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Buttering Myself Up

So, NO more store bought, unsalted tubs of fat for me.

Lately I’ve had an itchin’ to be in the kitchen. So what do you do when you’ve got an itch? You scratch it! However, since I’m no culinary expert, no epicurean chef, not even an experimental cook, I turned to (or should I say churned to) making something that has only one ingredient — butter. I LOVE butter, and ever since a doctor told me that eating real butter (in moderation) is way better than margarine, I have used only real (store bought) butter.

However, things just got really “real”, in that I hand-churned my own butter! Yeah, who knew that if I whipped cream long enough, it would turn to butter?!? So, NO more store bought, unsalted tubs of fat for me. I now know that all I need is a carton of cream, my giant whisk, some major elbow grease, and whatever extra additives I happen to be craving at the moment.

Why leave something ordinary if you can make it extraordinary?

Rosemary Garlic Butter

Rosemary Garlic Butter — the final product

This time I used rosemary and garlic, and took a ramekin of it with a baguette to a dinner party where lamb was the main dish. Next on my list is dill butter, as I am a fish fanatic, and have generous neighbors who have more dill than they can shake a stick (of butter) at. Then, maybe a citrus pepper butter. I’m thinking of using a popular fruit here in Japan called Yuzu for that one. I mean, after all, my motto has always been: why leave something ordinary if you can make it extraordinary? So, here’s how I did just that with a carton of cream, and some garden clippings!

Only one ingredient: the "cream" of the crop

Only 1 ingredient!

Start by pouring the heavy cream into a mixing bowl and whisk away! First, the cream will turn into whipped cream with soft, then stiff peaks. Keep going until the cream separates from the butter . Suddenly, the solids will cling to the whisk and the liquids will collect in the bottom of the bowl. When making butter by hand (instead of an electric mixer), this takes about 20 minutes. Once the butter has solidified, pour off the the buttermilk and save it for baking. It’s perfect for pancakes tomorrow morning!

Separate lives

Separate lives – butter and milk

Next, rinse the butter by pouring ice water over it and kneading out the remaining buttermilk. Keep rinsing and kneading the butter with the ice water until the water runs clear. Now, it’s time to butter it up — add some salt and herbs and work them through the butter until every ‘pat’ will have a pinch of flavor. Then, scoop it into a bowl, tub or ramekin and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.

Voila, it’s the churn of the century! At least, for me, it is!

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Sabrina Hamble June 13, 2014, 1:28 pm

    My Mother taught 3 yr olds for the majority of her teaching career. As one of their activities every year, she took those 10-12 little tikes downstairs into the church kitchen and they made butter! Then they had it on saltines for their snack. Delicious Simplicity or Simply Delicious! Either way you look at it, the outcome was Yum!

    • Kristina June 14, 2014, 2:19 am

      After reading this post, my own mother told me that she used to make butter as a kid by using the “jar shaking” method, and love doing it. So, why did I just discover this at 50 years old? Did your mother ever make butter with YOU when you were a child?

  • Sabrina Hamble June 14, 2014, 3:25 am

    Absolutely! We also dyed Easter eggs, cut and decorated Christmas cookies, made homemade donuts out of canned biscuits, play dough out of bread rough and we filled many a May Day basket! Advantages to having only a part time working Mother. Those are “things” that can’t be bought.

    • Kristina June 16, 2014, 9:17 am

      YES! YES! YES! All good ideas for kids’ crafting. Even with a full-time working mother, I got in on all those things too! She just somehow let the ‘butter slip through her fingers’. That’s okay, there are many other things we shared that cannot be bought!

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