Stillroom Cookery by Grace Firth


I came across this book a couple of years ago at a local book fair and paid three dollars for it. I am not one to normally spend money on anything other than to stock up on the things at the grocery store that we can't grow or raise ourselves. (Unless of course I am shopping for another cute animal and then you will find me spending that hard earned money!) This book, however, was money well spent.
Ms. Firth begins by explaining how the still room was used "back in the day" as a place to make all kinds of delicious foods and drink. She writes about making wine, beer, bread, vinegars, curing meats, dehydrating foods, fermenting, pickling, canning, preserving sweets and making cheese and other milk products.
This book was published in 1977 and Ms. Firth draws on the wisdom learned from her grandparents as well as the practice she received while living the good life in Alaska for a while. I love the fact that she approaches the book with simplicity and a desire to preserve a lot of the knowledge that we have lost with all our modern conveniences.
In the chapter on cheese, she talks about using clabber in the place of buttermilk and gives a number of recipes using clabber. She also gives a very similar recipe to the one that I use for making cottage cheese. However, she explains that the "old timers" called it Schmierkase and were offended if you inadvertently called it cottage cheese.
I highly recommend this book. It is filled with information and recipes and is a handy reference to those who love to live the simple life.

Comments

Diane said…
Neat! Oh please do tell us how to make cottage cheese. I love it that you've taught us the old ways to make cheese, since they didn't call up the Cheese Factory for help! Thanks for being my "cow mentor"!!!
Diane