make a recipe that called for buttermilk. Well do you have buttermilk on hand? Of course not, who really does? So I added it to the shopping list and off I went. At the dairy section of my local grocery store, the Seabrook, New Hampshire Market Basket. Remember, I live in Massachusetts but on the NH boarder. I locate the buttermilk and to my great joy find out that it only comes in quarts. Who the hell needs a quart of buttermilk? Even though I usually double to triple a recipe, you see, The Fireman works 24 hour shifts and as a Captain does not really have time to prepare meals. Thus why I make larger portions. Even then, I have never ever ever not ever needed a quart of buttermilk. Why in the name of All That Is, does it not come in pints. Are you listening dairy industry? So what does one do with the left over? Well I freeze it. Now keeping in mind that most recipes do not need a great deal of buttermilk. So this is what I came up with. Freeze it in icecube trays. It works out that one cup of buttermilk fills 10 1/2 cubes in the tray. Yep I counted.

So to do a little math:  icecube trays

  • 1/4 cup = about 3 cubes (you can be exact, but really what would the point be)
  • 1/2 cup = about 5 cubes
  • 1 cup = 10 1/2 cubes

Couple of suggestions to make it easier. Don’t buy cheap trays, you will just be sad and maybe swear a little when the cubes get stuck in the tray and break. Which then leads to more swearing! So take it from a Yankee, buy the best that you can afford. Run the bottom of the trays under some water, meaning flip the trays upside down. This will loosen the cubes and not get them wet. You don’t want them to stick to other cubes when you place them in the freezer. Pop them out and store them in a container or plastic bag. Then you can use them as you need them.

Buttermilk substitute

If you are in a pinch and can’t get to the store there is hope for you. Buttermilk is a slightly sour milk. To make a substitute for it all you need is milk, vinegar or lemon juice. People, listen to me closely you know the bottles of lemon juice and the cute little containers that are shaped like lemons? Forget you know they exist! Buy real lemons! I will go into it in a later posting! So take one tablespoon of vinegar or real lemon juice  and place it in a liquid measuring cup (there is a difference between liquid and dry measurements) and then fill the cup to the one cup line with milk, mix and you are done!

If you have heavy cream on hand you can actually make buttermilk on your on. Take one of the ball or mason jars that you have on hand and fill it half way up with cream. Start shaking it. The cream with start to thicken into whipped cream and upon further shaking with start to form a yellow glob. This usually takes about 10 minutes. I remember doing this in Kindergarden (yes it was a while ago). The yellow solid is butter and the remaining liquid is buttermilk. Run the butter under cold water to remove any excess liquid as it will cause the butter to spoil. Salt, refrigerate and use it as you will.

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