Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

I just couldn't wait until Christmas

Call me worse than a little kid, but I just couldn't wait until Tuesday to break into my Christmas present this year. You see, Santa brought a Gem Dandy Butter Churn for me. Until now, I had been using both my Kitchen Aid mixer and Cuisinart--one made a mess and the other did a lousy job. Neither did more than a quart of cream at a time. So when the jugs of cream began building up in the fridge, I couldn't bear the thought of doing nine batches of butter when I could do one.
The first archaeological evidence of butter making dates from 600 AD with the dasher and barrel type churn. In the 1800's, mechanical churns began to emerge. Electrical motors were added in the mid 1900's. There are plenty of smaller Gem Dandy churns--both manual and electric--on eBay and in antique stores.

Butter is a finicky thing. Cream won't turn to butter until it is slightly acidic and approximately 50 degrees. If it's too cold or too warm, it just froths. I add an aromatic culture to the cream prior to bringing to room temperature to help increase acidity and add flavor.
Butter & real buttermilk.

The butter needs to be rinsed to remove all of the buttermilk or it will go rancid faster. There is still plenty of liquid left in the butter so I work it in smaller batches folding it over on itself in order to remove the buttermilk while rinsing under cold water. 2 1/4 gallons of cream yielded about a pound and a half of butter and 3 quarts of buttermilk.
In addition to the churn, I also got a set of German butter molds--the small one has a flower, the medium one has grapes and the large one has a chick.

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