Australian enquiry book of household and general information/Cookery
A COMPLETE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION.
General Advice to the Cook.
IF you are anxious to become a good cook, do not despise the smaller details and say to yourself, "Oh, anyone knows that," or, "Everyone can cook this," for it is very often the smallest details that will spoil the effect of a really good dish. For instance, badly boiled rice may spoil a good curry, or ill-boiled or ill-mashed potatoes, the appearance of a dish of cutlets. Learn everything and take nothing for granted, and first of all learn how to boil rice, potatoes, cabbage, etc. Many cooks boil cabbage in two waters to do away with the strong odour.
A good cook should be constantly watching to see what dishes are liked best, and which are the most freely partaken of. If a dish returns to the kitchen untouched or nearly so, it is a sure sign that it is not in favour, therefore, she should not offer it again for a time. Of course, when a mistress gives the order herself, a cook has no option but to do her bidding, but these notes are meant chiefly for those young ladies of a family who do the cooking and have the ordering of the meals themselves. In many families, the girls, when they have left school, are put to learn cooking, either from the cook in the house or some professional, and when expert they are installed in the household as head cook, with one or perhaps two assistants under them. I cannot write too highly of such a custom, and I would impress upon every mother the real necessity of some such training for the girls who may marry, and some day be forced to cook for a very fanciful husband; but I have touched on this matter elsewhere so will proceed with the one in hand.
A cook requires to know and understand her oven before she ventures on any delicate baking. If she has a stove it is easily regulated, but with the colonial ovens, so much in vogue all over Australia, matters are not so simple, and she will have to watch everything she puts into the oven. In cooking scones, pastry and small cakes, she needs to let the colonial oven be well and evenly heated beforehand. All such things should be baked as quickly as possible, while bread, plum cakes, joints, etc., require to do more steadily.
One of the first things for a young cook to learn is punctuality, and until she grows used to, and understands her fire-place and oven, it is the most difficult. Experience will soon teach her how long a joint will take to cook, fifteen minutes for each pound is a fair time to allow when baking a joint, and if potatoes are baked with it allow them one hour, but they will require turning, and the joint will require basting.
If you want to have your potatoes crisp and very brown, you may have to take some of the fat from the baking-dish about ten or fifteen minutes before they are done, as, if there is much fat they will not become crisp.
A great many, indeed, almost all servants who call themselves plain cooks, put the joint of meat into the baking dish, then proceed to smother it in fat, and so it goes into the oven. This is utterly wrong and is quite as bad as putting steak to be fried into cold fat. It is just as easy to do it the right way as the wrong, and the right in this instance is to put your fat into the dish, let it become hot, and then put your joint into it, the difference being that, with the cold fat, the meat absorbs it, and in the hot it does not.
The best dripping is what the joint has been baked in, therefore, a good plan is to save all the fat skimmed from the soup, and use it to cook the joint in, by that means it will be improved greatly.
To make gravy for the joint, remove the latter from the baking-dish on to a nice hot dish (be sure to have hot plates always for hot meat, and the meat dish heated also to receive the joint), remove the potatoes very carefully so as not to break any of them, then strain the fat into the dripping jar, but leave the brown sediment or gravy. Now dredge a little flour, or, failing a flour dredger, dust a little from your hand, or half-a-teaspoonful or so, into the baking-dish, a little salt and pepper, and with an iron spoon mix and stir it about until blended smoothly with what little liquid is left from the meat, then from the kettle pour in some boiling water, place it at once over the fire and stir till it boils and thickens a little (be sure you do not put too much flour); the gravy should be a rich brown colour and just a little thickened. Pour it through a strainer into a gravy tureen and send to table, or, if preferred, pour into the dish with the joint.
One thing to be impressed upon all cooks is to send the meal in hot, not half cold, the fault lies in the dishing up generally, the joint gets cold while the gravy is making, perhaps stands uncovered on the table while the rest of the meal is being dished and the plates heated. If you have no dish cover, stand the meat in the oven or before the fire while the gravy is making. If there are sauces to be made, such as onion, bread or mint, they must be ready-made to dish with the meat, and the young cook should get to know all about such things and make them without orders if the mistress, who will most likely be her mother, forgets. Bread sauce goes with turkey and also roast fowl very often; mint sauce goes with lamb, apple sauce with roast goose, pork, etc.; onion sauce goes with many things, rabbit, bandicoot, etc.. boiled; currant jelly is eaten with roast mutton by many people; the great thing is to know and serve these things at the right time.
There are recipes for all the sauces given elsewhere.
A leg of mutton is often stuffed with thyme, onion, bread crumbs, well-mixed with one egg and a teaspoonful of dripping. The place to stuff it is under the flap. Another and better way is to remove the bone (the butcher will do it) by slipping the knife along. Do not cut the leg open. Fill the space with stuffing, which may be made by mixing together bread-crumbs, chopped parsley, small piece of butter, and a little pepper and salt.
In preparing poultry, do not attempt to draw or wash them till all the feathers are off and they have been singed, as, if washed beforehand, the flesh becomes blackened and dirty and the hairs will not burn off. Game that has been shot in the bush or swamps and carried some distance, has to be cleaned to prevent it going bad, and the plucking has to be done after. But with the poultry killed at home it is different. The best way of killing, I consider, is by bleeding, cutting the head right off is the simplest way, and the best so long as it is not cut too near the body, and so the breast spoilt for stuffing.
Be sure to take the crop or craw out whole, it is very easily done if you are careful, but do not extract the crop till the bird is drawn, because, the gizzard being attached to the crop, you might have difficulty.
Open a fowl in the left side, making the slit inside the leg, or in what might might be called the groin, so that with your right hand you can remove all the inside, it is a mistake to use a knife to cut away or scrape anything out; all that it is necessary to remove will come without effort. Many of the best cooks use only a small wire with a double hook at the end and only remove just what that brings. They never wash the inside and would be surprised at the suggestion, and when one comes to think of it there really should be no occasion to wash the inside of a fowl, unless the intestines were broken or torn, and that is what one must guard against always. The gall is the chief thing to get out entire, as, if broken, it may give an unpleasant taste. When the inside is out, if not washed, it must be well wiped out with a damp cloth. If washed, it is plunged into cold water and well washed. Many people cut the outer skin and flesh away round the vent, supposing that it is not clean, but that is quite a wrong idea, for when well washed it is as clean as any part, and it spoils the look of the bird to cut it away.
The feet can be cut off at the joint below the fleshy part, but do not throw away either head or feet, they can be cleaned with hot water, the outer skin of the feet and of the beak and comb being taken off, and with the gizzard they will make a very nice gravy, or a little drop of soup for an invalid.
Make a stuffing of parsley, boiled onion, breadcrumbs, dripping, salt, pepper and one egg; stuff the breast first,then fill the body.
The young cook will do well to study her cookery book, not merely to take recipes from it, but to learn the different seasonings, flavorings and stuffings that go with the various meats, and having mastered such details, experiment on her own account. If economy is necessary in the household, she must learn to make up all cold meats and to utilize cold vegetables and scraps of dry bread, in fact, every morsel of food that comes under her hand. She should always have a supply of bread-crumbs for bread-crumbing cutlets, meat-balls, potato croquettes, etc.; for this purpose let her save all the scraps of waste bread, bake them till quite hard and brown, but not at all burnt. When she has a few minutes to spare she can grind them up in the mincing machine, and sift through a fine wire sieve, or they can be pounded in a mortar, or rolled with a rolling pin. Always sift them as you then get them of a uniform fineness. When doing cutlets, prepare them some little time beforehand, as the crumbs stick better and are not so apt to fall off in the frying. If you have not an egg, a little drop of milk will answer in which to dip the cutlet before rolling in the crumbs. If the crumbs are kept in a tin or bottle in a dry place, they will be fit to use to the last grain, but it is not wise to do a large quantity at a time—a pickle-bottle full is enough. When making meat-balls, break one or two eggs into the meat and mix quickly: this will make the meat stick together or bind far better than if the eggs are beaten up and then stirred in. Then dip the balls in more egg, and roll lightly in the crumbs. Colouring is another thing the cook must always have beside her. A bottle of good colouring will last a long time if properly made. To make it you should use an old pan, or a pint panniken will do, but a pan is by far the best. Put into it three or four tablespoonsful of sugar, and melt it over the fire, when it froths up stir with an iron spoon till all the sugar is burnt and frothing, then pour in a pint of warm water and stir quickly; when cool, bottle. A very little is sufficient to colour soups, gravy, stew, etc. It you should run out of colouring, a little can be made for immediate use in an iron spoon.
You should always have three different receptacles for dripping or fat; 1st one for the ordinary dripping from roast joints, skimmings from soup (clarified), which you will use for frying, making pastry and roasting; 2nd for the fish fat, which should never be returned to the other jar, as it will taste of fish. If you use oil for fish it should be clarified before being returned to the jar or bottle, or it can be strained through muslin; 3rd for the fat or dripping poultry has been roasted in and which is very good eaten on bread, used for pastry, cakes, etc. In frying fish use plenty of fat or oil, a brisk fire, and do not turn the pieces till quite done on the one side, but keep your fish slice busy to prevent sticking or burning.
In boiling fish, if you have no proper fish cullender to lay it on in the boiler, use a dish and tie a muslin over it to lift by when it is done. If near the sea, use sea water for boiling your fish.
With boiled fish serve either egg, parsley or oyster sauce; the last named is made as follows: use half milk and half oyster liquor, when it boils stir in a teaspoonful of butter, blend a little corn-flour and thicken with it, and, having trimmed some oysters drop them in, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve poured over the fish. For egg sauce, make it just the same, but have the egg boiled hard, peeled and mashed, and having poured the white sauce over, sprinkle the egg evenly and lightly all over the fish. There is a great art in boiling fish: to know exactly how long it will take, as even the largest will only take a very short time. Having rubbed the fish with a slice or two of lemon, plunge it into cold water well-salted, let it come to the boil, then remove to one side and simmer till done, skimming well. The object of rubbing with lemon is to harden the outside of the fish; vinegar has the same effect. Soused fish or eel is a pleasant change. If doing eels cut them into joints or pieces, lay in a deep pie dish with salt, pepper, and a few pepper corns. Now pour in equal quantities of vinegar and water, put into the oven and bake till done. To be served cold.
The young housekeeper who has all her own housework to do, should always get her puddings and sweet dishes made through the day, that is, if she indulges in late dinners, as many young wives are obliged to do on account of their husband's business keeping him away all day. If the dinner can be in the middle of the day, so much the better, as tea is an easy meal to prepare, and there need be no greasy plates and dishes to wash afterwards. But in many households the husband takes his luncheon in town and dines late at home, and then, if no servant is kept, everything will depend on the good management of the wife.
If she makes her puddings beforehand and leaves them on the side-board ready to take the place of the previous course, she will not have to be running from the dining-room to the kitchen. All milk pudding's are best eaten cold, but boiled puddings will, of course, have to be taken up just before serving.
Two tablecloths should be enough each week where there are not many children, and where the cloth is carefully folded and pressed after each meal.
In the kitchen six tea towels and cloths for drying the china will be sufficient, and the young housekeeper should have a couple of kettle-holders and an iron-holder.
She must regulate her work so as to give each day its appointed duties.
Almost every housewife knows something worth telling for the benefit of others. It may be some trifling matter which she has discovered when experimenting, or it may be something she has thought of, and carefully worked out to her own satisfaction. How many wonderful inventions were first discovered by simple accident. The same thing happens daily in cookery: new combinations, new mixtures, unexpected properties in different things are always coming to light. For instance it was pure accident that caused the discovery of preservative qualities in coffee, and it was a careless accident that showed me what an improvement thick milk was in curry. Ladies in the bush who are in the habit of cooking regularly, either for pleasure or from necessity, are constantly finding out little hints and dodges that would be very useful to all situated in like manner, for often one runs out of certain things in the bush, and then it is either a case of discovery or inventing a substitute; or else doing without till the drays come from town. I have often thought what a good plan it would be to exchange hints with each other through some newspaper. Some years ago I belonged to a society of this kind, but it was merely among personal friends, and we exchanged recipes by letter. Anyone who discovered or invented a new dish or cake at once made it known to the others; and in this way each was benefitted by the cleverness of the whole number.
