Butter and Candles

Making butter and candles is not how I thought I would ever spend a Saturday afternoon, but that is what we did today. Melissa had found a flyer at the library saying there would be a demonstration of how butter and candles were made in colonial times and that we would even be able to participate in the experience. It sounded interesting to us and after asking Kylie what she thought about it we all decided to go give it a shot. We got there about an hour prior to the demonstration so we could locate exactly where it would be and to allow Kylie to look around for some books to borrow. She decided today that she wanted to borrow three books: Paddington Bear, The Elephant Wish, and The Sad Princess. When it was time we went into the story room where everything was set up. The demonstration for the butter was first and the speaker explained that the butter was made from mixing heavy whipping cream and some salt. To all the kids delight they were each handed a small jar containing the ingredients and told that all they needed to do to make butter was to vigorously shake the container for a few minutes and when it started to “make a glob” that they would then have butter and the remaining liquid would be butter milk. It was rather interesting to see the butter form out of what was basically just liquid. Melissa was a little disappointed because on the flyer it had shown an actual butter churn and so she was hoping to see one of those in use. Then it was time for the candles, and the speaker explained that these were candles made from real bees wax. Many of the children did not like how the bees wax smelled, but Kylie thought it smelled good. In a crock pot there was already a lot of melted wax and each child was given a started candle and told they needed to dip the candle into the wax, pull it back out and let it cool for a few seconds and repeat. Kylie tried this but lost interest in it rather quickly so Melissa gave it a try and also found it to be a very tedious task. By the time we decided to leave we ended up with two small jars of butter, but no candle, mainly because none of us had the patience to try to make a candle and a lot of other children were also trying to make one and the hot wax was splashing and dripping all over. Thought the event didn’t fully live up to our expectations I thought it was still very interesting and educational. I think Kylie was more excited that she got a few new books to read though.

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