Your Thanksgiving Needs More Buttermilk

Illustration for article titled Your Thanksgiving Needs More Buttermilk

Photo: Elena Veselova (Shutterstock)

The Right StuffingThe Right StuffingIt’s turkey time, which means you may or may not be freaking out about how to prepare the biggest meal of the year. Don’t worry, we here at Lifehacker have you covered with The Right Stuffing, featuring tips, tricks, and many, many recipes to make sure you have the easiest, tastiest Thanksgiving possible.

Last night, I had a craving—a craving for the blue box. It was 10 pm, and suddenly I had to have Kraft macaroni and cheese, so I got a pot boiling and dumped the little elbows into the swirling liquid.

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Once they were al dente, I added the butter and the bright orange powder, then opened my fridge to grab the milk. My whole milk was in the back of the fridge, behind many things, but you know what was right at the front? Buttermilk, and that was lucky, because buttermilk is even better in macaroni and cheese than whole milk (or “sweet milk” as my grandmother called it).

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I doubt many of you will be serving Kraft at your Thanksgiving dinner—though, if you are, that’s iconic—but you can use buttermilk in nearly every single side dish to make it a little better. Basically, if the recipe calls for “regular” milk, use buttermilk instead.

As I have mentioned approximately 200 times, Thanksgiving is a meal built on salt and fat, and adding acid is the only way you’re going to balance it out. (Don’t believe me? Trust Samin Nosrat, Our Lady of Balanced Flavors.)

Instead of soaking the bread for your stuffing in whole milk, soak it in buttermilk; instead of whipping whole milk into your mashed potatoes, whip in buttermilk; instead of using whole milk as a base for your green bean casserole, use buttermilk. I think you can see a pattern here.

The only time I wouldn’t recommend a 1:1 swap of whole milk for buttermilk is if you’re baking, as a change in pH can affect certain desserts. Other than that caveat, sub and swap away! Then you can start adding it to things that don’t call for any dairy at all. Splash a little into your turkey gravy for creaminess and a little tang or add a small aliquot to your salad dressing. I would not, however, add it to your cranberry sauce; that’s a step too far, even for me.

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