Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lessons from butter

Anne wrote the following in an email to her sister. I thought it was worth sharing:

I am working on canning the stuff in my freezer in preparation for going solar. One of the things in my freezer was 15 lbs of butter - mostly from the coop, a pound or so from our farm. 002Well, I have directions on how to kettle-can butter, and how hard can that be, right? 

I successfully canned 10 lbs of the butter. Of the other 5 lbs, 4 lbs are in jars that haven't sealed and I don't think they're going to, and 1 lb is in the trash can.

I learned some things today:

1) it is better to kettle-can butter working in small batches, otherwise the butter in the pot cools off too much and your jars won't seal.

2) a pot of simmering butter boils over when you have a lid on it. (learned that one twice.)

3) a really good way to fill your house with a lot of smoke is to have two big pots of butter boil over on a wood cookstove.

4) if you pour hot butter into a jar that got too hot while being sterilized in the oven, the jar will break. (resulting in a pound of butter in the trash can.)

5) if you have a pint jar (full of melted butter) break, there is no way you can salvage the butter or the kitchen towel that the jar was sitting on.

6) every homestead kitchen, no matter how frugal, needs paper towels.

7) you CAN survive disastrous canning days - it is not the end of the world, although it sure seems like it.

So, that was my day. Tomorrow I will try again and redo the four lbs that didn't seal. (1 pint jar and 9 half-pints).

Anne :)

Recipe for canning butter


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