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Bit of better butter…

May 24, 2011

When I moved to the U.S from sunny South Africa I found myself fitting in and settling down without much ado.  Apart from the snow, most of my troubles were linguistic:  nobody knew what a robot was (a traffic light, obviously) and there was that whole aluminum/aluminium debacle.  But the phrase that really threw me was ‘homemade whipped cream’ – it seemed as unnecessary as offering to make some home-boiled water.  Soon, though, the prevalence of canisters of slightly plastic-y tasting, overly sweetened, faux dairy foam showed me that this was not a lexical problem but a gustatory one.  I was outraged.

The thought of being too lazy to whip one’s own cream made me froth, but the thought that I would one day make my own butter would have been equally alarming.  What kind of person makes butter when bars of the stuff are available in every supermarket in the country?  Well, ironically, the difference between whipping cream and making butter; between ‘how lazy can you be’ and ‘why bother’ is really only an extra couple of minutes in the kitchenaid.

All this is not to say I’ll never buy butter again (and it probably hasn’t cured me of my tendency to be judgmental, either!) but I am here to advocate for giving homemade butter a whirl, at least once.  The way I made it was super easy, beat the cream past heavy peaks until it separates into butter and buttermilk (you don’t even have to watch, just leave the mixer on and you’ll be able to hear liquid splashing once the separation occurs – but do cover the mixer so that you don’t land up with a kitchen covered in cream.)  Pour off the buttermilk, squishing the butter to get out as much liquid as possible (which of course you should save to use in pancakes), then rinse the butter and refrigerate.  It was well worth the effort: delicious, and very light and creamy – with a flavor that made me confident that the happy cows who were the source of the raw ingredient had enjoyed a sunny morning grazing and a little extra clover.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. steeltree permalink
    May 24, 2011 10:59 pm

    The big one for me was ‘torch’ vs. ‘flashlight’!

  2. May 24, 2011 11:22 pm

    Do you get local-ish milk? Believe it or not, I still haven’t made my own butter- but I can fall back on my “dairy state” credentials! We do have some great butters here…

    • May 25, 2011 8:19 am

      We get awesome local dairy at the farmer’s market – which I’m sure is why this comes out great. You could try butter making in a ball jar as a fun activity with your boy-o… i hear it takes a lot of shaking but you get just as good butter, though i was too lazy to try it myself!

  3. May 26, 2011 12:16 pm

    My friends have a cow share but not a stand mixer- maybe they’d let me play around with mine to try this out.

    On a totally unrelated note, I love your tablecloth!

    • May 26, 2011 3:14 pm

      sounds like you and your friends are a perfect combination.
      thanks for the cloth love: the fabric was from purl soho – my favorite ever fabric store…

      • May 28, 2011 8:11 am

        I dream about Purl Soho! I love their Purl Bee blog for ideas, and am jealous you get to go there in the flesh!

      • May 28, 2011 10:03 am

        the problem with going there is how easy it is to spend money!

  4. May 28, 2011 5:21 pm

    You can do this is a glass jar as well! Most ridiculously cool thing ever. Just put some cream in a jar and shake it really hard for oh, three, four minutes. I love my stand mixer, but there is something so just plain awesome about doing this in a jar. Who knew?!

    And Purl Soho = swoon.

  5. June 12, 2011 5:36 pm

    Delicious! I can taste it spread on a fresh-from-the-oven loaf.

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