Afternoon at the Old Farmhouse


In my continuing tales of woe about my oven…. Okay, okay, this is actually a cheerful tale! Starting with driving through the woods and over the hill on a gorgeous afternoon with green bursting out around me. I love the green. Weston requested cheesecake in lieu of a regular cake for his birthday (he’s 17, how did that happen?), so I packed up my farm-fresh farm eggs and dairy and headed for the old farmhouse with my cheesecake fixins’ to use the old farmhouse oven. IT HAS KNOBS. Which is why it’s eons old yet STILL WORKS.

The old farmhouse waits for me, always there. She stands stalwart and dependable, just like her oven.

There was a spinning wheel on the table in the kitchen, though, so I don’t think she was quite ready for cooking business.

I had this kitchen all organized and decorated cute when I lived there. I miss this old kitchen. It was fun to cook in there again, even if there was a spinning wheel on the table and the water was turned off. I got the cheesecake in the oven and enjoyed turning THE DIALS and seeing the oven WORK. Like MAGIC.

By the way, here is an oven update! 52 read through the comments on this post. Here is part of one comment that turned out to be key:

“The person I spoke with was Joe Sparks (866 640-7146 ex. 7864). He is a senior safety recall representative and might be a good starting point for you.”

Diane Edwars

52 called this number and spoke to Joe Sparks. He asked 52 how he got his name and number, and 52 replied that he’d found it in a comment on the internet. Mr. Sparks asked for a little more information, and 52 said, “Well, Suzanne has a blog….” Mr. Sparks said: “Oh, no.” Anyway, I don’t think that is actually related, but Maytag is repairing my oven (replacing the panel) FOR FREE!!! Everybody tell Mr. Sparks how wonderful he is so he won’t be afraid of the internet. (And thank you to Diane!)

After I got the cheesecake in the OVEN WITH KNOBS, I wandered out to the cellar porch and peeked in the old cellar to visit my jars. I love these old blue half-gallon jars. Okay, they’re NOT my jars. But they like me. I think they want to live with me.

Maybe they would like to hop in my pocket? SUZANNE!! STOP IT.


You know how fast Georgia would have leaped out right of that chair and tackled me to the ground if I’d tried to take one of those jars?

I’m totally scared of her or I’d have one of those blue jars in my house right now!

It was a lovely day to sit on the lawn to the side of the old farmhouse, in the shade with the breeze, taking a few moments of easy after weeks of non-stop work, chatting with Georgia and my cousin’s wife, Sheryl.

My cousin and 52 came by with a load of hay for our animals, plus some leftover red metal roofing my cousin is donating to the cause for Beulah Petunia’s new shelter up near the house.

PLUS! Squeal! Look what my cousin, who is so good to me, brought me from the antique shop!

This is a vintage Dazey butter churn.

He cleaned and oiled the top lid and crank for me, but if anyone knows the best way to clean the wooden paddles, please let me know.

One of my mother’s jobs on the farm when she grew up was to churn the butter in a Dazey churn. She churned the butter from the time she was old enough to do it till she grew up and left home.

Next, of course, my cousin (who was, perhaps, “buttering” me up with that churn) had to break out the puppies again and remind me that Morgan has already named the one she wants to take home.

She wants one of the brown ones.

I’m not sure which one. They kinda look alike.

It’s a boy.

She named it Lucky.

She might be wearing me down, but don’t tell her that.

And then I went home again. WITHOUT A PUPPY.

For now….

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 2, 2010  

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43 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 5-2

    Good morning! Thought I’d say hello before I go to bed. I love the old farmhouse, but I especially loved the butter churn. I remember my great-aunt churning butter in her kitchen when I was a little kid – we lived near her in PA. I also remember the pump in the front yard that had to be primed with water first – a little tin cup was on a chain for that purpose. And she made cinnamon toast for me in strips! So, thanks for the memories of Aunt Jane.

    The puppies are darling – I’m sure you can’t resist those curly little tails!!

  2. 5-2

    Ohhh Suzanne…that churn..I LOVE IT.
    Tell your cousin if he find another one to mail it to me.

  3. 5-2

    I have a churn similar to yours and made butter in it once. It really didn’t take a lot of work ~ have fun with yours!!!

