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“It’s Like Buttah”… but It’s Really Milk!

In keeping with the foodie theme (and my continued food hallucinations while on the low-iodine diet) today’s post is about the unsung hero of the diary world:  buttermilk.

I’m paraphrasing a bit from the New York Times, but Debbie Moose, a food historian, (side note:  you can also be a food anthropologist.  WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT THESE DREAM CAREERS???)  recalls the past prevalence of buttermilk down South.  So much so, that “regular” milk was called “sweet milk.”    Link to the full Times article here for you Nappy-In-The-Know readers.  If you don’t find the cover photo of milkmaid Colleen Cruze “udderly” charming, then you have no whimsy in your soul.

Buttermilk is the liquid by-product left over after milk has been churned into butter.  The taste is creamy and a bit tangy — similar to yogurt, which can be an acquired taste.  It adds a richness to baking (and pancakes) that our sensory deprived palates can’t fathom.  The stuff we see on our local supermarket shelves or cobble together by mixing milk and vinegar in a pinch is a poor substitute for the real thing. I’m going to make a more concerted effort to find the freshest, traditional  buttermilk around and give it spin.  Those of you who know me can say (with love & affection) that cooking is not my strong suit.  But since I’ve been making my food out of food for the last few weeks I’ve surprised myself with just how tasty some of my meals have turned out  (or I’m just really, REALLY hungry).  Of course, this time of year gives you whole lot of fresh ingredients to work with, and this should give even the most fretful cook some courage.  A few fresh tomatoes, basil and a little olive oil go a long way in building a fresh sauce (and culinary confidence).

But don’t get me wrong, my first meal will be heaping plate of Gulf Coast seafood enchiladas, jambalaya on the side,  topped off with some Ben&Jerry’s ice cream.  Come to Mama, dairy and iodine!

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4 thoughts on ““It’s Like Buttah”… but It’s Really Milk!

  1. I’ve never had real buttermilk (that I can recall). Didn’t they drink glasses of it in “White Christmas” when Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney were sitting around talking? Seems like an odd beverage to have with a sandwich, but what do I know?

    Hang in there, perhaps I should have been fasting in solidarity with you these last couple of weeks. My sugar addiction needs to be broken, SOMEHOW.

    1. Thanks for the message of solidarity. I’m getting plenty to eat, and fresh fruit is pretty sweet, but it’s just a challenge to think about about all your meals in advance. It’s also made me realize how little food you really need.

    2. Did you ever watch the crime show “The Closer”? I ask b/c the MC had a pronounced sugar addiction, especially when she was under stress. In the series finale, after she ruined her purse by shooting a murderer when she didn’t have time to remove the gun from the bag (just shot him right thru the purse: truly a modern woman’s heroine) the members of her squad bought her a new one and filled it to the top with RingDings.

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