We live rather far from town. In fact, what my girlfriends consider “in the sticks”. We moved here as soon as we got married, which has almost been ten years ago. As a result, I have learned the art of substitution in my cooking endeavors. What I mean is that I have learned to use the ingredients that I have on hand.
It is not convenient for me to just hop in my car and run to town each time I am in need of an ingredient for the new recipe I am excited to try. Let me also add that I am not good at planning ahead. Hence the reason I have had to learn the art of substitution even more so. I am also one of those people that does not like to wait. When I see a recipe that sparks my interest and I have my heart set on trying it…I must do it then. I can’t wait until tomorrow!
Now, there are some ingredients that really cannot be substituted. But there are many that can. For instance, I rarely have buttermilk on hand, so I mix ¾ milk and ¼ vinegar when a recipe calls for buttermilk. This special ingredient is common in many southern dishes, so you might want to jot it down. I usually don’t have half and half either. I do, however, keep a small carton of heavy cream in my refrigerator for my late night indulgences of fresh whipped cream by the spoonful. And being a mother of small children who consume a shocking amount of milk each day, I also have milk on hand. So as the product name indicates, I mix ½ heavy cream and ½ milk when I am needing half and half.
My substitution list has grow over the last ten years. When I was younger my personality did not allow for substituting anything. As I have grown older I have embraced the chaos of life and realized that with the art of substitution comes relaxation. And I breathe a sigh of relief!