Over the years I have been reading CH, I am amazed by the things people make from scratch. The one thing that doesn't show up much is butter. People make their own bread, pasta, sausages but I seldom see mention of making butter. I do it all the time. Guests are amazed when I bring out buttermilk biscuits I've made from my own buttermilk and butter that I made that afternoon. So in the interest of showing how easy it is, I wanted to post this simple set of instructions.
Get a quart of the best quality heavy cream you can find and let it get to room temperature.
I have a kitchenaid stand mixer but you could use a hand mixer. Pour in the cream and use the whipping attachment. Wrap plastic wrap between the bowl and the mixer arm if you are using a stand mixer otherwise get sponges and paper towels ready to clean up.
Turn mixer to medium high speed and go away for 15 minutes or so. When you check it, it should be getting to the point of thick whipped cream. Watch carefully from this point as soon the whipped cream will begin to form into butter nodules and the buttermilk will begin to separate. The butter will stick to the mixer attachment.
I pour the whole thing through a fine mesh strainer and keep the buttermilk in an open container. Take the butter and knead it to bring out more of the buttermilk. Add salt at this point if you want. Once you have pressed out most of the liquid, I pack the butter into a plastic tub. A quart of cream will give you a pound of butter and a pint of buttermilk. Leave the buttermilk out overnight to culture and then use for the best biscuits or pancakes you can make.
I have added pictures of the various steps