Side Orders: Churning butter a chore no more

Churning butter the old-fashioned way was a chore, and I can’t imagine how difficult it was for housewives of yore.

I remember churning it myself once, using an old wooden butter churner. It was at a birthday party, and the birthday girl’s momma thought churning butter would be a fun activity. So there a group of us sat in a circle, passing the butter churner around, each of us taking our turn at plunging the churner up and down a few times before passing it off to the next person.

It seemed like hours before we were told to stop, though in reality we probably churned for less than one. Nonetheless, our arms were tired, but our excitement level was high as we waited for the lid to be removed to see the butter inside.

Smiles quickly turned to bitter disappointment as we all looked inside, only to see the same cream with which we had started. It hadn’t thickened in the least. That was my one and only attempt at making butter until I tried my new Kilner butter churner.

The product claims to make butter in 10 to 12 minutes, but would it work, I wondered. I figured I was only out around $4 for a quart of heavy cream, so I put it to the test.

I allowed the cream to come to room temperature, an imperative move. Before starting, I read the instructions and went on YouTube to see how it’s done. Both stated clearly the need to use room-temperature cream. That done, I poured it into the glass jar, put the churner/lid on top, set the timer for 10 minutes and started churning.

I had butter in less than six minutes. This churner is the real deal. You can buy a pound of butter for less than it costs to make your own, but this is something you can do with the kids. It’s a lesson that will help teach them how certain foods are made and the science behind it — how whipping the fat molecules in cream makes them coagulate into butter, leaving a liquid we all know as buttermilk on the side. Save the buttermilk for your waffles or mashed potatoes. It’s delicious.

The butter churner isn’t large — no bigger than a large Mason jar — so it will store easily in your kitchen cabinet. And it’s made of glass — not wood like the traditional churner — so you can see what’s happening as you churn.

The Kilner Butter Churner is about $40 on amazon.com, and for a fun…

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