Friday, 23 March 2012

Kitchen Capers

Butter making today.  Very warm sunny day, so not really ideal conditions...but the forecast says it's going to continue like this, so I might as well get on with it.

I got the cream out of the fridge first thing this morning so I decided to get make creme brulees,  and some hand made bread first.  While the dough was in the airing cupboard, rising, and the creme brulees were in the oven,  I started on the butter.

I've tried buttermaking in warm weather before, and it hasn't always been successful.  Today, I prepared by putting a couple of milk cartons of water in the fridge, as cold water is best for washing butter.

It was definitely slow work,  taking ages for the cream to split.  I think that's partly  because the cream had only been out of the fridge for about 4 hours - normally I leave it out overnight.   My production line went well.  One batch churning, while the earlier batch was being washed. The washed batch went into a big bpwl in the fridge (for salting later on),  and then Irinsed out plastic cream cartons using the butter washing water.

Eventually it was almost all done. The last batch was churning, and  I went into the fridge to get out the remaining cold water. I knocked an open pot of creme fraiche, it leapt off the shelf, did a but of a somersault, and hit the floor.  It spat a bit as it was turning in the air,  but that was nothing compared to the effect of hitting the grounf. It exploded in spectacular fashion.  

The reach of a single, small, tub was amazing. I was particularly impressed with the splatter pattern all over me.  It managed to get all the way from the toes of my slippers,  up my trousered leggs, and up the apron to my chest.  It couldn't manage to get over the top though, so my face was saved.

I cursed a bit, rolled my eyes, and got on with learing it up.  I started with myself, as I had already managed to tread creme fraiche across the floor to where the kitchen towel sat.  When I was reasonably certain that I had got it all up, I consoled myself by remembering that the floor needed a wash anyway.  and I might as well wait until I'd finished potting up the butter before doing it.

I stepped back, turning round  to put the kitchen roll on the worktop as I did do, and I managed to knock over one of the bottles of buttermilk.  Never mind, at least I hadn't cleaned the floor yet,  and I never manage to use all the buttermilk anyway.

I started to get ready for salting and potting.  At this point,I realised that my second mixer bowl is in the airing cupboard with the dough in. Salting the butter is much quicker if I have two bowls - I can be salting a second batch while the first batch is being decanted into freezer-proof dishes and containers. There are only about 20 mins left before the dough is ready, so I thought I'd come and write about my morning instead.

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