Making butter used to be a hard, time-consuming job. But of course, for centuries, almost everyone did it. When my kids and I read a story book about life in old Appalachia recently and saw the pictures of a butter churn and children pumping away at it, we decided that we wanted to give making our own butter a try.
Making the Butter
I learned from PBS kids that it can be done in small batches with just some cream and a jar. Mom in Madison said that it sometimes helps to add some marbles in the jar; so I threw those in too, thinking they couldn’t hurt, and that we could use all the help we could get. (I was a little dubious that it was going to work at all).
For the jar, I chose a salad dressing shaker, thinking it would be easier for little hands to get their fingers around easily. We filled the shaker about half way with heavy whipping cream and started shaking.
At first, the kids wanted to shake like crazy, but of course, that got old quickly. We passed it around the room, shaking steadily, for about twenty minutes.
After a few minutes, the cream started to get very thick. I wondered if that was all it was going to do, but then suddenly- presto! We heard a sloshing noise and saw that the butter was stuck all together in one big clump. We had butter! We shook a little more just to make sure it was done changing, and then took it over to the sink.
After draining off the excess liquid, we slathered it on some hot cornbread we had just made. Some directions say you should rinse and knead the butter for better quality, but we didn’t bother. The butter was creamy and delicious- a little softer and wetter than the store-bought variety, but that just made it spread a little easier.
Check out these other Quirky Momma posts that will get your kids making their own food!