For Smokey and I, as preteen brothers, churning butter took too much time from a Saturday afternoon. We had usually completed our morning duties and wanted the rest of the day to play along the creek or in the barn, but when our mother called us, we knew the churn would be on a small table in the carport not far from the kitchen door, and thick cream would already fill half the glass jar. In hindsight, the classic country chore bred appreciation for the process of getting heavy, creamy butter to the dining table.
From the 13th chapter of Growing Up Floridian:
Lulu’s bounty in milk and cream allowed us to make butter, cheese, and ice cream. The butter was produced every weekend the cow was fresh with a hand-driven churn. Cream, poured off the top of the milk containers every day, went into a separate gallon jar. Typically, on Saturday afternoon, the square glass churn with wooden paddles on a steel rod that descended from a hand crank mechanism was filled with the cream. Although the churning only took fifteen minutes or so, unless there were two containers of cream, a chore was a chore. Rich yellow butter magically appeared after cranking the handle as evenly as we could for a quarter hour. My mother shaped the soft gob into a rectangle, and, if we already had enough butter in the refrigerator, wrapped the latest batch in white butcher’s paper for storage in the freezer.