Thursday, August 21, 2008

Failed Sour Cream & Real Butter

Not all attempts work the first time we try them, but it is only more encouragement to keep trying! A beautiful example: This was our first attempt at making sour cream. We used our raw milk, or rather the cream from it, and cooked it for a bit, then blended in some of our (traditional) buttermilk. This is it, sitting out to age. It tasted different than store-bought, that was to be expected. What wasn't to be expected was that it never thickened up like we had hoped. Hmmmmm. A dilemma to be sure! But, all was not lost ~ RANCH DRESSING PACKETS TO THE RESCUE!!! And, viola, we made a beautiful, homemade, raw ranch dressing. The taste truly was amazing.

And now, here's something we hope you'll really like: REAL BUTTER!!
On the left you will see a partial stick of butter. I bought it at our local Co-op, and while not organic, it really is a very good quality butter from a respectable creamery. On the right, my homemade butter, made from the cream of our delicious, Jersey-cow, pasture-raised, raw milk. Historically speaking, one could always tell the quality of the butter by just how yellow it was. Any questions?
Ok, I think I heard one - how do you make butter?? Well, it is a merciless sport to be sure! First, start with raw milk and seperate out the cream into another container (I use a 1/3 measuring cup for this). The cream is thick and heavy, when it gets watery looking you're not getting cream! Once you've got your cream, well, here is what I do: 1) I pour it into my KitchenAid mixer and attach my whisk attachment. 2) Start to whipping the daylights out of the cream. Here is where you show no mercy!! ;) 3) You're cream will soon become whipped cream (yes, this is where it comes from) ... but don't get too excited!! ~ Be mean & cruel and keep whipping that cream till it breaks down! Don't give up, you're almost there! 4) Soon, you will have mastered the cream (hee hee) and it will suddenly begin to split ~ with the butter beginning to clump together & buttermilk shooting out. 5) When I say "shooting out" I mean it, so turn down your mixers! 6) Drain off the buttermilk - you want to get as much of it out of your butter as you can. Sometimes if I plan on adding ingredients, I will attach the paddle attachment here. Save the buttermilk, it is great in recipes! 7) Now that you've gotten the buttermilk out, you can add any extra ingredients to your butter that you'd like: salt, honey, garlic (though I wouldn't advise the honey and garlic together, but you may be weird like that and if you are - go for it, I won't judge!), strawberries, various herbs and so on. 8) I like using little metal molds for my butter as they freeze well and it is very easy to pop the butter back out once frozen.
So, there you go, how to make butter. *Note - if you have buttermilk left in the butter it will increase the rate at which it spoils. I've never had any butter that lasted long enough without being eaten to go bad! Now, go find yourself a nice cow and get to milkin'!!


Patrick said...

I am somehow relieved that you used a kitchen aide. I had visions of a churn! whew. I wonder if anyone ever sells fresh butter to the co-op?

Patrick said...

Ohhh sorry. I am signed on as my husband. This is the Lisa that made ya blush. lol

Carrie and Justin said...

Ha ha - and here I was getting extra blushy since I thought a guy was impressed with me making butter (and using a Kitchen Aide!) ha ha j/k
When we first made butter it said to fill a mason jar approx. 1/3 full with cream & shake it like crazy till the butter & buttermilk separate.
This sounds like a good idea, kinda like that ice cream ball you see for sale (we have one of those too!). But it is amazing how quickly "shaking vigorously" tires you out!!! WOW!! I would try a churn if I could find one that wasn't too expensive (I usually have to hunt around antique malls).
I don't know about the Co-op, but I think I've seen some wrapped up butter that looks more homemade. You can't sell raw milk products legally in VA. We get raw milk because we own part of the herd, so we're not buying anything, just collecting the milk our cow gives out. So, any dairy products you buy are going to be pastuerized. bummer :(