Thursday, March 10, 2011

Buttering my bread in a time of crisis

Buttering my bread in a time of crisis

By Shenandoah

So here we are..I have stored up a few hundred pounds so far of wheat and
learning how to bake bread (and looking for an old fashion wood stove) but
how about good ol fashion butter on a slice of bread and some home jam
just to make the world feel right again.

Our dependence on refrigeration has kept us from learning how to store
foods without it. Here is a great little morsel in learning how to store
butter without the need for refrigeration.

First off, you are going to need Mason or Ball type canning jars or some
tight sealing containers. I have decided on the ½ pint wide mouth jar for
this project. These little jars are great for either jams or butter. The
advantage is small containers for once you open up any sealed container in
an off the grid situation, the clock starts ticking for how long it will
stay good. Also, smaller containers provide insurance from product loss
due to a broken seal or cracked glass.

Now you might be wondering if butter is something you need to store? The
answer is YES!!! In a “back to basics” diet in a post TEOTWAWKI world we
will all be finding ourselves eating foods with a greatly reduced amount
of fats. Yes, we will all look a lot better, and obesity will not be a
problem, we will soon find that our bodies do require a small quantity of
fats. Butter can supply essential fats in small quantities on a daily
basis. Lards can be rendered from animal fats but wild game like deer
have little fat on them to begin with.

Butter, when properly canned and stored enjoys a reportedly long life span
of three to five years plus before going rancid.

There are two ways to can butter. The first is using a pressure cooker
and the second is canning without the pressure cooker.

If you can with a pressure cooker the life span should store indefinitely.
Although canned butter has not been practiced all that long but over 6
years has been established in commercial canned butter.

A quick method that I use is this. I melt the butter in a large pot and
bring it to a boil. At the same time I prepare my jars by first washing
them and then place them into the oven at 300 degrees to make sure they
are completely sanitized.

Next I carefully pour the butter into the jars making sure not to get any
on the rims and then seal with the lid (waiting in boiling water to
sanitize and soften the seal) and then screw down the band.

The lids will go plink plink just like they do out of a pressure cooker as
the vacuum inside the jars happens with cooling.

To pressure cook these jars you do all the steps as above but rather than
letting the jars cool on the counter you would place them into the
pressure cooker and go through a proper cycle. If you use these ½ pint
jars and the liquid is already hot then it should not take long.

I skip the pressure canning side of this for two reasons. First is that
you have boiled the butter and really sanitized the jars and lids so these
are going to be pretty free of contamination. Secondly, butter is one of
those things God gave us that does not grow bacteria all that well and
lastly if you use salted butter as I do the salt gives it an added level
of protection.

Either way pressure cooker or not you will need to allow these to cool and
shaking them often to reduce separation. I would recommend putting them
into the refrigerator after they have cooled enough to hold in your hand
so they will solidify quicker and again continue the shaking. As soon as
they have cooled they will have the familiar yellow solid butter look.

Store this butter in the coolest place as you would all of your canned
goods for maximum shelf life….and enjoy!

Again, the steps are.

1. Bring the butter to a low boil, stirring often.
2. Place the washed jars in the oven at 300 degrees for 20 Min.
3. Place the lids in boiling water to be ready to use.
4. Ladle the butter into the jars through a funnel leaving ½ to ¾
inch headroom.
5. Place the lids on the jars and the bands tightly.
6. Shake frequently as the butter cools to avoid settling and
7. Enjoy!


Editors note:  Many people have been canning butter for years without any problems.  Even I have  known people who can butter and swear by their methods.  However, there are many who feel that it is an unsafe practice.  Do the research and educate yourself before attempting any home canning method that you are unfamiliar with.  Here is a link regarding the warnings of canning butter:

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