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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Frugal Kitchens 101- Buttermilk

Frugal Kitchens 101
I have to share with you that my newest favourite ingredient to cook with is cultured buttermilk. Buttermilk adds an incredible flavour to most dishes and it is one of the best meat tenderizers you will find. I was first introduced to buttermilk when I started making fresh butter as a newlywed and while that buttermilk is excellent the buttermilk called for in most recipes is cultured buttermilk. Several year ago I attended a house party of one of my mentors. He had used herbed cultured buttermilk as a marinade for chicken breasts. Well I think I was pretty much hooked right there and then. The results were wonderful. So over the years I have worked cultured buttermilk into both baking, cooking and deep frying to the point I keep a couples of L of it going because it is so easy to make. As I open a L I remove 250 ml to use as as a starter then start a new L of buttermilk that day so I always have plenty of buttermilk ready for cooking and baking. I usually start a batch of sour cream using buttermilk starter the same day as well. Homemade buttermilk and sour cream is cheaper per unit price than store bought and you elimimate those pesky containers too. This is extremely important!

In many cases being frugal in the kitchen means not only saving money but getting a better quality product for less money. More so today being frugal means being eco-friendly as well. I can buy a 500 ml container of store brand sour cream for about $2.50 which means I have to go to the store and I have that plastic container to deal with. Or I can make the same 500 ml amount for a cost of about $1 at home using whole milk and a mason jar. So not only is this saving me money it is very eco-friendly because I'm reusing a jar I already have. Anytime you can eliminate that packaging you are going to save money but eliminating the packaging means a lot more than that. It means you have taken one step closer to being eco-friendly :)


4 food lovers commented:

Bellini Valli said...

Making your own buttermilk sounds easy and it does make chicken tender and pancakes & cakes light.

A Year on the Grill said...

OK... I am dumb as dirt... but I am intrigued... could you do a post with photos of making your own buttermilk and sour cream... i would do both of these in a heart beat if I had idiot proof instructions

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Bellini and thanks for visiting. Making buttermilk is very easy to make! It can be used to tenderize pork as well :)

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Dave :) If you check the post on Novemember 21 there is a picture along with the methods. In that same post there are links to previous articles showing both pictures and methods of those home made products as well. The post is called 'Fun in the Kitchen with Milk and Creams'. HTH