We Churned Butter: A Beginner’s Story of Making Butter and Memories

bread and butterHere at Lehman’s, we often hear from folks about their latest homesteading adventures, from raising chickens and bees to planting tomatoes for the first time. Recently, one of our own shared his story of how he went from an ordinary day at work of managing Lehman’s website and all things digital to going home and churning butter for the first time.

It all started when Matt – VP, Digital Marketing at Lehman’s – stumbled across a butter churn sitting on a table in the office. By the churn was a handwritten sign, “Free to a good home.”

“I have a good home,” Matt said. “I’ll take it!”

After work, Matt went straight to the store to buy heavy whipping cream. How much did he need? He wasn’t sure, so he guessed and bought four pints. He then returned home with a churn and some cream in hand.

“Hey, Hun. We’re going to make butter tonight,” he told his wife, Brittany.

She was excited and so was he. They had never made butter before, but they were about to begin.

Step 1: Use Room Temperature Cream…

Churning butter
Matt and Brittany’s son takes his turn churning.

It was 9 pm when they started. It was also the same time they had their first mishap in the butter making process. They had put the heavy whipping cream in the refrigerator, so it was cold when they started to churn it. Matt and Brittany soon discovered that to make butter, you need the cream to be at room temperature.

This little mishap made the process more challenging and time consuming, but as Matt noted, “Nothing was going to stop us from making butter.”

So they turned on the tv to House Hunters and settled in, taking turns churning. It took five episodes total (fifteen houses for those familiar with the show) until the liquid finally turned into butter.

Step 2: Rinse the Butter in a BIG Colander

Brittany rinsing butter
Here’s Brittany removing the buttermilk from the butter.

The biggest surprise of the night was how much butter the churn made, which by the way was a lot. The churn they used was Lehman’s Dazey Butter Churn, which is a big churn. The four pints of heavy whipping cream were more than plenty and had reached past the paddle of the butter churn. Matt’s tip for beginners? Expect to get a healthy portion of butter!

But no worries. This is a good problem to have. As Matt pointed out, you can freeze your extra butter.

He did note the large quantity of butter did make it tricky for them to remove the excess buttermilk. The colander they used wasn’t big enough, so the butter kept slipping out as they rinsed it in water. Next time, he plans on getting a bigger colander to make the task easier.

Matt rinsing butter
Here’s Matt with the drained butter. As you can see, there was so much butter it barely fit in the colander. 

(Another tip from Matt: Use a spatula, like they did, to help get all the buttermilk out.)

Step 3: Save the Buttermilk

While you don’t want any buttermilk in your butter (this will make it bitter, Matt explained), you definitely can save it and use it for cooking. That’s what Matt and Brittany did. They made buttermilk biscuits and pancakes the next day, which Matt described as being “so soft, fluffy and delicious.”

Buttermilk biscuits
Homemade buttermilk biscuits…yum!

Step 4: Finally, Enjoy!

It was 11:30 pm when Matt and Brittany finally spread their freshly made butter onto toast. It was creamy and, of course, fresh with a subtle flavor. But the whole experience was more than getting the four containers of homemade butter they ended up with.

They got something else.

“So many nights, we’re on our cellphone or computer, but that night we were entertained by something that was non-electric,” Matt said.

“We were doing something meaningful. We were creating something.”

Toast with butter
Warm toast with freshly made butter!

Their butter making adventure has their family already thinking of what they would like to try next. Flavored butter is on their list with Garlic Herb Butter at the top.

Matt also said they would like to try making mozzarella cheese. After all, it’s another rewarding experience they can share together.

Have you made butter before? Share your story and tips in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in June 2018 , but we’re sharing it again in celebration of National Dairy Month. (Update: Matt and Brittany are still making butter. In fact, they are now trying out different seasonings in their butter from herbs to garlic and salt.)

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