Looking for an interesting indoor activity to keep your kids engaged during the holidays? How about cooking? A while back my kids and I tried our hand at making homemade butter, and boy, not only was it successful but also delicious. It was also a great way to combine science and cooking all in the same activity. Sounds so simple, doesn’t
My 9 year-old and I recently read about a number of techniques to make butter at home and they all seemed a little bit different from each other. As a test, we decided to make 4 batches and experiment the various ways, starting with the easiest and most direct. Surprise, surprise, the easiest worked and so wonderfully that we didn’t have to try the other methods. So we made 4 different batches of butter instead, and tried out different flavours. So let’s get started.
Make your own homemade butter
7+. I would have lowered this age to 4+, that’s how easy it is. I was just concerned that my 4 year-old will fling the bottle across the room, so to be safe
Cooking Ideas With Kids
There are a ton of variations out there to make your own butter. Variations like a marble in the jar to speed up the process, the cream at room temperature, make sure your hands aren’t too warm etc. We decided to ignore all that advice and just go the easiest route and it worked, beautifully. Perhaps if you want to shape the butter and have the consistency just right, you will need to include many more steps. In our case, we wanted some for our (the kids did, cross my heart!) snack and perhaps for our popcorn, the next day. One thing though, the first batch happened faster than I expected and since I kept shaking, the cream was a little over-worked.
The kids were delighted at how easy it was to make butter. Sometimes we forget how inherently simple our food is. The miracle of how cream turns into butter without any special equipment helps us remember and make that connection. Reading up on the scientific reason why the fat globules come together and separate from the by-product, buttermilk was also an interesting topic for discussion. Also choosing flavours independently will help kids try out new things. Mine even tried the chilli version. Must be the Indian blood!!
- A jar with a tight-fitting lid
- Cream - 1 cup (I used whipping cream)
- A measuring cup
- A sieve of some sort
- Spoon to taste as you go along
- Measure cream into the jar. We used a 1/3 of a cup for each batch that resulted in approx. 2 tbsp. of butter.
- Start shaking the jar. My kids and I shared this responsibility and used NO set, scientific pattern.
- A few minutes later, I felt the sloshing quiet down and I opened the jar to check. It was whipped cream. We put the lid back on and continued to shake.
- Eight minutes later, the fat globules came together and there was butter.
- Strain and scoop it out.
- Mix in the flavour of your choice. We tried 4. Plain salt, honey, brown sugar and roasted garlic and chilli pepper. The last one was my idea. I think I am going to make spicy garlic bread from that batch tomorrow. The plain salt was my daughter’s idea. She wanted to compare fresh salted butter with the stuff we usually get in the packet. Loved her very scientific approach.
- Serve with crackers or pita. We toasted some tortillas. Delicious.