I often find myself with large quantities of cream in the refrigerator- I like to make cakes and cobblers for family gatherings, and don't like to make frosting. Whipped cream is perfect! But what do you do when your freezer won't hold an ice cream freezer, and you have 3 or 4 cups of cream left over?
Make butter, of course!
You can put cream in a jar, and let your kids shake the wahooie out of it. You can put it in a food processor (but it won't hold much.) Or, you can do it like we do- in a stand mixer. Let that cream beat on high- it will turn to whipped cream, and get stiffer...and stiffer...and stiffer...and you'll start to think, after about 10 minutes, that something is seriously wrong. That's when you hear the sloshing- throw a towel over the top and let that baby run. When all the buttermilk has come out, scoop up all the butter you can and mash it into a ball to squeeze out more of the buttermilk. When you can't get any more liquid out, dunk the butter in a bowl of very cold water and start mashing it around in your hands to get all the buttermilk out. Rinse in more cold water, until the water runs clear- milk left in the butter will quickly turn rancid, and will burn if you try and cook with this butter.
Now you can spread it on toast, cook with it, or freeze it for later! (And that's a lot more than can be said for the about-to-expire 3 cups of cream that used to be in your refrigerator.)
Oh, and save the buttermilk- it's good for drinking and baking! (This is not "cultured" buttermilk, though- it's butter-y tasting, not sour.)
(For reference, my 3 cups of cream got me a grapefruit-sized ball of butter, and a tumbler-full of butter milk.)