Stocking a kitchen from scratch is hard. I guess I always assumed that where there were cabinets there were dusty old spices and unidentifiable jam jars.
Apparently that’s not the case.
I’ve spent the past few days stocking up on kitchen essentials like salt, pepper, flour, sugar, tea, coffee and Uncrustables. Granted, ‘kitchen’ is a generous word when describing the space I have to work with. It’s more like a cubby with a counter, a minifridge and microwave.
Luckily I am excited to make the most out of this situation, which will spawn the ‘Tiny Kitchen’ recipe series, the first of which is this post.
Because my kitchen is small, my cooking skills, patience and cleanliness will all be challenged. I am fortunate to have enough small-station line experience to fall back on, but I can sense the frustrations ahead.
My kitchen is tiny. That’s that.
Anyway, I’ve spent this first week in Portland falling back on the basics. And what could possibly be more basic than bread and butter? Being in Portland, all sorts of crazy, hyper-local ingredients are available to me. I picked up fresh sage, local parmesan and locally-harvested salt at the market this morning. And I decided to make butter.
Now I will preface this recipe by saying I handed the final stick of honey/cinnamon/vanilla butter to my boyfriend, who proceeded to eat the entire stick. The entire stick. And half a loaf of French bread.
So there you go. It might be dangerous. It might be as addictive as eating ice cream.
But… it’s super easy, can be done in a tight space and has the power to amaze. It is great for holidays. It makes you look really sophisticated.
- Heavy cream
- Mixer or hand beater
- Desired flavor mix-ins
- Honey, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, lemon, almond, various extracts, herbs, various salts, grated cheeses, etc.
- Pour heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large glass bowl if using a handheld eggbeater.)
- Crank up the speed to high. (Essentially beat the daylights out of it.)
- Keep an eye on the various stages, watching it pass through the whipped cream stage and into the chunky-watery-separated stage. .
- Strain the water from the fat. You can use a colander or sieve to do this. Take the buttery chunks and center them in a clean cloth or strip of cheesecloth. Wring out excess liquid.
- Either save butter as-is (if you’re going for pure, unsalted butter) or return to clean mixer for additional flavor.
- Using a paddle attachment, beat in desired flavors until well combined.
- Remove butter from mixer, place on a rectangle of parchment paper. Spread into a rectangle. Roll into a tube and seal edges by twisting. (You can also place it in an airtight container or plastic-wrapped bowl. Refrigerate and enjoy!