Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kitchen Science

Making food is just science and math. It's proportions and chemical reactions. And it can be really fun for kids. Here is a case in point.

Last night I was thinking about breakfast and decided we should have pancakes. Problem was that there was no butter in the house. But there was half a pint of heavy whipping cream. And so there was a solution - make some butter. I called Jordan in to help.

We poured the half a pint of heavy whipping cream into a mason jar. Then we put a marble into the jar and screwed the lid on very tight. Next came the fun part - shaking. Shake, shake, shake. Everyone got a turn, even daddy. First it becomes whipped, the consistency you'd expect for topping a piece of pie. More shaking. Second it starts to look grainy, but still white. More shaking. Last the watery parts of the cream separate from the fats. The fats come together and are light yellow. The liquid is cloudy. We opened the jar to test the consistency, it wasn't quite solid enough so a bit more shaking. And done. We poured out the liquid and put the butter in a dish.

Jordan asked to taste it. "Wow, it tastes like butter!" I said, "That's because it is butter."

Note - Personally I don't like salted butter, but if you do you can add a little. After you put the butter in the dish add 1/4 tsp of salt and mix it in.


  1. Do not put marbles into jars and shake--it is not needed, and can chip the glass and leave shards in your butter. Butter forms with just plain shaking.

  2. True that you don't need to us a marble - it just reduce the amount of shaking needed. We haven't had a mason jar get chipped by adding a marble and we have done this many times. But it's a good caution if you have very strong shakers at your house.