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of the Butter and Cheese Dairy.
IN many parts of England a fresh butter-dairy is thought to return the greatest profit, when it is carry'd on within forty miles, or something better of London, because at this distance of it, the carrier or higler can convey it timely and sweet enough for a beneficial market; but a much farther distance from the metropolis obliges the dairy farmer to salt down his butter in earthen pots, tubs, or barrels, against a proper sale time; for which Suffolk and Yorkshire are famous. And it is thought by some, that making of butter is more profitable than either making of cheese or suckling of calves (unless the two last are carried on by the feed of artificial grass) because in making of butter, there is skim milk for the service of a family, which will in some cases supply the use of new milk, especially if oatmeal or some other right ingredient is mix'd with it.
Of a Vale Butter Dairy.--There is no great difference between some Vale dairy farms, and some Chiltern dairy farms. In vales they seldom feed their horned cattle on any but natural grass and its hay, because most of their land is unfit for clover, ray grass, saintfoin, trefoil, lucern, turneps, &c. But although they want these profitable conveniencies, which most Chiltern farmers enjoy, yet are these deficiencies much compensated by the richness of their pasture and meadow ground; for as it is generally of a fat blackish marly nature, and lies low near the warm springs, they have a bite of grass, when that on hilly land is cut off by frosts or by heats, which has such an excellent feeding quality in it, that if a cow can but have enough for a bite, and plenty of water with it, she will milk well, which is what cannot be said of the upland meadow. But where their low wet ground produces rushy or coarse flashy grass, it causes a cow to give a poor watry milk, and that a pale rankish butter: For it is a true maxim, that as the feed is, so is the milk, butter, and cheese.
Furniture necessary for carrying on a Butter Dairy in Vale or Chiltern Countries.--These are a churn, leaden coolers, ashen tubs and pails, brass or earthen glazed pans, sieves, straining-cloths, butter trenchers, wooden shaping dishes, trays, baskets, weights and scales, &c. The churn may be either of the barrel or the upright sort. I use both; the barrel, when I churn a large quantity; the upright, when I churn less. The barrel is certainly the best sort, because it is work'd with the least labour, with the least waste of cream, and with a much more regular motion. By the barrel churn, one man alone can sometimes churn four or five dozen pounds without the least loss of cream, when one dozen pounds will sometimes make it hard work for him to churn it in an upright one, with the loss of some cream that unavoidably will plash up and waste in the top part. And what likewise much contributes to the making of good butter is, if a dairy with a sufficient number of cows belonging to it be furnished with leaden coolers, which are always made in a square form, from two foot square, to two foot one way and four another. These are first made boarded frames, and then lined with mill'd lead, that are to stand unremoved; for here the milk lying shallow and wide, the cream may be commodiously taken off, by letting the skim milk or under milk easily out by a cork-hole, and the lead readily washed and cleaned. In short, these profitable square leaden receivers or coolers are the very best contrivance of all others for a dairy farmer's interest, especially throughout the summer season, for in hot weather they will cast up the most cream and as these were first made in Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, near me, I send them to gentlemen at any distance, on a proper order. The next is the shallow tub, which is preferred to lead by some for its cheapness, and for keeping milk in a less compass, and warmer in winter, and thereby raising the more cream. But these have also their inconveniencies, for by their being sooner apt to fur and sour the cream than lead, they are with more difficulty clean'd and dry'd. And why I mention them to be made with ash (as well as milking pails) is, because this wood is white, and easily kept so, to the delight of the dairy-maid. The next sort of dairy utensils, for holding milk and raising cream, are brass pans: These in former days were much more in use than at this time, though by many they are still thought more proper for a hot dairy than earthen glazed pans. Others are of opinion, they are unfit for either a cold or hot dairy. Some again say, they are the best sort for both, because they are light in hand, and more easily and safely cleaned than tubs or earthen pans, provided they have a right management bestowed upon them, as they will then give the cream no ill taste; for which purpose they must be presently clean'd after the milk is out of them, and always made thoroughly dry before more is put in; nor must the milk remain too long in them. The sixth sort of dairy utensil is the earthen glazed pan: These in small dairies are in general use, because they are cheap, handy, cool, easily clean'd, and soon dry'd, but are very subject to be crack'd by scalding water, and to be broke by accident; however, they are serviceable both in hot and cold dairies. And as to their cracking by scalding water, I will by and bye shew a way to prevent it. The seventh dairy utensil is a hair straining-sieve: This is a very serviceable one, and must be had of a proportionable size to the dairy. A large sieve is about 18 inches wide, and the hoop six inches deep; for by this bigness it readily receives and discharges a large quantity of milk through it, leaving all hairs and other filth behind.
The Improvement of Milk and Cream.--The improvement of milk and cream is chiefly to be obtained by cleanliness, timely skimmings, and preserving the cream sweet, which three articles I shall make my observations on. And first of cleanliness, which I here mention as a preliminary one, for being the foundation of making good butter. A company of farmers discoursing on this subject said--Such a one is an excellent dairy-maid, for she always in summer and winter boils the water she washes her dairy things with.--For which purpose, no farm-house, where six or more milch cows are kept, should be without a fixt copper in it, to heat a good quantity of water at once, not only for washing the milky utensils, but also for scalding pails, and those other smaller things that are not too large for being boiled in it. The square, shallow, leaden vessels indeed need not be scower'd with hot water in winter, but in summer it is absolutely necessary, and should always be scower'd with soft soap-boilers white ashes, or with fine sifted wood ashes, or with white salt, or with very soft sand; and this with either soft leather, straw, or hay; for hard coal-ashes, hard pearl-ashes, or hard sand, would be apt to give the smooth mill'd thin lead or tub a rough or furring coat. In the next place, no servant man or boy ought to have freeness into the dairy-room, because they are apt to take a lick of the cream, or a cut of the butter, and leave some dirt of their feet behind them, which turning to dust, may damage the milk and cream. In short, a dairy floor ought to lie on a pretty sharp descent, for carrying off all spilt milk or water often employed in washing it; for without a dairy-room is kept cool and sweet in summer, little good butter is to be expected. A dairy-room being thus kept clean and in good order, the milk should have twelve hours in hot weather before it is skimmed the first time, but in cold weather as long again, for making the best and most prime butter. In some dairies they let their milk remain more than two days and two nights, for skimming off two or three creams, till it looks of a whitish blue colour, and then they think this skim milk good enough for hogs. And to keep a parcel of cream in a sweet condition, till enough is got together for churning, there must be both care and art employed; for although cream may be skimmed in right order, yet it may be damaged if not spoiled in keeping. To prevent which, the most common practice in hot seasons is to empty the cream out of one scalded glazed earthen pot every day into another, till cold weather comes in, and then once doing this in two or three days time will be sufficient. Others are of opinion, that if cream is set in a very cool place, it need not be shifted but once in two days in summer, and but once in four days in winter, stirring it about at every shifting; yet there are some farmers who are obliged to churn but once a week, and keep their cream accordingly: In this case they are forced to boil now and then a parcel of cream, for putting it to more raw cream to preserve it sound, or to put some hot milk from the cow to it, or add some salt to it.
The Use of the new-invented Barrel Churn in Winter.--A barrel churn is so late an invention, that the uses of it are known but in few counties in England. Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire justly claim the first practice of this most serviceable dairy utensil, that every year comes more and more into fashion, for its being easily and quickly clean'd, as well as its being work'd with much facility and least waste of cream, and expeditiously producing the sweetest butter. I know of no author besides myself that has wrote on the profitable uses of this excellent barrel churn. And as there is a late improvement found out, and added to it, more than I have taken notice of in this or in any of my former works, I intend hereafter amongst many others to insert a cut of it in my book to be intituled New Discoveries of Improvements in Husbandry.--In winter time, a little before this barrel churn is used, my dairy-maid pours boiling water into it, and after giving it two or three turns in a quarter of an hour, the water is discharged, and the common straining-cloth is placed over the bung-hole, for straining the cream thro' it into the churn. When the wooden bung is fasten'd in, the work begins near the fire-side to preserve the heat the hot water left behind it; for if the cream gets colder, the butter will be the longer coming; therefore a quick turning of the handle, like that of a grindstone, to beat and keep the cream warm, is perfectly necessary in cold weather especially. And such turning should be perform'd with a constant as well as even stroke, for the better separating the oily or buttery part from the thinner part of the cream; for if the cream is turn'd too slow in winter, you may perhaps churn a day together and not get butter. Hence it is, that for preventing any intermission in working the barrel churn, when one is tired, another continues the same quick stroke, till they find the cream slops more lumpy than before. Now in churning with a barrel churn, the maid is obliged every now and then to pluck out the vent peg, for letting out the wind that the barrel contracts in beating the cream into a fermentation and this she does mostly in the beginning of her work, perhaps five or six times in all; and when she thinks the butter is come, she turns slowly, for causing it to gather into a body sooner, and by taking out the peg she can better tell is it is so; for if the butter is a little come, there will be an appearance of it like little pins heads: When it is fully come, she lets out the butter-milk, and gathers the butter into parcels or lumps.
The Use of the Barrel Churn in Summer.--There must be different methods made use of in churning butter in summer than in winter, and the same in several other branches of the dairy. In summer, contrary to the winter practice, we rince the barrel churn with cold water just before we put in our cream, and begin and continue churning an even slow stroke, in order to prevent beating the cream into too great a heat, for in sultry hot weather, notwithstanding the churn is so rinced with cold water, butter has come in less than half an hour's time, which in frosty weather would not perhaps under an hour, two, or more. And herein lies much of a dairy-maid's care and art; for if this churn is turned too fast, the violence of the motion will be apt to overheat the cream, and then the butter comes irregular, is very difficult to gather into lumps, looks pale like grease, has a very rank taste, and will not keep.
The Use of the Upright Churn, &c.--This is the most ancient and most common churn now in use, chiefly because the use of the barrel churn is not more known. If a large quantity of butter is to be made at once, it cannot be done in an upright churn, because it neither admits of room enough, nor strength enough to work it in the common way by one person. But as there is an improvement found out and made use of, to work this churn with more ease than in the common way, I intend to give a cut of it in one of my books as beforementioned. However, I will suppose butter made to the greatest advantage in this churn, yet it must be done in a far less quantity, in a more laborious, and in a more wasteful way than in a large barrel churn. It is true, that an upright churn gives a person an opportunity to place its bottom part in a tub of warm water, to keep the cream in such a heat as will expedite the coming of the butter; but then we account it almost an equivolent conveniency, when we rince the barrel churn with scalding water, and work it before a fire. There are wooden upright churns and earthen upright churns, both which in winter and summer causes the churner much labour, and especially so, if the cream is stale, for then the butter seldom comes under two hours working; therefore when these sorts are made use of, butter should be churned in them twice a week; for the newer the cream, and the oftner the churn is used, the sooner the butter will come.
How to make Butter from the Food of Clover, Trefoil, Ray-grass, or Lucern Grasses.--As I am owner of various sorts of earths; amongst the rest, I have some felds of a gravelly and chalky nature: These I have sown with ray-grass, trefoil, saintfoin, and lucern grasses, as I have done my stiff loams with clover, &c. Now to make good butter from the food of any of these grasses, is what very few know how to do; but I shall endeavour to shew how it may be done from my own practice, for I keep a dairy in a Chiltern country, and feed my cows with both artificial and natural grasses, and as a few of my felds lie at such a distance from my house, that it would hurt and make my cows feet sore to drive them daily to and from it, and thereby greatly lessen their due quantity of milk (for a little way driving a cow does much mischief in this respect) I oblige my servant to mow a parcel of artificial grass every day, or every second or third day, and bring it home in a cart, for laying and spreading it thinly over a covered floor, in order to give it my cows in racks under cover, undisturb'd from flies, and free from suffering by the scorching heats of the sun. Thus I feed them (this present summer, 1749) without danger of hoving or swelling them; a misfortune so incident to cows, when they feed on clover especially, and on lucern grass in the field, that thousands have been killed by it; but trefoil, saintfoin, and ray-grass, are the least subject to hove and swell the beast, and I am certain that a good butter may be made from any of these three grasses, if a right management attends the milk, the cream, and the making of the butter; to which I add, that where a very large dairy is carried on, and many acres of land are sown with artificial grass for this purpose, and where cow-houses are situated near the field, there I say it would be of great advantage to a farmer to mow any of these grasses every day, for giving it in due quantities to cows; because the fresher it is thus given, the more milk it will produce. And thus a person may go on mowing every day except Sundays, from the beginning of May to Michaelmas, and to provide for Sundays, it is only mowing a double quantity on Saturdays, which may be very conveniently done, where much ground is laid down with such grass, for by the time the mower gets to the end of it, he may begin again where he first began to cut. This therefore gives a farmer, that occupies large tracts of such grazing land, a far greater opportunity to make more of his dairy than a small farmer can, who for want of room is deprived of this valuable opportunity. Supposing then, that a farmer enjoys these conveniencies, one acre of good sowed artificial grass will keep two cows as well as two acres of meadow land can; and provided he has a good cellar and all necessaries, if he has not good butter, it is for want of skill and right management, which leads me to observe, that there are ways of making butter good from artificial grasses--First, that our housewife begins in May at furthest, and holds the same till Michaelmas, to skim her milk every twelve hours, that milk'd in the morning at night, and that milk'd at night in the morning; for if cream stands too long on this milk in summer, it will surely cause the butter to taste rank. And as a further security against this evil, a true housewife will boil her earthen cream pots well, and not use them before she has set them abroad, to make them thoroughly cold, for shifting the cream into them; and where a person keeps a sufficient number of cows for producing cream enough, to boil some to put to the raw cream, and churn once in two days. In short, to prevent any rankness of taste in butter made from foreign grasses, the sweeter the utensils are kept, the sooner the butter is churned. The more it is washed in different waters before it is made up into pounds, and the more it is beaten between two trenchers to clear it of the milk, the sweeter will be the butter, and the longer it will keep so: Which brings to my memory the loss that a gentleman sustain'd by having a bad dairy-maid.
