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on the downward side of the age mountain.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Slather Me with Butta!!

Butta- those hard yellow cubes of saturated fat that make everything it touches glisten and yes taste better. I always thought there was a magical process to making butter, a reason why no one made it today, another convenience food. But thanks to Saveur Magazine my eyes were opened to the possibilities of making butter at home and I dashed out to buy one quart of organic heavy cream.

At first, I was going to follow the recipe using a balloon whisk (had to knock the dust off of it first), and a big bowl. But I quickly saw the error in the recipe and dumped the cream in Vickie Viking my burly red mixer. Fitting her with her own balloon whip I started her slowly and gently increased the speed as she moved the cream through its chantilly, heavy whip, and butter clot stages. To put it simply, it was way cool!!

After the clumps of butter had materialized there was more beating to do to separate the buttermilk from the curds (as in curds and whey) Well, I had to tell someone about this successful science experiment so I dashed out and found my NSSP (Not So Silent Partner) cutting the grass for the first time this year. He rolled his eyes and gave me thumbs up.

The next step was to pour all of the contents (buttermilk and butter) into a moist towel and after draining the buttermilk away (and fantasizing about buttermilk biscuits, buttermilk pancakes, and googling buttermilk recipes) there was a gentle washing process to remove any last milk. This is when I started to have my first butter-gasm. I cooed to my yellow disc as my mind raced to whom I should tell next about this glorious discovery. I discounted The Princess feeling her eyes roll. I pondered my neighbor but I couldn’t face the answering machine that they leave on. Finally I settled on a quick e-mail to my partner in culinary crime knowing she would be duly impressed and reply with the appropriate strokes.

The texture was so soft and delicate. As I kneaded it moisture came to the top and I patted it away. So now what do I do with the stuff? First I weighed it- just curious about the yield- and found it was slightly less than a pound. I did add the ½ teaspoon of kosher salt as the recipe suggested. I buy salt free butter but was curious about the flavor.

In closing the recipe suggested wrapping the butter in wax paper, (honestly, I think I am the last person on earth who still has a moldering roll in the back of my drawer) I updated with two rectangular molds and saran wrap.

So in less time than it takes to mow ¾ acre we have homemade butta. Now all I need is a cow and I can go into full production! Watch out Land O’ Lakes!

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