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Sweet Butter

by Christopher Riley

Sweet Butter

If you were following along here then you may know that i drove to vermont early this past friday to pick up 8 gallons of cream for a year’s worth of butter. i picked up the cream in the lovely little mountain town of brattleboro, vermont. if you ever get a chance to go, do get a coffee at mocha joes, and whatever you do, get a croissant at amy’s bakery arts cafe. trust me, i might drive back just for another one, or two. back to the butter. i’ve been asked how i know that 8 gallons of cream is the right amount for a year’s worth of butter for two people.

i don’t.

but i do know that i bake with it. i make ghee – which i cook with most often, and i like to slather it on toast with jam or no. M, being half danish, spreads it on anything edible with a flat surface. we’re both partial to a hefty dollop on warm breakfast grains, and did i ever mention that i’m a popcorn junkie? …oh, and i love biscuits and scones!

so you see, we go through a lotta butter around here.

being that i have pilgrim skillz and have churned – or shaken to be exact – many a quarts of cream, i decided that since we eat so much butter why would i not want to make sure it comes from the best quality, best tasting cream? organic, local (enough) cream from happy cows munching on nutritious spring grass? and why not go BIG? why not make enough butter to last us for the whole year?

why ask why, when you can ask why not? see.

if you’re planning to try this at home, my first advise to you is to suss out a local dairy that cares about their cows and their product. happy cows make better cream, it’s true! my cream came from the lovely butterworks farm. but i am sure there’s a dairy that cares near you. at butterworks farm they pasteurize their cream in the old-fashioned way; held at 145-150 degrees for 30 minutes. do talk to your farmer to find out what their practices are, and don’t use ultra-pasteurized cream because you will not be able to produce butter from it.

if you plan on trying this at home on a smaller scale – like butter for a week – then pick up a pint or two of the best quality organic cream you can find at your local co-op or farmstand.

let’s to do this!

…that’s what i said to M yesterday when i enlisted his help with the first 2 gallons. the first 2 gallons of cream were destined to be sweet butter, otherwise known as uncultured butter. sweet butter is typically what we eat here in the US. it comes from cream that has not been cultured – or soured. first, see how yellow and bright it is? grass baby grass! cows need grass, and so does your butter!

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