The Loss that a Gentleman sustained by keeping a lazy sluttish Dairy-maid.--This gentleman was a bachelor well advanced in years, and owner of a very large farm, where sixteen cows and a bull had been kept on the grazing part of it, who (being obliged to take his farm into his own hands) was so opinionated in his ways, that it was very hard to convince him of his errors: Amongst which, one was his keeping an unskilful, lazy, sluttish dairy-maid, that frequently had very rank butter, by means of her ill management of her utensils, her milk, her cream, and her churning; insomuch that the common higler, that customarily bought it for selling it at a London market, refused it several times on account of its ill properties, which obliged the gentleman to send it about the neighbouring parts of the country, and get what price he could for it, to his loss, for that such damaged butter was sold for little more than half the price good butter would then fetch; which I think is hint enough to shew the value of a skilful diligent clean dairy-maid. For these reasons it is that I have been employed by gentlemen to send them dairy-maids out of the Vale of Aylesbury, as I live near the edge of it, and have an opportunity to hire those of a good character, and who are well qualifed to make good butter and cheese. This therefore is to inform all gentlemen and ladies, that if they will give encouraging wages, I undertake to provide and send those that I hope will fully answer their expectation: I also on a proper order am ready to furnish them with any number of square leads, barrel churns, or any other dairy utensils.
The Nature and Value of After-Butter.--This sort of butter is more conveniently made in large dairies than in small ones: After-butter is that which is made from the second skimmings of milk; after the first cream is taken off, they let it stand till more cream arises, and there be enough to make another parcel of butter. By this they have a prime fine sort, and a second coarse sort. Now both these are sold in many markets as well as at chandlers shops in towns and in country, without many buyers knowing that one is made of the first cream, and the other of the second and worse. And it is this after-butter that serves many of the unconscionable sort to sell it as prime or first butter to two sorts of people, one that has money and no judgment to distinguish it, and the other that has judgment and not money, and therefore dares not dispute it with their creditor shop-keeper, because they can't pay for it on delivery: And thus poor people generally pay as much for this after-butter as for the first and better sort. Notwithstanding this, after-butter is commonly sold to the connoisseurs in a market for three half-pence a pound less than the prime or better sort. It is often the very same case in the sale of whey butter, of which much is made in cheese countries, where to preserve their whey cream they boil some to put to raw cream, and churn it twice a week; for by boiling some it lessens rankness of taste, and helps to keep it sweet the longer.
Artifices sometimes made use of to expedite the Churning of Butter.--When necessity provokes the dairy-maid to make use of more than ordinary art for hastening the butter coming, it never is so good as when the cream is churn'd into butter by only a regular and timely working of the churn; for if hot water, hot milk, or hot cream, is added to the cream after it is begun churning, it is a sort of violence used upon its true nature: The same when pieces of money, or any other thing is put into the churn for the same purpose; yet to save time and labour, one or more of these remedies is sometimes made use of, but then this is commonly owing to some mismanagement of the milk or the cream, &c. As when the milk freezes in the leads or pans, or when cream is very stale by being too long on the milk, or kept in a pot too long before it is churn'd, or when the churn is too cold in winter time at putting the cream into it, or when too great an intermission is suffer'd in churning, &c.
How a certain Farmer manages his Milk and Cream, and churns his Butter.--This farmer makes altogether use of a barrel churn, and one of the largest sort; because he keeps twenty cows, and generally churns six dozen pounds of butter at a time, by turning its two handles with two mens labour. In winter they let a pail full of boiling water lie in the churn close stopt up for a little while, to heat the wood, and better prepare it for receiving the cream and bringing it into butter the sooner: But for a greater security of this, they boil a gallon of the cream taken from the same morning's skimmings; when it is ready, they put it into the churn to all their cold cream and churn away, and if it get cold, and is longer than ordinary in coming, they pour in some scalding water. Thus this farmer churns, and the better for preparing his milk and cream to produce the best and most butter in winter, he distributes some of the last and best milk or stroakings amongst his pans of milk, and in summer he applies cold spring water in like manner, designing by both to raise the most cream and keep it sweet the longest; and to make his barrel churn answer his expectation in hot weather, he puts boiling water into it at morning to scald it, and after it has lain in it a quarter of an hour, he empties it, and pours in cold water to stand two or three hours, which he empties, for putting in the cream directly to be churned.
How a neat Housewife had the sweetest of Butter.--She kept two large milch cows always on natural grass or hay, and during all the summer-time she used to skim every meal's milk, that is to say, she skim'd twice a day, and got three or four pints of cream each time which she boiled in a skillet, that she wash'd, but not scour'd, for if she scour'd her brass skillet, it would cause the milk or cream to taste of it; and as she churn'd but twice a week, she thus kept her cream sweet in the hottest weather, and had the very best of butter. Not like another, who, to make her butter have a yellowish cast, would at every cow's calving in winter-time, for the first two or three meals, put a dish or two of what we call beastings or beastning into her good cream.
Of several Sorts of Food, that occasion Cows Milk to make indifferent Butter, with Ways to help it.--Of these I shall take notice in particular, because no author has yet done it, as they relate to milk, butter, cheese, and flesh.--Turneps, cole or rape, green or dry thetches or vetches, are none of them so sweet and good as the feed of the most excellent natural lady-finger-grass seeds, tyne-grass seeds, honey-suckle seeds, and another. Turneps give milk so rank a taste, that it is easily perceived by the eater; cole or rape a worse, especially when it is old; somewhat of the like does green thetches and clover, but saintfoin, trefoil, and ray-grass are better: Thus also do the leaves of trees affect the milk in September and October, when they fall; likewise in April there is little good fresh butter to be had, because this month being between grass and hay, some farmers are necessitated still to give their milch cows dry thetches in straw, that are of a hot bitterish nature; or pea-straw, bean-straw, or indeed any straw where hay or better food is wanting. Grains alone produce but a watery insipid milk, but when mixt with chaff, bran, or malt dust, it does much better: Now as these sorts of food do not breed a delicate sweet milk, there are two ways to help it; one is by skimming such milk soon and only once, and with such cream to make butter, but the best way of all is to scald the milk in part, or in the whole; that is to say, if some of the cream is scalded and put to the raw cream, it will help to lessen the ill taste of butter, but much better if all the milk is scalded; and how to scald it, I shall presently shew. In the mean time, I think it necessary to acquaint my reader with the pleasant and healthy effects of four sorts of natural grass and their hay, as they relate to the making of the sweetest butter and flesh.
The Character of the Lady-finger Grass and its Hay, &c.--This is a true hardy natural grass of English growth, exceeding in sweetness and goodness all other grasses whatsoever. These qualities are truly warranted by even the cattle that feed in meadows where it grows, for they will eat this first and before all others; and whether it is given in grass or hay, it invites and feeds fawns, deer, lambs, sheep, and bullocks, and makes them fat with great expedition, producing the sweetest and wholsomest of flesh. When cows feed on it, they yield a milk that makes the finest of yellow-colour'd butter and cheese, and which is prefer'd for being drank from the cow, as conducing the more to the health of the drinker; and the same for its cream to mix with tea, for as a physician well observes, milk, tho' in its own nature healthy, is more or less so as the feeding of the cows and the disposition of the cattle are. This lady-finger grass I am the first discoverer of, for makeing it known in this publick manner. It will grow in the poorest or richest ground of any sort; and, if it be not mowed too soon, it will prove in a great degree corn and hay, for it is a podded grass. Hence I am led to observe, that it has been a reigning ill custom for persons to lay down their plow'd ground with a promiscuous mixture of common grass seed; by which means they may sow the seeds of plantane, hemlock, rennet-wort, crow-garlick, horse-mint, clivers, dog-parsley, penny-grass, couch or quitch grass, clob-weed, white-ash, sorrel, dock, and yellow and white daisy-flower sort, &c.--The plantane by its broad leaves hinders the growth of better grass. The penny or rattle grass has its faults. Quitch-grass is a sour and coarse sort, unfit to grow in any ground. The knot or clob-weed grass is a very great brancher, has high thick stalks and knobs at their ends like buttons, is a great increaser, and hinders the growth of better grass, therefore it provokes some to stock it up with a mattock. White-ash is much rejected by cattle, and so is the sour sorrel, for hardly any will eat it. The same may be said of the bitter yellow flower and daisy, &c.--The ladyfinger-grass seed I sell (as aforesaid) with three other sorts of the natural kind, and send them to any person on a proper order, with such directions for their management, that they need lose no time in obtaining a lasting meadow of the same. Two gallons of milk from the best grass that grows have produced as much cream as three gallons from flashy or weedy grass: This lady-finger grass, which (as I said) is the most excellent of all other grass, with the three others, gives a cow a milk that produces in the calf a bag of the most value for making the best of rennet, and consequently the best of cheese. And that persons may know how to come by these four sorts of natural grass-seed, if any will send me a letter, I will answer it, provided postage is paid to my house at Little-Gaddesden, near Hempstead, in Hertfordshire, which stands thirty miles to the northward of London.--The expence of laying down one acre will be as follows, viz. Three pounds of lady-finger grass-seed, seven shillings and six-pence; four pounds of tyne seed, four shillings; four of honeysuckle seed, four shillings; four of another grass-seed, four shillings; in all nineteen shillings and six-pence. And to sow the land effectually with these seeds, it must be first plowed till it is as fine almost as ashes; and after the seed is sown, there must be a particular cheap sort of manure sowed over the same that I can specify, to prevent the ill effects of too long drought, slugs, worms, flies, and frosts; and to fertilize the surface, so as to push forward the growth of the seed with expedition.
The exact Method of preparing Scalded Cream for making it into Butter the Devonshire Way, by a Correspondent at Stowford, near Ivy-bridge, Feb. 25, 1746-7.
According to your desire, I herewith send you our exact method of making butter from scalded cream. The morning's milk is commonly set over the embers about four o'clock in the afternoon; but this varies according as they have more or less of these embers in a right heat, for many will set their milk over them as soon as they have done dinner, as there is then commonly a good quantity of them free of smoak, and are ready without the trouble of making them on purpose. The evening's milk is commonly set over them about eight o'clock next morning, sooner or later; however, care must be taken not to do it before the cream is well settled on the milk, which will be in the beforementioned time. And as to the quantity of milk we scald at once, it is very different: From one gallon in a pan to three or more; and the measure of each pan of the biggest size is three gallons, or three and a half. There are pans of several sizes less, but the most common quantity is about two gallons, or two and a half in each brass pan; and brass pans are commonly used for this purpose, as they are certainly the best of all other inventions, because the milk will both heat and cool sooner, and far more safe than in the earthen sort; for these (especially in summer-time) are too long in cooling; and as the cream cannot be used before it is cold, these earthen pans are in disuse. I never saw any of them used in this manner but at Sir John Rogers's: Their reason was, that they are something sweeter than brass pans; and I must confess they are so, if the brass ones are not kept in the nicest order possible. As to the height of the pans standing above the embers, it is according to the height of the iron trevit, which is commonly about six inches, with this difference; if on a stove six inches, if on a hearth eight inches, the latter being most in use. As to the exact time of scalding the milk, to have a full clouted cream on it, it is about one hour; yet this varies according to the heat of the embers, and therefore it is sometimes two or more hours, but seldom less than one. However, a moderate heat is best for raising the thickest cream; and you may easily discover when it is scalded enough, by a little swelling of the cream, and then it must be immediately taken off the fire. That which is scalded in the morning must be skim'd in the evening; and that in the evening or afternoon the next morning, with the hand only. When they have but little to scald at once, they save several meals together, and then scald it; but this does not make the best butter. When they have no embers, they use clean dry wood to burn under the pans, but they always refuse to burn rotten wood, because it is apt to give the butter an ill taste. The chimney must be kept very clean from soot, lest any drop into the milk. Sometimes, when the pans are not very clean, they rub them with bay-leaves (or in case they are very bad, they boil the leaves in the water they wash and scour the pans with) for these leaves are great sweetners and cleansers, and should be frequently used for this purpose, especially in the summer time.
The exact Method of churning scalded Cream into Butter, according to the Devonshire Way.
I have further to add, that our method of churning scalded cream is the most expeditious of any I ever saw, and is done with the least trouble. The butter is made in a large wooden bowl, or shallow tub, according to the quantity; and this they do by keeping the hand with the fingers half bent in a constant stirring of the cream at the bottom of the wooden bowl or tub. Sometimes in less than a quarter of an hour the butter will come; at longest they seldom exceed half an hour. And this will be performed the sooner, by observing (when you begin to make the butter) to save out all the thinnest of the cream, untill the thicker harder sort begins to turn, and then add the thin cream; for the thicker part being of a harder consistence, is the chief cause of the butter being so expeditiously made. The quantity of butter made at once is from a quarter of a pound to ten pounds, but seldom more than ten. The greatest trouble in a large quantity of butter is in washing it, beating it, and making it up. Of the quantity of milk that will make so much butter I can't give you any exact account, for experience only must do this, because six quarts of some cows milk will produce as much butter as eight of others: Different pasture will cause it to vary much. But to give you the best account I can, I must add, that a pint of hard cream is reckon'd to produce one pound of butter; which I believe you may depend on, as I had it from one of our most credible dairy neighbours. As to the way of making up the butter, it is the same as your's. I think I need not enlarge further, because I hope this will give you satisfaction from, Sir, your most obedient servant.--This account came to me with several others from a servant I sent to live with John Williams, Esq; at Stowford aforesaid, who being a bachelor did not make butter, but bought it of his neighbours (I suppose his tenants.) This young man, well skilled in husbandry affairs, lived in this country about three years, and collected for me several valuable improvements.
