According to a current TV commercial for a food storage product, the average American family throws away about $500 worth of food every year. I’m not anal about many things, but wasted food drives me crazy!
When we were kids, I remember my brother, who was about 3 or 4 at the time, being told to sit at the table until he’d eaten all his peas (which were canned and gross!). Stubbornness runs in the Shoots family…I’m sure Jeff sat there for quite a while before my mom gave up!
I don’t take quite such a hard line with our kids…I usually tell them that if they’re not going to eat something, not to put it on their plate. If they leave food out on the counter, I get right after them and tell them to put it away!
When Hope called me at the bookstore a couple of days ago to ask me what to do with a carton of sour milk, I told her to leave it for me, and I would look after it. It wasn’t just “sour milk”…it was lactose-free sour milk, which costs roughly twice as much as regular milk!
Yesterday, I made a chocolate cinnamon cake, and a sour cream cake (because my stepson, Devin, doesn’t like chocolate cake). This used about 1 and 2/3 cups of the sour milk (didn’t make much of a dent in 2 quarts!). I resolved to find a recipe for buttermilk rolls to use some more of it.
Off I went to my trusty “Joy of Cooking,” where, on page 563, there was a recipe for “Buttermilk Rolls or Fan Tans.” According to the introduction, “Rolls prepared in this way need not be buttered” – that’s my kind of roll!
I mixed the dough in the manner specified and put it in a “lightly-greased bowl” to rise. It was a lot stickier than the usual bread dough I use…
After the dough had doubled, I went back to the instructions: they said to divide the dough in half, and roll each part into a square about 1/8″ thick. That was my first problem…anybody who has ever rolled out dough knows that trying for a square shape is almost impossible! I came as close as I could!
I brushed the “square” with melted butter as directed. The next part said, “Cut into strips 1 1/2″ wide. Stack them. There should be from 6 to 8 layers of strips stacked.” What they don’t mention is that the strips stick to the knife and they stick to the rolling surface. When one picks them up to stack them, they stretch, stick to your fingers, and then fall over once the stack is high enough!
By the time I got to the next step, I was ready to tear out my hair: “Cut off pieces about 1 1/2″ wide, with a string, as shown below. Place them in buttered muffin tins, with the cut edges up.” Below that was a line drawing of delicate fingers slicing through a neat stack of dough with a tiny string. Mine didn’t look anything like that…being fresh out of string, I grabbed the knife and sliced my toppled stack into chunks, peeled them off the table, and chucked them into the muffin pans (which at least I didn’t have to grease, because they were non-stick!).
I covered the pans to wait for the rolls to rise again…an hour later, I put them in the oven. I thought that 425 degrees seemed hot, so set my oven at 375, and crossed my fingers! Twenty minutes later, I pulled my rolls out of the oven…success! I’ll serve them for Easter dinner tomorrow.
In the morning, I’ll make buttermilk pancakes for breakfast…