Diane Prather

Diane Prather

Diane Prather: Say 'cheese!'


Diane Prather

Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.

— This week's column is very special because it features some very old recipes.

Today, most of us buy cheese at the grocery store, but this is how the late Mable Harness of Silt made "Cheese" years ago.

You need 3 gallons of milk fresh from the cow, which will be at 80 degrees. If you cannot get that much milk at one time, you can heat other milk to 80 degrees, but be sure the cream has been left in.

Dissolve 1/2 of a Rennet tablet in 1/4 cup of water. Also dissolve 1/4 of a color tablet in 1/4 cup of water.

Mix each tablet in the water separately and then add to the 80-degree milk. Let set for half an hour or until you can cut the milk in chunks with a knife.

Heat and stir all the time until it reaches 98 degrees.

Let set until the curds go to the bottom. Drain by putting cheesecloth in a colander. Salt to taste. Put the mixture on a press.

A press is made from a can with holes punched in it (to allow the liquid to drain out) and a lid. Line the can with a cheesecloth.

Put wood on top, where the lid is, except that the wood should be smaller than the lid so it will go down in the can. Weigh down with something heavy, such as a rock. The wood will go down as the cheese gets smaller.

This recipe yields about a pound of cheese, depending on the whey.

Add 4 tablespoons of butter, 3/4 teaspoon of soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Press down in a pan for two hours, in a warm place.

Add 2/3 cup of sour cream. Put it all in a double boiler and melt. Cook until clear, like honey. Pour into a buttered mold and cool. Age for at least two weeks before slicing, wrap in cheesecloth and Saran wrap. Age as long as you wish.

Butter coloring can be added for richer color.

"Hurd Mustard" is made from the following ingredients:

• 1/2 pound of 8 gram can mustard (Schilling or Coloman dried)

• 1/2 pound of 1 cup flour

• 1/2 pound or 1/2 cup sugar

• 1 tablespoon salt

• 1 tablespoon oil and butter

• 1 tablespoon chili powder

• 1 quart vinegar

Mix together. Let stand at least five days before using. Or bury underground in a manure pile for two years! (The recipe's contributor says the mustard is not good unless it stands for at least five days, but as for burying it in a manure pile, she doesn't know. It was written on the recipe when she got it).

Thanks for the old recipes. Now it's your turn. Send new or old recipes to me at Box 415, Craig 81626 or call 824-8809.


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