Butter makes any food better.
In fact, good butter might be the one ingredient most chefs can’t be without.
And if you’re serious about butter, you might harbour notions of someday learning how to churn your own, which is not only a very tasty hobby to adopt, but also a lovely meditative process.
The tradition-obsessed folk at Up There the Last are hosting an all-day butter-making course on Saturday, September 16th, 2023 and it will teach you all the basics as well as a healthy slathering of information you never knew you needed.
The project is run by traditional food conservationist and founder of Up There The Last, the writer, photographer, and food producer Max Jones, who is on a misson to “reconnect people to our inherent ability to harmoniously convert the landscape into food”.
“Inspired by the intuitive and resourceful methods I have gleaned from working alongside artisans from across Europe and to provide an archive of these methods so they do not go lost,” says Jones.
The course, which will take place in the simple and beautiful Up There the Last Booley in Myross Wood in Leap, is suited to “cooks, homesteaders, preppers, anyone looking to extend the shelf-life of their food and save money by not throwing things away unnecessarily.”
The day will begin at 9.30am with coffee, tea, and scones with sweet-cream butter and jam. Theory and tasting will follow before a tutorial in churning the cream into butter, complete with some traditional churning songs.
Later it’s butter washing, shaping, salting, and baking buttermilk bread on an open fire. Everyone goes home with their own hand-made butter, wrapped in wax paper and tied off with twine.
As if a whole day immersed in everything butter wasn’t tempting enough, all participants will be treated to a mouthwatering lunch of illegal alpine butter with a single anchovy on bread, smoked fish, and cultured butter on homemade boxty and traditional Irish champ paired with a glass of sour buttermilk.
To book your place (€165 per person) or to check out the selection of intriguing courses on offer visit uptherethelast.com.