Sunday, December 14, 2014

Homesteading Made Simple.

Lately, I've been trying to transition from commercial products to natural, homemade alternatives. I have tons of recipes that I have gathered over the years, located on my Pinterest board, with the same title of this blog. This post highlights one of my favorite Homemade alternatives. Butter.
Now as a Northern Belle, growing up on the shores of MN, butter is a necessary commodity for ALL Minnesotan households. If we didn't have butter in our home, there was something seriously wrong. I don't recall a time when my mon didn't have the fridge stocked with plenty of butter. Or cheese. Or milk. Not that any of us drink milk (I'm lactose intolerant, and can't drink it. My family just doesn't like it). Anyways, my point is that dairy is a staple of most Northern homes, as it is in most American homes.
So! Butter! You can spread it on toast, on top of cornbread, bake with it, fry an egg with it, drizzle it on vegetables, the list goes ON. I am a huge advocate of butter. It just works the best when baking, which is something I do a lot. Recently I bought a pint of heavy whipping cream for thanksgiving recipes,  and had about 2/3 of it left afterwards. After racking my brain to figure out what to make, it came to me: I should make some butter!!
I've made butter plenty of times before, and it's the easiest thing ever. All you need is:

-1 mason jar (or old spaghetti jar)*
-flavoring (optional)
-small container
-Paper towels, or cloth.


•Start by pouring your cream into your jar. No more than 1/2 full, to leave room for shaking.

•Begin shaking! It will take you about 20 mins total unless you stop for breaks like I did. It's tough work! There isn't really a science to this, just keep it vigorously moving.

* if you are using a standing mixer it will be a lot quicker, and as soon as the buttermilk comes away proceed to steps below.

•Once the buttermilk starts coming away from the fat, stop shaking. It will go from liquid to solid to sloshing liquid with butter at the center.

•Pour the buttermilk in a separate container if you are keeping it. Take out butter and rinse it well with cold water in the sink. Turn it out onto a paper towel covered surface and knead it a few times, to dry off the butter. This is important because it keeps the butter from rotting. If it isn't dry, it will get moldy quickly. Rinse again and knead on covered surface.

•Add your flavorings (e.g. vanilla,  rosemary, honey, lavender, salt etc.) and knead again. Pat dry with a paper towel, or clean cloth.

•Put the butter into your container. Put a piece of paper towel on top of butter container if you'd like to take the butter.

Voila!! You are done! If you are giving the butter as a gift, you can log roll it in parchment paper and add ribbons on the end. If you are keeping it, it will last for a month in the fridge, much longer in the freezer.

I hope this was an easy tutorial! Come back for more great recipes.

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