Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I can't believe it's not butter! Oh, but it is and it's dang good!

When I think of food storage, I think about a lot of things. First I think about what I have in storage and whether or not I'll like using it when disaster strikes (this is a major motivation factor for me, the reason I'm always trying new recipes, learning new cooking methods etc.). The second thing I think about are things that I have in my food storage that would be a comfort to me and my family. For instance, I've been canning up lots and lots of chocolate chips, M&M's, granola bars, goldfish crackers (all in vacuum sealed jars-more on that later) and butter because I know that at one point in time these will come as a great relief in times of stress. These items will also add just a little something to the everyday routine of wheat, wheat and more wheat. And so I introduce you to another one of my favorites: Butter In A Can. Yes, Butter In A Can, sweet, beloved and yummy butter in a can. I've tested it, tried it in recipes and it is fabulous. BTW, it's spreadable and gorgeous, not powdered, although the powdered kind can be very handy. It can be pricey, but I feel it's always worth it to carry a few cans to round out your storage. You can link HERE to purchase, but as I am affilated with no company if you find it cheaper somewhere else, by all means. I think it's also on sale at Macey's in Provo.

Did you know that you can also can up butter and margarine in jars? Here's a recipe that I've tried and it works well too. Please email me with any questions (I have found that butter works much better than margarine in this recipe):

1. Use any butter that is on sale. Lesser quality butter requires more shaking (see #5 below), but the results are the same as with the expensive brands.

2. Heat pint jars in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes, without rings or seals. One pound of butter slightly more than fills one pint jar, so if you melt 11 pounds of butter, heat 12 pint jars. A roasting pan works well for holding the pint jars while in the oven.

3. While the jars are heating, melt butter slowly until it comes to a slow boil. Using a large spatula, stir the bottom of the pot often to keep the butter from scorching. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes at least: a good simmer time will lessen the amount of shaking required (see #5 below). Place the lids in a small pot and bring to a boil, leaving the lids in simmering water until needed.

4. Stir the melted butter from the bottom to the top with a soup ladle or small pot with a handle; pour the melted butter carefully into heated jars through a canning jar funnel. Leave ½” of head space in the jar, which allows room for the shaking process.

5. Carefully wipe off the top of the jars, then get a hot lid from the simmering water, add the lid and ring and tighten securely. Lids will seal as they cool. Once a few lids “ping” shake while the jars are still warm, but cool enough to handle easily, because the butter will separate and become foamy on top and white on the bottom. In a few minutes, shake again, and repeat until the butter retains the same consistency throughout the jar.

6. At this point, while still slightly warm, put the jars into a refrigerator. While cooling and hardening, shake again, and the melted butter will then look like butter and become firm. This final shaking is very important! Check every 15 minutes and give the jars a little shake until they are hardened in the jar! Leave in the refrigerator for an hour.

7. Canned butter should store 3-5 years or longer on a cool, dark shelf. It does last a long time. Canner butter does not “melt” again when opened, so it does not need to be refrigerated upon opening, provided it is used within a reasonable length of time.

1 comment:

FamiLee said...

I have a challenge for you...we hate powdered milk, but we do not mind shelf milk. Can you figure out how to "can" milk?

Great idea! Can your own butter for cheaper...hmmmm...