Sunday, May 23, 2010

Monday with Marcia Lowry-Buttercrafting or Molly McButter


Is it butter yet?
Molly...A Happy Wyoming Cow


So happy to introduce you to Marcia Lowry, my high school buddy from Wyoming. She'll be sharing ranch life with us...she lives way off the grid...and I don't mean the burbs! You can see her "back yard pond". Please enjoy today's offering from Marcia. I am so happy to welcome her to Cooking Schmooking, no problem......on food. on life.

Yes..I am posting this on Sunday..but from now on, it really will be on Mondays. I need to test out how this is going to look published. Had to re-size photos and font.





My source for butter is Molly the milk cow, a Jersey/Guernsey cross. At the present time Molly is on a non-milking vacation, building up energy for both her and her unborn calf who is due to be born mid-July. When she is at her peak lactation (giving milk) she produces about 4 gallons of milk a day. I milk by hand - love it! I strain the milk through a muslin cloth into gallon jars then refrigerate overnight. By morning, the cream will have risen to the top of the jar. Jerseys are high butterfat producers so I typically get over one quart of cream from one gallon of milk. I skim it off using a soup ladle. I usually make butter with two quarts of cream. I leave it out on the counter for a couple of hours to warm to room temperature. Over the years of having milk cows, I have found the fastest and easiest way to make butter is with my Kitchen Aid mixer using the whisk attachment. I turn it on about medium so it won't splash out.

At first it makes whipped cream - I sometimes take some out at that point for dessert toppings. Soon you can start to see yellow globs forming and within just a few minutes it will all ball up together. It takes about 10-15 minutes for this to happen. I then scoop out the butter with a slotted spoon - what's left is buttermilk! I wash the ball of butter with cold water, smashing it around in a bowl with a wooden paddle to get out all the milk, repeating several times until the water is clear. I then add a little salt and store it in glass jars in the fridge or freezer.

Summer butter is WAY more yellow compared to winter butter because of
the beta-carotene in the grass that the cows eat. While they are on green pasture in the spring, you see a deeper yellow color. During the winter, while they are inside, the butter becomes a paler shade.

I was thinking that it would be fun to do a Molly/baby countdown as her calving time gets closer - with pictures! What do you think?

Marcia

11 comments:

Michaele Oleson said...

This is so great that you are blogging! You have so much real-time information. I look forward to reading your posts!

Melly/Melody/or Mel said...

I sure would appreciate updates on Molly!

Peg said...

I think that Molly is just lovely! My grandparents had a mixed breed that looked very much like her. Her name was Dinah. When grandma died, in 1974, the butter churn still sat way back in her pantry.

Linda said...

Oh this is wonderful! When I was a kid, we had a Guernsey milk cow named Skinny. I can still taste that cream....nothing like it! Great to hear from you Marcia!

TaraDharma said...

I never thought about the butter being different colors depending on season and feed. But it makes perfect sense. Oh, I'll bet it all taste soooo good.

Would love to get updates on the calving -- with photos! You are living a life I dream about.

Kate said...

We made butter the old fashioned way with a jar with a paddle that had a hand crank. Took way longer than 15 minutes....all the way through Mickey Mouse club and Captain 11. The jar would just be passed amongst the kids til butter appeared. I would love calf updates.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great comments - can't wait to share my ranching life - this is fun!! ~ Marcia

Patricia said...

Would love to hear about Molly and her progress!

Melly/Melody/or Mel said...

John (my bro) was saying that you guys produce your own electricity out there too..you are completely self-sufficient?

Carolyn Jung said...

That is one cute cow. I have a Kitchen Aid but have never tried making my own butter with it. Sounds so fun and easy that I may just have to give it a go. ;)

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I'm such a dumb city girl. I don't know nuthin' 'bout farm life. I had no idea how you made butter. But I'm learning! Interesting post.