13 June 2011

No Use Cryin' Over Sour Milk!

"What's a girl to do when her man goes away?"  
It's a good old bluesy song, but really, the question is, when he drinks lots of milk, and there's still a lot left over in the fridge, "what's a girl to do?"  I mulled over that question for the past three weeks, all the while facing the inevitable  - 4 liters of local organic affordable (more on that later) milk was bound to go sour before I could use it all.  I made a fritatta, I made scrambled eggs whipped with milk, I ate lots of granola and milk for breakfast, and there was more.



Last weekend,  I couldn't deny it anymore.  In fact, I had already bought another 1L bottle of said milk, in anticipation.  The milk was sour.  I had considered making yogurt, but now that it was sour, that wasn't an option.  I'd considered sour cream or creme fraiche, but same thing - all of these projects require fresh milk, as fresh as you can get it.


And then I received a newspaper clipping about banana bread from Beau-père (my father-in-law).  He has German roots, not French, but this moniker provides him a polite amount of anonymity.  Although I didn't make banana bread with the milk, he does love buttermilk, which inspired me to seek out my favorite buttermilk biscuit recipe.  


I doubled the recipe, used up 4 cups of perfectly soured milk (chance or subconscious deliberation?) and have lots of biscuits to eat.  Fortunately, biscuits freeze rather well, in contrast to milk and most dairy products.  In keeping with our habit, I took some of the dough (or would you call it batter for biscuits?) up to our landlady (Madame J.).  I figured she would enjoy them warm, fresh out of the oven in the morning, and the dough keeps well refrigerated for several days.  However, she doesn't have a baking sheet (what!?!) so I baked them for her.  


After she, and another Francophone friend in a separate instance, called them "scones" I realized why Madame had been so confused when I brought her the dough.  In French, at least here in French Canada, biscuit is the word for what we Americans would call a cookie.  This dough looks nothing like a cookie!  On the other hand, what I think of as a scone looks nothing like these delightfully easy drop-biscuits.  Again I am reminded that learning this language is not about translations - it is a different way of thinking about the world.  So, follow the recipe, let some milk sour, and impress someone with these sour-milk scones!  For a Montana-style breakfast, use them for biscuits and gravy.  For a more European approach, serve them warm with black tea, butter and some homemade jam (confiture).


Bon appetite!




3 comments:

JAG said...

How fun to read it today about the biscuits! If they are 'kept for posterity' you might want to fix a typo.....On the 2nd section of text that is flush left you say 'let some milk', I bet you mean 'get some milk'.

fruit.root.leaf. said...

Thanks for your comment! Hopefully you'll enjoy making the biscuits soon. As for the typo, I intended "let" - let some milk sour, so you have some sour milk, which "justifies" making the biscuits.

M said...

Tu serais surprise de voir l'écart qu'il y a désormais entre l'usage au Québec et l'usage en France ! Pour moi, le québécois culinaire se rapproche beaucoup plus d'une traduction de l'américain culinaire (si ce n'est pas un oxymore) que du français culinaire. En France, si je demande un cookie (en Français dans le texte), je m'attends uniquement à avoir un biscuit plat aux pépites de chocolat ("chocolate chip cookie" pour toi j'imagine). Et rien d'autre ! Nous avons fini par comprendre qu'ici, le terme 'cookie' est un terme ultra-générique (que tu as bien traduit par 'biscuit', même si les deux sont largement utilisés ici), à la manière du sens anglais du mot.

Et si tu as la chance d'offrir un jour tes délicieux scones à des Français de France, je pense qu'ils accepteront gaiement sans avoir la moindre idée de ce qu'ils vont manger ! Seuls ceux étant passés dans des salons de thé anglais ou des contrées anglophones sauront peut-être de quoi tu parles, les scones étant tellement représentatifs du monde anglo-saxon !

Pour finir, tu ne devrais plus t'étonner de ne pas trouver de plaque à biscuit, ou bien de fouet à main, ou encore de moule à tarte, dans une cuisine québécoise. Je reste ébahi du manque d'entrain dans ce pays lorsqu'il s'agit de passer son temps dans la cuisine ! (comme tu l'as peut-être remarqué, une soirée entre français consiste généralement à 1) préparer un long repas et 2) passer la soirée à parler de bouffe)

Bon, deux billets sur ces biscuits, et je les découvre seulement 2 mois après... Tu n'as pas envie d'abandonner du bon lait quelques jours dans ton frigo ? ;)
M

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