AS a rule in this country all joints are baked instead of being roasted. No doubt this is owing to the inconvenience of our fires: it is well nigh impossible to roast before a colonial oven. But I believe there is a new roasting apparatus, consisting of a deep pan, and sort of high screen or fender, coming into fashion. However, in the meantime we bake our meat, and very badly too, in some households. The cook lays her joint flat in the baking tin, smears a quantity of dripping over it, adds a spoonful or two for the pan, and pops it into her oven, never once troubling to look at it till the dinner hour. As one remarked to me once:—“I likes a good joint to cook, it’s all straight sailing, for you just lay the fat on it and it cooks itself; the only thing is to keep up a right good fire.” This is the opinion of a good many. Few ever think of basting the meat, consequently, the joint is either dried up, or burnt outside and only half cooked inside. If carefully basted and the fire regulated, baked joint is quite pleasant to eat as one roasted in the old-fashioned orthodox style. The meat should be placed on a rest in the centre of the baking-dish: this will prevent it catching underneath. Put your fat or suet round and let your fire be gentle at first. No greater mistake can be made than putting meat into a red-hot oven. Common-sense must tell you that the outside will cook and become done before the inner portion is warmed through. Directly it begins to cook it should be well basted, and this repeated every quarter of an hour. About ten minutes to every pound is the usual time to allow with these colonial ovens, but it depends a good deal on the oven, for an old one will cook very quickly, and heat almost at once, while a new one will require some time to get heated through.
While on the subject of ovens, I may mention here a novel one which I have used, and found very successful. I mean an ordinary oil drum: a square one if possible. I built one in with some bricks, and the bushman's cement of ant-bed and sand. I made it secure, and had a tin the size of the opening to fit in as a door. It was a capital oven. I have baked bread, cakes, and a small joint in it. Shepherds’ wives, whom I told about it, when they once used one, preferred it to a colonial oven. Of course you light the fire above and below, as in the old fashioned camp oven. The only drawback is the smallness of the drum.
HINTS ABOUT BEEF.
A flank steak is more savory and quite as tender as one from the tender loin. Oiled and nicely broiled, it is a delicious morsel. Made into a pie and eaten cold, it makes an excellent luncheon or supper dish.
Few housekeepers are aware that the “church ribs,” as they are called, gives them really as good joints for the table as any part of the bullock.
For rolling, braising or boiling, you cannot have a better part, while the meat from next the bones makes very sweet steaks. If the ribs are not converted into soup they are very good as devilled or grilled bones.
Roast Beef with Lemon Juice—When the roast is tough and flavorless, as it very often is in this country, the juice of a fresh lemon squeezed all over it just before it goes into the oven will improve and give a pleasant flavor to the meat. With a very fat joint the lemon takes off the oily taste.
To Bake a Round—Bind the calico round the beef tightly (it will not require the cloth by which to lift it). Then make a thick paste or dough, it must be quite half an inch thick everywhere when rolled out, and enclose the round in it, wrapping it well over the top. A good plan to ensure the proper thickness top and bottom is to make extra paste, and, having wetted the first, put a second cover top and bottom. It will take a lot of flour, and it is useless when done with; many people prefer to boil for that reason.—But if one can afford it, the extra goodness of the flavour makes up for the waste of flour. If baked in a colonial oven do not make it very hot, and have top and under heat as equal as possible, and allow twenty minutes to the lb. and twenty over. When half the time has gone draw the under fire, unless the paste is not very brown, in that case it can be left; but sometimes when both fires are going the crust becomes very brown or burnt, then it is easier to attend to only one fire, and turn the meat when necessary. To know when it is sufficiently cooked, pass a knitting needle through from side to side, or half way only. When done let it stand till cool before knocking off the crust. To a round cured and cooked in this way you should be able to cut and come again down to the last morsel.
Baked Calf's Head.—Clean the head very carefully, and put it into a baking dish on a rest in the centre. Grate some nutmeg over it with some sweet herbs chopped; pepper and salt, crumbs of bread, and a little lemon peel; dredge a little flour over, put some pieces of butter here and there, and then put into the oven. Put into the dish a bunch of sweet herbs, an onion, some peppercorns, and a pint of water. Bake according to size, about ten minutes for each pound. Sauce for the above is thus made:—When the head is done take it out and strain the gravy from the dish into a saucepan. Have the brains boiled previously with a sprig of sage in the water. Add them chopped fine to the gravy; teaspoonful of butter rolled in flour, two spoonsful of port wine, boil for a few minutes, and when the head is on the dish pour over it.
Baking Hams.—Few people care to go to the trouble of baking hams, though there is no doubt it is by far the best way to cook them, as all the juice is retained. There is only the one way of doing them I know of, and that is in a thick paste of flour and water. Make a regular stiff dough of plain flour and water; roll it out to about half an inch thick; then lay your ham on this, and draw the paste well over on the other side till it is completely wrapped. Put it into a moderate oven, keep the heat even, and allow a quarter of an hour for every pound. Do not mind the paste getting very brown—it is sure to do so. When you take it out break away the crust, peel off the skin, and grate a brown crust of bread over it while hot, and ornament the knuckle with a paper frill.
Tongues done in this way are very good, and it is by far the best way to cook a spiced round of beef. Many people object to the waste of flour,but the flavour of the meat makes up for that.
How and Where to Stuff Joints.—A leg of mutton or pork is stuffed under the skin, in the knuckle end, getting as much as possible into the cavity made, then fastening the skin over it securely. Anything that is boned, such as breast of veal, loin of mutton, shoulder of mutton, the stuffing should be placed where the bone was as nearly as possible, and rolled and tied up.
Forcemeat for Stuffing.—Two or three slices of ham or lean bacon, not quite ¼lb. of suet, the grated rind of half a lemon, one teaspoonful of minced parsley, and one of minced sweet herbs, salt, cayenne, and a little pounded mace to taste, the crumb of half a stale loaf, and two eggs.
Panada (to be Mixed with Forcemeat).
Ingredients: Bread crumbs, half a cup of white stock, one teaspoonful of butter, one slice of ham or lean bacon, one teaspoonful of minced parsley, two eschalots, one clove, one blade mace, mushrooms if to be got, yolks of two eggs.
Mode: Swell the crumbs in warm milk, then put into stewpan with the stock. In another pan put the butter and other ingredients, and fry them over a gentle fire. When done pour in one cup and a half of stock and let it boil till reduced a good deal, then strain through a sieve into the bread crumbs. Place over the fire and stir constantly, adding a little butter and then the yolks of two eggs. Mix well, and turn on to a clean plate to cool. Use this with forcemeat.
To Cook a Beefsteak.
Ingredients: Steak, salt, pepper, one teaspoonful good dripping.
Mode: First prepare your fire, which should be clear and hot. Then pound or beat your steak well on both sides; salt and pepper lightly. Into a perfectly clean pan put the dripping, and when quite hot lay in your steak. Turn frequently while it is frying (about every two minutes). Have ready a hot dish, slightly buttered, and directly the steak is done pop it on to it. Add a tiny lump of butter, and send to table at once. Do not put into the oven to become dry and sodden. Some good cooks use a pan with a cover for frying steak, and only rub the pan with fat before putting it in.
Macaroni with Steak.
Ingredients: 1lb macaroni, ½lb. steak, grated cheese, bread crumbs, one egg, parsley, pepper, salt.
Mode: Take the steak, or the tender undercut of a joint. Cut it into small squares ¼in. thick. Season with pepper and salt, and dip each piece in some grated cheese, and then into some finely grated bread crumbs, first moistening the meat with the beaten yolk of an egg, or failing that a little drop of milk. Fry in hot fat, enough to cover the pieces, or the crumbs and cheese will fall off. A good plan is to do the frying in a small saucepan. Have the macaroni boiled in plenty of water and a little salt. Drain and dish the macaroni, lay the fried meat on top and shake a little grated cheese over the whole, with some very finely-chopped parsley. This will make enough for six people.
To Cook Sheep’s Kidneys
(A breakfast dish).
Ingredients: Sheep’s kidneys, dripping, salt, pepper.
Mode: Pour some boiling water over the kidneys, then open them down the middle but do not quite divide them, peel off the thin skin and pass a skewer across them to keep them open, salt, pepper and dip into melted dripping, and broil over a clear fire on both sides, doing the cut sides first. When done, remove the skewers, and have ready some maître d’hôtel butter, and put a tiny piece upon each when on the dish.
MANY people maintain that boiled meat is more suitable for delicate digestions than roast. This is a mistake, as anyone who gives a moment's thought to the matter must see. In the first place, the hot water deprives the meat of some of its most important constituents. They naturally become diluted with the water, and are thus unsuited to a feeble stomach. A roast or baked joint retains all its juices, therefore, all its nourishing qualities. At the same time, there are many things that must be boiled, and it also makes a pleasant change in the mode of cooking. There are a few directions that should be remembered in boiling meat, and which are so simple that any cook, however stupid, can be taught. In the first place, all meat should be boiled as slowly as possible, and in plenty of water. The usual time is a quarter of an hour for every pound the meat weighs; but in boiling pork or lamb, allow twenty minutes for the pot—that means twenty minutes after the allotted time per pound is up. All fresh meat should be put into boiling water; salt meat into water that is warm only. I know this last remark will be considered rank heresy by many housekeepers, for most either put their meat into boiling water, which renders it hard, or into cold, which should not be done unless the meat has been in salt some time. It is only of late years I have found out that meat put on in boiling water is not so good as that put into water just warm. The water, once it comes to a boil, should be kept at it and not allowed to boil for ten minutes, then cool down a quarter of an hour. If you allow this, your meat will not be done, and the people call out about the directions being all wrong. One lady for whom I wrote out my own method complained that her joint was not nearly done, when she allowed only a quarter of an hour for each pound. I asked, was she sure it boiled continuously, or only in fits and starts. Ah, sometimes she had to move it one side of the fire to make room for other things. Of course, if that is done the meat will not be cooked. It should be kept at an even boil the whole time: I do not mean a gallop, but simply a steady heat. All scum should be skimmed off as it rises, if not the meat will be dark. Boiling in a well-floured cloth improves a leg of mutton or lamb, and fowls should always be so enclosed, as well as fish. The only vegetables that should be boiled with meat are carrots and turnips.
Veal.—Veal must be boiled like pork, or it is very unwholesome. Serve it with parsley and butter, or with a dish of bacon and greens.
Leg of Mutton should be served with caper sauce and turnips. Leg of lamb must be boiled in a floured cloth.
Ham.—If it is a large one it must be soaked at least twenty-four hours before cooking; when boiled according to its weight peel off the skin, grate a brown crust over it, and stand in the oven for a few minutes. An excellent plan to preserve the juice in a boiled ham or round of beef, is to plunge it into cold water for a minute or two directly it is taken out of the pot, the colder the water the better; iced if possible.
Mrs. Lance’s Xmas. Round.
Ingredients: A round of beef 30 or 40 pounds, 2 or 3 pounds of salt, 1 or 2 lbs. of sugar (if molasses, no sugar), one tablespoonful powdered saltpetre, ¼ lb. pepper, spice, celery salt.
Mode: Get the butcher to cut a round moderately thick and with a piece of suet skewered into the centre—the meat must be well skewered together, so that it can be turned and re-turned. Get it as soon as possible after it is cut from the bullock and place in a large milk dish if nothing else offers.
Second day: First turn it over and rub in equal quantities of salt and sugar, press into all the incisions but do not make more unless you think it really necessary. Crush up some salt-petre and rub it in round the edge of the meat, then lay on the all-spice (about a tablespoonful), and the same amount of black pepper. Rub these in well all over the meat, into every crack and along the sides, and when done on one side, turn and do the other, then turn again so as not to leave the same side up two days running.
Third day: First turn, then rub in more salt and keep a spoon handy to baste with the liquor that is in the dish, rub in more spice, pepper and some celery salt if it can be procured; this last is not necessary, but it gives a pleasant flavor to the meat when cold. Use a little more salt-petre (about one tablespoonful should be enough) if powdered to do the whole round, though more can used if liked. Few people are aware that salt-petre takes the taste out of meat, for which reason it must be used in very small quantities, it is only used at all to give the pretty redness to the edges and parts of the beef. More sugar can be rubbed in on the third day, or if it can be procured, molasses, or the thick dark treacle from the sugar refineries—the golden syrup sold in tins is useless for the purpose, but the molasses adds considerably to the goodness of the beef.
All the ingredients have now been introduced to the beef, and all that remains is to let them penetrate and absorb.
Fourth day: Turn and rub, ladling the liquor over and pressing it into the cracks and incisions, be sure every morning to test the soundness of the round, by pushing the finger into these places, and if there is any unpleasant smell it must be cooked at once. But if the directions are carefully adhered to, it should not have the slightest taint even if kept a month in pickle.
Fifth day: Turn and rub as before. If the weather is very close and muggy, it is best to do this morning and evening, two or three minutes’ rubbing is sufficient.
Sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth days. Turn as before. It should be sufficiently pickled by the eighth or ninth day for most tastes, but those who like can leave it another day or two. Regarding the quantities of spice, salt, etc., I cannot give a fixed guide, as so very much must depend upon the weather and the individual taste. Such a round as I have described should take at least 3 lbs. of salt, according to most ideas and ways of salting; but when used with spice, sugar, salt-petre, etc., 2 lbs. should be sufficient. If preferred, one can always get the butcher to salt the round before sending it, but I do not think it tastes the same, and when the salt is injected through the meat before cutting up the beast, the rounds are not worth spicing. I have given most particular and minute directions in this recipe, trivial even in some instances. But so many have written to me for this particular mode of spicing and afterwards have declared that their curing is not equal to mine, that I have determined to make it impossible to go wrong.
To Boil a Round of Beef.—Lift the meat from its liquor and wash well in cold water, place on a board or table, and with a broad piece of grey calico doubled, bind the beef firmly round so that when boiling it will still keep its shape. Also tie it loosely in a cloth for the convenience of lifting from the water when done. Now it can be boiled either in the ordinary way (of course put into hot water) or it can be baked in a thick crust of dough as you bake an English ham. The latter way is certainly the best as it keeps in all the juices and flavor of spices, but it is most trouble and requires careful watching. If boiled, allow one-quarter of an hour to every pound, and twenty minutes for the pot, and don't begin to count till the water boils. The liquor the beef has been cured in can be boiled up with some water, and if put into a jar or small wooden keg (with an open top) can be used for pickling small pieces of meat. I have done as small a piece as 1lb. of steak. It may require adding to, and should be boiled up occasionally.
Boiled Rolled Steak.
Ingredients: 2lbs. nice steak, 3oz. bread crumbs, one onion, thyme, one egg, beef dripping, salt and pepper.
Mode: Choose a piece of steak all in one piece, and lay on the meat board. Make a stuffing with the bread-crumbs, thyme, onion, dripping, salt, pepper, and moisten with the yolk of an egg. Spread it evenly on the steak, roll up tightly and tie with strong twine or skewer it securely together. Tie in a cloth, and drop into warm water with a little salt in it, boil slowly. Serve cold cut into thin slices.
Time: 20 minutes for each lb. and 20 minutes over.
Ingredients: Shin or leg of beef, scraps of pork, pepper, ground pimento or allspice.
Mode: Put beef on to boil with plenty of water. Boil till meat is perfectly tender and leaves the bones readily. Then dish the meat, take out the bones, remove the liquor to a basin. Cut up the meat and gristle into small pieces like dice. Put the liquor into a pot with some salt, pepper and ground pimento, bring it to the boil, and then add the meat, gristle and any scraps of cold pork, cut small. Boil for 15 minutes, then pour into moulds. When cold, turn out on a dish and serve. If there is plenty of liquor there will be a nice lot of jelly round the meat when cold.
Pates de foie Gras.
Ingredients: One pig's or calf’s liver, one pig’s tongue, one eggspoonful cayenne, half a nutmeg, a few cloves, one teaspoonful Worcester sauce, one teaspoonful mustard, juice of one onion.
Mode: Boil the liver till quite tender, and the tongue (separately). Boil them the day before you intend making the "patés." Cut the liver up and mash it with a fork first, then a knife, till in a smooth paste, moistening now and then with a little melted butter. Work in the cayenne, nutmeg (grated), cloves and sauce, salt to taste, the mustard made with a little boiling water to which has been added the juice of the onion. Work all together thoroughly and press into little jars well buttered. Cut the tongue in pieces the size and shape of dice, and insert little pieces in with the patés, these are to represent the truffles which appear in the true paté. When the jars are full and smooth on top, pour a little mutton fat over to keep the air out, and then cover the jar with bladder. In winter it will keep very well, but in the summer when a jar is opened it must be used very quickly. It is very nice for sandwiches and for luncheon or tea.
Good German Sausage.
Ingredients: Beef, veal, pork (fresh), beef suet and bacon, pepper, salt, sweet herbs and sage.
Mode: To make this sausage you must have bacon, without it the sausage is never so nice. Take equal quantities of beef, veal, pork, beef suet and bacon, both fat and lean. Put all through the mincing machine, season with pepper, salt, sweet herbs and sage, parched and rubbed fine. Mix all well together, and having a well-washed skin ready, fill it with the help of the mincing machine again. Tie securely at both ends, prick it here and there to prevent it bursting, and then boil slowly for an hour or a little more. Remove from the boiler and lay on straw to cool and dry. These sausages are greatly improved by being smoked.
When intending to make German sausages, a good plan is to select the meat some days before and put it in pickle, any ordinary brine pickle in which there is salt-petre, as the latter imparts a nice redness to it. The skins should also be put in pickle for a short time.
Ingredients: To each quart of blood, one teaspoonful of salt, one pint of groats or oatmeal, 1lb. pig’s fat, half a cup of bread crumbs, one tablespoonful of sage, dried and powdered, one teaspoonful dried thyme, allspice, pepper, one teacupful of cream or new milk.
Mode: These can only be made when killing a pig, as it is pig’s blood of which they are made. Put the salt into the blood while it is warm from the body, and keep stirring till it is cold. Simmer the groats or oatmeal in very little water till cooked. There must be no gruel. Chop up the fat, which must be from the inside of the pig, and add to it the sage, thyme, all-spice, pepper, and salt, and the cream or milk. When the blood is cold, strain, and add to it the other ingredients. When well mixed fill the skin, which has been cleansed and prepared for it, tie in lengths of about eight or nine inches, and then boil for half an hour, taking care to prick them, to prevent them bursting.
Ingredients: Oatmeal, beef suet, one onion, pepper and salt.
Mode: Brown some oatmeal in the oven or before a hot fire, and mix it with double its quantity of beef suet, chopped or minced fine. Boil the onion and chop it fine with pepper and salt, mix all together, put into the skins, and boil for one hour. They will keep some time in bran. Parboil when wanted, and grill on a grid-iron.
COLD MEAT DISHES.
IN many families the joint of beef or mutton has sufficient meat to last the household several days. Then the great thing is to know how to make it up, to disguise it in several ways, so that you may have several different dishes from the one foundation or joint. Stews, hashes, meat pies, and curries are all familiar to every cook, and the three first require no word from me, there being but the way of making them. Curry, however, is a dish few cooks attempt with any great success. The usual mixture of meat, flour, and curry powder, one constantly meets with as an extra dish at a full table, is only called curry by courtesy, bearing but slight resemblance to what it should be.
It is wonderful what unpromising material can be curried to advantage. Many years ago, when living in the bush, I was called upon to provide breakfast for a large shooting party. Being only a young housekeeper I was in real distress when I looked into my bare larder. However, necessity is the mother of invention, and I invented some new dishes upon that occasion, which have been favorites with me ever since. I had some red herrings. I steeped half a dozen of them in hot water to remove some of the salt, then I removed all the skin and picked all the meat from the bones, and curried it in milk like egg curry. That was one dish. The next had also to be of herrings, so being wary of disgusting them I first stewed them in vinegar and water, after I had steeped the salt out. Then I removed the skin and bones, and mixed them up very fine with an onion and some mashed potatoes, formed them into balls, dipped them into a batter in which was a quantity of chopped parsley and fried them in plenty of good fat. They made a very pretty dish served on a white napkin, and were excellent eating. Not one of my guests were able to guess what they were made of. Just before breakfast was going in my black boy brought me in a lot of scrub turkeys’ eggs, so I tossed up an in no time, and thus my table was well dressed after all.
Curry.—In the first place, the meat for a curry should be cut up quite small, so that no knife is needed to eat it with. Spoon and fork should always be laid for curry. Some prefer to use a fork and piece of bread, as with fish when there are no fish knives. Cut off every particle of fat from the meat. Now peel a good-sized onion, put a spoonful of butter into the stew-pan, let it melt over the fire, and put in your onion; fry it a light brown. When that is done add the meat by degrees, stirring it about well, so that all gets equally well fried. If you have any cold vegetables they can be cut small, and added to the meat. Next pour in a cupful of stock, if you have it, failing that, water; let it simmer for an hour or longer, stirring occasionally, and adding more water as it boils away. Cut up some pickles very small, about a tablespoonful, and put them in. If you have thick milk pour in a cupful. You have no idea what a great improvement this is to a curry. If you have not got it pour in some sweet milk. Let it simmer now till ten minutes before serving, and then mix your curry powder and flour together, a little salt and pepper, blend it with either water or milk and stir it in. While the curry is simmering, have half a cocoanut grated, and stir this in last. Let it boil ten minutes and it is ready for serving. Many people prefer the rice served with the curry in the centre, but it is not so nice as having it in a vegetable dish. The correct way is to have the curry in one covered dish and the rice in another.
Egg Curry.—Eggs make a delicious curry in the following way. Boil several eggs for about an hour, or even longer, for the egg that is boiled a long time is less indigestible than the one only just allowed to become hard. When taken from the hot water, plunge them into cold, and leave till cool enough to peel. In the meantime cut up an onion, and boil it in a little milk till quite tender. Put a pint of sweet milk into a stew-pan, let it come to a boil, and then thicken with half a cup of cornflour. Add salt and pepper to taste. A spoonful of fresh butter and grated cocoanut, if liked, but some do not care for it with egg curry. Blend and stir in the curry powder, and then having peeled the eggs, cut them carefully in quarters, trying to preserve the yolk and white together, and drop them into the stew-pan one by one. Stir gently to get all well mixed, and they are ready for serving. Oysters done in the above way are also very good.
Scrap Meat Pudding.
Ingredients: Scraps of cooked meat, ¼lb. of suet, ½lb. of flour, one onion, pepper and salt.
Mode: Take the pieces of meat and chop fine, but do not mince, cut up the suet, and chop the onion fine. Mix the flour, meat, suet, onion, pepper and salt in a basin, and moisten with enough stock to make them cling together, but not too wet. Place in a basin, tie a cloth over, and boil.
Time: Four hours.
Ingredients: Cold fowl, meat, or game, one cup bread crumbs, one teaspoonful anchovy paste, parsley, pepper and salt, one egg.
Mode: Mince the meat very fine by passing it two or three times through the machine, taking out all skin and gristle. Add to it the bread crumbs, anchovy paste, parsley, pepper and salt, mix all well together. Flour your hands and fashion the meat into little flat cakes. Dip in beaten egg, then into bread crumbs, and fry in oil, or good dripping a light brown. Pile on the dish and garnish with fried parsley and snippets of pastry.
Ingredients: Some cold meat, fowl,or fish, boiled rice, one onion, a little parsley, egg, bread crumbs.
Mode: Mince up some cold meat, or fowl, or fish, whichever you happen to have. Have your rice boiled, also the onion. Mix together well the meat, rice, onion, and chopped parsley, season with pepper and salt to taste. Make up into little flat cakes; dip them in flour, or better still, in egg, and then bread crumbs. Put plenty of dripping in a frying pan; when very hot drop in the rissoles, and fry till a nice brown.
STEWING AND BRAISING.
VERY few so-called cooks make any difference between stewing and boiling. To make a stew they cut up the meat, add an onion, season with pepper and salt, and then pour in a good share of water, so that they won't have to bother again about it burning, put it over the fire and leave it till ten minutes or so before dinner, when they mix some flour and water, stir it into the stew and serve. The result is a most unappetising mess, unpleasant alike to the eye and palate.
Stewing is really boiling very slowly, simmering over a small fire to get all the goodness out of the meat, and yet have the whole fit to eat. Braising is also done very slowly, but in the oven, in a special pan made for the purpose. I have had one made lately, after an idea of my own. It is merely a tin pan, just large enough to hold a fowl easily, but I have a second pan for it to fit into, in which water is put, so that in reality it is a double pan, and the water prevents any burning. Servants are so careless; they put a thing in the oven, and leave it, never looking at it till it is time to serve the dinner. Of all stews, the very nicest for a family dinner is the Irish stew ; it can be made of any cold meat or chops, but should be mutton, if possible. The pieces trimmed off cutlets make as nice a stew as anything, if not too fat.
Irish Stew.—Take a pound and a half of mutton chops; if too large, cut and trim them to convenient size and shape. Lay them in a stew pan, and cut up a large onion with them; salt and pepper to taste; pour in about two cups of cold water, and place the pan by the side of the fire. Let it simmer slowly for two or three hours. Peel six or eight good sized potatoes, cut them in halves and add to the meat. Let all stew another hour, or till the potatoes show signs of breaking. Some people add tomatoes to it, but I think they are out of place. You must add water if necessary, but do not let your stew be watery on any account.
Stewed Steak.—Take about a pound of tender steak, fry it a nice brown in a little butter. Remove to a stew-pan. Cut up an onion, and fry it also, and add to the steak pepper and salt, a carrot cut into slices, some celery and herbs. Pour in a pint of stock or water, and let the whole stew for two or three hours. When ready take out the meat, skim the gravy, thicken with a teaspoonful of cornflour, and then pour it over the steak. Some cooks prefer to roll up the steak before stewing. If this is done you must be careful to turn it frequently, or all will not be equally well cooked.
Meat Olives.—Cut some steak into thin slices, and beat each piece flat with the rolling pin; pepper and salt them. Now make a stuffing of bread crumbs, chopped onions, thyme, and some good dripping. Roll about a teaspoonful in each piece of steak, and tie it securely with thread. When all are done fry them a light brown, and stew them afterwards in some stock. Serve with the gravy round them.
