Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nothing's Better Than Butter

"Laura liked the churning and the baking days best of all the week. In winter the cream was not yellow as it was in summer, and butter churned from it was white and not so pretty. Ma liked everything on her table to be pretty, so in the wintertime she colored the butter.

"After she had put the cream in the crockery churn and set it near the stove to warm, she washed and scraped a long orange colored carrot. Then she grated it on the bottom of the old, leaky tin pan that Pa had punched full of nail-holes for her. Ma rubbed the carrot across the roughness until she had rubbed it all through the holes, and when she lifted up the pan, there was a soft, juicy mound of grated carrot.

"She put this in a little pan of milk and the stove and when the milk was hot she poured the milk and carrot into a cloth bag. Then she squeezed the bright yellow milk into the churn, where it colored all the cream. Now the butter would be yellow.

"Laura and Mary were allowed to eat the carrot after the milk had been squeezed out. Mary thought she ought to have the larger share because she was older, and Laura thought she should have it because she was littler. But Ma said they must divide it evenly. It was very good."

Super and Dude didn't argue over the shredded carrot, but there was some discussion about the best way to make butter. Super wanted hers to be plain, and she refused to let anyone help shake her container after she got tired--she wanted to do it herself. Dude decided to make honey-butter...

...and after his arms got tired, he let me shake his container for a while. We considered using the electric mixer, but Super objected, reminding us that Ma had to do it all by hand. I colored mine with the carrot-milk mixture, and it really does look pretty! It took about 20 minutes of shaking to make soft, homemade butter (and about 5 minutes to spread it on crackers and make it disappear!)


The Stone Age Techie said...

Oh, I LOOOVE homemade butter! I was smiling while reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's text with your pics, because I love her books too.

Happy New Year!

Sparklee said...

I am so thrilled to be reading these wonderful books with my kids now--I loved them when I was a child, too!

Happy New Year to you!