The transcriber trusts that the reader will not take any of the advice offered in this text.
Cook and Housekeeper's
Complete & Universal Dictionary
A system of Modern Cookery in all its various Branches, adapted to the use of Private Families.
Also a variety of Original & Valuable Information.
Baking Brewing Carving Cleaning Collaring Curing Economy of Bees —— of a Dairy Economy of Poultry Family Medicine Gardening Home-made Wines Pickling Potting Preserving Rules of Health
And every other Subject connected with Domestic Economy.
BY MRS. MARY EATON.
Printed & Published by J. & R. Childs
COOK AND HOUSEKEEPER'S
COMPLETE AND UNIVERSAL
A SYSTEM OF MODERN COOKERY,
IN ALL ITS VARIOUS BRANCHES,
ADAPTED TO THE USE OF
ALSO A VARIETY OF
ORIGINAL AND VALUABLE INFORMATION.
BAKING, BREWING, CARVING, CLEANING, COLLARING, CURING, ECONOMY OF BEES, —— OF A DAIRY, ECONOMY OF POULTRY, FAMILY MEDICINE, GARDENING, HOME-MADE WINES, PICKLING, POTTING, PRESERVING, RULES OF HEALTH,
AND EVERY OTHER SUBJECT CONNECTED WITH
BY MRS. MARY EATON.
EMBELLISHED WITH ENGRAVINGS.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY J. AND R. CHILDS.
NOTHING is more obvious, than that experience purchased by the sacrifice of independence is bought at too dear a rate. Yet this is the only consolation which remains to many females, while sitting on the ashes of a ruined fortune, and piercing themselves with the recollection of the numerous imprudencies into which they have been led, simply for the want of better information. Not because there is any want of valuable publications, for in the present age they abound; but rather because they contain such a variety of superfluous articles, and are too indiscriminate to become generally useful. A young female, just returned from the hymeneal altar, is ready to exclaim on the first perusal, as the philosopher did who visited the metropolis, 'How many things are here which I do not want!' The volume when purchased is often found to contain what is only or chiefly adapted to those who live in "king's houses," or "who fare sumptuously every day."
Indeed, it has been the failing of most works of this nature, that they have either been too contracted, or too diffuse; detailed what was unnecessary, or treated superficially what was in fact of most consequence to the great bulk of mankind. If it be objected to the present work, that it exhibits nothing new; that the experiments are founded upon the simplest rules of nature; that most of the things have been rehearsed in various forms; it is not necessary to deny or to conceal the fact, every other consideration having been subordinated to one leading object, and that is GENERAL UTILITY. It is but justice however to add, that many of the articles are perfectly ORIGINAL, having been extracted from a variety of unpublished manuscripts, obligingly and expressly furnished in aid of the present undertaking. A great number of outlandish articles are intentionally omitted, as well as a farrago of French trifles and French nonsense, in order to render the work truly worthy of the patronage of the genuine English housekeeper.
It may also fairly be presumed, that the superior advantages of the present work will immediately be recognized, not only as comprehending at once the whole theory of Domestic Management, but in a form never before attempted, and which of all others is best adapted to facilitate the acquisition of useful knowledge. The alphabetical arrangement presented in the following sheets, pointing out at once the article necessary to be consulted, prevents the drudgery of going through several pages in order to find it, and supplies by its convenience and universal adaptation, the desideratum so long needed in this species of composition.
Importance of Domestic Habits and Acquirements.
Though domestic occupations do not stand so high in the general esteem as they formerly did, there are none of greater importance in social life, and none when neglected that produce a larger portion of human misery. There was a time when ladies knew nothing beyond their own family concerns; but in the present day there are many who know nothing about them. If a young person has been sent to a fashionable boarding-school, it is ten to one, when she returns home, whether she can mend her own stockings, or boil a piece of meat, or do any thing more than preside over the flippant ceremonies of the tea-table. Each extreme ought to be avoided, and care taken to unite in the female character, the cultivation of talents and habits of usefulness. In every department those are entitled to the greatest praise, who best acquit themselves of the duties which their station requires, and this it is that gives true dignity to character. Happily indeed there are still great numbers in every situation, whose example combines in a high degree the ornamental with the useful. Instances may be found of ladies in the higher walks of life, who condescend to examine the accounts of their servants and housekeepers; and by overseeing and wisely directing the expenditure of that part of their husband's income which falls under their own inspection, avoid the inconveniences of embarrassed circumstances. How much more necessary then is domestic knowledge in those whose limited fortunes press on their attention considerations of the strictest economy. There ought to be a material difference in the degree of care which a person of a large and independent estate bestows on money concerns, and that of one in inferior circumstances: yet both may very commendably employ some portion of their time and thoughts on this subject. The custom of the times tends in some measure to abolish the distinctions in rank, the education given to young people being nearly the same in all. But though the leisure of the higher sort may very well be devoted to different accomplishments, the pursuits of those in a middle sphere, if less ornamental, would better secure their own happiness, and that of others connected with them. We sometimes bring up children in a manner calculated rather to fit them for the station we wish, than that which it is likely they will actually possess; and it is in all cases worth the while of parents to consider whether the expectation or hope of raising their offspring above their own situation be well founded. There is no opportunity of attaining a knowledge of family management at school, certainly; and during vacations, all subjects that might interfere with amusement are avoided. The consequence is, when a girl in the higher ranks returns home after completing her education, her introduction to the gay world, and a continued course of pleasures, persuade her at once that she was born to be the ornament of fashionable circles, rather than descend to the management of family concerns, though by that means she might in various ways increase the comfort and satisfaction of her parents. On the other hand, persons of an inferior sphere, and especially in the lower order of middling life, are almost always anxious to give their children such advantages of education as they themselves did not possess. Whether their indulgence be productive of the happiness so kindly aimed at, must be judged by the effects, which are not very favourable if what has been taught has not produced humility in herself, and increased gratitude and respect to her parents. Were a young woman brought to relish home society, and the calm delights of an easy and agreeable occupation, before she entered into the delusive scenes of pleasure, presented by the theatre and other dissipations, it is probable she would soon make a comparison much in favour of the former, especially if restraint did not give to the latter an additional relish.
If our observations were extended to the marriage state, we should find a life of employment to be the source of unnumbered pleasures. To attend to the nursing, and at least the early instruction of children, and rear a healthy progeny in the ways of piety and usefulness; to preside over the family, and regulate the income allotted to its maintenance; to make home the agreeable retreat of a husband, fatigued by intercourse with a bustling world; to be his enlightened companion, and the chosen friend of his heart; these, these are woman's duties, and her highest honour. And when it is thus evident that high intellectual attainments may find room for their exercise in the multifarious occupations of the daughter, the wife, the mother, the mistress of the house; no one can reasonably urge that the female mind is contracted by domestic employ. It is however a great comfort that the duties of life are within the reach of humbler abilities, and that she whose chief aim it is to fulfil them, will very rarely fail to acquit herself well.
The mistress of a family should always remember, that the welfare and good management of the house depend on the eye of the superior; and consequently that nothing is too trifling for her notice, whereby waste may be avoided. If a lady has never been accustomed while single to think of family management, let her not on that account fear that she cannot attain it. She may consult others who are experienced, and acquaint herself with the necessary quantities of the several articles of family expenditure, in proportion to the number it consists of, together with the value of the articles it may be necessary to procure. A minute account of the annual income, and the times of payment, should be taken in writing; likewise an estimate of the supposed amount of each item of expense. Those who are early accustomed to calculations of this kind, will acquire so accurate a knowledge of what their establishment demands, as will suggest the happy medium between prodigality and parsimony, without in the least subjecting themselves to the charge of meanness.
Few branches of female education are so useful as great readiness at figures, though nothing is more commonly neglected. Accounts should be regularly kept, and not the smallest item be omitted to be entered. If balanced every week, or month at longest, the income and outgoings will easily be ascertained, and their proportions to each other be duly observed. Some people fix on stated sums to be appropriated to each different article, and keep the money separate for that purpose; as house, clothes, pocket, education of children, &c. Whichever way accounts be entered, a certain mode should be adopted, and strictly adhered to. Many women are unfortunately ignorant of the state of their husband's income; and others are only made acquainted with it when some speculative project, or profitable transaction, leads them to make a false estimate of what can be afforded. It too often happens also that both parties, far from consulting each other, squander money in ways that they would even wish to forget: whereas marriage should be a state of mutual and perfect confidence, with a similarity of pursuits, which would secure that happiness it was intended to bestow.
There are so many valuable women who excel as wives, that it is fair to infer there would be few extravagant ones, if they were consulted by their husbands on subjects that concern the mutual interest of both parties. Many families have been reduced to poverty by the want of openness in the man, on the subject of his affairs; and though on these occasions the women are generally blamed, it has afterwards appeared that they never were allowed to make particular enquiries, nor suffered to reason upon what sometimes appeared to them imprudent. Many families have fully as much been indebted to the propriety of female management, for the degree of prosperity they have enjoyed, as to the knowledge and activity of the husband and the father.
Ready money should be paid for all such things as come not into weekly bills, and even for them some sort of check is necessary. The best places for purchasing goods should also be attended to. On some articles a discount of five per cent is allowed in London and other large cities, and those who thus pay are usually best served. Under an idea of buying cheap, many go to new shops; but it is safest to deal with people of established credit, who do not dispose of goods by underselling. To make tradesmen wait for their money is very injurious, besides that a higher price must be paid: and in long bills, articles never bought are often charged. If goods are purchased at ready-money price, and regularly entered, the exact state of the expenditure will be known with ease; for it is delay of payment that occasions so much confusion. A common-place book should always be at hand, in which to enter such hints of useful knowledge, and other observations, as are given by sensible experienced people. Want of attention to what is advised, or supposing things to be too minute to be worth regarding, are the causes why so much ignorance prevails on necessary subjects, among those who are not backward in frivolous ones.