  4. 5-2

    I spy a beautiful calico cat on the old farmhouse porch and what looks to be a pretty Russian Blue (or perhaps a tabby?) in the flowerbed.
    That cheesecake sure looked good (pix of it in the oven) and a big happy 17th birthday wish to Weston.

  5. 5-2

    Great that you had an ancillary oven for birthday duty. BTW several companies ‘mine’ blogs on a regular basis, looking for mention of their products. They then read the blog and have been known to contact the blogger and offer a solution for the problem–unsolicited!!! Thanks for the heads-up about oven knobs–I’m in process of replacing old stove.

  6. 5-2

    I have had exactly what Bonita said happen [being contacted b/c I didn’t like a product i had posted on my blog] and i only have a little bitty following of 41 people…so if he figured out who you were from 52 – no kidding he was freaked out. You may have cost maytag distribution in wWV alone [not that i thought your complaints were nefarious or unfair. I think you were very equitable]

    good for you that you are getting it fixed. now I have to go find someone for my left shift key – it stopped working. OH THE FRUSTRATION ToShiBA. LOL

  7. 5-2

    Happy Birthday to Weston!

  8. 5-2

    Happy Birthday Weston. :snoopy:

  9. 5-2

    “You’ve got to stand up, stand up for your rights!” OK, that wasn’t originally about functioning oven controls, but why not? It’s ridiculous how quickly things break down nowadays.

    Happy birthday to Weston, and good luck to Morgan!

  10. 5-2

    So glad Mr Sparks was able to help you. lol. Too cute 52 had to explain to him about your blog. :)

    Things we can not live with out. Stoves, washers and dryers. My life is at a stand still without this stuff.

    Funny things about little brown puppies they might follow you home. And girls seems to like the boys the best too. I know I have two boy dogs now. lol.

  11. 5-2

    What a fantastic little break you had yesterday!

    LOOK AT ALL THE GREEN JARS… Georgia, you know Suzanne would take care of them, just let her have a couple?

    And the butter churn! Is that just dust/dirt all over the paddles? I’d just use some hot, soapy water. I’m not sure if they should be oiled or not (like wooden spoons)…if the oil would hurt in the butter making?


  12. 5-2

    How nice to visit that slanted little house again. My oven still has knobs but it will cost more to replace the element when that goes than to get a new oven so I may eventually be knobless. I might try to talk my husband into a wood burner, but I never convinced him to let me get the Amish made wash tub I wanted. He bought me a second-hand washing machine when mine died. And the repair guy who sold us the new machine took the old one so I couldn’t even keep the wash tub part to make one of Herrick Kimballs WhizBang Chicken Pluckers. My husband really didn’t want it sitting around until we get chickens anyway ’cause that could be, like…never.

    The neighbor who I used to go hold the cow’s tail for when he milked when I was a kid had a Dazey churn. I’d use a little bleach in some hot water to clean it. I know some people don’t like to use bleach on food stuff, but if the paddles are really stained, I’d think the bleach would be the lesser of the two evils.

    Happy Birthday, Weston! :snoopy:

  13. 5-2

    What a lovely family you have. Lucky …. if I lived closer I’d take one of those pups home.

  14. 5-2

    Yeah you got your oven back! I like your butter churn too,such a nice cousin!Poor Georgia, you made me lol at the thought of her jumpin out of that chair and tackling you to the ground over a jar,haha! :wave:

  15. 5-2

    wash with very mild soap, rinse, let dry completely, if still horrific, lightly sand and then repeat….finally, soak in a bleach bath and let dry in the sun. At least thats what I would do. I know you arent supposed to use soap on wood but sometimes when it is truly bad you have no other choice.

  16. 5-2

    I’m glad you’re getting the oven fixed; I really missed my old one when it died. But then I got a “new to me” oven from my cousin for just $50! It has knobs, is huge, and an easy to clean glass top……his wife didn’t want it because the porcelain finish was nicked! It works great.

    I just have to share…….yesterday I went to a garage sale and found a working, like new, cream separator for $10! And a gallon glass milk bottle for $10 and quart bottles for .75; pints for .50! I bought a bunch even though I don’t even have a cow! Yet.

  17. 5-2

    Wow, Deb, I bet it was exciting to find those!!!

    Suzanne, so glad to hear that Mr. Sparks is going to take care of you! I too have had bad experiences with Maytag. We bought a brand new washer from Maytag and almost exactly one year later the transmission went out, just a couple days past our one-year warranty. We had to argue and fight to get them or the store we bought it from to carry part of the cost of having it replaced. Next time I have to buy anything like that, I think I’m gonna go with LG.

