Saturday, May 19, 2012

BUTTER! At last REAL shelf stable butter!!!!

Ok, if you are a follower of my blog, you know my butter saga.  When living off food storage, butter and cheese were the things that we missed most.  At long last the butter issue is SOLVED - thanks mostly to one of my readers who happened to mention shelf stable cream.


How is there such a thing?  Oh, but there is, my faithful readers, there is.  Not only does it exist but it also can be churned into REAL butter!

I hunted high and low to find it, it's really only available in Utah and Idaho (of course) but I did find a website that sells it, so I bought a whole case.  It came in the mail today when only my 13 year old and I were home.  I ran to the door and brought the box in.  It looked so plain considering the wonder that it contained.

I was so excited I was shaking and jumping up and down.  My daughter couldn't imagine what was in that magical box, but judging by my reaction she was anticipating something amazing  :)  We ripped the box open and she excitedly reached inside to see what could possibly be so incredible that it would "change our lives forever" as I put it.

She pulled out a box of the precious whipping cream - looked at my giant smiling face - and said, "It's whipping cream."  I shouted proudly, "Not just ANY whipping cream!  Shelf stable whipping cream!"  I was still dancing around the room.  "Mom, you're losing it." she said disappointedly and went back to her school work.

Whatever.  She's 13.  What does she know?

So anyway, I couldn't wait to try it out so I took it out of the box and poured the contents of one box into my Bosch mixer, and started whipping.

It whipped into perfect whip cream soft peaks almost immediately.

Then TWO MINUTES later it separated from the buttermilk and I had BUTTER!!!!

I drained off the buttermilk into a bowl to use later.  I added a little lemon juice to make it sour like the store bought kind.

Then I "washed" the butter in cold water, rinsing it several times until the water came clear.  It is important to wash out all the remaining buttermilk or the butter will go rancid.

Finally I mixed in some salt for flavor.

 Perfect butter straight out of the fridge  :)

I put it on toast and gave it to my pickiest eater to see what he would think.  He took a bite and didn't notice anything different than his usual toast.  YIPPEEEEE!!!!!!!

So, some important facts about this shelf stable whipping cream.  The expiration date is only 6 months (even less on mine because I ordered it from a re-seller and it apparently had already been on their shelves for awhile).  However, when I called the company they said it would be good up to a year.  Several other users online have also commented it will last longer than 6 months.  If you put it in the fridge it may last longer but it will also solidify.  It's still good but you'll have to scoop it out instead of pour it.

My plan is to pick up a bunch when I'm in Utah this summer and then just rotate it religiously.  (no pun intended - haha).  It was SO easy to make it won't be any big deal just to make our butter instead of buying it from now on, and well worth it to have real butter in an emergency.

When you are making it watch it closely.  It congealed into butter MUCH faster than when I used regular cream.  In fact, my first batch I missed the buttermilk separation completely and accidently ended up beating the buttermilk right back into the butter, ruining the whole batch.  It literally took less than 2 minutes.  Converting to butter that fast would also be a big blessing if we have no power and you end up churning it by hand.

Also, you can keep the churned butter in the fridge but it will get pretty hard, just like regular stick butter, so you can also keep it in a butter keeper, or on a cool counter, for easier spreadability.

Ok, seriously, my life is nearly complete now.  I feel completely prepared.  Bring on the Apocalypse......  :)

May last big hurdle is cheese.  I have my freezer thoroughly stocked with it but I hate to be dependent on power being on so my next project is to make and wax cheese.

Oh, and get some chickens.......