Sunday, April 20, 2008

Coming out of the 1st trimester fog...

Okay, today is the last day of my 1st trimester! Although my nausea has held on for as long as a month longer during a previous pregnancy, I'm fully convinced that I won't have it tomorrow. Nausea, pack your suitcase! (If this doesn't work, I do still have a couple more of my wonder drug Zofran! Why didn't I know about this before? It doesn't make all the nausea go away, but at least I don't throw up when I use it).

I've been longing to get back to normal. Translation: to have a semi-clean house, cook real food, read to my kids, do weird things, and research more weird stuff to get into. Today, I accomplished some of that. I have a pretty clean kitchen, actually made non packaged dinner last night (hamburgers with peppered corn on the cob from the crock pot), and made butter today. I'm also researching more weird stuff. At least Matt Lauer is on board with this one (not that I like him, but he's pretty mainstream!). (That link is to the Today show report on bad plastics.)
Here's the butter making story:

First, I buy raw cow's milk for my dogs (since in Texas you can buy it for pet consumption, but not human consumption). Then I use my dog's food for butter. Hey, we're in a recession, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Actually, I read this blog post to learn how to use my Kitchenaid mixer to make butter. It has a good point about why store bought butter is so bad for us.
It's pretty easy. You start with the raw milk. See the cream on the top? I use a medicine dropper you get at the pharmacy to get it off the top and into the bowl. I started with 2 cups of cream.

I misread the instructions and set the mixer on low as I cleaned the kitchen. It was taking forever, so I set it on 4 and almost immediately it got creamy. Sorry, should have used the flash.

When it turns to butter, it's a very fast transition. I turned my back and I heard milk splashing out, ran to the mixer and found the butter stuck to the whisk and the buttermilk going everywhere.

I rinsed it like the instructions said, then drained the water. I thought it'd be great to just use my pasta strainer to strain the water, pushing the butter hard against the holes with a wooden spoon. Then I thought to look under the strainer! Remember the playdough sets that let you grow hair? Shane & I both lamented that we never had one growing up but always wanted to play with our friends'.

Oh well, no harm done. I scraped all the butter into my mason jar. I'm in the market for one of these cool butter keepers, though. Here's the finished product. I also ended up with a quart of "buttermilk" to use later or something...

Okay, and here's the weird stuff I'm looking at now. With all the plastic talk, I finally sat down and looked it up. I've used glass to drink from at home for a long time. My family liked plastic, but recently when I had an opportunity to grab a bunch of free mason jars, I did so and replaced almost all our plastic junk. Mason jars deserve their own post. They are so timeless. They say, "I am not disposable" which flies in the face of modern America. They could have been made in 2008 or 1948. Think of all the jellies, jams, canned green beans and such they could have held. All the work that went into preserving that food is represented in that jar. I love them-I love them big with a wide mouth, full of iced water, iced tea, or iced coffee!

Stainless steel bottles-sleek, in demand, and expensive ($15-$20 a pop!)

We still have a drawer of plastic sippy cups and sports bottles for when we go out to the ballpark or for the little ones. Hope & I started looking at numbers and we probably want to get rid of some or ours (darn!). I'd love to replace the sports cups and sippies with something better, but boy the stainless steel and aluminum (lined with something safe) are not cheap! I'm looking at glass but want a cover to prevent breakage...then I found these: (If you poke around on this site, you'll find more baby bottles, kids' sports bottles, and adult sized sports bottles.)

Isn't this cool? It's an Evenflo glass bottle with a silicone cover. Kinda retro. My babies never liked these nipples though, they like the wide ones...

I wish we could have a "I've been married a long time shower" or a "my kids are older and very expensive now shower". I'd register for all kinds of weird things I can't afford!


Amber said...

How cool to make your own butter!

Latte-n-Libre said...

I enjoyed getting to chat with you today. I am especially glad you are finally feeling better- but I will keep my prayer reminder up until you are holding your sweet babe in your arms.

You can get some cheese cloth at walmart and also squeeze the liquid out of your butter with that too and i THINK the cheese cloth is reusable.
I want a butter crock too. Lehmans has some neat butter crocks.

Princess "C" and I also went through our plastics and started chunking. Yikes!

Andi said...

What a fun and informative blog. You sound like somebody else I know, me!! Isn't it fun to learn and improvise and implement new learning. I am in such an agreement with the shower idea. You need the shower 5 or 10 years after marriage when you appreciate things more and know how to take care of them! You know there is such a thing as a pounding? Usually given for newlyweds but also given for new abode celebration. Poundings are usually unannounced. Way back when, pounding gifts were generally food items. I promise you now you will have a pounding to remember when you get out on your Ponderosa!!!

Yes, cheesecloth is reusable. However, I think it is sufficient to just rinse off your butter and let it drain in a colander. No squishing the butter through anything. I'll will be glad to check with the neighbors and my parents though.

Well, no time like the present. Wilema, age 89, said they never rinsed off their butter. She says if you do, you are just rinsing off the buttermilk. Just lightly drain in your colander.

Congratulations on serving your first Trimester. All glory to God!

Use your buttermilk in pancakes, muffins, cornbread. Yummers!!

Thanks for all the info you little researcher you!

Andi said...

Hurray to forgoing plastics!! I have found that quart jars are a perfect place to store leftovers and so much less expensive than the glass pyrex dishes at Wal-Willy. You can store cooked beans, spaghetti, soups, broths. Yes, I prefer the big mouths, too. You can find the plastic lids at Wal-Mart in the canning section. I am not, at least at this point, opposed to the plastic lids. Would prefer to have one piece metal lids. I dislike the 2 piece metal lids because they take more time and are harder to wash. I've cut my thumb more than once as I've washed the round metal part of the lids.