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eating wisely by Suzanne VanGilder

Gold Standard

Making ghee creates a culinary treasure and a meditation on the essence of milk and life.

EVEN AS THE SPRING equinox approached, nature continued to dump record-breaking quantities of snow on my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. That time of year, the weather sometimes interferes with the work of my husband, a modern-day milkman making deliveries in a biodiesel truck painted black and white to look like a Holstein cow. During an especially blustery week last spring, the weather kept him off the oad and left us with 60 pints of cream packed in snow outside the back door. There are only so many ways a family of four can enjoy the luxuries of fresh cream, and I knew that if we didn't do

something with it in the next few days, the luscious bounty would go to waste.

That's when some friends from my yoga community suggested I turn the cream into clarified butter, or ghee. Ghee is made by heating unsalted butter until it clarifies into its separate components: lactose (sugar), milk protein, and fat. Over a low flame, the moisture is removed, and the sugar and protein separate into curds

Everything got quiet, and the bubbles were clear. The aroma was lovely, like croissants that sink to the bottom and are later discarded. What's left is rich, sweet, nutty ghee—a substitute for butter or oil in any recipe. With its high smoking point of up to 485 degrees, it's perfect for frying and sauteing. Its robust flavor makes it a great seasoning for everything from oatmeal to rice, steamed vegetables, and curries. It's delicious spread over any type of bread. And it's lactose free and easy to digest.

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