A Somersetshire Dairy-Maid's Account of making Butter with scalded Cream.--She says, they strain their milk directly from the cow in the evening into brass or earthen pans, and set them on iron-leg'd trevits, high enough for burning wood under them, which must be of the dry sort, that it may burn with the least smoak. But the burning of charcoal in stoves under the pans is the more regular and sweeter way of heating the milk. There are several signs to know (says she) when the milk is scalded enough; one is, by feeling it with the finger, for when you can but just bear it in the milk, it is in a right heat to take off; a second is, when the milk appears crinkly on the top; a third is, by the dull sounding of the brass pan: Then take off the pan, and set it by till next morning. But the milk must not boil, for if it does, it is spoiled for making butter; because the cream will then rise like skin, cut streaky and white, and waste away in little scales: Therefore if a pan of milk boils, they never make use of its cream to make butter. Next morning they take the cream off with a skimming-dish, or with the hand, and in cold weather put it by for one, two, or three days, till they have got enough together for churning; then they put all the cream into a tub, and stir it about with the hand or with a ladle, till butter comes. This is the way (she says) of churning and making butter. She also says, that the buttermilk by this management is very sweet, and (if mixt with skim milk and some new milk) will make good cheese. She also further says, that to make butter from clover, saintfoin, raygrass, or lucern-grass, so as to prevent its eating rank, the right way is to make the butter from this hot dairy, because the scalding of the milk in a great degree lessens the misfortune. This old experienced dairy-maid assured me, that she made butter two ways, when at home with her father, a considerable farmer; one by the cold, and the other by the hot dairy; and that they sold their scalded butter for more money than that made in the common old way of setting the milk cold.
The Somersetshire Way to secure their earthen glazed Pans from cracking, that are to be used for scalding Milk.--In this county (the dairy-maid says) their way to prevent the fire from cracking their earthen pans, which they scald their milk in, is to grease them all over the outside with fresh hogslard, and when it is thoroughly dry'd into them by a fire-side, or by the wind or sun, they may then be safely made use of to scald milk in.
The Hertfordshire Way to prevent earthen Pans from cracking.--In this county we make no more to do for preventing earthen pans from cracking by the fire, than to soak them before using in cold water a day or longer, after which they may be put into a very hot oven with a pye or pudding, or meat, without danger; nor will hardly one of them in twenty crack, if boiling water is put in, but will last perhaps as long again as if nothing was done to them.
The Welsh Way of colouring Butter.--Several dairy people in Wales take care to sow that sort of marigold-seed that produces double flowers, and as these in a rich earth and warm situation will grow almost throughout a mild winter, they seldom want wherewithal to colour their butter; in order thereto, they bruise the flowers in a mortar, then put them into a rag, to squeeze out their juice amongst the butter, which, on being work'd in, will give it a fine yellow colour and wholesome quality.--Others say a little bruised saffron in water will supply it; but as marigolds are readiest and cheapest, every dairy farmer in particular should have a bed of them, for as much as a quantity of their flowers will yield a quintessence little inferior to saffron for many uses.
Of salting, potting, and barrelling Butter, and how to know good Butter from that which is bad.--The salting of butter is the more necessary to treat of, as there are several sorts of butter potted and barrel'd, and more than one way of doing it: There is an after-butter, a whey-butter, a damaged butter, and a new good butter, salted down. The after-butter is that fresh sort made from the second skimmings of milk. The whey fresh butter is that made from the skimmings of whey, which produces but a poor cream, rather worse than the last. The damaged butter may at first be a good sort of fresh butter, but for want of sale it becomes stale and rank, or it may be that butter that is damaged by some extream in making. The new fresh butter wants no explanation. The after or back butter generally begins to be made in May, and continues so till near Lammas-day, by which the dairy farmer has an opportunity to make the very best prime fresh butter, for which they skim their milk at twelve hours end, and likewise take the same time for skimming their after or second cream. Now to know such after or back butter, the first fresh butter is generally yellow coloured, from the flowers that the cow eats at this time of year; but the other tastes earthy, is whiter, and a little rankish. The whey they skim once in twenty-four hours, is whitish coloured, and has a little taste of the cloth and the cheese, and the same it is when these two sorts of worse butters are salted and potted, or barrel'd down, for they both will taste stronger than the finest first made butter, and be of a whiter colour, unless artificially coloured. However, if they are thus bad, the poor persons who are necessitated to labour hard for maintaining their families, are obliged sometimes to run into debt at a chandler's shop for bread, butter, cheese, and other necessaries, and thus forced to pay for bad butter at the best price, altho' the shopkeeper gives perhaps but little more than half what the prime butter costs.--A knowing woman being at Dunstable market, and cheapening some pounds weight of fresh butter, the woman seller ask'd the best price for it, but the woman buyer gave her to understand she knew it was bad butter, by saying the mice had run over it; as much as to say, Mrs. bad housewife let the cream stand so long on the milk before it was skimmed, that it was got thick enough for a mouse to run over it, and therefore made a bad butter.
Author's Method of salting down or potting Butter for his Family Uses.--To do this, my dairy-maid in the first place makes a brine strong enough to bear an egg, that it may be in a readiness to mix amongst fresh butter, for preserving it sweet and sound some time; when she has churn'd her butter, she beats some salt very fine, and salts it a little as they commonly do fresh butter; this done, she puts some brine at the bottom of a glazed pot, and on that a layer of butter, which she kneads close down, and by the impression of her knuckles she leaves hollow places sufficient to hold some brine; then she begins a second layer of butter, kneads it as before, and adds more brine: Thus she carries on this work of potting butter till the pot is near full, and when she has covered the whole with brine, enough to swim on the top of the butter, and the pot is well cover'd, the work is finished.
What an ancient Author writes of potting and barrelling Butter.--You shall by no means (says he) as in fresh butter, wash the butter-milk out with water, but only work it clear out with your hands, for water will make the butter rusty; this done, you shall open the butter, and salt it thoroughly, beating it in with your hand till it be generally dispersed through the whole butter; then take clean earthen pots, exceedingly well glazed, lest the brine should leak through the same, and cast salt into the bottom of it; then lay in your butter, and press it hard down within the same, and when your pot is flled, then cover the top thereof with salt, so as no butter be seen; then closing up the pot, let it stand where it may be cold and safe; but if your dairy be so little that you cannot at first fll up the pot, you shall then (when you have potted up so much as you have) cover it all over with salt, and pot the next quantity upon it, till the pot is full. Now there be housewives (says he) whose dairies being great, can by no means conveniently have their butter contained in pots, as in Holland, Suffolk, Norfolk, and such like; and therefore are forced to take barrels very safe and well made, and after they have salted the butter well, they fll their barrels therewith. Then they take a small clean stick, and therewith make divers holes down through the butter, even to the bottom of the barrel, and then make a strong brine of water and salt which will bear an egg, and after it is boiled well, skim'd and cooled, they pour it upon the top of the butter, till it swim above the same, and so let it settle. Some (says he) use to boil in this brine a branch or two of rosemary, and it is not amiss, but pleasant and wholesome. This ancient author says further, that you may at any time betwixt May and September pot up butter, observing to do it in the coolest time of the morning; yet (says he) the most principal season of all is in the month of May only, for then the air is most temperate, and the butter will take salt the best, and be the least subject to rusting.
Remarks on the aforesaid ancient Author's potting of Butter.--This author, I think, is a little too slight in his advice, by saying it is enough only to beat out the butter-milk with the hands; for butter that is to be potted down, is by some put and confined in a press under weight, the better to drain out the butter-milk, but where this conveniency is wanted, hand-beating may do; next it is to be salted down in a pot or barrel, by laying it two or three inches thick, and strewing salt between every layer of butter; at last to salt or brine as he directs. And whether it be butter made in the cold or hot dairy, it may be potted or barrel'd to a good purpose, provided the butter-milk is entirely got out, salted rightly, and done in a cool air; for if butter is barrel'd in very hot weather, it will be apt to grow rank too soon: Therefore in such weather, where they have not a cellar or other good conveniencies, it is hazardous work; and so tender are some on this account, who are not under a necessity of potting or barrelling butter in the summer-time, that they forbear doing it till the latter end of August, when the nights are pretty long and cool.--Again, when the salt part of butter decays, so as to cause it to grow bad, let it be taken under care time enough. The cure is, to wash it well in more than one water, then to salt and pot it down again; for this may recover it, and bring it to be good salt butter a second time.--So likewise may good salt butter be made to become good fresh butter, as many do to their great profit; else the London pastry-cooks, as well as some others, would be at a great charge indeed, to buy always fresh butter in winter-time, when butter is at the dearest. Therefore it is the practice in some dairies, where they churn cream enough to make six pounds of butter, to cut three pounds of salt butter into thin slices, and just as the new butter is coming, to put them into the churn, and churn away till the whole parcel of butter is come. And if the work is rightly carried on, both the salt butter and the fresh, being thus churned into a mixture, will all become good fresh butter; but take care you do not put the salt butter in too soon, for if you do, neither the fresh nor that will come. You may preserve fresh butter the longer, by keeping it in brine.
Butter-milk Porridge.--Butter-milk, when mixt with oatmeal, may be made into good porridge.
Butter-milk Hasty-pudding.--In the Vale of Aylesbury, where are many large dairies, the poor people go from house to house to beg butter-milk, and some, when they have it on the fire ready to boil, will stir wheat or barley flower into it, to make hasty-pudding of it, and thus live several days on the same sort of management.
Butter-milk with Apples and Toast.--Some coddle, and others roast apples till they are soft, and put them into butter-milk, and then boil them a little. This will make it thick like custard, and when a toast is made and sop'd in it, it is good eating, especially in winter-time, when the butter-milk is sweet; but the same mess may be had in the spring and summer-time, where they make butter from the hot dairy, if they have apples, because here the butter-milk is always sweet. My butter-milk I frequently give away to my indigent neighbours, as a very acceptable relief to their families. Others make a toast as for ale, and put it (cut in bits) into butter-milk, then roast some apples, and mash them into it with sugar, and think it an excellent repast.
Butter-milk Pancakes and Puddings.--Sweet butter-milk makes better pancakes and puddings than skim-milk.
Butter-milk Curds.--The whey of cheese must be put over the fire, and heated till it rises ready for boiling; at this juncture of time, some butter-milk must be put into it, and stir'd by degrees, as when posset is made. This will cause curds to arise. Then take the pot from off the fire, and skim off the curds from the whey for eating them. Now the way our country people eat them is, by crumbling bread, and mixing it with a little sugar, or without sugar; when they say, this is a dish for a king. Others may eat these curds with cream and sugar, or with wine, or with beer and ale, but be sure you do not stir in your butter-milk over the fire if it smoaks, for if you do, it will have an unsufferable taste. The whey that is left may serve for a cooling wholesome drink. But although I have hitherto wrote on butter-milk for raising curds, yet where butter-milk is too sour for this purpose, or is not to be had, some will make use of cold water, by putting it in along the sides of the kettle or pot by degrees, as soon as the whey rises for raising curds; and when they are skimmed off, and let to stand till the whey is drained from them, they are fit to be eat.--Whey if good has so much of a milk quality in it, that if it is boiled, it will, without any assistance of butter-milk or water, throw up a skim or cream; therefore some instead of letting their whey lie cold in pans to skim it once in twenty-four hours, will get a cream from it by boiling it, in order to make a butter of such cream.--A second way to make butter-milk curds, is to boil new milk, and while it is boiling hot, pour it upon cold buttermilk, which cover, and let stand till curd rises; then take out the curd, and let it stand on a fine straining sieve, or in a linen cloth, till no more whey drops out; then beat the curd with a spoon till it is finely broken, and sweeten it with cream to your palate.
Of the Repository or Dairy-Room.--The sweetest butter is certainty best made in the month of May, when all sorts of grasses, whether of the English or foreign kind, are in their infant or purest growth; yet this is not the time for potting down butter, because the weather at this time of year increases so much in heat, as would cause it to grow rank and spoil before the winter. Now a cellar or any low room, that lies below or even with the surface of the earth, is situated to a northern aspect, and has a brick or stone floor, must be of great service towards carrying on a dairy; for by this valuable conveniency, milk and cream will keep longer sweet than if it stands in a warmer place. I have known much stress laid upon this, where a number of cows have been kept, that though a dairy has made great part of a large rent for many years, yet a tenant has suffered to such a degree for want of a very cool cellar or room, that he never left soliciting his landlord till he had one made to his mind; for what damage must it be to those many farmers who keep ten, twenty, or thirty milch cows, and cannot sell their butter oftener than once or twice at most in a week, by reason the London carrier goes but once or twice a week at most to London from Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, &c. Wherefore when milk is kept in a cellar or other cool place, it will not only keep longer sweet, but it causes it to throw up the greater quantity of cream, that will produce a butter in such perfection as to sell for more money than that made from a dairy where this conveniency is wanting, as the case is with many farmers, in vales especially; because here the springs are generally so nigh the surface of the earth, that unless the bricklayer makes use of tarrass, and he is a very good workman, he cannot make a cellar to keep out water. Yet I have known this deficiency in a great measure supplied, by digging only two or three foot into the ground, and by laying it with a brick floor, and building this dairy-room at the north side of the farm-house.
