Friday, April 10, 2015

The Homestead Kitchen: Making Butter

My "new" old Dazey one gallon butter churn. This dates from about the 1920's, and I bought it on ebay. It doesn't appear to have gotten much use. The wood paddles were pristine, and all the workings were in excellent shape.  It is the original jar also, labeled "Dazey".  I love this thing.
 I thought you all might enjoy taking a trip back in time and seeing how an old fashioned hand butter churn works.  This was my first time using this churn.  I made butter before, using my electric blender.  This hand crank butter churn was easier, and I think, faster to use.  The total time (not counting washing up) was maybe 20-25 minutes, but only about 12-15 minutes of churning.

We are really blessed to have several local dairies which sell raw milk and raw cream.  So I bought two pints of cream for this small batch of butter.

 After maybe 7 or 8 minutes of easy churning, you can see that the cream is already beginning to separate.
 A few more minutes, and now it looks like butter and buttermilk.

 I poured off the buttermilk (if we had pigs, they would love this.)  I tried to make some "chicken cheese" by adding a bit of lemon and vinegar to this to curdle it, but it was still too thin.  Probably because I had also added a bit of the first wash water.  Anyway,  next time, I will know to curdle this before I add any more water. It is a healthful food for any animal. My dogs would have lapped it up for sure.
 After pouring off the buttermilk, I added some cold water to start washing the butter.  You want to get out every trace of the liquid, or the butter will go rancid in storage.  Wash, churn a couple times, pour that out, then do it again.  Use cold water for the rinse.
 After a couple rounds of rinsing, the butter was too hard for the churn to move it, so I transferred it to a bowl, and used this wooden spoon to work it, pressing out any more liquid. This is the last rinse with cold water, and you can see the water is clear.That's what you want to see... clear water, not milky.

Once the rinsing was done, I added salt to the butter, and put it in this half pint jar  to store in the freezer. By the way, butter doesn't expand when it freezes like a liquid might, so you can fill the container all the way to the top. The rest was put into another jar that I kept out for use right now.