Luna and I are continuing to explore what life might have been like for early settlers in Texas. It is getting cold outside as we head into December and keeping warm would have been an important part of life that required more effort for the early settlers than it does today. Gathering wood, building and maintaining fires for cooking and warmth is a job that even children would have helped with. Luna enjoys building a fire and keeping it going, and she's really good at it! Girls Luna's age would have also been involved in making quilts out of scraps of fabric, gardening, cooking, and churning butter. The small garden that we started in pots a few months ago is continuing to grow. We have enjoyed using the chives to make ranch salad dressing, cilantro for seasoning our food and making salsa, and have harvested a few heads of lettuce for salads.
Today we decided to try our hand at churning butter. While I wish we had been able to start by milking a cow, that is not available to us here in the city (however a few years ago Luna and I volunteered at a farm where they let us milk the goats and it's harder than you might think)!
We started with heavy cream and decided to compare making butter by shaking it in a jar which is similar to the churning they would have done many years ago, with making it in an electric food processor.
Below is the butter that was made by shaking about 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a jar. The liquid around the lump of butter is buttermilk which separates during the butter-making process. It took almost 23 minutes to make and made about 3 Tablespoons of butter.
Next we put the rest of the cream (about a cup and a half) in a small electric food processor. There was far less buttermilk when we were done, it took just under 5 minutes and made about 12 Tablespoons of butter.
We also tried our hand at piecing together scraps of fabric in different patterns to make quilt blocks. These would make a nice quilt for Luna's cornhusk doll.
We used 3 different patterns: ABBA, AABB, and ABCD.
We will continue to try to find ways to experience life the way others before us have and others around us do but which is different from our regular routines. These hands on projects have given us a small glimpse at the quiet and hard working lifestyle of the early settlers.