My Profile

I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Little Black Sambo Got Nothing On Me

This gentleman was tending an orphan fawn, about eight weeks old, and telling people about wildlife. The fawn was curious but kept well wrapped so he couldn't leap away and fall on the concrete floor.

Now if my title offends you...keep it to yourself because I'm not one to rewrite history and this was one of my favorite children's stories. Somewhere, packed in a box, I've got my original copy of Little Black Sambo and it's still cherished. In 1899, well before my time should you be wondering, Helen Bannerman wrote, illustrated and published Little Black Sambo in England for her two little girls; the next year it was published in the USA. The story takes place in India but, needless to say, American politics got involved and right royal ejits said it was "racist". I don't see it myself but I also don't see Tom Sawyer, barefoot and palming off his work on others as derogatory. I mean, sometimes a story is just a story and, at any rate, I've got too much work on my plate to waste time casting aspersions on others.

Fred, my friend and lawyer, has asked me to demonstrate churning butter for a few years at the county fair. It's my pleasure to say yes and it gives a lot of pleasure to the Seniors and Special Needs folks who come out. The Seniors tell me stories of how they used to help milk, churn, do farm chores, etc. and the Special Needs folks are simply enthralled. One dear older woman, in the grips of dementia, stood at my side, stroking my shoulder, telling me, "My Mama used to do that; she used to churn. Mama used to churn" over and over and over until someone pulled her away. For the while she was with me, the happiness glowed in her face and that's why I spend my money, time and effort to's my gift for people whom it pleases to remember.
Faith and Becky are my helpers in setting up, tearing down and handing out samples of butter on saltine crackers and they make my job a lot easier. Because I forgot to set the cream out, I started with two gallons of cold cream from Duchess Dairy but because I started with pure cream, I didn't have to separate the milk from the cream. Duchess did that for me, thank you very much! A towel around the wooden dasher keeps the cream from splashing too very much; although I still managed to become covered, head to toe, in spots of cream.
David Browning, The Mayberry Deputy, came by to say hello and take a picture; he was such a nice gentleman!

I won't reinvent the wheel but if you'd like to read more information about cow milk and how it makes a difference in churning butter, click here and, if you'd like to laugh at me and, possibly, with me, click here and here.

When churning for public consumption, I use pasteurized Jersey cream because it's heated and any bacteria destroyed. If I'm churning for personal consumption, I use raw milk; both products give butter, both products are good and both have a different taste. I grew up on raw milk, sometimes milked the cow myself, but now it's illegal to sell raw milk in the Commonwealth of Virginia. boo!

The 100% cream is poured into my Great-Grandmother's crock, dasher lowered into cream then lid placed on top, towel wrapped around dasher and top and the up/down motion begins. If the cream is room temperature, the cream will begin turning to whipped cream in 20 minutes or thereabouts. If the cream is cold, it takes 30 to 40 minutes.

Really crummy photo but I'm tired and want to finish so I can go to bed. A dasher is a long, wooden, dowel type rod with an X attached to the bottom with a screw. Mine isn't all that old but it's not holding up very well and I'd love to find a new, better dasher. I've looked and cannot find one so make do by gluing and using a larger screw. One of these days though it's not going to work at all and then I'll be done for.

Last year my dasher broke when the cream began turning to thick whipped cream, like above, but I made do, and this year, tried the same repair, both gluing and using a bit larger screw, but to no avail. When the liquid cream became whipped cream, the dasher broke.

The whipped cream was simply too thick for the poorly made dasher and I resorted to making butter by hand and,

in a large enamel bowl, I would dip three or four handfuls of whipped cream and begin whipping the cream by hand. It's not skilled labor; just takes a bit of time, patience and effort to go from whipped cream to bits of butter.

The cream began turning into pebble sized bits of butter and as I continued, the butter released liquid which is buttermilk and was poured off and kept for my kitchen. I've already soaked chicken for grilling and made a mighty tasty pan of buttermilk cornbread with this buttermilk. I also gave away a half gallon of buttermilk, along with a pound and half of butter to Faith for her family's use.

