Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day 58 of our Green Year: Homemade Butter

As part of our goal to be self-sustaining, we have decided to begin making a lot of things that we could buy, in our home instead. The reason for this is because we want to take a bit of our carbon footprint away from having to buy items like butter and pop at the store. So, today we have decided to make our own butter.
To make butter, you need two things; cream and salt. The homemade butter you make is much better for your health than margarine and retail types of butter because there is nothing in it but cream and salt.
The reason this is an environmentally-good thing to do is that the less butter you buy, the less butter has to be shipped, the less greenhouse gases that go into the atmosphere. Granted, you do need to have cream, which has to be shipped. To beat this, Layla and I are buying our cream from a supplier in the Lower Mainland of BC and will be looking for a place where we can buy the cream in an area of the Kootenays.

So, to make butter, follow these steps:
  1. Let cream (whipping cream works best) get to room temperature.
  2. Put cream in jar with tight lid.
  3. Shake jar for 30 min (you can do this with a food processor, but shaking it is good exercise and does not use electricity). As you shake the jar, you will find that it becomes like whipped cream and then suddenly, and its kind of cool, the cream will separate from the butter and it will be sloshing around in the jar. Shake for a few more minutes.
  4. Once done, you will see a lump of butter in the middle that will be quite soft. Pour out the cream, which is now buttermilk.
  5. Put cold water into jar and shake, then pour out water. Do this until the water comes out clear.
  6. Get butter out of the jar and onto a plate. Put salt on it, mix it on the plate and form into a butter block shape (if you can).
  7. Put in fridge to chill.
That is all there is to it, and trust me it tastes far better than any other butter you buy at the store. The price for the cream is comparable to what you would pay for the butter, so it is more or less equaling in cost for you, with a little bit less than what you would usually get in a butter container but it is much healthier.

Do you have a recipe for butter that may work better? Let us know. If you have a picture of you or your family making butter, send it to and we will put it up!