    It if were me, I think it would sand the paddles, disinfect them somehow (water/bleach mix?) and let them dry in the sun (good idea from whoever said that). That’s what I would do, but it’s only a guess.

  18. 5-2

    I made your cheesecake for my mom’s birthday last Tuesday. She’s on a gluten free diet, so I used gluten free all purpose baking mix in place of the flour, and GF chocolate cookies in the crust, and it was perfect!

  19. 5-2

    Oh, Suzanne, I adore that old farm house; it reminds me of one a great-aunt and uncle lived in. It is still in their family, although they are long gone. I can’t visit it without suffering coveting. Shame on me! I have some of my grandmother’s old zinc jar lids. Would you and/or Georgia like to have them (free) for the old blue jars?? I don’t have any old blue jars to use them on. Loved this post – every bit of it! Too many topics to comment on each one. Gorgeous photos.

  20. 5-2

    Mr. Sparks may be remembering the occasion when “Dooce” had trouble with her Maytag washer and dryer… I think some fur flew when they realized the size of audience she was complaining to. I would think you would fall under the same category!

    For the butter churn I would wash the wood really well and perhaps sand it. When you get it clean, oil it. Use vegetable or olive oil, it doesn’t matter. I have some homemade wooden spatulas and such that I use daily. Sometimes they seem to get “fuzzy” where the wood starts to pull up a bit on the edges (probably from me dragging it along the edges of my frying pan!). Anyway a little bit of sanding and more oil and they are good to go!

  21. 5-2

    Churning the butter in the old Dazey churn was my job when I was a little girl. I remember that Mom would give the paddles a quick wash (no soaking) in hot soapy water and then pour a teakettle full of scalding hot water over them to rinse. After Mom passed away, my sisters (who still lived at home) boxed up the churn and sent it to me because they knew I would appreciate it most. Wasn’t that sweet? Now I’m thinking I may have to get some cream and make me some butter again. How I enjoy your blog, Suzanne. Even more so now that I can see the power for good (Maytag service) it has. Mr. Sparks, you rock!
    P.S. I’ll bet you a nickel Georgia would trade you a bottle or two for some of that butter. (heehee)

  22. 5-2

    Huzzar! Huzzar! Maytag is fixing your oven! God bless Mr.Sparks too…he’s obviously no dummy when it comes to spin control. Love the blue jars. Are you very sure Mz.Georgia wouldn’t miss one little ol’ jar? The puppies are adorable, but do you value that your carpets and floors are currently free from piddle and poop? *sigh*

  23. 5-2

    I saw the same churn in a shop near me; they wanted $65 for it and the paddles were replaced. I thought that was a little steep. You can take some sandpaper to those blades and oil them afterward.

  24. 5-2

    1st of all…I WANT an old spinning wheel! Just sayin’. :shocked:

    2nd…I could look at a whole calander of simply THAT road. I would mark that spot & take a photo on the same day of the month, each month & make a calander. Again…just sayin’. :snoopy:

    Blessings from Ohio…Kim<
    P.S…Don't know if you've noticed (especially since I seem to have turned into more of a lurker than a commenter, lately), but I'm rarely on Homestead Blogger anymore & started a new blog late last year.

  25. 5-2

    Suzanne, I know nothing of these things, but here’s a website on cleaning wooden utensils that says that it makes a difference what type of oil you use on the wood after you sand it (some food based oils will make the wood go rancid, apparently) and it discusses different grits of sandpaper to use when cleaning.

    Hope this helps a little.

  26. 5-2

    I am amazed at the weather in w.v. you have green everywhere. Is it mild there? I live in Northern AZ and I have snow today. Does anyone in charge know it’s spring. I am soooo done with snow. What’s the deal with you (Suzanne) you live on the east coast and have green everywhere. I live in the southwest and I have the snow, what’s up with the weather. I love the old farmhouse, I would sooo live there if I could.

  27. 5-2

    I love the old farmhouse too! That cheesecake sure sounds good. I had a couple Dazey butter churns in my antique shop years ago but never used one. I bet it will be fun!

  28. 5-2

    Good for you Suzanne. That Momma looks way too happy to part with any of her babies!

    Love the old farmhouse.

