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Monday, March 4, 2013

Canning Butter

All those necessities that we never think of! Let's store veggies. Let's store canned meat and fruit. But we don't look at those items that we would truly miss from time to time. How about butter and you don't own a freezer or frig? What if the store is 3 hours away or butter is unavailable?

You can now can butter for storage ahead of time.  If you're off the grid without refrigeration (like my cabin is), you'll want to use the smallest jars. 

If you have never canned, you may also wish to research a little information ahead of time to familiarize yourself with the process (try looking up canning tomatoes - another very easy recipe). Be sure not to handle hot items with bare hands. 

You will need:

1 pound of salted butter (4 sticks - doesn't have to be expensive)
4 four ounce jars
4 canning lids
4 canning rings
Pot holders or oven mitts

Put your jars in the oven and allow to heat to 250 degrees to sterilize while working with butter. (You can also boil them continuously in a hot bath kettle). Place canning rings in a small pan of hot water and let them heat to sterilize. 

Melt the pound of butter over low heat in a stainless steel pan (use plastic spoon if you can - it's just easier)

Bring the butter to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for at least 5 minutes.

Being very careful, take out your jars, placing them on something protected from the heat. Mix hot butter one more time, and pour enough into each jar, leaving 1/2 inch clearance at top.

Be sure your jar rim is clean from any drippings, moisten red seal of lid and place one on each jar. Place one ring on each jar, tighten by hand, and set aside. Wait for them to cool. You're not going to put them in a hot bath BUT be sure each one "pings" telling you it's sealed. They are ready for storage. 

I was always told that it could be stored indefinitely, but I've never trusted that. Depending on how much you use, you can place an opened jar in a cooler between meals. (Before the 1970s, most people left butter out on the counter so that it was always soft.) If the butter separates in the jar, just stir it up before using.

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