Saturday, March 5, 2011

Just call me Donna McPrairie!

I don't know why, but some 'old fashioned', old timey ways of doing things just fascinate me. In my grandmothers' day, these were normal every day chores, not things done for the joy & novelty of it. But I love to make things from 'scratch', like baking my own bread, and now I've added something new to my bag of tricks...BUTTER.

No, I don't have a cow, nor access to a cow, but on a whim, I bought some heavy whipping cream at a fair price at Sams. (I haven't figured out the price of cream = amount of butter you get vs the price of store bought butter, but some things you just do for the learning process, and joy of doing it.) I don't have a churn - but I do have a mixer...and together, it gets the job done nicely. If the mixer goes on the blink, all you need is a jar with a lid and willing arms to shake the stuffing out of it. Mama told me that's how her family made butter. Fresh cream will churn into butter much faster/easier than store bought, pasturized cream, but sometimes you just work with the things at hand. Letting the cream sit on the counter & come to room temperature will speed things along...which I learned the hard way after using cream straight of the fridge.

Here's the process from beginning to end.

Heavy cream poured into the mixer & 'churning' on low.


It's beginning to change - looks foamy & slightly thicker.


Getting thicker!

This is the whipped cream stage. Keep going! You're getting closer!



Then it changes into a grainy looking almost-buttery stage, and it's looking more yellow now. But your not there yet...so keep on churning.





Then the MAGIC happens. All of a sudden the thick buttery looking stuff seizes together & the butter milk is separated out. You can hear it change to a sloshy-wet sound.

Using a spoon, smoosh the butter together & squeeze out as much of the buttermilk as you can. Pour off the buttermilk into a container if you want to use this for baking. Keep on squeezing out the liquids from the butter. (According to my research, if you leave it in the butter will go bad sooner.) Now pour some ice cold water into the bowl & 'wash' the butter. Just keep on kneading it around to get all the buttermilk out. Pour out the milky colored water. Repeat this until the water is almost clear. It's not a hard as it sounds. Add some salt & knead it in - this is a preservative and adds flavor.











Pack the butter into a container & keep it sealed in the 'fridge. You can also freeze some for later use.

Now spread some fresh butter onto some fresh bread - inhale the splendid sights & smells of your accomplishment, and most of all... enjoy!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

That looks wonderful Donna...you are so right...some things you do not for economical reasons! Most baked goods cost more to make at home...but then you aren't getting all those "other" ingredients that you don't necessarily want. Baking is the best household air freshner!
Hugs
Vicki

Donna said...

I can't wait to give it a try!