I love to tease Joshua when he compliments my cooking. "I used a secret ingredient." ;)
And one of my secret ingredients? Homemade kefir. It makes a great buttermilk substitute and turns out the best biscuits and pancakes! And since kefir keeps so long in the fridge, I pretty much always have some on hand when a recipe calls for buttermilk (or even just plain milk, in baking recipes).
Making biscuits with my kefir
I've also found that my kefir grains are pretty hardy. I'd been using my current kefir grains for about a year when I got pregnant with baby #5, morning sickness hit, and Joshua cooked dinner every night for a month. (Or two. I don't really remember because I was, umm, napping!)
One thing Joshua didn't do -- and I didn't do either -- was to care for my kefir grains. I know, I know. Those little "babies" I'd been tending, even taking them with me on the airplane when I went to visit my family in May... were then left in a jar on the counter for several weeks. Every time I thought about giving them some fresh milk, I wondered if they were even still alive and then just didn't touch them.
Finally, probably about 6 weeks later, I pushed past the "I'm a bad kefir-mom" feelings and took out 2 little kefir grains and started giving them fresh milk every day. It did take about 2 weeks for them to revive, and even longer for my beautiful thick creamy kefir consistency to return. But it did! They're alive! I'm so glad. And next time "life" gets too crazy to make kefir, I'll put them in the fridge to rest like I should have done.
Giveaway this week (3 days only!):
Cultures for Health is a company located here in Washington state and they offer starters and cultures for a variety of different healthy foods -- like milk kefir, water kefir, sourdough, yogurt, buttermilk, kombucha and more! Cultures for Health also offers supplies for cheese making, sprouting, and other fun stuff.
Cultures for Health offers 9 different kinds of yogurt starters, including some that will culture right on your counter (like kefir), skipping the tedious warming of milk and monitoring temperatures. (I know some people say that homemade yogurt is super easy, but I beg to differ!) :)
The giveaway (3 winners!):
Go here to enter the Cultures for Health giveaway. Giveaway is open Monday, January 16th, 2012 through Wednesday, January 18th, 2012. THREE random winners will be given the opportunity to choose a culture of their choice from Cultures for Health! :) (Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Cultures for Health. But I love opportunities for you guys to win something I love!)
Use this code to get 10% off your order at Cultures for Health placed January 16-20, 2012: TR2012
I've also written about:
Smooth and Creamy Maple-Sweetened Kefir (one of our favorite drinks!)