Today, we visited the Peria Playcentre — a parent-run early childhood centre that meets twice a week in this locality. A highlight of our visit to the playcentre was the opportunity to watch how butter is made — the old-fashioned way!

One of the ladies brought in their large butter churn, full of cream from a local farmer’s cow. The cream had been collected over several days, and it was already several days old. Apparently fresh cream is not as easy to church as cream that is several days old.

A handle on the lid of the jar turned a crank which spun the butter churn inside the jar. It was interesting to see how the churning had seemingly no effect until all of a sudden — the butter was visible as bright yellow chunks amongst the white buttermilk!

Churning butter, May 2011
After the mothers had churned the cream into butter, they let the children have a turn at the crank.

Making butter, May 2011
A sieve catches the butter and lets the buttermilk through.

Making butter, May 2011
The butter is washed several times in cold water, kneaded gently to remove the remaining buttermilk.

Delaney, 16 months old, May 2011
Finally, we all got to sample the butter on some homemade bread! The kids loved it.

I wasn’t feeling very well this morning, so I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to spend time getting to know other local mums. However, David enjoyed some good conversations while I sat inside with out girls.

David and Kurt, May 2011
David enjoyed getting to know Kurt, a single father who brings his 3yo daughter to Playcentre twice a week.

After the playgroup was over, we helped Mandy to pack up the centre and David browsed through the local school’s food forest, harvesting a bowlful of mandarins. We were able to take some of the butter and buttermilk home with us, and later we baked it into yummy brownies for everyone who stopped by La Hacienda!