Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cottage Cheese Balls

 As much as Melissa enjoyed playing Bryony, she found some of Munsonville’s Victorian foods difficult to stomach, especially when they appeared on her breakfast tray. Here is one that Melissa encountered during those initial breakfasts at Simons Mansion.

This recipe is from Miss Beecher’s domestic receiptbook: designed as a supplement to her Treatise on domestic economy.

Obviously, serving up cottage cheese in the nineteenth century was a little more complicated than it is today.

Cottage Cheese Balls

Let the milk be turned by rennet (see below) or by setting it in a warm place. It must not be heated, as the oily part will then pass off, and the richness is lost. When fully turned, put it in a coarse linen bag, and hang it to drain for several hours, till all the whey is out. Then mash it fine, salt it to the taste, and thin it with good cream, or add a little cream and roll it into balls. When thin, it is very fine with preserves or sugared fruit.

It also makes a fine pudding, by thinning it with milk, and adding eggs and sugar, and spice to the taste, and baking it. Many persons use milk when turned for a dessert, putting on sugar and spice. Children are fond of it.

To Prepare Rennet

1 stomach of a new-killed calf
1 teaspoon vinegar

Take the stomach of a new-killed calf, and do not wash it, as it weakens the gastric juice. Hang it in a cool and dry place 5 days or so, the turn the inside out and slip off the curds with the hand. The fill it with salt, with a little salt-petre mixed in, and lay it in a stone pot, pouring on vinegar, and sprinkling on a handful of salt. Cover it closely and keep for use.

From "Memories in the Kitchen: Bites and Nibbles From 'Bryony'"

All proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties.

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