There are things I have never done. Sometimes it takes being cooped up in the house for a couple of days to give me a little push. There actually were a number of factors that contributed to the butter experiment today.
A couple of days ago, with the impending bad weather, I decided to find Side Hill Farm in Hawley. It’s the closest dairy to me and they sell raw milk. I was thinking cheese but went to stock up for the inclement weather. This farm has a wonderful little store that is run on the honor system (something you don’t see much anymore). There are freezers full of pastured pork and beef as well as the cooler full of dairy. I got a half-gallon of milk and a half-gallon of cream (hey, it was cheap and I figured I’d just mix my own half and half).
This morning I mixed my half and half – the cream was as thick as sour cream, it was a feat getting it out of the bottle. I then had a quart and a half left along with a slip of paper with instructions to make butter that I picked up at the farm next to the cash box. I pulled out the food processor and the experiment began.
There’s something about the properties of milk. Every time I make cheese, yogurt, pretty much anything I feel like a scientist. Things all have to stay within certain parameters but it with any of these things the milk is transformed. Butter is no different and it’s amazing to watch. It churned for a good 3 to 4 minutes looking like cream whirling around in the bowl. Suddenly it turned into butter and whey. It was crazy to watch. I made it in two batches, washing one while the other churned. Once the whey was kneaded out I added salt and packed it into a container. It made a little over a pound.
Before putting this into the refrigerator I confess to slathering a good bit onto a piece of toast. Mmmmm, definitely worth the trouble. The bonus is how soft my hands were after playing with butter for a half an hour.