But… Butter…

When my friend Tori moved to Indianapolis, she came from San Francisco. I know y’all think San Francisco must be HUGE compared to Indianapolis, but um, no. In terms of largest US cities, San Francisco is ranked 13 and Indy is ranked 14.
Tori did not know this, because Indiana is always depicted like this:

Yes, we have plenty of that — obviously — those are my photos.
“There’s more than corn in Indiana,” as they sing. This is also my photo:

Tori didn’t know that.
Her husband gave her a real estate book and told her check out houses for sale. Now, if you came from San Francisco, you’d be WOWED at our housing market. What does a nice two-story, three-bedroom home on a quarter acre cost in Indianapolis? About a hundred thousand dollars, depending on the neighborhood.
“What’s wrong with all these houses?” she asked.
“They’re in Indiana.”
She was relieved not all the houses were on farmland.

At the Indianapolis International Airport, Tori shouted, “Oh my God, it’s a thriving metropolis!” She had expected it to be in the middle of a cornfield, of course.


Some of those green patches are crops, surely, but mostly, no.

Tori thought we were all farmers and we all churned our own butter. We laughed about this a lot. Alawt-alawt.
In the club, drinkin martinis til 2am, “Oh, no, we can’t go home with you. Gotta be home to milk the cows!”
Waitin in line, number 18 when the license branch opens, “You’d think these people would have more butter to churn.”
Oh how we laughed!

Anyway —

Indianapolis, Indiana is likely not what you think it is. I’m just sayin.

But there are times… Times when you think your Midwestern breeding really might be a culture other people do not understand.


On Monday, Ms Holingue wrote a post which included a section on dairy products. I commented, “I note that as a person who cooks, the cream issues are very hard to understand until you actually MAKE some of them, then it all gets clearer. Mostly. Don’t get me started on the bad math of half & half.”

Then she responded, “Okay, now I want to learn how to make cream. Really? You make yours?”

I bout died.
One, she’s such a foodie.
Two, she grew up in rural FRANCE.

Seigneur! Mon Dieu!

I had to pretend I didn’t read that.

Not twenty minutes later, we saw bits of some show we don’t watch — A woman had come to sell a glass butter churn and the clerk seemed to not believe she could make butter from cream.

And I bout died again.

I was in a tizzy. I began shouting.
“OH MY FUCKING GOD! IS THIS A THING? DO PEOPLE REALLY NOT KNOW HOW BUTTER IS MADE?!? IS THIS THE REAL LIFE? Is this because we live in Indiana? Is this because we all go out to Connor Prairie and churn butter in grade school? Tori would be crackin up so hard right now! Do people know milk comes from cows? People know that, right?”


On the show, a guy brought in four pints of cream and they put it in to churn, and they did indeed make butter.
The woman said somethin about fresh butter on every table in the heartland. The Mister and I nodded.
The clerk was stunned.

I bout died.

Dude. You wouldn’t believe all the shit they can make with a cow these days.


My brain couldn’t reconcile this.
I asked my kids, “Do you know where cream comes from?”
They did.
I quick messaged some dwellers of other urban areas.
They knew.
My friend Lola said, “The unemployed make cream and prisoners make butter. It’s a work release program, and they work their way up to margarine. Once you get on the margarine making line, it’s time to countdown to release and a full pardon.”

I bout died of LOLZ.

There’s supposed to be this sorta education in childhood. I recall many episodes with my own kids.
“No, Baby, hot dogs do not grow in the marsh.”
Bubba took a moment of silence when he found out eggs were unhatched chickens. Sissy never liked honey and once she found out where it came from, she judged us all for eating it. Sassy gave up pancakes for months because maple syrup oozes from trees. The amazed look on Moo’s face the first time she whipped cream… We name the birds we eat, ffs.

It’s not nice to poke fun at people because you know something they don’t. I get that. I do.

Two instances in one evening, though? The heartland questions your upbringing.

I learn things ALL the time, and before I learned them, I didn’t know. Remember having kittens?!?

People know all kindsa things I don’t know, and they’re welcome to laugh, so long as I learn.

I felt odd pedantically writing to Ms Holingue, “There’s no making to it; When the milk comes out of the cow, the cream rises to the top.”
You cannot know how relieved I was when she wrote back, “I realize that my comment implied that I didn’t know where cream came from. Which for someone born in Normandy would be a paradox! But few people do their own from home. Since you write in the preterit, I assume you don’t anymore?”

Oh Thank Elsie! She knew! She knew!

Sierra Exif JPEG

You can watch videos on how to collect your own cream and make your own cheese, sour cream, creme fraiche, etc, but I’m not sharing any of that, because I don’t wanna be responsible for your chic urbanite food poisoning, okay?


