The milk from the newly opened carton curdled and kerchunked into my tea.
I felt sad. Sad for my chunky afternoon tea, sad that my newly purchased half-gallon of milk was curdled, sad that my recently completed effort and scheming to stock up on groceries for my family was no longer complete, and sad (or maybe guilty) that I felt sad by this little bump when things are so hard for so many and overall my family is really ok for now.
Since Shelter in Place, the ease of daily chores has become complex. And sometimes these little set-backs can release big feelings. Remember those quick morning grocery runs after school drop-off, "No crowds, no kids!" I would gleefully chime at check-out. Those were good times.
I gave the milk a sniff test, drank my tea (except for the curdles on the bottom) and researched online what could be done with sour (or curdled) milk. Well, well, did you know it is a good replacement for buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream. You can use it to make pancakes, waffles, biscuits, cake, scones, thicken soup, and even make cheese. (Some recipes even call for “soured milk,” which requires you to add a spoonful of vinegar to milk). Online sources report you can bath in it, use it as a facial, add calcium to your garden soil, and it might repel deer!
A couple days later as dinner time came (again!) and my preschooler was despondently flopping on the floor telling me he was bored while my third-grader dutifully measured household objects for his school assignment, I enthusiastically said "Let's have breakfast for dinner! You can help me!" With a little convincing, my preschooler had donned his apron, brought over the step-stool, and I was deciding between sour milk waffle recipes online.
Confession: I had all but given up on home-cooked pancakes and waffles, despite childhood nostalgia and cute vintage waffle-iron(s!) which take up more than their due space in my tiny kitchen. My previous efforts were greeted by tepid response from my kids, who don't even like butter, syrup or jam!?! Why destroy my kitchen when my kids prefer the microwavable ones from TJs served plain.
But we did it! Reassured by my online sleuthing, we got to measuring, mess-making, and made a mood-enhancing midweek wacky-waffle dinner. Win-win!
I also froze the rest in 2 cup measurements for future waffle dinners.