Make Butter!

making_butterDo you ever wonder what it might have been like to be one of the first settlers in Issaquah? In 1883, Cora Wilson lived on a cabin near the current location of Pickering Barn. Her typical day was grueling. She got up at 4:00 AM to milk her cows. On wash days, she was up at 3:00 AM to scrub the clothes she had made by hand. She ironed, mended, cleaned house, and baked. She tended the garden, preserved her fruits and vegetables, and made hominy (her favorite food). And she made a sweet butter that her husband carried to Seattle to sell so that they could purchase the few items they couldn’t make or grow themselves.

You can make your own butter too! (And… you don’t have to get up at 4:00 AM to do it.)

Here’s how:

  • Discuss: Where do you think butter comes from?
  • Watch a video on butter making.  Discuss how pioneers made butter.
  • Tell the kids that they will get to make butter too, using a jar instead of a churn.
  • Pour 1-2 teaspoons of whipping cream into a clean baby food jar.
  • Shake the jar for several minutes until the cream turns to butter.  Chilled cream will form into butter faster.
  • Spread the homemade butter onto crackers and enjoy.
  • Discuss: What do you think of this butter? Would you buy butter like this from Mrs. Wilson? Does it taste like the butter you get from a store? How is it different?

Do you want to play with the butter?

  • Add salt after the butter is formed.
  • With clean hands, shape the butter. Press designs in it. For more information see Butter Prints and Molds.