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.
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.)
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.
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.
The sun was shining, the fall day was gorgeous, so we had to work outside.
A checkered tablecloth helped set the prairie mood.
A prairie skirt also helped set the mood for butter making.
In a short time, it was already thickening.
We were excited.
A little while later, butter chunks started appearing.
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.
Half an hour later, we’re still churning.
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.
Beka’s wardrobe change helped build enthusiasm again.
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.
Maybe for this reason.
Homemade biscuits were waiting in the oven, thanks to my oldest daughter, Jana.
She made butter in her kindergarten class years ago,
so was happy her daughter, Brookelyn,
was a participant in our butter festivities.
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.
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.