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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bullets And Butter

 Well, mostly butter.

I'm planning on making a dent in the California wild pig population in a couple of months.  I've got a buddy that reloads his ammo.  He got tired of hearing me bitch and moan about how I was having a difficult time securing enough .308 for one of my rifles, and offered to teach me how to make my own.  After a bit of haggling, we cut a deal.

I was over in his garage building cartridges, and he decided to use his time more efficiently than watching me while I worked one of the machines.  He went inside, grabbed a one quart mason jar, filled it a bit over half way with heavy cream, and proceeded to make butter.

I'll be damned if he didn't have a glob-o-butter in about a half hour!

So, today, I bought a couple quarts of heavy cream to attempt to repeat his act.  Success!  It's crazy-easy, and I swear, it tastes WAY better than the store-bought stuff.

I followed his lead, and filled a quart mason jar about half full - a bit less than he had done.  And then I started shaking.

And shaking.

And shaking.

The cream goes through a couple of stages on its way to becoming butter.  You first get a weak whipped cream.  Then a stiff cream.  At this point, you don't hear or feel a lot of stuff sloshing around in the jar.  After 20 minutes or so, the cream "breaks" into butter and skim milk.

You then pour off the skim milk, and shake some more.  Repeat as necessary.  Here's the view from the top -

You take the blob of butter and put it into a bowl.  There's still milk in the butter, and if you leave it there, it will make the butter go bad more quickly.

Add cold water to the bowl of butter, and start mashing the blob with your hands.  The water will go cloudy.  Pour that out, and repeat until the water stays clear.  You'll then end up here -

I then took a wooden spoon and mooshed everything around some more.  The butter will "leak" more water and milk.  I just used a paper towel to sop it up.  When done, I ended up with just under a pint of skim milk, and 13.7 ounces of butter!

I returned the butter to the stainless bowl, added 1/2 tsp of salt and mooshed it around some more.

Holy crap, what awesome stuff!

Still, I'm not sure it was worth the effort (other than knowing I can now turn cream into butter - not a bad skill to have).  Forty-five minutes, all in.  So, I went to the Internet and found a couple of sites on making homemade butter (Seriously, there were 240 MILLION entries on Google.  Am I the last person in American to make his own butter?)

One that caught my eye used a KitchenAid mixer - my second favorite appliance (right after my sausage stuffer).

I poured the cream into the bowl, attached the balloon whisk, and turned it on.  Medium speed to start - until the cream frothed up a bit - then I cranked it.  After about two minutes, I turned it off to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Two minutes later, I did the same again.

After about 7 minutes, I had this -

If you look closely (click it to enlarge), you can see the separated skim milk at the bottom.

Boo-yah, baby!  Butter in 7 minutes!  I just followed the same steps as with the post-jar manual process (cold water, etc.), and ended up with exactly the same amount of butter....

Which posed a bit of a problem.  I now had over a pound and a half of butter.  In a household that eats about a quarter pound every two weeks (hey, I'm an olive oil kinda guy), that's a lot of butter!

So, I decided to make some of it into a compound butter.  These are just butters that have other herbs and flavors added.  I was going to make a seafood butter with some dill weed I had picked up for an upcoming pickled bean project, but decided to go more generic.  I decided to just make a parsley and garlic butter.

I took 4 cloves of garlic and smooshed them into a paste.  I added that to a half pound of the salted butter, and about half teaspoon of dry parsley.

I laid out a sheet of plastic wrap and plopped down the butter mix -

I rolled up the butter into a tube about the height of a silver dollar -

That was then wrapped up in aluminum foil, and wound up pretty tight so I'll be able to slice off nice medallions of butter.

I figure the garlic butter will work with fish, chicken, beef and pork.

Speaking of pork, here's a little bullet porn that will be used to acquire those chops-on-the-hoof - 


Mrs. Chief Instructor just got home and went nuts over the butter.  Two thumbs up!

And yes, I AM the last person in America to make his own butter.  My wife proceeded to tell me that her 5th grade students make butter in baby food jars every year.

At least I'm ahead of most of the 4th graders...

Copyright 2013 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


suek said...

I like butter. Store bought works just fine. I don't deny that fresh made is probably better, but I'm okay with packaged.

Butter keeps for a pretty long time - but if you want it to last even longer..freeze it. It slows down the oxidation process that causes it to go rancid.

By the husband was watching _something_ (???) that suggested that if you had a major power outage, you could stick a piece of cotton rope into a can of Crisco and it would burn for xx hours. Why Crisco? Probably because it's canned and keeps almost indefinitely on the shelf.

My husband is _not_ a prepper...but I thought that was an interesting piece of info. I hadn't thought of it - but it's pretty simple!

Ah. I had something to do with the OK tornadoes ... our daughter lives in the OK City environs, so it was on our minds.

Chief Instructor said...

Sue, it was weird. I was doing it to learn a new skill. I've got to tell you, I was amazed at the flavor and mouth feel difference. I doubt I'll be making all of my own butter from here on out, but I will be making it from time to time. Cost-wise, it was about a wash, when you compare the cost of the cream with the cost for a pound of butter and pint of skim milk. For me, it's a false comparison, though. I HATE skim milk! I hope I can find a recipe to put it in before it goes bad.

suek said...

pancakes maybe???

I like Krusteas - you only have to add water - so skim milk might do the trick.

suek said...

Cheese?? If you're feeling more about cottage cheese or maybe vinegar cheese??

One of the things you have to watch out for is the fact that due to the fact that our milk is pasteurized, we don't have lactobacillus present. You can't let milk sour - because it doesn't really sour - it spoils. There's a difference. Cottage cheese is pretty easy, though. I made it once or twice - and was surprised by how much salt I needed to make it taste like"real" cottage chese...

Can't say I practiced much, though.