20 minutes makes a better butter

I’ve been reading a few more crunchy blogs lately and have been inspired to expand upon my own crunchiness by making my own butter. Crunchy Chicken made it sound easy peasy on her other blog Crunchy Chicken Cooks, and my friend Julie also tried it with much success, so I decided we should have a go at it ourselves.

All you need to make your own butter is:

  1. A pint of heavy whipping cream
  2. A Mason jar with a lid

Then shake, shake, shake your way to delicious fresh butter.

Before:
Cream

The helpers shake it up:
Ava making butter - 2/9/08 Julian making butter 2/9/08

After:
The finished product - butter!

And on some homemade blueberry bread (made with the buttermilk that is leftover from making the butter):
Blueberry bread with fresh butter

I’d never had fresh butter before, but it really is delicious! :)

We speculate that the cream we got from our local dairy was not heavy whipping cream because it actually took us longer than 20 minutes to make the butter. The first time I thought it was because we let the kids help, but the second time I did most of the shaking myself and it still took a lot longer than 20 minutes. I think the next time I’m just going to pick up a pint of organic heavy whipping cream at the store.

You can read the full step by step instructions with pictures on Crunchy Chicken’s cooking blog. The last step that is optional (and that she did not include) is to add some salt to it if you prefer salted butter.

Next up for the Crunchy Domestic Goddess is making yogurt! I just need to get myself a candy thermometer and then I’m all over it. :)

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Also, just want to add that I’m writing for Blissfully Domestic now as the “Eco Diva.” My first post all about recycling is up today!

And while you are blog hopping, check out AllTop.com, a new project by Guy Kawasaki “that provides ‘all the top’ stories for 40 of the most popular topics on the Web. The headlines and first paragraph of the five most recent stories from 40 to 80 sources for each topic are displayed.”

Wordless Wednesday – 3/12/08 – Sad, but true

Wrong on the Internet
From xkcd

And now for a few words making this a not-so-wordless Wednesday. I realize I haven’t had much in the way of substance on my blog so far this week, but I’ve been enjoying the warmer temps (66 degrees here today) and trying to live more in the moment with my kids. I’m still working on finding that perfect balance between being mommy, working, and blogging. I haven’t figured it out yet. If you have, please clue me in. :)

More Wordless Wednesday

Pay It Forward – reader appreciation

A loooooong time ago, the wonderful Penny at Walking Upside Down chose me to be the recipient of a PIF or Pay It Forward meme. She made me a cool eco bag and also gifted me with a wonderfully-smelling bar of soap. Since then, Isil at Veggie Way has also chosen me for a PIF. I haven’t received her gift yet, but it is a hand cranked music box that plays “Imagine.” Love that song. :)

Now it’s my turn to (finally) return the favor. The way it works is I will send a gift (something handmade or something bought – I don’t make much myself so it will probably be something bought) to three random people who leave a comment on my blog. The only thing you have to do in return is “pay it forward” by making the same promise on your blog or some other form. So, if you like this idea and a bit of fun mail, please leave a comment on this post (and make sure I have your email address so I can contact you and get your mailing address)! Also, I have one additional stipulation, to be eligible for this PIF you must be at least a semi-regular commenter on my blog. I’d like to use this opportunity to show my appreciation for my wonderful readers/commenters who come back week after week by giving a few of you something back in return.

Thank you! :)

Also, just want to add that I don’t have any restrictions on whether or not you are a US resident for this giveaway, especially since the two PIFs I received came from overseas. :)

Best Shot Monday – 3/10/08 – Hanging out

The weekend was sunny and semi-warm, at least warm enough for some good outside play time which is what the kids have been craving these days.

On Sunday we went to the park for a while. The kids did some swinging, went down the slide, demolished the sand cakes Jody and I made, and even got in a bit of hang time. Since I didn’t take very many pics this week, these are going to have to do for my best shots. :) They were both all giggles while upside down and Julian gave new meaning to the term “hanging out.”

Ava and Jody at the park - 3/9/08 Julian and Jody at the park - 3/9/08

You can see more “best shots” over at:

red BSM button

International Women’s Day – March 8

International Women’s DayToday, March 8, is International Women’s Day. Never heard of it before? Me either until just yesterday, but I’m so glad that I did.

Celebrated on March 8 every year, “International Women’s Day (IWD) is the global day connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential. IWD celebrates the collective power of women past, present and future.”

For me, today means reflecting on how far we as women in the United States have come in the past. We have the right to vote, to own property, to get a higher education, to work. Yet it is obvious to me on a daily basis that while we have a lot of rights, there is more work to be done. I need only think of the current battle going on over a woman’s right to have the birth she desires and know that we have a long way to go.

And while our rights as women here in the United States seem pretty good overall, women elsewhere around the world are not as fortunate. Mom Grind notes at a UN Conference in 2001 it was stated that “in the world as a whole, women comprise 51 percent of the population, do 66 percent of the work, receive 10 percent of the income and own less than one percent of the property.”

And Women’s Lens reminds us that in many places, there are still “women who are enslaved; women who are tortured; women who are suppressed; women who are aborted before they can become women because of their sex; women who are discriminated against; women who are overlooked because they are not men; women who are illiterate; women who are circumcised against their will; women who are vilified because they speak out against injustice; women who are threatened with death because they refuse to bow to the men who rule them.”

So yes, women have come a long way in parts of the world and we should celebrate that, but we also cannot lose sight of the fact that we have a lot of work ahead of us.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

You can learn more about IWD on: