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Starting from Scratch {Recycled}

{This article was originally published October 6, 2009}

Do you ever wonder what life was like for your grandmother’s all those years ago?  It must have been hard… right?  We have all of these great conveniences at our disposal.  I for one could not  live without my washing machine or dishwasher!  We can walk into any grocery store and instantly see isle upon isle of food.  All kinds of food…all we have to do is put it in the cart, pay and take it home.   Most of the time these days all we have to do is pop it in the microwave or oven and poof….instant meal.  We all  have friends who’s families eat out more than they eat in.  It’s just easy after a very long day.  I realized last Spring that it was all a bit too easy.

How our changes came to be.

After I read the book In Defense of Food I decided that it would be in my families best interest if I took the extra time each day to really try and change our diets and how we eat.  I started with just using whole foods and build meals and snacks from the ground up.  Basically everything is made from scratch or comes from a tree or plant.  You would think that would take forever and cost a fortune right?  It has been a bit to easy getting everyone in my house to sway over to my way of thinking.  Not only do meals made from scratch taste better but often I will get 2-3 meals out of each one.  I use my slow cooker at least 3 times a week.  Very little goes to waste these days and I can’t get over the money we are saving without giving up taste. Did I mention the 10lbs I have lost staying away from low-fat no-fat labeled foods?  Another perk!

An easy recipe share.

Today I am sharing my favorite item that I make from scratch weekly… butter.  Yes, I know it sounds really really boring… but butter makes EVERYTHING taste better!  Those of us born in the 70’s/80’s really have never known any other way to get butter than to walk into a store and pick up a tub and throw it in the cart.  Once I started cooking all of the meals from the bottom up I started reading the back of everything.  Butter was one of the worst offenders with a huge list of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce on the back of the label.

I can remember going on a field trip in 4th grade to Pioneer Village in Ohio and we each got to take a turn working the old fashioned “butter churn”.  Oh my!!  Now that was work!  I can remember my arms hurting for days.  I admit it…I had to Google how to make butter.  I was clueless.  I knew it should have only Cream and salt (optional) but thought there must be some secret ingredient or method?  Did I need a churn? After all the store version has a long list.  I felt better the first time I made it after I announced to my best friend “I made my own butter from scratch!” and she answered with a “How the heck do you make butter?”.  I immediately felt vindicated of my lack of knowledge.

FYI: the kids LOVE making the butter!


Butter Recipe:

16oz Heavy Cream
Salt to taste

Pour the cream into a mixer, blender or whisk it (although whisking will take a while).  Blend on high until it starts to firm up and become crumbly in appearance.
Once it becomes crumbles you have several options.  Fold several paper towels and scoop the butter onto it.  Then place several more paper towels on top and gently squeeze out the butter milk until very little moisture is coming out.  You could also use cheesecloth for with the same method.  I have heard it suggested to pour cold water over the butter and squeeze out the buttermilk via that way but I have yet to try that method.
Once the buttermilk is separated spoon it into a container and store  it in the refrigerator.

The great thing about making your own butter is you can add different ingredients to make herb and cooking butters.  Try adding some of these ingredients to your butters and you won’t be disappointed:

  • grated lemon peels, pressed garlic cloves and pepper (we use this combo on Mahi-Mahi on the grill… YUM!)
  • basil, oregono, thyme, and rosemary (I use this combo on the crockpot chicken, all kinds of sauces etc.. )
  • pressed garlic cloves and oregano (garlic bread of course)

About Tisha

Tisha often refers to herself as the most Un-traditional Traditionalist she knows. A homeschooling, gardening, color-loving, photographer - Tisha currently resides in Virginia with her husband and two children. Her fabulous work can be viewed on her website, Tisha McCuiston Photography.

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  • michelle

    i love this article! i just found the blog last week and i am so thrilled. thank you so much!

  • Impressive! Would love to hear more on how you accomplish your new eating/shopping/cooking habits without it taking forever and costing you a fortune 🙂 I didn’t think it could be done!

  • You can also put the cream into a jar or other container with a TIGHT fitting lid and shake, shake, shake until the butter is solid. It helps to pour off the liquid from time to time. Again, save the liquid for making buttermilk biscuits or any other recipe that calls for it.

  • I make my own butter too. I love it. But I don’t use a blender. I just put the cream into a jar with a lid on and shake it. It starts out being whipped cream and when you think, that this stuff never becomes butter, keep shaking for another 4 minutes and its done. That way I can put the butter in the refrigerator without having to change the container.

  • Thank you so much for posting this! We buy all organic and make so much from scratch. I can just imagine now: fresh butter on a slice of fresh homemade bread! I was wondering the same questions as the above ladies, how long it stays fresh and any other resources on stating from scratch? Thank you so much!

  • Sarah

    Any suggestions on websites or resources to find out more information and recipes on how to start from scratch? I love this idea and would try to get my family to live a healthier and more naturally.

  • This NEVER occurred to me, but now that I see how easy it is, I may (almost) never buy butter again!

    Have you tried freezing it, or do you just use up what you make in enough time?

  • Lori

    I am going to try this for company this weekend! How long does it stay fresh? (I googled but couldn’t find the answer.) Do you think this would be something that could be given as a gift in a nice jar? I’m thinking flavored butters for the holidays next year! It’s unique and not something people think of making. A nice jar and the recipe would make a nice gift! Thanks!