Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dairy terror!

Wow, that was a long weekend! But not long enough because I had a headache for two of the three days. But let's not dwell on that...instead, let's talk about butter.

Fist, you should all know that I have sort of a dairy phobia. I'm terrified of warm milk or butter or even cheese that sits out all day at our family's christmas party. I've never gotten sick from bad dairy. I can only attribute the start of my fear to the day I spilled milk on my pants while I was at school in first grade. I was terrified that the milk would spoil and I'd smell like stinky milk all day. The milk didn't actually start to smell but maybe the fear was enough to start the downward spiral into dairy terror?

Or now that I think of it, maybe it has something to do with the movie The Stuff. I saw it on tv when I was little and the white, dairy-like substance could move on its own and kill people. Scary, right? And people were eating it because it was delicious but it turned them into something like zombies. I had terrible dreams for a long time after that...who would make such a horrible movie? Dairy terror indeed!

Anyway, I say this now so you'll know just how hard it was for me to leave the cream out on the counter while I was at work. And how hard it was for me not to pour it out after I smelled it. It smelled like...cream! Gross!

Cold, cold, cold milk doesn't really smell or taste like much and that's really the only reason I can drink it. And I'll drink a lot of it if I get the chance. But if there's any left on the "sell by" date, it goes down the drain. I'm a terrible person and I'm trying to get better.

Anyway, I poured some cream into a jar, shook it for about five minutes and found this inside:

making butter from cream

A sweet little lump of butter (and a big glass of buttermilk which I didn't photograph). I pressed it with a spatula to squeeze out the remaining buttermilk like Allison says in her tutorial and ended up with smooth butter after just a few minutes:

making butter from cream

Then I made banana bread which didn't turn out well at all! First, I didn't have enough sugar and rather than go to the store, I decided to do what Ma Ingalls would do and used brown sugar. Then in went the butter and the buttermilk and the rest of the ingredients. I forgot to add cinnamon and for some reason the batter was too thick. Then it took a half an hour longer to cook and then I didn't feel like eating it because it made the whole house smell like butter (I was surrounded by dairy!) That fresh butter sure was buttery!

I ate some of the bread in the morning and it wasn't as good as my normal bread...but there were so many variables that I don't know which was the culprit. It tasted good but the texture was off and it just wasn't the same. I tried it with some of the fresh butter (refrigerated overnight, of course) and it was definitely good butter.

So, there you have it, my butter adventure. I don't exactly feel like Ma Ingalls and I didn't sit out on a quilt while reading my book but it was definitely a fun adventure. The next time I'd like to make rosemary butter. And Ian wants in on the action so I'll let him shake the jar.