Friday, August 13, 2010

Homestead Experiment #8 and #9-A couple of 'Dairy Delights'

So, I've received a lot of those emails that explain how margarine is akin to the chemicals inside of a nuclear warhead, or something like that (you know the one), and after it hit my inbox for about the 100th time, I have finally decided to quit using the mondo-sized tubs of easy spread poison. But, here's the rub; my darling hubby and I just LOVE the spreadability of it on our bagels in the morning. A brick of cold butter just doesn't do the trick. Now, I know the old timers swear you can just leave butter out on the counter all day and it's fine, but I've taken way too many food prep classes to feel comfortable doing that. So what to do?! What to do?!

Never fear! I came across the following recipe for spreadable butter like the kind that comes in thimble-sized tubs for $5 (well, maybe not quite that expensive, but still...), so I proceeded with my next experiment in eager excitement.

Place 1 cup of room-temperature butter solids (or 2 sticks from a box if you don't have a cow or dairy goat handy) in the bowl of your mixer. Beat with paddle until smooth and creamy. Drizzle in one cup of olive oil, canola oil, or a mixture of both. Resume beating (you may want to switch to a whisk if you have the option) until light and fluffy again. Don't worry if your concoction just looks like oily butter granules. It takes several minutes of beating to get the right consistency which for me was 'soft peaks'.

I piled it into a jar, and put it in the fridge for the hardness test. The next day, I took it out to see if all my work (okay, the Kitchenaid's work) was worth it. YES!! It was perfect for spreading :) :) :) !!! The only tweak I would make is that I used olive oil since it was what I had on hand, which gave the spread an olive oil aftertaste. It wasn't anything that my salmonberry jelly didn't drown out, but considering canola is much cheaper and about the same nutritionally (aside from the expeller pressed debate), I will definitely be using that, or a mixture of both, next time.

Isn't it pretty?

And Now Experiment #9; Drinking Goat's Milk...

In this post's title, I mentioned there was another experiment to go along with the whipped butter. After you read this, you'll understand why I didn't put it as a separate one. Actually, you may read this and think it's ridiculous, but keep reading and I'll explain!

I have mentioned to numerous people that I am hoping to get some dairy goats when we get out of the military. We've researched them, and while they do have odd personal hygiene habits and eat everything in sight, they are much cheaper, less maintenance, and require less space and water than cows. So, one day as I was laying out my well-laid plans to a wise friend, she interrupted my ramblings and asked the all important question:

"Hillary, have you ever tried goat milk?"
(Um, no. I had just read it was nutritionally and tastefully similar to cow milk.)
"Well, don't you think you should try it before you plan on this?"
(Um, yep.)

I headed off to the grocery store to buy a carton of this super pricey stuff. Goodness-it was $4.36 for a quart at our local Kroger store! Anyway, I brought it home and like a good Mom, gave it to the kids first to try since I was kind of scared. (hee hee) You know what? They loved it! After seeing their happy faces, I got up the gumption to try it, too, and I really liked it. (Phew!) Since we're used to drinking 2% milk, and this was whole milk, it was creamier than I'm used to, but the taste was just fine. Bring on the nanny goats!

Oh Mom!

Since that day a few weeks ago, I've come across those quarts of goat milk marked down to half price since they're about to expire. I bring them home for a 'special treat' and man if my kids don't get all fired up about it! I know it sounds totally bizarre. I never would have dreamed that I'd be offering goat milk to my kids as a fun snack! Next thing you know, I'll be wearing dread locks in my hair and sewing my clothes out of recycled paper bags...


  1. Try mixing 1/3 cup of water, 2 sticks of butter, and 2/3 cup of virgin or extra-virgin olive oil for spreadable butter. I've used that, with good results, for my family--healthier and cheaper in the long run!

    PattyK or

  2. Hmm, so basically just replace 1/3 cup of the oil w/ water? Sounds like my next experiment is in the making! ;)

  3. Beckie hill country galOctober 29, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    Hey Darlin, I am so excited to see this site of yours. I have a little experience w/ goats milk and a friend of mine in Utopia is raising goats. She milks them, makes cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc. and it is all delish!! One factor you need to know is that goats need to be kept up. That means they can't go roaming all over your homestead. Goats will go for the bitterest, rankest weeds on the place. They need to be fed all they eat and you cannot have the billy around. Billy will share his odorific scents (really!) and your milk and all your goodies will taste like that bad boy smells. yuck!
    I will give your soft butter a try. I enjoy using a butter bell and you really can leave it on the counter as long as it is in the bell w/ fresh water. Weird..Gotta go. Beckie J.

  4. I have a butter bell and love it!

  5. I had never heard of a butter bell before. After a quick google search, I'm defnitely curious. It looks neat, but my concern would be that I'd forget to change out the water every 2-3 days...