Haricot—This is one of the very nicest dishes possible if well made, but it requires both time and trouble. Take some neck chops, strip them carefully of all fat and fry them a good brown, either in butter or dripping, it does not matter much. When fried remove them into a stew pan, and slice a large onion and fry it also, before putting into the stew pan. Dredge about a tablespoonful of flour over chops and onion, and pour in two cups of stock or water, and let all stew for a couple of hours. Cut a carrot into slices or pieces, with some celery and a little bunch of sweet herbs. Boil these tender in a little stock, and an hour before serving add them to the meat, etc. Pepper and salt to taste, add spoonful of sauce, and if not thick enough, a teaspoonful of flour blended smoothly. When serving arrange the chops on the dish neatly, then skim every particle of fat from the gravy, and pour the latter over the meat with the vegetables. Tomatoes may be added to this if preferred.
Haricot (Very Good).—Take some nice neck chops, cut off all the fat, and beat them flat with the rolling pin. Fry them lightly in good dripping, or else butter. When they are done, remove them from the pan, and slice into it a large onion; fry it quite brown; wash and cut into short pieces two large carrots, one turnip, and one head of celery; boil these till tender; pass some meat (mutton if possible) through the mincing machine, flavor it with herbs, etc., and mould into balls with flour; fry them nicely, and then put into a stew pan a good pint of brown gravy, thickened with a little flour; add the vegetables and the onion; let these come to a boil, and then put in the chops and force-meat balls; let it stew slowly for a few minutes, then add a glass of wine and a tablespoonful of sauce just before serving.
Stewed Steak, No. 2.—Season the steak with pepper and salt, and lay it in a stew pan. Put half a pint of water, a bunch of herbs, a lump of butter rolled in flour, an onion. Cover close, and let it stew till the steak is quite tender. Then take it out, dredge with flour, and fry a nice brown. Skim the gravy it has stewed in, and pour it over when in the dish.
Stewed Veal.—Divide a breast of veal into pieces, and fry them in good dripping. Put into a stew pan some green peas, an onion, and some parsley. Stew till tender, and then put in the fried veal, and stew altogether for an hour. Season with pepper and salt, and a teaspoonful of sugar.
Shoulder of Mutton, Stewed.
Ingredients: A shoulder of mutton, two rashers of fat bacon, one bunch parsley, one sprig thyme, two carrots, one onion, two or three pepper corns, one pint good stock, pepper and salt.
Mode: Bone and trim the shoulder of mutton and sprinkle over it salt and pepper, double it over, press together and tie firmly. Place the bacon in a stew-pan, and put the mutton on this, add the parsley, thyme, carrots (cut up), onion and pepper corns, pour in the stock, cover closely, and stew gently for two hours. When done, take out the mutton, thicken the gravy and strain over it. Garnish with slices of lemon. Time: Two hours.
To Cook Tripe.
Ingredients: Tripe, two onions, one bunch sweet herbs, a little flour, one teaspoonful butter, pepper and salt.
Mode: Cut the tripe into small pieces and cook slowly for several hours, then strain off that water, rinse well in clear water, and place in the stew-pan with the onions sliced, and the herbs. Cover with milk and stew very slowly, thicken with a little flour, stir in the butter, pepper and salt, and serve very hot.
Many people say they do not like tripe, because they have never tasted it properly cooked. Many cooks imagine it can be cooked in a hurry, whereas nothing requires longer time to cook than tripe.
Ingredients: ½ lb. cold veal, one large onion, three or four large potatoes, pepper and salt, one spoonful of flour.
Mode: Cut up the veal and brown it in the bottom of the stew-pan with a little butter or dripping, pour off the fat if any is left, and slice the onion previously boiled. Cover with hot water, or milk if you have it, let it simmer gently for half an hour, and then add the cold potatoes sliced. Season with pepper and salt and let it cook slowly for an hour. When dishing, remove the meat, potatoes, etc., thicken the gravy with the flour and pour it over the stew when on the dish.
Time: One and a half hours.
Veal and Oysters.
Ingredients: Veal, oysters, a piece of butter, one teaspoonful cornflour, pepper, salt, one lemon.
Mode: Cut the veal into small pieces (cooked will be best, if uncooked it will take much longer), put them into a jar with the oysters (fresh, if possible) and their liquor strained and a piece of butter. Place the jar in a saucepan of water and stew till tender. Just before serving, thicken with the cornflour, and season with pepper and salt. This can be done in the oven. Before serving, squeeze the juice of a lemon over it or garnish with slices of lemon.
Macaroni and Kidney.
Ingredients: Macaroni, 4 sheep's kidneys, salt, a little cayenne and herbs, tomatoes, cheese.
Mode: Cook some macaroni broken into pieces in salted water, drain it and lay aside. Skin the kidneys, ox kidneys will do but are not so delicate. Remove all fat and cut them into slices, season with salt, a little cayenne and finely powdered herbs; fry them on both sides and stew them in a little good gravy or stock, in which some fresh tomatoes have been sliced and boiled. Now dish with a layer of macaroni over them, the gravy poured round and some grated cheese strewed over the whole. Brown in a quick oven.
Ingredients: Mutton, onion, stock or water, pepper and salt.
Mode: Cut off a few slices of uncooked mutton about as thick as your finger, flatten them out by beating, flavor with salt and pepper, and put the slices into a saucepan with the onion chopped fine. Pour in enough stock or water to cover them and let them simmer for two hours, adding more stock if necessary. At the end of that time thicken the gravy with a little flour and simmer until wanted.
Time: Two hours.
Stewed Sheep’s Trotters.
Ingredients: Six sheep’s trotters, pepper, salt, flour, butter and bacon.
Mode: Boil the trotters three or four hours, have them well seasoned with pepper and salt. Thicken the liquor with some flour, and stir in a lump of butter. Have some slices of bacon fried. When cooked, put the stew on a dish and lay the bacon on top. If liked, some chopped parsley may be added to the stew.
Ingredients: About 6 lbs. of a piece of rump, a thin slice of bacon, one onion, young carrots, two turnips, a few whole spice, cloves, and peppercorns, a sprig of celery and parsley, salt to taste, one quart of good stock.
Mode: Choose a piece of rump cut from the end where it joins the loin. If practicable, hang it up a few days. You can remove the bone or not, it improves the flavor if left. Put the joint into a saucepan and over it pour some boiling water. Boil about fifteen or sixteen minutes, and then remove it to one side of the fire. This process secures all the juices in the meat. Now put the bacon, onion, carrots (cut in lengths), turnips (sliced), spice, cloves, pepper corns, celery, parsley and salt into a braizing pan. Put in the meat and pour the stock over it, and, if you have it, add some sherry or wine. Place the braizing pan where it will just simmer for a couple of hours, and baste frequently, and when nearly done, cover the lid of the pan with hot coals. Remove the meat to a dish Strain the sauce, pour it over, and garnish with the carrots.
This recipe is very elaborate, but the trouble is well worth taking, and one need not have braised rump very often.
SOUPS, broths, etc., in hot climates, are of far more consequence than joints, made dishes, etc. The business man comes home in the middle of the day, tired, hot and hungry, yet with a disinclination to eat meat, vegetables, etc., but the very thing he feels he could enjoy is a plate of soup or a basin of broth. Failing these, he, as often as not, indulges in an extra glass of brandy, whisky, or such like, and returns to his office imagining he is a little out of sorts. Children in the same way return from school, hot and tired, and without appetite for hot meat, but no matter how tired or hot, they will manage a plate of soup, and if they take nothing else until tea-time, they will be none the worse. Soup is the very best nourishment for men, women, and children. I would advise all house-wives to let their midday meal during the hot months consist of good soup or broth, followed by a light pudding. Do away altogether with the hot joint at one o’clock. Have it cold for tea, with hot vegetables or a nice salad, if you do not care to go to the trouble of a late dinner. Broth is more quickly made than soup, as it needs no stock foundation; at the same time, it requires good cooking and careful watching, and should always have some good piece of meat as a foundation, in place of the stock; and, by all means, plenty of fresh vegetables—not enough to make it too thick, but just sufficient to flavour well. The usual compound, called mutton broth, is a thick mixture, in which large pieces of mutton and mashed rice form the only ingredients, instead of which there should be no mutton left in the tureen. The rice should not be too much boiled, and there should be a flavour of all the vegetables.
Very few people know how to make good soup. Even experienced cooks often fail, making a tasteless mixture, which has to be flavoured and rendered palatable by the addition of sauces and condiments from the cruet stand. Good soup should require no sauce to flavour it. It should be rich, nourishing, and pleasant to the taste, without any aid from such things. Of course, I am speaking now of an everyday vegetable soup, which, after all, is the best and most nourishing, especially in a warm climate, when one often feels disinclined to eat hot meat. I know a family whose midday meal consists of soup, light puddings, and fruit. No meat at all during the hot months—but then the soup is stronger than a joint would be. It is the very essence of the meat. The secret of making good soup is in the boiling. You cannot put your meat on and let it boil so long, and then say it is soup that you strain off. No; it requires as much attention as any other dish. First and foremost, you must have a suitable pot. Having thoroughly cleaned out your pot, chop your bones to a convenient size, and put them in; threepence or fourpence worth of soup bones from the butcher is sufficient to make enough soup for eight people. Put in two dippers of water, and set the pot over a gentle fire; throw in some salt.
When it comes to a boil, remove some of the fire from under it, letting it only simmer gently, not boil, for five or six hours. The butcher usually comes early in the morning, and the soup should be put down at once, or as soon as possible after his coming. About ten o'clock cut up an onion into slices, a carrot, turnip, and a little celery. Throw this into your soup, and wash some rice, sago, barley, whichever you prefer, or a little of all three, if you like. Stir the bones well to ensure the vegetables, etc., being well covered. Let it simmer on till half an hour before serving. Then remove the pot from the fire, take out all the bones and meat, and with your ladle, skim off all the fat into a basin. It will be quite clear like oil, and, when clarified, makes the best dripping for short crust or pastry of any sort. Don't stir your soup until you have got all the fat off. It is very easy to take every particle of it away, though it seems almost hopeless at first. The soup should be a good colour, if properly boiled, and should not need any thickening, but if it is necessary, a dessertspoonful of flour blended smoothly with a little water, can be added, and the pot stood on the fire again for a minute. If colouring is required a little burnt sugar can be added, but if the above directions are strictly followed neither colouring nor thickening should be needed. The meat should be boiled to rags, and the bones be perfectly clean. One of the nicest accompaniments to soup of almost any kind is bread dice, fried in fat till quite crisp. Of course, it is supposed only to be used with pease soup, but it is just as good with other kinds. The way to do it is as follows:—Cut some bread into dice, no bigger, no smaller, put about two tablespoonsful of fat into the frying pan, and when it is boiling throw the bread in and stir it about till it is all brown and crisp. Add more fat if it requires it, but be sure none of the bread burns. When the dice are done remove on to a plate and keep warm; send to table in a deep plate, or else put into the tureen before pouring in the soup. The former is the better way, as they are apt to get too soft when long in the soup. The soup I have given above is one of the best for a large family, and is more simply made than any other. In fact, anyone can make it, even the most stupid cook. For stock I have quite a different plan. In the first place, you require a proper pot for this. While living in the bush I invented one for myself, and had it made at a tinsmith’s. A kerosene tin makes an excellent stock pot, either with or without a strainer. But it is best to have one if possible; any tinsmith will put one in and a tap for a few shillings, and the comfort gained thereby will repay for the small outlay. When it is ready for use, you can keep it on the side of the fire always, and any scraps of meat, bone, or trimmings from the joints can be thrown into it. If vegetables are added, care must be taken that it does not become sour, which there is danger of it doing in the summer months. On a station, where the fires are always banked up at night, instead of being put out, there is not much fear of this. When wanted, the stock can be drawn from the tin, and then made into any soup liked. At the end of the week turn out the tin, and thoroughly clean it with strong soda and soap. Save all the fat from the stock pot, it makes the best dripping when used over the roast. Scraps of fat can also be thrown into the stock pot, pieces of gristle, scraps of outside, skin, or anything. When wild fowl are brought in the giblets can be put in, also the heads and pieces of necks, well cleaned. There is no difficulty in cleaning the heads and legs of fowls and ducks. Scald them in water just off the boil, when the outer shell of the beaks will be easily rubbed off. The legs can be done the same way, and all will make good soup if added to the stock pot. Even the heads of wallabies can be cleaned, split, and thrown in, and the hind quarters of a wallaby with the tail will make delicious soup. In the bush there are very many ways of filling the stock pot. A few parrots, if not used otherwise, can be put in, and give a nice gamey flavor. Salt is the only condiment that should be put into the stock. Every night the bones and meat should be taken out and fresh put in. As stock is wanted for soup, gravies, etc., it is drawn off, and allowed to stand till the fat can be taken off. With a little care you can take off every particle of fat. At the last, if the stock becomes disturbed and the fat floats about in globules, by using a piece of blotting paper you can take them. One of the chief things in soup making, is removing the whole of the fat. The reason so many people dislike soups of all kinds is merely because what they know of soup is either a greasy, thick mixture, or else tasteless and watery. You should stir up your bones and meat well before drawing off your stock, or else you will not get the best of it. When the fat is removed, you have the foundation of your soup; the flavoring, seasoning, etc., determines its name. The stock pot can always be added to, and always taken from, if a sufficient supply of water is kept in it. The usual quantity is a pint to every pound, but there is no occasion to be so very accurate. My plan is to add water whenever I take stock out, and, as one is constantly adding meat scraps and other trimmings, it is kept about an equal strength. No piece is too small for the stock pot. Everything makes up. A very good motto for this pot is, “What don’t poison, fattens; and what don’t fatten, helps to fill up.” All bones should be crushed and broken into convenient lengths, as there is gelatine in them, and they add to the strength and colour of the stock. The lid should always be kept on the stock pot; if not, some of the goodness will fly up the chimney in the steam. In a cold climate, where it is possible the soup is the better for being made the day before it is required, the fat can be removed in a solid cake. A small packet of gelatine added to the stock pot is a great improvement; but, better still, there is a Chinese gelatine one can buy in almost any of the Chinese shops. Doubtless many ladies know what I mean. It makes capital jelly and puddings, but in soup it is before anything of the kind, being quite tasteless in itself. For one shilling you can buy a good bundle. It is not unlike dried snake’s skin. A bottle of colouring should always be kept on hand for soups, gravies, stews, etc. The following is a good rich browning, suitable for all purposes:—Take a cupful of brown sugar, put it into an old frying pan, on failing that an iron saucepan will do. Set it over a brisk fire, and when the sugar is melted, let it froth up to a fine brown colour and keep stirring all the time. Then pour in two cups of red wine. Any colonial wine will do, or, if you do not care to go to such expense, plain water will answer the purpose, but it will not keep so long, or impart such a fine colour to the soups, etc. A bottle of claret that has been open will do; any wine, in fact, so long as it is dark. Let it boil for ten or twelve minutes, add a teaspoonful of salt, and remove from the fire when cold; bottle, and lay by for use. A very small quantity will be sufficient for colouring purposes. Many people bake flour in the oven for the double purpose of thickening and browning, but I think it always gives a peculiar taste to the dishes in which it is used.
