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A Year of Trying to be a Better Mom

Making Butter August 4, 2010

You know how when you cook a special recipe that requires ingredients like heavy whipping cream and you never use all of it? Well, I made such a recipe recently. I’ve been wondering how to use up the rest of the whipping cream before it would expire. I suppose an obvious answer would be to whip it…and make whipped cream…but I had nothing to eat whipped cream on. Though don’t think I’m above eating whipped cream by the spoonful. I mean…no, no, I never do fat-tastic things like that! Never.

Anyway, I was browsing activities to do with preschoolers and came across these instructions for how to make butter. The only required materials were whipping cream and a jar with a lid. I had all of those. Perfect!

Supplies: Whipping cream with a lidded container

Now all I had to do was pour the whipping cream into the container and shake. In about 10 minutes time, the directions said, we would have butter. And, I’m not gonna lie, these are the thoughts that went through my head, “Wow. Only 10 minutes. Why don’t people make their own butter more often?” And I was also imagining it would turn out all lovely and smooth, like a tub of Country Crock or something. Um. No.

This is what we started out with

After 10 minute of shaking, there's some butter

After 20 minutes, still has liquid in it

After 30 minutes. Dang. This is why people don't shake their own butter. It's still liquidy (though you can clearly see the butter)

And here is what Zach looked like, shaking the butter, during all of this time.

Beginning shakes, enthusiastic

After 10 minutes, a little tired out

20 minutes?? Mom...I'm all done shaking...I'll just sit here and sip my milk while you finish up. Kay?

Don’t worry, we alternated shaking turns. And while we were shaking, of course we had to sing shaking appropriate songs. Like “Shake your booty” (except I changed it to “Shake Your Butter”…clever). At the thirty minute mark I decided to call it done. We could see that there was, in fact, butter in the container. No need for a whole tub! So, we did a taste test.

Getting a small sample

Yep, tastes like butter

Then I drained the rest of the liquid and put the butter in the fridge. Maybe we’ll use it on toast tomorrow morning!

It looks like cottage cheese, but it's butter

What did Zach learn? About physical changes. Shaking up the cream churned it into butter. It was a little science experiment. I asked him what he thought the cream would do (he didn’t know, obviously). He did say it went poo poo on the potty. Um…can you tell we’ve been talking about THAT lately?? Then, as we were shaking it up, I asked him to feel the differences in how the cream felt in the container. It was pretty interesting, at about 3 or 4 minutes into shaking, I could tell we had probably produced whipped cream, the container felt much lighter and you couldn’t hear liquid sloshing around. Then after 3 or 4 more minutes, the liquid sound returned.  The fat particles from the cream were separated out from the liquid, the fat was sticking together in the butter. At least, that’s my explanation for it. Pretty neat. Oh–and tasting the butter adds a sensory experiment to the learning. We didn’t do this, but it probably would have been a good idea to taste the cream before making it into butter, to talk about the differences.

What did Mommy learn? All of the above. Plus…use a lot less cream next time! And shaking butter is hard work. THAT’S why people just buy it pre-made. Though, maybe I could whip it in my Kitchen Aid? Maybe I’ll perform a mommy science experiment some other time when I have about to expire cream to waste.

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Day 21: Mother’s Day May 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erin Brambilla @ 8:34 pm

Today was Mother’s Day, which means I got to take the day “off”. Or, at least I changed a few less diapers, didn’t cook any meals, got to drink mimosas (because Mother’s Day is a day fancy enough for mimosas) and someone else worked with Zach on crafts! Just to prove how relaxed and lazy I was, I think I stayed in my PJs until 3ish. I really wonder why I bothered to change at all!

I think my very favorite part of the day was immediately upon waking up, I walked out of the bedroom door to be greeted by Zach. He was obviously watching for my arrival into the living room and as soon as he saw me walk out, he jumped up as fast as he could and said, “Happy Mother’s Day Mommy!!” He was SO excited to say it. And I was SO excited to hear it. This was my 3rd Mother’s Day, but the first time Zach has been able to say the words.

My second favorite part of the day was in the afternoon when he walked up to me and said, “Best Mommy Ever!” Daddy was obviously teaching him how to sweet talk me. It works!

Pete and Zach cooked me brunch (and I had those yummy mimosas) and we all just relaxed the whole day.

At church, the lovely ladies who run the nursery had the kids make Mother’s Day cards for their crafts. Thanks to Rebeca and Nicole for doing that. I love my little scribbles!

Front of the card (he obviously had a little bit of help)

Inside of the card.

And that’s all I’m going to say about a day all about me!

What did Zach learn today? Some new phrases. How to butter up mommy. And that some days are special.

What did Mommy learn? Nothing. I already knew I had the best family ever.