Butter is mankind’s most amazing invention, says the famous Julia Child, played by Meryl Streep in the 2009 American movie, Julie and Julia. Like me, some of you may not understand the greatness of this statement. As for me the most intelligent of inventions are the diapers. I know, to each his own. Anyhow, I was greatly intrigued by this statement and also by the last scene of the movie where Julie Powell, played by Amy Adams places this thick slab of butter in front of Julia’s picture, paying her a tribute. Indeed this should mean so much to them and to the mankind.
Btw, butter was actually discovered accidentally about 9,000 years ago according to Elaine Khosrova. In her book titled Butter: A Rich History, she describes that nomadic humans used some kind of sack made of animal skin to carry their milk which most likely came from goats or sheep. This milk would have been transported from place to place either on animal’s back or human’s and eventually got fermented. All this walking on bumpy roads did the churning bit to the milk which formed butter. Butter then and now were quite different and would have tasted quite rancid too. Not sure how many of us would like it.
Butter if you see has not undergone a great deal of change in the way its made, except that machines have replaced the hands that did the churning. Its one of the rarest foods that has not changed in the way it is made since it was discovered 9000 years ago. So I felt this urge to invent butter at home. How best to recreate a stone age scenario when you have 2-3 hours in hand. Am not a cooking enthusiast, but I like doing it sometimes. Some research say its a stress buster, it disengages your brain and you are actively involved with all your senses, yadi yada…
Key ingredients required are:
Thick creamy milk, a horse back (or a food processor, this is 2018 AD) and lots of patience.
I took 300 ml of milk cream which is the top creamy layer collected over a week’s time. If you are using homogenised milk then you won’t be able to do this. You are better off buying butter over the shelf.
Use your blender, put the cream in it and blend away…
At first it looks like nothing is happening, thats when you add load full of patience. What you have now is something that is changing its physical state. From being cream to something like the thick and smooth whipped cream. Close the lid now and blend again.
From that emulsion like consistency its deciding to part ways with liquid. The fat solids are forming an union now….close the lid and still blend for a few seconds till the separation is evident.
It could be quite frustrating when you are doing it for the first time. I also did watch some you tube videos to keep checking if am on the right path. The process is quite counter intuitive, there aren’t too many things to do, yet the end doesn’t seem to be close. That’s when you keep adding one of the key ingredients, patience.
Once the solids are distinctively separate, then remove the water from it (maybe with hands) and mix some salt to it. Thats it, you are done. You have now created the stone age creation and witnessed a part of evolution itself.
Lastly, clean up the mess. Am sure there would be lots of it to do. Tip: I started from the floor first.