Saturday, July 7, 2012

Make your own Butter!

Have you ever made your own butter?
The kids and I have learnt how to do it  in the past few
weeks, it's fun, so I thought I'd put together a post
 to show you how.
We've had a few goes at it, with success every time
and it was only today when we were doing it for the purpose of taking photos for this post that we had a little glitch.
But I'll get to that.

A couple of months ago I found this old butter churn
at my Mums', stashed away somewhere, and it
found it's way back to my house where it became
a part of the house decor.
Because that's how I like to decorate.
 With old household utensils.

Just a little while after that we were at a fair
 and saw one being used to, you guessed it, make butter.
Hmmm, I novel.
 Butter churns......not just for
 putting on show in your house?

This is the churn I'm talking about here.

It's a real beauty, heavy duty, made in England. Not sure where my Mum got it from, I'll have to ask her.

Ruby was keen to get on with the butter making
over the school holidays so I started googling and came across
 a super simple way to make butter without having to
 have an actual butter churn. I've since found out this is something that many other people did as kids but it's all new to me.
With just a glass jar, your cream, and a coin
 (I've been told some people use marbles),
 you can shake, shake, shake that cream into butter.
I have a stack of these glass jars, as seen below,
 and I use them for 101 different things.
 But I won't be using them for butter making again.
You'll see why in a minute.
(I boiled that coin before sticking it in the cream,
just incase you're wondering)

So today, we did both churning
in the jar and churning in the churn.
 Here goes.
We leave the cream out of the fridge for a couple of hours
 before we start. I believe there is a specific temperature
that's best for butter making, but I also read that 'room temperature' would cut it, and that was good enough for me.

Cream in, and get your little helpers in position.

If you're on the jar,
then shake, shake, shake.
 And keep on shaking.

The kids got bored quickly this time around, and swapped over.

Clary got more bored.

Then he got his second wind and went nuts.

Now before the wheels fall off this whole production I'll give you a quick run down on how it had worked for us previously.
Cream in jar, coin in jar and shake, shake, shake.
When you start out you can hear that coin
 going from one end of the jar to the other.
Clink, clink, clink.
Then, as the cream thickens right up,
you can no longer hear the coin for a minute or so,
 it's not moving as freely as it was at first.
All of a sudden you'll hear it hitting the ends again as the butter separates from the butter milk.

Not the case for us today.

Here is Clary giving it his all.
 At that point I took over the shaking of the bottle.

And this happened.
Ah, I think I shook it too hard.
The coin broke the bottom of the bottle.
Butter everywhere.

Now, I was thinking 'thank god Clary wasn't shaking it, lucky I was doing it' yada, yada, yada......but honestly, I've convinced myself it wouldn't have actually happened if it had been the kids shaking it. Because they really don't shake that hard.
But you never know.
I would do this again in a glass jar.
 But I would be absolutely certain that it was a very thick glass.

I'm not going to cry over spilt butter right now though, let's keep going with the butter in the churn.
After churning away for, I'm not sure, about 10-15 minutes, the cream has separated, we have butter.
It looks kind of like scrambled eggs to me.

Butter, and buttermilk.

The buttermilk is drained off, put it aside, you can have buttermilk pancakes in the morning.
Below is my jug of buttermilk, with the butter still in the churn waiting to be washed.

Cold water is used to wash as much buttermilk as possible out of the butter. Pour your water in and churn, drain and repeat.
I wash it 3 or 4 times.

Clary doing a bit of washing for me.

At that point, after it's final drain, it's looking somewhat like this and is ready to be 'worked' with butter pats to get any excess liquid out.

I don't have butter pats yet (my Mum has those too, just need to snaffle them off her), and in all my googling,
 I didn't have a whole lot of luck getting much to give you
but I did find this image here which shows you what they look like if you don't know what I'm talking about.
They can also be used for shaping the butter.

From here on in, after the exploding butter bomb, the kids have pretty much abandoned me and I'm on my own, so the pictures get a bit dodgy.

To help rid my butter of its' moisture I stick it into some muslin and just kind of let the excess liquid come out on its' own.
If you were to try and squeeze it out I'm pretty sure
you'd just squeeze all that butter through.
I'm sure there's a better way, but I'm not a perfectionist for this activity, and this is good enough for me.

You're done, you have butter.

1 comment:

casso said...

So great! I wish I'd thought of this during the holidays. Definitely something for next weekend though. Will also remember to have a recipe on hand for buttermilk pancakes too. Yum!