Friday, June 22, 2012

Cultured Butter!

I recently learned to make this amazing treat....and can't stop!  So simple.  And so wonderful on home baked bread.

One quart heavy cream, not ultra-pasteurized.
1/4 cup of cultured buttermilk. Most grocery stores carry this.
(*note, you can also use 3-4 tbs. of unflavored active culture Greek yogurt, or a mesothelic starter culture...I like's quick and simple.)
Mix together in non-reactive pot and slowly heat to approximately 110-115 degrees.
Remove from heat.  Cover and keep in a warmish place overnight or at least six hours.
When done, it will look like very thick cream.   And taste incredible.  I usually scoop a bit of this non-churned butter into a container and spread on scones!

Put the mixture into the refrigerator for several hours. 
It needs to be about 55' to churn well.

Now, dump it all into your food processor (or your churn if you have one!) and turn it on.
It will whirr around, and then all of a sudden, it will separate....and you'll have buttermilk and butter.

Some folks wash the butter, I don't.   It's just as yummy with a bit of the liquid in it, and I find it molds easier.

You can then transfer it to a moist cheese cloth, and squeeze a lot of liquid from the butter...this will be the best buttermilk you've ever tasted, AND you'll be able to use it to make your next batch of butter...or salad dressing....or pancakes.....or or or or or!  The uses are endless and this will beat any store bought buttermilk in any race it wants to run!  So, what I'm getting at here, is don't toss the stuff out.

Once you have squeezed all the liquid out, you can add sea salt or flavoring with herbs or even honey if you like.  The butter is very soft at this stage.  

The final step is to either roll the butter into a wax paper and store in the fridge to solidify, OR you can freeze it for about three weeks.  OR, if you are lucky enough to have someone (my wonderful Mom and Dad, in my case) find you an antique butter press,  you can press the butter into a form and slice at will!

Try this!  You'll be hard pressed (I know, bad pun) to ever use store bought color added butter again!

The Mobile Garden!

Since I knew I'd be moving, 'though I had no real idea when or where, I planted my entire garden in 15 gallon pots, alongside the grow boxes and self-watering containers from year's past.  It was a large investment in soil and energy.   I could not have done it without the good-hearted people, particularly John, of Mid-City Nursery in American Canyon, California.  This business has been around for decades, in large part because of their incredible loyalty to customers, their knowledge of plants and trees, and because of John and his family.   If you are in town, I highly recommend them.   And you can't miss John....he stands about nine feet tall and has a heart to match his height.
Over the years, John and his wonderful family have helped both myself and dozens of gardening friends to create the garden of their dreams.   When I told him I was moving, he even offered a truck to help move my plants.   What a place!  Check them out.

As you can see from the photographs, the mobile garden experiment is rolling along swimmingly.  I am a bit annoyed in that in hindsight, I could have probably planted the entire garden and still been fine in terms of moving, but I didn't want to risk having to leave behind all my hard work.

I'm hoping for a large harvest....time will tell!


Amazing how the time does fly.   I updated that last post, but it was actually written close to a year ago!

I've been busy packing up the farm the last several months, and it's been quite an arduous task.

Of course, since I had planned on moving MUCH earlier this year, and of course, since that didn't happen, I had to plant my entire garden so that it would be mobile.

All of my lovely raised beds are fallow, and so shall they remain.   I'm in the process of looking, via a tremendous and unexpected gift, for a new place to plant seeds.