Making Butter

>> Thursday, January 15, 2009

Growing up we had cows, or a cow, and always had lots of milk, cream and our own homemade butter. My mother had a big Dazey churn which would hold 2 or 3 quarts of cream.

images I can remember turning the crank until the butter formed and it became difficult to get the paddles to move. There were times when we had only a small amount of cream and it was hardly worth getting the churn out, then we used the method that Connie and I employ now. And, that is putting the cream into a quart jar, filling it only about half-full and then shaking it until the butter forms.

Jan  7th 003 The whole process begins with skimming the cream off of the milk which has sat for 12 to 24 hours in the fridge. Sometimes the jars of cream maybe kept for a day or two before making butter. When we are ready to make butter the jars of cream are set out of the fridge to warm up.

Jan  7th 004 Pictured here on the left are 4 jars of cream sitting on the table near the wood burning stove warming up. If the cream is cold it can be whipped but it won’t make butter. If it is warmed up to about “room temperature” it takes only a very few minutes of shaking for the butter to form.

Jan  7th 007 As can be seen in this photo the butter has formed. However, the process is still incomplete. The buttermilk must be poured off (and can be kept for cooking—buttermilk pancakes, etc.) and the butter washed. If any of the buttermilk remains in the butter it will allow the butter to become “strong” in taste and will smell bad. Generally it takes several washings with cold water to wash out the milk.

Jan  7th 018 The butter needs to be “worked” to remove all of the moisture. In the picture on the left you can see that Connie is using a butter paddle in a bowl. We don’t have a wooden butter bowl but this bowl works well. Moisture that is worked out is poured off. Toward the end of working it there will be small “beads” of moisture that appear. They can be removed by dabbing them with a dry paper towel. The lump of butter can then be formed into a usable shape. One can purchase a butter mold but we don’t own one so it will be shaped using the paddle or put into a small dish of some kind.

Jan  7th 019


Anna January 16, 2009 at 6:23 PM  

Yum! I just made some rolls today that could use some of your butter. Wanna bring it over?

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