When I was looking at colleges, I distinctly remember my tour guide announcing "At WashU, we have a club for literally anyone. We even have butter churning club." As a young, quirky teenager, I was instantly intrigued. I thought to myself, "this school gives money to kids who want to churn butter? Amazing!" In that moment, I knew that if I were to attend WashU, I would be a member of the butter churning club. 

However, this September, after arriving on campus and settling in, I was dismayed to learn that butter churning club did not in fact exist. It did when I visited campus back in October 2016, but ended in May of 2017 when the executive board graduated. 

This semester though, WashU Churn has officially reappeared as a Student Union recognized organization. Officially named WU Churn: Washington University's Premier Butter Churning Society, WashU Churn is dedicated to educating students about the butter making process and providing a safe and fun environment for members to put what they have learned into practice. 

Club background

In an interview, co-founder Lili Barrett discussed the conception of the club, saying "I really just wanted to see if it could be done. WashU always talks about [the club], but it didn't exist, so me and my friends said to ourselves, let's do it. Let's start a club. As a freshman, it's so daunting joining clubs, and we were really worried SU wouldn't approve us, but apparently, there's a lot of interest and things just ended up working out." 

The club already has amassed 85 members, and is anticipating hosting its inaugural churning event on April 6 from 10am to 12pm in BD Private Dining. If you're interested in joining, here's the link to the group's sign up.

Churning events

Many people wonder just exactly a club meeting entails. Barrett tells us, "It'll be really relaxed. We just want people to come, make some butter, have a conversation, and eat some bread." Sadly, WashU Churn doesn't yet have the budget for a traditional butter churner, so all of the churning will be done using mason jars. "The process is actually quite simple though," says Barrett. "All you really need is a mason jar and some whipping cream. If you shake it hard enough, the butterfat will separate from the buttermilk, and voilà! You have fresh churned butter. We will also have salt in case people want to add more depth to the butter."

Future events

After hearing all about a club dedicated to only butter churning, you might be thinking, what's the future of this club? How many times are people willing to shake mason jars a semester? According to the founders, WashU Churn is planning themed parties in coming semesters. For example, a Butter Brunch is planned for next fall. At this meeting, members would churn butter as usual, but breakfast items like croissants, bagels, and biscuits would be provided as well as additional toppings like honey and jam, so members can enjoy their fresh butter with various brunch foods. Other themed party ideas include a St. Patrick's Day Churn with butter dyed green and Irish Soda Bread as and a Summer Celebration with fresh herbs from a campus garden to add to the butter.

Now you know all of the details about WU Churn's revival. Their comeback has been well-thought out, and hopefully the group is here to stay this time.