Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Cream of the Crop

When we tell people we have a cow...we really mean: "we have cream." and that is what explains the undertones of heart-fluttering excitment and annunciated syllables.
We had all these gallons of honey's milk stored up the fridge...storing her milk was like going to a high school dance...and ignoring the one girl or guy we went there to see and be with...too much of a crush...but as you go about the room, all your thoughts are on that oh-so-special someone...that's how it is with those 5 inch layers of cream that rise to the top of the jars after 24 hours....
Till one day you get up the nerve, and armed with a little 1/3 measuring cup you reverently remove all your stored up jars of milk from the fridge, line them up on the table, and skim the glorping heavy cream from the tops. Into a quart jar (or two) it goes. And then it's settling in for 15 minutes of shaking while watching the rain fall...and worrying over the bits of hail...and then before you know it you can't hear any sloshing...that's when you know you are close. Soon the butter "breaks" and the nice yellow lumpage is shlumping around in buttermilk. Drain the buttermilk into another save for pancakes or stirring into cream to make sour cream...then pour cold water into the jar, and shake some more. Your aim is to rinse the butter, so that all the buttermilk is out. Too much buttermilk in the butter causes it to go rancid sooner...Repeat and Repeat...and soon you have a nice lump of butter which you squeeze in your hands, place into a bowl and press with a spoon to release more this point you can mix in salt in you wish, or leave it sweet and unsalted. Wrap in parchment paper...and tie with a piece of pink yarn.
Fresh butter makes everything you make with it taste creamier. Smoother. More refined.
You will instantly leap the class chasm. From peasant to aristocrat in one afternoon.
It accounts for why we pamper Honey. Even the little red hen who has hatched out 9 little chicks keeps close to her...she understands where the luxury in life comes from. She is teaching her little ones to scratch in honey's droppings and take advantage of any spilt grain from her milking time treat...
This is really the reason we have keep cows in!

1 comment:

  1. Glorious, glorious cream! About another year till our heifer is able to provide for us. Thank you for the pictures and the inspiration, as usual.