I like eating real foods. The more I move beyond my own reasons (it's cheap and tastes better) the more I'm finding it's also healthier than what's become the norm for the American diet.
I read Nourishing Traditions recently. Now I'm the sort of person who reads a cookbook like a novel, but this was a book that anyone could read for pleasure. Half of each page was commentary. I didn't check out references, but even if it was all bunk (which it wasn't), it was good bunk.
I was inspired. INSPIRED I say! So I made buttermilk. First I started with store bought cultured butter milk and the 1% milk we always have around. (We have it around because a lovely young man drives up to my house once a week and leaves some at my front door. How cool is that?) It worked. !!! Then I used the buttermilk I made to make - more buttermilk. That worked too! Man this is so exciting. !!! I got wild and crazy and asked the young man to leave a quart of cream and I made buttermilk with that.
Now I have died and gone to heaven. The cream turned into the absolutely best sour cream ever. Really. (Ask my husband, I let him have some. That's how much I love him.) I put a cup of my homemade sour cream in a jar and put it in the fridge to use with blueberries and pancakes. I left the rest out to finish curdling to see if I could make cheese.
Maybe this weekend I'll get wild and crazy and make my own yogurt.
I did ask the lovely young man to leave me a half gallon of whole milk this week.
Notes and Modifications:
I have felt perfectly justified in buying the cheapest cream cheese I could find, since I never noticed a difference in the quality of cream cheese.
Now I know better. I finished making cream cheese last night. The cream cheese I made by adding cultured buttermilk to cream (1:3 ratio) is amazingly delicious. Cost wise it works out about the same as what I'd pay at the store, so while this is a huge improvement on quality, it isn't a cost savings.
The cream cheese I made using purchased yogurt was as good as store bought, but not better. However, it was actually cheaper than store bought yogurt. I wonder if homemade yogurt works as well and if I'll notice a taste difference?
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