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 churn...it's my gift for people whom it pleases to remember.
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 ~