Butter

From Antivist

Recipe instructions by Rose Adamson (born 1914) contents © Al Durtschi

Step 1: Collecting the cream: You must first get the cream. You do this by letting the raw whole milk sit for several hours. The cream will naturally float to the top. You can skim this off the top of the milk. We used a `cream ladle' which was a large spoon shaped piece of tin with holes in it - the holes being about 1/16 inch in diameter. The milk ran out the holes but the cream wouldn't. The cream was collected and put in the root cellar, the coldest place we had. Every morning we collected the cream from the previous day's milking and added it to the other cream we had collected. After about a week we had enough cream to make a batch of butter. Note: the colder the milk the thicker the cream. If you have the refrigeration, get the milk as cool as you can without freezing it. Otherwise put it into a cool creek if you have one handy.

Step 2: Souring the cream: As you can imagine, our cream was already quite sour after a week of gathering the cream in a root cellar that didn't get any colder than 60 degrees F. If it was in the Winter and the cream hadn't soured, we brought it in the house and set it on the counter for 24 hours so it could begin to sour. Note: The butter will not separate easily from fresh cream if it hasn't soured.

Step 3: Get the cream temperature right: The butter will not separate from the cream if it is too hot or too cold. Room temperature is best - say 50-68 degrees. It should not be even close to the melting point of butter. If your cream has been sitting out on the counter you can ignore this step.

Step 4: Churn your cream: Put the cream in a butter churn. Do not fill it over half full. There are two types: the vertical plunger churn and the rotating paddle churn. Which ever type you use, churn the butter in a steady and methodical motion. With a vertical plunger churn, raise it all the way up and push it all the way down in one second cycles. Gradually turn the plunger as you do this. If you have a paddle churn, turn it about one revolution every second. Separating the butter from the `butter milk' is not a fast process. Depending on conditions it could take you from 1/2 hour to forever! When one hand gets tired, switch! A different feel is one of the indications that it is getting done. It got thicker, then shortly thereafter the butter separated out. You can also take a look inside and see what progress you are making.

Step 5: Separate the butter from the buttermilk: You can use the cream ladle or the butter paddle. This resembles a large wooden spoon 3 inches in diameter, only almost flat. Carefully scoop the floating butter off the top of the buttermilk and place it in a bowl.

Step 6: Remove all the remaining buttermilk from the butter: Using the butter paddle, work the butter back and fourth on the sides of the bowl. As the buttermilk comes to the surface pour it out of the bowl.

Step 7: Wash the butter: Pour a small amount of very cold water into the bowl and work the butter like you did before. As the water becomes discolored, pour it out and pour in more cold water and continue to work it. Continue this process until the water remains clear. Note: It is important to work all the buttermilk out of the butter as it will go rancid if you don't. And it will ooze and run, most distasteful to the more delicate souls among us.

Step 8: Add salt: Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of butter and mix it in. Then taste it. If it is too salty for your taste, you can put in more cold water and work it through the butter as you did before. The salt will gradually migrate into the water.

Step 9: Put in molds: Butter molds have false bottoms for pushing the molded butter out of the mold. Pack the butter into the mold, being sure to get rid of any air bubbles. (This way, if you sell it, people won't think you are cheating them when they knife into one of them.) Then push it out of the mold and wrap in butter paper. Or you can put it into an old margarine container and put the lid on if you are keeping it for personal use. NOW

As told by Montey Rasmussen (born 1951)

We put our fresh, unpasteurized, raw cream straight from the refrigerator into our Bosch bread mixer, attach the wire whip, and turn it on. The mixer first turns it into whip cream then after a couple of minutes it rather abruptly separates into butter and buttermilk. For the last minute or so I have to hold the lid down tight on the mixer as buttermilk is flying everywhere. It takes about 5 minutes to do this.

With this type of high speed mixer it isn't necessary to let the cream sour. I think the fresh cream makes much better butter. After I turn off the mixer and take off the lid, I pour most of the buttermilk out of the side of the bowl and collect the butter. The majority of the butter is wrapped up in the wire whips that I flip out.

We get the buttermilk out of the butter and wash it much like the instructions above for the old time recipe. However, as I work the butter I try to keep it as cool as I can as working the butter when it is too warm will mess things up. I've even put ice cubes in the water to cool things off without damaging the butter. When our butter is finished, we put it in a margarine container and put it in the refrigerator. A Little Butter Making Story

As told by Sarah Bean Romeril (born 1851) to Maude Romeril Shurtz (born 1896) her daughter

We had a wooden barrel churn to make butter. The children all took turns in doing the churning. One day, I got the churning under way and left Vilate and Maude to finish it, while I went to Raymond with our horse and wagon. The girls must have had the cream too cold as they churned it for hours and it still it didn't come. They even put spoons in the churn, thinking the spoons would help the cream splash around and hasten the process. When I came home, I could see how hard they had been working at it, so we put it away for another day.