What an ancient Author writes of keeping Cream.--He says that with a shallow thin wooden dish you take in the evening the cream from off that milk which was milk'd in the morning, and skim the evening's milk accordingly. The cream so taken off, you shall (says he) put into a sweet well leaded earthen pot (he means a glazed earthen pot) close cover'd, and set it in a cool place; and this cream so gather'd you shall not keep above two days in summer, and not above four in the winter, if you will have the sweetest and best butter, and that your dairy contain five kine or more; but how many or few soever you keep, you shall not by any means preserve your cream above three days in summer, and not above six in winter.
What an ancient Author writes of churning Butter in an upright Churn.--This author, who wrote on butter and many other subjects in husbandry about one hundred and twenty years ago, says thus:--Take your cream, and thorough a strong and clean cloth strain it into the churn, and then covering the churn close, and setting it in a place fit for the action in which you are employed (as in summer, in the coolest place of your dairy, and exceeding early in the morning, or very late in the evening, and in the winter in the warmest place of your dairy, and in the most temperate hours, as about noon or a little before or after) churn it with swift strokes, marking the noise of the same, which will be solid, heavy, and intire, untill you hear it alter, and the sound is light, sharp, and more spirity, and then you shall say that your butter breaks, which being perceived both by this sound, the lightness of the churn-staff, and the sparks and drops which will appear yellow about the lip of the churn, cleanse with your hand both the lid and inward sides of the churn, and having put all together, you shall cover the churn again, and then with easy strokes round, and not to the bottom, gather the butter together into one entire heap, lump, or body. Now forasmuch (says he) as there be many mischiefs and inconveniencies, which may happen to butter in the churning, because it is a body of much tenderness, and neither will endure much heat nor much cold (for if it be overheated it will look white, crumble, and be bitter in taste, and if it be over cold, it will not come at all, but make you waste much labour in vain) which faults to help, if you churn your butter in the heat of the summer, it shall not be amiss, if during the time of your churning you place your churn in a pail of cold water as deep as your cream riseth in the churn, and in the churning thereof let your strokes go slow, and be sure that your churn be cold when you put in your cream; but if you churn it in the coldest time of winter, you shall then put in your cream before the churn be cold, after it hath been scalded, and you shall place it within the air of the fire, and churn it with as swift strokes, and as fast as may be, for the much labouring thereof will keep it in a continual warmth; and thus you shall have your butter good, sweet, and according to your wish. After your butter is gathered well together in your churn, you shall open it, and with both your hands gather it well together, and take it from the buttermilk, and put it into a very clean bowl of wood that has water in it, and therein work the butter with your hand, turning and tossing it to and fro, till you have by that labour beaten and wash'd out all the butter-milk, and brought the butter to a firm substance of itself without any other moisture; which done, you shall take the butter from the water, and with the point of a knife scotch and slash the butter over and over every way as thick as is possible, leaving no part through which your knife must not pass; for this will cleanse and fetch out the smallest hair or mote, or rag of a strainer, or any other thing, which by casual means may happen to fall into it. After this you shall spread the butter in a bowl thin, and take so much salt as you shall think convenient, which must by no means be much for sweet butter, and sprinkle it thereupon; then with your hands work the butter and the salt exceedingly well together, and make it up either into dishes, pounds, or half pounds, at your pleasure.
Remarks on this ancient Author's Account of churning Butter.--As there was no barrel churn invented in his days, he was confined to write only on the upright churn, and this he does well on some accounts, but he takes no notice of beating the salt fine before it is mix'd with the butter, though it is a material article; nor that working fresh butter (by way of kneading it) with a very strong brine instead of salt improves it; nor that too long an intermission in churning is of ill consequence to the work, because this will make the churning (as we call it) to go backwards, and very hard to be renewed, if at all, especially in winter weather; and yet this is a fault that some ignorant or slothful dairy maids are guilty of, that do not consider that an intermission, though but while one can tell fifty, is enough to divide the thick from the thin part of the cream, and prevent the butter coming in due time.
The Practice of a Vale Dairy Farmer, that generally milk'd thirty Cows.--This man kept thirty cows generally under milk, and for making the most profit of his dairy, he furnished his cellar with such a number of square leads, that were placed almost all round it, for receiving the milk as it was brought from the cows; for these he prefer'd before tubs, or earthen or brass pans, because they keep milk coolest in summer, and not amiss in winter, are very smooth, and presently and easily clean'd. By this and other ways of his ingenious and careful management, he seldom failed of making thirty dozen pounds of delicate sweet butter every week during most of the summer, by churning it every third day, but in winter only once a week; and because earthen pans or pots are liable to be crack'd and broke in their removal, and too small for holding much milk, he always kept it in the leads, which answer'd his purpose; and for keeping his cream sweet he boiled some to put to the raw cream, which he duly shifted into fresh leads, and thus preserved it in good order.
The Nature and Conveniency of Chiltern Lands for sowing them with foreign Grass Seeds, &c. for carrying on a Dairy.--As I have before wrote of a Vale dairy, I come now to write on a Chiltern dairy. According to the common acceptation of the word Chiltern in Hertfordshire, we understand it to signify a hilly inclosed country, consisting of various sorts of earths, which although they are not of so fertile a nature as Vale grounds generally are, yet they give us a far greater opportunity of putting them to different uses than what Vale farmers can theirs; because Vale lands commonly lie in open felds, and so in low and wet, that they are forced to plow them all one way, for raising and keeping them up dry in high ridges, which renders them incapable for the most part of being improved by sowing them with clover, trefoil, saintfoin, raygrass, lucern, turneps, or rapes. It is true, that their earth is of a blacker richer nature than Chiltern lands are, and therefore the natural grass is certainly of the best sort for making butter and cheese; but then as our felds are most of them inclosed, and our land lies more dry, we can plow them long-ways and cross-ways, and sow them with clover, trefoil, saintfoin, raygrass, lucern, turneps, or rapes, according to our conveniency, not only for enriching our grounds by feeding them with cattle, but also for making butter and cheese with the feed of several of them.
Of a Cheese Dairy.
A Cheshire Maid's Account of her making Cheese, as she gave it me in Hertfordshire on the 25th of November, 1746.--She says, that the milk of thirty of their cows makes a cheese of fifty pounds weight every day, and for well doing it, there must be three persons employed; they heat the night's milk, and put it to the morning's milk, till both are warm as it comes from the cow; then they put two or three spoonfuls of rennet into it, and stir and mix it well together, and in one hour's time, or two at most, the curd will come fit to be broke. Now their way of breaking it (she says) is over a tub, for the whey to run into it, and when the whey is thus discharged into one tub, they put the curd into another, for two or three persons to break it small; this done, they salt it, and work it into the form of a cheese, and in working it, they press all the whey they can out, then they put the curd into a cloth, and bind it about with broad flletting, and lay it in a press that has a great stone on it for lying here two hours, at the end of which they take it out, and shift it into a fresh dry cloth, which they put again into the cheese-press, for its lying here eight hours; then they turn the cheese in the same cloth, and let it lie in the press twelve hours, at the end of which they take it out and shift the cheese into a finer cloth and lighter press, and thus the pressing work is finished. After it is taken out, they scrape the cheese, rub it all over with brine, and then salt it; next they melt fresh butter, and pour it all over the cheese, and then lay it on a rack not far from a fire, and with giving the cheese timely turnings, the whole work is finished.--She also told me, that their cheese factors seldom buy any Cheshire cheese under a year old. And why they cannot make such good cheese out of Cheshire, is chiefly because their land is of a particular rich nature, some by the River Weaver (she says) letting for five pounds an acre, though a reddish sort of land; and here they are so nice, as not to make cheese till the fifth meal is taken from a new calved cow.
A Way that some take in Cheshire to make large Cheeses with a few Cows.--She says they press the curd once or twice to clear it from its whey, then they cut it into thin slices and throw them into water; next day they break them short, by tearing them like dough into bits, and work and salt them well into one mass; this being done, they put this salted curd in the middle of new prepared curd which incloses it, then they bind it up in a cloth, and press and turn it several times as in the last way; a method practised by only those that have not cows enough to make a large cheese at once, for they that have, refuse it.
The Somersetshire Dairy-maid's Way of making their common Cheese.--This country contains various sorts of lands and situations; it has marsh lands, dry stony lands, short earths, and stiff earths, hills and dales, grasing and plow'd grounds. About the latter end of April they begin to make their cheese, which for the greatest part are of the thin sort, like those of Warwickshire and Leicestershire. Here they first squeeze their curd in the press a quarter or half an hour, then they take it out, break it as small as possible, and salt it; next they work it into the form of a cheese, put it into a cloth and press it again, squeezing it very gently at first, and follow the pressing of it a day together; in which space of time, they give the cheese several turnings, shifting it into a cloth wetted in cold water each time, in order as they say to give it a thin rind: At last they turn it in a fine dry cloth, to cause the rind to appear the better.
A further Account from the same Somersetshire Dairy-maid, how they make their Cheese from the Feed of marsh Grounds.--- Marsh grounds generally produce the longest and rankest of grass, wherefore it puts the dairy-man on ways and means to take off, or to lessen any disagreeable taste that such grass may cause the cheese to retain.--A farmer here, that keeps forty cows, works two cheese-presses, when he that keeps thirty or less, works but one. After a cheese has been once pressed, they throw it cloth and all into scalding water, and there let it lie an hour if it is of the thinner sort, but a thicker one they let lie longer; then they take it out, and press it leisurely again. It is true, that this way is apt to extract and run out some of the fat part of the cheese curd, but then it gives the cheese these two good qualities, that it will eat the milder, and keep the longer sound.
The Somersetshire Dairy-maid's Way to make Cream Cheese.--She says, that she skims off the cream of last night's milk the next morning, and puts it into the morning's milk as soon as it is got from the cow; with this they mix a spoonful of rennet, and when the curd is come, they put it into a shallow wooden vat or mould, and with a wooden cover over it they press it by the hand. After this they put it into a cloth, and press it very tenderly, and turn it several times in one day; then they salt its outsides, and press it lightly again; at last, they lay it in nettles, rushes, or grass, to ripen, shifting it every now and then.
The Somersetshire Dairy-maid's Way to make Cheese from the Feed of Clover.--It is certainly such a difficult thing to make good cheese from the feed of clover-grass, that very few attempt it. If sheep feed with cows in a clover field, their pissing on this grass will cause the cheese to hove on the shelf; and if cows feed alone on it, especially when the clover is in high growth, it will hove and swell the cheese, and give it a rank taste. Now to prevent these ill qualities in a great measure, there are two ways of doing it; one is, by salting the cheese curd soundly; the other is to let it lie in a good quantity of scalding water or whey half an hour in the cheese cloth, at the end of which time to put it into the press, and press and turn it as another cheese is usually done. She says the salt may fail answering this end, but the scalding will not. She further says, that for making their cheese like Gloucestershire cheese, they put the curd, after it is once press'd, into hot, but not scalding water; and that when the lambs have been taken from the ewes, she has milk'd them, and put their milk amongst the cows milk, and made cheese of it.
Gloucestershire Cheese.--This Somersetshire dairy-maid tells me that Gloucestershire cheese is made with only one meal's milk as it comes hot from the cows, where they keep a sufficient number of them to do it, and when the rennet has brought the curd enough, they take it off with a dish, and directly put it into the wooden vat, or mould, and here press out the whey without a cloth; this done, they take out the cheese curd and put it into a cloth, and press it again and again, shifting the cloth two or three times between the pressings, and salt the cheese only on all its outsides.
Shropshire Way of making Cheese.--I am told they make their cheese curd into balls with salt, and keep them a day or two, then break them extreamly fine into new curd, else it will cause the cheese to crumble too much: But if the work is perform'd rightly, they say it makes good cheese.
To make a compound Cheese.--Take the cream you skim'd off last night, and put it to the morning's milk in a tub. Then make some water scalding hot, and pour it into the milk and cream, which stir and mix till all is only lukewarm, and put rennet to it. This done, let it stand cover'd with a cloth about half an hour, and if the curd does not come enough in that time, you may add more rennet, then with a dish in your hand break and mash the curd, and press it with your hand down to the bottom of the tub. After this, with a thin skimming dish, you are to take the whey from the curd, and directly break the curd small, and squeeze it into your wooden vat till it is quite full; then lay upon the top of your curd your round cheese-board, and upon that a weight for making the whey drop out of it, and when it has done dropping, take a cheese-cloth, and having wetted it in cold water, lay it on your cheese-board, and turn the cheese upon it. Then lay the cloth and cheese in the vat, and press it in the common cheese-press. And after it has been there half an hour, take it out, turn the cheese into a dry cloth, and put it into the press again. Thus you may turn it into dry cloths five or six times the first day, and then let it lie press'd twelve or more hours, and at last turn it into a dry vat without any cloth at all. When the cheese is so far made, rub it all over with salt, and next day do the same; and for two or three days following turn it in brine; after this rub it and lay it on a shelf to dry, and continue rubbing it every day with a dry clean cloth, till it is got thoroughly dry and fit to be laid in a cheese-loft: But observe that you dry it hastily in the beginning, and leisurely afterwards. Such a cheese, if rightly made, and a due age given it, will be as good one as any man need to eat.
