Making Butter at Home

Yesterday I was making butter (if you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen it!) when it occurred to me that I haven’t written about that yet.

Now, when I say I made butter, it’s not entirely from scratch. I didn’t milk the cow, skimming the cream from the fresh milk. I bought a carton of cream from the supermarket. Really, all the hard work was done by the dairy farmer (and the cow), my part is easy!

You can use pure cream or thickened cream for this, although thickened cream of course has additives. But it will have a heck of a lot less additives than the margarine you may have in the fridge.

*Important* – You just can’t use light or low fat cream. Check the bottle – it will say not suitable for whipping. And that’s what we’re going to be doing with it.

And if you ever see bottles of cream marked down, this is a great way to use them ūüôā

The bottle on the left is marked down thickened cream, on the right is (full price) pure cream. They are both 600ml.

Cream for butter

Pour your cream into your electric mixer, and start whipping. And keep on whipping.

You can, of course, use a handheld electric mixer, or even a completely non-electric whisk. You will also develop nicely¬†toned arms at the same time! For¬†this job, I am more than happy to drag out the big mixer…

First up, you get -surprise, surprise – whipped cream! Don’t stop – keep going!

Cream to butter

It depends on how fast you have your beaters going¬†, but I’ve found that at around 15 minutes the cream starts separating. You can see liquid pooling

Cream - butter

And there’s your butter! But you’re not quite done yet. Next you need to drain off the whey, or buttermilk.

Line a bowl with a clean cloth, I use a clean kitchen chux. Scoop out the butter and buttermilk into the chux, and let it drain.

butter

Gather up the sides of the chux around the butter and squeeze all the liquid out. Don’t throw¬†the liquid¬†away!

It’s very important then to rinse your lump of butter under cold water. Keep it wrapped in the cloth, and squeeze the water through it. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. Removing all the buttermilk from the butter will keep your¬†it fresher for longer. This is why you can use short-dated cream to make butter, and not have it go off quickly.

But the buttermilk is still good to use.¬†Add it in your milkshakes or smoothies. Use it in your baking. Many recipes call for buttermilk, but you can also substitute it for plain milk. It will make your pancakes or pikelets, cakes and slices¬†light and fluffy. And it can be frozen if you can’t use it straight away.

So, what did I get from 600ml of cream?

butter and buttermilk

As you can see, I ended up with about 230g of butter, and around 1 cup of buttermilk.

You can leave it that, but you know how hard it is to spread pure butter straight from the fridge? We can fix that! Put your butter back in your mixer and start beating again, this time slowly¬†drizzling in some olive oil (or your preferred oil type). You’ll have to experiment with how much is required, but it’s not too much. Maybe 1/4 cup.

You can also add some salt. Or go all out and make flavoured butter with garlic and/or herbs, or whatever else you choose!

I used some of the buttermilk to make pikelets for afternoon tea. Topped with some of the butter, and some homemade plum jam, they were delicious! And¬†plenty left over to go in the school lunch box ūüôā

Pikelets

The rest of the buttermilk I used in these chocolate cupcakes. I substituted it for the plain milk that the recipe called for. They will be frozen, also for school lunchbox treats.

Cupcake with buttermilk

If you haven’t made butter before, you really should give it a try. It is very easy to do, tastes great, and you know exactly what is in it.

I know many of you have made butter. Do you have any tips I’ve missed?

Linking up with:

Milk and Cuddles – Mommy Club, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Too Much Time on my Hands – The Handmade Hangout,¬†Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olson – Share Your Cup,¬†Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, Wondermom Wannabe – This is How We Roll, Sincerely, Paula – No Rules Weekend Blog Party, The Life of Jennifer Dawn – A Little Bird Told Me,¬†The Pin Junkie, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters, Shoestring Elegance – What to do Weekends, Tatertots and Jello – Link Party Palooza,¬† Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, Strawberry Butterscotch – Saturday Shuffle, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend,¬†Love of Home – Sundays at Home, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best, Nifty Thrifty Things, My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies – Snickerdoodle Sunday,¬†That Recipe – Happiness is Homemade, Plucky’s Second Thought – Cooking and Crafting With J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire Me Monday, I Should Be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday, Embellishmints – Dream. Create. Inspire, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired,¬†The DIY Mommy – The Creative Corner, Lou Lou Girls, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love It, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at Our Home,¬† Being a Wordsmith – Turn it Up Tuesday, The Dedicated House – Make it Pretty Monday, Cedar Hill Farmhouse – The Scoop, That Recipe – Tasty Tuesday, The DIY Dreamer – From Dream to Reality, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Wonderful Wednesday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesday,¬†Simply Made Fun – Wednesday Roundup, Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday,

Bastille Day nails

14th July has actually been and gone here now, but this morning we woke to the terrible news coming from France as they celebrate their national day. Our hearts go out to all those affected by what has taken place in Nice.

