Sunday, September 18, 2011


I have to admit, I have been in a major food funk. I didn't want to make food, I didn't want to shoot food and I really didn't want to put too much thought into what food I did want to eat. I needed a kick in the culinary pants. So I decided to do something basic. Really basic. I wanted to make butter.

butter churn

Butter is really easy to make. I've made butter kindergarten. I thought it was the most awesome thing, making butter and putting it on saltine crackers. I don't remember if we used an actual churn but the devices used to churn butter range from incredibly simple to modern day mixers and food processors. But it all begins with the cream.

shatto cream

My heavy whipping cream came from the wonderful local dairy, Shatto Farms. Now put that cream in a stand mixer or food processor (or anything that blends the cream) and turn it on.

soured cream

The cream is going to go through various stages of whipping. In the stand mixer it took about 5 minutes to get to the point where the liquid started separating from the solids. You want to drain that liquid through a strainer, thus making buttermilk. Once you've strained the liquid you need to wash your butter in cold water until the wash water runs clear.


Once it reached that stage, I put it back in the mixer and added a little salt and whipped to a nice smooth consistency.

mixer butter

Now it's ready to fry a farm fresh egg or slathered onto a freshly baked loaf of bread.

butter bowl

But really, it's destined to go on my favorite salty snack because nothing kicks my butt out of the food doldrums more than a bowl of hot, buttered popcorn.


froggy said...

The Engineer says popcorn was invented to best deliver butter and salt.

Big Shamu said...

The man is RIGHT!

MakingSpace said...

First, you had me at buttermilk (I'm enough of an afficionado that I keep some in the fridge at all times. Homemade? YUM)

Second, that is gorgeous buttah, and


Dani said...

That last photo is AWESOME!

Glad to hear your teeth are back in popcorn action.

Dani said...

That top picture needs a banjo on the porch.

Big Shamu said...

Dani, feel free to re-enact that first photo with a banjo. YOU do have the chickens.

moi said...

Nothing is better than sweet cream butter, preferably European-style. I can eat it with a spoon. At any rate, was this ultra-pasteurized cream? Ultra-pasteurized is the bane of my baking existence but it seem impossible to find it otherwise these days.

Big Shamu said...

No, I don't think it was however I'm planning a trip to that particular dairy and will see if they offer it for sale. The butter, as is, is good stuff.

Melissa said...


I had an aunt that made butter in a glass jar. She rocked in a chair, on the front porch, as she shook the cream into butter. Her name was Bonnie.

And your pictures are, of course, loverly.

Big Shamu said...

Actually Melissa, that's one of the many methods suggested for making butter, a jar, a lid and a marble. I, unlike your Aunt Bonnie, have no patience for 30 minutes of jar shaking but then she probably wouldn't enjoy sorting hundreds of business emails. So there we are, women of our times.

Boxer said...

Weird. We were just talking about making butter today at work. I said I made it in the 1st grade and that was the last time I thought about it... until today. Would you do it again?

Big Shamu said...

Oh heck yeah, Boxer, it's really easy and has a lovely delicate flavor.