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To Prepare Rennet


Take the stomach from the calf as soon as it is killed; do not wash it, but hang it in a dry cool place for four or five days; then turn it inside out, slip off all the curd nicely with the hand, fill it with a little saltpetre mixed with the quantity of salt necessary, and lay it in a small stone pot, pour over it a small tea-spoonful of vinegar, and sprinkle a handful of salt over it, cover it closely and keep it for use. You must not wash it; that would weaken the gastric juice, and injure the rennet. After it has been salted six or eight weeks, cut off a piece four or five inches long, put it in a large mustard bottle, or any vessel that will hold about a pint and a half; put on it five gills of cold water, and two gills of rose brandy; stop it very close, and shake it when you are going to use it: a table-spoonful of this is sufficient for a quart of milk. It must be prepared in very cool weather, and if well done, will keep more than a year.


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The Virginia Housewife (1860).

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