Monthly Archives: June 2013

Ghee

While I was peeling dried strawberries off of dehydrator sheets a couple weeks ago, Mike decided to try making clarified butter – “ghee”.

For years I’ve thought, why make ghee when we are blessed with an abundance of butter? Well, the answer to that question came as we began to run low on our coconut oil. Could there be a way to make our own healthy oil?

We go through a 5 gallon bucket of coconut oil every year. We’ve read alot about its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral traits, so we try to use and eat it as much as we can. πŸ™‚

This year we went to order our annual bucket of coconut oil, but hadn’t heard back from our source. So as it got lower & lower, Mike started asking me questions about ghee. Begrudgingly, I began to research it, and was pleasantly surprised at what I found. My main concern was about pie crusts – could you use ghee to make a pie crust?? Yep! Once I read that, I knew this would be a worthwhile venture, lol! πŸ™‚

Mike made it look pretty easy… The whole procedure took about 30 minutes. Started with 2 pounds of unsalted butter that he had made that day. Melted it in a tall stock pot on “4” (medium low). Didn’t stir it – just gently moved the foam a bit to peak at the clarity every 10 minutes or so. Eventually the foam cleared away, and you could see how the muddy yellow liquid changed to a beautiful, clear yellow. Dumped it through a muslin lined colander into a glass bowl, and that’s it! Yield was a smidge over 24 oz. or 3 cups of ghee from 2 lbs. of butter. πŸ™‚

That 3 cups only lasted one week, lol! Worked perfect in our baked brown rice, for frying up our homemade salami, in our sourdough tortillas and crackers, in a cake recipe, for greasing my baking stones, and for frying our eggs in, too! Oh yeah. I am a ghee girl now… πŸ™‚

Haven’t had time to try a pie crust yet – so perhaps that’ll be a future post. πŸ™‚

We did finally get our 5 gallon bucket of coconut oil, so now my goal is to see if we can stretch it for two years instead of one… So exciting to find another product we can make ourselves to lessen the amount of money we need to spend off-farm! πŸ™‚

20130627-200023.jpg

20130627-201703.jpg

20130627-202417.jpg

20130627-203316.jpg

20130627-204955.jpg

20130627-205422.jpg

20130627-205737.jpg

20130627-210120.jpg

2 days ago, I had my first try at making ghee, and it was a success! I clarified 6 pounds of unsalted butter & got 2.5 quarts of ghee. I put one quart in the fridge, and leave the rest in a kitchen cupboard. When I get around to making that pie – I’ll use the semi solid form from the fridge…

20130627-210615.jpg

Dried Strawberries 2013

Paul picked 9 more quarts of strawberries last Wednesday. So that afternoon I spent 4 hours cutting & arranging the slices onto our Excalibur’s shelves. They dried for 12 hours at 135Β°. I think they taste like pieces of fruit roll-ups, but better because there’s no added sugar! Drying the fruit captures & accentuates the natural sweetness of the berry. And it only takes a pinch of slices to add to a bowl of granola or throw in a smoothie. πŸ™‚

It’s certainly a “labor of love”, though – a yucky, sticky mess, but I’m ok with doing it ONCE-A-YEAR, lol. πŸ™‚

20130617-175026.jpg

20130617-175144.jpg

20130617-180337.jpg

2013 Strawberries

Paul picked strawberries at a patch not too far from here with Grandma yesterday. It’s an annual event for them… πŸ™‚

He brought home 12 quarts, and today I did a marathon jam day & made 4 batches. Should be plenty to last us one year of kefir shakes plus a few pb&j sandwiches! πŸ™‚

Here’s how we make each batch of jam:

1/3c (44g) pectin from the bulk food store
5c slightly pulsed strawberries
1 dab butter

Mix 3 ingredients above. Heat in tall stainless steel stock pot over high heat, stirring continuously until rolling boil. Quickly dumped in pre measured 7c (1,568g) evaporated cane juice.

[Yeah. That’s ALOT of sweetener. A bit of jam goes a long way, though. A tablespoon of jam a day goes into our kefir shakes each morning. So…1T divided by 4 people = 3/4t of jam each. And 1 quart of jam lasts us a little more than 2 months…]

Brought it back to a rolling boil & set timer for one minute longer. (Still stirring continuously…) Removed from heat. Skimmed off foam & placed it in a bowl to enjoy with butter on toast…mmmmm! πŸ™‚

Poured remainder into glass jars. Let sit for 24 hours – no lids. Tomorrow I’ll put the lids on & freeze them. Yielded: 2+ quarts.

20130605-203149.jpg

20130605-203924.jpg

Lord willing, they’ll go picking again so we can dehydrate a bunch next. πŸ™‚