August has been a whirlwind of a month so far. I had the joy of churning butter during the Erie County Fair, at the Historical building. What a fantastic time it was. I churned all but one day, and manage to churn 90 pounds of Butter this year, handing them out as samples. The flavors for the fair…. why Black Raspberries and Everything but the bagel topping with parmesan garlic, along with plain. Everyone loved the flavors and I usually had a line waiting to try some butter.
Along the way…. I gained a herd of cows! Some strayed so I named them all and they helped me demonstrate the ease of churning butter. People were amazed at how easy it is and how fast it makes. Heavy cream, (Upstate is the best) at room temperature, and either in a churn, a mix master, a mason jar 1/3 of the way, a kitchen aide, a whip… and you will get butter and butter milk, the product that is left over which is a creamy skin milk. Now think about it, you have create the butter, which is fat, the liquid that is left over is skim milk. You can drink the skin milk, or use it for cooking. I had my group of folks that follow me, guess you could say my groupies…. Anna who is 10 now, has helped me churn and explain for 4 years now, came several times, and then there were the folks that look for me each year. Some of them have started to make their own butter, so got to hear how they did, and what flavors they made, help some that tried to make butter and failed, (has to be heavy cream, not half and half) and meet some other great folks, who want to try it on their own now and with their grand children.
All ages loved it, all groups of people, and it was fun to hear their stories of when they themselves churned butter or their parents, of how they always enjoy coming home and having a snack of home made bread and butter or even crackers and butter. I so loved hearing all the tales and wish I could have recorded some of them. I also got to hear some stories of when they started coming to the fair, and how they could drive the car straight to the buildings, and the different foods that were available.
In the building I was in were 20 booths and around 10 cases where different Historical Societies and other groups displayed items from the past in their towns they were from. The theme was World War I and II in your hometown, and what wonderful displays they were. We even had two booths that displayed medals and uniforms from local men, and two of the men in their 90s came to see them. There was a display that showed how metal, paper, rubber, drives went on, and so many photos of local men that were in the military, how folks in the home town helped by being part of the Civil Defense and watched for planes. The Legion had a booth in there as well as it is the start of the 100th Birthday for them. The Legion was started in 1918 and by 1919 the were Post established in towns everywhere. There was even a display case displaying beach glass from our local area.
Through out the Fair were wonderful exhibits set up, shows running day and night, food vendors where you could eat all types of food… and even… the largest wooden bowl being created and turned outside our building. Of course we can not forget the animals, from small hamsters to Draft horses. Many, Many shows went on in the horse rings, arenas where the cows, alpaca, pigs, sheeps and even chickens, ducks and such were shown.
It was a great 12 days of the Fair, and I camped out for 2 weeks , and that was an adventure as 4 of us were staying in a very small camper. Good thing we all get along so good, but it was so nice to have a camper to run to and cool off on the days that were so hot and humid, and get into and sleep at night. Giving us a few extra minutes of down time as we were at the Historical Building 10 to 12 hours a day.
We broke down on Monday morning ( August 20th) and cleaned out the building as well as the camper we had rented. Then I brought all of that home, to unload, and also pack up as I was leaving to go to my son’s house on Tuesday to house sit and keep a eye on their animals. So on Tuesday morning at 8;51 ( ok, 9:30 am) I got on the Amtrak train and headed to New Hampshire and the next adventure begins!