Sunday, July 1, 2007

It Boggles My Mind: The Butter Edition

Maybe I'm not giving Daniel Patterson enough credit when I sit with a dropped jaw trying to figure out how he can not have known how to make butter. In the NYTimes Magazine, he describes his epiphany about homemade butter and provides a recipe/method.

I'll be the first to admit that I may have read Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder's food-porn biography-novel about her husband's childhood on a largely self-reliant farm, a few too many times. I've probably also visited more than my fair share of living-history museums, too. So maybe I have an advantage here and that's why my mind boggles at the thought of a chef not knowing how to make butter.

But still...I feel like I grew up knowing how to make butter. I first helped churn butter when I was not quite ten. I accidentally made butter a few years later in some of my early attempts at whipping cream without supervision. And every once in a long, long while, I've made my own. I'm not claiming that I make my own butter on a regular basis, or even that I'm a highly experienced butter maker. I'm not. It's a rare activity, mostly because of the cost.

In spite of the mind-boggling aspect of the article, I'm grateful for the reminder of just how good your own butter is. Baby Girl, as she has not yet reached the ripe old age of eight months yet, is not a candidate for butter making. She will be someday, however, and I look forward to making butter with her, if only so that she understands where butter comes from and how it gets to our table. And, of course, so she can have the sublime experience of slathering her very own butter onto a still-warm-from-the-oven slice of her very own bread.


  1. I'm inspired! I shall try to make my own butter!


  2. That's great -- good luck and enjoy!