They make the most heavenly yogurt and, from time to time, buttermilk. I visited their farm this summer and was entranced when I saw calves gamboling in the fields with their mothers, their dark chocolate coats shining with health and a bit of the devil in them as was evident when a small band made a break and did the Limbo under the fence to go a-munching on raspberry bushes in the parking lot. Naughty, but what happy animals do!! No tethering to plastic coffins for the little guys on this farm. As for their product… it’s amazing. My St. Bernard ate the yogurt from infancy and lived 15 years (without a bang by a car and a spine problem he would have made it to 20). His vet said his insides belonged to an 8 year old. I really felt the yogurt helped considerably and he almost never had “tummy troubles”(and you don't know from trouble when a giant dog has G.I. issues!).
So, what do you do when you have some of Hawthorne Valley’s sublime buttermilk left (after making that addictive Old Bay buttermilk marinade from Culinary Travels of a Kitchen Goddess) pasture-raised hen eggs and Milk Thistle (also Biodynamic) cream and you’re inspired by Becky’s heavenly lemony cookies... you make Buttermilk Punch!
It’s an old idea that I just mixed up a little. John T Edge said, “ From the 16th century, when the Spanish introduced cattle to the Americas, until the middle of the 20th century, when electrical refrigeration became truly affordable for the working class, the milky residue known as buttermilk was what Southerners drank when they reached for dairy.” In this punch it’s wicked good and rich and full of rum, (part of a formidable class of old-world preservatives) you could call it a Butter&Eggnog!
Lemon Buttermilk Rum Punch
2 cups cream
¼ c mild honey
8 egg yolks
Healthy pinch fleur de sel
2 c. buttermilk
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
½ - 1 C dark rum (or Bourbon)
Make a custard base by heating the cream and sugar and slowly adding that to the eggs and honey. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and add salt and stir till it coats the back of the spoon, being careful to keep the heat low enough so as not to clot the eggs. Strain and add buttermilk, lemon zest and juice and rum and chill
When you are ready, take a hand mixer, whip it into a froth and pour into a punch bowl or pitcher and serve.