Sea salt was mixed with the butter, then the butter formed into half pound blocks which were placed into my butter mold. Click here for photos of my Aunt Bonnie's, possibly my Grandmother's, butter mold that I use. When using pasteurized cream, there's no need to wash the butter; when using raw milk, it's best to wash the butter to soften the tang of the raw milk. Please do click on all the links to see what's not included in this post; there's so much good information on how to do this for yourself and it's a great home school, or even public school, project!

So many people wanted to buy my butter but, again, it's against the law so I had to say no. Broke my heart too, having to bring all that butter home and use it myself -wicked grin-.

Is all this work worth having home churned butter? It is to me because it's not only delicious, it keeps the old ways alive and brings back so many lovely memories to me and the public. I thoroughly enjoy churning butter, spinning, weaving, making apple butter and cider, making bread and meals from scratch and all the home arts. When Dave was alive, knowing I was able to make us a home brought both of us pleasure and enjoyment and strengthened our friendship and marriage. Appalachia runs deep in my veins and heat and eat are both paramount to making and living a good life. I don't apologize for staying close to home, tending to those things that bring not only pleasure but something good to eat or wear or sleep under. I truly believe if more people tended to home life first, this frosty ole world would be a lot better off. 

Let's face it, 
when Mama's happy, ever'body's happy! 

Blessings ~ home churned butter ~ butter milk ~ Dave ~ Appalachia ~ a happy home ~


  1. Don't tell but I have a copy of Little Black Sambo, too.

  2. Miss. Sandra I am highly offended that you cannot so much as give away raw butter/milk much more so than the Little Black Sambo potential I have my panties in a knot issue. Someday we will get over ourselves won't we? With that said as one churner to another well done may we strive to keep the past alive in both times be gone bye homemaking skills and literature. After all it is running blind not to know where you have come from. I raise my glass of home produced raw goat milk to you!

  3. That sure looks like a joey, not a fawn, to me!


  4. I love your stories of your memorable childhood and I agree you should be able to give samples away.

    10 things learned are all Awesome, but here are just TWO:
    4. Nature is the supreme white noise.

    4. Nature is the supreme white noise.

    5. God is stronger than my tears or fears

    Also "p'raps" is how it probably how this sounded by your aunt telling you to sleep UNDER the quilts!

    I believe we used to eat at "Sambo's" in the 1970's , their pancakes were the best!; and they had photos all over the menu and walls from the book.

    I am sure I had a copy of the book back when but lost it to moves and maybe my Mother's garage sales.

    Thanks for your wonderful story and links, it is very entertaining reading!
    Smiles, Cyndi

  5. What a wonderful post! It's too bad you can't sell your butter, but what a treat to have for yourself. :-)

    Thanks for sharing a day in your life.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

  6. I would love to be there watching you churn . . . with the dasher and by hand.
    This post, (and the others you have done) on churning butter are one more testimony of you . . . REAL person, good woman, faithful, joyous heart. Just look at your smile . . . as bright and rich as the butter you churn.
    And loved hearing, Little Black Sambo . . . one of my favorite childhood books . . . and now I am wondering where it vanished. I would love to hold that book, turn the pages, read again. It brings me a smile . . . in the memory. I can even bring back the fragrance from the pages of the book as I would turn them.
    I bet your hands felt as smooth as silk from mixing the milk, cream into butter . . .
    Sweet post Sandra . . .

  7. I can remember checking those books out of our school library back in the early 60's. They are extremely collectable and impossible to find. Great butter story.

  8. I too remember Little Black Samba and I also had a Topsy Turvy doll. I think both of those taught me not everyone looked like me. But that was back in the days of radio and news reels at the movies, and home churned butter, that was sooooo long ago.

  9. no offense on my part.. nosiree. :)

    i own my great grandmother's butter churn and you know what? i've never attempted making butter in it.