It is very necessary for the mistress of a family to be informed of the price and quality of all articles in common use, and of the best times and places for purchasing them. She should also be acquainted with the comparative prices of provisions, in order that she may be able to substitute those that are most reasonable, when they will answer as well, for others of the same kind, but which are more costly. A false notion of economy leads many to purchase as bargains, what is not wanted, and sometimes never is used. Were this error avoided, more money would remain of course for other purposes. It is not unusual among lower dealers to put off a larger quantity of goods, by assurances that they are advancing in price; and many who supply fancy articles are so successful in persuasion, that purchasers not unfrequently go beyond their original intention, and suffer inconvenience by it. Some things are certainly better for keeping, and should be laid in accordingly; but this applies only to articles in constant consumption. Unvarying rules cannot be given, for people ought to form their conduct on their circumstances. Some ladies charge their account with giving out to a superintending servant such quantities of household articles, as by observation and calculation they know to be sufficient, reserving for their own key the large stock of things usually laid in for extensive families in the country. Should there be more visitors than usual, they can easily account for an increased consumption, and vice versa. Such a degree of judgment will be respectable even in the eye of domestics, if not interested in the ignorance of their employers; and if they are, their services will not compensate the want of honesty.
A bill of parcels and receipt should be required, even if the money be paid at the time of purchase; and to avoid mistakes, let the goods be compared with these when brought home. Though it is very disagreeable to suspect any one's honesty, and perhaps mistakes are often unintentional; yet it is proper to weigh meat and grocery articles when brought in, and compare them with the charge. The butcher should be ordered to send the weight with the meat, and the checks regularly filed and examined. A ticket should be exchanged for every loaf of bread, which when returned will shew the number to be paid for, as tallies may be altered, unless one is kept by each party. Those who are served with brewer's beer, or any other articles not paid for weekly or on delivery, should keep a book for entering the dates: which will not only serve to prevent overcharges, but will show the whole year's consumption at one view. 'Poole's complete Housekeeper's Account book,' is very well adapted to this purpose.
An inventory of furniture, linen, and china, should be kept, and the things examined by it twice a year, or oftener if there be a change of servants; into each of whose care the articles are to be entrusted, with a list, the same as is done with plate. Tickets of parchment with the family name, numbered, and specifying what bed it belongs to, should be sewed on each feather bed, bolster, pillow, and blanket. Knives, forks, and house cloths are often deficient: these accidents might be obviated, if an article at the head of every list required the former to be produced whole or broken, and the marked part of the linen, though all the others should be worn out. Glass is another article that requires care, though a tolerable price is given for broken flint-glass. Trifle dishes, butter stands, &c. may be had at a lower price than cut glass, made in moulds, of which there is a great variety that look extremely well, if not placed near the more beautiful articles.
Choice and Treatment of Servants.
The regularity and good management of a family will very much depend on the character of the servants who are employed in it, and frequently one of base and dishonest principles will corrupt and ruin all the rest. No orders, however wise or prudent, will be duly carried into effect, unless those who are to execute them are to be depended on. It behoves every mistress therefore to be extremely careful whom she takes into her service; to be very minute in investigating character, and equally cautious and scrupulously just in giving recommendations of others. Were this attended to, many bad people would be incapacitated for doing mischief, by abusing the trust reposed in them. It may fairly be asserted that the robbery, or waste, which is only a milder term for the unfaithfulness of a servant, will be laid to the charge of that master or mistress, who knowing or having well-founded suspicions of such faults, is prevailed upon by false pity, or entreaty, to slide such servant into another place. There are however some who are unfortunately capricious, and often refuse to give a character because they are displeased with the servant leaving; but this is an unpardonable violation of the right of a servant, who having no inheritance, is dependant on her fair name for employment. To refuse countenance to the evil, and to encourage the good servant, are equally due to society at large; and such as are honest, frugal, and attentive to their duties, should be liberally rewarded, which would encourage merit, and stimulate servants to acquit themselves with propriety. The contrary conduct is often visited with a kind of retributive justice in the course of a few years. The extravagant and idle in servitude are ill prepared for the industry and sobriety on which their own future welfare so essentially depends. Their faults, and the attendant punishment come home, when they have children of their own; and sometimes much sooner. They will see their own folly and wickedness perpetuated in their offspring, whom they must not expect to be better than the example and instruction given by themselves. Those who have been faithful and industrious in service, will generally retain those habits in their own families, after they are married; while those who have borne an opposite character are seldom successful in the world, but more frequently reduced to beggary and want.
It is in general a good maxim, to select servants not younger than thirty. Before that age, however comfortable you may endeavour to make them, their want of experience, and the hope of something still better, prevent their being satisfied with their present state. After they have had the benefit of experience, if they are tolerably comfortable, they will endeavour to deserve the smiles of even a moderately kind master or mistress, for fear they may change for the worse. Life may indeed be very fairly divided into the seasons of hope and fear. In youth, we hope every thing may be right: in age, we fear that every thing may be wrong. At any rate it is desirable to engage a good and capable servant, for one of this description eats no more than a bad one. Considering also how much waste is occasioned by provisions being dressed in a slovenly and unskilful manner, and how much a good cook, to whom the conduct of the kitchen is confided, can save by careful management, it is clearly expedient to give better wages for one of this description, than to obtain a cheaper article which in the end will inevitably become more expensive. It is likewise a point of prudence to invite the honesty and industry of domestics, by setting them an example of liberality in this way; nothing is more likely to convince them of the value that is attached to talent and good behaviour, or to bind them to the interest of those whom they are engaged to serve. The office of the cook especially is attended with so many difficulties, so many disgusting and disagreeable circumstances, and even dangers, in order to procure us one of the greatest enjoyments of human life, that it is but justice to reward her attention and services, by rendering her situation every way as comfortable as we can. Those who think, that to protect and encourage virtue is the best preventive to vice, should give their female servants liberal wages. How else can they provide themselves the necessary articles of clothing, and save a little to help themselves in a time of a sickness, when out of place, or amidst the infirmities of age. The want of liberality and of justice in this respect is a principal source of the distress and of the degradation to which multitudes of females are reduced, and who are driven at length to seek an asylum in Foundling Hospitals and Female Penitentiaries.
Good wages however are not all that a faithful servant requires; kind treatment is of far greater consequence. Human nature is the same in all stations. If you can convince your servants that you have a generous and considerate regard for their health and comfort, there is no reason to imagine that they will be insensible to the good they receive. Be careful therefore to impose no commands but what are reasonable, nor reprove but with justice and temper; the best way to ensure which is, not to lecture them till at least one day after the offence has been committed. If they have any particular hardship to endure in service, let them see that you are concerned for the necessity of imposing it. Servants are more likely to be praised into good conduct, than scolded out of bad behaviour. Always commend them when they do right; and to cherish in them the desire of pleasing, it is proper to show them that you are pleased. By such conduct ordinary servants will often be converted into good ones, and there are few so hardened as not to feel gratified when they are kindly and liberally treated. At the same time avoid all approaches to familiarity, which to a proverb is accompanied with contempt, and soon destroys the principle of obedience.
When servants are sick, you are to remember that you are their patron, as well as their master or mistress; not only remit their labour, but give them all the assistance of food and physic, and every comfort in your power. Tender assiduity about an invalid is half a cure; it is a balsam to the mind, which has the most powerful effect on the body; it soothes the sharpest pains, and strengthens beyond the richest cordial. The practice of some persons in sending home poor servants to a miserable cottage, or to a workhouse, in time of illness, hoping for their services if they should happen to recover, while they contribute nothing towards it, is contrary to every principle of justice and humanity. Particular attention ought to be paid to the health of the cook, not only for her own sake, but also because healthiness and cleanliness are essential to the duties of her office, and to the wholesomeness of the dishes prepared by her hand. Besides the deleterious vapours of the charcoal, which soon undermine the health of the heartiest person, the cook has to endure the glare of a scorching fire, and the smoke, so baneful to the complexion and the eyes; so that she is continually surrounded with inevitable dangers, while her most commendable achievements pass not only without reward, but frequently without even thanks. The most consummate cook is seldom noticed by the master, or heard of by the guests, who, while they eagerly devour his dainties, and drink his wine, care very little who dressed the one or sent the other. The same observations apply to the kitchen maid or second cook, who have in large families the hardest place, and are worse paid, verifying the old proverb, 'the more work the less wages.' If there be any thing right, the cook has the praise, when any praise is given: if any thing be wrong, the kitchen maid has the blame. For this humble domestic is expected by the cook to take the entire management of all roasts and boils, fish and vegetables, which together constitute the principal part of an Englishman's dinner. The master or mistress who wishes to enjoy the rare luxury of a table well served in the best stile, should treat the cook as a friend; should watch over her health with peculiar care, and be sure that her taste does not suffer, by her stomach being deranged by bilious attacks. A small proportion of that attention usually bestowed on a favourite horse, or even a dog, would suffice to regulate her animal system. Cleanliness, and a proper ventilation to carry off smoke and steam, should be particularly attended to in the construction of a kitchen. The grand scene of action, the fire-place, should be placed where it may receive plenty of light. Too often the contrary practice has prevailed, and the poor cook is continually basted with her own perspiration; but a good state of health can never be preserved under such circumstances.
