Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Easily Delicious

If you are like me (and maybe you only like me and aren't like me at all, or don't even like me but then WHY are you reading this?) you always end up with left over buttermilk.

I don't keep buttermilk around all the time.  I tend to buy it specifically for a recipe and even have some Magic Buttermilk Powder in the refrigerator that, when I remember I've got it, transforms water to buttermilk. Poof. Just.. Like... That!

When I do buy buttermilk, I can never find it in a usefully small carton, like heavy cream or half and half usually come in. This is clearly a conspiracy of some sort by the PanGalactic Buttermilk Council to coerce people into buying Too Much Buttermilk. And it works.

So there I typically find myself, with a full quart of buttermilk minus the two tablespoons or whatever I used for a recipe, and I simply can not throw it out. I am psychically prohibited. 

My Mom grew up poor during the Depression Era and she imprinted upon me a thriftiness that is often times more binding than helpful. This inability to dispense with miniscule portions of "perfectly good" food remnants that aren't useful in other recipes, and don't suffice as a meal or even combine easily to make a dish all their own means I have a refrigerator filled to the brim with tidbits.   

These leftovers just sit there, taunting me. Laughing because they know nobody else in this house will eat them.  I will potentially be forced to eat them all myself, explaining my need for buying clothes with elastic waistbands and/or scouting for styles touting "generous fit".Snickering because they realize Hub will reach his breaking point, refusing to spend fully 4 1/2 minutes unpacking then repacking the tottering towers of unlabeled repurposed sour cream and olive tubs, only ever wanting to get to his pitcher of iced tea.  Knowing he only reasonably wants to reach in and take something out without triggering a potentially floor fouling cascade of loosely covered remnants.
I haven't bought Cool Whip for over a year. I can't throw out a "perfectly good" resuable container, either. 

Hub will say Something. I will reluctantly clear the three bites of 14 different foods out, resulting in a clearer refrigerator but a cloudy conscience. I will either over eat or face carrying the recurrent psychic weight of ThereAreStarvingChildrenInChina guilt. Thank you, Mother!

Occasionally a recipe comes riding along to the rescue. This recipe, for Buttermilk Pudding from Elise and Company writing at the wondrously useful Simply Recipes is a case in point.

This recipe uses 2 cups of buttermilk. Two. Cups. Further, this recipe hits all the marks for a true Keeper.It has a short ingredient list that allows for generous substitutions. It uses items typically already in even a scantily stocked pantry. It doesn't take any special equipment or use any rarified techniques and best of all? It tastes sublime. All by itself good. Top it with seasonal fruit or jam? Exquisite.

I had in mind to make this when I still had a substantial amount of buttermilk left over from I don't even remember what. Then I stumbled upon the Broccoli Slaw recipe with its buttermilk dressing. As luck and the PanGalactic Buttermilk Council would have it, when I finally got around to making the pudding, I actually only had one cup of the buttermilk on hand.

Sure, I could have gone and bought another quart of buttermilk, but that would have put me squarely back in the "too much buttermilk" fix I was trying to amend. So riffing off the comments on Elise's blog stating others had made this using sour cream rather than buttermilk I simply mixed and matched.  The results were no less phenomenal. 

I used a cup of buttermilk, nearly a cup of left over sour cream, threw in some sitting around half and half which brought it all up to the two cup mark. I whisked a bit to make sure everything was evenly distributed, and ended up with 6 ramekins of Wow.We enjoyed our first round topped with sliced up strawberries and peaches.  For our off season repeat visits there will be strawberry and peach jam ready in the cabinet.  

One other tidbit - I found that the Knox unflavored gelatin packets at my large chain grocer's weigh in at 2 teaspoons each. Other brands might vary so do measure before using. Otherwise - proceed without refrigerator cluttering fearfulness to buy buttermilk now, my people! Garrett McCord via Elise has given us the power. Onward!


Elise said...

So glad you liked that buttermilk pudding! When Garrett first told me about it I was not terribly enthusiastic, but then thought my dad might like it. Turns out we all loved it, can't wait to make it again. I do like the flexibility of it too. You can mix in fruit, add various flavorings, etc.

TexasDeb said...

Thanks for dropping in Elise - we really really liked this. I was thinking how good some caramel might be swirled in, and about putting a gingersnap crumb layer in the bottom of the ramekins. I think this might be one of those endlessly variable recipes that becomes a "go to" for our family. I am so glad you shared this one.

Mayberry Magpie said...

I have four-month-old buttermilk in my frig RIGHT NOW! Lol.

TexasDeb said...

That used to freak me out - how do I tell when buttermilk has gone bad -does it start to taste sweet?Thanks for dropping in MM.