Cheap Stock.—The liquor a leg of mutton, piece of the loin, or pair of fowls has been boiled in. Take about three quarts of it into a clean saucepan add to it any trimmings from poultry, beef or bacon you may have. Wash and scrape two carrots and cut up small, one medium onion (with cloves or not, as liked), one bunch of sweet herbs, pepper and salt to taste. Let it simmer for several hours, keeping well covered, then strain for use.
To Make Stock Quickly.
Ingredients: 1 or 2 lbs. of any meat preferred.
Mode: Beef makes the strongest stock. Cut it up into small pieces and put it into a saucepan with about half a cup of water, and stand over a slow fire. As the gravy begins to come out add more warm water a little at a time till you have as much stock as you require. Many people, when making stock or beef tea, spoil it through putting it over a hot fire, and letting it boil into the meat instead of out of it. The outside of the meat becomes hard, and so the goodness or gravy cannot escape from it, but remains in the centre.
Stock for Good Clear Soup.
Ingredients: 2 lbs. of knuckle of veal, one fowl (an old hen will answer very well), but let it be cut up into joints or pieces, one onion, one head of celery, one carrot, one turnip, a bunch of parsley.
Mode: Cut up the veal into pieces removing all fat, and chop the bone. Put this into your soup pot with the fowl, the onion, in which may be stuck a few cloves, and all the other vegetables. Cover with cold water, about two quarts, add a spoonful of salt. Now remove every particle of fat, also any sediment there may be at the bottom. This is clear stock and is the foundation of all clear soups.
Macaroni Soup is merely macaroni washed, boiled tender, and added to the above.
Vermicelli Soup the same. Also Sago and Vegetable Soups.
N.B.—In the bush where bandicoots are numerous, they can be used to advantage in this way.
Time: To make the stock, six hours. Average cost: 2s. 4d. (if you buy the fowl).
Ingredients: Soup meat or bones, one onion, ¼ lb. vegetables (carrots, turnips, celery, etc.), herbs, half cup rice, half cup oatmeal, pepper, salt, four or five quarts of water.
Mode: Pieces of the neck or shank of mutton are best for this broth. Break up the bones into small pieces and put them into a large saucepan with the water. Let them boil gently by the side of the fire for four hours, then strain off the soup, let it stand a few minutes, and skim off the fat—take every particle, and what you cannot get with a spoon, use brown paper. Slice the onion and about ¼ lb. of any kind of vegetable you have (not potatoes). Add these to the broth with the pepper, salt and a small bunch of herbs. Let these simmer till tender, then wash the rice and add it, also the oatmeal, mixed and stirred in as a thickening. When the rice is cooked, send to table.
Soup a la Julienne.—Draw off about three pints of stock. Cut two carrots and two turnips into shreds about an inch long, put these into warm water and let them boil till tender. Add a stick of celery cut up fine, strain off the water, and pour the stock over the vegetables, and let it simmer for about half an hour. Before serving add a spoonful of Worcester sauce, and, if liked, the same of mushroom ketchup.
Carrot Soup.—Boil a good sized bunch of carrots (first slicing them) till quite tender, pulp them through a sieve into a stew-pan; add a tablespoonful of butter, salt, and cayenne to taste, and pour over about three pints of good stock; let it simmer a few minutes, and serve hot.
Mulligatawny Soup.—Take a fowl, and when picked and cleaned, cut into pieces, and put into a stew-pan with enough water to cover it. An onion sliced, three bird’s eye chilies, and salt to taste. Let this stew till the flesh has all left the bone; strain off the liquor, and add to it a quart of stock. Mix a tablespoonful of curry powder and one of flour with some milk; let the soup boil and then stir in the flour and the curry powder; and a tablespoonful of lime juice when it is in the tureen, and serve with rice in a side dish and a small jug of cream. In serving, a spoonful of boiled rice should be put in the plate first, and the soup poured over it. A few drops of cream added to it softens the taste, some people prefer salad oil.
A wild duck used instead of the fowl for a foundation is very good, but it can be made on stock alone without any fowl.
Hare Soup.—Cut the hare in pieces, and put in a stew-pan with three quarts of water, two onions, one carrot, ¼ oz. black pepper, salt to taste, herb seasoning, a cup of bread-crumbs and a little cayenne. Simmer gently six hours, strain through a sieve. Return the best part of the hare to the soup, and serve. This is best made the day before.
Giblet Soup.—Scald the giblets; cut into a dozen pieces and wash well; dry with a cloth. Place in a saucepan ¼ lb. of butter or dripping; when melted add 4 ozs. flour and stir till brown; add 2 ozs. lean bacon, 2 sliced onions or leeks and fry for a few minutes; put in the giblets and fry for ten minutes, stirring. Now add two quarts water, and stir occasionally till it boils, then put on one side to simmer. Season with two teaspoonsful salt, one sugar, half pepper, a little thyme, three cloves, ¼ lb. chopped celery. Let it simmer till all the giblets are tender, then remove fat and sieve.
Wild Duck Soup.—Pick and clean a couple of wild ducks, split them down the middle, and lay in a stew-pan with a sliced onion and some sweet herbs, salt and pepper. Cover with cold water and let them simmer for two or three hours. Strain off the soup, thicken it with a little sago, and serve with toast. The ducks can be served also with a sauce or melted butter, or they can be minced and served with slices of lemon round the dish.
Vegetable Stock.—Take carrots, turnips, onions, leeks, celery, in equal quantities, cut them into small pieces, and fry in fresh butter for half an hour. Then wash and cut up in shreds, two heads of lettuce, some parsley, a sprig of thyme and marjoram; add these to the rest; toss them in the pan, and then remove into a saucepan and cover with water, or add as much water as you want stock. Flavor with pepper, salt, a blade of mace, and a a teaspoonful of sugar. Let it stew for a couple of hours, then strain through muslin. Some tomatoes added to this are an improvement. It makes a very good stock for light soup.
Barley Soup.—Take one quart of vegetable stock and boil a pint of pearl barley in it till reduced to a pulp. Strain through a fine sieve and add more stock or water till it is the consistency of cream. Put it on the fire, and when it boils remove it to one side, and stir in the yolk of an egg with nearly a cup of milk; serve with fried bread.
Potato Soup.—Boil some potatoes till quite soft, drain them, and pulp through a sieve. Mix them with as much vegetable stock as will make the quantity of soup required. Add pepper, salt, and a teaspoonful of sugar. Roll a lump of butter in flour, add it, and let the soup come to a boil. Pour into the tureen over fried bread.
Some people call these purées. They are very good when a vegetable diet is ordered, and if properly made are very nice.
Clear Soup.—Draw off as much stock as you require. If not very strong, cut up some fresh steak into small pieces, and simmer them in the stock till the goodness is all out of them. Cut up a small onion and a carrot, and let them also simmer till tender, with pepper and salt to taste. Before serving, strain through a jelly bag till perfectly clear.
Beef Tea.—Nearly every cook has her own way of making this, but perhaps the very best is with a jar, and in the oven. Take 2 lbs. of lean beef, gravy beef, or steak. Cut it into small pieces, or, better still, run it through a mincing machine. Put it into a wide-necked jar, cover with water, and place in the oven for three or four hours. When required, strain off the the soup, and, to keep up the supply, add more meat, and fill up with water each time you take from it.
Beef Tea for a delicate stomach.—Take ½ lb. of good steak, and with a sharp knife scrape it into shreds. Lay this on a slice of toasted bread; let it be well browned; pour over it about a cupful of boiling water, and let it stand in the oven for half an hour. Then strain, and serve with a slice of dry toast.
Egg Soup.—I first saw this soup made by a French woman. She used to prepare it for the children's dinner. Take a quart of stock: wash a lettuce, and cut it up with a small onion; pour the stock over, and let it boil for about five minutes, or till the onion gets tender. Beat up three eggs in a basin with half a cup of cream, or milk; stir this into the soup when it is off the fire. If it does not thicken, hold over the fire, stirring till it does, but be sure it does not boil or the eggs will curdle. Serve with fried bread.
Pea Soup.—Soak over night a breakfast cup of split peas. Put them down to boil in a good sized saucepan, with a ham-bone, or else three or four slices of lean ham, a sprig of dried mint, and two quarts of water. Let it boil for four hours, then pulp the peas through the colander, taking out the ham; return to the saucepan. Blend a heaped teaspoonful of flour with a little water, and when boiling stir it in. Serve with fried bread. Many cooks add onions and other vegetables to their pea soup, but it is not correct.
Croute au Pot.—Cut off the bottom crust of a loaf, leaving equal thickness of crumb and crust. Cut it into small pieces, or slices. Soak them in some clear stock, and lay in a buttered tin in the oven till quite dried up. Then put them into the soup tureen, with some pieces of boiled carrot, turnip, etc., cut small, and pour some boiling stock over. Let it stand a minute, and then send to table.
Mutton Broth.—Take a neck, or part of a neck, of mutton; put it into a saucepan with sufficient water to just cover it. Let it boil well and add a sliced onion, a carrot, turnip, a little celery, some peppercorns, salt, and, an hour before serving, about half a cup of well-washed rice. Cut all the vegetables thin, and in small pieces. A cob of half-ripe corn boiled in this is a great improvement. Before serving, remove the meat, and skim off every particle of fat.
Onion Broth.—Slice a couple of onions, roll them in flour, and fry a light brown in some butter. Remove into a saucepan, and pour in some good stock, or make a stock with sheep's head. Flavor with pepper and salt, let it boil till the onions are quite soft; then pour the broth into the tureen over some fried snippets of bread, and about a tablespoonful of grated cheese.
Ingredients: Two turnips, two carrots, two or three sticks of celery, a small ham bone or pieces of lean ham, two quarts of soup or stock, eight or ten ripe tomatoes, pepper and salt.
Mode: Slice the carrots, turnips and celery. Put these, with a small ham-bone or a few ounces of lean ham into the soup, stock, or liquor meat has been boiled in, and add the tomatoes sliced. Let all simmer slowly for a couple of hours, then rub the vegetables through a sieve and boil them again with the soup for a few minutes. Add the pepper and salt, and serve hot with toasted bread cut in dice.
Time: Two hours.
Ingredients: One quart of tomatoes, one teaspoonful baking soda, one pint sweet milk, a small lump of butter, pepper and salt, parsley.
Mode: Peel the tomatoes by pouring boiling water over them (cold they will peel). Put them into one quart of water, and let it come to the boil, then drop in the soda, and when it has ceased to foam, add the milk, butter, pepper and salt. Fry some dice of bread, as for pea soup, and, before serving, put into the tureen and pour the soup over them. A little parsley chopped fine is an improvement, and some people like it thickened with a spoonful of cornflour blended and stirred in when boiling.
