Monday, May 23, 2016

Making butter

Some of the many processes involved to make butter are shown in the following paintings and photos.  For example, after carrying the buckets of fresh warm milk, carefully so as not to disturb (churn) it, to the dairy, the milk was poured through a sieve to remove hairs and dirt, and into a bowl to cool.

Milking the cow

Carrying the pails of milk to the dairy using a yolk

Body temperature milk is cooled in shallow pans; milk poured into a strainer (right) and cream taken off top (left)

Cream rises on top of the milk and is skimmed off

Cream is beaten by the dasher in a churn

or Daisy glass churn 

or a barrel churn for bigger dairies

once the cream is solid, the butter is washed until the water is not milky, which takes several rinses

working the butter into balls or in a butter mold

selling butter and the weird oblong shape more 17th and 18th cen. paintings HERE and other 
17-19th century shapes - cone, mound, shavings pile HERE

To keep his butter cold when traveling to the Washington DC market, Thomas Moore invented the first named refrigerator as described and pictured (by Thomas Jefferson) in a past post HERE and Mary Randolph included a sketch in her 1825 cookbook The Virginia Housewife HERE

The Maryland dairies at Charles Carroll of Carrolton's "Doughoregan Manor" and his neighbor Gov. George Howard's "Waverly" HERE
Oh, and how about 'garlic butter' (not what you think) post HERE
Images: Progress of the Dairy NY & PA: 1819; Pyne 1805; Marshall  Interior of a Barn with a Milkmaid and Farm Labourer c.1820 (at the Tate); Dupre  Milking time 1888 (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco); Nicolas Larmessin (1638-1694); HABS

©2016 Patricia Bixler Reber

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