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Winter Fun

Thanksgiving Tradition: Homemade Butter

We’ve been making homemade butter for Thanksgiving since Andrew was a wee lad. It’s super easy—all you need is a pint of heavy whipping cream, a dash of salt, a mason jar (or any container that has a very tight seal), and three marbles. Pour the whipping cream into the mason jar, add the marbles and a dash of salt, put the lid on tightly, and start shaking. Shake until your arms get tired, then pass the jar on to the next person. Imagine yourself as a pioneer and enjoy the feeling of rugged self-sufficiency. Watch as the cream gets frothy, then sort of thick and liquid-y, and then finally forms into a firm chunk.

Open the jar, scoop out the butter, and spoon it into a ramekin or small bowl. Smooth out the top and place the butter in the refrigerator to firm up a little more. Serve with warm rolls for Thanksgiving dinner.


  1. Patti says:

    Sounds like fun- I’ll have to try that with Carlie. She loves butter! (Me too.)

  2. Shannon says:

    Is Carlie like my grandma? She can eat spoonfuls of butter. I love butter, but I can’t quite manage that!

  3. Marilyn says:

    Does it taste/feel different than store-bought butter?

  4. Michelle says:

    I used to do this with my students every year. Never used marbles though – they just had to shake that baby food jar for all they were worth. Thanks for the reminder. Haven’t done it with my own kiddos in far too long!

  5. Shannon says:

    That’s a good question, Marilyn. The homemade butter is really rich, but I think the texture is similar to store-bought butter.

  6. Patti says:

    Yes, Shannon, Carlie does like to just eat butter plain. I also love butter, but not that way!

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