Feeling extremely pleased with myself...

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Scottish Lady
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Feeling extremely pleased with myself...

Postby Scottish Lady » Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:10 pm

I have just made my second lot of butter and it's even better butter than the first lot! A friend of mine made me a pottery churn, which takes about a pint of cream, 15 minutes pounding it with the plunger (two crossed pieces of wood on the end of an old ramrod - cleaned I hasten to add), and I have some genuine fresh butter. Good exercise for getting rid of frustration, and the end result is great on toast!


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KezT
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Postby KezT » Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:48 pm

I make butter on site most weekends (unless it is very hot - not often!). well, tbh, I sit and watch while numerous MOP kids make the butter for me:-) Although a grown up's muscles are needed for the heavy bit at the end. and all the washing seems to be up to me too. i have a churn just like my avatar over there on the left. It takes about 5 pints minimum. I don't know if there is any evidence that anything much smaller was used, certainly in earlier periods. Why bother with all that effort every day when you can do it once a week?

The butter is jolly nice. i usually make a salted lump on day one and an unsaltedone on day two. it keeps well enough for a week or so. Apparenl it freezes well too, but asours all seems to be used up by the group members each event, i've never had the chance to find out. It's much nicer than the shop brought stuff. And butter milk makes nice pancakes too.



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Postby Attilla the Bun » Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:15 pm

I took my school archaeology club on a day out to the Celtic Village at St Fagans last summer, and got them making butter from cream in a deep bowl, using a ballon whisk they made themselves from peeled hazel twigs.
I was truly surprised by the way they stuck at it and the effort they put in, especially the younger ones (9-11), and their little faces when the butter finally came made it a memorable moment! The MOPs loved it too.

Sadly, H&S laws being what they are, they weren't allowed actually to eat it, or any of the other food they made in the roundhouse, but we brought plenty of substitutes, and they still talk about the day!


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Postby Annis » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:47 pm

Yay, well done! I love making butter! At Kentwell we make ours in hand churns, and yup, you guessed, we churn it by hand, takes on average 30mins, for the experienced a little less.

Or, if you race, 10 minutes:
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Postby lidimy » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:49 pm

I can see my sister's knee on that pic!!


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Postby Annis » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:49 pm

But anyway, this is what we can do to the butter that goes to high board (we have done some biblical and Easter-y things with it at Easter!)
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Postby Scottish Lady » Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:59 pm

Annis - what sort of size is your hand churn. I was going for a hand size, because we're normally portraying a army on the move and I can't see that it would have been practical to carry round a half-full, large size churn, (apart from the fact that it would get spilt, or turn cheesey all by itself over a week if the weather was hot). I'm just cooking/catering for me and the 'meenister' usually, (apart from a couple of dozen riff-raff who arrive when they see that there's oatcakes, butter or crowdie going)! It also seems better to do it in this quantity because then the MOP's can actually see it happen without having to wait too long. I love the butter balls, I'll remember them for our next banquet.


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Postby Scottish Lady » Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:06 pm

Forgot to add this - It's interesting that you're using the scallop shells to serve the butter on. Up here in Scotland, with small holes drilled in them, (not easy), they were used for skimming the cream off the milk.


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Postby Annis » Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:02 pm

Scottish Lady wrote:Annis - what sort of size is your hand churn.


The churns are about mid-arm length, the best openings are ones that are a bit bigger than your arm as there will be less spillage that way!

We do have bigger churns, but we don't use them (probably because they have split) as they are too big so we say we use them for when we have feasts.


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Postby Annis » Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:05 pm

Scottish Lady wrote:Forgot to add this - It's interesting that you're using the scallop shells to serve the butter on. Up here in Scotland, with small holes drilled in them, (not easy), they were used for skimming the cream off the milk.


We also use them for scooping the curds from the whey when making cheese as the shell cuts through nicely without collecting too much (or none at all) whey.

I'm afraid our cream comes straight from a carton :(


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Postby Scottish Lady » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:02 pm

I said they were used....not by me though, personally I'm using cream straight from the carton as well, via an authenti jug! Are you at the LHF end of Feb? I'm making a list of interesting people I've been in touch with, so I can put faces to names.


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Postby Annis » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:06 pm

No, I won't be a LHF, sorry!


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Postby Scottish Lady » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:12 pm

Never mind, I'll catch up sooner or later to pick your brains!


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Postby Annis » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:29 pm

Ok!


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Christabel
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Postby Christabel » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:18 pm

KezT, where did you get your churn from, may I ask?
I saw one in an antique shop a couple of years ago, but didn't buy it and have kicked myself ever since...
Well, I do stop now and then.



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KezT
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Postby KezT » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:06 pm

Those nice History Alive people sell them. Thank you your lordship :lol: Quite cheap too - although I have to admit they are not wonderfully made, and ours needed re-cooping (cooking blow-torch to heat up the metal bands and a light tap down the churn a cm or two, then cool) plus to be on the safe side we pitched the bottom, on the outside. I did feed back about this, and it looks like the ones he has available now are slightly different to the one I brought, so may not need the tlc.

Like all wooden liquid holders, the wood needs to be soaked before use to swell up to make it water-tight. i usually fill it with water and a couple of milton tablets on arrival on site and leave it overnight, which makes it ready for use in the morning.

We got our quern from them too. And of course, a number of boxes. I'm sure we'll be spending plenty of money there at the ILHF in a few weeks - so do i get a discount for the advertising? :lol: :twisted: 8)



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Christabel
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Postby Christabel » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:07 pm

Fantastic, thanks for all the info!
We bought a quern from them for work, and it was very reasonably priced too!




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