Friday, July 24, 2009

Making Real Butter

So, for the past month or so that we've been getting our raw milk I've been shaking the cream back in. We needed the extra fat, in a readily assimilatable (check it out, I created a word!) form and I was just plain lazy. A few days ago I decided that it was time to start making butter instead. I skimmed last week's gallons (two) and got two pints of really nice, thick cream. Think about that, each gallon had a pint of cream on it! And one of them wasn't even a full gallon. I love those cows!
On a side note, butter from GRASS-FED cows is an excellent source of Vitamin A and it assists in the conversion of beta carotene to vitamin A in our own digestive tracts. The beta carotene from the grass is converted to vitamin A by the cow and excreted into the milk because babies cannot make vitamin A at all. Considering the diet of the typical American, y'all need more grass-fed dairy in your diets. Good stuff it is!
Anyway, here's my process for making butter. Actually, I sometimes make the kids do it by shaking jars but that's only when I want them to be busy for awhile. :-) We even have a song for it: "Shake Shake Shake
Shake Shake Shake
Shake Your Butter
Shake Your Butter!"
Sorry, got a bit sidetracked there. Now, on to MY butter-making:


This is the second pint. You can see the line of cream at the top of the milk.



Two pints, ready for butter-making. This is very close to the color of the cream. The pure white cream that you buy in the store isn't naturally how it should look. Yellow cream comes from the beta carotene in the grass that happy cows eat. But not necessarily in California.

Taking a whirl in the food processor. I used to use the blender but the cream gets too thick and makes a pocket above the blades, thus preventing the formation of butter. I like the food processor better cause it holds more and it's faster.


This is the butter and butermilk, separated. I haven't added any colorants to it and it really is this yellow. Again, the beta carotene does this to it.

separating the butter and the buttermilk. I might give the buttermilk to Carol so she can make me a buttermilk pie. Or I might make buttermilk pancakes or buttermilk waffles? The possibilities are endless! I let the butter drip for awhile and then went to my next step.

This is the butter, floating in a bowl of cold water. I work the butter while cold water, from the faucet, rinses the extra buttermilk away. I can't save it all! You work the butter in cold water so it doesn't melt and stick to your hands, and you have to knead all the buttermilk out so the butter doesn't develop a rancid flavor. I worked in some salt after this, in the food processor but I forgot to get a picture.

Finished butter, in a pint jar. I got almost a pint of butter and a pint of buttermilk. Not bad for a day's butter-making.

Later,
~Pam

3 comments:

Andrea said...

Mom rolls her eyes at Dad's butter consumption. She bought some creamy top milk in Olathe that had been pasteurized but not homogenized and tried to make some butter. But it was in a milk jug and when you pour it out the cream gets stuck in the handle. Plus at $5 a gallon vs. $2.50-$3.50 at City Market plus the cost of butter it's better to just buy it. How much do you give for the milk or do you have some barter thing going?

alaskan arndts said...

The milk that we buy is raw, unpasteurized and unhomogenized. We get it the same day that the cows are milked. It's $6 a gallon and we get two gallons a week. Next spring my cow will give birth and we won't have to pay for our milk anymore!!
An idea that we thought of last year but haven't had the chance to implement this year is, putting the milk in a tea jug. The kind with the spigot. If you shake the milk before you pour it then the cream gets mixed in and it doesn't get stuck in the handle. Let it rise again in the tea jug. Use the spigot to get all the milk and then you have ALL the cream to make butter with. I shudder to think what you mom is eating instead of butter (margarine?! ugh) and I'm glad my smart uncle is at least eating real butter.

blondevue... said...

That is impressive Pam! I think I want to try it someday, it looks really neat, and SO much better for you!
Thanks for doing a step by step for us. :)
Good to see you and the girls when I was there. I will watch the video's tonight from the house.
Love,
Tori

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We're a family that came to Alaska in shifts. We've been here since 1995 and don't plan to leave any time soon.

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