Whole Living Gal

Don’t Cry Over Curdled Milk (…oops too late)

Remember how my blog used to be called “Confessions of a Health Counselor”? Well, it’s been a while since I revisited that topic…

Lest you think I am over here in my house enjoying day after blissful day of balance and well-being, eating whole foods  being perpetually fit, and smiling to beat the band, let me tell you about last-week Thursday.

I was feeling down about dinner in general. The activities of the week were piling up, my 8mo was having a nursing extravaganza, and I was exhausted.

I wanted to order pizza.

But we have such good food in our house, I knew I should just buck up and cook something with what I had on hand.

Feeling totally uninspired, I was perusing the web for recipes that had similar ingredients to what I had on hand – mainly pasta and arugula.

The Barefoot Contessa saved (okay, not really…read on…) the day (love her!), and I set about making a lemon cream sauce for the pasta.

Now, I’ve spent most of my life avoiding dairy, so it should be no surprise that a lemon cream sauce is not an easy feat for me. We have recently bought part of a cow so that we have access to raw milk. I’m not a huge dairy person, but our share is for the winter, and, well, variety is good, especially when it’s real food. (Plus, have you ever tasted raw milk – it’s delicious!)

So I take out my raw milk and survey the recipe, which calls for heavy cream. I look at the top of the milk – so much cream! So I assume, it’s heavy cream.

Long story short, I mix up the cream and the lemon juice in the pan, turn around, and suddenly I’ve made…what is that?…cheese!! What happened? I hop on Facebook, and within minutes, my friends came to the rescue:

*there’s apparently a difference between the cream on top of the milk and heavy cream


*I didn’t follow the order correctly for putting the ingredients in the pan. Apparently this matters.

So I’m staring at this pan, just sick. Two cups of raw milk (and I’m trying to do the math in my head…I’ve wasted a lot of money right there). Plus, the pasta’s already cooked and it’s 4:30p.

I briefly consider ordering pizza, but just feel downright bad about myself and know that pizza would make me feel worse.

So I pull pesto and shredded zuccini from the freezer & add it to the pasta. But I can still see the cheese curds in my minds eye (and peripheral vision), and I am totally grossed out by the entire dinner.

I sink down in the kitchen and just cry. Literal tears. I’ve ruined dinner. A simple pasta dinner. I can’t even pull it together to make a meal. And now I’m crying about it, which seems even worse, so that makes me cry even harder – here I am, pathetic on the kitchen floor with cheese curds in one pan and a semi-edible pasta in the other.

I pride myself in knowing my way around the kitchen and being able to follow a recipe. Last week, though, I got a little dose of humility and I had to remind myself that’s it’s okay to ruin dinner. I learned something last week about the properties of food – something I wouldn’t have learned if dinner would have been a success.

Maybe next time I ruin dinner I won’t cry over it. But let’s face it, I probably will. Then I’ll pick myself up, learn from my mistakes, and order a dang pizza.

Anyone else ever ruin dinner? Please tell me I’m not alone…


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Raw Milk Experience « Whole Living Gal pingbacked on 7 years, 2 months ago
  2. Can I make Irish Soda Bread in an iron skillet on a burner? | Cool Cooking Recipes pingbacked on 7 years, 1 month ago


  1. * anne says:

    The heavy cream vs milk cream isn’t so much about raw vs something else, it’s more about how long it has sat. You will have heavy cream if you have let the milk separate a longer time. I usually use mine when it has been about a week. I’ll save one bottle until the day before pick-up and then scoop off the cream at that point for butter/yogurt/sour cream/ice cream/etc. Some things don’t call for as heavy of cream, but then I’ll just use more of the thinner milk. I have used the week-sat cream several times for amazing whipped cream. When it doesn’t just easily pour off, but instead is kind of almost a solid, you’ve got some heavy cream. 🙂 If you just let it sit a day or two, it won’t be as thick.
    It will also probably have been a bit of a temperature thing. To make sour cream or yogurt or cheese, there are different heat requirements that are quite specific.
    I saw a sign in the milk house about the milk class–I think you would LOVE the class! Definitely sign up!
    And let me know if you guys want to cow-pool. We’d be happy to share the pick-up responsibility with you. Especially since we are less than 10 minutes from the farm.
    Another friend of ours is going to be getting a share for the winter and we could even do a three-week pick-up rotation.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
    • That makes sense about it sitting longer – thanks, Anne!
      I think I just missed the class – it was on a Saturday afternoon, which doesn’t work 🙂
      We pick up on Wednesdays – when do you pick up? I’m jealous that you’re only 10 minutes away – it takes us 30 min with no traffic 😦

      I might hound you with some questions about making other dairy products!

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  2. * Pat McCain says:

    I love it!! you’re human. maybe the cat would have liked it.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
    • * Luanne says:

      Too funny…and you are not alone. I ruin dinner too 🙂

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  3. * anne says:

    I still get a bit confused at first with your name….and one would think that all your rattling about at 4 in the morning would be something I would remember! It seems like a story that I have heard before at least.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  4. Wow, Joy! (Your first name takes me a minute, too 🙂 That’s crazy! I don’t feel so alone in my own kitchen disaster. At least I didn’t set something on fire…this time 😉

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  5. * brooke says:

    oh, heather. i delighted in you in this post. thanks for the dose of transparency about your curdled milk and that “off” day. warmed my heart right up.
    …and it IS okay to ruin dinner, and to cry, both.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago

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