“Sophie and Her Mom Making Butter”

posted Monday February 27th, 2012

I spent much of the last week in search of a lactating goat. It seemed vital that Sophie actually witness an animal being milked, as part of her science fair project: learning how to make butter.

I always lose my mind at science fair time. Last year a friend helped Sophie build a carousel out of rubber bands and styrofoam; another time Annabelle taught her classmates about Down syndrome, no small task. There’s no way to do the science fair thing (particularly with Sophie) without putting in some parental blood, sweat and tears, but I figure as long as the kid is engaged and actually learns something, that’s okay. (And it makes up for the fact that I’m really crappy about doing Sophie’s regular homework with her.)

“This is hard work!” Sophie exclaimed this afternoon, as we neared the end.

Indeed. Not counting the wild goat chase (I never did locate one), we did research on YouTube, visited a farmers market and a restaurant (none other than FnB, home to the amazing chef Charleen Badman, who was sweet enough to take the time to show Sophie her way around a KitchenAid), and expended plenty of elbow grease shaking a bottle of cream til it (really and truly!) became butter. Then came the logbook, the report and the backboard with photos and captions.

I’d do it again in a flash and I know Sophie would, too. She’s really proud of her finished product. Here is her report, which she dictated (almost entirely).

She chose the title: “Sophie and Her Mom Making Butter”


What is butter made out of? I wanted to know. My mom said that to me that butter is made out of milk.

My cat Lulu, I felt her stomach, and it felt like pimples and then my mom told me that that’s where milk comes from.

And then we went to the farmers market and we see baby goats that aren’t having babies yet and when they have babies the mama gives milk to them with her nipples.

So then we went on YouTube and then this farmer squeezed this cow’s udder and it made milk.

Cream is a thick form of milk. You make butter out of cream.

And then we went to a restaurant called FnB and Charleen the chef – I said hi to her and we came into the kitchen and she gave me my very own apron and then she maked the butter. I helped, too.

First, I poured in the cream in the Kitchenator (KitchenAid) and then I turned it on and it was spinning like this for an hour (a few minutes, actually) and then when it’s ready we took it out and it stirred some more another hour (another few minutes) and then I ate it on a crouton. I loved it.

The cream was liquid and the butter was mushy. Charleen told me that when you mix it, it changes colors and makes butter.

My mom wanted to know who first made butter. She learned at FnB that it happened when a horse was pulling the wagon (with milk in it) and shaked the whole thing and it turned butter.

We went to the store and we got some paintbrushes for Sophie and cream. And then we came home and unloaded the groceries. Then took a bottle. We put the cream in and we shooked it a lot (from 2:53 to 3:08). I did, then Mom did, then Annabelle (my sister). And then after that we took it out and then we took a piece of bread and put on butter, it’s orange butter (because my mom used a Vitamin Water bottle) and then I tried a piece of bread and it was all buttery and it was all fun and then the end and that’s how you make butter.



1. Interview with Mom regarding cat, Lulu.
2. Visit to Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market, interview with goat lotion purveyor.
3. YouTube, http://www.monkeysee.com/play/3274-how-to-milk-a-cow.
4. Interview and demonstration with Charleen Badman, chef at FnB restuaurant, Scottsdale.

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Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome by Amysilverman

4 Responses to ““Sophie and Her Mom Making Butter””

  1. my very favorite part is the bibliography referencing the interview with mom regarding the cat, lulu!!

    Great Job Sophie!!

  2. Sophie’s story is awesome. Right off the bat, she’s talkin’ about Lulu and I’m wonderin “oh, good grief, won’t Amy keep her on the subject?” and suddenly we’re back on track with pimples. Delightful story about a delicious experience. Sophie is a great writer/story teller.

  3. that is awesome.

    points off for you for the orange bottle, though.

    I’m totally stealing Kitchenator.

  4. I love everything about this post!

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