How to Make Ghee From Store-Bought Butter

First published on The Whole Foods Blog, Jan 9 2013

Ghee, solid at room temperature

In India, ghee is an essential part of our lives. It is used in cooking, to fuel oil lamps, and to pour into the fire during all manner of ceremonies. It is often treated as a symbol of purity.

Making homemade ghee was as much a part of our daily lives as was making homemade cultured butter. We had raw milk delivered to us every morning. Almost immediately, it was heated gently until it boiled. As it cooled, there was this magical layer of thick cream that floated to the top of the milk. It thickened as the milk cooled. Refrigeration made this layer almost solid and easier to scoop out into a special ceramic pot. Once that ceramic pot was full, a yogurt culture was stirred into it, and it was allowed to sit overnight on the counter.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thank you, Mom, for those breakfasts every single weekday that I never appreciated.

c. 1980

Marching into 2015 with Coconut Oil

I hope 2015 has been good to you thus far and keeps bringing you small joys and big happies as it unfolds its plan for you. I wish you all that and so much more!

Happy 2015!
Warm Fuzzies to You from My Family!

Jump for 2015
Jump for the New Year!

Medha jumped for more than just the New Year. She was thrilled that she would be bringing in the New Year at Disney World on a marching band trip. It was the first New Year's Eve that we weren't together. It's just the first of many more to come but that's how life goes. She came back from Florida with an upper respiratory infection that snowballed into other health issues, and is only just getting some normalcy back in her life. Into all our lives.

While she struggled with her health, I struggled with writing the year properly on all the heaps of documents and forms that I found myself signing. No, I didn't write 2014 instead of 2015, like the rest of you! I wrote my birth year. I kid you not. Nothing quite like telling everyone just how old and foolish I am.

Church for Christmas

Last Christmas, we were in New Mexico. It was a real treat for me to visit some of the oldest churches in continental USA while there. I love old churches, especially old living churches that have an active congregation. Our drive to Taos took us through Ranchos de Taos, a historic district about four miles from Taos. And, in Ranchos de Taos is the San Francisco de Asissi Mission Church, a historic church built by Spanish missionaries between between 1772 and 1816.

In spring, the community gets together to add a new layer of adobe —a mixture of mud and straw — on the outer facade to preserve their church.

It was a perfect winter's day in New Mexico: bluebird skies with nary a cloud in sight, sunny and cold.


Busy Shortcuts

Last week, I participated in a home market hosted by my friends Teri and Paul. We called it the Boulder Holiday Art & Gift Sale. Little did I know what I had committed to when I said yes to Teri back in September. By mid-November, I was in way too deep to back out.

I had canned as I do each year and then some. Thanks to guidance from my friend Archana, I made a small batch of tomato thokku and tomato chutney. Maybe I could use those. Medha was not happy that I was going to include the tomato chutney on my table at the Holiday Sale. I canned more of my peach-habanero salsa.My tamarind-date chutney is always a hit so maybe some of that. Some ghee? And a couple of spice blends. But which? I have always wanted to share my rest-of-the-world chhole masala, and I had a dear friend's mother's recipe for chai masala. And then there was that whole thing about labels. I figured that even if no-one bought anything I made, I would have lots of gifts for my friends. None of the effort would be wasted. And, it had a lot of love poured into it.

Before I knew it, it was the weekend of the sale and I sold out of both the thokku as well as the chai masala. I set out samples of all my canned foods, as well as chai made with my chai masala and chhole made with my chana/chhole masala.

IFR's table at Boulder Holiday Art & Gift Sale
My table at the Holiday Sale