Necessity of Order and Regularity.
No family can be properly managed, where the strictest order and regularity is not observed. 'A house divided against itself cannot stand;' and if the direction of its affairs be left to accident or chance, it will be equally fatal to its comfort and prosperity. It is the part of a prudent manager to see all that is doing, and to foresee and direct all that should be done. The weakest capacity can perceive what is wrong after it has occurred; but discernment and discretion are necessary to anticipate and prevent confusion and disorder, by a well-regulated system of prompt and vigorous management. If time be wisely economised, and the useful affairs transacted before amusements are allowed, and a regular plan of employment be daily laid down, a great deal may be done without hurry or fatigue. The retrospect would also be most pleasant at the end of the year, to be able to enumerate all the valuable acquirements made, and the just and benevolent actions performed, under the active and energetic management of the mistress of a family. As highly conducive to this end, early and regular hours should be kept in the evening, and an early hour especially for breakfast in the morning. There will then be more time to execute the orders that may be given, which in general should comprise the business of the day; and servants, by doing their work with ease, will be more equal to it, and fewer of them will be necessary. It is worthy of notice, that the general expense will be reduced, and much time saved, if every thing be kept in its proper place, applied to its proper use, and mended, when the nature of the accident will allow, as soon as broken or out of repair. A proper quantity of household articles should always be ready, and more bought in before the others are consumed, to prevent inconvenience, especially in the country. Much trouble and irregularity would be prevented when there is company to dinner, if the servants were required to prepare the table and sideboard in similar order daily. As some preparation is necessary for accidental visitors, care should be taken to have constantly in readiness a few articles suited to such occasions, which if properly managed will be attended with little expense, and much convenience.
Bad habit of keeping Spare Rooms.
Though persons of large fortune may support an expensive establishment without inconvenience, it ill becomes those in the middle rank to imitate such an example. Nothing can be more ludicrous than the contrast exhibited between two families of this description; the one living in the dignified splendour, and with the liberal hospitality, that wealth can command; the other in a stile of tinsel show, without the real appropriate distinctions belonging to rank and fortune. They are lavish, but not liberal, often sacrificing independence to support dissipation, and betraying the dearest interests of society for the sake of personal vanity, and gratifying what is significantly termed 'the pride of life.'
The great point for comfort and respectability is, that all the household economy should be uniform, not displaying a parade of show in one thing, and a total want of comfort in another. Besides the contemptible appearance that this must have to every person of good sense, it is often productive of fatal consequences. How common it is, in large towns especially, that for the vanity of having a showy drawing-room to receive company, the family are confined to a close back room, where they have scarcely air or light, the want of which is essentially injurious to health. To keep rooms for show belongs to the higher classes, where the house is sufficiently commodious for the family, and to admit of this also: but in private dwellings, to shut up perhaps the only room that is fit to live in, is to be guilty of a kind of self-destruction; and yet how frequently this consideration escapes persons who are disposed to render their family every comfort, but they have a grate, a carpet, and chairs too fine for every day's use. What a reflection, when nursing a sick child, to think that it may be the victim of a bright grate, and a fine carpet! Or, what is equally afflicting, to see all the children perhaps rickety and diseased from the same cause! Keeping a spare bed for ornament, rather than for use, is often attended with similar consequences. A stranger or a friend is allowed to occupy it once in so many months, and he does it at the peril of his health, and even of his life.
Another bad effect of keeping spare rooms is the seeing more company, and in a more expensive manner, than is compatible with the general convenience of the family, introducing with it an expense in dress, and a dissipation of time, from which it suffers in various ways. Not the least of these is the neglect of parental instruction, which it is attempted to supply by sending the children at an improper age to school; the girls where they had better never go, and the boys where they get but little good, and perhaps are all the worse for mending. Social intercourse is not improved by parade, but quite the contrary; real friends, and the pleasantest kind of acquaintance, those who like to be social, are repulsed by it. The failure therefore is general, involving the loss of nearly all that is valuable in society, by an abortive attempt to become fashionable.
Setting out a Table.
The direction of a Table is no inconsiderable part of a lady's concern, as it involves judgment in expenditure, respectability of appearance, the comfort of her husband, and those who partake of their hospitality. It is true that the mode of covering a table, and providing for the guests, is merely a matter of taste, materially different in a variety of instances; yet nothing can be more ruinous of real comfort than the too common custom of making a profusion and a parade, unsuited not only to the circumstances of the host, but to the number of the guests; or more fatal to true hospitality than the multiplicity of dishes which luxury has made fashionable at the tables of the great, the wealthy, and the ostentatious, who are often neither great, nor wealthy, nor wise. Such excessive preparation, instead of being a compliment to the party invited, is nothing better than an indirect offence, conveying a tacit insinuation that it is absolutely necessary to provide such delicacies to bribe the depravity of their palates, when we desire the pleasure of their company, and that society must be purchased on dishonourable terms before it can be enjoyed. When twice as much cooking is undertaken as there are servants, or conveniences in the kitchen to do it properly, dishes must be dressed long before the dinner hour, and stand by spoiling; and why prepare for eight or ten more than is sufficient for twenty or thirty visitors? 'Enough is as good as a feast;' and a prudent provider, avoiding what is extravagant and superfluous, may entertain her friends three times as often, and ten times as well.
Perhaps there are few incidents in which the respectability of a man is more immediately felt, than the style of dinner to which he may accidentally bring home a visitor. And here, it is not the multiplicity of articles, but the choice, the dressing, and the neat appearance of the whole that is principally regarded. Every one is to live as he can afford, and the meal of the tradesman ought not to emulate the entertainments of the higher classes; but if two or three dishes are well served, with the usual sauces, the table linen clean, the small sideboard neatly laid, and all that is necessary be at hand, the expectation of the husband and the friend will be gratified, because no irregularity of domestic arrangement will disturb the social intercourse. The same observation holds good on a larger scale. In all situations of life the entertainment should be no less suited to the station than to the fortune of the entertainer, and to the number and rank of those invited.
The manner of Carving is not only a very necessary branch of information, to enable a lady to do the honours of the table, but makes a considerable difference in the consumption of a family; and though in large parties she is so much assisted as to render this knowledge apparently of less consequence, yet she must at times feel the deficiency; and should not fail to acquaint herself with an attainment, the advantage of which is evident every day. Some people haggle meat so much, as not to be able to help half a dozen persons decently from a large tongue, or a sirloin of beef; and the dish goes away with the appearance of having been gnawed by dogs. Habit alone can make good carvers; but some useful directions on this subject will be found in the following pages, under the article Carving.
Half the trouble of waiting at table may be saved, by giving each guest two plates, two knives and forks, two pieces of bread, a spoon, a wine glass, and a tumbler; and by placing the wines and sauces in the centre of the table, one visitor may help another. If the party is large, the founders of the feast should sit about the middle of the table, instead of at each end. They will then enjoy the pleasure of attending equally to all their friends; and being in some degree relieved from the occupation of carving, will have an opportunity of administering all those little attentions which contribute so much to the comfort of their guests. Dinner tables are seldom sufficiently lighted, or attended; an active waiter will have enough to do to attend upon half a dozen persons. There should be half as many candles as there are guests, and their flame should not be more than eighteen inches above the table. The modern candelabras answer no other purpose than that of giving an appearance of pomp and magnificence, and seem intended to illuminate the ceiling, rather than to shed light upon the plates.
Quality of Provisions to be regarded.
The leading consideration about food ought always to be its wholesomeness. Cookery may produce savoury and elegant looking dishes, without their possessing any of the real qualities of food. It is at the same time both a serious and a ludicrous reflection, that it should be thought to do honour to our friends and to ourselves to set out a table where indigestion with all its train of evils, such as fever, rheumatism, gout, and the whole catalogue of human diseases, lie lurking in almost every dish. Yet this is both done, and taken as a compliment. The practice of flavouring custards, for example, with laurel leaves, and adding fruit kernels to the poison of spirituous liquors, though far too common, is attended with imminent danger: for let it be remembered, that the flavour given by laurel essence is the most fatal kind of poison. Children, and delicate grown-up persons, have often died suddenly from this cause, even where the quantity of the deleterious mixture was but small.
How infinitely preferable is a dinner of far less show, where nobody need to be afraid of what they are eating; and such a one will always be genteel and respectable. If a person can give his friend only a leg of mutton, there is nothing of which to be ashamed, provided it is good and well dressed. Nothing can be of greater importance to the mistress of a family, than the preservation of its health; but there is no way of securing this desirable object with any degree of certainty, except her eye watches over every part of the culinary process. The subject of cookery is too generally neglected by mistresses, as something beneath their notice; or if engaged in, it is to contrive a variety of mischievous compositions, both savoury and sweet, to recommend their own ingenuity. Yet it is quite evident that every good housewife ought to be well acquainted with this important branch of domestic management, and to take upon herself at least its entire direction and controul. This is a duty which her husband, children, and domestics, have a right to expect at her hands; and which a solicitude for their health and comfort will induce her to discharge with fidelity. If cookery has been worth studying as a sensual gratification, it is much more so as the means of securing the greatest of human blessings.
