The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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around the butter, iron it with a hot iron; use it heated. Keep in a
cool, dry place.
To keep and choose fresh Butter.—Fresh butter should be kept in a dark, cool place, and in as large a mass as possible. Mould as much only as is required, as the more surface is exposed, the more liability there will be to spoil, and the outside becomes ran-sid. Fresh butter should be covered with white paper. For small larders butter coolers of red brick are now very much used for keep­ing fresh butter in warm weather. The coolers are made with a large bell-shaped cover, in the top of which a little cold water should be poured, and in summer time very frequently changed ; the butter mnst be kept covered. These coolers keep butter remarkably firm in hot weather, and are extremely convenient for those whose larder accommodation is limited. In choosing fresh butter, remember that it should smell deliciously and be of equal color all through; if it smell sour, it has not been sufficiently washed from the buttermilk, and if veiny and open, it has probably been worked with a staler or an inferior sort. When buying it in casks, you can test its goodness by unhooping it and trying it between the staves. To choose salt butter, plunge a knife into it, and if, when drawn out, the blade smells rancid or unpleasant, the butter is bad. Bad butter is inju­rious to the stomach and almost poisonous, disguise it as you may, and never allow it to enter into composition of any dish that appears on your table.
To purify rancid Butter.—Melt and skim the butter as you would for clarifying and then put into it some billets of toasted bread. In a few minutes the butter will lose its offensive smell, but the bread will become fetid. Or, use Darby's Profalectic fluid, by the direc­tions which accompany each bottle.
To cut Butter into Pats.—Lay the butter, already moulded, in ice water, then, when cold and firm, cut it with a sharp knife dipped in hot water, and throw the pats into a pan of ice water; then, when wanted, put on small plates.
How to make Butter to Resemble a Pine Apple in Form.— Centennial.—With a butter paddle make the butter in the form of a real pine apple, then take a silver teaspoon, dip the handle in hot water, then in cold ; while the spoon is warm and wet, scrape up enough of the butter around the side to form a fluted bar, then another all around; then above this make another row, not having them in the same line, and then continue to the top. It should be done on the butter plate and in extremely cold weather, otherwise it will melt and spoil.
To make Stacks of Butter for Ornament at Large Parties. —Centennial,—Make a stand of butter about 1 1-2 feet or higher on