Is there nothing better?
I don’t think there is.
Salted. Unsalted. Mixed with herbs. Mixed with honey.
You name it, I’ll eat it. YUM
Despite my ongoing love affair with it, and my constant claims to be the next Paula Deen, I swear to you here and now that I don’t use butter nearly as much as people think.
It got me thinking, sure, I cook and bake all the time. I usually make things from scratch, I rarely use food from boxes or packages. I use pure ingredients like butter, whole blocks of cheese, and loaves of artisinal bread. But then I got the idea in my head – what if I MADE those pure ingredients myself?
After reading Urban Homestead (Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City) by Kelly Coyne and Eric Knutzen, a book which my darling roommate brought home for me from the library, I realized just how simple it is to make butter, cheese, bread and so much more all from a home kitchen.
I mean, duh, of course those things are easy to make…a home kitchen is where they all started and those kitchens didn’t have industrial sized mixers and ovens. Shocking, I know. I think that living in today’s society and in a city especially creates a real divide between these old practices and the modern cook. It’s been my mission this summer to bridge the gap in my life, and I am now ready to share everything I’ve learned with you all.
So I’m starting with the most basic, butter.
1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream, at room temperature
Glass quart jar with tight fitting lid
Salt, if you want salted butter
What to do with it:
Pour cream into jar, fill a little less than halfway. You’ll have to do this in two batches. So why not use a bigger jar? Because you might not be able to securely hold a bigger jar in your hands
Screw the lid on, make sure its really closed
Shake until your arms feel like they are gonna fall off
Shake up and down, side to side, between your legs, over your head. Your choice, get creative. Make it a workout, put on some music, shake to the beat. This is your opportunity to get creative, churn to your heart’s content. Don’t let me down folks!
Seriously, I think that anyone trying to lose weight (or not gain weight) but who still wants to eat butter should make their own. I swear you will burn more calories making it than there are in the amount you will consume! Should I patent this butter workout idea? Probably, huh?
When you first start shaking, the cream will make tons of noise sloshing around
After 3-5 minutes of shaking, it’s gonna stop making noise. At this point you have made whipped cream (minus the sugar)
Keep shaking, you’ll start to notice the cream clumping and sticking to the sides of the jar. You’re almost there
You will know you have butter when you start hearing sloshing again. About 7-10 minutes in, if you make butter with frequency after this, this sloshing noise will be your saving grace, the finish line at the end of a race
Take a look inside the jar, you should see a big ol’ clump of pale yellow butter surrounded by a bunch of milk (buttermilk, to be more specific)
You’ve made it, my friends
Next you have to do what’s called “washing” the butter to remove any tiny pockets of buttermilk still trapped in the ball of butter – this step is VERY important. If you don’t wash the butter, the little buttermilk pockets will sour and spoil your butter
To wash, take the butter and run it under cold water gently squeezing and pressing the butter in your hands
Per pint, I would say a sprinkle of salt is sufficient – no more than 1/4 teaspoon
Note: This buttermilk is not the buttermilk you buy in stores. This is authentic buttermilk and it is delicious. It’s basically milk with teeny tiny flecks of butter still left in it. I love using it in my coffee especially.
As cliche as it sounds, homemade butter just tastes better than store bought. It has an unadulterated fresh butter taste that I have never before tasted.
Since discovering the ease of butter making it has become my party trick of sorts, as I suspect it will become for you. If I’m going to my friends house to make dinner, I make a point to pick up some heavy whipping cream and impress everyone with my suave churning skills.
This is the butter you will want to use in simple recipes