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sour cream butter

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Tom Kurth View Drop Down
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Joined: 10 May 2015
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    Posted: 30 April 2018 at 19:19
English Rose mentioned something about "real Irish butter." Now I don't know what distinguishes Irish from any other butter (Somebody please enlighten me.), but it reminded me of my father's affection and my own for sour cream butter.

Dad was born in 1915 in western Kansas on a typical mixed product farm. Wheat was one cash crop, but the midds were unsalable so after milling they came back home to be used to slop hogs. Cream was another cash source, but the resultant skim milk was also unsalable and was mixed with the midds for the slop. Milk cows were bred and the heifers were added to the herd. The steers were another source of cash. They were too valuable to be used to feed the family. That's what the swine were for. Eggs were salable but chickens weren't so pullets and old hens were food for the family as well.

Despite the fact that cream was marketable, Grandma did use plenty in the kitchen. Dad talked about her chicken: She would fry it hard and fast, in lard of course. Then she would pour off the lard and add a quart of heavy cream in which the chicken was simmered. The cream would become the gravy.

Grandma Lena was a great baker whose bread was made four sourdough loaves at a time in a roasting pan, the loaves towering to eight, nine, ten inches high. She learned to bake from her mother who in the early years had baked at a hotel on Front St. in Dodge City at the height of the cattle trade. A neighbor who helped with harvest loved Lena's bread and complained about his own wife's bread saying (in German of course), "It's as short as cottage cheese." Meaning, it had no stretch, no chew.

And, to be sure, cream was made into butter, just not sweet cream butter. It had to be sour cream butter. If you've never had sour cream butter you don't know what you're missing. Sweet butter is, by comparison pale and flavorless. I'll go to my grave cherishing memories of Lena's bread warm from the oven, slathered with rich, darkly yellow, generously salted home-made sour cream butter.

If you've never had any,buy a quart of heavy cream and let it sit out until it clabbers  Then churn it using a handheld mixer, salt generously and then save it until you have time to make a good loaf. Nothing like it!
Best,
Tom

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pitrow View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2018 at 09:58
Great story Tom, thanks for the history! I believe you've nailed the difference in Irish butter vs American butter. I'm certainly no expert but I've been told that Irish butter is made from slightly soured milk where as US butter is 'sweet cream' as you noted. Also the Irish butter is usually from grass fed cows, which is not always true in the US. 

I've personally never tried the irish butter, but I've been meaning to, I just keep forgetting to pick some up. 
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2018 at 12:08
Tom, I really enjoyed reading this - thank you!
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