Always seen in old time movies, photos and magazine pictures of life in the “olden days” was the wooden butter churn sitting in the kitchen or on the porch. It was common practice for homemakers to make their own butter at the end of the 19th century. In the beginning of the 20th century, innovative inventors started making the process of churning with a paddle, easier with machines that had a whirly gig handle, and of course butter started being manufactured and available at the grocers around that time too.
I wonder if people today, if they knew just how easy it was to make delicious butter from any type of cream available, would feel just a little bit guilty at throwing sour creams not perfect for dipping, or sweet cream just a little “off” for morning coffee right down the drain!
There are butter churns still around today for people who make their own, but making it in a blender or food processor is of course the fastest method. What used to take muscle, endurance and about an hour with a wooden churn is now about a 5 minute process in a blender. Here are the steps to making one’s very own butter (wow, wouldn’t that be cool to brag about?):
- Use any kind of cream: sour, sweet or recommended as the best is raw cream from grass-fed cows. Cream that has been previously cultured in refrigerator, but now room temperature is recommended.
- Blend, holding the lid of the blender very firm. After about five minutes, the butter separates from the buttermilk in little pieces.
- Stop and let the butter rise to the top.
- Pour off buttermilk, squeezing as much liquid out as possible by pressing butter with a spoon.
- You could stop right here. You have made butter! But “washing” the butter is better, so one more step.
- Pour ice cold water into blender with butter. Blend for 30 seconds, then again pour off liquid.
- Mix in sea salt to taste and store in glass jars.
- You can experiment with butter by using different creams, different spices and different herbs.