How to Make Butter

Making butter just seems to be one of those homesteading skills that ties present day farmgirls with the first farmgirls that settled here long ago. It conjures up images of sitting next to an old wooden butter churn, a mother's arm pumping up and down while her children play at her feet. Hours later she opens the churn to reveal the magical substance that is butter. If only she had had a glass mason jar. She could have completed this magic trick in mere minutes.

Every time I take a tiny step towards self-sufficiency I feel great satisfaction and pride. This week my daughter and I made our own butter. True, we didn't milk a cow, let the cream rise, and use an antique butter churn. We simply bought heavy cream at the grocery store and shook it in a mason jar. Nevertheless my smile was as wide as the soup bowl on the dinner table that night. We slathered that butter on artisan bread and dunked it in the soup I made in the crock pot. Simple pleasure. Next time we will get raw milk from a local farm and try it from scratch (being that we don't have a milk cow of our own...). Here's how we did it.

You will need:

A pint of heavy whipping cream

A quart sized mason jar


Our cat Flynn enjoying the buttermilk.


Pour the pint of cream into the mason jar and close the lid tightly. Shake vigorously until the contents separate into butter and buttermilk. I've been told this takes about 10 minutes, but it took us closer to 30. You will see the cream thicken almost immediately and then all of a sudden you will have a mass of butter and liquid. Pour the liquid off (our cats went crazy for it),

replace the cap, and keep shaking. Again, pour the liquid off so all you have is butter in the jar. Add a little (about 1/2 cup) very cold water to the jar and shake again. Pour off the water, scoop out the butter, and voila! Of course you will want to refrigerate it.

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