A house fitted up with clean good furniture, the kitchen provided with clean wholesome-looking cooking utensils, good fires, in grates that give no anxiety lest a good fire should spoil them, clean good table-linen, the furniture of the table and sideboard good of the kind without ostentation, and a well-dressed plain dinner, bespeak a sound judgment and correct taste in a private family, that place it on a footing of respectability with the first characters in the country. It is only conforming to our sphere, not vainly attempting to be above it, that can command true respect.
================================================================== Explanation of the Plate.
VENISON. 1. Haunch. 2. Neck. 3. Shoulder. 4. Breast.
BEEF. 7. Thick Flank. 13. Shoulder or Leg Hind Quarter. 8. Thin Flank. of Mutton Piece. 1. Sirloin. 9. Leg. 14. Brisket 2. Rump. 10. Fore Rib; five Ribs. 15. Clod. 3. Edge Bone. 16. Neck or Sticking 4. Buttock. Fore Quarter. Piece. 5. Mouse Buttock. 11. Middle Rib; four Ribs. 17. Shin. 6. Veiny Piece. 12. Chuck; three Ribs. 18. Cheek.
VEAL. 1. Loin, best End. 6. Neck, best End. 2. Loin, Chump End. 7. Neck, Scrag End. 3. Fillet. 8. Blade Bone. 4. Hind Knuckle. 9. Breast, best End. 5. Fore Knuckle. 10. Breast, Brisket End.
PORK. 1. Sparerib. 4. Fore Loin. 2. Hand. 5. Hind Loin. 3. Belly or Spring. 6. Leg.
MUTTON. 1. Leg. 4. Neck, best End. 7. Breast. 2. Loin, best End. 5. Neck, Scrag End. A Chine is two Loins. 3. Loin, Chump End. 6. Shoulder. A Saddle is two Necks.
COOK AND HOUSEKEEPER'S
COMPLETE AND UNIVERSAL
ACID, lemon: a good substitute for this expensive article, suitable for soups, fish sauces, and many other purposes, may be made of a dram of lump sugar pounded, and six drops of lemon essence, to three ounces of crystal vinegar. The flavour of the lemon may also be communicated to the vinegar, by an infusion of lemon peel.
ACIDS, to remove stains caused by acids. See STAINS.
ACCIDENTS BY FIRE. Much mischief frequently arises from the want of a little presence of mind on such occasions, when it is well known that a small quantity of water speedily and properly applied, would obviate great danger. The moment an alarm of fire is given in a house, some blankets should be wetted in a tub of water, and spread on the floor of the room where the fire is, and the flames beaten out with a wet blanket. Two or three pails of water thus applied, will be more effectual than a larger quantity poured on in the usual way, and at a later period. If a chimney be on fire, the readiest way is to cover the whole front of the fire-place with a wet blanket, or thrust it into the throat of the chimney, or make a complete inclosure with the chimney-board. By whatever means the current of air can be stopped below, the burning soot will be put out as rapidly as a candle is by an extinguisher, and upon the same principle. A quantity of salt thrown into water will increase its power in quenching the flames, and muddy water is better for this purpose than clear water. Children, and especially females, should be informed, that as flame tends upward, it is extremely improper for them to stand upright, in case their clothes take fire; and as the accident generally begins with the lower part of the dress, the flames meeting additional fuel as they rise, become more fatal, and the upper part of the body necessarily sustains the greatest injury. If there be no assistance at hand in a case of this kind, the sufferer should instantly throw herself down, and roll or lie upon her clothes. A carpet, hearth rug, or green baize table cloth, quickly wrapped round the head and body, will be an effectual preservative; but where these are not at hand, the other method may easily be adopted. The most obvious means of preventing the female dress from catching fire, is that of wire fenders of sufficient height to hinder the coals and sparks from flying into the room; and nurseries in particular should never be without them. Destructive fires often happen from the thoughtlessness of persons leaving a poker in the grate, which afterward falls out and rolls on the floor or carpet. This evil may in a great measure be prevented by having a small cross of iron welded on the poker, immediately above the square part, about an inch and a half each way. Then if the poker slip out of the fire, it will probably catch at the edge of the fender; or if not, it cannot endanger the floor, as the hot end of the poker will be kept from it by resting on the cross. In cases of extreme danger, where the fire is raging in the lower part of the house, a Fire Escape is of great importance. But where this article is too expensive, or happens not to be provided, a strong rope should be fastened to something in an upper apartment, having knots or resting places for the hands and feet, that in case of alarm it may be thrown out of the window; or if children and infirm persons were secured by a noose at the end of it, they might be lowered down in safety. No family occupying lofty houses in confined situations ought to be without some contrivance of this sort, and which may be provided at a very trifling expense. Horses are often so intimidated by fire, that they have perished before they could be removed from the spot; but if a bridle or a halter be put upon them, they might be led out of the stable as easily as on common occasions. Or if the harness be thrown over a draught horse, or the saddle placed on the back of a saddle horse, the same object may be accomplished.
ADULTERATIONS in baker's bread may be detected, by mixing it with lemon juice or strong vinegar: if the bread contains chalk, whiting, or any other alkali, it will immediately produce a fermentation. If ashes, alum, bones, or jalap be suspected, slice the crumb of a loaf very thin, set it over the fire with water, and let it boil gently a long time. Take it off, pour the water into a vessel, and let it stand till nearly cold; then pour it gently out, and in the sediment will be seen the ingredients which have been mixed. The alum will be dissolved in the water, and may be extracted from it. If jalap has been used, it will form a thick film on the top, and the heavy ingredients will sink to the bottom. See BEER, FLOUR, SPIRITS, WINE.
AGUE. Persons afflicted with the ague ought in the first instance to take an emetic, and a little opening medicine. During the shaking fits, drink plenty of warm gruel, and afterwards take some powder of bark steeped in red wine. Or mix thirty grains of snake root, forty of wormwood, and half an ounce of jesuit's bark powdered, in half a pint of port wine: put the whole into a bottle, and shake it well together. Take one fourth part first in the morning, and another at bed time, when the fit is over, and let the dose be often repeated, to prevent a return of the complaint. If this should not succeed, mix a quarter of an ounce each of finely powdered Peruvian bark, grains of paradise, and long pepper, in a quarter of a pound of treacle. Take a third part of it as soon as the cold fit begins, and wash it down with a glass of brandy. As the cold fit goes off, and the fever approaches, take a second third part, with the like quantity of brandy; and on the following morning fasting, swallow the remainder, with the same quantity of brandy as before. Three doses of this excellent electuary have cured hundreds of persons, and seldom been known to fail. To children under nine years of age, only half the above quantity must be given. Try also the following experiment. When the cold fit is on, take an egg beaten up in a glass of brandy, and go to bed directly. This very simple recipe has proved successful in a number of instances, where more celebrated preparations have failed.
AIR. Few persons are sufficiently aware, that an unwholesome air is the common cause of disease. They generally pay some attention to what they eat and drink, but seldom regard what goes into the lungs, though the latter often proves more fatal than the former. Air vitiated by the different processes of respiration, combustion, and putrefaction, or which is suffered to stagnate, is highly injurious to health, and productive of contagious disorders. Whatever greatly alters its degree of heat or cold, also renders it unwholesome. If too hot, it produces bilious and inflammatory affections: if too cold, it obstructs perspiration, and occasions rheumatism, coughs, and colds, and other diseases of the throat and breast. A damp air disposes the body to agues, intermitting fevers, and dropsies, and should be studiously avoided. Some careful housewives, for the sake of bright and polished stoves, frequently expose the health of the family in an improper manner; but fires should always be made, if in the height of summer, when the weather is wet or cold, to render the air wholesome; and let the fire-irons take care of themselves. No house can be wholesome, unless the air has a free passage through it: dwellings ought therefore to be daily ventilated, by opening the windows and admitting a current of fresh air into every room. Instead of making up beds as soon as people rise out of them, a practice much too common, they ought to be turned down, and exposed to dry fresh air from the open windows. This would expel any noxious vapours, and promote the health of the family. Houses surrounded with high walls, trees, or plantations, are rendered unwholesome. Wood, not only obstructs the free current of air, but sends forth exhalations, which render it damp and unhealthy. Houses situated on low ground, or near lakes and ponds of stagnant water, are the same: the air is charged with putrid exhalations, which produce the most malignant effects. Persons obliged to occupy such situations should live well, and pay the strictest regard to cleanliness. The effluvia arising from church-yards and other burying grounds is very infectious; and parish churches, in which many corpses are interred, become tainted with an atmosphere so corrupt, especially in the spring, when the ground begins to grow warm, that it is one of the principal sources of putrid fevers, which so often prevail at that season of the year. Such places ought to be kept perfectly clean, and frequently ventilated, by opening opposite doors and windows; and no human dwelling should be allowed in the immediate vicinity of a burying ground.—The air of large towns and cities is greatly contaminated, by being repeatedly respired; by the vapours arising from dirty streets, the smoke of chimneys, and the innumerable putrid substances occasioned by the crowd of inhabitants. Persons of a delicate habit should avoid cities as they would the plague; or if this be impracticable, they should go abroad as much as possible, frequently admit fresh air into their rooms, and be careful to keep them very clean. If they can sleep in the country, so much the better, as breathing free air in the night will in some degree make up for the want of it in the day time. Air which stagnates in mines, wells, and cellars, is extremely noxious; it kills nearly as quick as lightning, and ought therefore to be carefully avoided. Accidents occasioned by foul air might often be prevented, by only letting down into such places a lighted candle, and forbearing to enter when it is perceived to go out. The foul air may be expelled by leaving the place open a sufficient time, or pouring into it a quantity of boiling water. Introducing fresh air into confined rooms and places, by means of ventilators, is one of the most important of modern improvements.—Dyers, gilders, plumbers, refiners of metals, and artisans employed over or near a charcoal fire, are exposed to great danger from the vitiated state of the air. To avert the injury to which their lungs are thus exposed, it would be proper to place near them a flat open vessel filled with lime water, and to renew it as often as a variegated film appears on the surface. This powerfully attracts and absorbs the noxious effluvia emitted by the burning charcoal.—But if fresh air be necessary for those in health, much more so for the sick, who often lose their lives for want of it. The notion that sick people require to be kept hot is very common, but no less dangerous, for no medicine is so beneficial to them as fresh air, in ordinary cases, especially if administered with prudence. Doors and windows are not to be opened at random; but the air should be admitted gradually, and chiefly by opening the windows of some other apartment which communicates with the sick room. The air may likewise be purified by wetting a cloth in water impregnated with quick lime, then hanging it in the room till it becomes dry, and removing it as often as it appears necessary. In chronic diseases, especially those of the lungs, where there is no inflammation, a change of air is much to be recommended. Independently of any other circumstance, it has often proved highly beneficial; and such patients have breathed more freely, even though removed to a damp and confined situation. In short, fresh air contains the vitals of health, and must be sought for in every situation, as the only medium of human existence.
