There are 3 kinds of churn – machine, barrel and dash. The dash is the most common in the area and is the oldest kind. Our churn is made of oak because if it was made of any other kind of wood it would put a bad taste on the milk and butter. When the cows are milked, some is put in an enamel basin, the cream later comes to the top. When it is blown off the top is slides into a crock. When there is about 3 gallons in the crock it is thrown into the churn. It takes about 15 minutes in summer and about an hour in winter for churning. When little bits of butter come up on the lid they say it is broken. Hot and cold water is sometimes mixed so that it is lukewarm and added to hurry the process.
Place: Garra, Co. Galway
Footnote: Duchas, ‘The Schools’ Collection’, www.duchas.ie