Bush Pease Soup.
Ingredients: One pint split peas, one large onion, one tablespoonful beef dripping, one bunch green mint, pepper, salt, a little flour.
Mode: Wash the peas and peel the onion, tie up in a piece of muslin or a muslin bag with the dripping and mint, tie the muslin pretty tight and put into a saucepan of boiling water, and boil for three or four hours. Then mash the peas, etc., through a colander, return to the stock, season with pepper and salt, and thicken with a little flour smoothly blended. Let it boil again for a few minutes, skim off the fat, and serve with fried bread.
Time: Three or four hours.
Ingredients: One cup of haricot beans, one onion, one pint milk, one tablespoonful flour.
Mode: Soak the beans in cold water over night, slice the onion and boil it with the beans in one quart of water and one pint of milk for four hours very slowly. Press through the colander or a hair sieve, if preferred, mashing the beans through with a wooden spoon. Put back into the saucepan, season to taste, thicken with the flour, stir till the soup boils, and serve with fried bread.
Time: Four hours.
Ingredients: Cold meat, one onion, pepper and salt, six or seven potatoes, pieces of toast.
Mode: Cut up the remains of any cold meat you may have in the house, if only a mutton bone, crack it across and across several times, and put into a saucepan with the onion, pepper and salt, and the potatoes cut into small pieces. Let it boil for two hours or more, then remove the bones, take off the fat, and serve with small pieces of toast in it.
Time: Two hours and a half.
Meat Essence for Soup.
Ingredients: Scraps of lean beef, bones, etc., and water.
Mode: On a station where killing day comes about every three weeks, it is necessary to have some way of preserving meat for soup to last the time. One of the very best methods is by converting it into essence of meat in the following way: Put all the scraps of lean beef into a large boiler or iron pot. Chop every particle of bone into small pieces and add it to the meat. All the bones left after cutting up and salting, the shins, neck, leg bones, and even the head can all be converted into extract by chopping or pounding fine, every particle of goodness is drawn from them, as well as the glutine matter that is in the bone. When you have a large boiler full of pounded bone and meat, cover it well with cold water, and let it boil till reduced to the strongest jelly. Strain off the liquid and let it stand till cold, then remove all fat, put into jars and tie down from the air. Three or four tablespoonfuls of this should make enough soup for five or six people. Add boiling water to it, and any vegetables, seasoning, etc., preferred.
Time : Twelve hours’ steady boiling.
Thickening for Soups and Gravies. —Put ½ lb. of good butter, and the same quantity of flour in an enamel stew-pan over the fire, and as the butter melts stir in the flour thoroughly with a spoon, do not let the fire be too hot or it will burn the mixture. Continue stirring till it takes a light brown colour, or about the colour of chocolate. A teaspoonful of this will thicken gravy, which should be boiling when it is added. This thickening will keep for a long time if kept in a close stoppered jar. Always skim after mixing in brown thickening.
White Thickening is butter and flour mixed as above, but not allowed to turn brown, and it is used for white soups and white sauces, which needs no skimming when it is put in.
GRAVIES AND SAUCES.
VERY few cooks know how to make good gravy, and fewer still even go to the trouble of making any, but a greasy thick mixture with water and flour in the baking pan, after the joint has been removed on to the dish. With every joint sent to the table, a small tureen of nice rich gravy should be served, and to make it properly you require a little extra meat, or the pieces cut off when the joint is trimmed will do. If possible, a piece of shin of beef is the very best for the purpose.
Rich Brown Gravy.—The following is a rich brown gravy, suitable for all kinds of brown meats, and can be made and used when wanted. So long as a coating of fat is left over it, it will keep for three or four days. Put a couple of pounds of shin of beef into a stew pan, and if you have it, a slice or two of lean ham or bacon, any bones and trimmings of cooked meat, all well peppered and seasoned with salt. Pour about a cup of water into the pan, and let it simmer gently till the gravy begins to run from the meat; then add more water, keeping the pan on one side of the fire, so that it only simmers, and the goodness is gradually drawn out of the meat. When the meat is reduced to rags, strain off the gravy into a basin, and stand it away till cool, and the fat hardens. This can be removed, the gravy heated in a small saucepan, thickened, if liked, with a little smoothly blended flour, and coloured with a spoonful of colouring. Serve in a gravy tureen.
Common Gravy.—The ordinary way of making gravy for a joint is right enough, provided every particle of fat is first poured out of the pan. When this is done, dredge a little flour into the pan, pepper and salt, and place it over a clear fire, stirring the flour, etc., about with a spoon, and when it bubbles up, pour in a cupful of boiling water, stirring all the time. Strain through a gravy strainer, and pour round the joint, or serve separately.
White Gravy.—This is a good gravy to serve with almost any dish made with white meat—such as fowl, veal, etc. Cut up 2 1bs. of lean veal, and a few slices of lean ham. Put this into a stew pan with any trimmings of fowl—the head, legs, etc., a small bunch of herbs, an onion cut fine, a blade of mace, salt, and some pepper corns. Cover with water, and let it stew for three hours very gently. Strain, and set by till cold, when all fat can be removed. This makes a good foundation for minces, hash, etc.
A rich Gravy for Hashes, Ragouts, etc.—Take about 1 lb. of gravy beef, or from the shin, cut into thin slices, dredge with flour,and fry a pale brown in butter or good dripping in the bottom of the saucepan, then pour in about three cups of boiling water. Let it boil up and add a slice of lean bacon and a little onion chopped fine, a small bunch of herbs, a blade of mace and a couple of cloves. Let it simmer by the side of the fire, and when required for use strain through a hair sieve and add a tablespoonful of any bought sauce preferred; then it is ready to be poured over the hash or served in a tureen, as required. If the flavouring sauce is added while it is on the fire it will be useless, as the flavour goes off in the steam.
For fowls the gravy can be made from the heads, gizzards, livers, necks, and feet, treated as the above with the addition of a slice of toasted bread for thickening, and at the last the liver should be taken out, pounded, and returned to the gravy.
Ingredients: 2 tablespoonsful of butter, 1 tablespoonful of flour, half a cup of water, salt to taste.
Mode: Melt the butter in a saucepan, dredge in the flour and add the water.
Melt 1 tablespoonful of butter over the fire, blend 2 teaspoonfuls of flour in a cupful of water and stir into the butter, let it boil 1 minute and add the yolks of 2 eggs and the juice of 1 lemon.
Melted Butter made with Milk.—Put about 1 pint of milk on to boil, and into it 1 teaspoonful of butter and a little salt. Blend 1 tablespoonful of flour in a little cold milk, and when boiling stir it in and let it boil 1 minute.
Maitre d’Hotel Butter.
Ingredients: Butter, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon juice.
Mode : Beat up the butter with the parsley (chopped), and add the salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Plain Parsley Sauce.
Ingredients: Stock, parsley, and flour.
Mode: Take some stock or some of the liquor in which meat, fowl, or fish has been boiled, bring it to the boil, add some chopped parsley, and thicken with a little flour blended with water. A small lump of butter may be added. Boil three minutes.
To be eaten with boiled mutton, veal, fish, or fowl.
Caper Sauce to Imitate, for Boiled Poultry.—Boil some parsley very slowly to let it become of a bad colour, then cut it up but do not chop it fine; put it into melted butter, with one tablespoonful salt and one dessertspoonful vinegar. Boil up and then serve.
Ingredients: 3 or 4 eggs, 3 teaspoonfuls salad oil, 1 teaspoonful vinegar, pepper, salt.
Mode: Strain the yolks of the eggs into a basin, and set it in a cool place—in the ice chest if you have one. Let it stand an hour or two, and then take a spoon and begin to stir round and round (not to beat). Add salt, stirring well; then a few drops at a time of the salad oil. The quantity of oil depends on individual taste; some people like a lot of oil. When half the oil is well mixed, put in in the same way some good vinegar, and keep adding oil and vinegar in these proportions until you get sauce the thickness of thick cream, then add pepper and more salt, if necessary. The oil and vinegar must be added by degrees or they will not blend smoothly and the amount of both will depend upon the quantity of sauce, and also the consistency you like it. Mayonnaise sauce is best served separately in a tureen or sauce boat with the salad either cut up or the lettuce in pieces.
Ingredients: Mint, vinegar and sugar.
Mode: Well wash the mint, pick the leaves from the stalks and mince them very fine, mix with vinegar and sugar.
Horse Radish Sauce.
Ingredients: 4 or 5 tablespoonsful grated horseradish, 1 teaspoonful sugar, ½ teaspoonful salt, 2 teaspoonsful of good made mustard, pepper and vinegar.
Mode: Mix the grated horseradish with the sugar, salt, pepper, and mustard. Moisten with enough vinegar to give it the consistency of cream. Serve in a small tureen with cold meat.
Sauce for Cold Meat.
Peel and slice some ripe tomatoes, and three or four eschalots into a sauce tureen. Pepper and salt to taste. Mix half a teaspoonful of mustard with four tablespoonsful of vinegar, and a little salad oil, or butter if preferred. While stirring, add about half a cup of sweet milk. This makes a very pleasant sauce for any cold joint. Tomatoes are useful in a great many ways, and they are a pleasant addition to all stews, curries, etc.
COOK as fresh as possible. If obliged to keep, scale, clean, wipe dry and hang in a cool place. On no account leave them in water. Fish caught some hours can be scaled quite easily, if dipped quickly into boiling water.
To boil large fish allow from five to eight minutes per pound, according to size. If possible, leave the heads on, there are nice pickings in the head. The South Sea Islanders always cook the heads alone, many of them preferring them to any other part of the fish.
Garnish fried fish with fried parsley. Pour white sauce over boiled fish,and sprinkle thickly with hard-boiled egg chopped fine.
Fish should be fried in oil in preference to either lard or dripping, but failing oil which must be really good and fresh, it is quite possible to fry successfully with lard or dripping. The whole secret is in having it the right heat, which is not reached till it has ceased to bubble, and is smoking. Do not let it burn, which it will if the fish is not put in at once when it has reached the right heat.
Have your fish or pieces of fish quite dry. Let them be well wiped and dried with a cloth, salted inside, and floured, then place each piecefish in carefully, and so as not to touch another, do not turn till quite cooked on the one side. If egged and bread crumbed, let them be prepared twenty minutes or half an hour before cooking. Failing bread crumbs, oatmeal is an excellent substitute, indeed, many people much prefer it.
Many cooks have a fashion of cutting off the fins of the fish, when preparing them for frying. It is of course a matter of taste, but the smaller sized fish look best if left quite perfect—heads, tails, and fins; so long as they will fit comfortably into your pan there is no more trouble in frying them, whole than without the heads, etc.
No actual rule can be given for boiling fish, as some cook quickly and others not. The signs when they are done are the meat separates from the bone, and the flesh loses all redness and transparency. Fish should always be well cooked, as it is most unwholesome if underdone; but the opposite extreme must also be avoided.
All fish to be boiled should be rolled in a floured cloth, and put into boiling water, to which salt and a little vinegar has been added. The vinegar keeps in the flavor and tends to harden the flesh.
Fresh fish takes from five to eight minutes to the pound to boil, according to its thickness.
The head and shoulders of a barramundi can be either boiled or baked. If boiled, serve with melted butter and chopped egg strewed over it, parsley and butter can be substituted if preferred, or a sauce made with prawns. A very nice sauce I sometimes use with this fish is the ordinary melted butter with a good spoonful of anchovy paste. A king fish boiled and served in the same way is very good. Oyster sauce with any of these is a pleasant change. Mullet is the fish most usually caught in the bush rivers and creeks. Two or three rolled together in a floured cloth, and boiled from twenty to twenty-five minutes make a nice dish served with egg sauce or parsley and butter. The water should be boiling when the fish is put in salted well.
Stewed Oysters.—Put into your stew pan about a cupful of sweet milk with the liquor from your oysters, a small onion cut up fine, pepper and salt to taste. Let this come to a boil, and thicken with a good tablespoonful of flour, blended smoothly, and a teaspoonful of butter. Now, drop in your oysters one by one, stirring all the time. Just let them boil up together, and remove from the fire. Serve with snippets of toast round the dish.
Forcemeat for Fish Soups.—One small tin of lobster, one teaspoonful of anchovy paste or sauce, one head of boiled celery, the yolk of a hard boiled egg, salt, cayenne and a little mace, one cupful of bread crumbs, a tablespoonful of butter, and two eggs to mix them. Make into balls, fry, and add to the soup when in the tureen.
Baked Mullet.—Most fish are nice baked, but mullet is best of all, on account of its being so fat at certain times in the year. Scale and clean a large mullet, and prepare a stuffing of bread crumbs,, a little onion to taste pepper and salt. Stuff the fish with this and sew it up. Lay it in a baking dish with a little fat, and bake half-an-hour, or longer if needed, in a quick oven. Serve with slices of buttered toast.
