This morning I finally made time to reflect on the week and make my own butter.
I’ve made butter in the past but it’s one of those things I let go with a busy schedule. Just one more thing to do. But last week I bought a quart of Seven Stars heavy cream. Rich and creamy yellow, I knew it would make the perfect tasting butter.
It sat in the refrigerator for a week. Time… constantly running out of it.
This morning I finally pulled it out, dumped it in the mixer, and hit the switch. While I made eggs and toasted bread, the mixer churned the cream, separating the fat from the buttermilk. Peeking inside the bowl every few minutes, I excitedly called my son over to show him the progress from whipped cream to fat clumping together, and ultimately, to fat separating from the buttermilk.
I stopped the mixer, put cheesecloth over a glass bowl, and poured the fat and buttermilk into the cheesecloth. Carefully, gently, squeezing the cheesecloth around the fat, letting the buttermilk drip off.
Then I moved the butter to a plate and started folding, pushing down, shaping, draining off the lingering buttermilk, and reflecting…
That act of shaping the butter, releasing the pockets of buttermilk, gave me time to think. So often we hurry about, busy. Always busy. We drop the things we love most, the most frivolous or expendable things. The things that give us release from stress and the frantic hurry of the day. Things that ground us and center us.
In that moment I felt peace and calm. My mind cleared as I spread homemade butter over homemade toast, and I came face to face with what I love to do most in life. Making, creating, that rhythmic kneading of bread, shaping of butter, frying an egg just so, thinking about the process, being in the moment instead of spinning plates.
What spinning plates do you need to pause?
When someone throws out the idea of making butter it seems so old fashioned, difficult. But it isn’t. It’s so very simple when you have a mixer. Easier with a stand mixer but still easy with a hand mixer. Take some time to just be… and make some butter.
- 1 quart heavy cream
- Put heavy cream in a mixer on high speed, mixing until fat separates from buttermilk and sticks together into large clumps.
- Drain through cheesecloth, retaining buttermilk in another container.
- Put butter onto a chilled plate and use a spatula, folding it in and pressing it down.
- Drain off buttermilk and repeat a few times.
- Put ice water in a bowl and put the butter in it, rinsing the last of the buttermilk off.
- Repeat this until water is clear.
- Wrap butter and refrigerate.