As we churned the cream it got thick and then it separated into thin buttermilk and little chucks of butter. We'd drain off as much buttermilk as possible. Then it was washed to get all the buttermilk out so it would not go sour. To wash it, it was worked with a wooden pat and clean water. Salt was added, and mixed in, then it was printed with a butter mold into pounds with crosses on top that made it look very nice. Finally, it was wrapped in butter paper and put in the cellar to keep it cool until it could be taken into town and traded at the general store. What was left was made into nice round pats, crossed on top with the butter pat, and this was used for our table.

Before we had a cream separator, I set the milk in milk pans, set them on shelves in the cellar, and marked the pans A.M. or P.M. with chalk. Then in about 24 hours the cream was skimmed off the milk for churning. Maude always liked to lick the skimmer afterwards. She liked cream very much... Churning Butter On A Farm

Just about every 2 or 3 days at our house it was churning time. We took our turn and we did dread it, but tried to make it fun since it had to be done. Our churn was a 4 or 5 gallon stoneware jar with a large mouth. It has a wooden lid and dasher. We kept our milk and let cream rise to the top. We filled the churn half full or a little over with the cream skimmings offen the milk. You haft (have to) pour warm water in the churn to make it come quicker. That is to make the butter quicker.

We started to churn by wrapping a cloth around the dasher above lid to keep it from splattering. We pushed the dasher up and down, up and down. That dasher is something akin (like) a broom hannle (handle), on one end a cross of two slats. As it goes up and down innin (in) the churn it agitates the cream. You have to keep doing this about 30 or 40 minutes. We used to sing:

"Come butter, Come butter, Come! Peter - standing at the Gate! Waiting for a Buttercake! Come Butter Come!"

I had forgotten all the words until a lady remembered the words. Her mother sang this tune as she churned on the farm.

The temperature of the cream had a great deal to do with the amount of time it took to churn and make butter. If the cream wusen (was) too hot, the butter would be too soft and puffy. Iffin (If) it was too cold, it made little balls and butter wouldn't gather, stick together. Hot water, stirred with the dasher into cold liquid helped gather the butter. When the butter gathered enought, we removed the lid and gently moved the dasher sideways and brought the butter 'gather (together). We lifted out the lumps of butter and put in a big bowel (bowl) and drained whey away. We worked it good with a butter paddle (flat wooden paddle) similar to a spatula. We would work and work to get all the water out. Mamma'd send us back to worken it more. After working all the water out, we rinsed it with cold water and worked that water out. This gave it a fresher flavor and we added 1 teaspoon 'a salt into a quart of butter. We used a wooden butter mold with a design in mold. We spooned the butter in and firmed it up and pushed the butter out of the mold with the mold handle into a butter bowl. We then set it in a pan of cold water and covered it with a cloth to cool. It was ready to eat with sorghum. The milk in the churn was good buttermilk. It was poured into buckets or jard (the act of pouring into jars) to cool and be ready to drink and be used in cooking. Homemade Country Butter (Modern Day Methods)

Put some papers on the floor and dig out your churn. Clean it good and put it on the papers. While you are getting the churn all ready, soften to room temperature 1 pound of the cheapest oleo you can buy and 4 oz. of cream cheese. When these are soft, stir in one small can of evaporated milk. Mix until moisture is worked out. Can use a spoon. This keeps well in the refrigerator or it can be frozen. You may omit the cream cheese and add a pinch of salt. Muss your hair, flop in a chair from fatigue and serve your "Homemade Butter" for supper and tell your family how you 'worked' all day to make homemade butter just for them! And its good! Yummy too! Mrs. R.L. Ford and Mrs. J. L. Bryan. Egg Butter

We always liked anything with sorghum. Melt a quart of molasses with 1/4 cup butter or bacon drippings in a heavy pan (skillet is best) and add 6 beaten egg yolks. Stir pretty fast, then stir in some nutmeg to your taste. Serve with biscuits and it is plenty good. My dad made sorghum and many times this was our only breakfast. Mrs. Earl Squyres. Tried and True Butter Making Recipe

I make butter from my Jersey cow every week or two when I have a gallon of cream. I let the cream sour first at about 75 degrees. When I'm ready to put make my butter, I place the churn in a bath of ice water with lots of cubes to chill for about 10-15 minutes (I have a 2-gallon glass churn). I take it out of the bath, add the sour cream to it then I start to churn. Every time it comes to butter in about 4-5 minutes. It used to take about 30 minutes to churn but due to this discovery it is so much easier. This is about the 6th time I have used this process and has never failed yet.

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