Thursday, August 9, 2007

your own home churn

Making your own butter is easy. I learned this from the great crew at MaryJane’s Farm, in there IdeaBook-Cookbook-Lifebook. I tried it and it worked great, and I baked 2 loaves last night that were basted with the home-churn.

This is ridiculously simple. Buy a carton of heavy cream at your grocery store (or if you can get it, cream from a local small dairy farmer). Get a canning jar with a tight lid and fill it up halfway, and let it set overnight (8-10 hours). The next morning start shaking it (not crazy, like a roll or once a second) and watch as the sides fill with buttermilk and a yellow ball starts forming. It takes about 15 minutes of casual movement to have a jar of butter and separated buttermilk. All you need to do is pour out the milk and save it in it’s own jar for pancakes or biscuits. What you have left in the jar is a yellow soft mass that resembles room temperature butter. I pressed out any leftover milk, salted it a bit, put it in a little Pyrex leftover container and out it in the fridge to set. Turned out light, fluffy, and delicious.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

the farm

Welcome to the blog for Cold Antler Farm. Cold Antler isn’t a place - It’s an idea. Named for my love of cervine symbols in ancient cultures and the poems of Han San, Cold Antler seemed like the perfect name for home. Right now Cold Antler is a retired cattle farm in Sandpoint Idaho. Here I raise chickens (heavy laying hens and some black silkie bantams), angora rabbits and a hive of honeybees. I also tend a few hearty gardens. I live with my two working housedogs, Siberian huskies named Jazz and Annie. They are working pack and sled dogs, and like everyone here at the farm, they do their part. My goal is greater sustainability and self-sufficiency in a world where those two things seem to have gone out of fashion. Being a renter, this takes a little more ingenuity and adaptability than the permanence of a regular farmer.

This will be a place that hosts all farm-related posts from my personal blog and specific updates on my upcoming book. Idaho rural living, and local farm events (Like the upcoming county fair later this month!). Readers of Dogcoffin, will see a lot of double posts between the two blogs as this one becomes my main online contact and the coffin goes into a protected or offline mode. So thank you for taking time to check up on the barn at the end of the world and check in often.