Butter Churn

I have this butter churn.  That’s just about all I know.  I took it from a deep, dark, hidden shelf in Nana’s garage.  They had passed away, and I never knew this little glass churn even existed until I found it hiding in the corner behind old boxes.

At some point it was on display somewhere, because Nana had typed this little notice and taped it carefully on the inside.

This churn is 48 years old.

Well, there you have it.  We know that at some point it was at least that old.  And that is truly what started me thinking along the lines of writing down what I know about the treasures in my possession.  I had this idea that I should get the information all typed up and filed somewhere, and that each and every heirloom should have its history attached to it.

I’m always trying to tell the stories of the pieces… but you never really know if anyone will remember it.  You never really know what will actually become of your things once you’ve gone.  And it’s all so important to me.  I want to know who touched these things… who made pies with the rolling pins, who listened to the radio, who rocked the babies in the chair.

And so I had this idea that I would do it.  I would start writing it all down.  But I didn’t… not until I started this website, and then I knew I had found just the place to tell the stories.  I love doing it.  “I have this…” is my favorite category.  You know what I hope?  I hope you’re inspired to tell the stories of the special pieces you own… that you’ll get it written down so the history won’t be lost.

I have this butter churn.  I don’t know who it belonged to, but I know that I love having it in my kitchen, and I know that the children who come to my barn love to turn the handle and watch the paddles spin.


8 Responses to “Butter Churn”

  1. Nico says:

    I have a very similar churn! I understand. Sadly, I have no story either. Found in the basement of a Beloved who passed away before the story was shared. I have looked through family pictures for someone who might be using it or have it in her kitchen.

  2. Nico says:

    Abigail, Cade and I tried to make butter in ours, but I hadn’t purchased enough cream! I would have loved to have had this churn when we were milking a Guernsey years ago!

  3. Cheryl says:

    So, so true…the writing down is so important. Rudy used to encourage me to tape my mother as she talked. (I didn’t do it.) She had the stories behind so many things in her house. Mind you most of the things weren’t that old. At least it didn’t seem like it to me when she talked about them. After all, many of the items were her wedding gifts or going away presents when our family moved a few times. Hard to think that these “not so old” things are now 66 years old…the age of my dad when he passed away. And although she told me some of the stories over and over (I probably stopped listening after the second time) now it is hard to remember them, especially names and dates. I will write down what I do know so, even though she isn’t interested now, Brie will know at least that much and maybe it will make certain items more special.

  4. bonnie ellis says:

    Sandy. That churn makes wonderful butter. The kind your grandmother has was made for a long time and now they are even making reproductions. Fill the glass with ice water to get the bottle cold. Pour that out and fill with one pint of heavy whipping cream. Crank the handle and after awhile the butter will separate from the milk. Drain off the sweet buttermilk and “work” the remaining milk out of the butter by smashing it with a spoon. Pour the remaining buttermilk into the same milk container and salt your butter. Unsalted butter is really the most tasty and especially for baking but most of us are used to eating it with salt.

  5. Sandy says:

    Okay! I’ve got to try this. Have always thought it would be fun, but you’ve inspired me to get to churning! Thanks Bonnie!

  6. Rosemary says:

    Modern versions of this churn exist; I think I’ve seen them in the Vermont Country Store catalog. If I were you, I sure would use it! The only thing is, though, the metal might contain lead. Be careful about that.

  7. bonnie ellis says:

    Sandy, I have a wonderful recipe for butter (homemade butter and buttermilk)cake that uses the whole pint of cream. I would send it if you like. Bonnie

  8. Sandy says:

    Bonnie… I would LOVE to have that recipe! You can post it on here, or send it to my e-mail: sandy@field-days.com
    With those ingredients, it must be absolutely delicious!!

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