Have you ever made homemade butter before? Well, if not you are in a for a treat, because that is just what we are talking about in today’s Happy Homesteading post.
I can remember when I was in Kindergarten our teacher bringing in some cream, adding it to a little baby food jar and giving it to all us to shake until it magically turned into butter. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, and apparently I haven’t changed much since my Kinder years because I still think it’s the coolest thing ever!
As you might know I like to throw some old pictures from my families old photo albums into these Homesteading posts so here are a few old ones for you to enjoy of cows on the farm. I don’t know who these kids are in the pictures, but they are probably related to me in someway.
MAKING HOMEMADE BUTTER
I wanted to try and use unprocessed milk straight from a cow like they did back in the pioneer days. I know there is risk involved with not using processed milk (things like bacteria and such) but I also know the homesteaders from long ago drank it right from the cow. How were they able to survive with all those bacteria I wonder? Secretly I went around at first asking if there was some local dairy farmer that would allow me to sneak some gallons of unprocessed milk, but nope! It’s against the law. Bummer. But then I went to LocalHarvest.org and found out that there is one local dairy farm that sells to my local Yoke’s grocery store. I can actually buy RAW milk if I wanted to and they sell cream too. Woo hoo! The problem? This stuff is expensive. Can we say $6-$10 per gallon? Yep. But this is a local rarity, so I am excited to have it if I want it for making butter and cheese.
I purchased this little 8 oz. bit of cream for us to make butter with made from Pure Eire Dairy.
Since I don’t have any babies around for using baby food jars, I just used one of my snapware containers instead.
I decided this would be fun to do with the my two smallest kiddos, hoping they would really enjoy shaking the jar and watching how it all works. Boy was I wrong. They liked shaking the jar for about 20 seconds before they said..”I’m bored… I don’t wanna…and other whiny type words. ”
It was about 4 minutes of mostly me shaking it when it started not moving inside the container. So I opened it up and found we were at the whipped cream stage. Sorry, I know my pictures are horrible, my camera was acting up I think.
So we put the lid back on and tried to shake it more, but nothing was happening. So we started banging the container on the counter instead. All of a sudden the kids decided they wanted to bang the butter too again, which was nice because my arms were really starting to hurt.
We did this for about 5 minutes until there was a little bit more of a thunking sound when we hit it against the counter.
Here is was after about 10 minutes of total shaking – we had homemade butter!
I used my handy-dandy flour sack towel to line my colander and started smushing out the liquid buttermilk.
I really should have kept the buttermilk for pancakes or something. But I forgot to put a bowl underneath and it went on the counter. The flour sack was soaked with buttermilk too.
I’ll bet the homesteaders/pioneers didn’t waste the buttermilk (hanging my head in shame…) 🙂
And here it is – homemade butter! I covered mine with saran wrap and put it in the fridge. We used it to make apple crisp that night and it was divine. All in all, making butter was a fun experience! But I don’t think it is cost effective. I should do the math….okay I will.
From what I have read you can usually get 2 lbs. of butter and 2 quarts of buttermilk from a gallon of cream. At Costco you can get 1/2 gallon of whipping cream for around $5.79 or so. So for a gallon of this it would cost $11.58 for 2 lbs of butter and some buttermilk. If I cut that in half it would be $5.79 for 2 lbs of butter and at Costco you can get butter at around $2.00 per lb. So making your own butter is not cost effective. Maybe if you had your own cows or goats it might be though? But seeing how I don’t have my own dairy cow I don’t think I will be buying whipping cream to make it myself much, it’s just too expensive.
I someday might have my own dairy cow if I am able to have my country dreams come true. Hope you enjoyed today’s adventure in Homesteading…it’s fun learning these skills.