  10. Very interesting post Sandra. We like to do as much as we can for ourselves here too. I have made butter from cream but I use a hand whisk. It was fun and tasted delicious.
    I don't think raw milk is illegal in England. I'll check that out of interest.

  11. Sandra, thank you for sharing your wonderful information on churning butter. I was so touched reading about your reasons for sharing your skills. What a lovely use of your talents! I so agree with your last paragraph! Home is certainly the most important place to learn how to love and how to give love. ♥

  12. Love your make do spirit, using your hands when the dasher broke. I think it's so important to keep up these old-fashioned skills, too. The home arts are so important, the culture is speeding right past them, not knowing what they're missing, but we can keep them alive for our own and others' pleasure and satisfaction. And maybe even survival.

  13. Interesting to read about your butter-making exploits. If I had thought about it, we could have tried making butter with the children at summer school. We did make ice cream in a bag once which was quite fun - except for the group who let salt water drip onto theirs. THAT was yucky!

  14. Look at you go, butter churner! I bet your shoulders are a bit sore.

  15. My mother still reads Little Black Sambo to her great grand children. She tells it with such flair. I remember her reading it to me.

  16. My mother still reads Little Black Sambo to her great grand children. She tells it with such flair. I remember her reading it to me.

  17. My mother still reads Little Black Sambo to her great grand children. She tells it with such flair. I remember her reading it to me.

  18. I remember my Grandma reading Little Black Sambo to me. Still my mom's favorite childhood book! She found one somewhere online and ordered it. Love all the butter churning and pics. You are making me hungry! I totally agree, tending to matters at home first would prevent SO much of the trouble in our world today! Have a Blessed weekend! -Tammy

  19. I remember that book from my childhood. It was a favorite but I figured it had been banished. That is a fantastic butter churn! It would take a lot of goats to fill one of that size, LOL. I also have to say that the fawn looks an awful lot like a joey!

  20. I loved Little Black Sambo when I was a kid. Love your post about churning and find it a real shame you cant sell it. We have gotten so crazy. Would love to go back to the old days. My grandparents had a farm but never did I churn butter. Would have loved to watch your demonstration.

  21. Well now don't ya know I have to go google Little black Sambo.

    Ain't nothing sweeter than fresh churned butter... and.. isn't that a baby kangaroo/

  22. I am in awe. I've always known you were a hard worker but this post, and the links, make me glad to know there are still people like you who do these things and take pride in carrying on the old ways. I collect, and read, books about the mountain people of East TN, and there was such pride, the good kind, of doing these things for their family and to support themselves.

    I clicked on the link for the pilot and saved it where I can come back and watch. That's a treasure!

  23. Loved your post today! I do feel sorry for you having to eat all that butter on your own, poor thing! The law is sometimes really stupid, people should be allowed to think for themselves what they like or want. Thanks for visiting my blog today, nice to meet you,Valerie

  24. Oh my, what an amazing post! So interesting! I learnt things I did not know! My dad "loved" buttermilk. I'm assuming now that he must have had it growing up. (The real thing I mean:)) bless you for sharing all this with us as well as with all those who saw you in person!


  25. P.S. I wish I had a copy of that book. To me history is history.

  26. Mmmm, home-fresh, hand-made butter! Lady, you make me want some of that in a powerful way! lol I only had fresh churned butter once that I can recall. My great-grandma had some and it was the best thing ever. That was a super treat! It would be really fun to watch you do this. I don't think I have seen this done in person, but it would be awesome. I think my late MIL has her mother's churn somewhere in the basement, if my memory serves correctly. It would be cool to have that heirloom!

    I haven't heard of this story you mentioned and who cares what politicians say they are all bone-heads anyhow. *roll eyes* Besides...these old books are a part of our history. You know I was thinking about the old Brier Rabbit stories the other day. Oh, how my kids loved those stories!

    Thanks for making me smile!

  27. It is far too much work for my feeble arms, but it is great that you can carry on such a rich tradition!


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...