Ghee at home

When the cowshare is in milk we go to the farm and get a gallon or so a week.  That gives our family about 3 liters of milk and a healthy dose of cream.  Sometimes the cream is clotted, sometimes I culture it for Crème fraîche and sometimes I make butter.

We end up with quite a lot of butter in the refrigerator and freezer so I decided, about a year ago, to try making ghee.  With the milk solids no longer there, the ghee lasts for a long time just sitting out on the counter.  It’s great for cooking and smells like wonderful popcorn.

To make Ghee …..

I place the butter into a sauce pan over medium/low heat.

I let the butter melt and start to foam as the milk solids begin to separate.  The foam gets skimmed off into a container to use for cooking (within the next day or two)

With a bit more cooking, the ghee will foam a second time as the milk solids begin to brown and drop to the bottom of the pan, leaving the clear, golden ghee liquid.

Once the liquid ghee is clear, I remove the pan from the heat and filter the ghee through a couple of layers of fine cheesecloth into a bail-top jar for storage.



The 20/10 Challenge – the jam shelf

Today’s 20/10 challenge actually required 3 rounds (and I still need to find homes for the extra odds and ends).  The jam shelf is above the desk in the laundry room and right next to the door that the construction guys used to go in and out of the house to fix the dry rot.  Needless to say it was a dusty mess.  I also picked up some new jam jars recently (I love Weck jars) that needed a home after they were filled with Wild Blackberry jam and Fig & Ginger jam.  I took everything down, dumped the unidentified jams, labeled the new jams, wiped everything down and reorganized the lost of them.  Now the shelf is organized and sparkly and ready for the dreary winter ahead.

Seedless Wild Blackberry Jam

I cooked down about 12 cups of blackberries with a bit of water and strained them to remove the seeds.  The pulp went into some vodka to make a Wild Blackberry Tincture to help treat sore throats, mouth ulcers, and gum inflammations.
The juice was used in our family favorite – Seedless Wild Blackberry Jam.


  • 3.5 cups juice from Wild Blackberries
  • 2 T lemon juice (cider vinegar??)
  • 5 T all purpose pectin
  • 1 t butter
  • 5 cups white sugar


  1. Combine the blackberry, lemon juices pectin and butter in a tick walled saucepan
  2. Bring to a boil that cannot be stirred down – boil 1 minute
  3. Add the sugar and return to a boil – boil 1 minute
  4. Ladle into jars and can.

Salt Fermented Dill Pickles


  • 1-3/4 cups filtered water
  • 1.25 Tablespoons (15 – 30 ml) high-quality sea salt
  • cucumbers 1-2 in chunks or slices (I had a big, overgrown one)
  • 2-4 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon pickling spice
  • 5 – 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon black tea leaves
  • 2 clean grape leaves


1. Dissolve the salt in the water
2. Slice the cucumbers and soak 30 minutes minutes ice water.
3. Place the dill, bay leaf, mustard seeds, onion, garlic, and tea leaves into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar and pack in the cucumbers.
4. Cover the contents with the grape leaves and then pour in the brine until it reaches about 1/2 inch above the top.
5. Place an air lock onto the jar. Allow to ferment for 7 – 10 days in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight.
6. Check every few days and when ready, transfer to the refrigerator.





Quick Bread and Butter Pickle


  • 2 pounds sliced cucumbers
  • 1/2 sliced yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt


  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sliced cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pickling spices
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  • Place the cucumbers and onions in a bowl, adding the salt to coat the vegetables completely.
  • Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 4 hours.
  • Rinse the cucumbers under cold water 4-5 minutes to wash the excess salt away, Drain thoroughly.
  • Combine the  vinegar, sugar, water, garlic, pickling spice, turmeric, and clove together in a saucepan to a simmer 2-3 minutes.
  • Add cucumber and heat until just boiling.
  • Remove from heat, and transfer to jars and store in the refrigerator.

Summer Day 5: Delicious Jam and Glorious Toes

I woke up this morning, the fog of the no-sugar headache lifted.  I had completely forgotten about the Strawberry & Black Currant Jam that I’d started so that was the first order of the day.  I strained the juice from the strawberries, added 3/4 cup of Black Currant juice and brought the mixture to 220 degrees.  Then I added back the strained strawberries, brought that to a boil and simmered the jam for 5 minutes.  It made enough for 3 small jars so I processed them in steam for 20 minutes.

The results smell wonderful and look beautiful.  Now what to do with the rest of the black currant juice?……..The next item on todays agenda is Lunch with my pal S.E. followed by a summer pedicure.  Time to bring those winter toes up to speed…….

……Pedicures were fantastic – hot rocks, warm wax, foot massage and pretty flowers.  What a fun afternoon.

Summer 2017 Day 2: Black Current & Strawberry Jam

Day 1: Macerating Strawberries

1 cup fresh black currants
3 cups water

4 cups fresh, local Oregon strawberries
2 T lemon juice
1.5 cups sugar
peel of one lemon

Black currants are high in pectin and will act as pectin in the jam. Cook 1 cup of currants with 3 cups water – bring it to a boil and then simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the juice.

Combine 6 cups washed, hulled and sliced strawberries in 1.5 cups sugar. You can also add the peel of 1 lemon lemon peel or some ginger. Macerate overnight in the fridge.

Next morning, remove the lemon or ginger if you added it. Add 2 T lemon juice and 3/4 cup of the currant juice. Bring to boil in heavy, wide pot.  The process may take 15 – 20 minutes but it could take closer to 25 minutes – it depends on the water content of the fruit.  I bring the temp up to about 221 degrees or use a cold sauces to check the gel.

Ladle the jam into sterile jars and seal using either a water bath or steam canner.