Monday, March 8, 2010

A gallon of milk- 1/2 pound of butter

Today I drove out to the farm to receive my week's worth of raw milk. I just love those farmers who take care of the share of cow that is mine (and I am so glad I went to that there big college to learn how to talk and write good).

Our share is just one gallon a week and last Monday, we were able to pick up the first gallon of milk. The kids and I discussed ahead of time how we only had one gallon of raw milk. We talked about how drinking the whole gallon at one meal, like we did with store boughten milk (boughten--to buy at the store as in Little House on the Prairie boughten) , was not the best use of this gallon. We would limit our selves to drinking only a portion of the milk. We would skim off the cream and use that in coffee or make butter or whipped cream. We would use the one gallon of milk for the greater good: yogurt, kefir, maybe even cheese!

But.....the was like a drug to my kids. After one taste, I would catch them in the refrigerator at every turn. They would sneak sips of the delicious frothy white stuff every pass by the kitchen. They couldn't help it. The temptation was too great. My middle son would say "but mom, it's sooooo good" as he wiped the white moustache from his upper lip. They were hooked. And by the end of the second day, the milk was gone. Of course, no one was responsible. It just disappeared.

So this time I had to work quickly. Covertly, I hid the milk in the back of the suburban under a pile of misplaced winter stuff: mismatched gloves, a pair of ripped snow pants, the wool emergency blanket......until we got home. I smuggled the jugs into the house and skimmed off the cream and put it in a quart jar (those Jersey girls are hard workers! We got almost a whole quart of cream from one gallon of milk!) After what seemed like an hour of "gentle churning" in the lidded jar (the books say 10 minutes but it was really about 30 minutes of sloshing) I came up with this:

Real butter!
What's left in the jar will be the start of my real buttermilk. Well, actually it already is buttermilk. But I'm going to allow it to clabber and thicken over the next couple of days then use it for buttermilk pancakes, waffles, home made dressings......

And tomorrow, in the early morning light, we'll have biscuits (made with store boughten buttermilk). There's nothing better than the look on your child's face as she bites into a soft, fluffy, buttermilk biscuit oozing with melted butter. I might even break out the pure Montana honey. Warm biscuits with melting butter and golden honey washed down with a great big glass of fresh milk........well, maybe next week we won't drink all the milk on the second day. We'll make yogurt and kefir and cheese. Just maybe.

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