Monday, August 06, 2012


By Julie

omg. I think I might need to become Amish. Or a sister wife. Quit my job, forget my ambitions, forgo my goals, and live like it's 1842. Some generically old date. I'll garden, preserve, pickle, smoke, dry, cure, take my turn at animal husbandry... yeah, and churn some freaking butter. With my handheld antique butter churn. Boy is it cute.
Too lazy to ⌘T my way to finding out if I mentioned this in my last blog post; I just started a raw milk share from Ebert Farms (careful, there's a cow mooing noise on that page. Horrible.). Last time I made whipped cream with the cream. Dangerous. Gone in one serving. This time I decided to make butter. I have some long dead distant relative's old butter churn that's just like half-assed decoration in my kitchen and I decided to put it to use. You can use a hand mixer, but pff (no, don't worry I will support your use of a hand mixer if you don't just, ya know, have a butter churn lying around). *Update: my favorite friend Samantha and my fellow blogger bud Danielle from Paring Down Looking Up both mentioned that you can just shake the shit out of cream in a (sterilized, of course, if it's raw cream - let's be safe here) mason jar.
It's hot here. Like nearly Grand Canyon hot. But no Grand Canyon. Just a brick oven house and some adorably hot cats. They lie around like dinosaur fossils. I should try that, too. Instead, I always find some way to slave away in the kitchen. Churning butter, as the case may be. It just makes me more rustic and hard scrabble. Sister wives don't lay around like dinosaur fossils. They've got way too much technology to shun.
I didn't let the cream sour a bit. Maybe next week's share I'll do that. Or, I'll make just straight sour cream. Then next I'll make slightly soured cream butter. So many cream options! Now I have buttermilk, too. I aspire to make buttermilk buckwheat pancakes. I sprouted some buckwheat groats, but they've now just been sitting in a bowl in my fridge for a few days. Too much stuff to do. I still haven't moved my suitcase back down to the basement. I can't even believe what a disaster I am. I don't know where time disappears to. Cat Vortex. Churning butter.

1. Bring the cream to room temperature, but not the room temperature if your house is a brick oven. That would boil the cream.

2. In a hand mixer, blender, jar, olde tymey butter churn or what have you, work the cream past the point of whipped cream. You will start to see the fat separate from the buttermilk. It'll start with small granules, then begin to clump together.

3. When you're at the clumping phase, pour off the buttermilk into another container. I poured mine through a strainer - an olde tymey cream skimmer, actually; everything else was dirty.

4. Put the butter hunk into a medium sized bowl. Pour like a half cup of water into the bowl. Using a spatula, moosh around the butter in the water to wash it. You're trying to get all of the remaining buttermilk out of the butter so it won't go bad. Drain the water and repeat until the water stays clear.

5. Add salt to your butter now. I actually salted the cream before I started churning, but it might be preferable to salt after, so that your buttermilk isn't salted. I don't mind that mine is, because I like my pancakes on the salty side anyway. In any case, if you salt afterward, salt to taste.

And of course, there's a world of possibilities with compound butter. I'm about to go eat a roasted sweet potato with a big pat of this butter. Do it.

This was originally posted at my blog, the crankin' kitchen!

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