Skimming the Milk and Sour Cream

I’ve had some people ask how we skim our fresh milk and I thought I would share it with all.  It’s very, very simple.

After we pour up the fresh milk into our half-gallon jars we lid them, date them, and then put them in the refrigerator.  The next morning the cream will have separated and be on the top.  It was really hard to get a good picture of what this looks like, but here is my best attempt:

If you look closely, you can see a line just above the two verticle glass lines on the jar.

If you look closely, you can see a line just above the two vertical glass lines on the jar.

The cream is very white, and the milk is less white.

So I just take a small gravy ladle and gently skim off the cream into another jar.  It’s as easy as that!

We did learn, after a whipped cream mishap, that not all fresh cream is created equal.  When you buy from the store you can pick heavy or light cream.  At home with fresh milk you need to let the cream settle in its own jar for a day or so and then the top section is the heavy cream and the light cream is on the bottom.  So if you want heavy cream you have to skim it off the top of the settled cream jar (we use the gravy ladle again).  It is very obvious as you do it what is the heavy stuff and what is light.  The heavy is almost the texture of yogurt or warm sour cream.  It’s thick!

Speaking of sour cream, here is how we make our sour cream, it is very simple:

Take a canning jar and put in 1 cup of cream.  Add 1/4 cup of cultured buttermilk, cover, and shake gently.  Set on counter at room temperature for 24 hours.  Label, and refrigerate.  It’s that easy!

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