52 Homesteading Skills in One Year – Project #10: Making butter
Most people would make butter on their kitchen counter. I made mine crouched on the living room floor. This is where I have been preparing most of my meals over the last few weeks because there aren’t any power outlets in our kitchen, which now looks like this…
The home renovation fun has begun. This is a fantastic time to start tearing your home apart – a couple weeks before Christmas when all your holidays guests will soon be arriving for dinner.
Now you may be thinking: Why don’t you just tear the whole thing down and put in a new kitchen?
But what fun would that be? What I really mean to say is we can’t afford to do that because we’re still saving for chickens, beehives and fencing, which will all hopefully arrive on our farm this spring.
So we’ve had to get creative (I mean cheap). We’re giving the old kitchen doors a mission-style look with free pallet wood. The pallets will have a few nail holes and notches, but this only adds character, right? And did I mention the wood was free? We’re covering them with Annie Sloan‘s chalk paint in a cheerful mix of Florence and Old White.
I love this coppery green colour, but it’s a bit on the bright side so we’ll only be painting the bottom cabinets. The top will be coated in Old White.
We’re going to leave the doors off of the uppermost cabinets. Not only will this add to the kitchen’s farmhouse look, but it will help open up the tiny space.
The inside of the cabinets have previously been painted, but it’s not easy to clean and the paint is chipping so we’ve started retasking some click flooring to make the base and have begun to add wood paneling to hide the cracks and dents in the old walls. By the way, when I say “we”, I really mean my hard working husband, Jérémie.
Another interesting feature of our kitchen is the stove. It is located in the hallway. So while we’re boiling water and opening the hot oven, our children almost meet their demise on a regular basis as they whizz past. So we’ll be tearing down a couple walls to incorporate the hallway into the kitchen and make the overall room more spacious.
I’m also hoping for a backsplash, a new sink and lighting as we complete phase one of our kitchen renovation. Stay tuned for before and after photos in another post
Now about that butter…
How to make homemade butter
2 cups heavy cream or whipping cream
1. First, you’ll need room temperature whipping cream. Pour your cream in your mixer leaving enough space at the top so you don’t have cream splashing all over your floors… um, I mean your counter. To give you a basic idea, I used two cups of cream in my Vitamix blender.
2. If you are also using a Vitamix, turn the dial to variable 3. Within a few minutes the cream will have thickened to whipped cream. Continue blending. You’ll have to stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the container with a spatula every few minutes until you see that the mixture has started to “break” and a delicious pool of buttermilk has formed. Pour off the buttermilk into a jar and save it for buttermilk pancakes.
If you don’t have a Vitamix or blender, you can also make butter by hand. I tried this method when the kids were bouncing around the kitchen asking to “help” make supper. Simply put cream in a jar and tell them to shake it until clumps of butter start to form. This activity will keep them busy for at least 10 minutes if you’re lucky.
Thankfully I don’t have to make butter by hand. I’ve got my trusty Vitamix to do all the work for me.
3. Rinse the butter under cool water and then hand squeeze any remaining buttermilk. Otherwise, your butter will quickly go rancid. If you don’t like using your hands, enclose it in cheesecloth and twist one end until all the buttermilk has drained out.
4. You don’t have to salt your butter but it does help preserve it. I dusted mine with some fancy pink Himalayan salt and hand mixed it in. You can then shape your butter however you like. I filled up a mould and popped it in the freezer. Once frozen, it comes out easily. If not, run it under warm water for a few seconds.
I can’t wait to serve this rich and creamy homemade butter at Christmas alongside sourdough bread. Maybe. I’ve been trying to make sourdough and so far it has been a complete and utter failure. Actually, it was supposed to be last week’s post. But I’ve literally shelved it in my fridge and moved on to making butter, cheese and emergency candles.
Although I’m pretty good at completing these homesteading projects, writing and taking pictures of them is a different story. But without someone like you to make me accountable I don’t know if I’d actually make it to the end of this challenge so I’m very, very thankful for my 85 readers… er, I mean millions and millions of followers.