Click on the title or paste in this great link (and pictures) which explain butter making much better than I did yesterday. http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/28603
Thank you to the people who read my gleeful report on butter last night. A couple of you more experienced butter makers wrote to me and said that my butter would last longer if I rinsed it in cold water and squeezed out the liquid (buttermilk). Honestly, I thought my butter was fine, until I followed this advice and made much better butter. More solid and pure.
Rewinding... Now, I had no idea what it meant to rinse and squeeze the butter. I just pictured butter squirting through my fingers as I ran cold tap water over it and into a bowl. Not pretty.... but I often have to try things in order to learn them. And so, it happened just as the dreaded pictures in my mind predicted. And worse. This was defeating. (Feel the tension.) I believe my water was not cold enough. It all combined into butter-water. Terrible. But wait. I had this "what if" moment where I grabbed a cloth and a strainer. I placed the cloth inside the strainer, poured the sad looking butter-water through it, and let it drain as much as possible. Then I drew up the edges of the cloth so I had it in one fist at the top and squeezed out the water through the bottom of the cloth. I was amazed when all the water easily squeezed out and (here's the redemption) I opened up the cloth and saw a beautiful round ball of solid butter. Welcome back butter! Who says there's nothing exciting happening in Lancaster?