To make soft or what they call Cream Cheese.--As to the second appellation, it is for the most part a wrong one, because these cheeses are seldom made with any other than the new milk as it comes from the cow, and while it is thus warm, rennet is put into it for turning the milk into curd, which when sufficiently come, it must be taken out with a skimming-dish (for the hand must touch it but as little as possible throughout all the operation) and put into a hair sieve, to give the whey an opportunity to drain from it. Next, the curd must be put into a wooden vat or mould with the skimming-dish, for a gentle pressure of it, for if the hand was employed to do this, it would give the cheese a disagreeable toughness. Then press it for about three hours, turning it once in the time, and salting it a little. Now in great dairies they make these soft early cheeses twice a day with each meal's milk, and press four or five, or six at a time, by putting each cheese in a cloth one upon another, and thus pressing them all together. And after each cheese has been press'd, they lay them on boards, and turn them twice a day for three or four days together, then lay some rushes on each cheese, and turn them on it twice a day till they get pretty dry, and when they are so, three or four or more cheeses may be laid over one another with rushes between them, to keep them hollow, and dry them the faster. Which management from the press to the buyer will take ten or fourteen days time. And when in April they begin to make these soft thin cheeses, or as some call them cream cheeses, some will have a fire of embers made from wood or otherwise in the middle of the room, on purpose to forward the drying of these cheeses, that they may meet with the better market; tho' they are not so good as those made in the month of May or later, because in April they are obliged to help out the short bite of grass with some dry meat to feed their cows with. Some for making the most profit in a great cheese dairy will take off a cream from thin milk to mix with whey cream, to make the better whey-butter, and put the skim milk to new milk for making soft thin cheeses, which in a near county to Hertfordshire they call dozen cheeses, because they sell them by the dozen for four shillings or four shillings and sixpence a dozen; and for giving them a little gloss, they use red-saunders, which gives them a brightish colour, for though they are naturally pale, yet a shade of red adds a small lustre to them. It is also observable, that these thin soft cheeses have most of them marks of the green rushes on their rind, which are accounted for this use better than nettles or grass, because these have hardish round stalks, that cause the cheeses to lie hollower to dry than the leaves of nettles or grass will admit of; besides which, it is a dairy maxim, that unless cheese is press'd well, it won't dry well. And although I have mentioned this way of making soft thin cheese with only new milk, and with new milk and skim milk, yet better cheese is made by some, for I have heard it affrmed that a gentlewoman, who kept but ten cows, made sixty cheeses in a season, weighing twenty pounds each, so rich that she sold them for one shilling per pound.
To make Slipcoat Cheese.--Proportion your cheese curds to your moulds and vats, and to six quarts of milk (or better stroakings) put a pint of spring water. If the weather is hot, let the water be cold, and before you put it into the stroakings, let them stand a while to cool after they are milked, then stir in the water with a little salt, which let stand a little while, then put in two spoonfuls of rennet and stir all well together, to stand cover'd with a linen cloth. When the curd is become like a thick jelly, with a skimming-dish lay it gently into the moulds, and as it sinks down fll on more curd till all be in, which will require three or four hours time; then lay a fine clean cloth into another mould of the same size, and turn it into it, and then turn the skirts of the cloth over it, and lay upon that a thin board, and upon that as much weight as with the board may make two pounds or thereabouts, and about half an hour after lay another clean cloth into the other mould, and turn the cheese into that; then lay upon the board as much as will make it six or seven pounds weight, and thus continue turning it till night; then take away the weight, and lay it no more on it; this done, beat some salt very fine, and sprinkle the cheese all over with it as slightly as you can; next morning turn it into another dry cloth, and let it lie out of the mould upon a plain board, and change it as often as it wets the cloth, which must be three or four times a day. When it is so dry, that it wets the cloth no more, lay it upon a bed of green rushes, and lay a row of them upon it; but be sure to pick the bennet grass clean from them, and lay them even all one way. If you cannot get good rushes, take nettles or grass. If the weather is cold, cover them with a linen and woollen cloth. In case you cannot get stroakings, take five quarts of new milk and one of cream. If the weather is cold, heat the water that you put to the stroakings. Turn the cheese every day, and put to it fresh of whatsoever you keep it in. They are usually ripe in ten days.
A second Way of making Slipcoat Cheese.--To two quarts of cream, add six quarts of milk directly from the cow, mingle these together and let them stand till they are cold; then pour three pints of boiling water to it, which stir in, and let all stand till they are very near cold; then put to it a moderate quantity of rennet made with fair water (not whey, or any other thing than water, for this is an important point) and let stand till it come; have a care not to break the curds, nor even to touch them with your hands, but only with a skimming-dish. In due time lade the curds with the dish into a thin fine napkin, held up between two persons, that the whey may run from them through it, while they roll it about, that the curds may dry without breaking. When the whey is well drained out, put the curds as whole as you can into the cheese vat upon a napkin. Change the napkin, and turn the cheese every half hour for ten times, till it wets the napkin no more. Then press it with half a pound weight for two or three hours; add half a pound more for as long a time, and another half pound for as long; and lastly another half pound, which is two pounds in all, a weight that never must be exceeded. The next day, when about four and twenty hours are past in all, salt your cheese a little, and turn it three or four times a day, keeping it in a cotton cloth, which will make it mellow and sweet, and preserve it a smooth coat, ready for eating, in about twelve days time. Some lay it to ripen in dock-leaves, but they are apt to give and mould the cheese, others in flat boxes of wood, and turn them three or four times a day, but a cotton cloth is best. This quantity of milk and cream is for a round large cheese, a good finger's breadth thick. Long grass ripeneth them well and sucketh out the moisture. Rushes are good also; they are hot, but dry not the moisture so well.
A third Way of making Slipcoat Cheese.--Take 3 quarts of stroakings, and as they come from the cow, put a skimming-dish of spring water with two spoonfuls of rennet to them, and let it stand cover'd till it come hard. Take it up by degrees, but break it not. When you have laid all in the vat, work a fine cloth in about its sides with the back of a knife, then lay a board on it for half an hour, at the end of which set a half pound stone on it, and let it stand two hours; then turn it on that board, and let the cloth be under and over it, and put it into the vat again. Now lay a pound and half weight on it. Two hours after turn it again on a dry cloth, and salt it a little; then set on it two pounds weight, and let it stand till next morning, when you are to turn it out of the cheese vat on a dry board, and keep it turning on dry boards three days. If it spreads too much, set it up with wedges. When it begins to stiffen, lay green grass or rushes upon it; and when stiff enough, lay rushes over and under it. If this cheese is rightly made and the weather dry, it will be ready in eight days; but in case it does not dry well, lay it on a linen cloth and woollen upon it, to hasten its ripening.
A short Way to make a Cream Cheese.--Milk seven quarts from the cow, and as soon as it is got, mix it with a pint of cream and a spoonful of rennet. Cover it in a bowl or bucket, and when the curd is come enough, lay a cloth all over a cheese vat. Take the curd out with a skimming-dish, and put it on the cloth till the vat is full; then turn the cloth over the cheese, and as the curd sinks lay more on till there be enough. When thoroughly drained of the whey, turn the cheese in a fresh dry cloth in the vat, and lay a pound weight on it; at night turn it on another dry cloth, and salt it on the morrow morning but very little; then lay it on rushes or nettles, and cover with the same, and turn it twice a day. This cheese will be eatable in twelve days time or sooner. To improve this cheese, stamp a handful or two of marigold flowers, and add some of the juice to the rennet.
Fresh Cheese.--Sweeten a quart or three pints of cream well with sugar, and boil it, and while it is boiling, put in some damask rose-water; keep it stirring to prevent its burning to the pot, and when it is thicken'd enough and turned, take it off the fire, and wash the canvas strainer and cheese-vat with rose-water, and roll it to and fro in the strainer, to drain the whey from the curd; take up the curds with a spoon, and put them into the vat, let it stand till it is cold, and then put it into a dish with some of the whey for eating.
Rich fresh Cheese.--To 3 pints of new milk (or better stroakings) while it is warm from the cow, put half a spoonful of rennet for turning it to curds and whey; then beat a quarter of a pound of blanch'd almonds with two or three spoonfuls of cream and one spoonful of rose-water. Shape the curd in a cheese vat or pan, and eat it with cream and sugar; but lest such a fresh cheese prove too raw and cold for some stomachs, you may add some powder of cinnamon, mace or nutmeg, or all.
Winter Cream Cheese.--Boil a quart of cream, and put it to a gallon of new milk; when all is milk-warm, put a spoonful of rennet to it, and cover it with a cloth till the curd is come enough; then with a skimming-dish lay it into a canvas straining cloth, to discharge it of its whey. This done, lay a board on it, and a two pound weight on that; and after the curd has been under this pressure for three or four hours, put a wet cloth in a mould or vat, and your curd in that, with six pounds weight on it. Here it must be turned into fresh wet cloths every three hours for the first day. Let it stand pressed all night, and next morning take out the cheese and salt it a little; then press it again, and turn it every three or four times in fresh dry cloths at every two hours end, and it is ready for laying on rushes or leaves of nettles in a dry place. Observe to lay the cheese every morning amongst a thick parcel of fresh nettles or rushes; and if the outsides of the cheese be moister than ordinary, apply dry cloths for the first or second time. With careful management, this cheese will be ready in twelve or fourteen days time for eating.
To make a Cream Cheese in a Cabbage-Net.--This cream cheese has been made many times by a widow woman; and as she told me, she has sold them for a shilling a pound. To this purpose, she takes the cream off last night's milk, puts it into a pail the next morning, and then directly milks upon it her desired quantity, to which she puts a spoonful or two of rennet. When the curd is come enough, she squeezes the whey from it very softly with her hand; for if she squeezes it hard, much of the curds goodness will go off with the whey; then she salts the curd a little, and puts it into a cabbage-net. And in this manner she has had four or five at a time hung up in a dairy room, but took care now and then to wipe the outsides of the cheeses; and in about six weeks, or two months, they would be ready for eating as a most excellent sort. In this manner, she says, she has made marigold and sage cheese in chequer work. The chief reason for making this sort of cheese is, for its convenient drying, and the rarity of eating a cabbage-net cheese, which is about a foot long and three or four inches thick; but it must be carefully rubbed as it lies in the net, to keep off the black or blue mold. However, if such rubbing wont do, it must be taken out and rubbed.
Welch Cheese.--When the small Brecknockshire sheep come into the rich Vale of Glamorganshire, they give much more milk than they do in that mountainous country, and then they milk them for making cheese. To this purpose some keep five or six score, which they always milk behind, and get about a pint from each sheep; and as their milk is of a very fat nature, they mix it with skim milk of cows; when a little is heated, they put in their rennet, and make cheese that is of a short tartish nature.
Cream Curds.--Strain your whey, and set it on the fire, making a clear and gentle fire under the kettle. As the curds arise put in whey, and continue it till they are ready to be skimmed off; then take a skimmer and put them on the bottom of a hair sieve; let them drain till they are cold, then take them off and put them into a bason, and beat them with three or four spoonfuls of cream and sugar for eating.
Of the Cheese or Rennet Bag, as wrote of by an ancient Author.--The cheese or rennet bag (says he) is the stomach bag of a young suckling calf, which never tasted other food than milk, where the curd lieth undigested. Of these bags (says he) you shall in the beginning of the year provide yourself good store, and first open the bag and pour out into a clean vessel the curd and thick substance thereof, but the rest (which is not curdled) you shall put away; then open the curd, and pick out of it all manner of motes, chiers of grass, or other filth got into the same; then wash the curd in several cold waters till it be as white and clean from all sorts of motes as is possible; then lay it on a cloth that the water may drain from it; which done, lay it in another dry vessel, take a handful or two of salt, and rub the curd therewith exceedingly; then take your bag and wash it also in divers cold waters till it be very clean, and then put the curd with a good deal of salt into the bag again, and salt the bag all over very well; then close up the bag, and lay it in a glazed earthen pot, to keep a full year before using: For (continues he) the hanging of rennet bags up in a chimney corner (as coarse housewives do) is a sluttish way, and very unwholesome. The spending of your rennet while it is new makes your cheese hove and prove hollow. Observe also, that if such rennet baggs are kept in pots in a dry room, well salted, they will keep good nine or ten months or more. When the rennet is wanted, boil a quart of the stronger brine, and when it is cold put it into the bag, which prick with many holes, and keep it in this brine and pot ready for use. The stronger the brine is made, the less rennet will serve. One spoonful of this brine will turn ten gallons of milk, is put into it while the milk is warm; but if too hot, it will produce a hard curd: So likewise if too much rennet is put to the milk, it will make the cheese full of holes and taste rank. If you have a large dairy, you may keep ten or twenty rennet bags in one large glazed earthen pot: And this is to be observed, that when cheese-time is over, the rennet bags, as they lie in the pot, should have salt sprinkled every now and then over them, else they will be apt to stink and spoil.
A Buckinghamshire Dairy Woman's Account for using her Rennet Bags and Rennet.--This woman says, that she puts a handful of salt into two gallons of whey, and that after it has boiled so long, and so much curd has been skim'd off that no more will rise, she then boils the whey longer, with either some flowers of the white thorn, or its leaves, twigs or boughs, in order to give the rennet a pleasant taste, and preserve the cheese a long time sound. Now this whey must be drained from the thorn as fine as can be done, and when it is cold, take three rennet bags out of your brine pot, and steep them in this whey, till you think they have tinctured it enough with a rennet quality, which will be in a day or two's time, when you are to take them out and return them into the brine pot. Thus you have an excellent rennet made, that is kept in bottles well corked, in a cool place, will last a great while for your leisure uses.
