If you're in the middle of making batter for pancakes or waffles and realise you don't have any buttermilk on you, there's no need to run out to the shops. You can use kitchen staples you probably do have to make an acceptable substitute in just a few minutes.
Buttermilk is, after all, just the liquid left over after churning milk into butter. That's the traditional approach anyway -- most commercial buttermilk is made by adding cultures to milk to quick-thicken it. You, on the other hand, only need a cup of milk and a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar (cider or white will both work), according to the LA Times' Daily Dish blog. Whisk the lemon juice or vinegar into the milk, and set the mixture aside for a few minutes until the milk starts to curdle. That's all there is to it.
Sounds icky, and it's definitely no replacement for the smoothness of buttermilk if that's what you need, but if you're planning to mix it into a batter, it'll do the trick in a pinch and offer that tangy, creamy flavour you've come to expect from buttermilk. What do you think? Have a better substitution? Let's hear it in the comments below.
Test Kitchen Video Tip: Buttermilk Substitutions [LA Times Daily Dish]