  29. 5-3

    :snoopy: :snoopy: “Lucky” is what he’ll be to become part of your menagerie.. Who could resist him?

  30. 5-3

    I love that churn!! And as far as those blue canning jars go, you go there when Georgia is gone and bring them home with you! That’s what I did to my moms! They were in her building and I said Dad I’m taking these, don’t tell mom. Now when she sees them on top of my kitchen cabinet I’ll be busted but so far I have enjoyed them for 4 days!

    Love those puppies!

  31. 5-3

    I think the puppy will have a new home with you very soon – I checked with the magic “8” ball!! ;)

  32. 5-3

    Suzanne that is wonderful news about your oven!

  33. 5-3

    I love your old farmhouse and I love that you and Georgia and your extended family all appreciate it. Good job on getting the oven fixed! I have an old Dazey churn similar to yours. I agree with the other suggestions, lightly sand, dry in sun, oil lightly. Keep on enjoying your life.

  34. 5-3

    How could you leave that farmhouse???? I would still, still, still, STILL live there!!!! Wow, give it to me and I’ll move in tomorrow! LOL

  35. 5-3

    Now, everyone needs a puppy don’t they? Love the churn!

  36. 5-3

    Congrats on your oven getting repaired for free!! I’ve been coveting a Dazey churn for years!!! Target sells an oil for wooden kitchen cutting boards that should work fine for your churn! I’d use a little fine grit sandpaper on them first! Yeah, I LOVE the blue jars too! I’ve been picking them up at flea markets and we used them on the tables filled with sunflowers at my son’s outdoor wedding reception at a horse farm!

  37. 5-3

    Suzanne: About the churn paddles – it appears that the wood has been somehow softened – the grain raised. If they aren’t too soft and worn, you can try first sanding them with coarse sand paper, working your way down to fine grain or emory cloth, when they are very smoothe, using a soft cotton cloth (old socks are great), apply multiple coats of BOILED Linseed Oil. That will leave a very waxy finish, and the BOILED Linseed Oil is food safe. One of my favorite Wooden spoon makers taught me that little trick. You are probably familiar with Mr. Payne from Calhoun County. I got my very first wooden spoon from him, and have collected approximately 30-40 more of various and sundry sizes and shapes, not all from him of course, but mostly home made. Good Luck.

  38. 5-3

    I just ache for an old wood burning cook stove. I know they make newer ones that look old but I want an OLD one. Anyways, good idea taking the cheese-cake-makings to the old farm and using the “good” stove. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your butter churn! You are so blessed in so many ways. :)

  39. 5-5

    Mineral Oil. It will seal the wood after cleaning, sanding really smooth and keep it from fraying. Hope that helps.

    Yummy cheesecake and darling puppies.

    Your cousin is a generous man. ;)

  40. 5-6

    Isn’t it great about Maytag? Sometimes, though rarely, companies will still do the right thing. Remember when a Maytag washer was something of status? In regards to your wooden paddles. My neighbor makes wooden bowls and didn’t recommend the boiled linseed oil, thinking it may in someway react with the cream. He suggested food grade mineral oil, it’s what you use on knife handles, cutting boards, etc. Lowe’s or Ace would have it for sure. He also suggested rubbing them with salt to cleanse them, then to wash them with mild soap, air dry. My suggestion was if you couldn’t get them clean enough to suit you, wrap them in aluminum foil and churn away. :D

  41. 5-6

    A Dazey churn! You’ve got a real, antique butter churn that works!!! I am so jealous! What a fabulous cousin you’ve got there!

    Who can resist puppies! I brought home two of them. I now have two pure Great Pyraness pups like Coco. They are siblings, both boys and are so adorable, or they were when they were little. They are BIG now and into everything and they haven’t even started teething yet. We LOVE our boys!

  42. 5-20

    Whatever happened to using vinegar or citric acid to sanitize? You don’t want bleach in your dairy products, at least I wouldn’t even if it may become inert with milk. I’d use sandpaper, scrub and rub vinegar a more natural acidic product, then sanitize again with the warm sun and butcher block oil or hey some ghee and paddle away!

  43. 3-2

    WOW! A vintage butter churn is a NICE GIFT!!!!! I have been scourging antique sales forever,
    looking for one under 50 bucks.. As to the paddles, i would scrub them well and maybe scald them in boiling water.. They should be scaldable, they had to be kept clean when new, right?

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