So I must admit, I've been very intimidated by the 1/2 pints of cream staring at me from the back of the refrigerator. Their purpose is to become raw butter, but I'm not exactly sure how that happens. This is primarily because the recipe that I have (from Nourishing Traditions) says to first leave the cream out at room temperature for about 8 hours to sour. Sour, really? I don't remember ever hearing that that was a good thing. Reading this nutrition/recipe book has made me realize that there are a lot of things I don't know about food, and they generally seem to know what they're talking about, so I'm going to trust them. Sour I will.
So, first question: what do I sour it in? Does it need to be put in a jar, can it stay in the plastic container, does it need to be covered? Second: how do I know when it's soured, what does it look like?
I set the 2 half pints of cream out on the counter in their plastic containers (covered) and hope for the best. Then an hour later I start worrying that I'm going to waste $10 in raw cream and decide to conduct a frenzied internet search on making raw butter. Everyone had a different technique. Use a blender, use a mason jar, use a hand mixer, use 4 day old cream, wait til the cream is 60 degrees, salt it, don't salt it. Ayy. Ok, the cream has been sitting out for 2 hours now. If I start to mix it now, then I can make sweet cream butter (says Nourishing Traditions). If I wait, then I'll be agonizing for the next 6 hours about what constitutes soured cream.
Somewhere in that frenzy, I had decided to switch the cream from the plastic containers into glass jars, and then placed plastic salsa container lids lightly on top (mostly to keep bugs out). After the cream had been sitting out for about 2 hours, I put a tight lid onto one of the glass jars and started shaking. And shaking. Shaking. Shaking, and shaking. Still shaking. The internet says this could take up to 20 minutes. I tried to read my email while doing this, but it's very difficult to get the little arrow perfectly over links when your body is shaking along with the cream. 15 (or so) minutes later. gluuglunk. gluuuglunk. That sounds different. haha! Butter! I open the lid and see a ball of butter floating in milk. I pour the whole thing into a strainer with a bowl underneath so that the milk strains off into the bowl beneath and the butter stays in the strainer. Then I use a spatula to scrape the butter into another bowl. I grab a wooden spoon and I press, and press and press, the butter with the spoon until ALL of the buttermilk has been expressed (this can take awhile--all the buttermilk needs to be expressed or else the butter will quickly sour). Then I scrape the remaining butter into a CLEAN plastic container and put it into the fridge to chill. SUCCESS!
And then I do it all over again because I couldn't fit all the cream into just one jar :)
Use all clean bowls and utensils so that you don't get bacteria into the diary products. Raw dairy will grow bacteria very quickly.
Try and use a colander/strainer that has very small holes, otherwise some of the butter bits will end up in the buttermilk. I had to strain them out by pouring the buttermilk through a paper towel with holes poked in it. ( I wish you all could have seen this...)
Save the buttermilk in a glass jar with lid. Put it in the fridge and either drink it or use it in a recipe--check online for a marinade or ice cream recipe, for example.