Thursday, May 6, 2010

Where I get my food: butter

Most groceries in Belize are fairly expensive given the average income, but some things are quite ridiculous, such as dairy products.  For example, 4 sticks of butter sell for about $8 Bz, or $4 US.  Luckily, Daniel milks a few cows.   For cooking when margarine really isn't an option ( I wouldn't use it at all, but it is cheap) I make small amounts of butter.  It's actually pretty easy as long as you have someone else to milk the cow.
The reason I don't make large amounts of butter is because we separate the cream by skimming the milk, rather then using a cream separator (which we don't have).  You just let the milk sit for a few hours then take a spoon and skim the cream off the top.  Then, put the cream in a tupperware and shake for about 15 minutes.  If you want to be high tech, you can put the cream in the blender and blend for 3 or so minutes. 
You end up with butter and whey.  I save the whey and use it in biscuits--so good!  Next you "wash" the butter- I just pour in some water and squish the butter with a fork.  The idea is to get the extra whey out, so keep squishing and changing the water till it comes out clear.

That's it!  I don't salt the butter, but if you wanted to you would add salt last.

Some tips:
-don't freeze the cream.  It won't make butter.
-it works best if the cream is somewhere between fridge and room temperature- not warm, but not really cold.
-it is faster to make butter in the blender, but you get more if you shake it by hand

I think the thing I was most surprised by is the natural yellow color of butter!  I guess I always thought it was added food coloring....


  1. Butter here is about $4. I, however, do not have a cow.

  2. I can't say it enough... Love love love your blog!!!! And love your homey 'frontier-ness'!!!!


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