In the Kitchen With Laura Churning Garth Williams

Today’s In the Kitchen With Laura is reworking an old post. We’re going to look at one of the things that is most closely associated with Laura, churning butter.

Garth Williams Pictures Farmer Boy

This last read through of Farmer Boy has convinced that Garth Williams has led me astray. I always liked the barrel churn Williams pictured in Chapter 17 “Summer-Time” (page 198 in the yellow back paperbacks). I always wondered why Almanzo didn’t get on and ride it like a rocking horse. I always wanted to see one like it. I haven’t yet, but I suppose there was one Williams based his drawing on as I can recognize most of the equipment in the drawing behind Almanzo.

Dasher Churns

There are different kinds of churns. The one that the Ingalls family is described using in Little House in the Big Woods is a dasher churn. The dasher is the paddle in the middle that you push up and down to create butter. They are normally high capacity and operated while standing up.

Dash Churn
Dash Churn

Barrel Churns

I have seen lots of barrel churns. They just looked nothing like the rocking horse model. Well, this time I read through a line jumped out at me, “Almanzo turned the handle, and the churn rocked.” There is nothing to turn on the one in Garth Williams drawing, but a normal barrel churn turns the barrel by turning the handle. Loaded with cream it’s constantly off balance and does rock, though not on rockers.

Dashe and Barrel Churns
Dasher and Barrel Churns

I’m including a photo of a normal barrel churn which I’m now 95 percent sure that it is like the one Mother Wilder used. The churn on the left is a dasher churn, like the Ingalls Family used in Little House in the Big Woods. The metal ones on the far side are new to me, but I would guess they might be from a commercial dairy to go with the other photos in the chapter.

Don’t Feed That Cow Turnips!

Just as a fun note turnips came in as fodder feed for cows in the 18th century. Laura Mason notes in the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture that when cattle feed was less uniform different feeds created different tastes in butter. Turnips were especially know “for giving a characteristic and much-disliked taint to butter.” (Vol. 1, p. 272) So the cow eating turnip tops in On the Banks of Plum Creek was probably not giving the best tasting milk, even if she was producing any. 🙂

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Rolling Out New Page

Sarah Uthoff sitting on merry-go-round in front of one-room school
Sarah at Ingalls Homestead

I’ve been working on building this new page and I just published it on the Trundlebed Tales blog. This page will have quotes, photos, and facts to help anyone needing help on publicity or news coverage of Trundlebed Tales. Check it out!

https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/for-reporters-the-press-and-other-publicity/

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Top Ten Posts April 2017

Sarah in Pampas
Sarah in Pampas

Here are the blog posts and pages that have had the most views last month. Take a look maybe there is something there that will interest you too. :)

Day 1 Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017

Day 2 Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017

Laura Homesites Open for the Season 2017

Packing Up: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder

En Route to Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017

Author Reception at SDHS Conference

May 2017 Presentations

Where did Albert come from?

Springfield IL 2013

Booking a Program

Schedule of Presentations

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

May 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

The biggest events of the homesite museums in May is that May is when most of the homesite museums open for the season. Find out who opens when.

Masters Hotel Burr Oak IA
Masters Hotel Burr Oak IA

Burr Oak IA

Advent Christian Church Open House (the church by the cemetery at the top of the hill, you drive by the cemetery on the way into town but you have to go through town to reach the parking area and the church) – May 29, 2017 (Memorial Day) 9:30 am – 2:00 pm

Spring Valley MN

Almanzo 100 Gravel Road Bike Race – May 20, 2017

Old World Wisconsin – Eagle WI

Little House Big Story at Old World Wisconsin – May 1, 2017 Essay Contest

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her onFacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

May 2017 Presentations

May is a busy month for Laura Ingalls Wilder programs and mine have already started.

Sarah Uthoff sitting on merry-go-round in front of one-room school
Sarah at Ingalls Homestead
  • One-Room School Program for classes Monday, May 1, 2017. (Not open to the public)
  • Tama-Toledo Museum – Toledo, IA – General Laura Program – Wednesday, May 3, 2017 – 7:00 pm
  • Johnson County Historical Society – Coralville, IA – Packing Up – Sunday, May 7, 2017 – 2:00 pm
  • One-Room School Program for classes Monday, May 8, 2017. (Not open to the public)
  • One-Room School Program for classes Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Not open to the public)
  • One-Room School Program for classes Monday, May 15, 2017. (Not open to the public)
  • One-Room School Program for classes Wednesday, May 17, 2017. (Not open to the public)
  • Tomah Museum and Tomah Theater, Tomah, WI – May 20, 2017 -2 pm and 7:30 pm – More Details Coming
    http://lacrossetribune.com/things-to-do/article_0f3aeaea-7d41-5180-849a-76418937b5e9.html

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

 

Day 2 Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017

And sadly yesterday was the last day of the South Dakota Historical Society’s annual conference. I’m so glad they tackled Laura Ingalls Wilder and I hope they return to the subject sometime. I’m going to be doing a further report linking to things later, but I wanted to go ahead and give you some of my top tweets. Find Day 1 here.

If you want to read all of the tweets for the conference search Twitter for #SDHeritage

I especially want to point out the Little House on the Prairie Twitter account since their phone has a much better camera than mine does.

Remember you don’t need to have a Twitter account to read tweets.

I’m not going to transfer all of the Tweets over, but here are some highlights.

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There was some discussion of Laura and the Suffragette Movement and how some people are disappointed Laura wasn’t an active part of the movement.

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Question comparing what Laura says in The First Four Years and “Whom Should I Marry?”

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And sadly at this point I had to leave. My mom recently had an operation and I had to get home Saturday night. Sadly I missed the Awards banquet and the final session which had all the speakers return for a session about Laura still being relevant. Follow the directions at the top to pick up the Tweet stream.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her onFacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Day 1 Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017

Well after waiting for a full year day one of the South Dakota Historical Society’s Laura Ingalls Wilder conference is in the books and I have to say I really enjoyed it. If you want to read all of the tweets for the conference search Twitter for #SDHeritage

I especially want to point out the Little House on the Prairie Twitter account since their phone has a much better camera than mine does.

Remember you don’t need to have a Twitter account to read tweets.

I’m not going to transfer all of the Tweets over right now, but here are some highlights.

 

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Next two books in the Pioneer Girl “series” announced

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More details on buying the DVDs of conference coming soon

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Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her onFacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.