We make butter each week from our own fresh cream. Every Monday night we allow the milk in our bulk tank to separate by leaving the agitator off overnight. On Tuesday mornings, all the milk (usually between 115 and 180 gallons) has separated and the skim milk is on the bottom with the cream on top. We drain off the skim milk into the creamery and use that for making cheese. Later on Tuesday afternoons, we bring over the cream that remains in the bulk tank and pasteurize that. Our milk is about 6% cream and so we generally have between 20 and 30 gallons of cream to use for butter. All day Wednesday is butter day. We have two small electric butter churns that can churn between 2 and 3 gallons at a time. Once the butter churn does its work, the residual buttermilk must be kneaded (by hand) out of the butter. This is like kneading bread, but the entire time cold water is rushing over the butter washing out the buttermilk. The more buttermilk is removed, the longer the shelf life of the butter.
Our butter is incredibly rich and yellow, all year long. Butter from grass-fed cows is one of the ultimate superfoods! Butter is packed with fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E) and is the perfect carrier for these vitamins because it has the fat that is absolutely necessary for their absorption. This is also why butter is excellent melted on fresh vitamin rich veggies – you need that fat to absorb all the excellent fat-soluble vitamins! Butter is also the highest dietary source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), an extremely beneficial fatty acid found in high concentrations in dairy and meat specifically from grass-fed animals.
If you are sensitive to dairy products or prefer not to use butter, try your hand at making ghee: clarified butter. Ghee is one of the oldest and most honored healing foods in many cultures, especially in the ayurvedic traditions. Clarified butter is easy to make and great for cooking with because it doesn’t smoke or burn like butter does. Our butter makes beautiful ghee!
At Cricket Creek, we like to keep things interesting by making flavored butters. Last week Justin made garlic butter, honey sea salt butter, and toasted onion butter. We still have some maple cinnamon butter and cayenne butter from previous weeks. Our butter is now available for purchase from the Cricket Creek Farm Store in addition to at several farmers markets this winter.