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The first time I made butter it wasn’t deliberate but a lovely delicious kitchen disaster.  Overwhipped cream is in fact actual butter and incredibly easy to make.  At the time I was whipping almost 2 litres of cream at work and left the mixer on high-speed, as you do, forgetfully.  Straightaway it flashed through my mind to do a runner and high tail it home feigning sickness, but a lightbulb flickered in my brain (occasionally happens) and I remembered some old cookery programme somewhere in the far recesses of time about how to deal with these sorts of incidents. 

I had made butter!

And some buttermilk to boot too! 

Wasn’t I the clever Bridie!

Although I only had 5 seconds to savour smugness before the Boss Man seen it so I hid it in the dark depths of the fridge.  Custard was made instead and the cover – up story entailed crows pecking holes in the plastic cartons of cream left by the Milkman at the door at 5AM and because of health & safety, and it smelling a bit off and……etcetera……etcetera.  I’d just about sold the story but a look of doubt did sweep across his eyes for a second regarding oversized overfed crows the size of small dogs pecking through plastic.

‘But sure look at the size of those flying lads out there, don’t they look like they’re down the gym pumping iron and popping steroids?! ‘

Luckily he was too busy and stressed to have time to think and listen to my incessant nattering about monster crows - as I had hoped.

[Insert naff sayings here: Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.  He was butter in her hands]

 I did have to confess the next day though when I produced homemade butter and made a few scones with the resulting buttermilk.  After a brief scolding and a  ‘not bad I spose’ comment, I was off the hook. 

 So now I continue to make butter at home for special occasions, and for me there is a great sense of achievement and nostalgia about carrying on this ancient and dying craft even without using the butter churn as our Grandmothers and ancestors once did.

The lovely Imen over at I Married an Irish Farmer has easy step by step instructions with great photographs if you would like to try your hand at butter making for St Patrick’s Day. It’s creamy, preservative free and fresh tasting to have with your colcannon or champ mashed potatoes. Basic butter can be made using pasteurised or unpasteurised double cream which can be found in most supermarkets if you can’t source raw milk/cream as Imen has used.

Homemade Butter also makes a very impressive gift for someone made by your own fair dairy hands! 

You can find the simple recipe and instructions here..

Enjoy!

Sheelagh