Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Buttering up

Ran out of butter at the end of last week, and started to use some shop bought stuff from the freezer.  I bought some to make christmas cakes,and bought twice as much as I needed, so I have (or, now,  had) 5 spare blocks in the freezer. Couldn't face Costco at the weekend, so we just carried on with the shop bought stuff.  It's OK, but it's not the same as home made.

Got the cream yesterday, 8 litres this time, and left the cream on the worktop.   Set up for butter making this morning - which means cleaning the sinks and worktops, getting out all my butter bits.  When I came to use the cream, I found the seal under the lid of one bottle wasn't properly sealed.  I decided I couldn't risk using it (you have to be scruplulous with butter), so I poured it away.  

As I put the first 1.5 litres in the mixer, I remembered that I had a new second bowl and rummaged in the cupboards to find it.  Last time I made butter, I speculated for about the fifth time that a second large bowl would speed up my "production line" considerably; last time was a bit of a marathon butter session,  and I actually ordered the new bowl as soon as I had finished potting, so that I would have it ready for this time.  I bought a glass one, which is slightly larger than the standard metal bowl.

My production line today was even slicker than usual.  Firstly,  I cleaned the empty cream bottles (using the water from washing the butter) as I went.   A small thing,  but it made a reasonable difference to the workload at the end.  And the second bowl was fantastic.  As soon as the last of the cream had been churned to cream in the metal bowl,  I wiped the blade and then put the first lot of churned butter on, in the glass bowl, to blend in the salt.    While this was happening I washed the first bowl and got it ready with the next lot of churned butter and ,  and then carried on washing up.

When the first lot of salt-blended butter was ready, I put the second bowl on,  and started to pot up the first lot.   This is where the real time saving came in, as usually the machine is idle while I pot up.  I did have to give the machine a rest for a few minutes part way through,  as the non-stop work was causing it to get a bit warm. 

And while the final bowl of butter was blending,  I did the rest of the washing up and clearing down.  Then, when everything was in the fridge, all that faced me was one bowl, a couple of potting utensils, a tray, and cleaning the splashes from the mixer.

Very happy with it.

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