Days Gone By - stories from the past

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: Have you heard that buttermilk is a healthy drink?

Buttermilk is the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream.  “Before cream could be skimmed from whole milk, the milk was left to sit for a period of time to allow the cream and milk to separate. During this time, naturally occurring lactic acid-producing bacteria in the milk fermented it. This facilitates the butter churning process since fat from cream with a lower pH coalesces more readily than that of fresh cream. The acidic environment also helps prevent potentially harmful microorganisms from growing, increasing shelf-life” This cream, known as traditional buttermilk, has always been popular in the South. Cornbread dunked in buttermilk frequently made a pleasant meal for many people in the South.

 Buttermilk in glass bottle with cap ca. 1920-1950 (Theodor Horydczak Library of Congress)

Did you know buttermilk was also once thought to be a cleansing agent for the body.  This transcribed article from the Birmingham Iron Age April 16, 1874, may explain why.

Robing, in a paper presented to the French Academy, thus extols the virtues of buttermilk: “Life exists only in combustion, but the combustion which occurs in our bodies, like that which takes place in our chimneys, leaves a detritus which is fatal to life. To remove this we would administer lactic acid with ordinary food. This acid is known to possess the power of removing or destroying the incrustations which form on the arteries, cartilages and valves of the heart. And buttermilk abounds in this acid, and is, moreover, an agreeable kind of food, its habitual use, it is urged, will free the system from these causes, which inevitably cause death between the seventy-fifth and hundredth year.”

Buttermilk is used frequently in cooking. From pies, pancakes, cornbread, and other breads, buttermilk enriches many foods. Do you have a favorite recipe that uses buttermilk?


  • Wikipedia
  • Birmingham Iron Age News April 16, 2016


Discover genealogy and novels by Donna R. Causey

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Pioneers: A Collection of Lost & Forgotten Stories 

includes the following stories

  • The Yazoo land fraud
  • Daily life as an Alabama pioneer
  • The capture and arrest of Vice-president Aaron Burr
  • The early life of William Barrett Travis, hero of the Alamo
  • Description of Native Americans of early Alabama including the visit by Tecumseh
  • Treaties and building the first roads in Alabama


ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Pioneers: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 3) (Paperback)

By (author):  Donna R Causey
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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Jerry Dixon

    Marburger Butter Milk is the Best.

  2. Harold Goggans

    Best used in corn bread , waffles and biscuits for me

  3. Barbara Wilson

    Love buttermilk and cornbread

  4. Wanda Bachelor Collins

    It cost more the reg.milk now. Use to be cheaper . Or has anyone noticed???

  5. Sheri Munro Pennington

    I use it for cornbread and great to marinate chicken with .

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