Laura Ingalls Wilder teaches Piper How to Make Butter

Before we left home in Corny, I had started to read Piper the first book in the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, “Little House in the Big Woods.” She was enjoying it so much that I threw caution to the wind and decided to bring the whole box of books with us.  We try to stay away from bringing too many books when we travel because it becomes a weight issue, but I realized we may not have access to a lot of English print books at the local library.  IMG_9339Her curiosity about life in the big woods has gotten the best of her and it has evolved into her new project of study.  We have the Little House on the Prairie TV CD’s at home and she’s watched many episodes of the show.  I think this helped her to pick up the book.  She’s also told me how much she likes the first book (and those to follow) “because Laura wrote them.”  Upon reading the section about butter making, she begged me to make butter.  “We have to try it mom!”  OK, I’ve done this before, but she hasn’t.  We did a little research first.  She watched a few videos about how to make butter.  We watched the shake in a jar method and the whip in the bowl method.  We also found a website of a woman making butter the old fashioned way, just like Laura with a churn.  We made our way to the store and bought two containers of Visp Grädde (that’s whipping cream in Swedish).

IMG_9340Shaking the cream in a jar doesn’t take as long.  Whipping cream in a bowl takes about half an hour.  It’s tiring work, and we took turns. Even Finn got in on the action for a little while.  I even learned something new making butter this time.  We learned that after you separate the butter from the buttermilk, you have to rinse your chunk of butter under cold water until the water turns clear.  The buttermilk may go rancid before the butter does, so you must make sure to rinse it all off the butter.  We have now made butter two times.  We purchase two containers of whipping cream and it makes a large crock of butter that lasts us about a week.IMG_9342  The last time we made butter, Piper wanted to try coloring the butter like Ma did, with carrot shavings.  She grated the carrots and we warmed it up with some cream on the stove.  We drained the orange carrot cream out of the pot and added it to the cream being whipped up.  This gave the butter a little extra color.  We also added a pinch of salt to give it a little more taste.  This batch turned out delicious! This may become our new weekly ritual.