ALABASTER. The proper way of cleaning elegant chimney pieces, or other articles made of alabaster, is to reduce some pumice stone to a very fine powder, and mix it up with verjuice. Let it stand two hours, then dip into it a sponge, and rub the alabaster with it: wash it with fresh water and a linen cloth, and dry it with clean linen rags.
ALAMODE BEEF. Choose a piece of thick flank of a fine heifer or ox. Cut some fat bacon into long slices nearly an inch thick, but quite free from yellow. Dip them into vinegar, and then into a seasoning ready prepared, of salt, black pepper, allspice, and a clove, all in fine powder, with parsley, chives, thyme, savoury, and knotted marjoram, shred as small as possible, and well mixed. With a sharp knife make holes deep enough to let in the larding; then rub the beef over with the seasoning, and bind it up tight with a tape. Set it in a well tinned pot over a fire, or rather a stove: three or four onions must be fried brown and put to the beef, with two or three carrots, one turnip, a head or two of celery, and a small quantity of water. Let it simmer gently ten or twelve hours, or till extremely tender, turning the meat twice. Put the gravy into a pan, remove the fat, keep the beef covered, then put them together, and add a glass of port wine. Take off the tape, and serve with vegetables; or strain them off, and cut them into dice for garnish. Onions roasted, and then stewed with the gravy, are a great improvement. A tea-cupful of vinegar should be stewed with the beef.—Another way is to take about eleven pounds of the mouse-buttock, or clod of beef, or a blade bone, or the sticking piece, and cut it into pieces of three or four ounces each. Put two or three ounces of beef drippings, and two large onions, into a large deep stewpan; as soon as it is quite hot, flour the meat, put it into the stewpan, and keep stirring it with a wooden spoon. When it has been on about ten minutes, dredge it with flour, and keep doing so till you have stirred in as much as will thicken it. Then cover it with about a gallon of boiling water, adding it by degrees, and stirring it together. Skim it when it boils, and then put in a dram of ground black pepper, and two drams of allspice. Set the pan by the side of the fire, or at a distance over it, and let it stew very slowly for about three hours. When the meat is sufficiently tender, put it into a tureen, and send it to table with a nice sallad.
ALE, allowing eight bushels of malt to the hogshead, should be brewed in the beginning of March. Pour on at once the whole quantity of hot water, not boiling, and let it infuse three hours close covered. Mash it in the first half hour, and let it stand the remainder of the time. Run it on the hops, half a pound to the bushel, previously infused in water, and boil them with the wort two hours. Cool a pailful after it has boiled, add to it two quarts of yeast, which will prepare it for putting to the rest when ready, the same night or the next day. When tunned, and the beer has done working, cover the bung-hole with paper. If the working requires to be stopped, dry a pound and a half of hops before the fire, put them into the bung-hole, and fasten it up. Ale should stand twelve months in casks, and twelve in bottles, before it be drank; and if well brewed, it will keep and be very fine for eight or ten years. It will however be ready for use in three or four months; and if the vent-peg be never removed, it will have strength and spirit to the very last. But if bottled, great care must be taken to have the bottles perfectly sweet and clean, and the corks of the best quality. If the ale requires to be refined, put two ounces of isinglass shavings to soak in a quart of the liquor, and beat it with a whisk every day till dissolved. Draw off a third part of the cask, and mix the above with it: likewise a quarter of an ounce of pearl ashes, one ounce of salt of tartar calcined, and one ounce of burnt alum powdered. Stir it well, then return the liquor into the cask, and stir it with a clean stick. Stop it up, and in a few days it will be fine. See BEER, BREWING.
ALE POSSET. Beat up the yolks of ten eggs, and the whites of four; then put them into a quart of cream, mixed with a pint of ale. Grate some nutmeg into it, sweeten it with sugar, set it on the fire, and keep it stirring. When it is thick, and before it boils, take it off, and pour it into a china bason. This is called King William's Posset. A very good one may however be made by warming a pint of milk, with a bit of white bread in it, and then warming a pint of ale with a little sugar and nutmeg. When the milk boils, pour it upon the ale; let it stand a few minutes to clear, and it will make a fine cordial.
ALEGAR. Take some good sweet wort before it is hopped, put it into a jar, and a little yeast when it becomes lukewarm, and cover it over. In three or four days it will have done fermenting; set it in the sun, and it will be fit for use in three or four months, or much sooner, if fermented with sour yeast, and mixed with an equal quantity of sour ale.
ALLSPICE, used as an essence, is made of a dram of the oil of pimento, apothecaries' measure, mixed by degrees with two ounces of strong spirits of wine. The tincture, which has a finer flavour than the essence, is made of three ounces of bruised allspice, steeped in a quart of brandy. Shake it occasionally for a fortnight, and then pour off the clear liquor. A few drops of either will be a grateful addition to a pint of gravy, or mulled wine, or in any case where allspice is used.
ALMOND BISCUITS. Blanch a quarter of a pound of sweet almonds, and pound them fine in a mortar, sprinkling them from time to time with a little fine sugar. Then beat them a quarter of an hour with an ounce of flour, the yolks of three eggs, and four ounces of fine sugar, adding afterward the whites of four eggs whipped to a froth. Prepare some paper moulds like boxes, about the length of two fingers square; butter them within, and put in the biscuits, throwing over them equal quantities of flour and powdered sugar. Bake them in a cool oven; and when of a good colour, take them out of the papers. Bitter almond biscuits are made in the same manner, except with this difference; that to every two ounces of bitter almonds must be added an ounce of sweet almonds.
ALMOND CHEESECAKES. Blanch and pound four ounces of almonds, and a few bitter ones, with a spoonful of water. Add four ounces of pounded sugar, a spoonful of cream, and the whites of two eggs well beaten. Mix all as quick as possible, put it into very small pattipans, and bake in a tolerable warm oven, under twenty minutes. Or blanch and pound four ounces of almonds, with a little orange-flower or rose-water; then stir in the yolks of six and the whites of three eggs well beaten, five ounces of butter warmed, the peel of a lemon grated, and a little of the juice, sweetened with fine moist sugar. When well mixed, bake in a delicate paste, in small pans. Another way is, to press the whey from as much curd as will make two dozen small cheesecakes. Then put the curd on the back of a sieve, and with half an ounce of butter rub it through with the back of a spoon; put to it six yolks and three whites of eggs, and a few bitter almonds pounded, with as much sugar as will sweeten the curd. Mix with it the grated rind of a lemon, and a glass of brandy; put a puff-paste into the pans, and ten minutes will bake them.
ALMOND CREAM. Beat in a mortar four ounces of sweet almonds, and a few bitter ones, with a tea-spoonful of water to prevent oiling, both having first been blanched. Put the paste to a quart of cream, and add the juice of three lemons sweetened; beat it with a whisk to a froth, which take off on the shallow part of a sieve, and fill the glasses with some of the liquor and the froth.
ALMOND CUSTARD. Blanch and beat four ounces of almonds fine, with a spoonful of water. Beat a pint of cream with two spoonfuls of rose-water, put them to the yolks of four eggs, and as much sugar as will make it tolerably sweet. Then add the almonds, stir it all over a slow fire till of a proper thickness, without boiling, and pour it into cups.
ALMOND JUMBLES. Rub half a pound of butter into a pound of flour, with half a pound of loaf sugar powdered, a quarter of a pound of almonds beat fine with rose-water, the yolks of two eggs, and two spoonfuls of cream. Make them all into a paste, roll it into any shape, and bake on tins. Ice them with a mixture of fine sugar, rose-water, and the white of an egg, beat up together, and lay the icing on with a feather, before the jumbles are put into the oven.
ALMOND PUDDINGS. Beat half a pound of sweet and a few bitter almonds with a spoonful of water; then mix four ounces of butter, four eggs, two spoonfuls of cream, warm with the butter, one of brandy, a little nutmeg and sugar to taste. Butter some cups, half fill them, and bake the puddings. Serve with butter, wine, and sugar.—For baked almond puddings, beat a quarter of a pound of sweet and a few bitter almonds with a little wine, the yolks of six eggs, the peel of two lemons grated, six ounces of butter, nearly a quart of cream, and the juice of one lemon. When well mixed, bake it half an hour, with paste round the dish, and serve it with pudding sauce. Small almond puddings are made of eight ounces of almonds, and a few bitter ones, pounded with a spoonful of water. Then mix four ounces of butter warmed, four yolks and two whites of eggs, sugar to taste, two spoonfuls of cream, and one of brandy. Mix it together well, and bake in little cups buttered.