We¬†introduced my son to¬†France 3 years ago. My mum, my son, and I¬†holidayed together. We spent a few days in Paris, then travelled by train to Thoiry where we spent the week with my sister’s two young boys. We try and keep the memories of this trip alive, as it was a very big adventure for my then nearly 7 year old.

Yesterday I asked my son to do some research on what Bastille Day is, the who/what/when/where/why/how. He gave us a little summary last night. I wonder if he remembers any of it today lol.

Last night for dinner I made Coq au Vin, followed by chocolate mousse. Then I decided that a new manicure was in order. So at 9pm last night I started on my Bastille Day nails

Bastille Day nails..

You can read about why I prefer to paint my nails in the evening here.

You can see that my henna tattoo is almost gone ūüė¶ Although it has lasted almost a week.

This morning we had croissants with home made plum jam, and chocolat chaud (hot chocolate). I took the opportunity to have my son take some photos on my phone.

Bastille Day nails

Bastille Day nails.

The light makes things look a little messy. They look much neater than that!

Bastille Day nails .

For those that are interested, here are the polishes I used:

Bastille Day polishes

They are:

Cutex 2 in 1 Base Coat, Manicare Mirror Shine Top Coat

Australis Blue Tiger, Sally Hansen Micro-fiber Base Coat (yes, I use it as a colour), Essence Fame Fatal.

Linking up with:

Average But Inspired – The DIY Collective, Milk and Cuddles – The Mommy Club, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style,¬†Too Much Time on My Hands – The Handmade Hangout,¬†Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olson – Share Your Cup, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, Wondermom Wannabe – This is How We Roll,¬†Sincerely, Paula – No Rules Weekend Blog Party, The Life of Jennifer Dawn – A Little Bird Told Me,¬†The Pin Junkie, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters, Shoestring Elegance – What to Do Weekends, Tatertots and Jello – Link Party Palooza, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, Strawberry Butterscotch – Saturday Shuffle, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best,¬†Love of Home – Sundays at Home, My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies – Snickerdoodle Sunday, That Recipe – Happiness is Homemade,¬†Nifty Thrifty Things, Plucky’s Second Thought – Cooking and Crafting With J&J,¬†My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Claire Justine – Creative Monday, Create With Joy – Inspire Me Monday, I Should be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday, The Foley Fam – Dream. Create. Inspire, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, DIY Mommy – The Creative Corner, Lou Lou Girls, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at Our Home,¬†Being a Wordsmith – Turn it up Tuesday, The Dedicated House – Make it Pretty Monday, Cedar Hill Farmhouse – The Scoop,

School Holiday Activity – Henna Tattoos at Home

We are currently half way though our winter school holidays. It has been a lovely week doing a variety of activities.

We¬†began the holidays¬†by having a family gathering in the Blue Mountains,¬†enjoying Christmas in July. I’m guessing this is not something that is ‘celebrated’ in the northern hemisphere, but not sure if it is just an Australian/New Zealand thing? It is our opportunity to get as close to a wintery white Christmas as Australia allows. And if we¬†had been¬†the weekend before, we would indeed have seen snow (although it was the end of June, not yet July), but not while we were there.

We stayed in a lovely old hotel that was built in the late 1800s. The kids all enjoyed exploring the many rooms and making their own movie. The hosts seemed quite happy for them to do so! On Saturday night we were treated to a special Christmas dinner, even Santa made an appearance!

Christmas in July, Blue Mountains

Christmas in July in the Blue Mountains

After spending the weekend in the icy cold mountains, Monday was spent at the beach! You gotta love winter in Sydney!

Anyway, moving on…a member of¬†a facebook group¬†I am a¬†part of posted about doing her own henna tattoos at home (thanks, Lisa!). She had found a local Indian spice shop sold henna tubes. It looked like such an entertaining activity, I decided to see if¬†I could find an Indian spice shop that sold them.

And there was! For local Sydney readers, I found them at Hornsby Indian Bazaar, 43a Florence St, Hornsby. Cost: $2.50 per tube.