HOWEVER, if you don’t know any stuff about dairy stuff, here’s an old video none of us are going to watch.


Happy Friday Everyone!

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
This entry was posted in Random Musings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to But… Butter…

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Great post. Still laughing.

    We buy most of our dairy stuff from a small farm where the cows are right outside the little store. The amount of cream they make depends on what they are eating, so occasionally, the store is pushing cream out the door. My wife has made butter and she does make ice cream and whipped cream if we need some. I remember when our daughter was little, my wife used to also bake bread. Homemade bread with nothing-but-moo-in-it butter is like a little slice of Heaven right here on earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ghostmmnc says:

    This is just too funny! I love anything dairy, and yes, we used to make our own butter…from raw milk we got from a dairy. Even in school we’d get to make butter by shaking whipping cream until it turned into butter. My kids did that, too. As for big cities vs corn fields…well, places get stereotyped by what they see on TV or something, I guess. They think Texas is all cowboys, and cattle, and desert maybe. We do have a lot of that, and cotton fields. There’s so much more, though! 🙂 Happy Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. renxkyoko says:

    Haha ha Southern Californian’s ( LA ) call my small city here in Northern California Cow city, and our symbol is supposed to be cow bells. lol I mean, Southern Californians look down on us, and call us hicks. he he SF is in Northern Ca, and wine country, Napa Valley, is just 30 minutes from us. And I love the farmland ! !

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Everywhere seems to have its own version of hicks from the sticks. Thirty minutes from here can yield different results depending on direction. Funny how that works…
      Cows are awesome, cowbells, too 🙂


  4. Laura says:

    omg, dying here. DY-ING. With the cows and the cream and the milk and whatnot. And all the ignorance, BECAUSE I THOUGHT ALL OF INDIANA WAS FARMLAND, TOO. (It’s a liberal media conspiracy, y’all.) Then I almost tinkled because two cups of coffee and too much laughing makes things dangerous like that.
    Plus I remembered Bear’s preschool field trip to a local place called Mr. B’s where the itty bitties actually had the chance to milk a cow AND YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THEIR FACES. Because even though we live smack dab in rural North Carolina, apparently preschool is where the learning actually happens about where milk comes from.
    Thanks for the giggles. I needed that…

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Thank you 🙂 It is my pleasure to make you laugh so hard you almost tinkle 🙂
      I mean, really, WHY would you know what a place is really like when it’s always depicted as just one thing? Ignorance is easily forgiven in such matters.


  5. What? You mean milk doesn’t come from the bottle/carton? Really? 🙂 When our older daughter was in pre-school, they made butter by putting cream in a bottle and taking turns shaking it. It took quite some time, but they loved having it on the homemade bread I brought in…from the bread machine. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  6. puppy1952 says:

    This made me laugh out loud. It’s like people thinking that lions roam the suburbs of South African cities.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I was just chatting to someone about SA the other night, in my desire to go and the fact that his sister lives there. He’d said he’s seen lions out of the way, lyin around, not lookin like they’re too interested in anything but lounging.
      And thanks for laughing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Benson says:

    People can be silly sometimes. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t know where cream and cheese come from. Of course I haven’t talked to many people from out of the Heartland in a while. Thanks for the laugh. Have a good Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My grandmother in Mexico City took the milk when it was delivered in glass bottles, removed the little cardboard circle from the top, and carefully poured out the cream off the top into a separate container for their coffee. (This was regular milk, and before homogenization, obviously.)

    If you wanted milk that tasted good, you just shook the whole thing so there was more cream in the milk.

    And the first time you were not careful while making whipped cream with an electric mixer, you discovered your whipped cream had turned to butter. White, and unsalted, of course, but definitely butter. The process was not reversible.

    The world has been badly damaged by those who replaced fat with low-fat. Note that ALL the processed and manufactured products that occupy the center of your local supermarket are versions of refined CARBOHYDRATES, and that SUGAR is bad for you, NOT FAT.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. orbthefirst says:

    Lol, oh lol..people..theyre..special.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ally Bean says:

    There you are teaching the world about important things like not judging Indianapolis and how to make butter. I agree that Indy is a great place. And I’m flummoxed to know that many people don’t know how butter is made. This makes me want to hit them over the head with a good old-fashioned butter churn, like the one Ma Ingalls used.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. marianallen says:

    I am nearly dead from the LOLing, especially Lola’s brilliant ‘splanation of the Margarine Theory of Jurisprudence. I was totally gonna watch that vintage video, until I saw it was 44 minutes long, and then I was all “Hellz naw.” Happy weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Excellent! SO glad you nearly died of LOLing. Lola is hysterical, I mean, her name is virtually Laugh Out Loud Always.
      I watched the first 3 minutes… but I didn’t have time to nap 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. John Holton says:

    I didn’t watch the video because I’ve already seen it. I started watching, and when I saw the map of the US I remembered seeing it in fourth grade. It was old then, too.