Fish Baked in Vinegar.—Scale and clean three or four medium sized fish. Lay them in a pie dish with some pepper corns and a few cloves. Pour in one cup of vinegar, and the same of water. Let them bake slowly two or three hours. To be eaten cold. Large fish can be cut up, and done in this way, and eels are very good so done.
Baked Fish.—The head and shoulders of a large thick fish are very good baked with a thick layer of bread crumbs over it, and a few slices of bacon laid on that again. About an hour is long enough, and then serve with hard eggs.
To Make Up Cold Fish.
Ingredients: Cold fish, 1 pint of milk, 1 teaspoonful of butter, 2 or 3 tablespoonsful of anchovy sauce (or half the quantity of paste), 1 tablespoonful cornflour or flour, pepper and salt.
Mode: Pick from the bones all the best pieces. Then put the milk into a shallow stew pan or an enamel frying pan, let it boil and stir in the butter or dripping, anchovy sauce or paste, blend the cornflour with a little cold milk and stir into the boiling milk over the fire. Lastly add the cold fish, taking care not to stir to a mash. Let it become thoroughly hot, add pepper and salt to taste, and serve in a wall of mashed potatoes, if liked, or garnished with hard boiled egg.
Ingredients: 6 or 7 herrings, 1 cup milk, 1 teaspoonful curry powder, and 1 teaspoonful cornflour.
Mode: Cover the herrings with a little water, let them stew until cooked, then break up and remove the worst of the bones. Put on the fire again with the milk. When they boil mix the curry powder with the cornflour, blend and stir into the herrings. Serve in a wall of plain rice, boiled in water.
Ingredients: One large basinful of crayfish, one pint of milk, one tablespoonful of flour, one tablespoonful of curry powder.
Mode: By crayfish I mean the common small craw or crayfish the children catch in such numbers in every water hole and swamp. I have seen people despise these small shellfish and declare nothing would induce them to eat them. But, as a matter of fact, they are quite equal to salt water prawns if properly cooked. Boiled in salt and water they are very good eaten cold; and curried, they are delicious. Skin and take off the heads and legs of a good basinful of cooked crayfish. Put the milk into a pan, let it come to the boil, and thicken with the flour and curry powder. Pepper and salt the fish well, and throw them in by degrees to the mixture on the fire, stirring now and then. Serve in a wall of rice and garnish with a few slices of lemon.
GAME AND POULTRY.
I HAVE mentioned coffee as a preservative, but as it may not be known as such to every one, I will give the method of using it. Dry coffee, used instead of pepper, will preserve game when it has to be carried any distance, or kept some time. I have tried and seen it tried so often in this climate that I can speak confidently. As a rule, when gentlemen go out shooting in hot climates, they carry pepper with them; that is, of course, when they go in a large party, and do not expect to eat the game until next day. This is a very simple way of saving all they shoot, and the trouble is so small that no man will refuse to take it unless he is a particularly lazy, useless member of the sex, and in that case I should imagine the lifting his gun to his shoulder would be too great an effort. When the ducks, water hens, turkeys, etc., are shot, let them be cleaned as soon as possible. The task need not be an unpleasant one at all if each gentleman is provided with a piece of stout wire, and each does all that falls to his own gun. Cut the opening at one side, the left is the most handy, first picking away just a few feathers. That done, introduce the wire which should be bent like a wide hook at the top, and draw down all the loose contents of the body. All that should will come without trouble, and in one pull, the wire being held firmly. Now sprinkle a liberal quantity of dry coffee into the inside, pick a handful of grass, roll it up, and push it in as stuffing. Treated in this manner, I have known ducks keep twenty-four hours in the hottest weather. I cannot tell you what qualities the coffee possesses, but that it is far before pepper, used in this way, I know from my own practical experience. I have also used it successfully on butcher’s meat.
In the matter of cleaning, or what is called drawing, all game and poultry, many people make a mistake when they remove every particle from the inside, and wash out the cavity. It should not be washed according to the opinion of most professional cooks. A professional cook seldom washes a bird when preparing it for table. I took a few lessons from an Indian cook some years ago, and it was from him I learnt how to dress poultry and game without making it an unpleasant task. I had always disliked the work before, as it made my hands both dirty and unpleasant; but he never soiled his hands, using the wire to draw with instead. His wire was made for the purpose, and was rather complicated, but I made one for myself out of a piece of fencing wire which answered just as well. Another thing, he did not wash his birds, saying that it would spoil their flavor, and this one can readily understand, as the water must wash out the gravy. So long as none of the parts are broken there is no occasion to do more than wipe out the inside with a damp cloth. When wild fowl are badly shot, the pellets should, if possible, be picked out, for if the lead is left in many hours before the birds are cooked it is apt to poison the flesh. For many years I was not aware of this fact, and, like my neighbours, took no trouble about the shots, until one day my whole household were taken ill after partaking of stewed pigeons. A blackfellow had shot them, and had been most liberal with the shot flask, for the birds were full of pellets when brought in. I happened to mention this to the doctor when he came, and fortunately there was one bird still uncooked, which he examined, and proved to my entire satisfaction that the lead had produced some chemical change, which had made us all ill. Since then I have often thought that instead of pigeons being poisonous at certain seasons, the idea has come from some one being ill from eating birds badly shot.
The Ibis—This bird has a very objectionable odour, and consequently is little used, but the smell is confined solely to the feathers and skin. Skin the ibis, and, when cleaned, lay him in vinegar and water for a couple of hours, and all the offensive odour will disappear, when he is ready to be cooked in any way you choose. If baked, he requires to be well seasoned and constantly basted, as the flesh is rather dry and it is also very dark.
Ingredients: 10 or 12 medium sized tomatoes, 1 large onion, 1 bunch herbs, 1 teaspoonful sugar, pepper, salt, 1 teaspoonful flour.
Mode: Having cleaned and prepared the bird as directed, plunge into boiling water, and let it boil for 15 minutes or so. Then cut the flesh from the bones in nice pieces, and lay them in a stewpan with the tomatoes (sliced), also the onions (sliced), the herbs, pepper, salt, and sugar; pour in about two cups of water, and set over a gentle fire to stew, adding a little water as it boils away. Just before serving, thicken the gravy, if necessary, with the flour, and serve garnished with slices of lemon.
Time: Two and a half hours.
Small Sea Birds—There are a great many small birds on the sea coast which are never used as food simply because their delicacy and goodness are not known. There is a small bird, little bigger than a quail, and which flies in large numbers at certain times of the year. They are most delicious on toast or stewed with oysters. To pluck them, pour hot water over them in a deep pan. One pint boiling water to one pint and a half cold is the proportion that should bring the feathers off any bird without injuring the skin. Pour the water on, and leave them in it till cool, then strip as quickly as possibleAll small birds are best cooked whole—that is, without being cut up at all. They can be run on a long skewer, and roasted, and laid on toast, or they can be stewed with herbs and a rich stock or gravy.
Ingredients: Wild goose, stuffing of mashed potatoes, bread crumbs, and herbs, seasoning.
Mode: This is the better for hanging a day or two, unless it be in the middle of summer. Even then it can be hung for a time if it is carefully cleaned, salted, and peppered, and put into a muslin bag. If badly shot, it should be laid in vinegar and water for a short time, after being well washed. This is particularly necessary when the shot has broken the intestines. Some inexperienced cooks or housekeepers imagine a bird is useless if the flesh has turned green in places, but this is a mistake, as there need not be the least taste of taint if the parts are washed well with vinegar and water. A good stuffing for wild goose is mashed potatoes, bread crumbs, and herbs, well seasoned, and stuff the breast as well as the body.
Stewed Wallaby.—Take the hindquarters of a young wallaby, cut into small pieces, with about half a pound of lean ham. While still on the board pepper and salt well, and dredge a little flour over it. Cut up an onion and fry it in the bottom of the stew pan, pour off the butter or fat, and put in the meat, with just sufficient water or stock to prevent burning. Put it over a slow fire, and keep stirring the meat about till all is hot, then pour in more water or stock, and let it stew gently for two or three hours. Thicken with a lump of butter rolled in flour, and just before serving add a glass of colonial wine.
Ingredients: Bandicoot, vinegar and water, sweet potatoes, onions.
Mode: A bandicoot is a very disagreeable animal to clean, therefore it should be done as soon after killing as possible, and then the flesh can be left in strong vinegar and water for a few hours before dressing. Sweet potatoes and onion make a good stuffing for bandicoot, which is good either boiled or baked.
The Flying Fox.
Ingredients: Flying fox, bread crumbs, and herbs.
Mode: Flying fox is excellent eating during the fruit season; when that is over, they are not good, taking a peculiar flavour from some flower or leaf they fall back upon when there is no fruit. Many people are prejudiced against the flying fox on account of its extremely powerful and unpleasant smell; but once the bat-like wings are got rid of, that goes, and when the flying fox is properly skinned and cleaned, the flesh is clean and white, looking somewhat like a fowl that has been skinned. Judgment is required in choosing them to get those that are young and plump. They can be stuffed with bread crumbs and herbs or mashed potatoes, and either roasted or boiled. A young flying fox, split like a Spatch cock and grilled, is a capital breakfast dish.
Baking Poultry.—Poultry needs very careful baking. Most cooks overdo it, which is almost as great a fault as under-cooking. When your fowl is picked, drawn, and well washed, dry it thoroughly with a clean cloth. Cut off the head and legs, throw them into scalding water to get the outer skin off the latter and the beak. By-and-bye they will come in for gravy for your dish. Have your stuffing prepared; fill the breast. This is a vexed question with many cooks, as most of them insist upon merely stuffing the body of the fowl, whereas if the breast is filled, it improves the appearance of the dish greatly. There is one matter I would mention: in drawing a fowl the crop or craw should be taken out whole, and without splitting down the skin from the neck. It is quite simply done. You want to separate the skin from the bag that holds the food. Get the latter into your hand, and then draw it out while pressing the skin back. By this means you will have the whole crop intact, and a nice cavity left wherein to put your stuffing. When this is filled, draw the skin well back over the neck bone, and tie or sew it. Now fill in a little stuffing into the body of the fowl. Many cooks open a fowl at the vent. This is a great mistake also, and quite spoils its appearance, unless you are very expert at trussing. It should be opened on the left side, right in the groin. Then when trussed it does not show, as the leg is brought close to the body, and so hides the cut. When the fowl is trussed and skewered with small skewers, mind and dust a little flour over it, press the breast into shape, and it is ready for the basting dish. A few slices of fat bacon laid over the breast improves the flavor,and prevents it getting too brown. The liver and heart are usually fixed in with one wing, the gizzard with the other; but as few people care for the latter it can well be stewed with the head, legs and bit of neck-bone to make gravy. Put them into a small saucepan with a little water, pepper and salt. Let them simmer gently, and when your fowl is cooked, pour off the fat from the baking dish, dredge in a little flour, stand the dish over the fire, pour in the gravy, let it bubble up, stirring all the while; add a spoonful of sauce, and strain into a gravy tureen, or over your fowl if preferred. Bread sauce is only supposed to be eaten with turkey, but it is a very pleasing accompaniment to roast fowl. Besides it is so easily made there is no reason why it should not be used with both. Crumb your bread very fine; put on a cupful of milk to boil, with a small onion in it; remove the onion when it has boiled, and stir in the bread crumbs gradually; also, a piece of butter the size of a walnut, pepper and salt. Do not let it be too thick. Serve in a tureen.
The same directions apply to all kinds of poultry, the only difference being the time, and that, of course, depends on the size of the birds. Poultry needs a quick fire. It should never be kept cooking very long, or it will become sodden.
Boiled Turkey.—A large one stuffed with force meat will take quite two hours, without stuffing about an hour and a-half; a small hen turkey not more than three quarters of an hour. The following is an excellent stuffing for boiled turkey: bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, lemon peel, a few oysters, or anchovy paste, a piece of butter, a little suet, all made moist with an egg. Mix all well together, and fill the skin of the breast. Serve with the turkey a ham, piece of boiled bacon, or a boiled tongue.
Boiled Goose.—This is seldom seen, many people thinking that a goose boiled is spoiled. This is a great mistake, for some much prefer them boiled, and certainly when not quite young boiling is the best way to cook them. Having singed and thoroughly cleaned the goose, plunge it into a large basin or bucket of boiling milk or water. It is only on a dairy farm that one could get sufficient milk, but when procurable it greatly improves the flavor of the goose—however, water will do. Let it be all night in this, then take out, dry well, and stuff with sage and onion. If the weather is cold enough hang it up for a few hours before cooking. Boil for one hour, and serve with onion sauce.
How and Where to Stuff Poultry.—The great art of stuffing consists in getting it in without disfiguring the bird, and in so securing it that it does not burst out during the cooking. In all poultry the opening should be sewn up with needle and thread.
Turkeys and fowls are stuffed in the crop, the latter being removed without breaking, and then the stuffing put in its place, so that when cooked the breast plumps out and looks natural. Ducks, geese, hares, rabbits, bandicoots, &c., are stuffed in the body where the entrails were taken out.
