Man have I been missing out.
Here's a fascinating article about a woman named Diane St Clair who runs a small farm in Vermont. She hand-produces butter for certain select chefs at high-end restaurants. And the price of the butter? A staggering $49/pound!!
The funny thing is how astounded the writers of the article are about the process of hand-making butter. I mean wow -- this butter is RARE AND PRECIOUS because Ms. St Clair milks JERSEY COWS then HAND-CHURNS the cream then KNEADS IT BY HAND to WORK THE FATS (actually, the hand-kneading is to extract the buttermilk so the butter doesn't go rancid). She "produces just 100 lbs of butter a week, ten months of the year, making the product EXTREMELY RARE AND PRECIOUS."
Um, how do I tell these reporters that hand-made butter is in rural areas is pretty common? I can list at least five other people (besides us) who make their own butter. By hand. Usually from Jersey cows. And that's just in our little neck of the woods. It's really not that big a deal.
However I genuinely admire the entrepreneurial Ms. St Clair for marketing her butter to upscale consumers. I'm serious -- my hat is off to her for realizing there's a market for "rare and precious" butter. Kinda wish I'd thought of it first (although there are certainly enough upscale consumers that there's room for competition, I suppose).
Besides, anyone who cares for her critters as much as she clearly does has my deepest admiration. This is the kind of relationship homesteaders and their livestock so often have -- gentle care and genuine fondness. Good for her.