Thursday, February 5, 2009

Homemade Butter

Many's the time I have heard it said that you can't make butter in a blender. Don't ask me why!
To do a little myth busting, I'm here to inform you that is the only way I've ever made it!

We get fresh milk locally, so I make some of our butter. (We like to use our milk whole most of the time, thank you!)
I have a very convenient set-up right now, but use what you have, I'm sure it will work fine.

Start by skimming the cream off the top of the milk. You can see in the top left photo about how much cream is there.
I use the Magic Bullet (as seen on TV) and the amount off of one gallon is just right. Use the flat blade to whip it.
(I have used a number of different makes of blenders over the years, they have all worked.)
It takes about a minute. First the cream whips. You have to work with it a little bit once it's whipped cream,
but all at once the milk and butter separate. Use a spatula to press the butter into a solid lump.
Pour the buttermilk through a strainer into a jar. (Catch the flecks of butter that way.)

Next, using clean hands of course, knead the butter under a stream of cold running water. This washes the butter.
Keep on till all the milk is worked out. I've noticed if you don't wash it enough, the butter gets old faster.
After, it's washed, start adding salt. It's amazing how much salt it takes to get it tasting right!
Yes, you read right! The only way I know is to taste a pinch! The taste is awesome!
A world away from what store-bought butter tastes like!

Now here's a little account of what I call "fresh evidence". You know how little things happen that spell out to you that God knows and loves you, personally!?! Well, I had seen and admired what is called a "butter bell" at Lehman's Hardware. It is supposed to keep butter fresh and at a more spreadable temperature. The only problem was, it was pretty spendy and I didn't know if I would actually like it and end up using it much. Plus... it had a green and pink flower or apple or something on it that was nice, but just not what would look good setting in my kitchen. No big deal... I just thought of it once in a while... should I, shouldn't I?

Then one day as I browsed the shelves in our local Goodwill store, what did I see, to my amazement, but new in the box,
the little gem you see right here. Needless to say it went right in my cart! I think God had my name on it.
Simple BLUE lettering, and it gives me pleasure every time I look at it! Thank You, Lord!
The lovely part of it is, the amount of cream from one gallon of milk (Brown Swiss) fits in the Magic Bullet cup, and the usual amount of butter just fills the bell! (1/2 cup) I like to just make that much at a time so it's very fresh. My dear hubby feels horror almost, at the thought and smell of sour cream butter. (No offense to you sour cream butter lovers!)
This is very simple and quick to make and is especially worth it when you have fresh bread or cornbread to serve it on.
Remember, this is raw butter if you used raw milk, and will not keep long.
You can make bigger quantities and freeze what you don't use in a day or two.

Now, about the buttermilk...
I put a little store- bought cultured buttermilk in it as starter and leave it set on the counter to thicken up a bit. If it's warm, overnight is fine. I have not yet figured out how to turn it out successfully, consistently, so if you have any tips, please help me out?
The recipe I use for cornbread is tastiest when made with buttermilk, so I like to have it on hand.

One last tip...when using fresh butter... slather it on thick enough to see your teeth marks in it when you take a bite,
(At least a spot big enough for one bite!) because simple pleasures are the best!

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