    Mom used to tell us about pouring the cream off the top of the milk in the bottle. I guess that was before they figured out “hey! we can pour the cream off and sell it separately!” I also remember Hawthorn Mellody Farms had a real working dairy in Lincoln Park Zoo, and you could go and watch the cows being milked (not by hand–I ain’t that old… XD). I loved the way that the cows would look at us looking at them… Evidently there were a few dairies in the Chicago area when I was a kid, not just processing plants that got the milk from Wisconsin. Guess they’re all gone now, gone with the milkman.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My grandparents had a small dairy farm, and I spent summers there my entire childhood. I remember drinking warm milk, and the cream, oh the cream. My grandmother made butter but what I really loved was the whipped cream from fresh milk. 🙂 Remember when a TV guy would stand on a corner and ask a seemingly common sense question and get all these crazy looks? Wouldn’t that be a good one – where does butter come from? And, no, the answer is not Walmart. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  14. larva225 says:

    I can thank Laura Ingalls Wilder for my knowledge of butter churning, and by extension, cream. I read those books until they fell apart.
    Later in life, thanks to the wonder that was Iron Chef Japanese, I can remember a battle Milk whereupon Iron Chef Chinese Ken Kenichi made cheese in a wok with hot milk and vinegar. I got the milk thing down, dude.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. pluviolover says:

    While I love your writing, how you come up with this stuff is amazingly magical. Great story, well-told, with a moral to boot. Spent my high school summers working on friends farm with a dairy herd. I should story some of that up sometime. Wife has a wooden butter press sitting on the mantelpiece. This city boy learnt about it all from her.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I made butter once, by accident. Back before I could claim that I know my way around the kitchen. For some reason, I put whipping cream in the freezer. Then thawed it. Then tried to whip it into cream topping in a blender. I got butter and whey.

    It if weren’t for Little House on the Prairie and Little Miss Muffet, I wouldn’t have known what the heck was in the bottom of the blender.

    Hm. Should I put a disclaimer here?


    Enjoyable send off to the weekend, my dear. Have a great one.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Carrie Rubin says:

    Though I’ve mostly lived in the Midwest (just different states), I’ve always lived in a city, so it made me laugh when people would think I knew about farming and crops and tractors. In fact, I often got tractor questions. Definitely can’t help anyone there!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Erika says:

    I know how to make butter courtesy of a recipe that warned me not to whip my cream for too long. It happened anyway.

    But, yeah, I kinda thought you were in the sticks even in Indianapolis until you posted all the pictures of the buildings and huge children’s museum and stuff. I guess that’s like how most people think people in SC don’t have their teeth and wear camo. We mostly have our teeth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      LOL! But then y’all do wear camo everywhere? Haha! I bet some people got to Charleston and think all of SC is like Charleston.
      By the by, I am missing quite a few of my original teeth, thank you very much 😉 I’ve got city teeth replacements, I guess! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erika says:

        *Some* people do. I live in a pretty rural area and between a lot of people hunting and others embracing it as a fashion thing, there’s lots of camo.

        Haha! I am missing one of mine as of three weeks ago, ugh.

        Liked by 1 person

        • joey says:

          Yes, it is the suck. Dental work is so pricey and painful.

          When I lived in Georgia, albeit on an Army base, camo was EVERYWHERE. People had camo bed linens and camo shower curtains and whatnot. Always tickled me when soldiers had stuff like that. I’d think, “Dontcha have enough of that at work?!”

          Liked by 1 person

  19. lorriedeck says:

    I don’t live in the Midwest and never have, but man, not know where butter comes from? What? LOL We made it in Brownies. When I was 7. Ya tend to remember that sort of thing. Especially if you love butter.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. loisajay says:

