Monday, April 22, 2013

Amanuensis Monday--Elsie Crocker’s Manuscript, Part 15: Churning and Chimneys

To read this project from the beginning, click here.

The farmers share with one another, they exchange work tools etc. Just like when your cow goes dry. You get milk from your neighbor, when his goes dry he gets milk from your cow. The only ketch is the children have to fetch the milk. In pails. Sometime it’s a good half mile, in sunshine, rain, or snow. Sometimes that half mile was a long half mile.

Mother would tell us we weren’t sugar or salt we would’nt melt.

Sometime the neighbors and Dad would go together and by a cow or a pig and go together and kill it and dress it ready to eat. They shared the meat and the cost. It was cheaper than buying at a market. And much better.

The churning of butter was the boys job, but I could help them some. The first churn I remember was a barrel type, it looked like a small barrel laying on its side, a frame to hold it up, a handle we could turn. This churn would have to be turn around and around to make the butter. Sometimes longer than others depending on the cream. Once in a while it woul spring a leak, us kids thought it funny. Our mother didn’t, for she had to clean it up. What made this leak the barrel had dried out between churnings. Mom would have us stop churning while she stuffed a piece of cloth in the hole. It worked. Mother had just scrubbed her floor and then this cream, she wasn’t very happy. The floor was hard to clean It was a bare wood floor. She scrubbed it with a broom, hot water, and homemade soap. Mother said we wouldn’t laugh if we had to clean it up. The cream came out and the turning around and around the cream splattered a ways in the air, covering a pretty big area.

Our lamps were filled with kersene. The lamps had wicks to carry the kerosene, so we could light them. The wicks were about two inches wide. If we turned it up we more light, turn it doun it would dim, it would almost go out, then blow in it and it would go out. If the wick was uneven it would smoke, this would make the chimney black. Every week the chimnies were cleaned and refill. To clean the chimney you would take it off the lamp and then blow into the chimney, then take a piece of newspaper and twist around and round inside the chimney. You might have to blow more moist air into the chimney to release the smoke. More newspaper may be needed.

We had several lamps to go around, they were carried from one room to another. Many times I had awakened and found my mother, lamp in hand looking doun at us. She said we were restless, she was just checking.

We finally had a new churn, this churn had a long handle with four paddles attached to the bottom of the handle. The churn had a lid, the handle coming right up thru it. We would have to pull the handle up and doun until we had butter.

To continue with the next installment of Elsie's manuscript, click here

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