Search This Blog

Thursday, March 22, 2012

[Butter making] How to make butter at home

Last week was March break here.
Well, we didn't fly to Florida or Cuba like many friends.
We have a big trip planned for this summer. So we decided to hang around for March break.
I stayed with kids and we did different activities everyday.

One day we went to Agriculture museum and attended the butter making demonstration there.
It looked pretty easy.

Do you know how butter is made?
I already knew that butter was made by churning fresh cream or milk.
But, I had never thought about me "churning" cream or milk. I simply didn't know how.
And I learned how at butter making session.
Kids liked the session very much as it was very interesting. But, I liked it even more because I got an idea of using up the leftover whipping cream lol.
But, please don't buy whipping cream to make your own butter.
Whipping cream will Probably be more expensive than butter!
When cream is churned, milk fats are conjoined and seperated from the other parts of the cream.
Butter appears with the history of the domestication of cows. There is a record that around 3500 BC, the Sumerians learned the beating the cream taken from milk. In other words, human kind has eaten butter for more than 5500 years! Wow.

At the demontration,
the coordinator explained the principles of butter making and showed how butter was made with a transparent box full of cotton balls representing cream, and small sticky balls representing fat globules.

When cream is churned, fat(butter) is separated from the liquid.

the coordinator tossed the four small containers containing about 1/2 cup 35% cream to kids. She told the kids to take turn to shake the containers.
First, you hear liquid sound.
Then, you hear anything when you shake.
If you continue shaking, you will hear some different noises. A few more times of shaking, butter is made!

Then the fresh butter was separated from "buttermilk".

And extra liquid, i.e. buttermilk, is gently squeezed between two wooden spatulas.

used as spread on crackers for tasting.

It tasted so good!

 In old days, cream/milk was poured in a container like this and it was churned with a stick attached.

Wooden container was evolved to glass containers.

This is a butter measurer to measure exactly one pound of butter.

Butter also was a source of extra income for farm families.

To distinuish their farm butter from other farms', farmers used butter presses to identify themselves as makers.

This is a cream/milk separator. You can  see the milk separated from cream through the small window through the lower part of the container.

So in the weekend,
more precisely on St. Patrick's day,
I decided to use up the 2-week-old whipping cream tumbling about in the fridge.

I prepared a mason jar and a small empty jar which originally was the container of artichoke hearts.
I poured 1/2 cup 35% cream in a mason jar , and 1/4 cup 35% cream in a smaller jar.

Then, I called the boys.

I told them to shake the container.

They churned the cream passionately by shaking the entire container as they had learned at butter making demonstration.

Well, I can't really tell you how long it takes.
But for a small container it takes less than 10 minutes.
For a 1/2 cup cream, it took less than 15 minutes.
 Of course you can make it easily with a handmixer or a standmixer.

But still it's actually fun to make it in a very basic way.

In the middle of shaking, when there was no sound at all,
we opend the jar and saw the whipped cream. :)

Then the boys continued "churning" until each of them heard funny noises in the container. When we opened the containers,

The butter was made already!

And we poured it over a wooden spatula.

We basically replicated what we saw at the agriculture museum.

We didn't forget the step of squeezing the liquid out of the butter.

You shouldn't squeeze too hard, otherwise it will be all mashed.

Then I filled a small sauce bowl with the butter my kids made.

And of course, my kids asked for crackers to spread the butter.
Cracker was just tagging along. The focus was, of course, butter.

This was the green milk I made (with 2 drops of food coloring :)) to celebrate St. Paddy's day.
Oh, Mr. D and I had a couple of cans of Guinness instead of green milk :)

 If you have some leftover whipping cream,
try to make homemade butter. :)

 Butter making


  1. Colleen, this is magnificent! Now I have to try and make it. I have made cottage cheese, sour cream, ricotta, and yogurt. But now I need to add this to my dairy deliciousness. Thank you!

    And your boys are just adorable. :)

    Big hugs Amiga!

    1. Good evening Nini,it was actually surprisingly easy to make butter. I'd like to learn how to make sour cream! Why don't you make a post about it? I love cheese, yogurt,and cream. But my favorite dairy product is definitely butter. You may tell me it's gross, but I can scoop and eat a spoonful of
      Thanks for your nice comment about my babies. They are seven going on eight, and five. But, they are still my babies.
      Have a wonderful evening! (with a lavender-scented foot-spa prepared by your stepford hubby! :D)