Wrapped up in your duvet on a late Sunday morning with the sun pushing your blinds open you smell the most heavenly aroma…
Your partner has made toast. It’s not the toast that smells nice, rather it’s the butter that has lovingly been spread all over it.
Those boiled potatoes that are sitting there on the dinner table drenched in glistening butter,
The dessert that’s awaiting you will also, more than likely have been made with butter.
Butter. We use it every day in the crab shed. Our mussels, scallops sauces all use a lot of butter.
Butter has been the staple ingredient in cooking for centuries. I doubt French cookery would be the same with out it and indeed neither would ours.
Things might unfortunately change soon though. The price of butter has in recent months risen 3 fold. Doing a little research I discovered the reason why we are seeing this rise.. So many factors come into play.
So let’s prioritise.
The demand for butter has risen in line with certain baking programs on the t.v. Which is great actually. It encourages people to go into the kitchen and get baking!
The association with butter and cardio vascular disease has had a cloud lurking over it for some time now. The fact that butter is a more healthy option than vegetable spread. In fact even MacDonalds has switched to using butter..
So with joe public slowly getting the message they are consuming less semi skimmed milk hence less cream to go around.
Bad unseasonal weather conditions in the main milk producing countries have slowed down production (no your milk doesn’t come from one farm it the Cotswolds).
All this and more, brexit, the pound being weaker a while ago, everything!
So what do we do about it?
Not a lot really. Unless you’re clever.
If like me you love your butter and cream there is a “butter hack.”
It used to cost butter companies 80p to turn cream into butter. It now costs around £2.70. Do it yourself.
Buy some decent cream and pour it into a food processor with the whip attached. Turn it on to a medium speed. It will thicken and then go lumpy. Keep it going and it will eventually split. It will go all watery. What you have just done Is churned your own butter.
Tip the curd into a colander to drain the whey then hang it in a Muslin cloth for half hour so. Mould it into a block and hey presto. Butter.
It’s worth doing if you use a lot of cream or have left overs.
I guess that’s why buying local from your local farm shop/markets is good. We then support these small businesses. It might not feel like it’s going to change the world… but from tiny acorns and all that…
At the crab shed we find nothing better to go with fish like sole or dabs than a brown butter.
Here’s what you do.
- Take a hearty knob if butter and place it in a cold pan. Turn the heat up to a medium. The butter will melt, start to foam then split. A gentle swirl will ensure even cooking.
- The colour will start to turn a faint toffee and will start to smell like hot biscuits. Don’t take it much further or it will burn.
- Now squeeze half a lemon and a hand full of s small capers. it will spit and make a fuss.
- Pour over your cooked fish and finish with a little chopped flat leaf parsley.
Another busy week here at the crab shed. We have lots of exciting things happening in the coming weeks and months so check out the rest of the website.
Song of the week: Radiohead, I promise.
Thanks for reading.
See you next week
Viva la butter
The crab shed.