    Joey–this was so funny! It’s amazing what people don’t know, but ever funnier what they think they know. Houston, we got a big problem!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Sad, but true. Too many people are not learning this basic stuff. Old What’s Her Face found a source for good whole milk. Cream so thick you have to pierce it with a butter knife to even shake the bottle. Need to take out my ice cream maker.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I love creme fraiche. I saw it at the market out here and bought it. Love fresh whipped cream and real butter. Don’t make butter myself. I think my maternal grandmother made it once. In her day, they really did churn butter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. LOVED this post! What I don’t get is how the guy on the TV could think that the gal couldn’t make butter. He handed her a churn! How can you NOT make butter if you have a churn? I mean…I…you’ll just have to picture me throwing my hands up in the air!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Bahhah. I wish to file a complaint because none of the depicted cows are purple. How do you suppose Milka is made? However, when a (Macedonian) friend returned from the USA where she lived with the “ordinary”, poet people, she was the queen of the kitchen one day when she whipped cream for the family from the liquid cream. Apparently you all buy it in tubes like a deodorant! 😮

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I don’t know what milka is? Should I Google it?
      I generally whip my cream, but yes, we do have Redi-Whip, which is spray whipped cream — although I never considered it as like deodorant, that’s valid… Like aerosol deodorant… Am now thinking about how we also have icing and cheese-flavored goo in similar cans…
      But again, I stress, we do not all consume edibles from the deodorant-type cans 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • 😀 Yes, please, google Milka and choose “Images”. You’ll be drowned in their colour which is famously also on a cow in a commercial. This is Europe’s no. 1 chocolate brand, I’d guess. (Lindt might be in front.) And I know you are not all the same, that was just her first impression. In Italy this aerosol is on display in shops next to all the strawberries. It’s miles from cream, if you ask me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • joey says:

          Ah, yes. I recognize it, actually. Something not often seen here. Definitely no purple cows.
          I sent some funky cow decorative stickers on some mail to The Mister’s grandparents once. They live out in the country.
          Pappy wanted to talk to me about these cows with stripes and polka dots and mandalas… I told him they were city cows 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  25. LOL! Funny!

    When I was in Kindergarten we had a field trip to a dairy farm. I saw the cows being milked, and how they bottled the milk, separated the cream from the milk, and tasted fresh from the farm milk!
    It was something that impressed me. I still remember the long barn vividly.

    I did think it took hours and hours to churn cream to butter, but Jacques Pepin made it in a little bowl on one episode, and his grand-daughter made some too on her own while he cooked. By the end of the show/episode she had churned her own butter! I was impressed!

    Sadly, I think a lot of where our food comes from is lost on younger generations. Thanks for this reminder. I’ll have to start a “where our food comes from” lesson plan for summer for #1 GS.
    I’m pretty sure he knows milk comes from cows. I think we covered that. I better double check! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  26. JT Twissel says:

    I once left a quart of milk in the trunk for about a week – it turned into butter!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Joanne Sisco says:

    I guess the days are gone when certain basics – like where your food comes from – are no longer common knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Finally catching up and discovering the story behind the comment that you left! Hilarious.
    So true that each part of the world has ideas about another. When I arrived to Paris from Normandy I heard the same comments. People assumed that I knew everything about dairy stuff and even made my own butter and cream.
    Your friend from SF made me smile, of course.
    I drove through Indianapolis a few times and yes, it’s not a small rural town. Even though nature is not too far.
    In any case, we are now all clear on the topic of goats and milk and all dairy products:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I’m glad you and I clarified the whole situation. Now we can just exhale and hope for the others!
      Nature is not too far here, indeed. We have plenty of green in our city 🙂


  29. Matt Roberts says:

    Ok ok ok, so, when I was in elementary school, we had a field trip to a farm. I was sick that day and missed it, but everybody else got to make their own butter. EVEN STILL, I knew how butter was made. That was the second grade. And I live in the vast country-less metropolis known as Cincinnati!

    By the by, everyone thinks Indiana is nothing but corn and fields. On the flip, everyone is shocked AF when they learn Ohio is majority those as well. And I’ve discovered that out of towners are all shocked at how hilly Cincinnati is, so I always have to give them the geography lesson that tells of ice ages and glaciers and how they made it all the way to Cincinnati before they stopped, and how they pushed the ground all through Ohio, which leveled it all out, and they left all that extra ground here in Cincinnati which all built up as hills. It’s funny what we think we know about an area because of what those areas are famous for. Did you know that San Francisco isn’t all hippies and gay people? Cause apparently it’s not, but I don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Hah. Yes, I did know that. Did you know that when the ground moved while I was there, it wasn’t an earthquake, but a trolley?!? 🙂
      I realize that most of the middle of America is farmland, but it never ceases to amaze me when people are shocked to see tall buildings and taxis and whatnot here.
      When I come back to Cincy, you tell me the glacier story? The hills are alive with chili spaghetti, yeah? 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Skipah says:

    It doesn’t get much cooler than Indy in the Midwest. Good solid post defending us Hoosiers from thought of as all sheepherders and corn farmers!

    Liked by 1 person

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