Now that we are milking our cow, instead of the goats, we have something I’ve been earnestly waiting for ever since we started our home dairy journey:
It’s beautiful stuff, folks.
And the fact that you can agitate it and make it turn into butter? Well, that’s just magical.
The first time I watched the thick cream turn into bits of yellow butter in my food processor, I may or may not have started doing an impromptu happy dance. But no one will ever know besides Prairie Baby. And she ain’t tellin’.
But I needed a worthy vessel in which to shape my homemade butter. Yeah, yeah, I know you can wrap it up in wax paper to store it, but I really felt compelled to find a real butter mold. I mean, I’ve gone to all the trouble to get a milk cow, skim the cream, and turn it into butter, I figured I might as well stay semi-authentic.
So I rummaged around on eBay until I found a
cheap reasonably priced antique butter mold. It’s wooden and well used. You might call it a “shabby chic” version.
Upon its arrival, I released it from it’s bubble-wrap sleeping bag. And it gave me goosebumps.
Here was a little chunk of old wood. Stained and well used. The corners were slightly loose and the handle threatened to pop off. I have no idea how old it is, but you can tell it has seen many years of hard use.
It was sold as a decoration. A trinket for someone to place on their shelf of antiques. A conversation piece (“Hey, guess what that is? Back in the day, they used to mold their own butter…”)
I desperately wish my imperfect little butter mold could tell me it’s life story.
About the maker who crafted it by hand…
The owners who carefully filled it with transformed cream…
The many pounds of butter that have touched it’s wooden walls…
The kitchens it has lived in…
And there I stood, a twenty-something Generation Nexter, getting ready to pull it out of it’s retirement, soak it in some cold water, and smear it full of fresh, raw butter once again.
How bizarre is that?
You see, I don’t just desire to learn old fashioned practices for the mere romance of them. I’m really not into playing dress-up or pretending that I’m Laura Ingalls Wilder.
But I love that so many of the “old ways” are truly becoming a vital part of my everyday life. And most of them make a lot of sense.
It’s like when I talk to my elderly grandfather. I love to see the sparkle in his eye when he talks about his childhood on a real homestead in southern Idaho. I love that I can really relate to his stories now, instead of listening to them with a feigned interest. I love the little tidbits of wisdom that he has shared that have actually given me ideas or helped me out. (“You know, if you tie up your cow’s tail, it won’t hit you in the face while you’re milking. Just remember to untie it, though…”)
Things seem to have come full circle.
So yeah, I could go out and buy shiny new butter mold. But I think I’ll hold off on that for now.
I like seeing the imperfect little stained wooden mold sitting on my kitchen counter.
It reminds me where I came from, and where I’m going. And that’s a good thing. 😉