Monday, 23 February 2015

Making butter

Last night we did our usual quiz for our homeschooling -- well after-school schooling -- and I said we could also do an experiment.

"After the quiz?" she asked. We can do part one at the same time, I said. While you answer the questions, shake this jar -- we're making butter.

I showed her that if you shake a jar of milk or cream, it feels like nothing is happening - until rather suddenly the splashing sound changes to a splosh, and you can see a solid mass bouncing around inside the jar.

"Is the liquid whey now?" she asked. Close, I said -- buttermilk.

Now we have to pat the butter, but not with our hands -- you know why? "Body heat?" she said. Absolutely right, I said --- well, I've seen people in old-fashioned cottages in County Fermanagh do it with their hands, but I suspect their houses and hands were quite cold.

A bit later she had it in a neat pat. "What will we do with this?" she asked.

Next is phase two of the experiment, I said. We'll bury it in the bog for a year, like people here used to in the Viking era, and see how it keeps.

Photo: The Girl showing how to make butter. Zebra pyjamas and pink rubber gloves are optional. 

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