Our Imbolc With Small Children
As is all too common here, life gets in the way of ritual on a regular basis.
For Imbolc, it was the issue of getting our daughter out of the hospital the next week, after a 3 month stay, and all the things that had to be done before she could come home.
As you may recall, I wrote about our plans for Imbolc a few weeks ago. Of the things on that list, I read a story to Acorn from “Circle Round” and we made butter. Making butter was our most successful – though we didn’t eat it with bread that day, we made buttermilk biscuits with the buttermilk a few days later and ate them together.
Making butter turns out to be really easy, and not all that time consuming. First, you need heavy cream, and a container to shake it in.
Pour the cream in, put the lid on tight, and shake. This is the point where I realized that making butter with a 3-year-old is a lot like making butter by yourself:
So, I went back to shaking on my own while chasing him up and down the stairs. A little over 10 minutes of shaking, and I clearly had whipped cream.
And a few minutes after that, the whole batch of cream seemed a little more of a solid lump. I set the container down for a bit and came back to find very grainy butter that didn’t hold together.
Now, I don’t know about you, but we made butter in my 2nd grade class, and I was sure that the butter separated from the butter milk, and so now I just wasn’t sure what I’d done wrong, so I looked it up on the internet. Sure enough, I hadn’t shaken quite enough.
So, another 3-4 minutes of shaking and suddenly the container was going slosh when I shook it:
A little more shaking, and all the grains of butter had really clumped. My internet instructions suggested scooping the butter out of the buttermilk, squishing the milk out, and then rinsing in cold water, which left us with butter
I will say that the buttermilk turned out much sweeter than I expected. Most store-bought buttermilk is vaguely sour, and this tasted more like regular milk.
So, hopefully this will go better next time, with Acorn being more willing to play along. But all in all, not bad for a first attempt at a holiday celebration in the midst of complicated family drama.