Thursday, August 2, 2012

Use it or Lose it - Buttermilk & Sweet Potatoes

This week's featured "everything must go!" ingredients are-

*Jewel Yams (actually a variety of sweet potato), about 2 pounds
*Goat Buttermilk, 1 quart
*Sour Cherries, 4 pounds
*Goats milk, 2 1/2 gallons
*Rendered Leaf Lard (pork), 1 cup +/-

It almost goes without saying that this time of the year, we'll have more milk than we know what to do with. Things could be worse! :)

This is our second year of having this very fortunate predicament, so we're slowly but surely learning how to use goat milk in things that we'd otherwise have used store bought cows milk in (white sauces, custards, etc.), as well as using it to make some of our own dairy products (cheese, butter) to replace or at the very least, reduce the amount of cow's milk dairy that we buy & consume.

We've also started socking a little bit of milk away in the deep freeze, for those dark days when the gals are lactating no-more, and we have a hankering for something creamy.

So, we popped 1/2 gallon of milk into the freezer for later use in cooking and/or soap making. We also pitted and froze the sour cherries for use in my very favorite jam, Summer Solstice preserves.

1 and 1/5th items down!

The buttermilk was homemade, using a quart (1/4 gallon) of whole goat's milk, warmed to 86 degrees, then inoculated with buttermilk culture and left to ripen overnight. What a delicious difference that little culture makes!

I used up the 3/4 of the buttermilk making a triple batch of buttermilk waffles that I also squirreled away in the freezer for a rainy day.

The rest of the buttermilk was used, along with 1 1/2 cups of the pureed yams, and 1/2 cup of the lard (in place of half of the butter), in a double batch of Martha Stewart's Sweet-Potato Biscuits. Heaven. on. earth.

As you can see, I used a small-mouthed mason jar ring in lieu of a proper biscuit cutter. It worked just fine, and that makes one less thing I have to hunt for in my kitchen. ;)

So, having frozen the milk & cherries, baked the biscuits and made the waffles, I'm left with 1 3/4 gallons of milk, 1/2 cups of lard and 1 cup of sweet potato puree. I put the puree into a silicone freezer tray and chucked it into the freezer to set-up. I'll pop out my yam cubes and bag them up, to eventually be used in soup.

As for the milk, I'm going to try and bribe/sweet talk Billy into making a double batch of 30-minute mozzarella to be used on Friday Pizza Night. I'll hang on to the lard, since I'm not exactly under the gun to use it, like I am the more perishable goods on my use or lose hit list.

Whew! That was a lot of baking and dish-dirtying for one day. I'm wiped! Now, excuse me while I go snarf down my third butter and jam smothered Sweet Potato biscuit. Being the chef has its perks. :)

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