Saturday, April 10, 2010

making butter

We've been reading Little House in the Big Woods as part of our school for this month. I've been waiting for Ava to be old enough, since these are my absolute favorite books of all time. The first book takes place when Laura is 4 and 5 years old, so Ava really loves it (although, she wants to know why the story isn't just about Mary, the older sister). We've talked a lot about how different life was 140 years ago, and it's sparked some interesting questions:

"1870! That's when the dinosaurs lived, huh, Mama?"

"Mama, what did the daddies do all day if they didn't have computers?"

"Mama, why do they eat bear meat? Can we go to Fred Meyer and get some bear meat?"

"Where are Laura and Mary's toys?"

"How do they watch movies?"

We've looked online at pictures of covered wagons and log houses, and also watched a video on YouTube showing how butter was made in a crock. Ava asked if we could make some butter (complete with steeping grated carrot in some warm cream to dye the butter yellow), so I decided to try it again. If you want instructions, check out the River Cottage Family Cookbook from the library. It's a great book!

Shaking the jar of cream. We put a silly song on repeat and took turns.

After about 5 minutes, the cream was more like whipped cream:

This picture is so blurry, but you can definitely see the butter that has formed and the buttermilk that separated from it. We talked a lot about how this buttermilk is nothing like the sour stuff you buy at the store.

Once Ava agreed that it didn't smell or feel like store bought buttermilk, she agreed to drink some. She loved it!

Then we washed the butter in cold water and molded it, just like in the book.

Last but not least, we spread it on some fresh made bread. YUM!