Eating Like a Locavore in The Pioneer Valley
Mary Nelen writes a blog called the Valley Locavore here near the Test Kitchen in Western, MA. If you have never made butter, read through her recipe and you might be surprised at how easy it is. We highly recommend trying to source raw milk. Of course this is a health decision you have to make for yourself, but we love it in this homemade butter recipe. This would be a great recipe to make with kids during school holidays. Lots of fun and lots to talk and learn about! You can also bake with this butter; try Mary’s Rustic Pear Tart.
If you want to source raw milk, Mary has some tips: “Raw milk and cream have rich flavor and texture because it hasn’t been homogenized or pasteurized (heated to kill bacteria). In most states, farms are restricted to selling raw milk and cream on site. Health codes restrict the sale of raw dairy products in stores. Farms that sell raw dairy products should be visited to insure that sanitation precautions are observed and that the cows are grass-fed. For more information about raw milk, visit the CDC’s website with answers to Raw Milk Questions.”
I make my own butter and sometimes I cook with it. Sometimes I cook with lard. And often, because I must, I cook with olive oil. I tried cooking everything with butter but it got expensive. Then I tried lard but that smelled up the kitchen. Olive oil is what I use for now but I understand that farmers in Maine are working on making sunflower seed oil available. We may see that in the coming years.