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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1986

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HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

In this case the basins of each cow, for two days, would either be kept together or labelled. As soon as emptied, the pails should be scalded and every particle of milk washed out, and placed away in a dry place till next required; and all milk spilt on the floor, or on the table or dresser cleaned up with a cloth and hot water. Where very great attention is paid to the dairy, the milk-coolers are used larger in winter, when it is desirable to retard the cooling down and increase the creamy deposit, and smaller in summer to hasten it; the temperature required being from 55° to 60°. In summer it is sometimes expedient, in very sultry weather, to keep the dairy fresh and cool by suspending clothes dipped in chloride of lime across the room.

Times for Churning.—In some dairies it is usual to churn twice, and in others three times a week; the former produces the best butter, the other the greatest quantity. With three cows, the produce should be 27 to 30 quarts a day. The dairymaid should churn every day when very hot, if they are in full milk, and every second day in more temperate weather; besides supplying the milk and cream required for a large establishment. The churning should always be done in the morning; the dairymaid will find it advantageous in being at work on churning mornings by five o'clock. The operation occupies from twenty minutes to half an hour in summer, and considerably longer in winter. A steady, uniform motion is necessary to produce sweet butter; neither too quick nor too slow. Rapid motion causes the cream to heave and swell, from too much air being forced into it; the result is a tedious churning, and soft, bad-coloured butter.

Colouring.—In spring and summer, when the cow has her natural food, no artificial colour is required; but in winter, under stall feeding, the colour is white and tallowy, and some persons prefer a high colour. This is communicated by mixing a little finely-powdered annatto with the cream before putting it into the churn; a still more natural and delicate colour is communicated by scraping a red carrot into a clean piece of linen cloth, dipping it into water, and squeezing it into the cream.

Washing the Butter.—As soon as the butter comes, the milk is poured-off, and the butter put into a shallow wooden tub or bowl, full of pure spring water, in which it is washed and kneaded, pouring off the water and renewing it until it comes away perfectly free from milk. Imperfect washing is the frequent cause of bad butter, and in nothing is the skill of the dairymaid tested more than in this process; moreover, it is one in which cleanliness of habits and person are most necessary.

Butter Milk.—The operations of churning and butter-making over, the butter-milk is disposed of: usually, in England, it goes to the pigs, but it is a very wholesome beverage when fresh, and some persons like it; the disposal, therefore, will rest with the mistress: the dairy-maid's duty is to get rid of it. She must then scald with boiling water