The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Seduced by homemade butter

homemade butter“Have you got to Sainsbury’s yet?”
“No.”

I was curious. Why was Danny ringing me? I had run out of tea bags and was combining a trip to Sainsbury’s with a trip to Ridgeons to pick up some more paint. Tea is fuel. Without it all work would quickly grind to a halt.

“There has been a small domestic disaster.”
I imagined the worst possible scenario. The fridge freezer had finally died. A Min Pin had discovered how to lift the lid of the bread bin. A visit from a Davisdstow cheddar enthusiast.

I said nothing. Danny filled the gap.
“I opened the fridge door briskly and the bottle of milk flew out and landed on your cream that was chilling on the larder floor. It’s made quite a mess but the Min Pins are licking it up. You might need to buy some more. Cream, that is, not dogs.”

Since we made Mildred’s butter (following her ingredients but using an electric whisk instead of a churn) we have become totally hooked on home made butter. It tastes better than the best French butter, freezes well and is a joy. When we realised that we were down to our last slice, we divided it equally and scraped it carefully over our toast.
“I only want to eat home made butter from now on,” munched Danny.

“Is there anything left in the bowl at all?”
“Yes, quite a bit. The cream splattered everywhere but I reckon that we’ve only lost about a third.”

The cream had undergone a night in the airing cupbard and was onto its second stage. We had to continue forward. So this evening we shared the butter making duty. As Danny scrubbed the larder floor I whipped the cream and, when it turned to butter, we took turns at washing the out the remnants of buttermilk and finally squidging all the water out of the pat. The entire process took half an hour and we ended up with two pats of creamy butter. Magic.

Do try this, you won’t regret it. A small pat of this would be a great surprise present for a friend. I have considered doing this but I am ashamed to say, reached for some jelly rather than give away our precious discovery. Mildred you are a star.


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10 Comments

  1. astrid

    fn, thanks for that, i did in fact find one on e-bay! he is getting a shiny new bike for his ever growing legs, with gears too for the the hills around us but he has always been a boy interested in the kitchen so this is a little extra!!

  2. astrid

    hi everyone, my oldest son is about to be seven and i wanted to get him an old fashioned butter churn for his birthday! does anyone know where i can buy one on line?
    thanks:-)

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hello Astrid

      You could try Ebay. But why don’t you buy it for yourself and get him the sort of present that a seven year old would adore?

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kate,

    The butter tastes wonderful. As you say, it’s hard not to pile it on my toast in the morning!

    Hi Minamoo,

    What a shame that 3 litres of cream slipped through your hands.

    It’s quite hard work so I wouldn™t try making more than a litre at a time.

    Once your flatmate have tasted it they will be making it too!

  4. Hello! You have no idea how much I want to try making my own butter now! In fact when I went for this residential first aid course in the Dales last week and we had 3L of cream left over I bagged it all and was SO looking forward to getting home to try it but when we got back to Leeds I had to run of to the loo and got back just in time to see Will driving off with my bag of cream in the back of the trailer. I will definitely be trying it though when I get down to my other half’s next week. I’ve been buying all my butter from the farmers’ market since I moved to Leeds and that stuff is amazing enough….I can’t wait to try my own! My flatmates think I’m exaggerating when I go on and on about how I refuse to buy butter from a supermarket cos it’s crap but I think they’re just saying that cos they haven’t tasted the real deal!

  5. That sounds like great fun! I think I’d have the same problem as Celia – and use way, way too much butter. I’m a big butter/cream lover.

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Joanna,

    Making the butter is fun and easy, especially if you do it together. We did it when we were making supper and this meant that Danny was around to do the pounding (hard work).

    Since observing the amount of cream needed to make the butter I have cut down on my intake and savour the treat more.

    Hi Celia,

    It tastes great but I only have it on toast in the morning. As you say it would be easy to feast on this.

    Thanks for the tomato ketchup link.

    Hi Mildred,

    Thanks for your fun comment and the tea links.

    In a rush I bought dcaf tea – only discovered when I opened the pack at work. Disaster. I am hooked on tea and particularly like Twinings 1706.

  7. Hahahaha! What a lovely story!

    I am so pleased you have the butter making ‘off pat’, and thanks for ‘spreading’ the word . . . and you have discovered that your can’t put a ‘better bit o’butter’ on your knife as that you have made yourself!

    Now, may I recommend a couple of online suppliers of tea?! www.northern-tea.com are a family run company, I use their bags for our ‘everyday’ tea. When we want decent loose tea we order from another family company in Lincoln, www.imperialteas.co.uk. Both offer a good service with fast delivery.

    We couldn’t survive without our tea-fix!

    As I type, Ian has just walked in with 6 pints of fresh farm cream!! A job for yours truly tomorrow 🙂

  8. You’re selling the idea of home-made butter so well that I’m seriously thinking of making some. But I know it will taste so good I’ll plaster toast with it and much away as I work! Not a such a good idea when workload dictates I’m getting less exercise than I should!

    By the way Joanna – there’s Tomato Ketchup recipe here: http://forum.rivercottage.net/viewtopic.php?t=15779&highlight=tomato ketchup

  9. Amazing how we all fear the worst, even when told “small” domestic disaster 😉

    You are inspiring me to make butter – Lucius and I don’t eat it since L’s heart attack, but the children eat it with enthusiasm. I like the idea of making butter with them, because I can easily believe it tastes better (most homemade food does … but can someone give me a good recipe for tomato ketchup?) … but mainly because I’d like them to understand exactly what they are eating, so that they can make informed choices about how much to eat.

    Thanks for sharing

    Joanna

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