Garden Diary - June 2023

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Come Butter Come
Sunday, 4 June 2023

Come butter come
Come butter come
Peter is at the garden gate
Waiting for his buttered cake
Come butter come

First, set the milk in a bowl for the cream to rise. This will happen even with store bought
homogenized milk. Pasteurized is O.K. But ultra-pasteurized is not suitable for making butter.

Skim off the cream and churn it. By hand with a wire whip - your wrist will give out.
In a jar with marbles - shake, shake, shake. Entertaining, perhaps, for children. Or
in a traditional churn, with paddles to dash up, down, up, down. There are big ones

and small churns. Depends on how much cream you have to beat until it is butter.

Image courtesy of Arlene Soong, one of the presenters
Two young sisters, visiting Bouman Stickney Museum, think it is fun. For a little while,

image courtesy of Arlene Soong, one of the presenters
The butter has come from the cream, rich yellow spring time butter.

Butter paddles may be used to work the butter. Churning, you see, is not the end of things.

There is still some buttermilk caught up in the butter. It needs to be removed.
This, by the way, is real, true, buttermilk. What stores sell is a cultured product.

If the farmhouse perhaps had several cows, made more butter than needed
for the household they might sell the extra butter. A mold would be used, so
the butter patties would look extra special. Presentation, don't you know!

image courtesy of Arlene Soong, one of the presenters
Here's a closeup of a butter mold that Arlene was kind enough to share with me.
She and Bev also use these stamps as molds for springerle cookies, come winter.

Of course the other easy-peasy dairy making is soft cheese. You may know it as
pot cheese or farmer's cheese. Something sour is used to curdle the milk. I use
sour salt, citric acid, but that's getting hard to find. Vinegar or lemon juice works.

Gently warm the milk over low to moderate heat. Add the acidifier, stir, and let sit.

Once the milk has curdled, strain it well. Use the whey to make ricotta, as liquid for
pancakes, or making oatmeal. Or you can feed it to pigs - if you have any.

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider
and sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

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