A couple of summers ago, I called to check in on a friend of mine in New Jersey, who was taking a more-or-less enforced summer off of work. He'd spent his time traveling to Greece with his family, organizing his life, playing with his kids, but the novelty of so much free time was wearing thin. His boredom was as clear as he sighed over the phone when I asked him what he'd been up to.
"Oh...nothing. Just making butter today..."
Making butter? I pictured him sitting on an Amish stool churning away in the shade of his porch. And since I've always thought of butter-making as the sole province of women, I pictured him in a dairy maid's bonnet that matched both his eyes and his rugby shirt. I was a bit jealous of both his crushing amount of free time and the fact that he had thought of making butter before I did. I asked him where he picked up the churn.
"I don't have a churn, Michael. I'm doing it in my Kitchen Aid."
There went my fantasy. Use of a stand mixer was cheating in my book. Especially on the East Coast, where my urban, California sensibilities allowed me to imagine butter churns by the truckload were to be had yard-saling on any given weekend.