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How to Make Homemade Butter

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Making butter is a fun science experiment that both teaches and entertains students.

Holiday dinners, especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, typically revolve around many family members. Instead of sitting in front of the TV or game console, kids can make butter, a fun way to add to the dinner table. Making butter is simple and does not require any complicated equipment. It is simple to do in the classroom, and the recipe can be sent home for sharing the holiday fun.

Supplies for Making Butter

½ pint heavy cream
1 marble
1 pint jar with a tight cover or lid

Butter Making Tips

Butter is made as the fat is removed from milk. To make homemade butter, use a heavy cream because it contains more butterfat than regular milk or light creams.
The amount of butter made depends on the amount of fat in the cream. Have kids try different types, such as heavy cream, light cream and whipping cream, and compare the amount of time needed for shaking as well as the amount and taste of the butter once done.
Clean supplies in warm soapy water before use.
A plastic container can be used in place of a jar. If the lid does not screw on tightly, use a strong tape to hold it in place.
Using 2 smaller containers (and a marble for each one) will speed up the process. This works well with younger children or kids with short attention spans.

Steps to Make Butter

Place the marble in the jar.
Pour the cream into the jar and screw on the cover tightly.
Shake the jar. A figure-eight motion works best. If the lid is very tight kids can roll it back and forth or even send it down the stairs (only works well with a plastic container).
At first the marble can be heard moving about, but the cream will eventually become thick enough that the marble will no longer be heard.
Shortly after the marble can no longer be heard the butter will suddenly form.
Drain the buttermilk. It can either be discarded, drunk or used in another recipe.
Wash the lump of butter by running cold water into the jar. This will remove any trapped buttermilk.
Find and remove the marble and pack the butter into a container, either a bowl or a decorative mold.
Store the butter in the refrigerator.

Cream or milk contains fat in the form of drops suspended in the liquid. The reason this process works is that the shaking of the container forces the fat drops to come together and stick. The marble stirs the liquid during the shaking, allowing more drops for different areas of the liquid to come together.

Read more at Suite101: How to Make Homemade Butter: Fun Holiday Science Experiment for Kids at School or Home http://web.archive.org/web/20101024105957/http://www.suite101.com:80/content/how-to-make-homemade-butter-a77124#ixzz4sCYJPRkv

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