Cultured Butter

This past Sunday we finally got some good heavy cream.  I have been wanting some to make butter with for a while, but we haven’t been able to get good cream until now.  So today I made cultured butter.

Cultured butter is butter that has been made with a cultured cream.  In Nourishing Traditions it says to use either piima cream, crème fraiche, or heavy cream left out to sour.  I made crème fraiche.  Crème fraiche (pronounced crem fresh) is basically European sour cream.  It was so easy to make, and it smelled SO good!  To make the crème fraiche, I left the cream out at room temperature with a little buttermilk for about 20 hours until it had thickened. 

This afternoon I made the butter and it turned out really well.  All I had to do was process the crème fraiche in the food processor until it became butter, which didn’t take very long.  The hardest part of making butter is pressing all the buttermilk out which, in my opinion, wasn’t all that hard.  The butter has a cultured taste, which I find absolutely delicious, and it is a healthy yellow.

It was fairly easy to make,  and I would make it again.

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The butter, ready to be pressed

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Pierogi

Yesterday I decided to make pierogi.  Pierogi, for those of you who are wondering, are a traditional Polish dumpling filled with either fruit, mashed potatoes, meat, or a mixture of mushrooms and sauerkraut.  We make ours with sauerkraut and mushrooms.  We love pierogi!  I made pierogi once with my grandmother years ago and it was so fun to make them.  Making and eating them brought back memories for me.  They turned out fairly well, almost like my grandmother made.  The recipes I have now were written from memory, so a lot of the details are missing.  Mom and I had to remember them.  Now I have some pointers for next time.

And, of course,  I took pictures!

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The rounds of dough with the filling

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Ready to be flash frozen

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The finished product – Yum!

Rushing Water

A few weeks ago we went to the creek that is near our home.  This creek is probably a 10 minute walk down an old county road.  I brought my camera down for the first time in a long while and had so much fun taking pictures!  It really is a beautiful creek,  in some spots with the trees making an arch above it,  and in others with the sun shining down on the water and making it sparkle.

We went down with several friends and we all had fun, I think it would be safe to say.  It was the perfect day – not too hot, not too cool, and no trouble with bugs!

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There were many lovely leaves like this one in the water

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My feet

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I love the ripples

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The “rapids”

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I think this rock jutting out of the water is so pretty

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Doesn’t this make you thirsty?

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If you can see it, there is a baby catfish right in the middle of this photo – he is hiding his head beneath the rock

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Another leaf – do you see those little sparkles?

Five Little Peppers…

…and how they grew!

Banana Peppers

We seem to have great luck growing peppers.  Last year we got lots of jalapeno peppers,  and we already harvested a basketful of  banana peppers this year – enough to can 3 pint jars.

Last week we went blueberry picking.  We picked almost 30 lbs. of berries!  I am snacking on some right now.  We froze a bunch, ate some,  made a pie, blueberry lemonade, and jam.  You can see the Lost Branch Blueberry Farm website here.

It was so nice to can again this year.  I always love getting back to canning.

The blueberry jam turned out wonderfully.  We have some in the fridge and I have been enjoying it.  As for the banana peppers…well, they had good flavor, but were pretty mushy.  I found a new recipe online for them that I am going to try – it’s here.  They are so delicious when they are crispy.

Do any of you can?  If so, have you canned yet this year?  And what did you can?

Peppers ready to be canned

 

Blueberry jam

Welcome!

Welcome to A Window to My World!

I am planning to post my many projects, pictures, and more here.  Some things you may expect to find (although you may find a few unexpected things :)) are pictures of my sewing projects (mostly semi-historical dresses, at least right now), pictures of my cooking and canning projects (and descriptions of the failures when they fail), and pictures.

So, enjoy!  Oh, and drop a note so I know you’ve visited!

~Allison