Sunday, May 8, 2016

I Can't Believe it's REAL Butter

My family isn't a margarine kind of family. We stick to butter and oils for cooking. Unless it's fudge. My favorite fudge recipe only works with margarine! But I digress...

We recently started buying raw milk from a local farm. I got brave one day and decided to try to make my own butter. It is really dorky how excited I got doing this but I'm comfortable with my dorkiness so I shall share with you the process!

Step One: Skim the cream off the top. It is thick, like Elmer's glue! I ladle it into clean jars that have screw-on lids, like this Prego jar. I also use Mason jars.

Side note: When you get your milk home let it sit for a couple of days. The cream will separate to the top. I always have 1-2 inches of cream when I give it time to settle after being jostled about on it's journey to my house. Can you see the cream at the top of jar on the right?! Our milk comes in these big, big glass jars and it's always so full that milk is dribbling down the sides. It is OK if you get milk in the cream mixture. It will happen and won't harm anything. But do try to get as much cream in there as you can.

Step Two: Shake, shake, shake!

Side note: For best results, let the cream come to room temp, or close to it. Fresh out of the fridge will mean it's so cold that it'll take longer to form butter. Some people put their cream in the blender and let the blender do the work. We just shake the jar. Takes us about 20-30 minutes. When you start to see the butter curds, like above picture, it's time for step three...

Step Three: Strain and rinse.

Side note: Strain the excess milk off and reserve for buttermilk pancakes or biscuits or whatever. Place butter in a bowl and begin the rinsing process until water runs clear (it helps to pop the butter in the fridge to allow it to firm up as it'll be super soft and warm). Basically you're going to knead the butter with a spoon. Carefully run some cool water over the butter and use a spoon to press into the butter. Drain off the water and keep repeating until the water runs clear and you've removed as much liquid from butter as you can. YouTube videos may be your friend here. My photo above is halfway through the rinsing process so the water is almost clear.

Step Four: ENJOY! We had homemade banana bread on hand. It was absolutely heavenly.

Making butter is so much easier than I thought it would be. It takes a lot of cream to get a decent amount of butter. We only yielded a few tablespoons each time we've made butter.

Our butter looks whipped and soft (and it was). Popping it in the fridge will turn it solid, like store-bought butter. It can keep for maybe a week, but it may not stick around that long, ha!


I have been such a busy bee lately. Having six kids can do that to ya. We're wrapping up our homeschool year and still getting the house ready for the market, to sell.

I've painted a LOT of ceilings. We've lived here ten years. Some just got grungy and others were already a lovely shade of color, like puke green in the master bedroom! You can see more of the master bedroom transformation HERE.


Plaster ceilings are not my favorite. The cracks are from the house settling and nothing is actually loose, thankfully. Since we can't replace the ceiling with Sheetrock, I decided that just getting rid of the gross color was doable and necessary.


 Look at the white ceiling paint on the green! It was really noticeable once paint started going up.

Ta da! Much better. Still textured and has some cracks but at least the horrid color is gone.

That light fixture is also an eye-sore IMO but we may just leave it for new homeowners, so they can choose something in their own style. Or maybe they'll like it, who knows.

So fresh!

I also painted the dining room ceiling. It had about three different shades of white up there. Now it's all one bright white and pleasant to look at.


 BOYS' BEDROOM also got fresh coat of ceiling paint.

I painted the ceiling on the stairway and in the kitchen as well. Phew! Can I just say... not fun. But the result is worth the neck-breaking work. If I ever had to do that much ceiling work again I would invest in a sprayer. I rolled and brushed it all by hand.

NEXT UP: The Kitchen work has begun! It looks like a Mardi Gras float threw up on the walls. So here's the deal: We're painting the walls and lovely paneling in the kitchen, we're also painting the subfloor (I've seen some cool Pinterest-y DIY stuff that transforms subfloor into gorgeous flooring). White cabinets are being delivered this Tuesday. Daniel will be doing a wood plank focal wall above the sink.

BEFORE (I was doing a test spot here to see if I needed to prime. The answer was YES!):

Priming with Zoe. Already looking way better.

Hello pretty bright room! Evening the ceilings look much taller.

This is about where we're at still. Got it all primed and one coat of the upper wall color. The paneling at the bottom half will be an enamel paint in Alabaster white. Enamel dries hard, shiny and is super easy to keep clean. It's a pain in the tush to paint with, though. It sticks to *everything* including skin. So I wear gloves but I still manage to get it on my arms. Since the kitchen is at a standstill I moved onto the second floor bathroom and our fireplace...

Which leads me to the upstairs bathroom where I just finished painting with this lovely enamel paint that I just described...


Best before I could find. I'm notoriously bad for not taking pics before I start a project. Daniel was installing the brand new toilet here, in February. Take note of the half-painted upper walls in grey. Lower half is dark purple. Everything was grungy and gross in here.

But then I started painting and the bathroom has been truly transformed! Yes, same color as the master bedroom and the kitchen. Because buying the same color for several rooms saves money. But also because this is a versatile color scheme. Different rooms = different light = slightly different look to the blue-grey paint.

This bathroom is so bright and cheery now. It just looks so much cleaner and is easier to keep clean, especially having used oil-based enamel paint for the white.

 (Washing the tub and soaking the vinyl shower curtain before washing in the washer.)


And finally, the fireplace. I had primed it a few years ago. I think Judah was a baby (he's four now), or maybe it was Silas (he'll be 3 next month). Regardless it's been a few years. So the primer I used was Kilz and that was to cover these ugly grey concrete blocks. I used my enamel paint in Alabaster, to tie in all these different rooms that I'm using it in, and now the fireplace looks finished and clean.


The kitchen is most likely going to have to wait a little bit. We're doing what we can in spurts, as we can afford it.

I still need/want to paint:
-laundry room (including ceiling, walls and floor as it has same floor as kitchen)
-stairway to our attic loft
-family room

Otherwise all the other room are done, except for some deep cleaning.

If you're interested in the colors we used Sherwin Williams "Sea Salt" which is a grey-blue, and Sherwin Williams "Alabaster" for the white. It's a soft white with no yellow/cream in it.