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The operation of churning is well known; and we have only to observe, that though churns have been constructed of different forms, they may all be reduced to two, the vertical and horizontal. The vertical, or pump-churn, as it is usually named, was probably the first thought of, and is nothing more than a tall wooden vessel, three or four feet high, narrow in proportion to its height, and straighter above than below, having a sort of piston or staff adapted to it, with a perforated head, by moving which up and down with the hands the cream is agitated, and the butter is at length formed. The utensil is sufficiently well adapted to the operation of making butter on a small scale, where the cream to be churned is the produce of a few cows only; but where dairying is managed on the great scale, and the quantity of cream large, the operation performed in this way is too tedious and laborious for general use, and methods have been contrived to expedite the process and abridge the labour. This is best done by means of the horizontal, commonly called the barrel-churn, which is a cylindrical vessel, close at both ends, and firmly fixed upon a stand, having a sort of rack or trundle adapted to it within, usually with four blades, and turned by a winch, or handle, placed on its axle, passing through the ends of the churn. By this machine as much cream may be churned in an hour, as could be done in ten or twelve by the common upright churn.
When the operation is properly conducted, the butter after some time suddenly forms, and is to be carefully
collected and separated from the buttermilk. But in doing this, it is not sufficient merely to pass off the milk, or withdraw the butter from it, because a certain portion of the caseous and serous parts of the milk still remain in the interstices of the butter, and must be detached from it by washing if we would obtain it pure. In washing butter, some think it sufficient to press the mass gently between the hands; others press it strongly, and frequently repeating the washings till the water comes off quite clear. The first method is preferable when the butter is made daily for immediate use from new milk or cream, because the portions of such, adhering to it or mixed with it, contribute to produce the sweet agreeable flavour which distinguishes
But when our object is to prepare butter for keeping, we cannot repeat the washings too often, since the presence of a small quantity of milk in it will, in less than twelve hours after churning, cause it sensibly to lose its good qualities.
The process of washing butter is usually nothing more than throwing it into an earthen vessel of clear cool water, working it to and fro with the hands, and changing the water till it comes off clear. A much
A preferable method, however, and that which we believe is now always practised by those who best understand the business, is to use two broad pieces of wood instead of the hands. This is to be preferred, not only on account of its apparently greater cleanliness, but also because it is of decided advantage to the quality of the butter, as the warmth of the hand always gives more or less of a greasy appearance ; and butter washed by means of the wooden flappers, as they are called, will always fetch at market a higher price than if the hand had been employed. The infuence of the heat of the hand is greater than might
at first be imagined. It has always been remarked, that a person who has naturally a warm hand never makes good butter.
After washing the butter, it should be cut and sliced in every possible direction, with a serrated or roughedged knife, in order to bring out from it the smallest hair, bit of rag, strainer, or any thing that may have chanced to fall into it. It is then to be spread in a bowl, and such a quantity of salt added as may be judged proper.
If the butter is to be used immediately, or kept only for a short time, a small proportion will be sufficient ; and in this state it is usually denominated fresh butter; but if it be intended to be long kept, or transported to a distance, an ounce or two of salt will be required to the pound of butter. The salt used in curing butter should be of the purest kind, well dried, and broken down, but not completely pulverised; and it must be so thoroughly worked in, as to be equally incorporated with the mass.
When butter is to be sold on the spot, or in the neighbouring markets, it is divided into rolls of a pound or half a pound; or into lumps of twenty-four ounces, called dishes in some parts of England ; but when it is to be kept or carried to a distance, quantities of eighty-four, fifty-six, or twenty-eight pounds, are put up together in casks, usually called tubs, firkins, and half firkins. When the butter has been sufficiently impregnated with the salt by lying spread out in thin layers sprinkled with it, and thoroughly wrought, it is to be then gently pressed into the tub or
tirkin, but which must not, however, be filled quite up, but room left at top to receive a layer of salt half an inch or an inch in thickness. In seven or eight days, the salted butter detaches itself from the sides of the firkin, shrinks, and occasions interstices. These, if allowed to remain, would injure the butter, by admitting the contact of the air. They are, therefore, to be filled up by a saturated solution of salt in water, or brine strong enough to carry an egg. The butter is then to be covered by a new layer of salt, and the head of the vessel put on.
Before the butter is put into the firkin, care must be taken that the latter be well seasoned, and this is to be effected by exposing it for two or three weeks to the air, and frequent washing. The readiest method is, however, by the use of unslacked lime, or a large quantity of salt and water well boiled, with which it should be scrubbed several times, and afterwards thrown into cold water, to remain three or four days till wanted. It should then be scrubbed as before, and well rinsed with cold water; and before receiving the butter, every part of the inside of the firkin must be carefully rubbed with salt. Indeed, the surest of all methods to preserve butter from spoiling, after it has been properly salted, is to keep it constantly immersed in a saturated solution of this substance.
HOW TO TURN BARREN LAND INTO GOOD
PASTURE AND MEADOW.
In one portion of the work I have already spoken of the best mode of grazing cattle, &c.; it may be here
worthy our attention to look into the best method of enriching the earth for meadow and pasture. This is done in two ways, viz., by watering and manuring it, and for this use, the lower the ground lies, so it be not subject to overflowings or too much wet, the better it is, and the sooner made good. Consider in the next place, what kind of grass it naturally produces, whether clear and entire, or mixed with that of worse growth; the first is the best ; but if it be of the worse sort, intermixed with thistles, broom, and offensive weeds, then grub and pluck them up by the roots, clearing the ground of them as well as you can ; then dry them, mix them with straw and burn them with the swarth of the ground, and spread the ashes upon it; then fold your sheep upon the ground for several nights, that their dung may increase its strength, and their feet trample up the grass ; then scatter it over with good hay-seeds, and go over them with a good roller, or beat them with a flat shovel, that they may be the better pressed into the ground to take root; then over these scatter hay or the rotting of hay under stacks, or the sweepings of the barn, or moist bottoms of any hay that has been good and is moist and of no other use; then spread on your manure, or horse-dung, man's ordure, or the dung of any beast, which, being thinned, and the clods well broken, let it lie till the new grass springs through it; but do not graze it the first year, lest the cattle tread it up, not having yet taken very good root; but mow it, that it may have time to come to perfection. And though the first year it may prove short and coarse, yet the second it will be fine and very long, and in great plenty; and dressing it thus but once in fifteen or twenty years, will continue it for good meadow and pasture, especially if in dry seasons you have water to