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Monday, June 20, 2016

Super Easy Butter-Making Without a Butter Churn

If your images of making butter are like mine, they involve someone sitting with a large butter churn in front of them and spending hours there, just churning and churning.  I'm remembering an episode of The Waltons where Mary Ellen churns with book in one hand and complaining about her life to her mama and grandma.  One of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, Farmer Boy, also stands out in my mind because Almonzo Wilder's mother was always making butter to sell.  But today's post will show you that making your own butter can be simple, easy, and requires no equipment other than a jar with a lid, and a marble.  Even the marble is optional.  Here's what you do...

Simply skim the cream off the top of any refrigerated milk you've collected over the past few days (non-homogenized, of course.)  If you left the milk uncovered in your refrigerator, the cream is even easier to skim off.  Just make sure you don't shake the milk up first or the cream will mix in with the rest of the milk.  We typically have over a quart of milk each day, and 3 days worth of cream is typically enough to make butter.  Put the cream in a small Mason jar or jelly jar or even a cup with a tight-fitting lid.  Add some salt if you like salted butter.  You can also add some herbs like dill or chives for added flavor.  Then I place a marble in the jar because it helps me know I'm shaking vigorously enough, and it lets me know when the butter is getting thick.  Put the lid on the jar and start shaking.  This is when a number of children in the house come in handy.  We take turns shaking while we read a book or watch a movie.  After about 30-45 minutes of vigorous shaking, the cream has turned into whipped butter.  Then refrigerate.  We make ours with raw milk, so it needs to get used up in about 4 days.  It's so good that using it quickly is never a problem. 


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