Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Has The Skillz To Pay The Billz....

In addition to a myriad of talents that I possess (those of both a lover and a fighter), I now have another formidable skill to add to the mix: Butter- Maker! Or Churn Master, if you will.

That's right ladies, I'm the whole package now!

I got a recipe out of Organic Gardening magazine that looked far too easy to be true and decided to try it out. Reading the article turned out to be more difficult than making the butter. I cannot believe I made it to thirty- six years old before learning such a ridiculously simple, not to mention fun, task. Why butter is even sold in stores is beyond me now...

As God is my witness, I will never buy butter again!

Here's a fun question for those of you not in the know:

How is butter made?

1.) By the Dairy Gods
2.) In a spaceship
3.) Using ONLY fresh unpasteurized cream straight from a cow
4.) Whipping cream
5.) Vitamin D milk
6.) It comes that way
7.) 3 & 4

The most obvious answer is, to the educated mind of course, number three. For all of you bright, intelligent folks that chose answer three, you would be WRONG.

The correct answer is seven. Yes, you can use fresh cream from a cow, which makes abutter that is knows as Raw or Pasture butter and is delicious and healthy, but with a higher fat content, I'm told.

The alternative for the Urban Churn Master is to use fresh whipping cream with at least a 35% milk fat content. I got mine at Costco, which has a guaranteed milk fat percentage of at least forty and no rbST hormones.

Put about 1 1/2 pints of the cream into a medium bowl, and put the whisk adapter on your trusty hand mixer (if you just have the standard beaters, that is fine, it just may take longer). I only used one whisk for my recipe for less clean-up. The set it on low for ten minutes.

First, you will make the recognizable whipped cream but just power through and keep going. The mixture will start to look like a yellowy (is that a word?) cottage cheese. Keep going and you will see that the bottom of the bowl will have a small pool of cloudy milk-water. Guess what that is?


Pour off the buttermilk and save for delicious fried chicken or biscuits. then start to press the little butter grains together and a tad bit more milk will come out. Pour that off, too.
Now you have a reasonable facimile of butter but it will sour if you don't 'wash' it.

Since it's currently winter in Utah, washing is quite easy, due to our lovely, cold mountain water. Turn on you tap until it's frigid and fill the bowl about halfway with the icy water. Then push and fold the butter to rid it of the vestiges of buttermilk. the water should get cloudy fast so dump it out and fill with fresh water. after two or three bowls, the water should run clear and you have honest-to-goodness, homemade, delicious butter.

Just add a Little bit of salt and you have the best butter you will ever taste. I over salted my first batch and had to mix it with the second two batches to even it out.

So there you have it, a wonderful skill that, although under-appreciated on the old resume, can create in you a sense of self-sufficiency and well- being for your family. The benefits from fresh butter are far greater than just a tasty treat. Real butter, in moderation, is far, far healthier for you than any margarine, which is, after all, just whipped oil with artificial flavoring.

Try spreading some Wesson on your toast and tell me how that tastes or how your heart feels after a week of it.

Now go make your butter, young Grasshopper...

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