A vintage cookbook gave lyrical instructions for making butter. I'm not sure I could make butter from the poetic description from 1864, but it's fun to read. And because I do know how to make butter, I was able to understand the author's appreciation for the maiden in the verse.
And broad, by the sweet hand of neatness clean'd,
Meanwhile, in decent order ranged appear,
The milky treasure, strain'd thro' filtering lawn,
Intended to receive. At early day,
Sweet slumber shaken from her opening lids,
My lovely Patty to her dairy hies;
There, from the surface of expanded bowls
She skims the floating cream, and to her churn
Commits the rich consistence; nor disdains,
Though soft her hand, though delicate her frame,
To urge the rural toil, fond to obtain
The country housewife's humble name and praise.
Continued agitation separates soon
The unctuous particles; with gentler strokes
And artful, soon they coalesce; at length
Cool water pouring from the limpid spring
Into a smooth glazed vessel, deep and wide,
She gathers the loose fragments to a heap,
Which in the cleansing wave, well wrought and press'd,
To one consistent golden mass, receives
The sprinkled seasoning, and of pats or pounds
The fair impression, the neat shape assumes.
A Poetical Cook-Book (1864).
I think I can simplify butter making for you. And though my instructions may not be quite as eloquent, I do think they are a bit more understandable.
If you haven't made your own butter, it's something you need to try. It's easy to make, and doesn't take much time. All you need is some good heavy cream, skimmed from whole milk. If you purchase whole milk in the store, either look for raw milk or non-homogenized whole milk. Pasteurized milk will work, but not homogenized. If you can't locate a farm or store with whole/raw milk, then heavy cream will work as well.
Pour the cream into a mixing bowl (any amount, I used about 2 cup, 1/2 quart cream). With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until butterfat begins to form. Pour off the buttermilk, continue to beat to remove more of the liquid. Pour off any remaining liquid and scoop up the butter and rinse under cold tap water until the water runs clear. Place the butter in a butter crock or butter dish, add a pinch of sea salt if desired and stir in thoroughly.
NOTE: The butter process takes about 10 minutes. The cream will go through stages of whipped cream, cottage cheese and then butter. Wait until you see the butterfat start to form and see buttermilk in the mixing bowl. The results are almost instant for your own homemade butter.
NOTE: I did not salt my butter, but a pinch of sea salt will bring out flavor you are accustomed to. My butter tastes sweet, not salty. One thing you will note is that the butter is a pale yellow. This is the natural state of the product. Some commercial butter has a colorant added to it to give it the deeper yellow color. You can purchase the butter colorant if desired. I have seen it sold in the baking or spice section of some grocery stores.
NOTE: Butter can be made with sweet or cream that is souring. Sour cream butter will have a different flavor from sweet butter.
NOTE: Reserve the buttermilk for baking your favorite bread, biscuits, cornbread etc. Buttermilk helps baked goods to be light, fluffy and moist.
NOTE: Butter can be made with a butter churn, shaken in a jar (lots of shaking, and kids love doing this), or in your food processor/blender. I used my hand mixer, but have used a butter churn as well. With a blender/processor it will take about 5 minutes for the butter to form, but clean up is not as easy as using a hand or stand mixer. If you're fortunate enough to be the recipient of an antiquated butter churn, use it if it's in good repair and experience the hands on activity of butter churning.
Keep in the refrigerator or in a butter bell crock to keep it fresh longer.
Try your homemade butter on my Free-range Sourdough bread:
(Click the link below for a cute butter crock)
Chicken Coop Chatter© All Rights Reserved 2011-2017