Monday, 1 February 2016

Making & Baking

Something I have wanted to try for a long time but have never actually got around to, is (crazy as it may sound) making butter.

Back in the 1980's we had a thing in school called "Milk Time". It was a free wee bottle (later carton) of warm milk (don't mistake me here, the milk wasn't warm because it had been lovingly heated up, or had cocoa powder added to make warm hot chocolate. It was warm because it had sat in the milk crate in the corridor for hours before being issued) we got every day. It was horrible, not like the nice cold milk I got a home.  It smelled different from the milk at home too, Actually, thinking about it, I can still mind the smell! But it was free, we all got it, and it was time off from "school work". I think I must be part of the last generation of kids to get Milk Time. Anyways, I digress. One day, our teacher, Miss Cassidy (this had to have been Primary 2, 1984/85) took all our little bottles and scooped off the cream from the top (I didn't mind as hated the creamy bit most of all) and collected it in a tin. We were then given our bottles back with the instruction not to drink our milk. I don't remember if she told us why or not, but I remember very clearly what happened next : with the lid on tight, she began to shake the cream in the tin with vigour, and then passed around the class so we could all get a shake. We rolled it around on the floor, shook it for all our worth and collectively sang and danced (with the correct actions, obv)  Black Lace's Agadoo (as you do...). Then the magic happened. We gathered round as she opened the tin. The lumpy warm cream was gone and in its place was butter. Yellow butter. Next she passed round ritz crackers. We had crackers, butter and our bottles of milk - it was brilliant! I remember it fondly (Miss Cassidy was a great teacher).

Fast forward 30 odd years and I'm weirdly super excited to make my own butter again.  This time with Kiddo. He will love it, I think. It's like a science experiment, seeing the creamy liquid change into solid butter, I think. WRONG! He could not have cared less! He had his own agenda for the day, and it did not include making butter, even with the offer of learning the actions to Agadoo. The Home-educator in me was ever so slightly crestfallen that my grand (lesson) plan has crashed and burned, but the kid inside of me thought, "bugger it, I'm making it any way". And so I did.

How to make butter

Tub of whipping cream(I used 300ml)  - pour into a jam jar or kilner jar and make sure the lid is on tight. Then start shaking. And don't stop! Your arms are going to hurt - keep shaking. 
During this time is good to put music on and dance along (see above for perfect suggestion). Alternatively, watch a video on Youtube.  Today I watched Ross Mountney's vlog on Home Education (if you are thinking about HE or having HE wobbles, I thoroughly recommend this vid) .

After 10 mins or so, the runny cream will be thick and pretty solid like this
but keep shaking - seriously. You will want to give up and just settle for creamy cheese spread type butter, but don't. Keep going, you can do it! Be warned though, your poor aching limbs will be screaming for you to stop and accidents are likely to happen if you don't pay attention...
Turns out lacklustre weary shoogling of a glass kilner jar still packs a punch and Pyrex is not indestructible.

Approx 15 mins later (yep, another 15 mins, possibly 20 mins have passed - I got distracted by the broken glass to pay attention to the time, I also forgot to take some pictures), white cheese spread will suddenly make a thump in the jar and when you take a peek, you'll find a solid mass of yellow butter and a load of thin runny milky water : butter and buttermilk.

Separate the two, taking time to rinse the butter under the cold tap to get rid of as much buttermilk still inside it.


As well as a plain butter, I also crushed 3 garlic cloves and finely shopped some parsley, so now have some garlic butter with which to make garlic bread to have with dinner tonight
Cling filmed into a little roll, like a sausage.

So now that I have butter and butter milk, what am I to do with it? Well, there is really only one answer to that 
SCONES! And a pot of tea.

Needless to say, Kiddo is now interested....