Saturday, November 16, 2013

Homemade Butter

OMG, I made butter from scratch (hat tip to Crunchy Chicken Cooks blog for the inspiration). Who knew it was so ridiculously easy?! I think I am much more impressed with myself than the situation calls for because when I proudly told my husband, he said "oh yeah, I think I did that in school when I was 10" ...hmmmm.

Anyway, I was super proud of my homemade awesomeness...and the butter was delicious! The by-product - buttermilk - can also be used (pancakes or scones, anyone?). Making butter is like a science experiment in a jar and would be a fun project to do with kids as well because it is so easy! Plus it was fast and you get to see the results in less than 30 minutes.

how better to enjoy fresh butter than on a toasted English muffin!

Directions: pour some heavy whipping cream into a mason jar and start shaking. And...that's it! (Well, that's almost it.) Before you start shaking, let the heavy cream sit at room temperature until it reaches about 60 degrees. I used about 1 cup of cream, but didn't measure.

Depending on the temperature of your cream and the vigorousness of your shaking, your butter will be ready in 20 or so minutes (mine took about 15 minutes and then some additional time at the end pressing the remaining liquid out).

I realized this would also be a super easy way to make a small amount of whipped cream, as it reached whipped cream stage in just a few minutes.

After about 6-7 minutes it looks like clotted cream (yum on a scone!).

very tempted here to stop, save, and make scones

After about 5 more minutes, you can see the buttermilk has separated out and it's starting to look like...butter!

I was so excited that it was really working...I am making real butter!

At this point - when the butter has separated into a large ball - pour out the buttermilk. And then keep shaking.

shake, shake, shake a bit more

After about 5 more minutes, it will look much more smooth and butter-like (below). At this point, pour out any additional buttermilk and dump your butter into a bowl.

so impressed with myself at this point

Using a spatula, smoosh the butter against the side of the bowl to get out any remaining buttermilk (you can see a little pooling there at the bottom of the bowl).

nearly done

When no more liquid is released, you're done! Are you as excited as me?

my butter and buttermilk

I scooped the finished butter into a ramekin, covered with plastic, and stored it in the fridge. It made about 1/4 or 1/3 of a cup but didn't last long.

creamy, pale yellow...beautiful!

Bye for now...

Apropos of Nothing

Just a few photos from the last year that I thought were worth posting.

My sweet cat, Asta, died this summer from feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). It was very sad, not only because it normally only affects kittens and she was 6, but also because we basically had to watch her die and there was nothing we could do about it. Our veterinary clinic, Arlington Animal Clinic, was really wonderful though throughout the 5 weeks or so from when we got the diagnosis until she died. And after Asta died, they sent us a condolences card signed by every person in the clinic. It was very sweet. Anyway, here is a picture of her in better days, before she got sick. She was the sweetest, kindest kitty. I miss her.

sweet Asta

This praying mantis was waiting for us one day on the screen door of our back porch. It was super cute and patient and let us take a ton of photos, including lots of close-ups.

quite the surprise when I went outside

I'm ready for my close up!

This photo is from last winter. Beautiful icicles glistening in the sun.

it's hard to believe these will be back soon

A bright red visitor from this summer. It's definitely a male and I think it's a "Northern" Cardinal. So pretty!

cardinal on a wire

up on the roof, checking out the birdfeeder from afar

feeling more comfortable, coming in to see what's for dinner

I think he spotted me through the window

just hanging out...

poised to fly

These photos are just some close-ups of condensation on a wine glass.

the light coming through the glass was so pretty

a drop runs down the side

My sister-in-law and niece made this cute origami animal zoo.


Bye for now...