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Butter at Home

Children do still need to learn how to do things and how to care for things.  When the parent is aware that the child needs instruction to learn about the world, that all things must be learned, then practiced, then done independently, he will see that the child has the opportunity to learn a variety of skills to help her gain a feeling of self-dependence in the world.  The more we know about the things around us, how to care for them, how to fix them, and how to make them, the more we feel at home in the world.

It will be a very different experience for the child, if our approach to her comes from our helping her to learn about the world, to learn skills, and to learn how to work together.


~Dotty Turner Coplen :: Parenting a Path Through Childhood

Butter!

Laurel and I made butter yesterday and we were really quiet pleased with ourselves.  I still am--I almost believed it wouldn't work!  We've watched Ruth Goodman make butter so many times, and there really is that moment when everything shifts.  I thought it was going to be whipped cream forever and then it turned all grainy and golden and there was the buttermilk!  I used a pint of Duchess cream and we got a good amount, more than a usual stick, of butter.  We put in a sprinkle of salt as I was pressing it.  You can see our rather simple (and free!) butter hands.  It was the children who determined their use months ago.  They are just wood shims that I washed well.  They did the job just fine.  The butter came out firm and dense and just lovely.  I know my butter isn't nicely shaped, but we were expecting someone to drop by and I had to get it into the refrigerator so I could greet them.  Next time!

Hand Food Processor

We used this hand-cranked food processor that we got from Tupperware when Mike and I were first married.  It was a warranty claim to replace a quite new food chopper and, boy, did we hit the jackpot!  They are still available at a fairly hefty price, and our is useful in so many ways.  I know you can make butter in a blender, but that seems so. . . violent.  I really love tools for the home with children that have hand cranks on them, so I try to use them as much as possible.  There is so much in our natural world that is circular and cyclical, that I feel it's very important for children to feel those connections.

Kindergarten Buns

Here it is on the lovely Kindergarten Buns from the Waldorf Book of Breads.  This is a wonderful recipe if you want children to see you make a sponge and to look on as it grows.  It's fairly quick, which can be helpful, too, and makes lovely rolls.  I have taken to keeping my little iron skillet in the oven to put half a cup of water in--this makes the oven steamy and helps with rising.  I read it in the King Arthur Whole Grain Cookbook.  The rolls were so soft and the butter so tasty.  Sigh.

Tasting the Results

And here is my intrepid helper, tasting the results of her efforts (and probably enjoying the strawberries and whipped cream a little more). 

Comments

( 5 trees — Plant a Forest )
blakdove
May. 14th, 2016 01:37 am (UTC)
How neat! It looks delicious. And Laurel looks adorable - did you make that dress?
impossibleway
May. 14th, 2016 11:01 am (UTC)
Thanks! I did make it--for Willow, way back.
elberethmyrrh
May. 14th, 2016 05:39 am (UTC)
Oh, this is something I've wanted to try for a long time! I've thought about doing the Mason jar method (shake, shake, shake), but that sounds exhausting and not as pleasant as churning or turning a crank.

And, yes, as good as fresh rolls and butter are, nothing tops berries and cream for a youngster. :) All of mine have been extreme berry-enthusiasts at this age.
impossibleway
May. 14th, 2016 11:04 am (UTC)
It seems like it would take a lot of shaking with the jar and maybe the cream would get too warm, I don't know. Things I read say five minutes, but those could be some really vigorous minutes.

I have a recipe for shortcakes that recommends serving them with butter AND berries AND whipped cream. Now that is the best of both worlds!
blakdove
May. 14th, 2016 07:06 pm (UTC)
I want to try coffee cans -- cream in a smaller can, taped securely, ice packed around it in the bigger can. Have the kids kick it back and forth for a while. Though maybe that'd be better for ice cream.
( 5 trees — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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© impossibleway

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