No store bought butter beats home made butter!
Especially made with healthy grass based cream!
We are still milking just a few cows in the mornings - for the pigs, calves and our consumption. Every few weeks, the boys will let the milk set for a day or two and then skim off the cream for us to make butter.
I have discovered that blenders from yard sales or second hand shops work great for whipping cream. Besides a blender, other necessary items are simply a spatula and strainer. I allow the milk to sit out of the refrigerator for 10 -15 min. before whipping.
Fill the blender canister about half full (do NOT fill too full - the cream expands during the whipping).
Turn on high and within a very short time (about less than a minute), you will have whipped cream.
Now the tricky part.... the cream needs to be fed down into the beaters and this is done VERY carefully....or you end up with this.... (revision 12/9/13 - at this point add approx. 1 c. of COLD water and the "feeding of the cream into beaters" is almost eliminated)
After another short time, the cream will separate into buttermilk and butter solids...
(from starting time til butter solids are formed it usually takes about 3 minutes)
Drain off the buttermilk - which may be saved for baking or drinking, however, it is not cultured like boughten buttermilk so it won't work to use in cheese recipes. After we drain, we pour COLD water in canister and blend again. This "washing" process speeds the removal of the buttermilk from the solids. We "wash" the butter twice. (Removing as much buttermilk from the butter solids as possible is important to prevent spoilage.)
Butter is then dumped into a strainer to await it's massage appointment.
After all the beatings the poor butter goes through up to this point, it now deserves to be massaged. This is done by taking an amount and massaging it back and forth between fingers til the liquid is removed.
We then put the butter into a bowl and add salt to taste and sometimes herbs, like parsley, dill, and oregano.
1 cup amounts are measured out and shaped into balls and put into freezer.
The 3 musketeers usually help with this project and it can be interesting! Usually some kicking and butter slinging takes place, mixed with a bit of complaining and then of course greasy hands, equipment, table, sink and floor. On this day, we quickly started this project before the kitchen was actually cleaned up from breakfast! Talk about a mess! We had it! And as soon as this mess was cleaned up, we had 3 laundry baskets of broccoli to do! Crazy, but rewarding day! And the boys had home-economics! :)
Grammom and Grampop showed up to deliver some firewood right when we finished up with this butter making process. The boys realized that they could be dismissed to help Grampop unload the truck and Oliver breathes a sigh of relief and said, "finally, something manly to do!"
So, if it is such a mess, why do we make our own butter? I do ask myself that same question sometimes (actually many times, especially when I go to the grocery store and know how easy it would be to buy it), but when I taste that creamy yellow butter and know exactly where it came from, I know that we will do this again - in fact in about 2 weeks.
Until next time......