For most of my milking life, I did not use a churn; I preferred to put the cream in a gallon jug and shake it until the butter showed up. I liked this method because I could carry the gallon jar with me and do other things, like watch my kids or talk on the telephone. Yes, there was a time I didn't mind talking on the phone.
Five or so years ago, I decided I wanted a Dazey churn, and I started watching on Ebay. There must be a lot of them still around, because they aren't so terribly high-priced. I don't recall exactly, but I think mine cost under $80, shipping and all. I didn't have a cow at the time, but I wanted it for memory's sake. And I thought maybe some day I'd get another Jersey cow.
It's a red-top Dazey churn, which means it was manufactured between 1930 and 1945. I was born in 1944, so it's safe to say this churn is likely as old as I am. It works perfectly. However, I had never tried it out until today.
Granddaughter Monica turned the crank until she had to go home, and then I took over. I wish I'd thought to take Monica's picture churning. Maybe another time.
This is what it looks like when the cream turns to butter.
Next the butter is taken out of the buttermilk (nothing like what they call "buttermilk" in the store), and it's kneaded in cold water, or "washed". You pour off the water when it looks milky and add more cold water; keep doing this until the water is fairly clear when you pour it off.
I seldom use a butter mold, but I did tonight just to remember the dear old neighbor lady who gave me this one. I don't know what I do wrong, but I can never get the fancy imprint that's supposed to be on top of the butter.
So, we've made our first "Bonnie-butter".
I was spreading some on a cracker, and Cliff said from the living room, "What are you doing?"
"I'm sampling some real butter; do you want to taste it?"
We've both put our stamp of approval on it. Maybe we'll have waffles tomorrow.
It was exciting to do all this, after so many years. Memories.