Real Butter

In the past, I used to relish eating homemade butter that Laura, the lady that raised me, would prepare for our meals.

However, to truly understand how good it tasted, you’d have to taste it for yourself. Simply put, it was incredibly satisfying and addictive.

Although creating it required some effort, the end result was definitely worth it, especially since purchasing store-bought butter was beyond our financial means.

We would begin by milking the cows, and once that was complete, we would take the milk and place it in the separator, a device that separated the milk’s cream from the rest of the liquid. Not a motorized one either, because at the time, hand power was all we had.

After gathering the cream, we would take it indoors and place it inside an old wooden churn. A churn is a device that farmers used back in the day to turn cream into butter.

The churn itself is usually made of wood, and it has a tall, cylindrical shape with a handle on top. Inside the churn, there’s a paddle or dasher that’s attached to the handle. When you turn the handle, the paddle moves up and down, agitating the cream and causing it to thicken, forming solid butter. The liquid that’s left over is called buttermilk. Which is very tasty in itself, especially when chilled and drunk on a hot day.

Once the butter is formed, it’s removed from the churn and then washed and worked to remove any remaining liquid. After that, it’s ready to be salted or flavoured to taste.

I remember one time when Laura and I were making butter together, and something caught my attention. The butter we churned during the winter didn’t have the typical yellow color that I was used to, so I asked her about it. She explained to me that it was because the house was cold, and the butter tends to lose its color in such conditions.

To fix the issue with the butter’s color, she revealed that she had a trick up her sleeve: and halfway through churning, she took a hot poker from the stove and dipped it into the butter. This surprised me as I saw that simply heating up the cream caused the butter to regain some of its color. 

She then mentioned that she could add some carrot juice to the butter if the colour still wasn’t quite right, but emphasized the importance of adding the right amount. Nonetheless, she reassured me … that even if the butter didn’t look perfect, it would still taste fantastic.

You know, as I look back on those days, I realize that the wisdom and guidance of those fine old folks were the foundation of the happiness and contentment I enjoyed. 

Their teachings still are firmly placed in my mind and guide me through life’s ups and downs. I am forever grateful for their presence in my life, and I am happy to  pass on their wisdom to others, just as they did for me.

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