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Monday, July 7, 2008

Tennis and butter and biscuits.

This time, in this particular order.
I remembered to take the camera to tennis this weekend. Actually, we barely made it. I was thinking it would be cancelled due to the long weekend. I logged on to check and sure enough it was on. We had to eat and get dressed and make it there in 20 min.
We were 10 min late. I say we did pretty good.
The kids are enjoying it.
They actually hit a good number of balls.
K always gets confused and tries to smack it like a baseball, but he is working that out.
K  said a funny thing. M wanted to know why the teacher wanted them to stand like a T ( arms out at the sides like an airplane) to help them position themselves. K gets this "Are you an airhead" look on his face and says, "Because umm, we are playing TENNIS M, T T T TENNIS. That's why we make a T. He gave us this little look and walks off. M and I were just laughing and laughing.
Actually, I am impressed that he thought that up. Pretty clever, and it makes sense.
Kinda.
 Anyway, yesterday, I made lots of butter.
I have been skimming the cream off the top of the goat milk since March and had about 7 various sized containers of the stuff in the freezer.  I needed the containers to store more and thought it might be time to make some butter.
I attempted this one other time, and used the food processor. It did not go so well. The unit heated up, and made the the butter melt. I wasted two big containers.
 I hate that.
This time was much more successful.
 I froze a glass bowl and used a hand mixer to keep it as cool as possible.
Over by the sink where I will need cold water to rinse the butter, I had my strainer a bowl to catch and store the butter milk and an extra bowl, for just in case I needed an extra bowl.
So, I started by dumping my collected cream and fat into the cold bowl and start mixing slowly. 
Gradually, I turn up the mixer. In less than 5 minutes, you should here a sloshing sound. That is the sound of the milk being released as the fat particles make butter.
In cows milk you will see golden clumps. In Goat's milk, it is white on white. So you should feel the little clumps, and see if they feel like bits of butter. (They look like cottage cheese curds).
 At this point, dump the contents of the bowl, into a strainer over your butter milk collection bowl and drain out as much liquid as you can.
Work the butter in the strainer gently by rolling it over of bobbing the strainer up and down. If you squish the butter with a spoon or the like you will clog up your strainer.. The next step is to dump the part left in the strainer back into the bowl. 
Go to the sink and use very cold water to rinse the butter. You need to try to get out as much milk as you can so that the butter will stay fresher longer. To do this you knead the butter with you hands gingerly and keep changing out the water until it is relatively clear. 
Lastly you store the butter in a container and freeze until you need it. Put it small containers, so that it won't spoil if you do not use it quick enough.
I was able to get about 3 pounds of butter from these 7 ish containers. Not too shabby.
 It was a very easy and relaxing process, but I like this kind of crap.
Man, I love that goat!
The one problem I had with a few containers was that it never made the sloshing sound. The end result after about 10 mins of high speed mixing was that it went directly to the sink rinsing part, as there was no butter milk to strain. The real butter sinks, but this made whipped butter and it floated. It was hard to get a good rinse. But I did the best I could. It's not bad.  It tastes, well, like whipped airy butter. I did not salt my butter as I will use for baking, You can certainly salt your butter if you wish.
 I suspect that the problem batches were early milk from the goat which has extremely high fat content and the result was that it was so fatty that it could not separate.
But I really don't know what the hell I am talking about.
 It just sounds pretty good.
With some of the butter milk I had collected, I decided to use it to make Buttermilk Biscuits. It was hard to find a recipe that does not use vegetable shortening, but at last I found one. It's a great.  I think that I patted the dough too hard, as they did not rise high.
But we ate them any how.
 And we liked them.
Very much.
We used the whipped butter we made on them.
So yummy. 
I LOVE that goat.
 Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

Directions

  1. 1
    Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. 2
    Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. 3
    Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal.
  4. 4
    If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved.
  5. 5
    Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined.
  6. 6
    If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk.
  7. 7
    Turn the dough out onto a floured board.
  8. 8
    Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it's about 1/2" thick.
  9. 9
    Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.
  10. 10
    You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.
  11. 11
    Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet- if you like soft sides, put them touching each other.
  12. 12
    If you like"crusty" sides, put them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together.
  13. 13
    Bake for about 10-12 minutes- the biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom.
  14. 14
    Do not overbake.
  15. 15
    Note: The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough.
  16. 16
    The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits.
  17. 17
    I have found that a food processor produces superior biscuits, because the ingredients stay colder and there's less chance of overmixing.
  18. 18
    You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly.
  19. 19
    Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to overstimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.
  20. 20
    Note 2: You can make these biscuits, cut them, put them on cookie sheets and freeze them for up to a month.
  21. 21
    When you want fresh biscuits, simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes.

2 comments:

julie said...

I gotta get me a goat : )

EC said...

I am So impressed! FYI, I'm pretty sure you can substitute butter for shortening in any recipe. I use White Lily flour when I make biscuits and maaaannnnn are they good!

Great post!!!