Homemade Sour Cream

I grew up thinking the whole world drank Clover milk from surrounding dairies. The first time I saw another label I declared it false and went without rather than drink it. I've always been settled in my ways. And I've always loved milk.

Now that I've learned to make sour cream and its kissing cousin, creme fraiche, I adore it more. I say learned loosely, as if making soured milk requires detailed instruction, talent, as if the making requires study; it doesn't. And yet as simple as these recipes are, these simple foods have been a mystery. I didn't know sour cream was possible without buying it in a plastic tub. And creme fraiche, well, I believed it would never be possible at home. I was mistaken.

Sour cream is better made fresh. At least mine was.

Four Parts Cream
One Part Buttermilk

Stir them together and place covered in a warm spot for 24 hours. I put the bowl in the oven, kept the light on. A comforting thought through the night.

I used most of the sour cream for a holiday rabbit and the remainder, that precious remainder, went to a silkened carrot soup. Then I licked the bowl.

The creme fraiche was as easy with ten thousand ways to make it online. It was art drizzled on the top of soup, an excuse to play with my food. And to have more.

As much as I appreciate milk and the elementary ways it can be transformed, sometimes it still goes sour. But I have a new recipe for that too. I learned it from a farmer. "Dilute the milk," the farmer said, "and pour it on the garden."

I can't believe I haven't done it before. It makes sense. Right? All that calcium. Given the amount of milk I loose it's not going to make a significant difference to the soil but it feels better than pouring even the smallest cup down the drain.

Especially when I love it so.


Lucy said...

Licking the bowl is, surely, one of life's great treats.

Beautiful, Katrina.

Kelly said...

just so lovely. i always look forward to your posts. fresh everything is great , right?

Kendra @ A Sonoma Garden said...

Ah ha! I for some reason had never heard how to make sour cream. I'm going to have to try it now! It's always nice to drive around Sonoma County and see all the organic clover dairies around, makes me feel more connected to what I buy in the grocery store.

Luscious photos!

kale for sale said...

Lucy - ... and a good reason to be the cook! - Thank you.

Kelly - Smiling on this side of the planet.

Kendra - I have to admit a fondness for the Clover billboards too. They're endlessly clever. Enjoy the sour cream and thank you for the nice compliment.

Christina said...

Like the farmer you mentioned, I use the sour milk on my plants too. You know what else I do? When I empty a container, I pour water in it to rinse it, but instead of dumping the water down the drain, I use it to water my houseplants. The very dilute fertilizer is great for them.

I need some homemade sour cream, stat!

kale for sale said...

Christina - Thanks for the houseplant tip. I love that kind of stuff. The cute guy took our latest sour milk and cooked up some cheese. It's not great but it's edible and a work in progress. I'm hoping he'll be inspired with fresh milk next time.