Sunday, June 17, 2012

Like, Butter Baby

As children, my little brother and I had chores, whether at home with Mama or with one of our grandmothers.  In retrospect the jobs we were given weren't actually as loathsome as we thought at the time.  At Ma's, on occasion, we were given the task of making butter with either her churn or, if she had only a small amount of creme, in a quart jar.  I think often about the simplicity of life in those days, a happy circumstance of growing up in the country with grandparents willing to teach by example the most humble details of life around a small farm.  Their vegetable gardens were plentiful; nothing was better than a table laden with fresh picked everything, artfully cooked to perfection.  A just reward for tending the land through honest toil.  They had chickens for the eggs they gave and cows for milk and butter.  Organic living at its best and with grandparents that were mostly 'grand'.

I visit those memories often and wish for that same simplicity in my world.  So I take a product from my modern source and recreate that experience in the here and now.  It's butter making time.
1 quart heavy creme
2 tablespoons sour creme
Elbow grease

Equally divide the creme into two quart jars to allow the creme to be shaken well during the butter making process.  Add 1 tablespoon sour creme to each of the jars and just let them hang out at room temperature until the creme has lost its chill.  

Two quart jars ready for sour creme.

Tick-tock, tick-tock!
The time for the creme to become room temperature will vary and leaving it out just a bit longer doesn't hurt anything.  The creme must be just right for butter making.  Ask a friend to assist in this small task, find a quiet spot to sit and drift back in time.  Shake the jars back and forth in a rhythmic motion, until lo and behold, butter happens.  The Horn Player was my willing assistant and he actually enjoyed the experience.

One quart jar of butter.

Two quart jars of butter.

Pour the butter from the jars into a cheesecloth lined bowl.


Butter ball.
Bundle up the cheesecloth and very gently squeeze the butter ball.  Discard the milk.  Then place the butter ball on a platter or board and carefully remove the cheesecloth.  Pat the butter in a kneading like fashion to extract any residual milk.  Add a bit of icy water and continue extracting the liquid from the butter.  This cleans the butter for a better shelf life in the fridge. Or if you use it right away you may skip this step.  

My new bowl of homemade butter.
Scoop the butter into a bowl and, if you prefer, add salt and mix in well.  I did not add salt...I use unsalted butter, always.  At this point it's edible, spreadable, homemade butter.

So incredibly yummy!
If you can't resist the temptation, smear the freshly made butter onto a really good slice of brown bread and smile. ;-)

Ready for the chill.

Smooth the butter and place in the fridge.  Use for cooking, eating or just whatever butter's your toast. 


  1. Love this! Daddy told me about it on the phone... reminded me of an American Girl party I went to as a kid where we made butter. I hated the unsalted stuff then... now I love it. Fun stuff!

  2. It was fun. I used it to saute some mushrooms the day after; the result was prime.