I made my own butter, once. Well, I made the attempt. It was for a tea party in the back garden of my house in England. I had made banana bread and apricot jam and as I had seen fresh butter made very simply on a BBC cooking show, I thought it would top off this homemade extravaganza with style.

The recipe [I found a US version just now] called for milk, a wooden clothespin, and a jar. The process: add milk and clothespin to jar, close and shake until whipped butter begins to collect on the wood. For some reason, I thought they had said you could use skim milk, so I did that. No surprise [well not now] it never came together. After the party I figured it out it was whipping cream that was needed. Sigh. No homemade butter.

Flash-forward many years later, my dream of homemade butter still lingers and my memory of my butter-disaster still festers. The NYT has come to the rescue with an article about homemade butter. The recipe is a bit more complex as it calls for more equipment but basically the concept is the same: whip whipping cream past the whipped point onto the butter point.

Now if I only ate bread.


Bo said…
I made homemade butter for the first time in 2nd grade. I think it was a traditional thing to do in NYC public schools. We ate it with matzo. The best butter I'd ever had. I still love fresh butter and matzo to this day. I now make homemade butter about twice a year. Just cause it's so easy. And you don't need a kitchenaid mixer. Just a big clean mayo jar (or other jar with a secure seal). Dump in a pint of heavy cream (fresh from the farmers market if you can get your hands on it) and shake like a madwoman till you hear the reassuring "chuchunk" of the butter coming together. A few more shakes and you have a nice ball of butter swimming in sweet, sweet buttermilk.

Making homemade butter is also an amazing children's party trick or good way of getting your Thanksgiving Dinner party guests to unify. It takes about 15 minutes of vigorous adult shaking (or 30 minutes of children shaking) to get the butter formed. I've done this twice at children's parties and you'd be amazed at how mesmerized the kids become (and the adults as well).
Allergic Girl® said…
oh this sounds wonderful--why arent we all doing this all the time?

i'm gonna try it this weekend. make from GF blueberry cornbread and some butter. with a side of lactaid pills of course.

thanks bo!

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