Monday, January 26, 2009

Making butter

After I read this post by Kris from At Home Science, I realized that it had been far too long since the kids and I had made butter.

Out came the heavy whipping cream and mason jar. I poured the cream into the jar until it was about half full, twisted on the lid, walked outside where the kids (and some friends) were playing, and handed it off to them to do the work.

Jimmer was the first volunteer.

Then a neighbor buddy wanted in on it.

Jimmer, the opportunist, readily handed over the jar...

...and took up arms with his friend's Nerf gun.

This little guy's sister also wanted in on the action.

Mary Kate had her chance after the others' arms tired out. With her dramatic flair, she added some twisting and dancing along with her shimmy shimmy shaking.

It took about 15 minutes (with the short-armed people shaking) to get it to start forming a solid mass. Seeing the transformation begin helped regain the kids' shaking momentum to finish the job. All of them wanted to shake it again so they could be the one holding it while the butter changed from an almost silent shake to a more solid thump. They stopped to watch the magic happen a few times, and thought that it was pretty cool for it to turn from a thick liquid, to thicker liquid, to a runny-ish solid, to a cottage cheese-like consistency, to finally separating into both a solid (butter) and liquid (buttermilk).

I poured off the buttermilk into a smaller jar, added some Kosher salt to the butter, shook it up again, then let the kids have a taste. Yum.

Good thing the butter was sufficiently yellow colored or else the kids would have wanted me to boil carrots to add color--like Ma (of Little House on the Prairie books) made it in the wintertime.

They're now enjoying their dinner of soup and salad...along with their homemade butter on bread.

End notes:
**Mikey and Kathleen missed the butter action since they were in the house finishing their math.
**Kathleen got her chipped teeth bonded today. They look good and straight but are a little sloped. Back in for some grinding soon!


t h a i t r a i t said...

Jimmer, your cowlick is...I can't even find the words...I love your hair, Jimmer.

And, believe it or not, tomorrow I am making butter! But since I don't have a Mary Kate with fancy dance moves, or a Jimmer, or Laura, Mary, Carrie, or little neighbor children to help me (well, I do have little neighbor children I guess...), I will be using my food processor.

Next time you're on this side of the continental divide, however, I will be waiting with cream in jars!

Kristin said...

Yummm...I am so enamored by butter that I used to eat it by itself when I was little. I promise I have done away with that habit now, although your photo of that homemade stuff might just drive me over the edge.

Yay for shimmy shimmy shaking! :)

Kris said...

My kids shook it a little and gave up, though we had to be inside due to the icy cold here. Maybe in the summer they'll be more enthusiastic, LOL!

Renee said...

Wow, that was neat! Good idea, thanks! The butter did look nice.