How to Butter Up a Scientist in Ten Minutes


I’d like a dog for the simple fact that I would be able design innumerable learning theory experiments without fear of Children’s Services rushing in to remove children who’d acquired Pavlovian tendencies. I’d teach the dog how to ring the doorbell to go outside, how to spin around to get a treat, and to make sure its feet were dry before it came in the house. But since there’s no way in heck I’ll get a dog, I have to let the scientist in me come out a different way.

I’ve been to the grocery store and walked down the dairy aisle with all its Greek Yoghurt (yum with honey), cream cheese (yum when baked with sugar and blueberries), and butter (yum with scones). I’ve even heard the rumor that butter comes from cream. Well, scientists don’t take anything for granted and I decided to discover butter for myself.

I purchased a litre of 35% cream for $6.49. Then, I poured the entire litre into my trusty KitchenAid mixer and watched as the cream got thicker and thicker, turned into whipped cream, and then into that over-whipped cream that bakers are shameful to admit they’ve produced. Finally, it started to look grainy and little lumps began to appear growing bigger as the bowl got sloshier. Over a period of about 10 minutes, my cream changed from thick soup to white water with a giant lump of, you guessed it, butter.

The end result was about 2.25 cups of liquid (whey) and 2 cups of pretty pretty butter. But if memory serves me correct, I wait for sales and buy 2 cups of already prepared butter at the store for $2.99. It seems that I need to take another step back in the production chain to reap the price/cost benefits of bulk butter production. Forget the dog. I’m going to get me a cow and train it to jump rope for ten minutes.

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