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Curds and Whey


Milk 'turned' into a solid (curds) and liquid (whey) by the action of rennet (Acton 1845, etc).

Original Receipt from 'Modern Cookery for Private Families' by Eliza Acton (Acton 1845);

Rennet is generally prepared for dairy-use by butchers, and kept in farmhouses hung in the chimney corners, where it will remain good a long time. It is the inner stomach of the calf, from which the curd is removed, and which is salted and stretched out to dry on splinters of wood, or strong wooden skewers. It should be preserved from dust and smoke (by a paper-bag or other means), and portions of it cut off as wanted. Soak a small bit in half a teacupful of warm water, and let it remain in it for an hour or two; then pour into a quart of warm new milk a dessertspoonful of the rennet-liquor, and keep it in a warm place until the whey appears separated from the curd, and looks clear. The smaller the proportion of rennet used, the more soft and delicate will be the curd. We write rhese directions from recollection, having often had the dish thus prepared, but having no memorandum at this moment of the precise proportions used. Less than an inch square of the rennet would be sufficient, we think, for a gallon of milk, if some hours were allowed for it to turn When rennet-whey, which is a most valuable beverage in many cases of illness, is required for an invalid to drink, a bit of the rennet, after being quickly and slightly rinsed, may be stirred at once into the warm milk, as the curd becoming hard is then of no consequence. It must be kept warm until the whey appears and is clear. It may then be strained, and given to the patient to drink, or allowed to become cold before it is taken. In feverish complaints it has often the most benign effect.

Devonshire junket is merely a dish or bowl of sweetened curds and whey, covered with the thick cream of scalded milk.

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