"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Butter sorted - finally


Thanks to everyone for their comments on my last post - t'was a fabulous day, thank you :D

Back in December I wrote about my frustration at not being able to find a butter dish anywhere, and I posted my solution to that problem.

The inverted plant pots worked a treat!  The only problem was though that the inside were supposed to be glazed.  Why?  Because the porous clay absorbed the oil from the butter and started smelling rancid - the base on which the butter lay especially.  Not even boiling water would solve that problem.

So, fast forward to July this year and my frustration boiled over.

There is a well known potter in Swellendam - Bukkenberg Pottery.  I have popped in there a few years ago, but the items on offer that grabbed my attention were a tad over my budget.

Desperation makes one lose caution though.

On one of our trips to town at the end of July for our weekly shop, I talked RMan into popping in at the pottery studio, and, yippee, David, the master potter, was open to making me a butter dish!

I explained what I wanted - a butter dish glazed on the inside (so that it couldn't absorb the oil from the butter), with the outside left porous so that evapouration could occur thus keeping the butter chilled during the hottest time of the day.  

David suggested a slight deviation - something he used to make years ago.
4 French butter dishes waiting to be glazed, then fired.
What he came up with is a French butter dish.  
The smaller butter filled section is inverted into the larger water
 filled half
It works by filling the smaller end with butter, inverting the butter holding base into the wider section which contains water.
This is what the French butter dish looks like when it's sitting
 on my kitchen counter
The theory is that the water covers / closes the exposed surface of the butter thus preventing oxygen turning the butter rancid.  It is recommended changing the water every week - or every time you finish the butter in our case - we do love butter :D

As water and oil don't mix, the butter isn't watery at all - just completely spreadable :)
Soft enough, and completely spreadable :)
David made 4 French butter dishes, so there are three going spare.  At R220.00 a butter dish, which holds approx 350 - 400gms of butter, and is specially handcrafted, I don't think that is too much to ask.  Perhaps mine will become a family heirloom one day...

However, remember that this is a bespoke order.  A bespoke order in the smaller towns are done in small town time - in this case the order was placed at the end of July, and the butter dish was ready last week.  Admittedly his kiln was enormous, and needs to be filled to make it viable to run - I'd hate to know what his electricity / LP gas bill is every time he fires up the kiln.

It was worth waiting for though :D

That'll definitely save throwing away rancid butter, or having to open the fridge unnecessarily in order to get the butter.
Pottery bird feeder
But - I noticed something else hanging near his studio workshop...   Isn't this the most adorable bird feeder you have ever seen?

22 comments:

  1. I think you found the ideal person to help with your dish. Sounds like a talented man. May you have many happy years of spreadable butter
    :)

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    1. Oh, yes indeed, Sue - oh, yes indeed :)

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  2. What a brilliant design and very pretty too.

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    1. Kirsty - I'm very happy to have this butter dish on my dining table :) No worries whatsoever...

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  3. I love this, fabulous. So very clever.

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    1. The _Croods - T'is clever, isn't it. Seems to be working perfectly too :D

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  4. That's one of the places I've been dying to visit, but my wallet squeals whenever I go past. Oh yes, beautiful pottery is expensive and worth every penny. I'd love to know what he does with his seconds. Liebermann pottery in Joburg has a seconds sale once a year and the bargains are fantastic. Maybe he doesn't have seconds, I think some of the potters smash them.

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    Replies
    1. pqsa - I haven't seen any seconds lying around, but maybe if you pay him a visit you may spot some... :D Don't know about Lieberman, but David is a one-man-show, so perhaps his seconds "don't happen", if you get my drift...

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    2. Lieberman is a huge pottery, so it's not going to harm their reputation to sell their seconds, whereas a one-man guy would probably not want the duff stuff getting out. My brother had a pottery and there's always duff stuff, kiln set wrong, glazes applied incorrectly, experiments exploding. I might need to lurk around the back entrance just to check for myself, hehe.

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  5. How lovely, and having something bespoke makes it more special. Sorry to have been blog-AWOL but it seems to have taken me ages to catch up from being away :(

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    1. Jayne - Thank you - t'is the first tie I've have ordered something bespoke.

      A lot of blogs I follow seem to be taking a break - I'm bereft. So glad you're back ;)

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  6. lovely. Pretty and useful. I am really getting into more 'artisan' pottery. I have some japanese noodle bowls from a man in Gloucester (I think his wife is Japanese), they are exactly the right size. I hope to buy some more.

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    Replies
    1. Sol - Thank you - it is very useful :)

      Won't you post a pic of your bowls - would love to see them... I hope you get as much enjoyment out of them as I am getting from my butter dish.

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  7. Seems like you got your butter imbroglio all settled out. Nothing wrong with a little enlightened improvisation.

    Belated Happy Anniversary to you and your husband.

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    1. Harry - Nope - nothing wrong at all ;)

      Thank you for the wishes - hard to believe it's been 36 years already...

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  8. I love your butter keeper! And good for you for supporting a local artisan! Definitely worth the extra cost and you have something truly beautiful and made with love.

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    1. Leigh - Support local whenever and wherever possible :D

      It is gorgeous, isn't it! Definitely a heirloom in the making ;)

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  9. What a cute little butter crock. So glad that you were able to source someone locally to help you out. It was a bit of a wait but oh so worth it.

    I can see why you love the bird feeder, it definitely is adorable!

    xTania

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    Replies
    1. Tania - Maybe Father Christmas will deliver a bird feeder down the chimney... ;)

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  10. oh how perfect to get a thoughtful and traditional dish - my mother used to enjoy a little bread with her butter, from growing up in Cornwall. But, there's no butter in this house.

    I do love clotted cream. Rosie should be good for that when it is winter again!

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    Replies
    1. Diana - No butter in your house? Only margarine? For health or diet reasons?

      I would get hectic withdrawals with no butter in this house lol

      Oooooh, scones and clotted cream - yummy...

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