Thursday, 3 February 2011

Come, Butter, Come,

(The photo above, is from Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and depicts her elder sister Mary churning butter)
Come, butter, come,
Come, butter, come,
Peter stands at the gate
Waiting for a buttered cake
~This week, I had a lot of baking projects to complete for a few courses I am taking, and ended up running out of butter.  Well, I did not have time to run to the store, in order to pick up some more, before dinner.  Fortunately, we had some whipping cream in the fridge; and in order to have butter with our homemade bread, we decided to make some out of the whipping cream. 

~What we did, was put the whipping cream into a canning jar that was sealed very tightly…and shook it.  What happened first, was the cream turned thick and heavy, like whipped cream {A shocking turnout ;) }.  Next, the cream looked as though it was curdling; in fact, the fats were separating from liquids.  And then, after a few hard shakes, we had butter and buttermilk.  

Once we had butter, we put it and the buttermilk through a strainer, in order to separate the two.  
Below is the buttermilk.

After the butter has been strained, one must rinse it to wash out the remaining milk.

And now, you have fresh, creamy, home-churned (or shaken) butter.

Homemade butter on homemade bread, is of course perfectly suited to have with the homemade strawberry jam of last summer.  A delicious treat.

~When I was little, my Mother read the “Little House books” (Little House on the Prairie etc. by Laura Ingalls Wilder) to my brother and I.  (Side Note: I have never seen the television show, although some of it was filmed near where I live.  My parents actually helped to create rain in one of the episodes.)  In Farmer Boy, the novel about her husband Almonzo’s childhood, it talks about how they would place the butter churn on the wagon seat; and by the time they would get into town, due to all the bumps, they would have butter.

~In the past, because winters were so long and without the color and vibrancy of the summer, the ladies of the house would grate a carrot into some of the cream and let it soak.  After it had soaked for some time, the cream would be strained and added back into the larger amount, and butter would then be made.  The soaking of the carrots, allowed the cream to take on some color.  And when it was combined with the regular cream and then churned, the butter would be dyed yellow, which would be pleasing to eye during the long winter months.

~Although it is very convenient to go to the store and pick up butter, it is also a blessing when you are willing and able to make it yourself.  Making butter when you have little children, is a magical act, and it is a miracle to see what can be done with a little bit cream.


  1. So much fun! I will try that very soon with my little ones! Can't wait. It seems so easy. The best part is the fun in doing it and that you can eat it also! Great idea.

    Krafty Girl

  2. I am sure your little ones will enjoy this project very much. When I was young, my Mother made butter with my brother and I, and I enjoyed it a great deal.

    EDIT: I was mixing up different stories. In Farmer Boy, they did not talk about placing the butter churn on the seat. It was something that people did do in the past though. (Thank you Mom for the edit.)



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