New post at ANIMALS SPOTTED.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I probably tried to bake cornbread in my cast iron skillet. I have had the skillet for at least fifty years and used the heck out of it, but can’t recall the details of having made cornbread in it.
Well, the other day I saw a tempting recipe that called for buttermilk AND a cast iron skillet, so I was encouraged to give it a whirl. The biggest impetus, though, was the inclusion of buttermilk in the recipe. I am very fond of buttermilk, but am NOT fond of the ridiculous price ($3./quart) that is asked for the commercial variety, so many years ago, I learned to make my own buttermilk.
It is dead simple – bring a cup and a half of milk (I use full fat, organic milk for the buttermilk and yogurt that I make) to room temperature, either by just leaving it out on the counter or using the microwave. Bring a small amount (maybe two or three tablespoons) of already-clabbered buttermilk to the same temperature – but don’t use the microwave to do that. It is a small amount and will come to room temperature fairly quickly.
When they are both room temperature, mix them together and put them in a secure place where the jar won’t be jiggled, preferably overnight. Store the finished buttermilk in the refrigerator.
If you leave it too long, it will separate, but that doesn’t hurt anything. If it doesn’t separate, it is yummy to just eat like a light pudding. I add fruit and sometimes some maple syrup. Can also toss in a bit of leftover rice for a quickie rice pudding. I usually add chopped pecans, too, because I loves ’em! ;->
I use empty jars with blue tops that hold 12 ounces from the refrigerated salad dressing section of the grocery store, but any size container that suits your needs is suitable. This size allows me to make a new batch frequently, but there are usually at least two jars available at any given time. It seems to stay nice and fresh this way – rather than having one huge container of it. As I use one container, I start another, leaving one unopened jar always in reserve.
So now I have a nice batch of buttermilk to make delicious pancakes or cornbread. At some point in my earlier life, I had a fabulous recipe for a rich Devil’s Food Cake that called for buttermilk, but a concerted search a while ago did not produce it. Probably just as well!