i made butter the other day. we had tracy and dave over. we were all gathered around the kitchen island. we were putting together a little birthday feast for ourselves. the october babies....3 of the 4 of us were born within 10 days. we nibbled on cheese and fruit and chocolate and bread with glasses of wine. while roasting a prime rib and sauteeing garlic and rosemary. rinsing vegetables. chopping and blending for leek soup and salad. it was a warm and happy and busy little room. a beautiful chaos.
i have been eager to make my own butter lately. fresh butter. so in the spirit of our wonderful little evening, i powered up the kitchen-aid and poured in the cream left over from the leek soup. and in ten minutes after much speculation and splashing, like a miracle, we had wonderful creamy, icy cold butter. the best i've ever tasted. really truly, the best.
everytime i reach for the fresh butter in it's little red pyrex container, i can't help but think of my grandmother. my grandmother in her farm kitchen. with her 5 children who would bring buckets of milk to her from the barn each morning. and she would seperate the milk from the cream. the cream separater with it's dozens of discs she had to take apart and boil clean twice a day. and then turning that cream into the butter that her crew of sons devoured on the bread she made daily. all so basic. and all such monotonous hard work. no wonder her hands were twisted and arthritic for most of the time i knew her. beating cream into butter by hand, whipping it and beating it as it grew heavier and heavier for up to 20 minutes without stopping. and yet life was sweet and full of happiness and love. maybe moreso because of the hard work.