When Cheese is best made.--Cheese is best made in the months of May, June, and July, when grass is in most heart and the days are at a right length, for then the cheese have the best opportunity of drying; and when they have got dry, a right housewife will dip them in hot whey, scrub their outsides with a brush, and when dry again, will rub them over with whey or other butter, for giving the cheese a fine saleable yellow-colour'd coat, but whey butter is full good enough for this purpose; which to come by, they set the grey whey at night and skim next morning, and so the white whey. The grey whey is that made by the rennet, the white by pressure of the curd. And when they have got enough of such whey cream, they churn it into a butter that cheats thousands of the ignorant people, who know not to distinguish between new milk butter, after butter, and whey butter; although the two last are not worth so much as the first by a penny or three half pence a pound.
The Artifice of a Dairy-Maid to get rid of a slovenly Boy milking her Cows.--This maid I recommended to be dairy-maid to a gentleman's family in Essex, who wrote to me to send him one, as I live on the edge of Aylesbury Vale, where many clever ones are brought up: It was this maid servant that told me, she once lived with a master that kept about four or five cows for his family use, which she could well milk and manage herself, yet the gentleman her master would oblige her to let a slovenly boy servant always milk some of the cows for dispatch sake, contrary to the maid's and the boy's inclination; which put her upon inventing a stratagem, how to get rid of the boy. For this purpose, she bid him put a corking-pin through his hat, and as the master was wont now and then to see his cows milk'd, the boy in milking push'd the pin against the cow's side, and thus prevented her standing still. This induced the master to ask the maid, why the cow would not stand still? She told him, because she does not like the boy should milk her. Then said he milk them all yourself.
The sluttishness of a Dairy-Maid, who milk'd her Cows with foul Fingers.--A man that lives about a mile distant from Gaddesden, and now keeps a publick house, said, that when he was a single man, he lived a servant with a dairy farmer, at Simson, near Water-Crawley in Buckinghamshire, where, seeing the maid servant milk a cow that had a very foul bag, occasion'd by her lying down in a nasty cow-house, she was so lazy, as not to be at the pains of first washing the cow's bag before milking, but milk'd with her fingers besmear'd with the dung of the cow to that degree, as alter'd the colour of the milk, which made such an impression on the mind of this man, that he declared to me he never since could eat milk, tho' this happened twenty years before. A case very different from the following one.
How a Gentleman obliged his Boy or Man Servant to clean his Cow-house every Morning and Evening before his Cows were milked.--This gentleman, who lived in Cheshire, and whom I know as my benefactor, kept four or five cows wholly for his family uses; and was so remarkably neat in the management of one of his farms, which he kept in his own hands, that he was admired for it both by strangers and neighbours. One of his cleanly actions was, that he obliged his boy or man servant every morning and evening to clean his cowhouse before the maid milked, in order to free her from the danger of a foul milk by the cows dirty bags. The same good management is carefully put in practice in the great cow-houses near London, as well as in many little ones elsewhere; else what a sad condition must the many things be in that are made with milk. These cases may plainly shew the value of a cleanly skilful dairy-maid servant; and such a one I send to any gentleman or lady, that thinks fit to write me a proper order, and they may depend on having none but a true Vale-bred one, that understands the making of butter and cheese, &c. &c.
The cleanly Kudnal Dairy-maid's Account how she preserves her Cream sweet all the Summer.--She says, that she boils her earthen glazed pots, and shifts the cream twice a day out of one into another; and after one pot has stood on the other to drain the cream, she wipes the remainder off with her fingers. And every time, if she goes ten times a day into the cellar, she stirs her cream to keep it from clotting and souring; which it generally does, if not served in this manner. She also says, that every now and then she flings water down the cellar to keep it cool, and where there is no well or current, she, to carry it off, mops it up.
The Character of a certain sluttish Maid-servant.--This servant-maid, who lived with a very rich farmer in a parish about four miles from Gaddesden, whose family consisted only of the master, the maid-servant, the plowman, and the boy horse-keeper, would brew three bushels of malt at a time for only small-beer; yet, being a slut, besides an ignorant brewer, the beer was generally fox'd and ropy: And the wheat dough being over-water'd in summer, the bread was commonly so ropy that it might be parted in strings, and mouldy; for she usually baked six or seven half-peck loaves at a time, to save her the trouble of often baking for her small family. Her pasties were made exceedingly large, with the same dough the bread was made of, and only a handful or two of chopt apples, rinds and all, in each pasty. Her bacon, which was their chief food, had no herbs nor roots boiled with it, because the master would not allow them, lest they should prove a sauce, and cause them to eat more of it than ordinary.
Cheese-making by a Widow in the County of Bucks.--This widow carries on the farming business, and keeps six cows besides horses and sheep. Of her cows milk she makes butter and cheese, which are sometimes good and sometimes bad. To account for this, I have to observe, that her grass ground lies very low, and is subject to be overflow'd with water in long and great rains, that naturally produces a rank sort of sour twitch or couch grass, and this the more for its being now and then dunged; which occasions her cheese curd sometimes to become so very soft as to make hove cheese; that is to say, cheese full of eyes or little hollows, that eats unpleasantly rank. Now to prevent these ill effects, when she finds her curd thus very soft, after it has been pressed about an hour or two, she takes it out and breaks it over again as small as she can; then new makes it into a cheese the second time, and puts it into the press, where she lets it remain a day or a day and a night. I am also further to observe, That when she makes a thin cheese in dry weather, the milk is then most free of the hoving quality, and therefore she does not break, make, and press it twice; for as her thin cheese weighs but about seven or eight pounds, the whey is soon dry'd out of it, and therefore less subject to be damaged by it. But when she makes a thicker cheese (as she sometimes does) she generally breaks, makes, and presses it twice, the better to clear it of the whey and prevent its hoving.--This case plainly shews, that it is the nature of the grass in a great degree, that governs the quality of the cheese. I therefore take this opportunity to acquaint any gentleman, whose grass ground lies very low, and is subject to these inconveniencies, that it may be improved by more than one way: It may be done by drawing off the water through subterraneous drains, or by sowing certain natural grass-seeds upon old grass ground, and throwing over it at the same time a particular compost of manure, that will certainly produce a most excellent sweet grass, and that a most excellent sweet butter and cheese. Which secret I am ready to communicate on a proper order.
To make a scalded Cheese.--Put two quarts of cream to six gallons of new milk, then put rennet to it for winter cheese; let it stand till it comes even, then sink it as long as you can get any whey out; then put it into your vat, set it in the press, and let it stand half an hour: In this time turn it once. When you take it out of the press, set on the fire two gallons of the same whey; then put your cheese into a large bowl or bucket, and break the curd as small with your hand as you do for cheese-cakes. When your whey is scalding hot, take off the scum; lay your strainer over the curd, and put in your whey: Take a slice and stir up your curd that it may scald all alike, putting as much whey as will cover it well; when it is cold, put in more hot whey, and stir it as before; then cover it with a linen and woollen cloth: Then set some new whey on the fire, into which put in your cheese vat, suter and cloth; and after three quarters of an hour take up the curd, and put it into the cheese vat, as fast as two persons can work it in: Then put it into the hot cloth, and set it into the press; after a while turn the cheese, and keep it in the press with turning till the next day; then take it out and salt it.
To make toasted or melted Cheese eat savoury.--Cut pieces of quick, fat, rich, well-tasted Cheshire or other good cheese into a dish of thick beaten melted butter, that has served for asparagus, pease, boiled sallet, or gravy, and if you will, chop some of the asparagus among it, or slices of gammon of bacon, onions, or anchovies, and all these in a mixture melt upon a chaffing-dish of coals, with good stirring, to incorporate them. And when all are of an equal consistence, strew a little white pepper over it, and eat it with toasts or crusts of white bread. You may scorch it on the top with a hot fire-shovel.
OF suckling Calves for weaning, with a Case of the same.--This article comes under the care of many farmers wives, maid-servants, and others, and therefore I have thought it material to write on it, and the rather, as this oftentimes proves a profitable branch in the farming business. There are two seasons in the year for weaning calves; one in September and October, and the other in April and May. In the first two months suckling calves require much attendance and cost, for they must be fed with milk-porridge good part of the winter, besides sucking the cow for a month or more, and with milk and water to drink. To this purpose they must first be learned to swallow it out of a bowl or little tub, by putting the fingers into its mouth, and forcing it into the liquor, which by a little custom it will take of itself. I knew a farmer's wife wean two calves after this manner; the last was begun with about Michaelmas 1746, and for maintaining it well, her husband sent four bushels of oats at a time to the mill, to be made into oatmeal for this last one calf, which made one of her neighbours say the toll was more than the grist. For my part, I don't practise winter weaning, but commonly begin it in April or May, when (if I don't wean my own calves) I can buy a couple of calves about a week old, at Leighton great market in Bedfordshire, for six, eight, or ten shillings; and as grass is then firm and growing apace, I can give them milk enough; and after I have suckl'd and brought them to drink milk, or milk and water out of a bowl, which they will do in a month or six weeks time, I turn them (if the weather is agreeable) out about noon into some grasing ground, and when they have been here three or four hours, I house them, and after three or four times serving them thus, I turn them out to grass for good and all, where plenty of water is. In this cheap manner I wean my calves without any cow near them; and once I did it without giving the calves any water at all, the juice of the grass sufficed to quench their drought, and they did well. Next winter they will live on oat straw, or better on clover, or natural hay, for good keeping is not lost here. The better a calf is kept, the sooner it will take bull, therefore some to make a calf the more forward in growth, will give it skim milk at its weaning, wherein is first stirred some wheatmeal, barleymeal or oatmeal, and for obliging the calf to eat it, they will keep its mouth a little open with their fingers of one hand, and by bending its head to the meat with the other hand, it will soon be brought to take it of itself, and thrive a great pace. And if horsebeans, pease or oats, and the best of hay, are bestowed upon it the next winter, it will be a year forwarder in bulk and height of body than a straw-fed one.
Weaning a Calf at Christmas.--A farmer's wife having a great desire to wean a calf from a favourite cow, though calved at Christmas, she weaned it at three days old, for it was her opinion a calf could not be weaned too young. First she put her fingers into its mouth, and forced its head into a bowl of new milk for sucking it the first fortnight; then she gave it milk-porridge for three weeks, at the end of which it would eat hay and drink itself. The milk was given warm from the cow, and the milk-porridge (which was made with skim milk) she gave it always blood-warm. By this management she saved cream to make butter, and brought up her calf besides; but take care not to buy a drove calf to wean, for these are generally so beaten and fatigued, that they are either runted or die, but always buy those that are never drove, and has its four teats stand well; neither let it be a heifer's calf, for this will make but a puny cow.--Some give whey to drink in weaning.
Weaning a Calf in April.--Another weaned his calf in April, by forcing its mouth into a bowl or tub of new milk for the first fortnight, and then turn'd it to grass with a trough of water by it, but every day for a fortnight longer he gave it skim milk morning and evening, after which it was left to shift for itself; and if it is a moist time, and there be grass enough, it will do well without water.--An old neighbour of mine, a tradesman, owner of a pretty large orchard, bought in two calves to wean, that were hardly a fortnight old, and turn'd them directly into his orchard, without setting any thing but water by them, and they did well.--Always wean calves forward in March or April, and they will stand the winter the better if no hay is given them, for they will live on good straw if it be of the oat sort, or indeed any other. The next summer they will live on a common, by feeding on the long sour grass that grows among the fern, which the sheep won't eat.
Weaning Calves in Cheshire and Lancashire.--If a calf falls in January, February, or March, some wean at a week or twelve days old, at which time they begin to teach it to drink, by putting a finger in the calf's mouth, and with the left hand thrusting its head down into the pail, when the calf laps its tongue about the finger as if it would suck, and so fetches up the milk. And after a few times thus doing, the calf will drink of itself very eagerly in good new milk from the cow till a month old. Then they mix oatmeal with skim milk, and give it blood-warm, and as the calf grows older, more oatmeal and less milk; but in cheese time they give it whey instead of milk and oatmeal, and continue this two or three months, with good grass in the day, and fine hay at night, says Mr. Houghton.
Of suckling and fatting Calves for the Butcher.--This work likewise in many farms is carried on by farmers wives, or maid-servants, as well as the business of dairies is, and many times (when veal sells dear) to a greater advantage than making butter and cheese, especially if it happens to be in the reach of London, for sending their fatted calves dead or alive, and this for more reasons than one.--As first, where water is scarce and bad, a butter-dairy cannot be rightly managed, because on plenty of good water very much depends the sweetness of the utensils, cream, butter, and cheese. Secondly, where few cows and few hands are kept, suckling of calves may be easier managed than making of butter and cheese. Thirdly, where a person lives remote from a market town, and has not a ready conveniency of selling butter. If he lives within forty miles of London, he may perhaps suckle and fat calves in a cheaper manner, and be at no other trouble than buying them in, suckling them, and delivering them fat to the butcher, who generally buys and fetches them away from the gentleman's, the yeoman's, or the farmer's house, to kill for a London market. For my own part, after I have fatted and sold off the calves that fall from my own cows, I send to Leighton market, where they are every week exposed to sale on a Tuesday in great numbers throughout the year; and there I buy them as I want them. And it is to this market, farmers and others come above thirty miles an end, to carry cart loads of calves away to suckle for a London market. And for fatting them with the greater expedition, they have all necessary conveniency. For which reason, and for their skilful management, they are justly accounted in Essex the best suckling calf farmers in England: For here most of them have their calf apartments or penns made with oaken planks laid on joists with a little descent, with large holes in them, by which the piss runs presently off into a deep hollow place, so contrived as to receive much of it. And it is on this account, that they are not obliged to consume much straw; for in the summer time they use little or none, because the planks are presently clean'd from the dung, and they seldom put above three or four calves at most in one of these apartments at a time; each apartment having a rack in it for straw or hay, and a trough for holding powder of chalk or some agreeable food. Suckling calves must not be confined in too close a place, nor in too large a one. If they lie too close, they are apt to heat one another and breed lice, which will assuredly hinder their thriving: And if they have too much room, they will frisk about and play away their flesh; for which last reason some tie each calf to a ring in a post by a swivel collar, to prevent its roaming. But as few farmers have the conveniency of calf penns made with oaken planks, what must they do that have none? Why then they should lay a foundation of faggots, and upon these faggots wheat straw, a little at a time, once or twice a day; for such fresh straw will prove an additional help to the calves fatting, by preventing their breeding lice, and inviting them to eat its thrashed ears; but then such a calf penn should be thoroughly clean'd out at every week's end, by carrying away all the dung and litter, and laying fresh straw in its room. But besides all this, there should be two or three large pieces of chalk, as big as a man's head, hung by cords in each penn, for the calves to lick at their pleasure; and also a trough that should stand two feet from the ground and is three feet long, for holding in it powder'd chalk, or corn, as aforesaid; for this mineral we account is of a binding and whitening nature, therefore perfectly necessary to create an appetite and prevent their scouring. And for hitching out and saving milk, some hang now and then a wisp of hay before them. Others give them oatmeal finely sifted, or wheat-flower mixt with a little salt, or barley meal, or white pease slitted. And now, supposing these necessary conveniencies to be in order, the next thing I have to offer is the method of suckling calves.
