Buttery Goodness with Zero Waste House Guests

We recently played host to some friends and fellow zero wasters who were visiting from Iqaluit. I have to say, living in the extreme north, they definitely have a harder time of it finding low-packaging food, but, armed with a pantry of bulk food, they’re doing an amazing job!

After enthusiastically taking full advantage of all Vancouver has to offer in terms of restaurants, we got together for a home-cooked meal. It turned into a collaboration in local food; we picked greens from the garden, boiled spot prawns, and, most excitingly, we made butter from scratch.

I’ve made butter a couple times before, but I realized I hadn’t posted on it. It’s dead easy, and definitely worth a try. It’s especially fun in a group or with kids because you can all take turns shaking. All you need is a jar and some whipping cream.

Put the cream in the jar.

Shake shake shake until the cream turns to whipped cream. . .

which in turn becomes a solid lump of butter in a watery liquid (buttermilk).

You can salt it if you wish.

Drain the buttermilk to use for baking or making pancakes the next morning.

That’s it!

Quick note – if you are storing your butter for awhile, you have to wash the remaining buttermilk out of it or it will go rancid.  Ours never stays around long enough, so we skip this stage, but I gather that you either put it in a strainer or just knead the lump of butter in your hands while running it under cold water.

PS – If you’re still wondering how you can live zero waste in the Frozen North, check out  subzerowaste (the name of which cracks me up) .

8 Comments

Filed under DIY, food

8 responses to “Buttery Goodness with Zero Waste House Guests

  1. love this post! when I was a neophyte cook, I made butter once accidentally by trying to make whipping cream in the blender. maybe I should try it again on purpose this time!

  2. Christine

    Is this just something for fun? Or did you do the math and figure out if this makes sense money-wise? I knew it was easy to do but I’ve never done the math. I could use the buttermilk in baking so it would all be used, but I’m wondering how expensive the butter would be. Maybe I’ll try this little experiment myself🙂

    • Well, money-wise it all depends on what kind of butter you buy. Mostly I’d say it’s just for fun. We buy organic milk which is usually $3.30 a litre, but my local grocers has it for $2.39. A litre gave us about a cup of butter. I know in the states dairy is much cheaper, so maybe it would be worth it. But it really is still pretty fun🙂

  3. i suppose you could clarify the butter and then it would keep even longer??

  4. Hey Jen! When I was in Namibia a couple of years ago I went to visit the Himbas. They are the people who cover themselves in butter and red ochre. Anyway, to make the butter they hung a big gourd filled with milk from a tree and the kids took turns in sitting under the tree and batting the gourd all day to churn the butter. Maybe next time you have kids over you can hang your milk from a tree and let the kids swing it around!! Sustainability and efficiency! xxx Linds

  5. Pingback: Rock Your New Year with an Eco-Friendly Resolution! | Soul Flower Blog

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