A long time ago (before modern grocery stores), kids often helped their mothers churn (or whip) cream into butter for their families. They often used a butter churn: a tall pot with a lid that had a hole in it big enough to fit a large stick called a “dasher” or “churn dash.” The kids would move the stick up and down until the cream inside the pot became butter. Then they would strain off the buttermilk, rinse the butter solids, and mold the butter into shapes –sometimes using pretty molds. People sometimes even added things like carrot juice for a fun color twist.
Making butter was not a hard job, but it could take a long time. To pass the time, people often sang short songs or rhymes about their butter. In fact, almost every country in the world that makes butter has a butter song, including Tibet, India, Ireland, and England.
In England, people sang:
Come, butter, come,
Come, butter, come
Peter’s Standing at the gate,
Waiting for a buttered cake,
Come, butter, come
You can try making your own butter at home with Sir Sidney’s simple butter recipe. You just need a jar and some cream! You can even try making up your own butter song.
Whether you sing or not, the results will be delicious! Have fun!
You will need:
A mason jar with lid
Heavy Whipping Cream
1. Fill a mason jar 1/3 of the way full with cream.
2. Shake and shake the jar (it’s nice if you can take turns with a friend). The liquid will stiffen into whip cream. Keep shaking! A few minutes later the cream will separate into solids and liquids. Shake and shake and shake until a solid chunk of butter forms.
3. Strain off liquid. (You can use this buttermilk instead of regular milk in your baking recipes. It is not acidic enough to use in recipes that call for store bought buttermilk, which is cultured.)
This butter is delicious plain, but you can add salt to taste if you like (it will help your butter stay preserved, too). You can also flavor your butter with the following mix-ins:
Mix ½ cup of butter with 3 tablespoons of honey or sweetened condensed milk. Stir in ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Mix ½ cup butter with ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (such as chives, dill, basil, parsley, or thyme).