Henna tube

There were no instructions on the tube, so I did a bit of googling to see if there was anything important I should know. Believe it or not, there is! So I have compiled a list of what I learnt. Bare in mind that I am no expert in this, I am just a beginner. So my list is not the be all and end all of henna tattooing. Just sayin’ ūüėČ

  • Wash the skin where you intend to apply the henna with a soap that doesn’t contain lotion. (Ie not the home-made one you’ve made from Dove soap!)
  • Do a small patch test to see if you have any reaction to the henna paste. That’s just common sense. My son said he felt a slight tingling when I applied it to his hand, but he had no lasting or worsening symptoms. Perhaps it was just an unusual sensation for him and that was the best way he could describe it.
  • Massage the henna tube for a minute or so to loosen up¬†the paste and ensure it is all mixed nicely.
  • Have some water and paper towel or tissues¬†nearby.
  • Cut a small amount off the tip of the tube.
  • Squeeze the tube gently and start designing! I started by squeezing some onto a spare bit of paper to get the feel of it.
  • If you make a mistake you can quickly wipe it off with your damp tissue. Or just incorporate it into your design.
  • Let the paste dry. From what I read, this can take from 5 minutes up to 30 minutes. In our case, we waited 30 minutes. The longer you leave it on, the darker the stain. I read conflicting information on whether the paste stains or not. To be safe, assume it will and clean up any bits before it gets walked into your carpet or squashed into your floor or towels.
  • Be careful not to smudge the paste while it is drying!
  • Once dry, you can gently scratch the paste off to reveal your tattoo.
  • Rinse it under water, then pat your skin dry.
  • Henna stains your skin, so as your skin cells flake off your tattoo will fade until it is gone. To make your design last as long as possible try not to rub it (so pat your hands dry after washing them), wear gloves when doing the washing up, and moisturise your skin. From what I see, certain brands recommend using their own special oil to maintain the tattoo. I’m sure you will be perfectly fine using whatever you have available. We have been using sorbolene cream after washing.
  • The design gets darker the next day!

The tube I bought is just a tube full of paste. You can also get tubes with applicators. If you don’t have an Indian shop near you, check eBay or other on-line sellers for starter kits.

We browsed Pinterest for design inspiration, but I didn’t pin anything as all designs are personal, and really you just make it up as you go.

We had my niece and nephew come to visit and I thought this would be fun to do with them. Before they arrived, my son and I had a little practice. I asked him to choose a design, and he went with the Pokémon symbol of mega evolution:

Henna tattoo Pokemon

Then he watched while I decorated my own hand

Henna tattoo flower

He thought it looked fairly easy, so he added some details to his hand himself

Henna tattoo Pokemon 1

Here’s the first design¬†I did for my niece

Henna tattoo flower for Evie

Then she did one on my hand

Henna tattoo turtle

I’m sure it’s just a trick of the light that makes my¬†fingers¬†look like¬†they’re turning blue…

The boys decided on yin yang symbols

Henna tattoo yin yang

The next morning they wanted to do more!

Here are our finished designs, the kids have them on hands and wrists so we need 2 photos to see everything! You can see the difference in colour from the ones we did the first day.

Henna tattoo collection 1

Henna tattoo collection 2

All these tattoos came from one tube, which still has plenty left in it. So that’s pretty good value, I think. I’ve sealed the tube with a bit of tape, and I read that storing it in the fridge keeps it fresher for longer. The kids loved searching Pinterest for ideas and¬†inspiration, and there are certainly plenty for boys as well as girls.

I would definitely suggest giving this activity a go!

Linking up with:

Average But Inspired – The DIY Collective, Carrie Elle – The Mommy Club, A Glimpse Inside – The Handmade Hangout, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olson – Share Your Cup, Sincerely, Paula – No Rules Weekend Bloghop, The Life of Jennifer Dawn – A Little Bird Told Me, The Pin Junkie, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters, Shoestring Elegance – What to Do Weekends, Raising Fairies and Knights – Bloggers Spotlight, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, Strawberry Butterscotch – Saturday Shuffle, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best, Nifty Thrifty Things, Love of Home – Sundays at Home, My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies – Snickerdoodle Sunday, That Recipe – Happiness is Homemade, Plucky’s Second Thought – Cooking and Crafting With J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Create With Joy – Inspire Me Monday, I Should be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday, The DIY Mommy – Creative Corner,¬†Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Lou Lou Girls, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays From Our Home, Being a Wordsmith – Turn it up Tuesday, The Dedicated House – Make it Pretty Monday, Cedar Hill Farmhouse – The Scoop,¬†Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, The DIY Dreamer – From Dream to Reality, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Wonderful Wednesday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesdays, Simply Made Fun – Wednesday Roundup, A Tray of Bliss – Five Star Frou Frou, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Domesblissity _ Thriving on Thursdays, Wondermom Wannabe – This is How We Roll, Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday,