My ministry of cooking, canning, growing, and sharing!

My ministry of cooking, canning, growing, and sharing!

Three years ago we bought a small farm with ten acres. The property had a mucky creek on the South side that was covered in raspberry brambles and poison ivy. The back six acres were so overgrown that I couldn't make it half way through the first pasture. There was mud, 10 foot tall weeds, about ten million ground hogs, and a house with "fabulous" 80's wall paper on EVERY surface. I looked at this property and my mind was spinning with possibilities of what I could grow, raise, and even forage off this little plot of land. My husbands mind, who was standing in nearly the exact same spot, was spinning with the thought of how much work he had ahead of him.

From my Farm to my Kitchen is a way for me to share my stories, recipes, failures, and successes. It is a way for me to tell you how sharing with others has opened the flood gates for abundant blessings, new friendships, and great lessons.

We have fought to "take back" parts of our property that had been swallowed by willows and scrub trees. My husband has suffered the wrath of the evil wood emperor, Sir Poison Ivy and our five children have worked tirelessly to help with chores like, "go get Mommy some basil" or I KNOW there's a Morel out there, GO FIND IT!

Please enjoy this glorious adventure with our family. Learn the lessons that I stumbled over, take the great recipes that I share and leave the miserable ones. I am hoping to write each day but you never know if the kitchen or the laundry monster will get me!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The butter bowl

One of my MOST used tools in the kitchen, lately.  A gift from my friend and one of the more beautiful pieces of history that I own.   Here is a brief history of butter making that I found on a Wisconsin Cheese site.

For years, butter production was an individual home activity. Cream was mixed in a container to form butter lumps. As the butter became thicker, the liquid buttermilk was drawn off, the butter washed and removed.

When the washed butter was removed from the churn in the olden days, it was placed into a "butter" bowl to be weighed. Paddles were used to remove the butter from the flat wooden bowl and to shape butter balls. Or, the butter was placed in a specially designed mold, usually a family's treasured possession, or formed into rolls or blocks. If the butter was to be stored for later use, salt was worked into the mixture and the butter packed into molds or tubs and stored in water crocks in the family well.

I don't have a "family well" so I usually package mine up for the freezer.  My butter bowl has been a wonderful tool in creating fantastic butter for our family.  I've also discovered that the more I use it, the more beautiful it becomes.  

Things I've learned about butter making...
1.  Cream turns quicker when it's not as fresh.
2.  Butter is a wonderful vehicle for carrying flavors.
3.  Making butter is messy.
4.  There is NO substitute for "real" butter.
5.  Butter love honey :)
6.  First cream, then whipped cream, THEN butter!
7.  True butter milk is very different than skimmed milk with culture.
8.  Butter leaves buttermilk, and buttermilk, heated, makes cheese.
9.  Making good butter is a lost art.  Making bad butter is easy.
10. There is only one molecule difference between Margarine and plastic.  

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