ALMONDS BURNT. Add three quarters of a pound of loaf sugar to a pound of almonds, picked and cleaned, and a few spoonfuls of water. Set them on the fire, keep them stirring till the sugar is candied, and they are done.
ALMONDS ICED. Make an iceing similar to that for twelfth-night cakes, with fine sifted loaf sugar, orange-flower water, and whisked white of eggs. Having blanched the almonds, roll them well in this iceing, and dry them in a cool oven.
AMBER PUDDING. Put a pound of butter into a saucepan, with three quarters of a pound of loaf sugar finely powdered. Melt the butter, and mix well with it; then add the yolks of fifteen eggs well beaten, and as much fresh candied orange as will add colour and flavour to it, being first beaten to a fine paste. Line the dish with paste for turning out; and when filled with the above, lay a crust over as you would a pie, and bake it in a slow oven. This makes a fine pudding as good cold as hot.
AMERICAN CAKES, though but little known in this country, form an article of some importance in domestic economy: they are cheap, easily made, and very nutritious. Mix a quarter of a pound of butter with a pound of flour; then, having dissolved and well stirred a quarter of a pound of sugar in half a pint of milk, and made a solution of about half a tea-spoonful of crystal of soda, salt of tartar, or any other purified potash, in half a tea-cupful of cold water, pour them also among the flour; work up the paste to a good consistence, roll it out, and form it into cakes or biscuits. The lightness of these cakes depending much on the expedition with which they are baked, they should be set in a brisk oven.
AMERICAN SPRUCE. In the spring of the year, this valuable extract is obtained from the young shoots and tops of the pine or fir trees; and in autumn, from their cones. These are merely boiled in water, to the consistence of honey or molasses. The bark and softer part of the tops and young shoots, being easily dissolved, make the finest essence; while the cones and bark of larger branches, undergoing only a partial solution, form an inferior article, after being strained from the dregs. Both sorts, when decanted clear off, are put up in casks or bottles, and preserved for making spruce beer.
ANCHOVIES. These delicate fish are preserved in barrels with bay salt, and no other of the finny tribe has so fine a flavour. Choose those which look red and mellow, and the bones moist and oily. They should be high-flavoured, and have a fine smell; but beware of their being mixed with red paint, to improve their colour and appearance. When the liquor dries, pour on them some beef brine, and keep the jar close tied down with paper and leather. Sprats are sometimes sold for anchovies, but by washing them the imposition may be detected. See SPRATS.
ANCHOVY ESSENCE. Chop two dozen of anchovies, without the bone, add some of their own liquor strained, and sixteen large spoonfuls of water. Boil them gently till dissolved, which will be in a few minutes; and when cold, strain and bottle the liquor. The essence can generally be bought cheaper than you can make it.
ANCHOVY PASTE. Pound them in a mortar, rub the pulp through a fine sieve, pot it, cover it with clarified butter, and keep it in a cool place. The paste may also be made by rubbing the essence with as much flour as will make a paste; but this is only intended for immediate use, and will not keep. This is sometimes made stiffer and hotter, by the addition of a little flour of mustard, a pickled walnut, spice, or cayenne.
ANCHOVY POWDER. Pound the fish in a mortar, rub them through a sieve, make them into a paste with dried flour, roll it into thin cakes, and dry them in a Dutch oven before a slow fire. To this may be added a small portion of cayenne, grated lemon peel, and citric acid. Pounded to a fine powder, and put into a well-stopped bottle, it will keep for years. It is a very savoury relish, sprinkled on bread and butter for a sandwich.
ANCHOVY SAUCE. Chop one or two anchovies without washing, put them into a saucepan with flour and butter, and a spoonful of water. Stir it over the fire till it boils once or twice. When the anchovies are good, they will soon be dissolved, and distinguished both by their colour and fragrance.
ANCHOVY TOAST. Bone and skin six or eight anchovies, pound them to a mass with an ounce of fine butter till the colour is equal, and then spread it on toast or rusks. Or, cut thin slices of bread, and fry them in clarified butter. Wash three anchovies split, pound them in a mortar with a little fresh butter, rub them through a hair sieve, and spread on the toast when cold. Garnish with parsley or pickles.
ANGELICA TARTS. Take an equal quantity of apples and angelica, pare and peel them, and cut them separately into small pieces. Boil the apples gently in a little water, with fine sugar and lemon peel, till they become a thin syrup: then boil the angelica about ten minutes. Put some paste at the bottom of the pattipans, with alternate layers of apples and angelica: pour in some of the syrup, put on the lid, and bake them carefully.
ANGLING APPARATUS. Fishing rods should be oiled and dried in the sun, to prevent their being worm eaten, and render them tough; and if the joints get swelled and set fast, turn the part over the flame of a candle, and it will soon be set at liberty. Silk or hemp lines dyed in a decoction of oak bark, will render them more durable and capable of resisting the wet; and after they have been used they should be well dried before they are wound up, or they will be liable to rot. To make a cork float, take a good new cork, and pass a small red-hot iron through the centre of it lengthways; then round one end of it with a sharp knife, and reduce the other to a point, resembling a small peg top. The quill which is to pass through it may be secured at the bottom by putting in a little cotton wool and sealing wax, and the upper end is to be fitted with a piece of hazel like a plug, cemented like the other, with a piece of wire on the top formed into an eye, and two small hoops cut from another quill to regulate the line which passes through the float. To render it the more visible, the cork may be coloured with red wax. For fly fishing, either natural or artificial flies may be used, especially such as are found under hollow stones by the river's side, on the trunk of an oak or ash, on hawthorns, and on ant hills. In clear water the angler may use small flies with slender wings, but in muddy water a large fly is better: in a clear day the fly should be light coloured, and in dark water the fly should be dark. The rod and line require to be long; the fly when fastened to the hook should be allowed to float gently on the surface of the water, keeping the line from touching it, and the angler should stand as far as may be from the water's edge with the sun at his back, having a watchful eye and a quick hand. Fish may be intoxicated and taken in the following manner. Take an equal quantity of cocculus indicus, coriander, fenugreek, and cummin seeds, and reduce them to a powder. Make it into a paste with rice flour and water, roll it up into pills as large as peas, and throw them into ponds or rivers which abound with fish. After eating the paste, the fish will rise to the surface of the water almost motionless, and may be taken out by the hand.
ANTIDOTE to opium or laudanum. The deleterious effects of opium, which are so often experienced in the form of laudanum, may in great measure be counteracted by taking a proper quantity of lemon juice immediately afterwards. Four grains of opium, or a hundred drops of laudanum, are often sufficient for a fatal dose; but if an ounce of pure lemon juice, or twice that quantity of good vinegar be added to every grain of opium, or every twenty-five drops of laudanum, it will relieve both the head and the bowels; and the use of vegetable acids cannot be too strongly recommended to those who are under the necessity of taking considerable doses of opiates.
ANTS. Though it does not become us to be prodigal of life in any form, nor wantonly to seek its extinction, yet where any species of animals are found to be really noxious or annoying, the good of man requires that they should be destroyed. Houses are sometimes so infested with ants, that they are not to be endured. In this case, sprinkle the places they frequent with a strong decoction of walnut-tree leaves; or take half a pound of sulphur, and a quarter of a pound of potash, and dissolve them together over the fire. Afterwards beat them to a powder, add some water to it; and when sprinkled, the ants will either die or leave the place. When they are found to traverse garden walls or hot-houses, and to injure the fruit, several holes should be drilled in the ground with an iron crow, close to the side of the wall, and as deep as the soil will admit. The earth being stirred, the insects will begin to move about: the sides of the holes are then to be made smooth, so that the ants may fall in as soon as they approach, and they will be unable to climb upwards. Water being then poured on them, great numbers may easily be destroyed. The same end may be answered by strewing a mixture of quick lime and soot along such places as are much frequented by the ants; or by adding water to it, and pouring it at the roots of trees infested by them. To prevent their descending from a tree which they visit, it is only necessary to mark with a piece of common chalk a circle round its trunk, an inch or two broad, and about two feet from the ground. This experiment should be performed in dry weather, and the ring must be renewed: as soon as the ants arrive at it, not one of them will attempt to cross over.—Ant hills are very injurious in dry pastures, not only by wasting the soil, but yielding a pernicious kind of grass, and impeding the operation of the scythe. The turf of the ant hill should be pared off, the core taken out and scattered at a distance; and when the turf is laid down again, the place should be left lower than the ground around it, that when the wet settles into it, the ants may be prevented from returning to their haunt. The nests may more effectually be destroyed by putting quick lime into them, and pouring on some water; or by putting in some night soil, and closing it up.
APPLE TREES may be preserved from the innumerable insects with which they are annoyed, by painting the stems and branches with a thick wash of lime and water, as soon as the sap begins to rise. This will be found, in the course of the ensuing summer to have removed all the moss and insects, and given to the bark a fresh and green appearance. Other fruit trees may be treated in the same manner, and they will soon become more healthy and vigorous. Trees exposed to cattle, hares and rabbits, may be preserved from these depredators, without the expense of fence or rails, by any of the following experiments. Wash the stems of the trees or plants to a proper height with tanner's liquor, or such as they use for dressing hides. If this does not succeed, make a mixture of night soil, lime and water, and brush it on the stems and branches, two or three times in a year: this will effectually preserve the trees from being barked. A mixture of fresh cow dung and urine has been found to answer the same purpose, and also to destroy the canker, which is so fatal to the growth of trees.
