Chicklets in the Kitchen: Mint Water and Homemade Butter

I thought it’d be fun to share something different this month. Two things, as a matter of fact.

Mint Flavored Water

Mint Flavored Water

In the summer months I make flavored water. As a Celiac, I’m limited by my disease to drinks that have no additional, artificial ingredients. That limits me, usually, to water, iced tea, lemonade and the like. But I live in Arizona where it’s hot so I drink a lot of water. Don’t get me wrong, I like water but sometimes it’s nice to have something a little extra special. So I drop an herb like mint, thyme, sage, or rosemary into my filtered water and let it set until the herbs flavor the water. Sometimes I add fruit, like apple, strawberry, blueberry, or peach to the mix for something extra special.

So, here’s how you do it.

Ingredients

Fresh Sprig of Mint (Preferably from your garden!)

Garden Mint

Garden Mint

1 Qt Filtered Water

Mint Sprig in Water

Mint Sprig in Water

Drop the mint in the container

Pour the water over the mint. The water pressure is enough pounding to release the mint but you can bruise the leaves first if you want.

Filtered Water

Filtered Water

Done. Refrigerate at least 1/2 hour before drinking. The longer it soaks, the more flavor you’ll get.

Also for fun, I sometimes make my own butter. Since most kitchens haven’t stocked a butter churn in decades, I use a mason jar to shake the cream. It’s the mechanical action that disturbs the cream and makes the butter molecules stick together.

So here’s how you do it.

Ingredients

Heavy Cream and Mason Jar with lid

Heavy Cream and Mason Jar with lid

1 Quart Mason jar

1 pint whipping cream (I use organic, gluten-free heavy cream)

Bring the cream to room temperature. You can do this when it’s cold, but it will take longer.

Pour the cream into the jar and put the lid on tight.

Pour the cream into the jar.

Pour the cream into the jar.

Shake. Shake it until you see the cream turn to whipped cream. Very handy trick if your beaters conk out on you.

Shake the jar

Shake the jar

Keep shaking. It doesn’t seem that anything is happening but trust me, it is.

It's at the whipped cream stage

It’s at the whipped cream stage

Shake some more. You miss it when the butter starts to form but it’s happening. Keep on shaking and soon you’ll realize that there’s a big blob of butter in the jar and the remaining milk.

It's Butter!

It’s Butter!

Pour off the milk which is now official butter milk. You can see from the picture I got nearly a whole cup of buttermilk from the process. Don’t toss that out! You can drink it straight or use it to make buttermilk pancakes.

Pour off the buttermilk

Pour off the buttermilk

Put the butter in a wide, shallow bowl.

Butter and remaining buttermilk

Butter and remaining buttermilk

Drain off any excess milk into your cup.

Press the butter with a spoon or a rubber spatula. You’ll notice the butter is very soft and when you press it, more milk comes off. Drain that excess into the cup. Repeat the process until no more or very little milk drains out.

Getting excess milk out of the butter.

Getting excess milk out of the butter.

Add a little salt. I used about 1/16th of a teaspoon. This is optional, you don’t have to add salt at all.

Add a little salt

Add a little salt

Mix it in and again, drain off any drops of milk. This time discard it if you’ve added salt.

Put into a dish and spread on your toast or those pancakes we talked about earlier.

Butter and Buttermilk

Butter and Buttermilk

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite fun recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

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This entry was posted in Connie, Contributors, Gardening, Gluten-Free, Miscellaneous, Recipes and tagged , , , , by conniecockrell. Bookmark the permalink.

About conniecockrell

A 20-year Air Force career, time as a manager at a computer operations company, wife, mother, sister and volunteer, provides a rich background for Connie Cockrell’s story-telling. Cockrell grew up in upstate NY, just outside of Gloversville, NY before she joined the military at age 18. Having lived in Europe, Great Britain, and several places around the United States, she now lives in Payson, AZ with her husband: hiking, gardening, and playing bunko. She writes about whatever comes into her head so her books could be in any genre. She's published sixteen books so far, has been included in five different anthologies and been published on EveryDayStories.com and FrontierTales.com. Connie's always on the lookout for a good story idea. Beware, you may be the next one. She can be found at www.conniesrandomthoughts.com or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts or on Twitter at: @ConnieCockrell or on Amazon at amazon.com/author/conniecockrell

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