The cows are milked,
The cream separated
Into the stainless steel pails.
The old oak churn is pulled out
From its place in the old summer kitchen.
It is an old oak barrel attached to an electric motor that will cause it to shake and churn the cream
Into the pale golden butterfat we love on our toast.
When it is done, a plug is pulled and the remaining buttermilk is drained and the solid mass of butter moved
To a long wooden table with a grooved wooden roller
The butter is cranked rolling
the mass of butter
Over and over to remove the remaining buttermilk
From its pockets and crevices.
Once the milk is gone salt and yellow coloring
are added and the aunts
Crank and crank
And crank some more to be sure
The blending is perfect.
As with all things cooked, it must be tasted.
One of the aunt tells me she
Will “grease my gullet”
as she puts a small taste
on my tongue.
Oh yes, the sweet salty perfection.
Now , on to molding and packaging;
Chunks of the yellow confection
Are put into a square box
That will emboss it with two
Sheaves of wheat on opposite corners
And two letter P’s the same.
The back is smoothed with the old
Wooden trowel and when removed
From the mold the perfect block is
Wrapped in parchment and
Packed away in the old chest freezer
To await market day.
The butter may be done for today
but now it is time to go to the field
and bring the cows in for milking
and so it goes, for tasty goodness
on my toast.
August 12, 2009