…. live with the animals and nature and make butter
In the past, every farmer kept cows. Every slope and every alpine meadow can be used for dairy farming. Areas that are often unsuitable for growing cereals. The farmers processed the milk into butter, lard, cheese and curd, mainly for their own consumption. Only the alpine dairymen and dairymaids produced in stock on the alpine pastures.
Stools: For centuries, cows were milked by hand. On many alpine pastures there are still no milking machines today. The milker sits on the stool and strips the teats with his hands. Milking has to be learned!
Sieve: A fine-meshed cloth was placed in the sieve through which the milk was strained. Milk bowl: The milk was emptied into bowls. On the surface settles a thick cream layer from which butter is made. Cream knife – cream bucket – butter churn: Before the cream is processed into butter, it must stand long enough for the lactic acid bacteria to convert the lactose into lactic acid. Only then may the cream be processed into butter. The resulting cream was scraped off with a cream knife and poured into a cream churn. Once enough sour cream was collected, it was emptied into the churn and beaten into butter with paddles. The point is to bring buttermilk, water and air from the butter, so that it can be kept longer. Milking and butter utensils were often carved or painted. A decorated cream knife was a popular love gift for the courted dairymaid. Butter mold – Rollmodel: The butter was filled into single or multi-part molds and thus got a decoration with flowers, animals or religious symbols. With the help of the rollmodel the butter could be decorated as well. Earthen lard pot: Since butter could not be kept fresh for weeks, butter was boiled out and the resulting lard was put into lard pots. This lard was stored in a cool place and used for baking.
A big wish of mine is to work as a dairymaid on an alpine pasture one day. I have been told that three months are to be counted for it. I don’t know when I will be able to fulfill this wish. Maybe I will find an alpine pasture owner who agrees to help me for three weeks. For me, this time would be a very big gift.