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Online Tutorial: Butter Making

Online Tutorial: Butter Making

Join our virtual host Matthew as he travels back in time to early Wenatchee where he meets pioneer woman Debbie who gives him a lesson on making butter. Debbie explains the science behind separating cream into butter and buttermilk. You can make butter too! All you need is heavy whipping cream, a jar with a lid, and your muscles.


Before modern refrigeration general stores didn’t carry milk and butter. Pioneers had to milk a cow and wait for the cream to rise then turn their cream into butter in a butter churn. When cream is shaken, the fat molecules in the cream leave their normal position and clump together. After a while, all of the fat molecules cling together, forming a lump of butter and leaving the buttermilk behind. Want to give it a try? Watch Debbie and Matthew make butter from scratch!

You can learn more about the history of butter making, home churns, and utensils at You can study the chemistry of milk and why it’s molecular properties make it possible to make butter and buttermilk at

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