I think I just heard my sister, maybe both of them, slapping their foreheads with the palm of their hands. There was a muttered, will you just BUY the damn butter, along with the head banging.
They're right. It's ridiculous. I have three small children, a clean washing pile that takes up a double seater sofa and some of the floor. A diabolical kitchen and I'm truly not exaggerating. The bathwater may still be in the bath, I can't remember. There's a dinner plate or two still on the table. The artwork stuck on the fridge is all over the floor and there's colouring in books, empty CD cases, piles of cut-out recipes and random balls of yarn all over my desk.
And yet here I am. Nearly 11pm at night and all I want to do is tell you about butter.
Because in a day that was pretty much hell in a hand basket, the fifteen minutes it took to make butter was the highlight. And telling you about it now reminds me of it's simple salted goodness and the memories of Tilly cutting her best friend's favorite T-shirt with scissors, the scurrying around in pouring rain, the loss of another chook (my neighbor's) to the fox, and Tilly nearly knocking Ivy out on the bathroom floor after jumping over her head all recedes. Oh, and I got pulled over by the police in front of the school to ask me why I was driving around without a number plate on the front of the car. Er, officer, that would be because it was torn off by the rushing water that wrecked the car recently. Just got it back with a reconditioned engine. Will get into the RTA. Immediately. Thanks for not fining me. Oh hi, everyone. Nothing to see here. Yes, a tops day.
There's something about the science of it which is terribly attractive.
You take cream, you whip it until it splits magically into solids and buttermilk, you squish it, you salt it, and you have butter.
I used this cream:
I use The Home Creamery method, it's so simple and encouraging.
4 cups (2 pints) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Process the cream in a food processor until it seperates into solids and liquid. It will go through the whipped cream stage, and the colour will change from cream to pale yellow. It takes about four minutes in my processor.
2. Take out the solids and let stand for about 5 minutes to drain out the buttermilk. Strain the buttermilk again and save for another use.
3. Mash the butter with a wooden spoon (in a bowl) to try and press out all the liquid. This bit takes up to ten minutes. Keep kneading until it's dense and creamy, knead in the salt and hey presto, you've got amazing-tasting butter.
And at least when I get up in the morning and the house still looks like a tip, I'll have gorgeous fresh butter to spread on toast.
Fifteen minutes. Day saved. Thanks for listening.