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Adventures in Making Butter

Now that I am not working, I have tried to cook more at home.  My son exposed us to a wonderful source for grass fed beef and now we are hooked.  Most every week we purchase a basket of fruit and vegetables from Bountiful Baskets.  The next step was using organic or raw milk.  These are two different animals.  Organic milk is available at my local grocery store but has gone through the same processes as the non-organic milk.  I think the source of the milk (cows taking milk enhancing drugs etc) is the main difference. But the organic milk has still gone through processing.  Another choice is raw milk, also available at a dairy close to my home.  Raw milk is fresh from the cow, except it has been refrigerated.  That means that the natural cream in the milk rises to the top of the carton.  Now for my problem:  I only drink skim milk and have for ages.  Anything richer taste like pure cream to me.  It is easy to make raw milk into skim milk - simply remove the cream from the top of the milk.  Raw milk is expensive and I just could not stand to waste any part of it.  What to do with cream?  OK, we use butter - in limited quantities.  I can make butter!

I started researching making butter.  I found sites where you could make butter quick and easy using a stand alone blender.  I don't own one so what else do I own that I could use?  I have a Vitamix mixer.  I got on the Vitamix site and actually found a recipe for making butter.  I'm in business.  The only thing I didn't own was a mesh strainer to stain the butter from the leftover buttermilk.  A quick trip to the kitchen store at the outlet mall and I'm ready to go.

Can you see the cream that has risen to the top of the milk.  There are special machines that separate the cream from the milk but a helpful person at the dairy gave me a tip.  She said that if I poked a hole or two in the bottom of the milk jug and removed the cap, the milk would drain out the bottom, leaving the cream in the jug.

I used an ice pick to poke a couple of holes in the bottom of the jug and let the "skim" milk drain into my gallon jar.  The cream that remained in the jug was dumped into the Vitamix.  OK, in 10 minutes (according to the recipe) I should have butter.  I followed the instructions to the letter.  No butter.  I let the mixer run longer and longer, and still no butter.  Running in the mixer for that long, the cream became hot.  Back to the internet.  I read stories where some people went to bed at night and left their mixer running and it would take a day and a half to make butter.  How could this be?  When I taught mother's day out, we made butter using whipping cream in baby food jars.  AND we did it with the attention span of 4 year olds.
Not willing to give up, I took a tip from Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.  Old school could be better.  I poured the cream into a jar and started shaking, and shaking.

This is the result of my butter adventure.  I have a little less than a gallon of skim milk.  I have a container of butter.  Look how bright yellow it is.  The buttermilk left in the small jar will be used in baking.
The next time I purchase raw milk, I will use the old school method - and be done closer to that 10 minute mark that Vitamix promised.

Butter

From what I have read, the color has to do with what the cows eat. If they eat green grass, the butter comes out yellow. What I made does not have anything else added, not even salt. Commercial makers of butter add food color to make it yellow.

I have made a lot of butter

I have made a lot of butter in ball fruit jars! I do not remember heavy or whipping cream coming out that yellow!

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