September 15, 2007

The Line?

A few weeks ago, prompted by my blogmate and this article, I set out to make homemade butter. It's harder than he makes it sound, his notion probably being that of hours spent over a wooden churn. I've tasked my husband with building an appliance that could do this for you, but he's not interested yet. I'll wear him down.

The results, were indeed worthwhile. Yes, the taste of the butter was amazingly fresh, though I'm probably spoiled by European Style butter. But to me, the fresh buttermilk is what will motivate me to dirty several bowls - and you try to knead butter over a strainer. (A. It gets warm in your hands. B. It extrudes through the holes in the strainer and looks like riced-potatoes.)

I'm not sure when I'll do this again... after my machine is built? How hard could it be?  You'd need a chamber to do the whipping, above a chamber to receive the whey. You could then switch out the whisk for a kneading hook to finish the job.

We were out of town for a week and when we returned the remainder of the butter was rancid. I'm not sure what the trick would be to keep it fresh.

Oh, and while panicking that all my glass containers were in use and I'd have no where to store the butter it occurred to me - duh - that I could wrap it in parchment paper.  

Now we come to the portion of our programming where we ask: is this task sustainable? Can I take time out of my weekly schedule to make butter? And does it make a difference when I can buy pre-made, european-style butter from the same, local creamery? That stays fresh for several weeks at a time? Or is this something I hold off on doing all but occasionally until we get the cow? (I'm only half kidding.) I think I've answered my own questions.

1 comment:

Kelly Mahoney said...

It sounds rewarding, but quite daunting. At least you gave it a try and can say you've done it!