Making Homemade Butter: Life Lessons from the Kitchen

Ah, the life of a writer… finding similarities in the oddest of scenarios. One of my “New Year’s Resolutions”, is to source my food holistically and locally. This in hopes of successfully coming alongside the low iron deficiency anemia and MTHFR that I’ve been diagnosed with.

So, I decided to try my hand at making butter. That’s right. Butter.

Insert… a homestead pic. 😎 She’s gone simple. 

For real, this picture is posted on my desktop as my bit of happy during a cold and blustery winter. Isn’t it dreamy? 

I’ve always been interested in making things from scratch. I like learning new skills for numerous reasons. Too many to talk about here but, I think it’s good to know how to do things. That’s one reason why I’m taking this on.

The other, Brooks and I eat a lot of butter and I want it as minimally processed as possible. The benefits of this are numerous. The short of it is this, raw milk offers ALL of the nutrients it has to offer. Dairy products bought in the store have been adulterated to the point it lacks so much of what it was created for.

Here in Virginia, we can’t source raw milk retail style. It’s flat out illegal. So, we’d have to purchase a cow share, much like we offer through our own farm’s beef shares or buy a family dairy cow. But, Brooks and I haven’t taken that plunge just yet. So, I’ve bought milk from a local farm who raises their dairy cattle on 100% grass and pasteurizes (kills bacteria) but doesn’t homogenize (a process that makes sure milk doesn’t separate itself).

Making Butter

The butter making process was fairly cut and dry. I allowed my fresh whole milk, which was the creamiest milk I’ve ever laid lips to by the way – DELISH, I tell ya, to sit in the fridge and separate. The top became cream and the bottom skim milk.

Milk sourced from Old Church Creamery

From there I removed the cream and placed it in my KitchenAide mixer. The skim milk left in the fridge to be used in whatever milk ways I wanted – drink it up, use it in recipes, etc. Just like you would buy and use skim milk from the store.

Turn the mixer on for a long while beating the mess out of the cream, separating it out between a chunky, solid substance (butter) and a milky residue (which happens to be buttermilk).

A few more steps involving some rinsing and viola! You’ve got butter… and a helping of buttermilk.

Milk sourced from Old Church Creamery

Butter Makes It Better

So, in my butter making adventure, how does this avail itself to a life application?

I thought you’d never ask.

In reading and reading about how to make butter I saw there were several tools and avenues with which to make it. You can use a KitchenAide, a contraption especially for butter making, a food processor, or a blender. So many tools. So many ways.

But, one thing was for certain. That cream was going to be put to the test. It was going to be beaten. It was going to be separated from it’s friends, Mr. Buttermilk and Mr. Skim Milk. It was going to go through “the fire” so to speak.

Cream ready to be whipped into butter deliciousness. Milk sourced from Old Church Creamery.

And it gets messy, which is why a tip that I read over and over was to put a towel over your KitchenAide mixer to contain some of the splatters. Can’t be having my mess spill over to those around me, too much! 

My life as an infertile, and truly as a human being, is nothing short of the same.

In this life, I am going to be beaten up and separated. Just when my life seems to be darn near what I want it to be, God still says, not yet. You and your life still need some work. “I am seeing you through to completion”.

In my butter example, this milk is so scrumptious. I grew up drinking milk; big glasses of it. This is by far the best milk I’ve ever had. But, something even better can be made from it – butter.

When it seems like life is wonderful but yet God is changing things up, perhaps even beating you and separating you from certain jobs, people, hobbies, passions, etc., things that are good, don’t fret. He’s making butter.

He’s separating out some of the good things that in and of themselves are good but are useful in other ways or just plain ole’ aren’t needed right now. Maybe some of those components go unused. That’s ok. Because the show stopper may just be what’s needed in the season that you’re in.

Take the beating and don’t be disappointed in the refining process. It’s for a purpose, my friend.

By the way, here’s a little nugget of irony for ya… I wrote this post while sipping coffee from my Paula Deen “Farm Fresh Butter Y’all” mug… It’s happiness in the little things folks… Happiness in the little things.

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