APPLES are best preserved from frost, by throwing over them a linen cloth before the approach of hard weather: woollen will not answer the purpose. In this manner they are kept in Germany and in America, during the severest winters; and it is probable that potatoes might be preserved in the same way. Apples may also be kept till the following summer by putting them into a dry jar, with a few pebbles at the bottom to imbibe the moisture which would otherwise destroy the fruit, and then closing up the jar carefully with a lid, and a little fresh water round the edge.
APPLES DRIED. Put them in a cool oven six or seven times; and when soft enough to bear it, let them be gently flattened by degrees. If the oven be too warm they will waste; and at first it should be very cool. The biffin, the minshul crab, or any tart apples, are the best for drying.
APPLE DUMPLINGS. Pare and slice some apples, line a bason with a thin paste, fill it with the fruit, and close the paste over. Tie a cloth tight over, and boil the dumpling till the fruit is done. Currant and damson puddings are prepared in the same way.
APPLE FOOL. Stew some apples in a stone jar on a stove, or in a saucepan of water over the fire: if the former, a large spoonful of water should be added to the fruit. When reduced to a pulp, peel and press them through a cullendar; boil a sufficient quantity of new milk, and a tea-cupful of raw cream, or an egg instead of the latter, and leave the liquor to cool. Then mix it gradually with the pulp, and sweeten the whole with fine moist sugar.
APPLE FRITTERS. Pare some apples, and cut them into thin slices; put a spoonful of light batter into a frying-pan, then a layer of apples, and another spoonful of batter. Fry them to a light brown, and serve with grated sugar over them.
APPLE JELLY. Prepare twenty golden pippins, boil them quite tender in a pint and a half of spring water, and strain the pulp through a cullendar. To every pint add a pound of fine sugar, with grated orange or lemon peel, and then boil the whole to a jelly. Or, having prepared the apples by boiling and straining them through a coarse sieve, get ready an ounce of isinglass boiled to a jelly in half a pint of water, and mix it with the apple pulp. Add some sugar, a little lemon juice and peel; boil all together, take out the peel, and put the jelly into a dish, to serve at table.—When apple jelly is required for preserving apricots, or any sort of sweetmeats, a different process is observed. Apples are to be pared, quartered and cored, and put into a stewpan, with as much water as will cover them. Boil them to a mash as quick as possible, and add a quantity of water; then boil half an hour more, and run it through a jelly bag. If in summer, codlins are best: in autumn, golden rennets or winter pippins.—Red apples in jelly are a different preparation. These must be pared and cored, and thrown into water; then put them in a preserving pan, and let them coddle with as little water as will only half cover them. Observe that they do not lie too close when first put in; and when the under side is done, turn them. Mix some pounded cochineal with the water, and boil with the fruit. When sufficiently done, take them out on the dish they are to be served in, the stalk downwards. Make a rich jelly of the water with loaf sugar, boiling them with the thin rind and juice of a lemon. When cold, spread the jelly over the apples; cut the lemon peel into narrow strips, and put them across the eye of the apple. The colour should be kept fine from the first, or the fruit will not afterwards gain it; and use as little of the cochineal as will serve, lest the syrup taste bitter.
APPLE MARMALADE. Scald some apples till they come to a pulp; then take an equal weight of sugar in large lumps, just dip them in water, and boil the sugar till it can be well skimmed, and is reduced to a thick syrup. Put it to the pulp, and simmer it on a quick fire a quarter of an hour. Grate a little lemon peel before boiling, but if too much it will be bitter.
APPLE PASTY. Make a hot crust of lard or dripping, roll it out warm, cover it with apples pared and sliced, and a little lemon peel and moist sugar. Wet the edges of the crust, close it up well, make a few holes in the top, and bake it in a moderate oven. Gooseberries may be done in the same way.
APPLE PIE. Pare and core the fruit, after being wiped clean; then boil the cores and parings in a little water, till it tastes well. Strain the liquor, add a little sugar, with a bit of bruised cinnamon, and simmer again. Meantime place the apples in a dish, a paste being put round the edge; when one layer is in, sprinkle half the sugar, and shred lemon peel; squeeze in some of the juice, or a glass of cider, if the apples have lost their spirit. Put in the rest of the apples, the sugar, and the liquor which has been boiled. If the pie be eaten hot, put some butter into it, quince marmalade, orange paste or cloves, to give it a flavour.
APPLE POSTILLA. Bake codlins, or any other sour apples, but without burning them; pulp them through a sieve into a bowl, and beat them for four hours. Sweeten the fruit with honey, and beat it four hours more; the longer it is beaten the better. Pour a thin layer of the mixture on a cloth spread over a tray, and bake it in a slow oven, with bits of wood placed under the tray. If not baked enough on one side, set it again in the oven; and when quite done, turn it. Pour on it a fresh layer of the mixture, and proceed with it in like manner, till the whole is properly baked. Apple postilla is also made by peeling the apples and taking out the cores after they are baked, sweetening with sugar, and beating it up with a wooden spoon till it is all of a froth. Then put it on two trays, and bake it for two hours in an oven moderately hot. After this another layer of the beaten apples is added, and pounded loaf sugar spread over. Sometimes a still finer sort is made, by beating yolks of eggs to a froth, and then mixing it with the apple juice.
APPLE PUDDING. Butter a baking dish, put in the batter, and the apples whole, without being cut or pared, and bake in a quick oven. If the apples be pared, they will mix with the batter while in the oven, and make the pudding soft. Serve it up with sugar and butter. For a superior pudding, grate a pound of pared apples, work it up with six ounces of butter, four eggs, grated lemon peel, a little sugar and brandy. Line the dish with good paste, strew over it bits of candied peel, put in the pudding, and bake it half an hour. A little lemon juice may be added, a spoonful of bread crumbs, or two or three Naples biscuits. Another way is, to pare and quarter four large apples, boil them tender, with the rind of a lemon, in so little water that it may be exhausted in the boiling. Beat the apples fine in a mortar, add the crumb of a small roll, four ounces of melted butter, the yolks of five and the whites of three eggs, the juice of half a lemon, and sugar to taste. Beat all together, and lay it in a dish with paste to turn out, after baking.
APPLE PUFFS. Pare the fruit, and either stew them in a stone jar on a hot hearth, or bake them. When cold, mix the pulp of the apple with sugar and lemon peel shred fine, taking as little as possible of the apple juice. Bake them in thin paste, in a quick oven: if small, a quarter of an hour will be sufficient. Orange or quince marmalade is a great improvement; cinnamon pounded, or orange flower-water, will make an agreeable change.
APPLE SAUCE. Pare, core, and slice some apples; put them in a stone jar, into a saucepan of water, or on a hot hearth. If the latter, put in a spoonful or two of water, to prevent burning. When done, mash them up, put in a piece of butter the size of a nutmeg, and a little brown sugar. Serve it in a sauce tureen, for goose and roast pork.
APPLE TRIFLE. Scald some apples, pass them through a sieve, and make a layer of the pulp at the bottom of a dish; mix the rind of half a lemon grated, and sweeten with sugar. Or mix half a pint of milk, half a pint of cream, and the yolk of an egg. Scald it over the fire, and stir it all the time without boiling; lay it over the apple pulp with a spoon, and put on it a whip prepared the day before.
APPLE WATER. Cut two large apples in slices, and pour a quart of boiling water on them, or on roasted apples. Strain it well, and sweeten it lightly. When cold, it is an agreeable drink in a fever.
APPLE WINE. To every gallon of apple juice, immediately as it comes from the press, add two pounds of lump sugar; boil it as long as any scum rises, then strain it through a sieve, and let it cool. Add some yeast, and stir it well; let it work in the tub for two or three weeks, or till the head begins to flatten; then skim off the head, draw off the liquor clear, and tun it. When made a year, rack it off, and fine it with isinglass. To every eight gallons add half a pint of the best rectified spirits of wine, or a pint of brandy.
APRICOTS DRIED. Pare thin and halve four pounds of apricots, put them in a dish, and strew among them three pounds of fine loaf-sugar powdered. When the sugar melts, set the fruit over a stove to do very gently; as each piece becomes tender, take it out, and put it into a china bowl. When all are done, and the boiling heat a little abated, pour the syrup over them. In a day or two remove the syrup, leaving only a little in each half. In a day or two more turn them, and so continue daily till quite dry, in the sun or in a warm place. Keep the apricots in boxes, with layers of fine paper.
