Skip to main content

And.....Voila! It's Butter! Wait, what?!

Dear Friends,

It's time for cooking in the kitchen with Julia! And, since I'm no Julia Child, I will start us off with the tale of a seemingly harrowing happening with a happy ending that took place recently in the kitchen here in Germany with Yours Truly.

It is a popular custom here in Germany to eat cake (or dessert that looks like cake but is not filled with calories like our American cake counterparts) and drink tea and coffee around 4pm each afternoon, and specifically on Sundays. That being said, I decided that it was high time for me to try my hand at creating one of these cake varieties and actually feed it to the guests at my birthday party. Well, easier said than done, I'll admit!
No sooner had I gone to the store, bought all the supplies, printed out the recipe from the internet (Sanella's Himbeer Joghurt Torte) and gotten on my cooking apron that I realized that this would be the very first time that I worked with any sort of cake that required skill. I mean, sure, I had battled with bundt pans, cajoled cobblers and parried with pies, but I had never actually tried to make a 'cake' in the german sense. German cakes were simply things of my imagination (usually associated with holidays and fanciful rememberances of bygone birthday fun) and normally were also something that I would never dream of trying to create myself. That is, until this summer.

Anyway, the cake was going along splendidly (I must confess, I did enlist the help of my boyfriend, himself a German native, so admittedly more experienced with these sorts of things than I) and I thought that we might just get through this process without any snafoos. However, that was when it happened! We were in the middle of violently whipping the creme (in German called "Sahne") into submission to be later folded into the yogurt concoction that we had just made, when all of a sudden, the creme started clumping together instead of becoming the fluffy whiteness that we had expected. What to do now?! Well, of course I tried the good 'ol "freak out until you figure out what's really happening" method, but my boyfriend had a slightly more effective plan in mind. He looked shocked for an instant and then chuckled under his breath and said, "Wow, I didn't realize that the cream was that warm. I guess we should have kept it in the fridge longer after bringing it back from the store." And that, folks, was it!

I was dumbfounded. What (EXACTLY) was happening here, and why was he not freaking out like me?

Well, turns out that if you beat cream too long or if it's at a certain temperature while getting beaten, the buttermilk separates out from the fattier part of the cream and you've made both butter and buttermilk! So, since I was under the assumption (and did not grow up doing things like this) that butter was produced magically somehow in a factory with various dairy products, salt and some preservatives and was not something which you could make BY ACCIDENT, I was plesantly surprised by this outcome, to say the least! (Honestly, I think I might have bragged afterwards about that butter more ardently than a Mother sending their first child off to school. But, that's another story entirely.)
So, now that you've laughed at my silly misunderstanding of the properties of dairy products, I'd like to invite you to look at the result of our beautiful self-made butter! And it tasted great, I might (proudly, and shamelessly) add!


  1. Hahaha, that sounds like something I would do. Or, more likely, my mother (the woman who forgot to add flour to cookie dough). Glad it turned out tasty!

  2. Me too! :) It was the best mistake I think I ever made- lol!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Ford's Snazzy German Advertising Adding Spunk to Autobahn Experience!

On the back of a large tractor-trailer recently, I saw a very interesting and fun ad from Ford Motors, the owner of the tractor-trailer, presumably.
It was a picture of a red Ford Mustang with racing stripes and over the picture it said, “Klar, den haetten sie lieber vor sich”. And what is funny about that to those of you who don't speak German, is that the following things could be implied by this sentence: 1- Perhaps Ford was suggesting that if that Mustang was driving in front of you, it wouldn't be as slow as this truck is right now. 2- They might also be imagining that it would be nicer to look at then a truck. 3- Or, they could always be conjecturing that if the Mustang was in front of you on the Autobahn you'd be safer then if it was behind you (driving at high speeds and running you down since you'd be driving at the normal rate of only 120km/hr).
At any rate, great advertising on Ford's part, and thanks to them for the Autobahn Amusement!

How Long Can Opera Singers Sing Per Day?

To those readers who aren't singers (or even those who are) I would like to take some time today to talk about the proper and measured use of our voices (speaking and singing) during the course of a normal day and over the course of a normal week.

This subject has come to mind for me because of factors relating to everyone' normal daily lives.  We are technologically-connected beings who are constantly communicating with someone, somewhere, somehow.  Sure, it's great to talk at work with your co-workers during lunch break, or have a phone conversation with your Grandmother for an hour every Tuesday, but just how much is all that talking really weighing on your voice in an overall evaluation?

Because I have been singing six days a week for at least two hours since last June (and have really kept that schedule up- amazingly--okay, except for Christmas break at which point I didn't sing for 1.5 weeks) I've noticed that speaking frequently over the course the day would…

Opera Chorus Jobs: The Warm-Up

When I talk to non-musicians and non-singers about the difficulty of breaking into the solo career scene in Opera, they ask me (as any logical person would) "Well, why not just join the chorus? At least you could be still doing what you love- singing!"  And, while this is a very sensible plan and a good one in theory, it actually has a lot of pitfalls that I'd like to explain now to you in this post.  This will also hopefully bring about some good conversation from my operatic colleagues who are opera chorus members, or who are thinking of doing it, or who are opera house managers and who deal with chorus singers and the system of how the hiring works.

I must stress that what I am saying here is in no way the only view on the matter, but it is an informed one, as I know many chorus singers are various size opera houses, and I see and hear about the politics associated with being a chorus singer through being in the opera business and being around those people in charge o…