Bit of better butter…
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.