It really is simple, but in our first attempt I learned a few butter making lessons that I would be more than happy to share with you. Let me say that our first attempt was still successful and resulted in the butter pictured below. But I'd love to save you the sore biceps...
All that is needed to make butter at home is a pint of heavy whipping cream, a mason jar and 20 minutes of arm muscles. Here are my recommendations to make it successful, minus any frustration, on the first attempt:
Butter-makin' Tip No. 1: Let the heavy whipping cream get to room temperature. I read later, that the more sour it is, the less sweet the butter will taste, which makes sense.
Butter-makin' Tip No. 2:-Only pour enough cream into the mason jar to fill the jar half way. I filled it up to the brim (a little butter is good, a lot of butter, better, right? uh, no.). After 45 minutes of arm shaking, I poured half of it out, to let it really shake. It then only took a few minutes of shaking to separate into a round lump of butter and the buttermilk. Shake a few minutes more, pour off the buttermilk for pancakes or drinking, and chill the butter, or use immediately.
Butter-makin' Tip No. 3: (from my fellow homeschooler, Christy) If you want to add anything to the butter-salt, honey, etc., do this just after shaking, before it's chilled and set.
If you're doing this with kiddos, read Winter Days in the Big Woods while passing the jar around!