Everything’s Better With Butter

 

 

Ma Ingalls followed this simple rule:

Wash on Monday
Iron on Tuesday
Mend on Wednesday
Churn on Thursday
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday
Rest on Sunday.

I’ve always done laundry on Monday,
I try to iron on Tuesday,
my mending piles up higher than Wednesday,
and for the first time in my life,
I churned on Thursday.

Laura liked churning and baking days best.
I can understand baking day,
but not churning day.

Churning Butter

This is one of Garth Williams’ beautiful illustrations,
he certainly added delight to my childhood.
He illustrated about 100 children’s books,
you’ll recognize many of the titles.

We bought the full-color collector’s edition,
and were thrilled.
It’s a treasure you’ll want to add to your collection.

(This is page 31 published 2004 by HarperCollins to show you the beauty.)

 

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I kinda’ cheated.  We saw a butter churn like the Ingalls’ at an antique store,
but I was too stingy thrifty to pay that much for one lesson.

This “modern” churn was a gift from a relative years ago.

It was displayed in my kitchen when an older friend walked and said,
”I remember when we got one of those!  It made making butter so much easier.”

Their family felt so high-tech by having one of the first updated churns in their
tiny Minnesotan farm community.

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It was supposed to be so simple, just pour in the cream and turn the handle.

We used two baby food jars half full of cream to involve everyone.

My granddaughter, Brookelyn, loved to
shake, shake, shake,
shake, shake, shake,
shake her butter.

Well, for the first ten minutes, anyway.

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The sun was shining, the fall day was gorgeous, so we had to work outside.

A checkered tablecloth helped set the prairie mood.

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A prairie skirt also helped set the mood for butter making.

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In a short time, it was already thickening.

We were excited.

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A little while later, butter chunks started appearing.

 

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It was so exciting, our neighbor Laura came to join the fun.

She also grew up reading the Little House books,
so was happy to join in our little educational activity.

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Half an hour later, we’re still churning.

 

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It wasn’t so exciting after awhile, so Ma Mindy helped churn
while the girls ran and played.

No prairie skirt for this woman,
I tried that once, and it didn’t fit.
We don’t have a corset like Ma wore in our dress-up bin.
I wear a gut-sucking tank top,
but I wouldn’t be laced in a corset for anything.

 

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Beka’s wardrobe change helped build enthusiasm again.

 

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We were still churning, but it seems we lost progress, instead of gaining.

It’s looked more like whipped cream again instead of butter.

I didn’t know if it was the warm weather,
over churning or under churning.
I do know we were getting a little tired of the adventure.

About 15 minutes of cranking later,
(about hour and a half all together)
we called it “whipped butter” and quit churning.

We were wondering why Laura thought churning was so fun.

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Maybe for this reason.

Homemade biscuits were waiting in the oven, thanks to my oldest daughter, Jana.

 

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She made butter in her kindergarten class years ago,
so was happy her daughter, Brookelyn,
was a participant in our butter festivities.

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The two baby food jars made butter easily,
the kids just shook and shook and it was done more quickly than the large churn.

It’s an easy way to include a lot of kids in the activity if your group is large.

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I loved having three generations of women making butter
and munching down hot bread with butter and honey.

 

But, I was so tired from churning in the hot sun,
it was hard to have ambition to clean on Friday.

I certainly don’t bake on Saturday, it’s a family day,
so I just rested on Friday
and rested on Saturday
and rested on Sunday.

After all, I’m Momma Mindy, not Ma Ingalls.

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8 thoughts on “Everything’s Better With Butter

  1. People heading west in their covered wagons would hang the butter in a bucket on the side of their wagons and let the jolting wagon churn the butter…. ALL DAY! Yikes. However, who cares how long it took if you weren’t actually doing the work?

    I loved Beka’s prairie skirt. This curriculum seems perfect for her!

  2. Oh, I love it gals! We had a butter making disaster twice. Once was at Hailey’s “Little House” themed birthday party (see this post: http://homesteadwannabes.blogspot.com/2012/08/haileys-5th-birthday-little-house-theme.htmland), and the other was at our first co-op meeting. I finally figured out that I had the jar too full. It gave me a whole new appreciation for my Kitchenaid, which I use weekly to make butter. I love your butter churn though and I’m still going to keep my eyes peeled for one at a yard sale 🙂 Make sure you copy these posts to our Prairie Primer FB co-op 🙂

  3. Jackie, it never occurred to me to use my mixer for butter. DUH! 🙂 Maybe we’ll do it that way, next time. I talked to a Grandma at church on Sunday that milked cows for years, and she told me part of my problem was using homogenized cream from the store. Cream straight from the cow would make better butter.

    Looking forward to having other Prairie Mommies on the journey with me!

  4. Watching your long process makes me appreciate how simple it was for me using our KitchenAid mixer. I just posted about it, in fact. Great minds think alike! : ) We used cream from a local dairy (Veeeery thick stuff…delicious). I think that helped for us, too.

  5. Pingback: Living the Life | Prairie Momma

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