Mrs Ludlow demonstrates how to make butter in 1922
Photograph of Mrs Ludlow demonstrating how to make butter at the Tiree Agricultural Show in Scarinish in 1922.
Courtesy of Mrs Rachel Wylie
Butter was made on Tiree by first skimming the cream off fresh milk that had stood for twenty-four hours. The cream was usually collected over several days, by which time it had fermented. This produced a fuller flavour. The cream was then churned until it separated into butter and buttermilk.
Plunge churns were popular on Tiree in the 19th century. These are tall barrels with a plunger, at the end of which is a wooden disk with holes drilled in it. Towards the end of the century they were superseded by patent barrel churns, which were turned round with a handle.
Butter was usually preserved with salt and was known in Gaelic as ‘ìm saillte’. It was stored in an earthenware jar called a ‘pige’. Homemade butter, patted into shape, was exhibited at Tiree Agricultural Shows until the 1950s.
Laser print of a black and white photograph of Mrs Ludlow at the Tiree Show in Scarinish in 1922.
Mrs Ludlow demonstrating how to make butter at the Tiree Show in Scarinish in 1922. (From Myra Lamont’s photograph album of the 1920s.)