APRICOTS PRESERVED. There are various ways of doing this: one is by steeping them in brandy. Wipe, weigh, and pick the fruit, and have ready a quarter of the weight of loaf sugar in fine powder. Put the fruit into an ice-pot that shuts very close, throw the sugar over it, and then cover the fruit with brandy. Between the top and cover of the pot, fit in a piece of thick writing paper. Set the pot into a saucepan of water, and heat it without boiling, till the brandy be as hot as you can bear your finger in it. Put the fruit into a jar, and pour the brandy on it. When cold, put a bladder over, and tie it down tight.—Apricots may also be preserved in jelly. Pare the fruit very thin, and stone it; weigh an equal quantity of sugar in fine powder, and strew over it. Next day boil very gently till they are clear, remove them into a bowl, and pour in the liquor. The following day, mix it with a quart of codlin liquor, made by boiling and straining, and a pound of fine sugar. Let it boil quickly till it comes to a jelly; put the fruit into it, give it one boil, skim it well, and distribute into small pots.—A beautiful preserve may also be made in the following manner. Having selected the finest ripe apricots, pare them as thin as possible, and weigh them. Lay them in halves on dishes, with the hollow part upwards. Prepare an equal weight of loaf sugar finely pounded, and strew it over them; in the mean time break the stones, and blanch the kernels. When the fruit has lain twelve hours, put it into a preserving pan, with the sugar and juice, and also the kernels. Let it simmer very gently till it becomes clear; then take out the pieces of apricot singly as they are done, put them into small pots, and pour the syrup and kernels over them. The scum must be taken off as it rises, and the pots covered with brandy paper.—Green apricots are preserved in a different way. Lay vine or apricot leaves at the bottom of the pan, then fruit and leaves alternately till full, the upper layer being thick with leaves. Then fill the pan with spring water, and cover it down, that no steam may escape. Set the pan at a distance from the fire, that in four or five hours the fruit may be soft, but not cracked. Make a thin syrup of some of the water, and drain the fruit. When both are cold, put the fruit into the pan, and the syrup to it; keep the pan at a proper distance from the fire till the apricots green, but on no account boil or crack them. Remove the fruit very carefully into a pan with the syrup for two or three days, then pour off as much of it as will be necessary, boil with more sugar to make a rich syrup, and add a little sliced ginger to it. When cold, and the thin syrup has all been drained from the fruit, pour the thick over it. The former will serve to sweeten pies.
APRICOT CHEESE. Weigh an equal quantity of pared fruit and sugar, wet the latter a very little, and let it boil quickly, or the colour will be spoiled. Blanch the kernels and add them to it: twenty or thirty minutes will boil it. Put it in small pots or cups half filled.
APRICOT JAM. When the fruit is nearly ripe, pare and cut some in halves; break the stones, blanch the kernels, and put them to the fruit. Boil the parings in a little water, and strain it: to a pound of fruit add three quarters of a pound of fine sifted sugar, and a glass of the water in which the parings were boiled. Stir it over a brisk fire till it becomes rather stiff: when cold, put apple jelly over the jam, and tie it down with brandy paper.
APRICOT PUDDING. Halve twelve large apricots, and scald them till they are soft. Meanwhile pour on the grated crumbs of a penny loaf a pint of boiling cream; when half cold, add four ounces of sugar, the yolks of four beaten eggs, and a glass of white wine. Pound the apricots in a mortar, with some or all of the kernels; then mix the fruit and other ingredients together, put a paste round a dish, and bake the pudding in half an hour.
AROMATIC VINEGAR. Mix with common vinegar a quantity of powdered chalk or whiting, sufficient to destroy the acidity; and when the white sediment is formed, pour off the insipid liquor. The powder is then to be dried, and some oil of vitriol poured upon it, as long as white acid fumes continue to ascend. This substance forms the essential ingredient, the fumes of which are particularly useful in purifying rooms and places where any contagion is suspected.
ARROW ROOT. This valuable article has often been counterfeited: the American is the best, and may generally be known by its colour and solidity. If genuine, the arrow root is very nourishing, especially for weak bowels. Put into a saucepan half a pint of water, a glass of sherry, or a spoonful of brandy, grated nutmeg, and fine sugar. Boil it up once, then mix it by degrees into a dessert-spoonful of arrow root, previously rubbed smooth with two spoonfuls of cold water. Return the whole into the saucepan, stir and boil it three minutes.
ARSENIC. The fatal effects of mineral poisons are too often experienced, and for want of timely assistance but seldom counteracted. Arsenic and other baleful ingredients, if used for the destruction of vermin, should never be kept with common articles, or laid in the way of children. But if, unfortunately, this deadly poison should by some mistake be taken inwardly, the most effectual remedy will be a table-spoonful of powdered charcoal, mixed with honey, butter, or treacle, and swallowed immediately. Two hours afterwards, take an emetic or an opening draught, to cleanse away the whole from the stomach and bowels. The baneful effects of verdigris, from the use of copper boilers and saucepans, may be counteracted by the same means, if resorted to in time, and no remedy is so likely to become effectual.
ARTICHOKES. Soak them in cold water, wash them well, and boil them gently in plenty of water. If young, they will be ready in half an hour; if otherwise, they will not be done in twice that time. The surest way to know when they are boiled enough is to draw out a leaf, and see whether they be tender; but they cannot be properly boiled without much water, which tends also to preserve their colour. Trim and drain them on a sieve, serve with melted butter, pepper and salt, and small cups.
ARTICHOKE BOTTOMS, if dried, must be well soaked, and stewed in weak gravy. Or they may be boiled in milk, and served with cream sauce, or added to ragouts, French pies, &c. If intended to keep in the winter, the bottoms must be slowly dried, and put into paper bags.
ASPARAGUS. Having carefully scraped the stalks till they appear white, and thrown them into cold water, tie them up in small bundles with tape, and cut the stalks of an equal length. Put them into a stewpan of boiling water a little salted, and take them up as soon as they begin to be tender, or they will lose both their taste and colour. Meanwhile make toasts well browned for the bottom of the dish, moisten them in the asparagus liquor, place them regularly, and pour on some melted butter. Then lay the asparagus on the toasts round the dish, with the heads united at the centre, but pour no butter over them. Serve with melted butter in a sauce tureen, and separate cups, that the company may season with salt and pepper to their taste.—As this vegetable is one of the greatest delicacies which the garden affords, no person should be unacquainted with the means of producing it in constant succession. Toward the end of July, the stalks of the asparagus are to be cut down, and the beds forked up and raked smooth. If the weather be dry, they should be watered with the drain of a dunghill, and left rather hollow in the middle to retain the moisture. In about a fortnight the stalks will begin to appear, and the watering should be continued once a week if the weather be dry. Asparagus may thus be cut till near the end of September, and then by making five or six hot-beds during the winter, a regular succession may be provided for almost every month in the year. To obviate the objection of cutting the same beds twice a year, two or three others may be left uncut in the spring, and additional beds made for the purpose. The seed is cheap, and in most places the dung may be easily procured. There is no need to continue the old beds when they begin to fail; it is better to make new ones, and to force the old roots by applying some rotten dung on the tops of the beds, and to sow seed every year for new plants.
ASSES' MILK, so beneficial in consumptive cases, should be milked into a glass that is kept warm, by being placed in a bason of hot water. The fixed air that it contains sometimes occasions pain in the stomach; at first therefore a tea-spoonful of rum may be taken with it, but should only be put in the moment it is to be swallowed. The genuine milk far surpasses any imitation of it that can be made; but a substitute may be found in the following composition. Boil a quart of water with a quart of new milk, an ounce of white sugar-candy, half an ounce of eringo-root, and half an ounce of conserve of roses, till the quantity be half wasted. As this is an astringent, the doses must be proportioned accordingly, and the mixture is wholesome only while it remains sweet.—Another way. Mix two spoonfuls of boiling water, two of milk, and an egg well beaten. Sweeten with white sugar-candy pounded: this may be taken twice or thrice a day. Or, boil two ounces of hartshorn-shavings, two ounces of pearl barley, two ounces of candied eringo-root, and one dozen of snails that have been bruised, in two quarts of water till reduced to one. Mix with an equal quantity of new milk, when taken, twice a day.
ASTHMA. As this complaint generally attacks aged people, the best mode of relief will be to attend carefully to diet and exercise, which should be light and easy, and to avoid as much as possible an exposure to cold and frosty air. The temperature of the apartment should be equalised to moderate summer's heat by flues and stoves, and frequently ventilated. A dish of the best coffee, newly ground and made very strong, and taken frequently without milk or sugar, has been found highly beneficial. An excellent diet drink may be made of toast and water, with the addition of a little vinegar, or a few grains of nitre. Tar water is strongly recommended, and also the smoking of the dried leaves of stramonium, commonly called the thorn-apple.
ASTRINGENT BOLUS, proper to be taken in female complaints, arising from excessive evacuations. Fifteen grains of powdered alum, and five grains of gum kino, made into a bolus with a little syrup, and given every four or five hours till the discharge abates.
ASTRINGENT MIXTURE, in case of dysentery, may be made of three ounces of cinnamon water, mixed with as much common water, an ounce and a half of spirituous cinnamon-water, and half an ounce of japonic confection. A spoonful or two of this mixture may be taken every four hours, after the necessary evacuations have been allowed, and where the dysentery has not been of long standing, interposing every second or third day a dose of rhubarb.
BACON, though intended to be a cheap article of housekeeping, is often, through mismanagement, rendered one of the most expensive. Generally twice as much is dressed as need be, and of course there is a deal of waste. When sent to table as an accompaniment to boiled poultry or veal, a pound and a half is plenty for a dozen people. Bacon will boil better, and swell more freely, if the rind is taken off before it is dressed; and when excessively salt, it should be soaked an hour or two in warm water. If the bacon be dried, pare off the rusty and smoked part, trim it neatly on the under side, and scrape the rind as clean as possible. Or take it up when sufficiently boiled, scrape the under side, and cut off the rind: grate a crust of bread over it, and place it a few minutes before the fire to brown. Two pounds will require to be boiled gently about an hour and a half, according to its thickness: the hock or gammon being very thick, will take more. See DRIED BACON.