Our local curio shop posted some lovely old butter presses online just before Christmas. A transparent attempt to snare unwary butter-making customers, and it worked. Oh my, I thought, I need one of these! I make butter! I could have pretty butter!
So I sent my husband the link and voila, Christmas morning brought me the most adorable little vintage butter press. And a gift receipt, plus a gift card from the shop, in case I wanted another, or wanted to trade this one for a pricier. He had all the bases covered. ❤️
With visions of pretty butter pats sliding around on the hot pancakes I generally make with my leftover buttermilk dancing in my head, I pulled it out this evening, gave it a good scrub, and packed it with freshly made butter. The internet said to put it in the fridge and pop it out when chilled, which I did.
The results were not exactly as expected. So then I tried packing it and then un-moulding immediately. Nope, that doesn’t work either.
I will have to figure this out. There has to be a trick to it. Back to the internet I go, to search out some butter press lore.
Lore. Accumulated knowledge or beliefs held by a group about a subject, especially when passed from generation to generation by oral tradition.
What an age we live in, where someone like me no longer possesses the lore that my homesteading great grandma a hundred years ago did, with regard to pressing butter. Yet I can still lay my hands on this lore, using a World Wide Web of freely available information, literally at my fingertips.
We are truly living through an information revolution. Just this evening, I have explored elderberries, their medicinal uses, propagation, growing and harvest; I have read how to make paneer, and ghee; I have learned about pulverizing the bones and scraps left over from making bone broth and dehydrating the resulting “pate” for dog treats; I have given a woman 4000 miles away my tips for making raisins; and I have shared a link to the comprehensive animal feed analysis online encyclopedia “Feedipedia” with a group of farmers wondering how best to feed their livestock spent brewer’s grain.
How many laborious hours at the library, in conversation and via correspondence would all this knowledge-sharing have taken me in the past? Hours and hours, if not days and days. It’s unprecedented in history, our access to knowledge. Such a gift. What will we do with it? Will it set us free? Will it enrich our global society? Maybe. Enlightenment is a good thing, right?
Time will tell, and in the meantime, I’m just going to figure out this butter thing…