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Homemade Butter Makes Me Rich

Butter in glass dish I am still learning to make butter that tastes the way homemade butter from my childhood farm tastes in memory. I use wow-worthy fresh local Jersey milk and cream. I think what I'm missing is that particular culture (bacteria, yeasts?) that must have grown on the concrete back porch in my childhood farmhouse. It was a subtle but penetrating flavor, barely sour, that speaks "perfection" to me.

Actually, that culture (I think now it's a version of Mesophilic) must have been at my aunts' houses, too, because their butter and our butter tasted much the same. Today my Bluegrass Butter, though fantastic, still sometimes tastes too mild -- especially if I make it with "sweet" (uncultured) butter. On the other hand the sour cultured flavor can go too far, and I will end up not liking the butter's "nose," though its taste may be acceptable. Every batch of milk, cream, and butter has its own character. I love that.

And I do love the whole process. Skimming cream into a half gallon glass jar as I use my week's milk supply, beating the collected cream with my hand-held blender, washing the milk out of the butter, pressing out the moisture, salting a little, tasting. Making butter makes me feel rich more reliably than any other food or activity.

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