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kitchen diary: march 29

March 30, 2009

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i didn’t have much time for cooking this weekend, sadly. but i’ve had my eye on the recipe for homemade butter in a book i recently purchased, the home creamery (which is brilliant – i highly recommend it). as i made my coffee this morning and before heading in to work, i decided that i could use a little stress relief. and let me tell you, this is the perfect way to blow off some steam as you shake, shake, shake some cream until it literally transforms into butter before your eyes.

so this is the deal: you get the best quality heavy cream you can find (i think regular supermarket brands will work, but your butter won’t be as tasty). the cream should be about 60°F.  put it in a clean glass jar. screw on the lid, and shake it up for about 15 minutes. this part is a great workout. all of a sudden, it will feel different – less sloshing around inside the jar – and you look, and voila! the milk solids have separated from the liquids. keep shaking until it becomes a bit more firm, and then pour off the liquid (and save for another use). add some cold water to the jar and shake again, and repeat until the water runs clear (you need to remove all of the milk liquids or else your butter will go rancid quickly). chuck it into a bowl, and use a spoon to cream the butter and churn the solids until it looks like real butter. as you do this, pour off any liquid that accumulates. when it looks good, stir in some fine sea salt, and enjoy!

it might seem a bit fussy to make your own butter, but it really feels good to make something so elemental and simple yourself. and once radishes hit the farmers’ markets again this spring, i think this homemade butter will be excellent on crusty bread with radishes and sea salt.

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also, you should check out bench monday today. join in the fun!  i think it’s a hilarious idea.

19 Comments
  1. March 30, 2009 7:24 am

    wow!

  2. March 30, 2009 7:46 am

    That looks like a great book. The kids would love to make this.

  3. March 30, 2009 9:02 am

    brian! this is fantastic! now i need to pick up cream on the way home.

  4. March 30, 2009 9:37 am

    :)
    yum.
    I remember we made butter in school when we were reading “Little House in the Big Woods” and my memory is that it took us a day’s worth of shaking to have butter! That is hilarious to read it only actually takes 15 minutes. I gotta try it, thanks for the directions.
    Happy Monday to you!

  5. March 30, 2009 10:14 am

    I just had a conversation about making butter with my Grandfather! He was the youngest of nine and this was his job. He recounts not liking the job until his mother bought something that simplified the process from a 30 minute endeavor to 15 minutes. I may check out that book; my boys would think it magical to make their own butter.

  6. March 30, 2009 11:03 am

    I have an excess of raw milk in the fridge and now I know what I am making today. ;-)

  7. March 30, 2009 11:14 am

    I made butter in my food processor last weekend and it was so great. The process will go even faster if you let the cream sit out for an hour or two on the counter.
    your photos are beautiful!

  8. Brian permalink*
    March 30, 2009 11:18 am

    thanks for the reminder, rachellake — i forgot to mention that your cream should be about 60°F before you start, or else your butter will not form. very important detail!

  9. March 30, 2009 12:28 pm

    Everything is better with butter! I think it’s time to make your own cheese.

  10. marthasnail permalink
    March 30, 2009 3:40 pm

    i used to make butter with my preschoolers. they loved it. we would sit in a big circle and pass the jar around, keeping track of how many times around the circle it took for the butter to form. and yes, bench monday is so fun. we’re all a bunch of flickr nerds. hope your day was nice!

  11. March 30, 2009 8:01 pm

    yum! and it looks so pretty in that jar.

  12. March 30, 2009 8:25 pm

    Three cheers for homemade butter – so, so good. (And the colour! Lovely.)

  13. March 30, 2009 10:59 pm

    I love simple things and this is definitely up there. Very cool.

  14. March 31, 2009 5:18 am

    we are making butter in my kindergarten class this week! i do hope that we are as successful as you. your photos capture it beautifully.

  15. March 31, 2009 8:30 am

    Yum! We used to do this when I was a kid :)

  16. March 31, 2009 1:54 pm

    loving this d.i.y. trend!

    looks like a great book. i’m checking my library right after this.

  17. March 31, 2009 1:57 pm

    shoot! one of the links was supposed to be: this .

  18. tracy110 permalink
    April 1, 2009 1:07 pm

    Great! I love that you made you’re own butter. Seeing your gorgeous pictures of the process has inspired me. Thanks!

  19. June 13, 2009 4:53 pm

    I did it!
    Superb.

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