Spread the word: WUChurn is back and butter than ever
WUChurn, Washington University’s butter churning society, has been an occasional talking point on WashU admission tours. However, the club, which was founded in 2016, no longer existed by 2019. It was then restarted by junior Addison Liang who heard about WUChurn when applying to WashU. Unfortunately, during the pandemic they couldn’t meet, and again, membership fell. After graduating in May 2022, Liang handed the dasher (the part of the traditional butter churner which you hold) to current seniors Dylan Rosenthal, Kaiti Walko, and Sam Hirsch.
The executive members are hoping to create a relaxing, safe space for students. “I really want WUChurn to just be a community where anybody feels welcome,” Hirsch, the club’s vice president, said. “There have been times I’ve been turned away [from clubs] because I’ve just been interested in trying something out, but I don’t compare to the person who has had five years of doing this before. That’s not what we want for WUChurn.
WuChurn is open to anyone who wants to join — no tryouts or waitlists.
“We want to take the people who are curious, who maybe don’t have a passion yet, but we want to inspire that passion in them,” Hirsch said.
The first of WUChurn’s monthly open-churn events was on Saturday, Sept 24. Students gathered in the Mudd Multipurpose room to shake WUChurn-provided mason jars filled with liquid whipping cream. The cream first turned into whipped cream, and in about ten to fifteen minutes, depending on how vigorously one shakes the jar, it becomes delicious, soft butter. The extra liquid is then drained through a cheesecloth and participants are left to smear their creation on an assortment of bread or pastries provided by the club. The butter can be taken and enjoyed later, though the jar had to stay.
According to first-time churner freshman Jordana Brenes, churning is simple and enjoyable. “I feel so happy that the students from WUChurn are teaching us how to churn butter because it is something so ordinary, but it is also a new way to have fun with friends,” she said. There was no shortage of butter related puns.
Walko hopes that churners will keep returning to the club. “Before, people would come maybe once and be like, ‘okay I churned butter’, but we want people to be excited about coming back because it won’t be the same event every time,” she said.
Beyond the open churn events, the club has various competitions planned, such as who can make the best butter or make butter the fastest. They are also looking to expand into flavored butters, for example garlic or cinnamon sugar, and into non-dairy options. Additionally, they are hoping to receive more funding from Student Union to possibly expand into farm-to table-initiatives and organize field trips to local farms to see the whole butter making process from start to finish.
There is not yet a specific plan to get people more involved in the event planning process, but Walko said they are open to new, enthusiastic ideas. On the club’s future, Walko hopes it continues on past Rosenthal, Hirsch, and herself. “I definitely don’t want it to die out,” she said.
Hirsch said WUChurn wants students to relax, make some butter and have a good time. “Even if they’re olive oil fans, we’ll forgive them,” he said.