Tag Archives: raw milk

Better Butter

First, I’ll allow you a moment to recover from the shock of me posting two days in a row. When I get the chance to “steal” my girl child’s computer to do some blogging, and I actually have something to blog about, I take the opportunity. And this is a post I’ve been wanting to make for a couple years now.

It’s no secret that I love butter. I’ve mentioned fresh butter several times in my postings. I’ve even talked family members who were over for dinner into helping  to make butter (once, even a sister’s ex who only dropped in to see their daughter and wasn’t even staying for dinner helped to make the butter). I don’t always make my own butter, but if I’m making a nice dinner or yummy bread, I like to have really great butter to go with it. More than once, people have said things to me along the lines of “You know they sell that at the store, right?” and “There are easier ways to make butter than that”. “I know” is pretty much my response to all of the comments. So, would you like to make your own fresh butter? You just need one ingredient, one “tool”, and a little muscle (or several little muscles with the help of some kids)

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Pour 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream into a chilled 1 quart jar with a tight fitting lid. If you have access to fresh, raw milk and the cream that comes from that…well, I’m jealous if you do, but… it will make an even creamier, sweet, beautiful butter! Screw the lid onto your jar. Make sure it’s tight. It is important to not fill the jar all the way. Half-filled is perfect. The cream needs room to move around and do its thing to become butter.

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You can shake the jar yourself, or if you have some bored teenagers roaming around like I do, you can hand them the jar. It’s a tiring job, so usually more than one person and some turn-taking will make the task a little easier. I’ve set kids up in a circle on the floor and let them roll the jar around between them, but that takes longer (although, it keeps little ones entertained for awhile, if you need an easy activity for them!).

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You will know when the cream is turning into butter because it will start to kind of “thud” against the side of the jar. And once that starts to happen, keep shaking, as hard as you can (I almost always have taken over the task from the teenagers with tired arms by this point and finish it off myself), until there is a mass of butter and the liquid has separated. That’s buttermilk, by the way. Save it and use it in some pancakes, or Breakfast Cookies.

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Pour the liquid off into a bowl (or into a clean jar to store for later use, in the fridge of course), and spoon the butter into your favorite butter dish. Mine is a French Butter Dish I got from a friend’s shop last year.

There you have it, fresh butter. One ingredient, and a wonderful treat for topping for your favorite breads, and anything else you love topping with butter!

And now, my dear friends, family, and blog-readers… I must go. The battery on the girl child’s computer is near the end, and Red Widow is on. Have you started watching this show? Oh, you should! You really should!!!

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Filed under Cooking With Love, Recipes, Sauces/Dressings

Journal. 8.11.2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It was hot today as I ventured into the garden to see what would await the dinner table. I found:

  • tomato plants heavy with fruit which has yet to ripen
  •  eggplants that I am beginning to wonder if they will produce any fruit at all (though the leaves are a gorgeous deep purple now, making me smile)
  • corn stalks that I am proud to say we started from seed and are now growing nearly as tall as my 13-year-old girl child
  • potatoes, oh so many potato plants (I will definitely be sharing those crops!)
  • and there… at the back of the garden is where I find the night’s treasure

The zucchini has been slow to start, but I am so proud to report that we snipped 2 zucchini from the vines, each about 4 inches long. We also snipped several blossoms, including the still-young zucchini they were attached to. And oh my. The flavor! Intense, bright flavor! I experienced tonight a flavor explosion so great that I may never buy zucchini from a store again (ok, that’s probably not true, since we don’t have a long growing season… but it will never be the same).

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Well, that was fun… but I haven’t kept a journal in many years, and don’t expect I’ll be starting again now. So, what triggered that journal posting? Simple… I shared my productive day with friends & family via a Facebook Status Update that read:

WOW! Productive day! After work I set the raw milk out with yogurt culture (yes, making my own yogurt! Go Me!), clipped the first of the zucchini (2 of them) off the vines, along with a few of the blossoms & snipped some chives. Put together a quiche with our fresh veggies, then used the remaining chives and some leftover buttermilk to make a fresh ranch dressing…..

Two of the replies that followed:

Patty said: Little House on the Prairie!!

Daniel said: I feel like you should be on one of those survival TV shows…. where they are left out in the middle of a forest on a deserted island…. you’d probably whip up some German Chocolate Pound Cake from roots, bugs, and moss… idk how, but I’m sure you’d find a way lol

Those replies made me wonder what it would have been like to live “On the Prairie” (which, by the way, I don’t remember ever watching the show… but perhaps I should…) or try to survive on a deserted island. I would surely keep a journal then, right? Well, this blog from That Cook Girl is as close as you’ll find me to journaling. So, enjoy… and check back soon because I’ll be sharing my experience with making yogurt (which I will then turn some of that into cream cheese)… and I’ve got some amazingly wonderful ideas for using up an over abundance of eggs (no, I don’t have chickens, but many of my friends do… so I get eggs. I’ll share my garden crops with them).

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Filed under Cooking With Love, Garden, Journal

Market Chatter

Saturday morning has quickly become one of my favorite times. It means a trip to the Farmer’s Market. A place where it seems everyone is happy, from the vendors to the visitors, kids and even the dogs. A friendly place where you can visit with anyone you happen upon. Even the lady with hair longer than mine seemed happy to talk about hair for a bit– My hair, for those who may not know, is down to my waist. This lady’s hair was about mid-thigh! I commented to my sister that I was jealous of the length of the lady’s hair, and she pondered “I wonder what kind of shampoo she uses?” And then asked her! Me? I would never have said a word, but my sister is not shy about those things. We had a fairly lengthy (pun kinda intended) discussion about tips for growing long hair before moving along to finish our shopping for our dinner salad.

This was my sister’s first trip to our market. She lives 4 hours away, and was in town just overnight, and today I was travelling with her, back to her home, along with my boy and girl children for their week at camp down “in her neck of the woods”. So, since she is kind enough to let us stay in her home overnight before sending the kiddos off to camp, I wanted to make a contribution for dinner. I knew I wanted to pick up some tomatoes, and needed to walk around a bit to see what else we might want to add. Although we only ended up picking up the lettuce and tomatoes from the market, it was a very enjoyable and worthwhile trip.

I always like to talk to the vendors I’m buying from. They are full of information and tips, and when they get to know you from stopping in regularly, they can even make recommendations for you. Today I was picking up some lettuce from one of my usual stops and she pointed out a speckled lettuce in the back of the display. Having turned me on to arugula previously, I trusted her and added it to my bag. (And, I have to say, we were very pleased with this decision!) And do you know what else she had today? She had a flyer for a local farm selling Raw Cow’s Milk!!! I’m thinking about getting a drop off site set up in my town if I can find enough people interested. It only takes 20 gallons every 2 weeks to get the drop off site set up. Just 1 gallon a week for 10 families! Let me know if you’re interested or have questions. The benefits of raw milk are amazing (click the link above for more information on raw milk). I’ll share more of my thoughts on raw milk and other real foods, but not tonight. No, tonight I am just rambling about my miscellaneous kind of day at the market.

 

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Filed under Farmer's Markets, Journey to Real Food