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prepared from the inner skin of a calf's stomach. The curds, after being cleared of the whey, are collected together, subjected to a strong pressure in moulds or bags, and then dried for use. That which gives the peculiar flavour to Cheshire and other cheeses is, I believe, chiefly, the quality of the pastures on which the cows feed. Besides this, I have understood that other materials, such as suet and colouring matter, are commonly added.
That which is accounted the richest of all English cheese, is the Stilton ; not made, however, at the place of that name, but in various parts of the midland counties.
It is not reckoned in its prime till it is two years old, and decayed, blue, and moist. But I am getting too far away from Gablesides, about which I can write with most safety to my readers. I will only, therefore, say, before I
return, that Parmesan cheese, made in Italy, is composed of a mixture of ewe's or goat's milk with that of the cow, and is much esteemed at the tables of the wealthy.
Our dairy contains stores of pickled pork, in capacious tubs; also sides of bacon in the brine, and hams destined for the chimney. I recollect, too, that we usually look for a dish of eggs there; and thus I am led to
The species of fowls which best reward man for his protection and supplies, are four ; turkeys, geese, common fowls, as they are called, and ducks.
Turkeys are natives of America, and were brought first to England in the middle of the 16th century. They are by far the largest; and, as some think, the finest birds used for food in this country. On account of the estimation in which they are held, and the price they consequently bear, they become objects of attention in many poultry-yards ; especially in Suffolk and Norfolk. At Christmas time, such supplies of these dainty birds are required for London that coaches are often loaded with them, to the exclusion of other passengers.
Turkeys are the most tender and difficult to rear of all our fowls; so that the money they fetch is sometimes scarcely a compensation for the trouble and their food. They must be fed, for some time after they are hatched, with a sort of pudding, made with milk and eggs. The hen turkey is by no means so good a provider, defender, and teacher of her young, as the common hen. When, therefore, num
bers are to be reared, those duties must be chiefly performed by man. When of sufficient age, grain and barley-meal will do for their food, without which, although they pick about for insects, they would not attain sufficient bulk or fatness for the table.
Common fowls, though disposed of at a common price, are more profitable, in general, than the rarer sorts, because they provide for themselves to a great extent. I think there are nearly thirty hens in the yard, with I know not how many broods of young
chickHalf as many turkeys would require a yardful of people to take care of them ; but these, though they need daily feeding, procure by far the greater part of their own subsistence by incessant assiduity. The hens are admirable and complete managers of their young, whom they provide for, teach, and defend, in the most competent manner imaginable. It is curious to observe the old hens, when they have discovered a particle of food, calling their brood around them, by a peculiar cluck, which the young ones well understand, breaking it for them with the bill, if too large, and standing by, perhaps hungry at the time, scarcely taking a grain for themselves. Then again as to fierceness
- deficient as the hen is in these qualities when herself only is in danger, she becomes a winged dragon for her young, not hesitating to attack, with successful fury, animals twenty times her superiors in strength.
Our hen-houses have boxes partitioned for the nests, and poles for the fowls to roost on at night, provided with a sort of stepladders by which the little ones may ascend,