Beauty in Making Your Own Butter

Slow down and enjoy yourself a little more, don’t be so serious. Life is not a race.
— Christiane Lemieux
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What’s the hurry? Where are you headed so fast?
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Do you remember that as a kid the days seemed so long? Car trips felt longer, play dates in the backyard felt longer, an afternoon walking around town with your friend felt longer. Then as we get older, time feels like it just keeps getting faster and faster. But is the time really going faster or do we just use the time differently? Learning to slow down again makes life more meaningful.
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When was the last time you really looked at someone? Every once in a while it dawns on me that I haven’t really LOOKED at my daughter in a while. Or really listened. Often times our brains are moving a million miles an hour, thinking about something else, or we are staring at our phone just pretending to listen. My mom catches me all the time by asking, “What did I just say?” …. Uhhhhhh, I don’t know.
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No wonder time slips away.
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Get off the dang tech and do something tangible. Make something. Learn how to do something. Create something. Of course you can create amazing things on the computer, but it’s not quite the same. When I am on the computer time just slips away. When I finally look up it’s almost as if I am completely unaware that I am in the room. Hours have passed without my permission. We want life to feel long. Not the – staring at the clock waiting to get off of work – kind of long. But going outside, spending hours with friends with no deadline, making noodles by hand, walking around your town exploring new areas, kind of long. A good friend of mine recently took a long walk from her house to a friend’s to pick up some yogurt her friend had made. She said she felt like she had stepped back in time and slowed down a bit. I love this! It is so much more meaningful and interesting than going to Safeway to pick up Yoplait.
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Slowing down makes life so much more enjoyable. Slow doesn’t mean boring. Invite friends over for a long afternoon. Stay at the party longer, socialize and laugh!
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One way to slow down is to learn to do things by hand. Learn some carpentry skills without using electrical tools! Make your own bread and knead it by hand. I slow down when I make my own butter. Nowadays we aren’t required to make our own butter, can our own food, sew or knit our own clothes. We just buy it all. It is amazing to be able to buy anything we want, but buying EVERYTHING takes so much away. We don’t learn the skills, and we spend less time doing tangible, hands-on things. We don’t have to labor over bulking up our pantries for winter; but now we can do it out of enjoyment, instead of out of necessity. There is nothing quite like knowing you made you own butter, bread, noodles, coffee table, etc. Having the skills makes us feel competent and proud.
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Making butter is incredibly easy. All you need is room temperature heavy whipping cream (I get mine in a glass container, but if you can’t find that just recycle your carton) and a mason jar. If you decide to start making your own butter more often you can buy fancier butter making supplies. I am currently using a Chef’n Buttercup Butter Maker. Once the cream is room temp, all you need to do is shake the cream. Within less than a minute the cream will fluff up with air – you just made whipped cream! Your cream will feel like it isn’t shaking anymore, but just keep going. After a few minutes it will begin to slosh. The cream has now separated into butter and butter milk. Continue to shake until you have a large mass of butter. You can then strain off the buttermilk, put some very cold water in the jar, and shake and then strain the water off to rinse the butter. This will make the butter last longer. Continue rinsing with cold water until the water runs clear. And you have it, BUTTER!
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Last week I picked up a loaf of bread from the local bakery and enjoyed it with homemade butter. It doesn’t get any better than that.
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Slow down a little. Really, what’s the hurry?
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“You’ll add more days to your life when you add more life to your days.”
– Frank Wiederrecht (papa ol’ pal)

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