5 Things I Learned about Life from Buttermilk

20140317_100637Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. I learned some valuable lessons from buttermilk.

What does buttermilk have to do with St. Patrick’s Day? Everything.

It’s more important than corned beef and cabbage at my house.

Buttermilk is the main ingredient in my grandmother’s recipe for Irish Soda Bread.

In my quest (yes, it was a quest) to find buttermilk in Arizona on St. Patrick’s Day, I learned valuable lessons.

  1. I am not in control. It took some sleuthing to find buttermilk and the other staple I needed, Bailey’s. I needed the latter even more after my quest took me to THREE grocery stores. I realized I am not in control and that some planning ahead would have helped me avoid the stress. Not going to lie, the Bailey’s probably kicked in and made me feel a lot better about a lot of things.
  2. Sometimes life stinks and so does buttermilk. Making Irish Soda Bread once a year makes me forget the sourness of buttermilk. I measured it, put it aside, and realized my morning had been stinky. And sometimes life stinks. We have to choose to move past it to get to an un-stinky place.
  3. Keeping things together…or not. Buttermilk works with the right combination of other ingredients. You might find you are the buttermilk of your team or friend group, keeping everyone together. It’s okay as long as you’re not forcing it. Over time, you might find a particular group of friends isn’t working for you anymore; it’s okay to step away. Buttermilk doesn’t work in every recipe.
  4. I am not defined by my resume. Buttermilk was selected for its job in my Grandma Ann’s Irish Soda Bread. Turns out, it could be used for mashed potatoes too. Just because your resume says you’re something doesn’t mean you have to be THAT for the rest of your life.
  5. Sometimes everyone is Irish. Truth be told, there was no regular Bailey’s to be found yesterday. I had to get vanilla cinnamon which wasn’t bad…but it wasn’t what I wanted either. Let’s just say I am stocking up on tequila for Cinco de Mayo.

At the end of the stinky morning that included three grocery stores and a quest from buttermilk and Bailey’s, my Grandma Ann was smiling down on me from heaven. The Irish Soda Bread was delicious.

Anne McAuley is a freelance writer based in Arizona. She helps businesses effectively communicate their marketing message. If you’re struggling to reach your target audience, please visit the Services page of this website to learn how she can help or email anne@annemcauley.com for more information. When she’s not writing, you can find her sniffing books, begging her boyfriend for a dog, and watching UCONN basketball.


  1. 6. Awesome metaphors can also be made out of buttermilk.

What Are Your Thoughts?