Boxing Day Fresh Buttermilk Pancakes

And how did I make that fresh buttermilk? Oh, I was hoping that you would ask that question.  Because you see, The Matriarch gave me a Butter Churn for Christmas. She said it was from Santa!! Apparently Santa is a very clever old bugger. He knew just what I needed.

A glorious old butter churn. On the label it reads ‘Guaranteed Highest Quality Elgin for the Modern DairyMan.’  Which is kind of strange as often the kids and women did the milking and almost always did the butter churning. But there you are.  DairyMAN indeed.  It should read Dairy Family.  Elgin made this model in the 1920’s.  But no matter how old, the gears are good, and back to work it goes, in the old fashioned Farmy Kitchen. 

So, as you can imagine I pounced on it, scattering wrapping paper in all directions, washed it, skimmed the cream off a jug of  milk from the cow down the road, and between Our John and I, we cranked that thing until we got some butter.  Because the cream was too cold it took a long time.  I knew that, but I could not wait. 

I washed and patted the butter while talking trifle on the phone, with my sons in NZ, sluicing the buttermilk out.  The Buttermilk was put aside for pancakes.  Buttermilk is the left over milk. It is thin and slightly acidic. Not to be confused with Cultured Buttermilk which is slightly fermented milk. I will make some of that too.

So this morning John made pancakes using the home made butter, and a couple of  fresh eggs that had miraculously appeared in the laying boxes, (Big day on the egg farm!) and the fresh buttermilk.

Johns Buttermilk Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch  of salt
  • 1 3/4 cups fresh buttermilk
  • 2 small eggs
  • 3 tablespoons melted homemade butter
  •  Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well. Add mixed wet ingredients. And you know the rest.
  • Mama the Sheep was doing so well yesterday morning that I did let her out into the field for a stroll.  She shot out of the barn like a stallion out of the starting gate, took herself for a gallop and within seconds was limping again. So I called her back in to a bigger pen. She has more room but no room to run.  She is standing in there now practicing baleful looks. The naughty girl. But she is standing on all four feet, so we are winning.
  • The sun is rising, time for me to get busy.

88 Comments on “Boxing Day Fresh Buttermilk Pancakes

  1. Well, your churn is certainly a change from the more usual bathsalts and body lotions as a Christmas pressie! Lucky you – I got a wormery!!! Can’t wait to get it started! Belated Merry Christmas,

    • Oh, I have a worm farm in my basement, you will love it. That is a fantastic pressie. Did you get the worms too?.. c

      • Not yet because they might have been unhappy worms hanging around waiting for Christmas day! But there’s a wee postcard included in the package which I’m sending off today and apparently my Tiger worms will be here by the time I’ve got their new home ready!

  2. I lived on a dairy farm when my son was very young and I used to make butter. I had forgotten until I saw your lovely gift. Homemade butter is so good. Lucky you!

  3. It’s all so beautiful. The pancakes (perfectly golden)…the churn…and that butter. I have a great butter story, but it’ll have to wait. Thanks for reminding me, though. Continue to love the blog.

  4. Isn’t is great when a gift works out so well – for the giver as well as the receiver. During WWII butter was rare as hens’ teeth, so we used to skim the cream off our (rationed) milk, save it all week in a Horlicks jar, and on Saturday morning my sister and I had to take it in turns to shake
    the jar until the butter formed – about the size of a plum! It was very, very hard work for our little arms.

    • I always meant to ask you whether people kept their own chickens in the war. I have heard stories of people who did not see eggs for months and i wonder why there were not more people who kept their own chooks? c

  5. You have to admit that the Matriarch is cool: or guided. Whichever, that is an excellent present except for the “typo” of “dairy man”. If it was not a typo, I think there would have been more fat free diet in the US.

    • It is rather gorgeous and the butter is so good. Real butter here is SO expensive plus you can’t always find it. There is less and less of it in the supermarkets so i am happy now that i can make my own for most of the year.. c

  6. That butter churn photo brought back memories of occasionally churning butter on my childhood dairy farm. Hmmmmm…wonder what happened to that churn?

