8/31/09

"Butter Up"


Cooking with kids does not have to be fancy or complicated.  Making butter is one of the easiest and  best ways to get kids involved and excited about seeing a simple technique to make something we use all the time.  We also did this at our Dirt to Dine camp with 30 very excited kids, and they were amazed at the outcome. For this post we just did this in the yard in our jammies!

It is a great way to use up their energy and funnel it into an activity that has a transformative outcome that they can feel proud of.  My favorite part of this activity is is the science, the excitement of making a liquid turn to a solid.

This butter is a great vehicle for other flavors, like herbs,  sun dried tomatoes, olives, or honey.
Now that summer is ending it is time to gather herbs for your butter, dried or fresh.   Send the kids out to pick herbs or take them to the store or farmers market and have them choose some.  Have the kids smell them, feel them, and decide which ones they like the best.

Save those empty jars because once you do this with your kids they will want to do it over and over. If they get tired of shaking make up running games to keep them shaking the jars.
You will need a mason jar, heavy cream, a strainer and a wooden spoon or paddle.  Baby food jars work great for small batches as well.
1.  If you are adding chopped herbs or any flavor add it with the cream.

2.  Fill a jar halfway with heavy cream and a pinch of salt and screw the lid on tight.

3.  Shake the jar up, down and sideways until the cream thickens and begins to stick together.  You may have to help your kids, this can get tiring.

4.  The cream will continue to gather into a ball when it is a ball in liquid it is done.

5.  Pour the buttermilk liquid off and save in a covered container in the refrigerator. You can drink the buttermilk or use it in another recipe, it will be thin, not like the stuff you get at the store.

6.  Rinse, rinse, rinse your butter it will help it not go sour. Hold the strainer under running water until it runs clear.

7.  Put the butter on a board and mash it with a flat wooden spoon or Gnocchi paddle to get out the excess water.

8.  Cover and chill. 






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6 comments:

Bill Medifast said...

This looks like an excellent way to get two things done at once. Wear out the kids and make some tasty butter! Thanks for the idea, I have two kids that are always full of energy.

- Bill

Anita said...

This is great! Thanks!

Laurie said...

Ooh that looks like fun!

Jennifer said...

I feel so lazy now for always making butter in the food processor. Will have to make this a rainy day project with the kiddies one day.

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