The Method of suckling Calves as practised by this Author.--There are two sorts of calves that I suckle, one sort that falls from my own cows, the other that I buy (as I said ) at market. As to the first sort, as soon as it falls from the cow, we strew a handful of salt over all its body, to be taken by the cow as she licks her calf, which we think tends to her health, and causes her to glean the sooner. When the cow has calved, we generally let the calf suck what it will, and milk the cow besides, giving her the milk to drink, and for two days after water made luke-warm. As to the calf, we let it lie with the cow the first night and day, and while the maid is milking one side, she lets the calf suck on the other: For by this the cow gives down her milk the freer, and therefore the maid continues this practice all the first week, and throughout the next she allows the calf short of a bellyfull, because their nature is too weak to be gorged with a full quantity of milk till they are about a fortnight old, and then they should not want what they can suck. This management is strictly observed by nice suckling farmers, not so much for saving the milk to give the more of it to older calves, but because if a very young calf should be over-charged with milk, it would be in great danger of scouring, and that so violently, as can't be easily nor readily stopt, and then the calf grows lean and sometimes dies.--Others give the cow, for the first drink after calving, a pail of water, wherein a small shovel-full of hot ashes are put, for their taking off the rawness of it, and for giving it a due warmth to prevent the cow's catching cold. And for the better preventing it, I not only observe to do after one of these ways, but also throw a handful of barley or wheat-meal, or bran, over the first pailful of cold water that I give the cow, and do the same a second time if I see occasion: For many cows have been lost by letting them drink cold water too soon after calving.
To cure a suckling Calf of its scouring.--Some to do this let the calf go into some grasing ground with the cow, and it sometimes stops the looseness, but this is what I never practise. I always cure it in the calf-penn. If we find a calf begin to scour, the next time of suckling we allow it very little milk, and mix a little powder'd chalk with some salt: Of salt, as much as will lie on a shilling: Of chalk, as much as will fll a small tea-cup. This my maid rubs on the roof of the calf's mouth, and leaves it. Others put it down the calf's throat as far as they can. Some do it before the calf sucks, others after; and if this is begun and repeated in time, if clean wheat straw is twice a day given it, and the calf is not too close confin'd in summer time, it seldom fails of a cure; but if this does not do, we have recourse to a stronger remedy, that is to be made thus:--Knead a little brandy, verjuice, wheat-flour, and powder'd chalk together, and give the calf two crams of it, each made about the bigness of a man's little finger, as soon as it is done suckling, and pour a little milk after them. Others therefore will give the crams before the calf sucks, that they may the better be wash'd down.--Calves can't lie too cool in summer, nor too warm in winter; but in both seasons be sure to allow them fresh wheat straw often enough, for this, with a convenient lying, tends very much to keep them from being louzy and scouring. Not but that a little scouring, if it last not too long, will contribute to whiten the calf's flesh; and to this end some put fuller's earth always before them to lick, as well as pieces of soft fat chalk. It would likewise be a good piece of husbandry, where a plank floor with holes in it is wanting, to lay a foundation of great pieces of chalk; for if the place is bare of straw, the calves will be apt to lick the ground, redden their flesh, and lose their appetite by it. Chalk prevents it.
Of bleeding suckling Calves.--Of this I the rather write, because of the different practice made use of on this account. Some are right and some are in the wrong of it, and therefore many calves disappoint their owners hopes of fattening them, when they bleed them too often, or when they take too much blood at a time away; both these extremes lessen the calves appetite, and backward their fattening. On the contrary, when they are discreetly bled, the first time at five weeks old, and again at 7, and killed at 8, they will thrive the faster and die the whiter, particularly in their fat part.--Two neighbouring farmers, that sold their fat calves at Smithfeld market, bled their calves at different times; one about a week before the calf went away, and again two days before its sale: The other bled his calf for the first time at a month's age, and again just before it was carried to market. A calf has such a large neck vein, that it may be blooded by a penknife or struck with a fleam, or a bit of his tail-end may be cut off. --A cow-calf having a smaller vein than a bull-calf, a less fleam will serve to bleed it, nor does a calf that is naturally white require so much bleeding as a redder one; which two qualities may be partly distinguish'd by the eyes and mouth.--Always cord before bleeding, and pin up.--Bleeding a calf in the neck makes a lean shoulder, which is prevented by cutting off a little bit of the tail, to take near half a pint away, and tie it afterwards with an end: Yet some tie it not, but let it go as it is.
Of cramming Calves.--This is what has been much in practice with some farmers, in winter time especially, when milk is scarce, in order to make a little go the further. But my notion is, that this necessitous way rather reddens the calf's flesh than whitens it, because no artificial feed comes up to the natural milk: However, as necessity may engage the practice, I have to say that there are many sorts of invented crams to be given fatting calves. But no author, that ever I read or heard of, makes any difference in the time of year of giving these crams, but I do; by saying, that a summer cram ought not to have any spirits mix'd in it, because they will be apt to heat and sweat the beast too much, when in winter they may be necessary. Therefore for a summer cram mix fine wheat flower with the finest flower of oatmeal, or with the finest flower of pale malt, and with milk knead it into crams about the bigness of a man's finger; and begin with only giving the calf two about an hour before suckling in a morning, and the same at night, increasing the number of crams as you see occasion. But for a winter cram, begin to make them for the first very weak, by putting very little brandy or gin in a mixture with the finer wheat flower and milk or cream, and give them as before; and as the age of the calf comes on, increase your quantity of ingredients.--Or you may grind white pease and sift their meal fine, which mix with fine flower of pale malt and fine powder of chalk: These three knead into a dough with milk, and make crams to be given as aforesaid in summer; but in winter mix anniseed water, gin or brandy with them, and observe not to begin cramming too soon; at a month old is better than a fortnight. If crams are judiciously prepared, and rightly given to a suckling calf, it is, in my opinion, possible to save half the quantity of milk that otherwise must have been suck'd by it. But instead of these mixt crams, my maid cracks an egg and thrusts it as deep down the throat as she can in the midst of its suckling, and then directly suckles it again; and sometimes, when eggs are cheap and milk scarce, she gives two or three eggs immediately after one another, shells and all, for these are a cool food and nourish much.
To make a Calf suck that has lost its Appetite.--For this we make no more to do, than to take a little salt between the two fore fingers and the thumb, rub the palate of the calf's mouth with it over night, and it seldom fails to suck heartily next morning.
How long Calves ought to be suckled for the Butcher.--One certain time for suckling all calves can't be rightly adjusted, because of the several incidents attending the undertaking. For example: Some farmers suckle calves of the butcher's providing, for two shillings and six pence a week in summer, and three shillings in winter. Others buy them in on their own account, to suckle for a chance market, either for a London or country one. If for a London one, then a calf should not be suckled less than nine, ten, or twelve weeks. If for a country one, six or seven often proves sufficient; for at Smithfeld they give the largest price, and require the largest and whitest calves; but in the country markets lesser and coarser veal will go down at a lower price. This I write at the distance of thirty miles from London. But to go further, I have to say, that many calves are killed in the country at six weeks old, and sent to London by the higler, for as in that metropolis there are poor and rich, they must have meat accordingly; and this is the poorest and cheapest veal that is so sent, some calves going with the cow in the field from the time of its falling to its killing, others are suckled in a house, and both employ considerable numbers of butchers and higlers within forty or fifty miles of London, who get most of their livelihood by it: Which leads me to make some observations on veal.
Observations on the Goodness and Badness of Veal.--Veal, says a physician, is temperate and tender, though sometimes waterish; if it is thoroughly roasted, it affords good juice, is of a pleasant taste, and yields a thicker juice than lamb or mutton: But there is more to be said on the account of veal than what this physician writes. I say, that it is the practice of many cow-keepers to suckle the largest and fattest of calves for a London market, even till they are twelve or more weeks old, and in this time to bleed them often, and the night before they are carried to Smithfeld to bleed them excessively; insomuch that I have seen several in London streets that could not hold being drove to the butcher's, but fainted and fell down by the way. Now such old rank flesh in the first place must be very coarse-grained, as being part beef and part veal: And in the second place, it must eat very dry, for want of that gravey which was exhausted by frequent bleedings. A calf therefore that has been constantly housed, been bled but once or twice at most, and kill'd at six or seven weeks old full fat, will prove by far the sweetest veal. To which I add, that there are two other sorts of veal brought to some markets: One sort is, that from calves always let run in the field with its dam-cow for a month or more; this sort is red, coarse, and cheap. There is also another sort suckled in the house, but killed at five or six weeks old, to give the owner the greater benefit of his milk for making butter; of this last, as they are generally those calves that fall at thirty, forty, or fifty miles from London, the butcher is forced to employ many white cloths to wrap the quarters in, for absorbing the bloody moisture, that is apt to ouze out of the flesh in such a long confined carriage in hampers by the waggon. This, with first soaking the flesh in cold spring water before, to make it look white when it comes to London, extracts the gravey and hearty valuable part of the flesh in a great degree, and leaves it an insipid flabby veal. But no matter, says the suckler and butcher, what the flesh is, so we get the more money by it; which made one say, he never doubted being master of white calves flesh, provided he bled it at a fortnight old, and the same a fortnight after, and so on, till the creature has been blooded perhaps four or more times; and as the last bleeding is done the day before the calf is killed, it is bled till it pisses or dungs before it is pinned up, but then what must the flesh be?--In Cheshire and several other parts of the North, where they carry on large cheese and butter dairies, they get rid of a calf as soon as they can; and therefore sell some at a fortnight old for four or five shillings a piece to the butcher, and seldom ever keep one above three weeks; but whenever any calf is killed, the butcher seldom fails of blowing it, for making the flesh the larger and fairer to the buyer's eye, and to give it the whiter colour, when the calf is flayed, he will lay the whole carcase in cold water or in wet cloths for several hours, or a whole night; others only joints.
Of Cows hoving or what some call swelling, by their eating Clover-Grass, or Rapes, or Turnip Tops.
HOW the Care and Inspection of Cows belongs to the Country Housewife.--It is certain, that great part of the inspection and management of cows belongs to the country housewife and her maid-servants, where they carry on a dairy, and commonly where they suckle calves to fat for the butcher; for as these milk them morning and evening, they have an opportunity to espy the cause and beginning of distempers, and in some cases to administer medicines for the cure of the same, while the master and men-servants seldom do more than give them provender and clean their stalls; besides which, when the master and his men are abroad, the dame and her maid are generally at home, ready to assist or get assistance, if any extraordinary event should happen to the cows, an example of which take as followeth.
Of preserving the Health of Cows, and of Remedies when they are sick or hurt.--It is a maxim in physick, that diseases may be prevented when they cannot be cured; therefore the first thing I have to advance on this account is, that something be given to a cow by way of antidote for keeping her in health, preventing future diseases, and causing her to give pure milk, and a due quantity of it. This piece of good husbandry is so little regarded by most people, that very few have any notion of it, and therefore let their cows take their chance, as if there was no such thing to be done. Hence proceed those fatal distempers, the murrain, the garget, the blain, the yellows, and many other foul maladies incident to these most serviceable creatures, merely for want of timely applications and remedies. While I am writing this very account, I hear that one of my neighbours cows has got the garget in her bag to that degree, as obliges the owner to send for the same cow doctor he did once before from Ivinghoe-Arson, who by a well composed drink cured her, though she was then like to have died; whereas, had a good drink been given her presently after calving, this misfortune had not happened.
A Drink to be given a Cow presently after Calving.--As soon as a cow has calved and lick'd her calf, we stay a little from milking her to see if she will glean, which some cows will do in an hour or two's time; but if she exceed this, we commonly milk her, and give her the milk to drink, as I said before, which some will take, and some will refuse. Some cows again that go to grass are so full of milk, that they must be milk'd a little before they calve, else their bag will be in danger. However, the water she has for the first two days we give milk-warm, with a handful of bran or barley-meal strew'd over it; and this we do, let it be summer or winter, for it has been the death of some cows to drink cold water presently after calving, except it be those that always lie at grass and calve in the field, for these are not in so much danger as a cow that is housed now and then. The third day after calving I give three pints of piss out of a horn to a cow, and about a week after repeat the same; for this cleanses her body and blood, creates an appetite, and prevents the breed of diseases, and is so cheap and safe an antidote that none can object against it; and for giving it, one man must gripe her nostril with one hand, and hold the horn with the other hand, while another opens her mouth with his hand, and pours down the drink with the horn. Or you may make use of the following drink.
