Article XXXI. Recipe for making Rennet for, Cheese. [In a Letter to the Secretary.] Sir, , Frame, Oil. 5, 1787.
AMONG the various subjects which engage the attention of the members and correspondents of the Bath Agriculture Society, it appears somewhat strange, that the two grand articles within the province of the Dairy-woman (Cheese and Butter) have not been more attended to.
The Agriculturist has been repeatedly informed of the proper management, the best manures, and
the the likeliest crops, which may be applied to each respective soil: but the good housewife, the sedulous dairy-woman, who daily furnishes us with two of the chief supports and luxuries of life, has been left to grope out her way, through this age of improvement, with the little stock of knowledge which, in early life, she imbibed from her mother. I wish, therefore, that the members of your Society would now and then bestow a little of their attention on these good women, who so much want and so highly deserve it.
It is not within the compass of a letter, that instructions can be fully given for making cheese and butter ; yet, as detached observations on those subjects may sometimes have their use, I send you a recipe for making rennet for curdling cheese.
Take the abomaja, commonly called the veils or pokes of calves, killed before they have fed on vegetables, and wash them in clean water, salt them well, and lay them in salt for two months ; then, with the salt about them, hang them up in a coarse bag in the chimney (not too near the fire) for ten months. In the spring following, when the cowflip is in full bloom, gather a quantity thereof, and pick the petals from the calixes, and boil them in a sufficient quantity of water for a quarter of an hour,
Vol. IV. U with with the proportion of a pound of salt, and an ounce of allum to every twelve pints of water. Let this brine stand to cool until the next day, when it may be strained off from the cowslips. To every gallon of this brine, put in two pokes, and let them remain four days, at which time you may bottle it off, putting two or three cloves and as many grains of allspice into each bottle. Let the bottles be corked tight, and the rennet will keep good a year or more. Two large spoonfuls of rennet, thus prepared, will coagulate a hogshead of milk.
After the pokes have been thus used, let them drain dry, and salt them asresh for a fortnight, and they will serve again, nearly as well as before.
Should this paper be found worthy of admission, in the fourth volume of the Society’s select: papers, I may be induced, at a future opportunity, to give you some further thoughts on cheese-making.
I am, with respect, yours, &c.