"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).