Wednesday, February 10, 2010

She Gives Us Cream with All Her Might

Herb enjoys separating cream using our old Westfalia cream separator. It looks like heck, but you should hear it hum. (I estimate that it weighs between two and three tons.) Great German engineering. It actually sat outside for a couple of years and hadn't been run at all in at least five, but it turned on and ran perfectly the first time he tried it. He found an instruction booklet for it on ebay and can't wait for it to get here. Meanwhile he read some reports on research that was done in the early part of the 20th century on separating cream. He learned that you're really not supposed to run cold milk through it. You're supposed to pre-heat the machine by running warm water through it, then pour warm milk in. So much to learn.

I prefer scooping the cream off the top of the milk. Herb thinks I waste a lot this way. Maybe. But I tamed a feral cat by giving him the mostly-skimmed milk. He is in a cat carrier right now waiting to go to the vet! We've been trying for a year to tame him enough to catch him. With the raw milk it only took about two weeks. He actually sits by a bowl of food outside and waits for me to pour some milk on it!

Either way we separate it, this is what I do with it--pour it in my Kitchenaid mixer and make butter. Actually, it becomes whipped cream first. I still marvel at that. One minute I have a bowlful of whipped cream and the next. . .

it breaks into butter and buttermilk. Will wonders never cease?

Now you can see better (butter?)

This is what's left after I pour off the buttermilk.

I love working ice water into the butter to get the rest of the milk out. Kneading the butter feels wonderful, way better than Play-doh, and is very relaxing. When no more milk comes out I let it sit and warm up. Then I smash it flat and salt it. I still don't have a butter mold, so I just shape it the best I can and put it in a round butter dish.


Emily G. said...

We made butter when I was a kid with raw milk bought from neighbours. Every Sunday we'd stop at their house after Mass and come home with two or three blue plastic gallon jugs of milk sloshing in a carboard box on the floor of our Suburban. The milk was delicioius but the butter was always dead white, and we kids turned our noses up at it. Your butter is beautiful. I wonder if it has something to do with what the cows eat.

Wendy Haught said...

I don't think it's what they eat. Fiona just gets hay and Alfalfa--nothing special. I don't know why the goat butter is white, but my friend Susan was surprised by the yellowness of the cow milk when she helped Emma make Mozzarella the first time. Then again, our butter is a couple of shades yellower than store butter, which is made with cow milk. . .

Good question, Emily!

Wendy Haught said...

I forgot to say that Susan was surprised by the yellowness of the cow milk compared to her goat milk.