Birthday Butter Shake: A Sequel

 

SouthernFriends

You may remember when I visited Pennsylvania last month we made butter the old-fashioned way, my mother, sister and I shaking cream in a 2-quart jar. This week my Southern friend Carolyn threw a birthday bash that included friends making butter together. We did just that – working in pairs, taking turns shaking, and doing it all to music of the 1950s and 60s.

Here is Carolyn explaining how it’s done. Now girls, “Shake the cream until it curdles into butter. Add a pinch of salt. And then to spice it up a notch, choose a combination of honey, cinnamon, mixed herbs, or garlic salt to give your butter some personality . . . .”

CSexplainingButterShake

Next the ten of us pair off with pint jars of cream, handing off the jar to our mate when our arms are about to fall off . . .

butter team

And away we go!

To the tunes of Let’s Have a Party and All Shook Up, we Shake, Rattle, and Roll, way past curds and whey. Finally, with our butter balls all molded and labeled we sit down to a fancy feast, enhanced by the fruits of our labors.

molded butter

In the 1960s, you could eat anything you wanted, and of course . . . there was no talk about fat and anything like that, and butter and cream were rife. Those were lovely days for gastronomy, I must say.         Julia Child

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Have you attended a memorable party, birthday or otherwise? Tell us about it. We’re curious.

Maybe we’ll copy-cat it. You know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Coming Saturday: The R-Word and You

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Home-made Butter: 3 Easy Steps

This week at Mom’s house, I attempted to re-create a scene from my childhood – in the same house, on the same chair, with one of the same Ball-Mason jars from the mother’s stash in the cellar. The kind with tiny bubbles crystallized within the glass of the jar. Mother says these jars are valuable.

The cream of bygone days for butter-making came from one of the Holstein cows that Sam and Mabel Hoffer kept on their tiny farm down the road from us on Anchor Road. For this re-enactment, I buy whipping cream from Giant Foods up the road toward town.

Butter 1

Did I mention that my sister Jan and Mother are both skeptical that store-bought cream will yield real butter.

Janice says, “You’re probably wasting your time shaking that jar back and forth with cream from the store. Think about all of the additives and preservatives they put in.”

Mother doesn’t say much but looks skeptical. I’m out to prove them wrong.

Butter 2

I stop the shaking long enough to notice that curdles of cream are clinging to the jar’s insides. That’s all it takes.

First, sister Jan and then Mother get in on the action, now past the 12-minute mark.

Without a shadow of doubt, real honest-to-goodness butter lumps are forming.

Butter 4

And voilá . . .

Butter 5

Fifteen minutes later, more or less, we have two fat butter-balls!

Did you catch the steps?

  1. Pour cream into 2-quart jar.
  2. Shake until you rattle and roll.
  3. Remove the congealed mass from the jar. Add a pinch of salt.

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What scenes from your past have you tried to re-create?