This is life in Florida. We also have the best mangoes in the world, so it's a trade-off.
I did something cool today. I made butter. I didn't know you could make butter. Well, I didn't know I could make butter. I know butter is made in Land O' Lakes factories with big whippers and shakers and vats of cream. I didn't know I could do that in my own kitchen without industrial equipment.
But I did.
I dumped the pints of cream into my Kitchen Aid mixer and, using the whisk, whipped it until it looked like Cool Whip (this is the whipped cream stage, perfect for dolloping on Jello or apple pie.) I started off slow; otherwise the cream would have splattered the entire kitchen. I increased the speed as the cream thickened. I checked it now and then, sprinkled in a little salt.
Once the cream was Cool Whip-y, I switched to the paddle attachment and beat the mixture on high until the cream began to splatter again due to some liquid separating from the increasingly hardening butter. I covered the Kitchen Aid with a kitchen towel to contain the splatters and kept beating.
Within just a minute or two, the butter had formed, and there were two separate items in the bowl - the butter and the butter juice, which is called buttermilk. This is where buttermilk comes from! I'm a city girl, there is much I don't know about butter and cows.
I picked up the globs of butter and squeezed them gently to release any extra fluid. I transferred them to a storage glass with a lid and set the buttermilk aside. I thought about shaping the globs into sticks and wrapping them in waxed paper, but I'm too lazy.
After some thought, I discarded the buttermilk. I know there are recipes that call for buttermilk, and I probably could have saved it, but I don't know enough about it (remember, city girl), and I just wasn't sure how long to keep it. I'll research it and have a buttermilk plan next time.
I didn't pay attention to the cost of the cream, but I'm going to see if making my own butter is cost effective. There might be some butter-makers out there who could tell me. I felt very Caroline Ingalls-y today. I hung clothes on the line too. I'm a pioneer woman at heart.
Still trying to use every inch of my dad's cut-up jeans, I made another practical item today. I cleaned out our master bath and decided to put more toiletries out of sight. With the new frame on our bathroom mirror, I'm inspired to keep the counters free of clutter so we can actually see the frame.
Here's what I came up with.
This is one front leg from the jeans. By folding up some length and sewing a seam in the middle, I created two more pockets.
I made two button holes for the squared "S" hooks to slide into. By using the tiny pocket near the waistband, I have four pockets in which to stash whatever fits.
I didn't hem the sides because this little caddy is hidden inside a lower cabinet in our master bath upstairs, where nobody but me ever will see it. Except for the six people who read this blog.
That's what I've been doing this week. Catching lizards, making things out of scraps (you can see my other jean projects HERE and HERE) and whipping butter. I've also decided I might have a sensitivity to wheat, so I've been testing out some oat flour recipes, which need xanthan gum. It's a slimy glue that holds ingredients together. It's in a lot of the products we eat. It's now my friend.
I never thought I'd be chasing lizards, making butter, or buying xanthan gum. Life is full of surprises.
How has life surprised you lately?