Thursday, September 24, 2009

Teeter totter, bread and butter


Wins: X
losses: X + y - y = X again!

The gains are lousy long shots and the losses luckily don't out weigh them.

I tried making butter today. Today, and not yesterday, because today was the first day I had enough cream, separated, to try for butter. I felt so clever with my sun tea jars. Just strain off the milk from the bottom! Right?! Unfortunately, there's that last full inch of milk and cream clumsily sloshing around. So I poured my several days worth of cream in to a jar. And then I actually syringed the errant milk from the bottom! Syringed. It took a long long time because the syringe only holds one tablespoon.

The directions said to let the cream sour for a day on the counter. Easy! Then it said to put the cream in my blender. I have the world's best blender. Not only does the carafe perch upon a chrome beehive with retro perfection, it's also very powerful. Don't mess with my blender. They said it would take five minutes, and butter is nothing but over-whipped cream. I turned it on, removed the lid, as per directed. And sat back. If you recall my spring smoothie incident, you'll know that I kept my hand securely on the blender. They said it would outgas a little. So I took it in stride when curls of gas began to spiral up. But when the gas became gray, and took on a more billowy shape, I stuck my nose in to investigate. Yes, after five minutes, my cream was still cream, spraying up my curious nostrils. And there was smoke.

When my kitchen experiments become (unintentional) disasters (see below for Huck's contrasting disaster), I dive into avoidance and denial like the deep inexhaustible lakes they are. I just put everything back. The disobedient cream is in the fridge (still in the carafe) and the blender butt is right where it belongs. Almost like Nothing happened.

I'll freeze a fiasco for MONTHS before tossing it, just to burn off the humiliation and waste of it all first. The curry where I accidentally increased the toasted cardamom seeds by 10 fold: that sat in large bags in our freezer for 6 months. Took up the whole thing. No ice cream could even fit. But how could I trash the 4 hour dinner that ended in pizza? Eventually... but not immediately.

Huck looked in the fridge, saw the blender carafe filled with cream and said, "Oh! You made butter!" He saw my face and said, "Oh! you tried to make butter!" We'll call that a shoot, in the dairy game of life.

Not entirely put off by the experience, I plugged in my new yogurt maker. Scoff. Scoff, I know you will. Yogurt maker! HA! What kind of woman needs a special appliance to let something sit around for four hours?! Well... I have tried it without and it was a 2 quart disaster. So I decided to set myself up for success, stoke my ego, get me a maker and some starter and see what I could do. With my accessories in hand and my failed past behind me I achieved total success...so far it's a ladder! My yogurt looks right at least. I'll find out more about the flavor in the morning.

This fresh milk thing is sort of a wash. Financially, it could be years before we recoup anything. Ladder! today, I got my first massage in 7 years. Shoot: because my arms are really getting sore from squeezing out teets. Ladder: I'm visibly buffer too. It was only a 15 minute massage, on a lark, at the local natural foods store, but it was GREAT! I got to keep my clothes on, which helped me relax, a lot! Aromatherapy was used and all day people have been telling me that I smell like the natural food store. Shoot: I just spent two weeks worth of milk on a massage.

Shoot: forgot to muck the stalls for two days. Had to do it tonight after putting the kids to bed. Ladder!: stood out for a long long time admiring the stars and the silk of a late summer evening on my skin.

Ladder!: fresh milk. Shoot: had to milk these last two days while sick, with a fever. I hadn't anticipated that. I had imagined cold, dark mornings, snowy mornings, drowsy mornings, etc. But not sick mornings. Even so, it's better than a third kid, I think.

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