Saturday, I competed at the sixth annual Rumble by the River. This Crossfit competition occurs every year in Columbus, GA. I competed in this fairly large competition last year, as well, taking 5th out of 19 women.. This year, the WODs were all up my alley. They focused mostly on speed and endurance, rather than strength. I KNEW I was podium primed. But, I quickly learned my instincts had been wrong. While I completed the WODs to the best of my abilities, destroying the times and scores I had gotten in practice, the other women managed to crush me in every event. By the end of the day, I was 8th out of 15. The entire day was disheartening. Honestly, I cried the whole way home. It made me question why I even bother. I work out twice a day. I follow a strict diet. And yet, I don’t seem to reap any benefits from it. Have I reached the limits of my abilities? What could I possibly do to improve?
Since my devastating loss caused me to question my entire lifestyle, I decided to step away from the box for a couple of days. This break has allowed me to sleep in a little longer, spruce up my apartment a bit, and do more things for myself. One thing I did this morning, since I had extra time before work, was make fresh homemade butter.
My homemade butter recipe has kind of an interesting story that tags along with it. Have you ever heard of raw milk? It’s milk that comes straight from the cow with no pasteurization. I discovered raw milk in a documentary on Netflix, Farmaggedon. The claim is that since the milk is not heated in the pasteurization process, it contains a greater spectrum of nutrients and minerals. These powerful nutrients are reported to do everything from aid in weight loss to combat asthma. Although I don’t personally consume dairy, Farmageddon gave a compelling argument to switching to raw milk. I was certainly intrigued. However, according to the CDC , raw milk contains dangerous bacteria, making its sale illegal in several states. Georgia happens to be one of the states that outlaws the milk. I was bummed I wouldn’t get a chance to reap the benefits of raw milk, until one day at the local farmer’s market I noticed a man selling it! He labeled as “for pets, not animal consumption”. Sneaky fella, using that code to keep the fuzz off his case. I scored a gallon with the same rush of scandalous excitement a junky must feel when getting a fix.
But then I realized, “What the heck am I going to do with a gallon of milk!?” As mentioned, I don’t even drink milk. I headed to google and searched uses for raw milk. An intriguing one popped up, homemade butter. I am recovering paleo, so butter has been obliterated from my diet, but no one will ever lose the love of butter, so I decided to give it a try.
Making homemade butter really couldn’t be easier. First, I separated my raw milk into individual glass jars. This made it easier to see when the milk separated. The separation occurs when a darker cream rises to the top of the jar. Once this happens, take a turkey baster and glean all of that cream. Keep bastering until you have a cup of cream and place this cream in another jar (obviously this process only works if you have a stockpile of mason jars, like myself. Where else a I going to put my mason jar salads?). Set this jar on the counter for a couple of hours. This step is very important, I usually set mine out the night before, so it’s ready to go in the morning. Once the milk has sat out– it is time to shake! Shake! Shake! Shake that jar vigorously for about 30 mins. I usually watch some TV or play a couple of games of solitaire while I do it. I believe Crossfit has endowed me with the strength needed to maintain the shake for this amount of time– this is what we train for! As you’re shaking, you’ll feel the substance begin to thicken, that’s your sweet butter shaping. After 30 minutes, open up the jar and pour it into a cheesecloth or a sifter (I use a sifter because I am cheap. It gets the job done). Squeeze out all of the liquid. The extra liquid is buttermilk, which I highly recommend saving for some buttermilk pancakes. The leftover butter can be enjoyed as is, or with a dash of sea salt. My favorite additions are garlic and fresh herbs from my garden. Te combo makes the perfect topping to go onto some fresh local bread.
So, even if the weekend didn’t go as planned, and left me a little down, at least I have some delicious, healthy, fresh butter to lift my spirits up. In the words of the esteemed Honey Boo Boo, “Mo butter, mo betta”.
Raw Milk Herb Butter
*I do not endore the use of raw milk, the science is not yet in. Consume at your own risk.
- 1 cup cream gleaned from raw milk
- 1 tsp fresh herbs (I grow basil, thyme, and rosemary in my garden, so these always get thrown in)
- 1 clove garlic
- A pinch of salt
- Allow raw milk to seperate.
- Glean cream from top of milk, collecting about a cup.
- Place cream in sealed glass jar and allow to sit unrefridgerated for up to 8 hours.
- Shake the jar vigoursly for 20-30 minutes.
- Pour contents of jar into cheesecloth or sifter.
- Squeeze butter to remove any excess liquid.
- Finely chop garlic and herbs.
- Mix butter with garlic and herbs, add a pinch of salt, and store in an air tight container.
- Enjoy your healthy treat on some fresh. local bread or use it in place of oil to cook up some veggies or meat!