Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Dairy Products

That dastardly cooks mailing list has got me translating food recipes again.

Qimin Yaoshu has a few recipes for three dairy products.  One, 酪 lào means something like "curdled milk" and is a variety of yogurt based on the recipe.  The next, 乾酪 gānlào "dry lao" is something we don't have a good western analogue for, but is basically dried milk skins.  Ever make pudding and peel off the dried skin?  Like that.  Finally, we have a recipe for what is probably butter, 酥 sū.

It's interesting that the dry lao doesn't add salt, like I would expect for something intended to keep.  It's also pretty funny how specific the author is about using dung as your fuel.  Which you should be sure to gather ahead of time!

These recipes are in the middle of the chapter on raising sheep.  The recipe for lao actually starts off with a page or so on how and when to milk your livestock - they weren't killing calves or lambs it seems, so the timing on when to milk so as to not starve your young livestock was important.  This is not a dairy culture, but one that uses dairy incidentally.

The next paragraph after these recipes is treating scabies, so this is really pretty incidental it seems - it's not with the rest of the recipes for food.  More of a "well if you're gonna have cows and sheep, you might as well take advantage of them," it seems.

I haven't made these translations with the level of precision I'd like, but I think they're mostly uncontroversial.  I'll eventually go back and revise them to align more with the annotated versions I have.  The text is red, which means that Wikipedia thinks this is from our annotator, but I'm not sure.


作酪法:To Make Curdled Milk [Perhaps like Yogurt, or Kumiss]

捋訖,於鐺釜中緩火煎之——火急則著底焦。
After you have milked them [cows or sheep], take a cauldron over a slow fire and simmer the milk — if the fire is too hot you will scorch the bottom.
常以正月、二月預收乾牛羊矢煎乳,第一好:草既灰汁,柴又喜焦;乾糞火軟,無此二患。
Usually, during the first or second month, one prepares dry cow and sheep dung to simmer the milk, as it is the best: grass makes a grey ash-water, with wood it’s easy to scald, but dry manure makes a soft fire, and avoids these two illnesses.
常以杓揚乳,勿令溢出;時復徹底縱橫直勾,慎勿圓攪,圓攪喜斷。
Usually, one uses a ladle to stir the milk, not allowing it to overflow.  Stir it in straight lines vertically and horizontally, being careful not to agitate it circularly, as if you do it may snap.
亦勿口吹,吹則解。四五沸便止。
Neither should you blow on it, as it will then dissolve.  Bring it to the fourth or fifth boil and then stop [Chinese system to describe how hard of a boil - this is pretty hard].
瀉著盆中,勿便揚之。
Pour into a basin, and do not stir.
待小冷,掠取乳皮,著別器中,以為酥。
Let it cool a little.  Take the skin and put it into another vessel - this is su.
屈木為棬,以張生絹袋子,濾熟乳,著瓦瓶子中臥之。
Using bent wood as a stick, take a sheet of fresh juan [dense plain tabby silk] as a bag, and strain the cooked milk, and put it into an earthenware bottle to store.
新瓶即直用之,不燒。
If the bottle is new, use it directly, don’t heat it.
若舊瓶已曾臥酪者,每臥酪時,輒須灰火中燒瓶,令津出,迴轉燒之,皆使周匝熱徹,好乾,待冷乃用。
If the bottle is old, or used once for curdled milk, then every time you use it for milk you must heat it in the ashes of a fire, until it sweats, and rotate it as you heat it, so that it is evenly heated throughout, and very dry, and then once cooled you may use it.
不燒者,有潤氣,則酪斷不成。
If you do not heat it, and there is moisture, then the curdled milk will snap and not form.
若日日燒瓶,酪猶有斷者,作酪屋中有蛇、蝦蟆故也。
If you only dry the bottles in the sun, the curdled milk will snap all the same, or if there are snakes or toads in the room you make curdled milk in.
宜燒人髮,羊牛角以辟之,聞臭氣則去矣。
If you happen to burn hair, or cow or sheeps’ horn, the smell will be awful, so get rid of them.
其臥酪待冷暖之節,溫溫小暖於人體為合宜適。
As for the daily temperature variation of the curdled milk, lightly warming it to human body temperature is appropriate.
熱臥則酪醋,傷冷則難成。
If you keep it hot, the curdled milk will turn to vinegar, and if it is injuriously cold, it will have difficulty setting.
濾乳訖,以先成甜酪為酵——大率熟乳一升,用酪半匙——著杓中,以匙痛攪令散,瀉著熟乳中,仍以杓攪使均調。
After straining the milk, take freshly-made sweet curdled milk as a starter culture — at a rate of one sheng [~30 mL at this time in history] to one-half spoon of curdled milk — and stir the middle with a ladle.  Use a spoon to deeply stir it until it disperses, and pour it into the cooked curdled milk, still stirring until it’s evenly mixed.
以氊、絮之屬,茹瓶令暖。
Use something like felt or silk floss to keep the bottle warm.
良久,以單布蓋之。
After a good while, cover it with a single layer of cloth.
明旦酪成。
At sunrise, the curdled milk will be done.
若去城中遠,無熟酪作酵者,急揄醋飧,研熟以為酵——大率一斗乳,下一匙飧——攪令均調,亦得成。
If you are bringing it a distance into town, and have no finished curdled milk to serve as a starter culture, you may in a pinch draw out “vinegar dinner”, grind it well and use it as a starter — at a rate of one dou [300 mL] curdled milk to one ladle “dinner” — mix it evenly, and it will also work.
其酢酪為酵者,酪亦醋;甜酵傷多,酪亦醋。
As for the using of vinegar as a starter for curdled milk, the curdled milk will also be vinegary.  If sweet curdled milk is harmed in several ways, it will also be vinegary.
其六七月中作者,臥時令如人體,直置冷地,不須溫茹。
When you make this in the sixth or seventh month, when you store it make it like a human body [warm?], and then put it directly into a cold place - there’s no need for insulating wrapping
冬天作者,臥時少令熱於人體,降於餘月,茹令極熱。〉
When you make this in winter, store it a little warmer than a human body, and if below an extra-calary month, wrap it so that it is very warm.

