Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Substitutes For Buttermilk

 What's a girl to do if she doesn't have some nice home made buttermilk? Well, I have been creating some wild substitutes. Oh I've gotten several batches of milk canned, some frozen, and some butter and ghee made but then the milk utilization ground to a halt beyond drinking and cooking with it. Life is simply getting in the way of self-sufficiency pursuits in the milk department.

Chicory here, who has been the foundation of our herd, if you can call six goats a herd, has me deeply concerned. She had an udder that was congested. Congested because it didn't have mastitis. She always gets one after kidding but this has been a huge problem over the last month and she kidded in April so the initial congestion problem was long gone.

 A couple weeks ago in frustration, I dosed her twice in a three day period, both teats, with mastitis medication. She acted slightly sick from so much penicillin. I didn't know what else to do. Her udder would be HARD and I'd have to massage and massage to get the milk to drop down enough to squirt out. What little amount there was. Then after a week of this, for a single day she'd have a fairly decent udder in stark and back to HARD once more the next day. The craziest thing since it happened over and over again. A week after medication her udder has calmed down a bit and the HARD isn't as hard and the softer is more of the norm. Did the medication do it or was time the factor? I don't know.

The problem wouldn't be so.... noticeable except Meagan has the softest textured udder I've ever encountered. You want to touch it, it's so velvety soft and there is no firmness what so ever. She milks down to a wrinkly sack.  I've begun to dry Chicory up hoping she will recover. And to think she started out with the highest milk production of her four years of life.

I'm not sure she is still going to remain with us though since she moans and groans something fierce. Her feet bother her terribly as she tenderly walks upon them. Is this connected to the udder problem? I'm not sure. Maybe she foundered when she turned one and kidded. This was before our entry into her life. We bought her because she was eliminated from a show herd because of weak pasterns that were never fully remedied. It is not a trait she passes on to her kids. Since founder can happen to one goat and none of the others in a herd eating the same feed who knows. After having ten kids in four years, maybe that's part of the problem too for though I've kept her feet trimmed, she is exceptionally right now.

I'll give her a months break without grain since she won't be milking, (our grain mix is very low in corn) and we'll see where she's at.  Can we get one more batch of kids out of her? That is the question. I do have a daughter, a grand daughter, and a great grand daughter from her so we shall see.  This means we have a yearling, Chicory's grand daughter as our only source of milk since the great grand daughter and daughter are just kids.

Though Meagan is milking far more than any other yearling I've ever owned. I've owned goats for over 27 years. She is still a yearling.

So now that you have heard my sob story, I'll tell you what I'm getting done about my beloved buttermilk, NOTHING. Life is interfering and so all those great recipes calling for buttermilk have had to take a major tweaking. I've begun dumping in whatever dairy product I have in the refrigerator as a substitute along with goat milk to create the same consistency.

My awesome buttermilk pancakes are likely to have a combination of cottage cheese and sour cream but yogurt is not beyond being thrown in either if I happen to have plain. I stick the cottage cheese in the blender and voila, a few pulses later and it is nice and creamy smooth. You'd never know I was using cottage cheese. I usually do this with the eggs called for in the recipe.


 If you simply add milk instead of buttermilk and toss in a little more flour, the taste of your baked good is bland. Also of note is in my opinion, Land O Lakes makes the best dairy products in our supermarkets here in Wyoming.
And lets not forget yogurt. It can often be used as a substitute also. Vanilla works pretty good in pancakes but use plain for things you don't want the vanilla flavor in.

The thing I have NOT done in many years is substitute a cup of milk with a Tablespoon of lemon juice or you can use a Tablespoon of vinegar as a substitute for buttermilk. It's bland though, lacking the flavor pizzas of buttermilk. That is why I've gone to using sour cream, cottages cheese, and enough milk to create the correct consistency.

Yogurt can be substituted in equal amounts for buttermilk but the store version is a bit dull if just plain - no flavor - in comparison to home made buttermilk's richness when made from fresh milk. That's where the sour cream or cottage cheese comes in. Better yet use home made yogurt from fresh milk as a substitute.

Nope, I don't run to the store if I don't have something. I reach into the fridge or cupboard and get creative for I can't go shopping and get just one thing and the one need explodes into a cart full of things. So I stay out of stores when possible. I am a born bulk shopper. If one bottle of Ranch dressing is good then three more has to be better especially if it is on sale. LOL

For more details on substitutes for buttermilk you might try this informative website.

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