Tuesday, February 26, 2013

This tastes like Grandma's house.

As many of you know, we welcomed an addition to our family late January.  Madeline Elizabeth has made our family of three into a family of four, and we are excited to get to know her better as she grows (and teach her about local food!).

Helping us ease into our new life, many friends generously provided us with tasty meals.  One night Chris said, "It's like going to restaurants, without having to leave our house." Indeed, but it's also like going to Grandma's house.  Why?  One night we received a delivery from a new friend who said, "It's home grown corn."  "Neat," I thought, but didn't realize how special it was until I tasted a spoonful of that corn.  J*U*S*T  L*I*K*E  Grandma's!  The flavor was wonderful and completely unlike any corn from the grocery store.  Chris tasted it, and immediately recalled the first time he had home grown corn as a college student in Oregon.  This is local eating.  Tastes that are so memorable and special that you know when you've had them before, and you remember them.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Local Butter Basics

Homemade Butter & Local Honey - A Tasty Combination!

Chris and I love to host local foods meals.  Each attendee brings something that was produced locally to share.  At our most recent meal some new friends brought homemade butter, which I thought was so fun!  Here's how they made it - apparently it's not an exact science so Chris will be great at making it (he doesn't measure anything) and I might have trouble (I measure all my ingredients!)

Here's the butter making process that was shared with me:

My friends put a small amount of room temperature Hildebrand Farms cream in a mason jar (filling no more than 1/3 of the jar which allows the cream to have room to concuss.)  If you're unfamiliar with this local brand, see this post I wrote previously.  They then started shaking the jar and from their experience (they've done this multiple times), it takes anywhere from 4-15 minutes of pretty constant shaking. Apparently, you know you're close to butter when you hear a sloshing sound, and the sides of the jar are no longer coated with cream. Once you actually see the lump of butter, shake for another couple of minutes to separate more of the buttermilk (but not too long, otherwise the butter gets waxy.)

Next, use a small strainer to drain off the buttermilk (and save it to make pancakes!) then rinse the butter with cold water. Put the butter in a small dish, add some salt (my friend would estimate 1/3 teaspoon for 1/3 of a large mason jar) and mash it around with a spatula.

Finally, the easiest step of all...enjoy! 

In my opinion, this post is a Pinterest "pinnable" post.  Someday I plan to show my little one how butter is made through this fun science experiment using food.