Saturday, November 22, 2008

Butter and More..

Good morning world! And it really IS morning as I write this. 6:43am to be precise. I just thought I would get a jump on things and say hello this morning before we pitched in for work. Today is a "stay home" day. This means that we go nowhere and work on the cabin. YAY! We have just about 1/3 or so of the insulation done, and I would love to have more finished by tonight. If I am really lucky I would love to have all the walls done, but I am also very practical and know that we will probably have quite a bit more to go at the end of today. The roof will present especial difficulty for us as Hubby is the only one that can get on a ladder. Both because we don't have that much room, and also because I don't do heights.

OK. I promised for the instructions on how I can my butter. (All the usual disclaimers apply. If you get sick, kill someone through the use of, or go insane, it's not my fault. Deal with it. This process isn't USDA approved. Why not? Because they haven't tested it and if the USDA hasn't tested it, then it must be dangerous for you right? NOT! New zealand has been making and selling canned butter for more than a generation, and people here in the states have been doing this for a long, long time too. I use this butter exclusively now that we are here in the cabin and hope I have enough to last until summer/spring, then I'll bite the bullet and use the propane to make more.)


1 large, heavy stock pot. You want it heavy and large.
7 lbs of non-salted butter
1 long spoon for stirring said butter
14 or 15 clean (sterile) jelly jars, with rings and NEW lids
1 ladle
1 wide-mouth funnel
about 6 hours of time


With me so far? Ok, this is what you do. Put stock pot (heavy made and large, right?) on stove, and fill with butter. Unwrapped from package of course. Turn on your butter to medium or medium high heat. You want it to come to a high simmer. STIR this a lot. The LAST thing you want this to do is to scortch, if you scortch it then your done, toss it and start over. And since butter is so expensive, use some patience and keep it stirred.

Once the butter is all melted, stir it and let it simmer and be all bubbly for about 25 minutes. Well, you could simmer it for less time, but the more you let it simmer now, the less time it will take you later with the shaking step.

After your 25 minutes is up, using a wide-mouth funnel, and ladle, put your butter into your HOT and STERILE jars. (prep jars and lids just as you would for jelly.) Leave about 3/4 inch of headspace, you'll need that for shaking. Put on your lids and tighten on your rings.

Walk away for about 20 minutes or so. You'll hear them all start popping like any other canned goods, this is a good thing. Smile to yourself when you hear that ping, it's your butters future.

After about 20 minutes come back, pick up each jar and give it a good shake. Yup, you heard right... And SHAKE. Then put that jar down and do the next one. Now it gets really tedious. About every 5 or 10 minutes you need to come back, and shake each jar. As the butter cools the milk solids settle to the bottom while the fat (grease? also called GHEE), comes to the top. You want these to be evenly mixed in your butter. Shaking the jars does this.

When the butter is so cool you can't shake it anymore, pat yourself on the back and enjoy the 5ish year long shelf life of your canned butter! Label it with what it is, the year you made it and remember to rotate the oldest that you made to the front of your cabinet as you make more. Give it as Christmas gifts or in baskets of bread to new neighbors. There is nothing quite so good as opening up a jar and smelling that rich buttery smell for your toast or cookies. (Note: the taste of this butter is a little different than fresh butter, it smells and tastes like melted butter, even when it's right out of the jar. Some people expect it to be exacgtly the same as fresh, so if you were expecting that it could be a surprise.)

End of instructions on butter.

I have about 15 or more jars of butter with us up here, and each jar is about 1 and 1/2 sticks equivalent of butter. We've used about 1/2 of our first jar so far, and we have been here about 16 days or so.

Ta for now. Enjoy your butter.

Mistress Treehaven

No comments: