When the COVID-19 shutdown started, Bronwyn Badeaux wanted to find fun activities for her family of five.
A stay-at-home mom, Badeaux, 30, a New Iberia resident, took trips with her children to Shadows-on-the-Teche and was fascinated with the idea of churning their own butter.
With four children, Badeaux and her husband Jacob are constantly busy and on the go. Badeaux and Jacob own Blast-a-Bin, a trash can cleaning service in New Iberia, and like to stay busy with their cleaning business.
What does a family of five do to stay busy during a global pandemic? Well, churn butter, of course.
And obviously, they’re using a churn to do it, too.
Churning is the process of shaking up cream or whole milk to make butter, usually using a butter churn.
Changing whole milk to butter is a process of transforming a fat-in-water emulsion (milk) to a water-in-fat emulsion (butter). Whole milk is a dilute emulsion of tiny fat globules surrounded by lipoprotein membranes that keep the fat globules separate from one another.
Butter is made from cream that has been separated from whole milk and then cooled; fat droplets clump more easily when hard rather than soft.
“It’s a process,” Badeaux said. “It just turns from heavy whipping cream, to cream, to butter.”
But Badeaux doesn’t use a machine or a blender to churn her own butter, she is using an old family heirloom.
“We use heavy cream and churn it from a churn from our great, great aunt,” Badeaux said. “I think it was 1946 the churn was made.”
Badeaux and her family all take turns with the churn which can take a few hours to use for the process.
Ater the cream is made, they pick a flavor and store it for use for weeks. Some of the flavors they use include cinnamon sugar, garlic and herb parsley, and sun-dried tomato and salt, Badeaux’s favorite.
“And that’s the most hectic part of it,” Badeaux said. “It’s so much work for a little bit of product.”
But is the work worth the reward for Badeaux?
“I love butter, so to me, it’s worth it,” Badeaux said. ‘If you love butter, it’s worth it.”
That love of butter started when she was looking for the gold sticks at the store, but because some foods were in short supply at the beginning of the year ,they weren’t available.
She always knew she’d eventually churn her own butter, but didn’t think it would be in 2020 during a global pandemic, she said.
“I had no other choice,” Badeaux said. “I need to make butter now.”
Badeaux said she can taste the difference between homemade and store-bought butter.
“For me, it’s quality,” Badeaux said. “It’s not as spreadable, so it’s more real.”
Badeaux compares it to homemade burgers versus fast food burgers, as she knows what goes into her food and she can control the flavor.
More than anything, more than the long hours it takes to make the butter, Badeaux enjoys the time she gets to spend with her children while making butter.
“It was really fun for me and my family that was quarantined with us,” Badeaux said. “It was something for us to do other than talk about the pandemic.”