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It’s Like Butter, Baby!

OK, it’s not like butter, it is butter and we made it ourselves this morning! Thanks to the easy directions Crunchy Chicken provided on her cooking blog, were able to make butter from heavy whipping cream in about 20 minutes.

Although I bought the cream with the intention of making butter this weekend, I hadn’t planned on making it first thing this morning until we woke up and saw that it was 14 degrees outside. With the chances of us getting an early start on the yard work somewhere between slim and none, I put some Belgian waffle batter in to rise. Then I started thinking: the only thing better than home-made Belgian waffles is home-made Belgian waffles with home-made fresh butter.

So we grabbed an empty Mason jar, poured the cream in, and started shaking. It really is as easy as Crunchy Chicken’s directions say it is and in fact it took us only about 20 minutes of shaking (Matt devised a way of rolling it on the floor once the whey started separated that I’m pretty sure made it go faster!). Anyhow, you can absolutely make this in the mixer or food processor, but we wanted to make it by hand the first time to really see how the cream goes from whipped cream to butter so we’d know what to look for when we made it by machine later.

And the results are magically delicious. We added just a little bit of salt and we both agreed that this is the best butter that we’ve had since living in Europe, where the time from cow to toast is much smaller than it is here in the US.

This has gotten me thinking. One of my declared goals for 2008 is to cut down on processed foods. We’ve already been making yogurt for about the past 6 months, I’ve blogged about my mozzarella adventures, and last week I made granola good enough to permanently dispense with boxed cereal. Butter isn’t really a heavily-processed food, not when you compare it to what’s out there like Twinkies and Moon Pies, but it was so easy to make and so much better than the store-bought stuff, that I think I’m going to have to seriously consider adding it to the list of home-made goodness.

Oh, I’ve even added a category in honor of this new make-your-own kick! Who knows where this will lead?!?

8 Responses to It’s Like Butter, Baby!

  1. Crunchy Domestic Goddess

    ok, you’ve convinced me i need to try this myself. :) i just added a quart of cream to our order from the dairy. fun!

  2. Crunchy Domestic Goddess

    er, i mean a pint. i don’t want to make go overboard. ;)
    btw, those waffles sound delicious!

  3. Mom

    I want the recipe for the butter as well as the granola and yogurt!

  4. Nicole

    Oooooo!! I’m glad you did it! I have about a half gallon of cream sitting in my fridge and I’ve been meaning to make butter…but I was afraid it would take too long or be too much work! Now you’ve inspired me to just do it already ;)

    Do you think there’s another use for the whey, or does it just need to be tossed?

  5. Nicole

    Ignore my last question…I just finished reading everything in Reader and saw the post myself so now know the answer :)

  6. Julie

    According to some, you can use the whey to water your tomatoes since they love the extra calcium (and it can prevent several fairly common tomato diseases!), but so far, I’ve just either made ricotta with it (after making mozzarella) or saved the butter left-overs in hopes of making something that requires buttermilk.

  7. Corrina

    You can substitute whey in most bread recipes where water is called for or add it to the water when soaking beans. Whey can also be frozen.

    I hear they’re using whey to feed dairy cattle now, too, so perhaps you could save it and take it back to your dairy farm. How’s that for recycling?!? ;)

  8. Jess

    I’m so glad someone I know is doing this stuff, because I think you are the kick in the bootie I needed to finally order a cheese-making kit and start the dairy experimentation. And what better time than March when I’ve only just begun to plant seeds and there is nothing to preserve or water yet!
    Oh, a comment on Corrina’s last whey comment… maybe this is more like breast feeding, but it also seemed like it might have mad cow potential… I think the bread or tomato methods leave me less conflicted.

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