    Don’t you just love presents like this that are so udderly (no typo) perfect?

  7. I love your churn, Celi! What a great gift to give you! And those pancakes sound like the perfect way to use your freshly made butter. I make quite a bit of butter around here but I don’t have any new-fangled machines like yours. I use my “old” KitchenAid stand mixer. I don’t know of your markets but, up here, the trick is to avoid the ulta-pasteurized cream and to read the carton’s ingredients.There’s an awful lot of “stuff” in our dairy products these days and I try to avoid them, when possible.

    • There is an awful lot of the bad stuff in ‘dairy’ products for sure, not to mention the ULTRA pasteurised aka boiled to death stuff. hopefully daisy will save us from that! c

  8. I am on a dash, but HAD to pop in to read the report on Mama. The silly wench! I’ll be back soon to read about the Churn and the Pancakes…

    • Wow – you two amaze me. That’s what I call a Christmas Season Breakfast! As a child, I used to churn butter when I stayed on a friend’s farm. I milked one of the cows, separated the milk and then made butter. In my youthful self-centeredness, I thought I was exceedingly clever – no credit to Snow-the-Cow or mother nature! The churning took f-o-r-e-v-e-r and I beamed as my arms numbed!

      • I will make john do the churning when he is sitting reading the news after work.. He has big mans arms, mine are spiders legs!! c

  9. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had fresh, homemade butter. What kind of a life have I been living? I need to make some changes.

  10. What a lovely gift you got and you made perfect use out of it. I like your boxing day breakfast better than beans (not that I don’t like beans) that so many have on boxing day morning. Tell John they look beautiful.

    • OH i did not know there was a traditional boxing day breakfast. Though I really should have boxed up the left overs and shared them out. But John is making a lamb curry.. c

  11. I was so hoping you’d post a pic of your churn! It looks great – I’d envisaged a wooden thing with a big handle sticking out the top of it, although that would probably produce far more butter than you really wanted.. 🙂 We love fresh butter, and will often let our cream go a week or two past its use-by date before making it! Have a wonderful Boxing Day, Celi and John! 🙂

    • I have three churns actually and one is the wooden thing with the handle, but it has been rebuilt and the stick think will not go up and down easily..It is more ornamental really, and you know how i feel about ornaments. I shall get the other BIG butter churn up out of the basement and into the light to show you one day, it is amazing and came from the old farm.. But this one is just right.. thanks for dropping by celia.. c

  12. My goodness what a fabulous gift. Luckily out at Muriwai we can buy our milk unpasturised straight from the farmer and double cream skimmed off the vat.

    • It is against the law in the US to buy or sell unpasteurised milk, so I cannot confirm whether my butter is unpasteurised or not. I am sure that when I start to milk Daisy it will be ok for me to consume my own unboiled milk. Probably best to check that though as it is very important not to break any silly rules! Don’t ya know!!! (snigger) c

      • My understanding is that it IS legal to drink unpasteurized milk from a cow that you own, and people in Vermont have been using that as a loophole to sell raw milk. Basically, instead of buying raw milk, the customers buy a share in the cow. The cost of their share is determined by the amount of milk they take. Since they own the cow, they can drink the milk. I don’t think the USDA was too happy about this practice, and they may have closed the loophole by now.

        • I think so too.. should be no prob, I mean this is why I am growing a cow! So I know where my milk comes from, well that and the cheese and butter! c

  13. We make butter with my Pathfinder Club while sitting around a campfire. All we do is put some cream in a jar, add a glass marble, and shake it. When you get tired of shaking, pass it to the next person around the fire. After it’s been around a couple of times, we have our butter.

