First of all, I have to say a huge THANK YOU to Chickenandcowlady for introducing me to ghee. It is a wonderful thing to have around, and I am not sure how I managed the first half of my life without it. My love for the stuff has been almost comical. I am not sure if this is one of my temporary OCD infatuation things, or if its permanent, but I can tell you I like ghee better than I liked Zac Effron, and I liked him a lot. (But have you seen him in the trailer for the The Lucky One? – Oh my, I’d still take him to raise!)
Back on track here…
Ghee. Chickenandcowlady has been generously supplying me with ghee. I am MOST grateful. I am not even sure how to say how much I appreciate or express how much I love the stuff. But, curiosity and a sense of independence grabbed hold of me, and I decided that I should try to make it myself. Now, I have no cow, so I knew there was no way I was going to duplicate what I’d been used to. I purchased butter in bulk (4lbs) at Sams, and followed a ghee recipe that CACL had sent me a link to. I think she sent me the recipe, not so much for me to make it, but so I’d understand the process, and what happened as butter was transformed to ghee. (chickenandcowlady is entirely to long, and it ticks my spell checker off every time I type it, so hence forward, CACL is it.)
I printed out the 6 pages or so of instructions and pictures and read and re-read them. I studied the pictures, and read the descriptions of the smells, and the way the bubbles looked. I was ready. So, in my stint of hanging out in the kitchen during The Saga of the Laminite Flooring, Part 3, I began. I chopped up the butter and put it on the stove, with my instructions sitting right beside me. As the butter melted, I prepared my strainer and cheese cloth. I watched a 4 minute video on You Tube on how to make ghee. (dang lady talked about food allergies more than she talked about how to make ghee. Oh – and she said she used ghee as a moisturizer, which I found really odd, and way TMI in a 4 minute cooking video ). Just as the butter began to froth a little, I was called on to help on the flooring project, so I had to turn everything off, and go do that for a little while. When I came back, I turned everything on again, and got back to the same point. I referred to the recipe often, but I did one thing that was in the video and not in my printed recipe — I skimmed the froth off the butter. Meticulously.
I watched the pot, I sniffed, I studied and compared pictures to what was going on in the pot on my stove. As I followed the recipe, I was worried, since nothing seemed to match up. Not the color, smells or the appearance of the bubbles. I felt I was on my own, but I still referred to the pictures and instructions often. I’m glad I did. After about 45 minutes, I suddenly, and somewhat unexpectedly found myself at the last step – fizzy bubbles. There was the smallest amount of colored stuff on the edges of the pot, and there was a smell that was sort of nutty and caramelish, all at the same time. . I removed from heat, and strained. Low and behold there was a tiny amount of light golden brown stuff at the bottom of the pan, and in the cheese cloth.
|Ghee, just after straining.|
|Ghee, batch 1, after setting.|
My ghee was more yellow than golden, but the smell was right. Still, I thought something was wrong. I let it sit on the counter and went about my business. A few hours later Mojo is hollering – “MOM, is that ghee?!? YOU made that? (shock) It’s so pretty!” Low and behold, the ghee had set and it was gorgeous. The color was creamy yellow, and the texture was, too. It smelled wonderful. But as with all cooking, the proof is in the pudding. So, we made toast. OH MY GOODNESS. It was richness. I am so proud of myself!.
|Ghee, batch II.|
As it turned out, Mojo wanted to try her hand at ghee making, too. I had only used half of my bulk Sams butter, so I said sure. I still followed the directions, and this time, I didn’t skim in the early stages, and actual cooking process on my stove much more closely followed the printed directions. When we got to the end, we let it go just a little longer, and got more of a golden color to the ghee. At first I was afraid it was burned, but there was no smell of burnt butter. We strained, and this time, without the early skimming, there was much more stuff in the bottom of the pan and caught by the cheese cloth. Then after comparing to pictures, I declared that Mallory and I had handled it perfectly. The color is just slightly more gold than the ghee from the first batch. I forgot to take a picture of the set ghee, so I will be back to add that later. You can see the picture in the background — that is from the printed instructions. Nice match, if I do say so myself.
My ghee is missing something that CACL’s has that I will never be able to duplicate with my Sam’s butter. Freshness. Hers is way, way better than mine, and I hope she’ll continue to share. Her ghee was in the cow a short time before, where as mine was in a store or a truck. I am glad I went through this exercise — it makes me appreciate what she shares with me even more.
And I know now that I even though I can’t have Zac, I can have ghee.
I am good with that.