Now, I had to start with bees to tell you about the
honey. I guess to tell you about the butter and cottage cheese, I'd
better start with the cows.
"Grandma, butter and cottage cheese don't come
from cows. Cows just make milk."
"Well now, that's true. But wait till I tell
you about all the things we made from that milk. First of all, the cows
had to be milked once a day. They were led into stalls in the barn and
had a bin of grain by their heads to eat. They kept quite still anyway.
They wanted us to take that milk. You sat on a little stool by their
side with a big bucket on the ground to catch the milk. You were
supposed to wrap your fingers around the cow's tits, then pull and
squeeze to get the milk. My brothers tried to teach me how, but I simply
couldn't do it. Just between you and me, I don't think I wanted to
learn. It seemed to me that I had enough jobs to do!
I did help to make all kinds of things from that
milk. Some we kept to drink, but a lot was separated into cream and skim
milk. Some we used for whipped cream, ice cream, butter, or cottage
For the ice cream, we added eggs, sugar, and
vanilla to the cream. This went into the can in the center of our ice
cream freezer. Ice and salt was packed around this. Then I cranked that
handle on and on!
I don't remember adding anything to the cream for
the butter. To make butter, we put cream into the wooden butter churn.
You guessed right; that had a handle to crank also.
After the hunk of butter was removed from the
churn, the last of the buttermilk had to be mashed out with a big wooden
spatula. Sometimes we added salt to the butter before shaping it into
Recipe for Homemade Butter:
Small sterilized jars (modern day baby food
jars work well)
Heavy Whipping Cream
Pout about 2 ox of whipping cream into each
baby food jar. Call your kids. Let each shake a jar until the cream
looks whipped, flecks of butter begin to appear, and they feel a
lump forming in the jar. Drain off the milk (and save it to make
other things, like cottage cheese.) Add a little salt. And that's
Cottage cheese was made from the skim milk. It was
poured into a big flat pan and placed on top of a radiator, where it sat
for several days. The warm radiator was always the same temperature. The
milk separated into curds and whey."
"Grandma, Grandma! I've heard of that!
Remember Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffit, eating her curds and
"That's right. I'd almost forgotten that
rhyme. So you see, it was good to eat. In our case, we threw the whey
away. We didn't like it. But my Mom used the curds to make cottage
cheese. Some of my sisters did like the buttermilk though. I didn't.
Now you know about the things that I sold.