Interesting day, from a culinary point of view. I've recently gone "primal" in my eating (a bit like paleo, but less fundamentalist about it all, with allowances for modern healthy conveniences such as dark chocolate, tea, some dairy, and red wine) and so I've had a period of adjustment getting used to making things that don't contain grains or refined sugars (as a family we were already avoiding processed foods as best we could).
I just finished making meatloaf using the recipe on this page. Waiting for the girls to get back home from an afternoon playdate to find out how it tastes. It smells wonderful, the house is filled with the aroma.
And while that was baking I made my own ghee, which is basically butter fat without any of the rest of the butter. Couldn't be simpler to make, no idea why people pay so much for it. One pound (454g) of butter in a heavy saucepan, high heat until it boils and froths, skim off the froth and reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 20 mins. Don't cover, you want the water to evaporate off. Skim a couple more times to get as much froth off as you can. By skimming, you can see through the transparent golden liquid to the bottom of the pan and see when the sunken butter solids start to turn brown. This is time to stop, don't let that brown stuff burn or it'll ruin the flavour. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth or muslin or whatever (I used a bandage) into a jar that can handle the heat, and then leave to cool. It should end up a lovely pale golden yellow colour when it solidifies. Ghee is a great cooking fat, it withstands very high temperatures and it doesn't oxidize easily so it's healthier for you, plus it tastes delicious.
A tip on jars, since we make a lot of jams and marmalades and have broken our fair share. Mason jars are ideal but you can't always find them. Jam jars are fine too, but in the sink fill them to the brim with very hot water 5 mins before you want to use them; if they shatter now, all you lose is a jar, not your produce. At the last second dump the water then start filling the jar with your tasty creation. The thermal stress on the glass will be much lower, therefore less chance of a breakage. Obviously you leave it to cool to room temperature normally, don't go pouring cold water over it or putting it in the fridge.
Look to Windward
Notes from a Cultural attaché
- Kitchen fun