作乾酪法:To Make Dry Curdled Milk:



〈七月、八月中作之。
Make this in the middle of the 7th or 8th months.
日中炙酪,酪上皮成,掠取。
Broil curdled milk in the middle of the day, and when a skin forms, remove it.
更炙之,又掠。
Keep broiling, and again remove it.
肥盡無皮,乃止。
When the fat is depleted and there is no skin, stop.
得一斗許,於鐺中炒少許時,即出於盤上,日曝。
Get about one dou [300 mL], stir-fry it in a pot for a little while, and then put it on a plate and dry it in the sun.
浥浥時作團,大如梨許。
Dampen it a little and form balls, about as big as a[n asian] pear.
又曝使乾。
Again sun them until dry
得經數年不壞,以供遠行。
They will last several years without spoiling, and will supply long journeys.
作粥作漿時,細削,著水中煮沸,便有酪味。
When making congee or broth, file them, add them to the boiling liquid, and it will have the flavor of curdled milk.
亦有全擲一團著湯中,嘗有酪味,還漉取曝乾。
You can also toss an entire ball into broth, and it will add the flavor of curdled milk, and then strain the ball out and dry it in the sun.
一團則得五遍煮,不破。
One ball will thusly supply five boils, without wearing out.
看勢兩漸薄,乃削研,用倍省矣。〉
If you see that the strength has reduced and thinned, then cut and grind [off the outside] and you can use it economically more times.

作漉酪法:To Make Strained Curdled Milk:



〈八月中作。
Do this in the middle of the 8th month.
取好淳酪,生布袋盛,懸之,當有水出滴滴然下。
Take good, pure curdled milk, and put it in a new cloth bag, hang it, and allow liquid to drip out.
水盡,著鐺中暫炒,即出於盤上,日曝。
When the liquid is exhausted, briefly stir-fry it in a frying pan, and then put it on a plate, and dry it in the sun.
浥浥時作團,大如梨許。
Dampen it a little and form balls, about as big as a[n asian] pear.
亦數年不壞。削作粥、漿,味勝前者。
They will last several years without spoiling.  Pare it into congee, broth, and the flavor will be better than before.
炒雖味短,不及生酪,然不炒生蟲,不得過夏。
Although the flavor is brief when stir-frying, and not as good as fresh curdled milk, if you don’t stir-fry it, it will sprout worms, and not last until the summer.
乾、漉二酪,久停皆有暍氣,不如年別新作,歲管用盡。〉
When dry, … [hard to translate, not really part of the recipe]


作馬酪酵法:To Make A Curdled Horse Milk Starter Culture:



〈用驢乳汁二三升,和馬乳,不限多少。
Use 2-3 sheng [60-90 mL] of donkey milk together with horse milk in any quantity.
澄酪成,取下澱,團,曝乾。
After making clear curdled milk, take the sediment from the bottom, form it into a ball, and air dry it.
後歲作酪,用此為酵也。〉
In a later year when you make curdled milk, use this as your starter culture.


