With a long knife her mother cut this solid milk into little squares. She let it sit while the solid curd separated from the liquid whey. Then she poured it all into a cloth and let the watery yellow coloured whey drain out.
When no more whey dripped from the cloth, her mother emptied the curd into a big pan and salted it turning and mixing it well.
Laura and Mary were always there, helping all they could. They loved to eat bits of the curd when her mother was salting it. It squeaked in their teeth.
Under the cherry tree outside the back door her father had put up the board to press the cheese on. He had cut two grooves the length of the board, and laid the board on blocks, one end a little higher than the other. Under the lower end was an empty pail.
Her mother put her wooden cheese hoop on the board, spread a clean, wet cloth all over the inside of it, and filled it heaping full of the pieces of salted curd. She covered this with another clean, wet cloth, and laid on top of it a round board, cut small enough to go inside the cheese hoop. Then she lifted a heavy rock on top of the board.
All day long the round board settled slowly under the weight of the rock, and whey pressed out and ran down the grooves of the board into the pail.
Next morning, her mother would take out the round, pale yellow cheese, as large as a milk pan. Then she made more curd, and filled the cheese hoop again.
Every morning she took the new cheese out of the press, and trimmed it smooth. She sewed a cloth tightly around it, and rubbed the cloth all over with fresh butter. Then she put the cheese on a shelf in the pantry.
Every day she wiped every cheese carefully with a wet cloth, then rubbed it all over with fresh butter once more, and laid it down on its other side. After a great many days, the cheese was ripe, and there was a hard rind all over it.
Then her mother wrapped each cheese in paper and laid it away on the high shelf. There was nothing more to do with it but eat it.
Laura and Mary liked cheese-making. They liked to eat the curd that squeaked in their teeth and they liked to eat the edges her mother pared (cut) off the big, round, yellow cheeses to make them smooth, before she sewed them up in cloth.