Back To Basics- Butter

When I was little, my parents sold our house in a starter neighborhood to a growing family and moved us into a larger home located in the same neighborhood as my grandparents.  The ironic thing about all of this is once my parents divorced and my mom went back to work full-time, our summers were spent in that same house with its new owner who just so happened to run an in-home daycare.  Ask me how weird it was to be back in my old home everyday, except now some boy was living in my room, no girls allowed…  Yeah, it was weird.

The daycare was a lot of fun though.  The house had a large sunroom out the back sliding glass door, which the new owners turned into the playroom.  The swing set my dad put together for us was still at the top of the hill in the backyard where we’d practice ‘flying’ by jumping off the swing at its highest point.  There were tons of kids to play with and always something to do.

When we were younger and needed more supervision, Ms. Jane would have activities for us to do.  It could have been arts and crafts, learning about dinosaurs, or even reading time.  One activity that has always stuck out in my mind was when we randomly made butter.  She filled little baby food jars with heavy whipping cream, screwed on the lids, and told us all to shake.  We must have been a sight to see in her family room, all shaking our little hearts out in a whirl.  I remember wanting to give up, slowing becoming one with the couch, my little 6-year-old spaghetti arms so tired.  But right as I pushed through, the magic happened.  Butter formed!  We then each got a slice of good bread to spread our creation on and savor.  I’d like to think of it as my first foodie moment!

That magic has never disappeared.  Each time I make butter, I’m still amazing at how it happens- just all of the sudden, right when it’s ready.  You whip the cream into a frenzy until the buttermilk separates from the butter and viola- butter! The great news is that you can do magic too, but with no arm workout required.

I put together this nifty little video, with the help of Roark, to show you how.  (He also created the musical score to the video too!  What do you think?)

On a side note, if you want, you can salt your butter to your own taste.  Because you make such a large batch of butter at once, you can also freeze it so it doesn’t go bad.  I like to separate and wrap mine in parchment paper so that I can unfreeze what I need when I need it.  Also, you can use the buttermilk wherever buttermilk is called for, and it freezes well until you’re ready to use it too!  I like to use mine making these delicious Buttermilk Pancakes or in the frosting for these tasty Chocolate Banana Nut Muffins!

I hope you enjoy the video and get a chance to make your own butter.  It’s not necessarily the most practical thing to make on your own, but considering it only takes 10 minutes and will put a huge smile on your face- it’s totally worth doing!!

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