Last night was an exercise in failure.
I attempted to salvage the 122 ounces of thawed milk (that’s over 15 cups, mind!) by turning it into butter. I couldn’t think of anything else that would be fast and would use up a ton of milk, but I was inspired by the pretty pictures in this post at Omnomicon, as well as my own curiosity in regards to the taste of breastmilk butter. Now of course, breastmilk is not the same as heavy cream (although it is still fattier than cow’s milk!), but it’s been documented that it is possible to make butter and even cheese from breastmilk.
I started by taking the milk out of the fridge and letting it come to room temperature. It separated, with the fatty hindmilk floating and resting in a layer on top of the foremilk. I skimmed the hindmilk from the top, placed it in a bowl, and set it on my trusty rusty Sunbeam. I turned on the mixer, setting the beaters to go as quickly as possible without splattering, and then I waited. And waited.
I checked on it periodically, but after forty fucking minutes, all that had been achieved was a fluffy white froth that floated on top of the milk. At this point I was exhausted, frustrated, annoyed by the incessant whirring of the mixer, and ready to quit. So all 122 ounces of breast milk quite literally swirled down the drain.
At first I thought that the fact that the milk had been previously frozen had something to do with it, but this is not the first time I have failed in attempting to make butter with my own milk. Once when Eve was tiny and having problems with diaper rashes (as well as allergic reactions to the butt balms we tried), I expressed a few ounces of milk and tried, in vain, to turn it into a butter to soothe her bum. Marcus and I took turns shaking the tube of milk for at least an hour and NOTHING happened!
At this point I start to wonder what the fuck is wrong with my milk, but that’s not exactly a productive line of thought, so I will let it go. But still, I am very, very frustrated.