It may still be August, but I’m already thinking ahead to some of my traditional family recipes for the fall. One of my favorites is making homemade butter! This one is easy-peasy and it gets the whole family involved.
The Cs have been doing this one since the late ’70s/early ’80s … and it’s one tradition I make sure happens every Thanksgiving. Making your own butter is simple, oh so simple. Plus it’s a great icebreaker if sis brings over the new boyfriend and you need a chance to quiz and see if he’s a keeper.
What you need for butter in a jar …
- one large empty (and cleaned out) glass pickle jar
- one quart of heavy whipping cream
- lots of kids and grown ups ready to help shake
- some fleur de sel for seasoning … a pinch or two should do
“So what do you do to make the butter?” you’re probably thinking. After all, what I just listed above sounds like the start of some strange parlor game and may have the new beau running for the hills (and if he does, he was never a keeper in the first place).
First, take the cleaned out pickle jar (I always run mine through the dishwasher) and fill it almost three-quarters of the way full with the heavy cream. Then … start shaking!
Here’s where the fun comes in. Just pass it around the house, everyone gets a turn. And every one is going to need to pitch in. The jar needs to be shaken hard and fast for a good 20 minutes or so. (Did I mention this doubles as a great arm workout as well? Bo-nus!)
The cream will start to thicken … and at a certain point, it becomes whipped cream. Keep going! You want to shake the jar until the contents are absolutely solid and the sides of the glass jar are no longer coated with cream. If you’ve been at it for a while … a looong while … and it doesn’t seem to be getting to that solid stage, pour a little of the heavy cream out. You likely just need a little more space for the butter to churn.
When you’ve finally reached the stage I described above, you’ll have a lump of lightly yellow-hued heaven with a little buttermilk left over. Take out your well-earned end result, mix in a little fancy salt, and serve immediately or put in the fridge to have it firm up a bit until dinner is ready.
Homemade butter is a great way to keep the kids busy when they get antsy before dinner. And the butter tastes amazing. Plus you get to find out if your sister’s new guy may be someone who’ll be attending many future family meals. Enjoy!