Last night at dinner we started talking about making butter. I don’t know why. I think J started it by asking, “What’s butter made of?”
Milk, Cute W and I answered. You just churn the butter and the fat in the milk sort of clots together to form butter. Maybe that’s what I said, because Cute W seemed to take issue with the “just.”
“It takes FOREVER,” he said.
“It doesn’t take forever,” I insisted. “It takes a while, but not forever.”
“It takes FOREVER,” he repeated.
“NO, it doesn’t,” I argued.
“Like you’re some kind of butter expert,” Cute W said.
“Umm, actually, I am a butter expert,” I said. “How many of us here have churned butter more than five times?” I raised my hand. “There: you see? I am the Resident Butter Expert.”
“Well, expert, it takes a long time.”
“Excuse me, but when I was at the Dyckman Farmhouse, I managed to get a whole class full of kids to churn a bunch of butter and I served it on Saltines and taught them butter facts, all in about 45 minutes,” I boasted. Now that I’m typing it, maybe the butter churning tour was an hour and a half? No, I bet that I spent 45 minutes walking around the house and 45 minutes on the back porch churning the butter. . . hmm. . . .
“Okay,” I conceded. “I am used to an actual churn. But it can be done in a jar.”
I knew J would want to churn butter. In fact, she wanted to churn butter immediately. Meanwhile M ran away and returned with one of my business cards. She had scratched out Editor & KidsOutAndAbout and replaced them with Butter Expert & Farmhouse. Then she added a note to the flip side of the business card: “Butter. When cheese just isn’t enough.” Cute W and I both found this hilarious.
We were still laughing when we realized that J had poured the rest of Cute W’s whole milk, reserved especially for his morning coffee, into a jam jar. Nope, we said. It was time for bed, so she’d have to pop it into the fridge until tomorrow.
And so it was that I was yanked out of my delightful slumber when J leaped onto my bed at 6:50 am, madly shaking a jar. She was already up, yes. And dressed. She’d eaten. She’d been shaking for a while already. Okay, a long time. A pessimist might call it “forever,” but it clearly wasn’t forever. . . yet.
We took turns shaking as I made lunches. Man, it was taking a long time. It was almost time to leave for school when we salvaged just a smidgen’s worth of butter to coat two Salines. J was triumphant. M kept looking and saying that it was gross, but then she asked for a Saltine, too. Too late, Cute W said, “Oh, you should have taken a picture!”