    • That is how we made it too, until the butter churn turned up, but without the marble and how great that would be to make around the campfire! I wish I had had a pathfinder club, you guys do great stuff.. c

  14. Celi, I’ve been so busy that I’ve been giving your blog short shrift but now feel caught up with you and your animals. LOVE the breakout attempt narrative and pictures! I continue to be impressed by your can-do attitude and your very accessible writing. I know Christmas is complicated for you so I’m going to wish you Happy Boxing Day, and a very happy New Year.

    • You HAVE been busy, All those visitors, both those parties and no dishwasher! Not even a kitchen sink! Hope you have that sorted out soon. c

  15. Wow you got a great toy. I had never seen a vintage butter churn like that. I only knew the wooden tubes that the Tibetans still use to make their tea, Have fun !

      • I suppose the nomads make their yak butter and their tea in the same churn. Otherwise, they seem to use a very big one to make the butter and a small one to prepare one pot of tea at a time. The object is very similar to a common European butter churn of 19th century.

  16. Fresh butter! Lovely. We are lucky enough to be able to purchase Cabot Dairy butter at local markets…yum. I have never purchased margarine in 25 years.(wretched stuff).
    You can now incorporate the churn into a New Year’s (get your arms fit) resolution. 😉

    Tell Mama, I said to “slow her roll”…silly girl needs to rest.

    • I never liked marg.. even when it was in fashion. Great that you can get the good butter up there. They only just stock it here and the other day organic butter was cheaper than the regular butter! Mad. I will talk to Mama for you. c

  17. I had a butter churn once (imagine, a city girl with a churn!) I was teaching Kindergarten and every year we’d make butter together. I still remember the complete different taste of that butter and how much nicer it was than the stuff we buy in cubes at the store. These pancakes would be taken to a whole other level with homemade buttermilk and butter…

  18. Love the churn, and I bet those pancakes were the best ever. We had pancakes too on boxing day morning, and my nephew ate 2 frying pan sized ones and couldn’t move for the rest of the morning.
    I came up with an interesting boxing day twist which was very popular, I made a patty out of leftover xmas pudding and fried this off in butter and sandwiched it between 2 pancakes, with caramel sauce and clotted cream, a real once a year treat.
    Take care

    • I would prefer to see it so that you know when it seperates. I have never seen a metal one but now I want one of those too! c

  19. What a fun idea – making your own butter – love the bowl you put your butter in and John’s pancakes look and sound fantastic – now if I just had a butter churn and some farm fresh milk…
    🙂 Mandy

    • I forget the name of that set of dishes, they are very 60’s in fact I should unwrap the others and use them to show food. That green is a toughie tho! c

  20. Wow – Santa and The Matriarch really came up trumps! You lucky lucky Dairy Chick…am going to show big man the photo and see if he can make me one. Would have to make my butter from goat´s milk – could be fun!

    • Evidently it is harder to seperate the cream from goats milk. But it can be done i think. As i understand it. It is more homogenised that cows milk (if that makes any sense) . I think this helps to make great goats cheese though. You will just have to get a Daisy. But not the super sized one!! Love to the Big Man Tanya.. c

  21. I do love a good pancake! I have the churn that belonged to my great-grandparents. My mother remembers watching her grandfather churn butter – and letting her help! How precious that is to me! It is a wooden churn with metal rungs, probably from the very late 1800’s.

    • How wonderful to have the old ones’s churn.. that is awesome, hope you get to put some cream through it every now and then to keep the wood oiled.. c

  22. What a beautiful piece of kit! Lucky girl, you. 🙂

    I read recently that I can make butter by pouring some double cream into a bottle and then shaking and shaking and shaking it until suddenly a wad of solid starts forming. If you continue shaking, it collects more and more fat, meaning more and more butter. Is that true? Can I really make butter from double cream that way?

    • yes absolutely true. I often (well before my butter churn) made it exactly like that. Once you get those lumps, they are the butter. Then wash it, and squeeze and pat and wash all the whey out, shape and into the fridge. If you can find cream that is not mega pasteurised all the better. c

  23. Pingback: 2011 round up « Chef in disguise

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