The Folklore Food Blog: Little Miss Muffet

 

Curds

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

The origins of Little Miss Muffet are lost to history. It appeared in print in 1805 and is rumored to originate as far back as the year 1604.
A tuffet is a low seat or a small grassy hillock or clump of grass that was used when milking a cow or goat.
Curds are a dairy product obtained by curdling (coagulating) milk with rennet or any acidic substance. This is a very basic method of cheese making. The first cheese was made long before recorded history.
Adding vinegar to milk drops the PH (potential hydrogen) causing the protein molecules to attract and become curdles. Mixing a base with an acid results in a chemical reaction called neutralization. Milk is slightly acidic making it the base, and vinegar is acidic.
When curds are strained from the whey, seasoned and shaped, it is called farmers cheese. Farmer’s cheese is great for grilled cheese sandwiches. The below recipe’s quantities are for learning purposes. To make enough farmers cheese for sandwiches use one gallon of milk and ¼ cup vinegar following the same procedure as the recipe.

The Little Miss Muffet project offers children a fun time, curdling milk.
Curds and Whey
Ingredients:
2 cups of whole milk
4 tsp. vinegar
salt to taste

1. In a sauce pan heat the milk to baby warm, then add the vinegar. Stir and watch it curdle. If the curds don’t seem to be forming, add an extra tsp. of vinegar.

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