抨酥法:To Stir Su [Butter?]:


〈以夾榆木椀為杷子——
Use an elm branch as a stick —
作杷法:割去椀半上,剜四廂各作一團孔,大小徑寸許,正底施長柄,如酒杷形——
To make the stick:  cut a branch off half way up, and on each of the four sides make a round hole, about one cun [~1”] in diameter, and attach an axe handle at the bottom, in the form of a wine-stick —
抨酥,酥酪甜醋皆得所,數日陳酪極大醋者,亦無嫌。
When stirring su, you may make it from su or curdled milk, sweet or sour.  Even laying out curdled milk for a few days until it becomes very sour you can still be without doubt.
酪多用大甕,酪少用小甕,置甕於日中。
If you have a lot of curdled milk, use a big weng [earthenware urn, sealed like you do a cast iron frying pan]; if you only have a little use a little weng, and put the weng in the sun.
旦起,瀉酪著甕中炙,直至日西南角,起手抨之,令杷子常至甕底。
At sunrise, pour the curdled milk into the weng and roast it, until the sun is in the southwest, start stirring, allowing the stick to often reach the bottom of the weng.
一食頃,作熱湯,水解,令得下手,瀉著甕中。
After a mealtime has passed, make a hot boiling water, [water dissolve?], start stirring and put it into the weng.
湯多少,令常半酪。
The hot water should be about half the volume of the curdled milk.
乃抨之。良久,酥出,復下冷水。
Then stir it.  After a while, the su will appear, and again add cold water.
冷水多少,亦與湯等。更急抨之。
The cold water should be about the same as the hot.  Again rapidly stir it.
於此時,杷子不須復達甕底,酥已浮出故也。
At this time, you don’t need to continue hitting the bottom of the weng with the stick, as the su has already appeared.
酥既遍覆酪上,更下冷水,多少如前。
The su should already cover the curdled milk, and again add cold water, the same amount as before.
酥凝,抨止。
When the su congeals, stop stirring.
大盆盛冷水著甕邊,以手接酥,沈手盆水中,酥自浮出。
Put a big basin of cold water at the edge of the weng, and use your hand to transfer the su, plunging your hands into the basin so that the su floats to the top.
更掠如初,酥盡乃止。
Again skim as before, until there is no more su.
抨酥酪漿,中和飧粥。
Put some dinner-congee into the broth left from making the su.
盆中浮酥,得冷悉凝,以手接取,搦去水,作團,著銅器中,或不津瓦器亦得。
Make the floating su in the basin cold to congeal, and use your hand to transfer it, press out the water, make it into balls, and put it into a copper/brass vessel, or a dry ceramic vessel works too.
十日許,得多少,併內鐺中,燃牛羊矢緩火煎,如香澤法。
After about ten days, take a few, combine them in a pot, and gently simmer them over a cow or sheep dung fire, like making perfumed hair cream / oil / fragrance
當日內乳涌出,如雨打水聲,水乳既盡,聲止沸定,酥便成矣。
That day, the milk inside will seep forth, and make a sound like raindrops.  The water-milk will eventually be exhausted, and when the sound stops and the boil stops, the su will be finished.
冬即內著羊肚中,夏盛不津器。
In winter store this in a sheep’s stomach, in summer store it in a dry vessel.
初煎乳時,上有皮膜,以手隨即掠取,著別器中;
When first boiling the milk, a skin will form on top - use your hand to pick it off, and put it into a separate vessel.
瀉熟乳著盆中,未濾之前,乳皮凝厚,亦悉掠取;
Pour the cooked milk into a basin, and before you finish straining, a milk skin will congeal.  Also take this.
明日酪成,若有黃皮,亦悉掠取:併著甕中,以物痛熟研良久,下湯又研,亦下冷水,純是好酥。
The next day, the curdled milk will be finished, and if it has a yellow skin, also take it: accumulate these in a weng, and carefully sift out the particles.  Add it to hot water and again sift, and then add cold water.  Purity makes a good su.
接取,作團,與大段同煎矣。〉
Take it, make it into balls, and simmer it like the rest.
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4 comments:

  1. Does the recipe for treating scabies involve dairy products also? I'm very curious now...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it recommends treatment by chewing up Phragmites root, letting it ferment in a warm jar for a few days, scraping off the scabs with a tile and applying the juice from the roots. Gross.

      Delete
    2. Hmmm. I don't know what phragmites is. Sounds interesting to me.

      Delete
    3. Phragmites communis (the specific plant mentioned) is the tall grass thing you see in degraded wetlands, like much of the NJ meadowlands: https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=phau7

      Delete

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