This week, for a break, we're having Butter Day instead of Cheese Day, since Surdyk's carries a variety of imported and fancy butters. I bought three really nice baguettes and some Irish, Italian, and French butters. I also made a small amount of butter last night (by hand) from some nice organic cream, and I brought in a stick of Land O' Lakes. We'll see how this goes.
Making the butter was sort of fun. I put only a couple of tablespoons of cream in a small bowl and sat and whisked it. It didn't seem to be turning into anything, for the longest time, but I kept at it. Then very suddenly it started to clump and exude moisture, all at once. I guess I finally damaged the fat molecules. It quickly got stuck in the whisk, so fast did this happen. I sampled a tiny bit, and it seems promising -- it tastes pretty much like the cream that I made it from, only solid. If it is as good as it seemed when I sampled it I may experiment with making it in a blender or food processor, to see if that works as well as whisking it by hand. It could be worth making my own butter for special occasions. But I keep thinking that if it's really this easy and this good then lots of folks who are more on the foodie cutting edge than me would be making their own butter and I don't think I know anybody who does.
At least today's leftover butter will keep for a while. I've been bringing the leftover cheese home -- but such a small amount of this stuff goes such a long way that I can't begin to get through it in a week so my refrigerator is filling with cheeses that are drying out (which I could probably keep better and longer by wrapping them in wax paper and changing the wrappings and trimming the mold regularly). The leftover butter will probably not go to waste.
Irish butter. I'm intrigued. We'll be putting it all out in a few hours.