Sunday, January 23, 2011

Making Ghee

So busy and so much to talk about that I've five posts I'm working on and I'm having trouble finding the time to write. It's one thing to do it, another to photograph and prepare the photographs for the blog, and yet another thing to write the posts. You see the kids are STILL sick but well enough to take to school. Noses running and a little cough make it so the kids are more active but still demanding and a bit grouchy. Lots of holding time still for the youngest and

This all while I'm full swing in to my winter canning season. What? canning in the winter. Yup, I have a winter canning season when I've emptied enough jars in the fall that I can begin canning once more but that's a story for another day.

Except, that I canned ghee also along with the usual things. Yes, you can can ghee, but first I'll have to tell you about how to make it. I've done it twice now. The first time was a small batch and the second a large one in order to can it and help clear space for the beef going insidethe freezer in part where I had frozen butter. Today, I'm using ghee in some bread while sneaking in some wheat flour, and squash in an unusual way. I'll tell you about that too. If it works out well it will be a long post and if not a bleep in another. All this is part of my eat healthier campaign that is to include the kids. That is where the difficult part comes in. I've got to sneak nutrition in since their use to store packaged items. I've been slowly working on them all fall and now it's time to step it up a big notch. Ghee is a part of that program since it is so assimilable for the body. Besides, it will save money on all the olive oil I use to buy since ghee will take some of its place in my cooking.

If your wondering what the picture is, of course it's ghee turns white, which is what it does when cool. This is my ghee in the refrigerator though the instructions say it will keep at room temperature for a month. I'm overly cautious since this is all new to me.

A drop of moisture can cause your ghee to go bad since it allows bacteria to enter so just in case in the refrigerator it's going. I just have a pint so it can keep company with the buttermilk, and the sour dough starter.

Now for those instructions you've been waiting for.

The first step to making ghee is to purchase some butter or in my case make butter from my dairy goats. They say a pound makes about a pint. I didn't measure so I don't know, sorry. Measuring is something that doesn't come natural to me.

Some say use salted and some say use unsalted. Then some go on to say that cultured butter is the only kind to use for it gives a much better flavor. I wouldn't know since I've never had cultured butter. Since everyone seems to have a different opinion, I say use what you've got and then go on to form your own opinion on the subject by experimenting. Let me know will you so I'll know too.
My ghee is from goat butter of course since I'm trying to learn to do as much as possible with goat milk. I had some already in the refrigerator so I plopped it in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Burning off moisture is part of the process so DON'T cover the pot. Besides all the noise this makes will have you in constant suspense if you can't watch the whole process.
As the moisture burns off the butter will foam up. It will begin to resemble the mud pots in Jelly Stone Park. Oh come on, haven't you heard of Yogie Bear? Well, he really was from just up north of us in Yellowstone Park where the world famous mud pots reside. When ever I do something like this I can't help but think of my old stomping grounds and though I've never met a bear as friendly as Yogie, I have often watched the heat build up from the volcano underneath the park watching Old Faithful blow high in to the air or stood on the walkways as the air bubbles rose to the surface of the mud pots. Listening as they make a light popping sound as the bubbles break the surface.

We taught the kids about this phenomenon before we took them to Yellowstone by heating applesauce on the stove. Back to making ghee. Watch for the following signs that your ghee is done. Remember, butter boils at a very low temperature so keep the stove turned WAY down.

  • Changes from a cloudy yellow to a clean golden yellow.

  • Develops a popcorn smell.

  • Stops foaming and makes crackling sounds. Reminds me of rendering fat for soap.

A thin light tan crust forms on the nearly motionless surface.

  • The milk solids at the bottom turn from white to brown. This can take 30 or 40 minutes or longer if you like me do a second batch and it is quite large.
  • Strain it through cheese cloth or I used my milk straining pads and my milk strainer.

If your ghee is this dark, you've cooked it too long. I told you I was a good teacher because I make so many mistakes I know what not to do. Don't fret though because this ghee is still good, just a little overly cooked.

Make sure the jar you put the ghee into is completely dry or the moisture inside will allow bacteria to enter. I used a hair dryer blowing the hot air inside the jar to make sure it was completely dry. When the ghee has cooled, store in a dry place away from direct sunlight. Be careful the spoon you use to dip into the ghee when scooping some out for use. It also must be completely dry.

You can also do this in the oven on 300F but I choice the stove top method.

Ghee has no dairy anymore since the milk solids were left in the bottom of the pan and screened out with the cheese cloth so lactose intolerant people can use this product. Also just as a note of interest, clarified butter has 20% milk remaining.

Now comes the incorporating of ghee into your diet. I've used it to fry in and this morning I added it into bread. Later, I'll tell you about my experience making pie crust with it and using it in biscuits. You can substitute ghee for part of you lard or shortening but since this is a blog where I not only tell you but show you, I'll have to do it first. So many things to try and so little free time.

Stay tuned, I have another page done for my gardening booklet, _since I haven't heard from anyone on how beneficial it is to them, I'm wondering if I should continue the series [speak up] or I'll just do it for myself. No hard feelings, I just want to share what's beneficial to you and not cause you to fall a sleep on the other stuff. I'm finding the information very useful to my gardening plans but I'm not you. Remember, your comments help direct my posts. I'll also let you know what besides ghee I've been canning this cold winter month with snow piling outside. Of course, I'll have to give you instructions on how to can ghee also. So hurry out and buy some butter or make some if your goats are still fresh. I'll understand if you can't make goat butter right now. Chicory is about dry so I will begin to freeze some milk this week for those long months while I await her freshening. Okay, it's only going to be a couple months but it seems long when your beloved milk isn't fresh.

I've also made more buttons and knitted a lovely ascot from wool and alpaca. I have a new great way to make buttermilk. How will I ever get all these posts done? Just keep reminding me of what you want to hear and I keep plugging along.

No comments:

Post a Comment