Well, I’m definitely no "ma" Ingalls, but yesterday the girls and I gave butter-making a go. I cannot imagine the time it would have taken to do this by hand. We were lucky enough to have the help of my grandmother’s electric butter churn. There used to be a jersey cow on the farm that was milked, and my grandmother said she would make butter every day. But those days are past. And Sunday she and I pulled the very dirty, dusty electric butter churn off the top of the refrigerator so the girls could give it a try.
The girls were very enthralled by it all, but once we didn’t get instant results they grew a little weary. It turns into this beautiful whipping cream and you think you’re really close, but then it goes back down into a liquid stage. I was ready to give up and assume I had done something wrong, when little bits of butter began forming in the liquid.
So, in classic "Ma" style I ran to my computer to look for a little more instruction and discovered that I was going to have to strain the separated milk (buttermilk?) from the butter globs.(globs? probably not the proper terminology.)
I didn’t have the wooden butter paddles that my grandmother used to have, but using my two rubber scrapers I "worked" the butter to get out all the extra liquid and rinsed it in cold water (don’t know why, just following directions).
Then I pressed some into our butter bell and the rest went into a glass dish in our refrigerator.
So, of course, I had to make homemade bread for dinner, which I let rise by the fire. (Ma would be proud).
And as I sliced off the first piece of steaming hot bread and prepared to spread a little of our homemade creamy butter on top, Emma stopped me:
"Can I please have some of the GOOD butter from the store?"
(**try it yourself with just a glass jar and whole milk….and get buttermilk to boot!)