I made butter!!!
We picked up our first gallon of milk from our cow, Nell, yesterday, and I tried some and it was like drinking half-and-half. Crazy rich. So I let it sit overnight so the cream would rise up and then I siphoned the milk off the bottom into smaller bottles, and dumped the cream into a big pyrex measuring cup thingy - I got almost a litre of cream off a gallon of milk.
Tonight I used just over half the cream, and turned it into butter. It was less hassle than I thought it'd be... of course, it's not like I was using a butter churn like Laura Ingalls or anything, I have a KitchenAid stand mixer with a whisk attachment. In a very short time I had butter globules floating around in buttermilk. I used a cheesecloth to strain out the buttery bits, squooshed them all together and squeezed out as much buttermilk as I could, then rinsed the butter under cold water. That was the only PITA part, and only because it was cold! It was actually kind of fun mushing the butter around. Then I threw it back in the mixer (after washing it of course), added some salt, whipped it around a little and put it in a nice little bowl. See?
It's lovely butter. It's WAY darker than store-bought, which is partly due to the breed of cow (Nell's a jersey) and partly because she eats proper cow-food (ie, grass) rather than nasty soy and grain feed. This is Nell, btw - having a moment with Rowan.
And buttermilk tastes nothing like what is sold in stores as buttermilk. It tastes just like milk. I don't quite get that, but whatever. I guess I'd have to culture it to make it taste sour. (And I would want to do this why...?)