A Soot Drink to preserve a Cow in Health all the Year.--Get half a pint of pure fine wood soot, and mix it with half an ounce of diapente and a quartern of fresh butter. The soot and diapente must be first boiled about a quarter of an hour in three pints of strong beer or ale, and when it is half cold, dissolve a quarter of a pound of fresh butter in it, and when the drink is blood-warm, give it the cow well mixed; and for the greater assurance, you may repeat this drink a week or fortnight after. N. B. The diapente is a cheap powder, and is sold at most apothecaries shops in town and country. There are several other compositions that might be made to answer somewhat of this purpose; but as I have proved both these several times, I recommend them, especially the last, as a most safe and efficacious drink.
A Drink to make a Cow glean.--It was the practice of a Vale dairy-man to heat two quarts of buttermilk, and while it was heating, to stir into it one ounce of treacle, and one ounce of flower of brimstone, and give it out of a horn a little more than blood-warm.
A second Drink.--A cow-keeper near London, that keeps above two hundred cows, gives bruised parsley-seed in ale, to make a cow cast her glean.
A third Drink.--Give some flower of brimstone in wort, and some diapente in it; one ounce of each powder in this or ale.
A fourth Drink.--Make a quarter of a pound of soap into a lather in a quart of warm ale, and it will bring it away in one hour's time. But this receit to make a cow cast her glean must be cautiously made use of, for it is of so slippery a nature that it may cause her bearing to come out; and then this remedy will be far worse than the retention of her glean.
A fifth Drink.--Mix one ounce of flower of brimstone with a quart or three pints of warm ale, wort, or milk, and as much powder of white pepper as will lie on a half-crown, and give it out of a horn. This is a very good receit to make a cow glean, and is also very proper to give to all cows the same or the next day after calving.
Of the ill Effects that attend the gleaning of Cows.--An author that writes a book of this kind, and never owned a cow, must be obliged to compose such a work either by collections from what others have wrote before, or by hear-say; in either case he is liable to lead persons into very detrimental errors. It is true, I have in this and former treatises presented my readers with several receits to expedite a cow's gleaning but I here give cautions with them, a strong cow and a weak cow are both subject to suffer in gleaning, by that fatal malady that some call withering, that is to say, her bearing comes out behind, and when this happens, the cow is near spoiling. Now this misfortune may be occasioned naturally or accidentally; naturally, when a cow has calved a larger calf than ordinary; accidentally, when she has got a cold, or by having too strong and forcing a drink given her to forward her gleaning, or by drinking cold water too soon after calving. But these are not all the ill effects that attend calving cows; for if a cow is not carefully watched when she has calved, she may eat her glean, as most cows are prone to do. When cows calve at grass and eat their glean, it is not of such ill consequence as when she eats it in a house; because the grass helps to purge it away; yet there is this evil attending it both at grass and in the house, that a cow may be choaked in eating it.--At Eaton in Bedfordshire there was a farmer's best cow at grass, that happened to calve in the field, and in eating her glean it choaked her; so that in the morning, when the owner came to see her, he had for his sight a dead cow, but a live calf: therefore we are sometimes obliged to sit up with a cow all night to watch, and take her glean away with a fork; and if part of her glean hangs down, as it often does, we put the stringy substance through the hole of a tile, to prevent its returning in again, and for bringing it leisurely away; for such substance must not be pull'd away hastily, if it is, it may cause the cow to suffer.
A safe Way make a Cow glean.--To avoid the ill effects that too strong forcing drinks may produce in causing a cow's bearing to come out, it is a common way to hold oats in straw over a fire; or in case you have no oats in straw, take clean oats and hold them in a sieve over a fire to be smoaked, and then give them to the cow to eat. This will oblige her to husk or cough, and strain, and thereby help to dislodge and bring away her glean in a safe manner.
How to cure a Cow that by straining has her Bearing come out behind.--When this is the case, it is to be returned into the cow's body by the help of moist warm bran, and warm cloths. Others mix new milk with powder'd linseeds for putting it up. But these will not do without the help of other means, for when the cow lies down, the bearing is apt to come out again; therefore when it is returned in, we sling her, so that her feet bear very little on the ground, and always keep her hind part higher than her fore part; by this and comfortable meat, some cows have recovered.
A knavish Trick that has been made use of to sell a Cow that withers, or has had her Bearing come out.--When this misfortune has happened to a cow that has a bulky body in tolerable flesh, it has put some knavish persons on a stratagem how to cheat a buyer at a fair or market, by selling him such a cow and calf; and to do it cleverly, they get a shoemaker's end, and stitch up her bearing behind, just before she enters the fair or market, and takes the first chap that bids money; for there are some so ignorant, as not to mistrust any such thing, and therefore make no inspection about the matter, but when the cow comes to stale, the bite too late is perceived.
The Case of a Buckinghamshire Gentleman's two Cows, whose Bearings came out; one died of it by wrong Management, the other was saved by right Management.--To cure the first cow, they made several attempts, but could not make the bearing stay in but a very little while, before she strained and forced it out again, notwithstanding they were an hour each time in putting it up; this so fatigued and hurt the beast, as made her bleed to death. After this, another of the same gentleman's cows was taken in the very same manner, upon which they employed another cow doctor, who, upon hearing how they had treated the last cow, said they had acted wrong. The first thing therefore that this called for was a sack, part of which he cut off; and when he had soaked her bearing in warm water long enough to make it slippery, he easily put it in, and sewed both ends of the sackcloth to the cow's skin, which had the desired success, by making her forbear to strain; for if she strained, it hurt her, and thus the cow was cured: Whereas the other sewed up her sheath with tape, but this did not prevent her bearing coming out again; not but that some cows have recovered of this malady by only moistening the bearing and returning it in, and have done well.--I knew a cow at calving twice had her bearing come down, and at last was fatted and sold to the butcher.
The Nature and Cause of a Cow's pissing bloody Water.--This disease is fatal if not stopt in a little time, because in a few days it turns to what we call the oak water, and then from being of a red colour it becomes of a blackish red, and generally kills. All authors have hitherto been deficient in assigning the causes and prevention of this malady, therefore many people are ignorant how to prevent it. It is chiefly caused by their feeding in the spring time on flashy grass, crop[p]ing the black thorn and some other shrubs. In some parts of Vales it is customary for cows not to be admitted grasing on commons till the 11th day of May; other grounds in June. Then if it is a wet spring, and grass grows apace high and flashy, the poorer sort of cows are apt to feed very greedily, so as to bring themselves under this distemper.
The Method that some take to prevent a Cow's pissing bloody Water.--Those persons that are aware of this evil take particular care to give their cows some hay, straw, or chaff, when they come off from a common or other ground in the spring time to be milked; for by giving her this dry meat, it absorbs moisture, and very much prevents the ill effects of flashy raw grass; and this some will practise in a dangerous season, to almost Midsummer.
The Cure for a Cow's pissing bloody Water.--My neighbour had one so bad of this disorder, that after applying several remedies they did no good, till one advised him to make use of this:--They got some shepherd's-pouch and cut it very small, bole armoniac and vinegar (the latter was about a pint and a half) which being boiled a little while all together, when cold enough they gave it to the cow, and it cured her. The herb shepherd's-pouch has a white flower, and grows in gravelly ground; it is a strong stopper of fluxes.
A second Receit for the same.--Some have put a live squab tame pigeon with its head foremost down the throat of a cow, and it has cured. Instead of her drinking cold water, give her but little, and that milk-warm, with ground malt or bran in it.--Some had rather see a cow piss blood, than a bloody water, as reckoning the first easier to cure than the last. A cow that has pissed bloody water has been cured in three hours time, by putting a large live frog down her throat.
A sure Cure for a Cow that scours.--Take half a pint of rennet for a strong cow; but if it is a weak one, give it only a quarter of a pint, mixt with some powder of chalk finely sifted, in a quart of ale or strong beer; and repeat if occasion.
How an ignorant Farmer, by suffering his Cow to drink Dunghill Water, had near kill'd her by the Scour.--This is the second farmer that I have known guilty of this error to their loss. Cows naturally affect to drink this black dunghill water, and to eat the long litter of a dunghill; and for this reason, I oblige my servants strictly to keep them from both, tho' when their common drink water is only a little tinctured with it, it is of no ill consequence, but on the contrary, in winter especially, it takes off the chilly raw nature of it, and prevents the belly-ach and gripes; but when their drink water is black, especially in summer-time, it generally swarms with lice, polipes, and other worms, water spiders, the spawn of frogs and water toads, and other monstrous insects that greatly breed and multiply in shallow and narrow receptacles of such foul filthy water, and which are unavoidably swallowed by cows that drink at it. Now as that may be prevented which cannot be cured, I here, by plainly shewing the case, tell my reader how that damage may not fall to his lot, which befell the farmer I am writing of, who was one that rented about sixty pounds a year, living not many miles from Dunstable in Bedfordshire, and who (not having the like misfortune before) did not take any precaution to avoid it, but let his cow drink of a nasty dunghill water till it scour'd, and bugs bred in her skin to that degree, that on hard squeezing of the knobs they bred in, they came out; others that were bigger they lanced, and took out many that were half as big as a caterpillar. In short, this black water had so corrupted and poison'd the blood of the cow, that they were forced to dry her at two months end after calving, in order to try for curing her.--Another farmer rotted a cow, by suffering her to drink mudgell-hole water; as did another by letting his cow have free access to the hogwash-tub.
How a Farmer presumptuously bought a scouring Cow, in Assurance of his curing and fattening her.--A farmer living near Charley-Wood by Rickmansworth was tempted to buy a cow that he knew run out, for the sake of the little money that he gave for her, with an intent to cure and fatten her; and he did both, by keeping her always in the house, and feeding her with oats, chaff, and hay.
To cure an inflamed snarl'd Bag or Udder of a Cow.--This for the most part happens presently after a cow has calved, when the bag will look red and angry, which if not cured may oblige the owner to have part of the bag cut off, or it may turn to the garget in the guts and kill the beast. For the cure of this, there are many receits; one is, to hold a piece of fat bacon between a pair of tongs made red hot, let it drop before the fire into cold water, and rub the cow's bag well with the grease that so drops out, which will cure, if the bag is gargetty.--This is the Cheshire method; but our Hertfordshire method is otherwise.
The Hertfordshire Method to cure a gargetty or inflamed Bag of a Cow.--This garget or inflammation commonly begins in one teat, which it swells and makes hard, then gets into another, and so to all the rest; next it takes the bag, which also becomes hard and swell'd: At last it takes the guts, and then the cow very likely dies; but this like other diseases, if a proper remedy is applied in time, may be easily cured. My maid every year makes a pot of adder's-tongue ointment, solely for this very use; it grows as before mentioned in my meadows, is known by its pecked stalk, somewhat in the shape of an adder's tongue, and is in its full virtue in August, when we gather it, cut it small, bruise it, and boil it with some butter as it is taken out of the churn, free of any salt; then we strain out the thin parts, and press out what remains in the thick herby part, and keep it in a glazed earthen pot all the year ready for our want; and when we want it, she rubs it soundly on the cow's teat or bag, which generally at once or twice using it disperses the humour, allays the swelling, and cures. For, thus made, it is a balsam that heals green wounds, bitings of venomous creatures, St. Anthony's fire, burns, scalds, hot tumours, aposthumes, spreading sores and ruptures, as a physician's character is of it.--Others take adder's tongue, melilot, and sellery stalks, and when they have been well bruised, they boil the juice up in fresh butter without salt.--Others boil the juice of rue and houseleek with that of adder's-tongue in butter; but the nicest way of all is, to stamp the adder's-tongue herb in a mortar, squeeze out its juice, and boil it up in butter or fresh lard, without any salt: But butter is best, because the lard may give an unpleasant tang to the milk, if it should be mixt with it as the cow is milking. Put the juice and butter into your saucepan together, and boil them for a quarter of an hour.
The Damage of suffering long Hairs to grow on a Cow's bag or Udder.--This article, as trifling as it may appear, is of no little consequence, because it is the ready way to cause a cow to become a kicker if neglected. A dairy-woman being with her husband on business at an inn in the town of Bedford, she saw the maid-servant in a sad confusion as she was milking her cow, as not being able to milk her quietly; upon this the woman said to the maid, go fetch me a pair of scissars, and I will engage you may milk your cow to your mind; the scissars being brought, the woman clips all the long hairs short that grew on her bag, and then the cow stood perfectly still.--This was never before taken notice of by any author whatsoever, yet how necessary it is, I leave my reader to consider, since this is the very cause why many cows are made desperate kickers, and if they are suffered to be accustomed to it, some will never leave it. It is therefore the part of a good country housewife to clip the hairs from off the cow's bag twice a year at least; that is to say, at spring and fall of the year. But without staying for time, it ought to be more especially done, when a cow has calved; for if the hairs are suffer'd to grow long (as sometimes they do if neglected, till they are as long as the cow's teats, and curl again) the calf cannot help lugging the hairs as well as the teats, and then the cow in course kicks the calf, and thus hinders it from getting a belly full of milk. Again, the cli[p]ping off hairs from a cow's bag is the more necessary to be done for preventing their lodging dirt, as some short-legged cows are obliged to travel in the dirt in coming home to be milked, because long hairs will take up and lodge much dirt, but whether such cows have long or short hairs on their bags, the milkmaid is obliged to wash them before they can be milked clean.