Stewed Pigeons.—When the pigeons are picked and cleaned, make a seasoning of pepper, salt, sweet herbs and a little butter; bread crumbs, if liked. Stuff them with this and sew up the openings. Half bake them in a quick oven and then remove them into a stew pan, with some good stock or gravy, a glass of white wine, an onion, some lemon peel, pepper and salt. Let them stew till quite tender, they will not take long; and when done remove to the dish, thicken the gravy and pour over the birds, or else serve in a tureen separately.
Stewed Fowl.—Pick and clean your fowl, and carve it into pieces as you would for serving at table. Pepper, salt, and flour each piece as you lay it in the stew-pan. Cut up an onion and add it also. Now pour in some stock or water, and let stew for a couple of hours very slowly. When serving arrange the pieces nicely on the dish, and have ready a sauce—made with milk, butter, flour, and an egg beaten up—to pour over it, or serve in a gravy tureen.
Ingredients: A young chicken, one bunch of savory herbs, one onion, cloves, half a teaspoonful of salt, a little pepper, one tablespoonful of butter, and one of flour, a few mushrooms, two eggs.
Mode: Few young housekeepers know how to prepare a fricassee, so I will give the plain directions. Choose a young plump chicken about nine weeks old, draw, singe, and skin it. This is a very simple matter if you use hot water toit. Then cut it into neat joints and soak them in cold water for twenty minutes, drain them and put them into a saucepan with the herbs, a small onion stuck with two or three cloves, salt and pepper, and enough water to cover them. Bring the liquid to a boil, skim, and simmer very gently for half an hour, or till the meat is cooked. Remove the chicken on to a plate to drain. And now put the butter,flour,and mushrooms, if you have them, into a stew pan and stir about till well mixed, and add gradually a pint and a half of the liquor, or as much as there is, in which the chicken was boiled, simmer for a few minutes, and put in the pieces of chicken. When quite hot remove them again, beat up the eggs, add them to the liquor with a small piece of butter. Do not let it boil after the eggs are added. Arrange the chicken on a dish and pour the sauce over them. This is a very delicious dish when well prepared, but I doubt whether it is worth the trouble.
Potted Chicken. (Home Made).
Ingredients: Cold chicken, butter, salt, a little cayenne, mace, nutmeg, allspice.
Mode: Cut the meat small, run it through the mincing machine, then pound it well, either in a mortar, or on a board, until reduced to a paste. To a pound of meat add two tablespoonsful of butter, half a nutmeg, teaspoonful pounded mace, and one teaspoonful of allspice also is a great improvement. Put into small pots or jars, and cover with mutton fat poured on hot, the latter is quite as good as butter for the purpose, tie down with. In potting ham allow a proportion of fat to the lean, about a quarter of a pound to every two pounds of lean. The great thing is the pounding which must be done thoroughly, and till all is reduced to a smooth paste.
(A Good Breakfast Dish).
Ingredients: The livers of two or three fowls, chicks, or game of any sort, mustard, salt, cayenne, a teaspoonful of anchovy paste or sauce, a little butter.
Mode: Boil the livers for ten minutes; mash them on a plate. Mix in a little made mustard, the salt, cayenne, and anchovy paste, with a little butter. Spread on hot buttered toast, and serve.
ALL vegetables should be laid in cold water once they are cleaned and ready for the fire. Let them stand at least half an hour, or longer; for this reason, it is always best to impress upon a servant the necessity of preparing the vegetables for the dinner some time beforehand. They should be allowed plenty of water in which to boil, and care must be taken not to overdo them, as it spoils their color and appearance. A piece of soda, half the size of a bean, should be added to a gallon of water, for boiling green vegetables. Hard water is bad for any green things; it spoils their color. They should be put into boiling water, with a handful of salt, and when they sink it is a sign they are done. Then take them up and drain thoroughly. Potatoes should be put into cold water; also turnips, carrots, and similar hard vegetables. Cabbage when cooked can be chopped fine, a small piece of butter added with pepper and salt, and then press it into a basin or mould of some sort, and turn out on to a dish. This makes a nice breakfast dish served with poached eggs.
To Boil Potatoes.—In boiling potatoes in their jackets or skins, if you put them into hot water instead of cold as is done with them peeled, you prevent them bursting or cracking when done. Directly they are done they should be strained and set over the fire a minute or so to dry, that is, to draw the moisture from them. For mashed potatoes let them boil two or three minutes over to ensure their being soft, and then break up with a fork and mash with a proper masher, or, if you have not one, the end of the rolling pin or a bottle will do very well. A teaspoonful of butter or dripping should be added, pepper, if liked, and the least little drop of milk if they are very dry. Potatoes should never be patted down flat in the dish. For the centre of a dish of cutlets the simplest and best way is to press them into a buttered mould or basin, and just before serving turn out on to the dish and arrange the cutlets round neatly, the bones turned up. Sweet potatoes mashed with chopped eschalots and parsley are very nice.
Ingredients: Ten or twelve potatoes, one bunch young eschalots, salt, pepper, two cups sweet milk.
Mode: Peel and cut the potatoes into slices or quarters, put them into a saucepan with the eschalots cut up, pepper and salt, and the milk. Cover with a close lid and let it cook slowly stirring occasionally to prevent burning. It will be done in about half-an-hour, when it can be served with cutlets, chops, steak, etc., or it makes an excellent dish for children, with bread and butter.
Ingredients: One pint well-mashed potatoes, one tablespoonful parsley, one teaspoonful butter, half cup warm milk, flour, one egg.
Mode: Take the potatoes and add to them the parsley (finely chopped), butter and warm milk. Roll into balls, flour slightly, dip in egg and then in bread crumbs, and fry in plenty of hot fat.
New Potatoes should never be peeled, and should be boiled in only sufficient water to prevent burning. Keep close covered and boil slowly. When the skin cracks they are done. Drain off the water and place over the fire again to steam or dry. Some people serve new potatoes with melted butter, but I think it is quite.
Sweet Potato.—A most popular vegetable in some countries is the sweet potato. It can be baked, boiled, or even stewed as fruit. To boil them use no salt, as it gives them a dark tinge. They are very good mashed with chopped eschalot and parsley; boiled plain with melted butter, or baked with meat. For tarts they can be boiled, mashed, and flavored with lemon-juice, lemon-peel and sugar, turned into a pie-dish, and covered with a short crust; also treated with sugar, nutmeg, lemon and sweet spice, the same as pumpkin pie, they are very good.
To Boil Cabbage.
Ingredients: Cabbage, salt and soda.
Mode: First cut away the coarse outside leaves, cut it into quarters and wash well in plenty of cold water. Have ready a saucepanful of boiling water, in which has been dissolved half a teaspoonful of coarse salt and a small piece of soda about the size of a pea. Plunge the cabbage in while it is boiling, push it well down and let it boil with the lid off till done. This is the simplest and most surely successful way of having the cabbage a good colour.
Time: Twenty minutes or half-an-hour.
Cauliflower.—It is a mistake to cut off the green leaves round the flower, rather tie them over the top, as they prevent the heart from getting broken. Plunge into boiling water with some salt and a piece of soda. Serve with melted butter.
Peas should always have a sprig of mint boiled with them.
Stuffed Vegetable Marrow.
Ingredients: One medium-sized marrow, some cold meat minced with a little bacon, bread-crumbs, mixed herbs, pepper and salt.
Mode: Peel the marrow, cut off one end and scoop out the seeds, fill the hollow so made with minced meat, bread-crumbs, herbs, etc., replace the end, roll the marrow in a cloth and put into a saucepan of boiling water, and boil half-an-hour for a good-sized one. Serve with hot tomato sauce poured over it.
Time: From twenty minutes to half-hour, according to size.
Ingredients: Three or four large onions, cooked meat, bread-crumbs, pepper and salt, milk or one egg, one cup stock.
Mode: Take the onions and remove the outer skin, carefully cut a thin slice off the top of each and put it aside for a lid. Take all the centre out of the onion, leaving three or four coats, taking care not to pierce them. Then chop up some cooked meat of any kind, mix with some bread-crumbs, pepper and salt to taste, and a little milk or an egg to moisten it with. Mix smoothly and then fill up the onions and put the lids on. Place in a stew-pan, pour the stock over them, put the lid on and let them stew. Serve with the gravy poured round.
Time: One hour.
Onions boiled, and served with melted butter, form a pleasant change.
Tomato—One of the most useful vegetables we have in the colonies. It can be served in many ways. Peel them and put over the fire with pepper, salt and a teaspoonful of sugar, and a very little water. Boil half-an-hour. This is a French dish.
Baked Tomatoes.—Peel and slice a number of large tomatoes. Take a pie dish and butter it well, then put a layer of tomatoes, one of bread-crumbs, pepper, salt, and some pieces of butter, more tomatoes again, and so on till the dish is full. Bake half-an-hour in a quick oven and eat with meat.
Ingredients: Tomatoes, minced meat, seasoned with pepper and salt, half teaspoonful sugar, onion or eschalots.
Mode: Choose large sound tomatoes, not too ripe or they will break in the baking. Cut a lid, that is, a slice off the top, all but a tiny piece for a hinge. Now very carefully scoop out all the seeds, etc., into a basin. Do each tomato in this way. Have ready some minced meat seasoned to taste, and stuff your tomatoes with this. Close the lids or top and place in the baking-dish with some good dripping. Bake in a quick oven, basting frequently. With the seeds and pulp taken from the inside make a sauce by putting it on to stew in small saucepan, with salt, pepper, and sugar, and some onion shred fine, or eschalots. When the tomatoes are dished either pour the sauce round them or send it in in a sauce-boat.
A Breakfast Relish.
Ingredients: Four large tomatoes, one green chili, three eggs, a small lump of butter, and a little milk.
Mode: Peel and chop up the tomatoes and chili, mix with the eggs well beaten, add the butter and milk, salt and pepper to taste, just bring to a boil and spread on toast, serve very hot.
Tomatoes Stewed with Gravy.
Ingredients: One basinful of tomatoes, gravy or stock, pepper and salt.
Mode: Remove the stalks, and skin the tomatoes, by pouring boiling water over them they will peel easily. Arrange them in a stewpan, and pour over them as much gravy or stock as will reach to half their height, and let them stew gently until they are quite cooked. Turn them once in the doing, being careful not to break them. When done place them on a flat dish with little squares of toast under them. Thicken the gravy with a little flour, season with pepper and salt, and pour round the tomatoes.
Time: Half an hour.
To Cook Egg Plant.—Cut the egg plant in slices over night, and soak in weak salt and water. Before cooking dry on a cloth and then dip each slice in egg, roll in breadcrumbs, and fry in hot dripping or butter very slowly, as the plant requires to be well cooked. When a nice brown, serve as hot as possible.
To Cook Haricot Beans.
Ingredients: One pint of beans, one onion, pepper, salt, one pint of water, one pint of milk, one ounce of butter.
Mode: Soak the beans all night in cold water. In the morning skin them, put them into a saucepan with one pint of water, and the onion, pepper and salt, and let them boil till tender. Strain through a sieve, add the milk and butter, and pour back in the saucepan to get hot, and serve.
Time: Two hours, or more.
Carrots a la France.
Ingredients: A number of small carrots, one teaspoonful of salt, one teaspoonful of sugar, one pint of milk, two tablespoonsful of butter, one tablespoonful of flour.
Mode: Scrape and wash the carrots, put them into a stewpan with two quarts of boiling water, and cook them for an hour. Then strain off all but about half a cup of water, and add the salt and sugar, and boil again till all water has evaporated. Serve with the following sauce:—Put the milk into a saucepan, when it boils stir in the butter, beaten with the flour, add salt and pepper. Cook in three minutes, and pour over the carrots.
To Prepare Beetroot—This is a very delicate root to boil, for if broken in the least it bleeds, and so loses its beautiful color. For this reason I usually boil it without washing. It is more easily washed afterwards: Boil tender—then peel the skin off and slice into a stewpan with a cupful of stock, and a spoonful of vinegar. Simmer gently till the gravy is tinged with the color. Then turn into a small dish and slice some boiled onions to serve with it. It is also very good served with ordinary salad dressing.
Beetroot (No. 2).—Wash the roots very carefully, but do not prick or break off any part whatever, or they will bleed and so lose color. Put them into boiling water, keep covered, and boil till the skin will rub off easily. If to be served hot, rub off the skin quickly, cut into thick slices, and serve with melted butter.
Asparagus.—Scrape the stalks, cut them even, and throw into cold water for a time. Put into boiling water with a little salt, first tying them together in small, neat bunches. Be sure not to boil too much, or they will lose both color and taste. Serve on rounds of toast, previously dipped in oil or butter. Pour melted butter over them, or serve it in a tureen.
The Yam.—It is a great pity the yam is not more generally cultivated in the colonies. It grows well, and with very little trouble, and is far before many other vegetables in the matter of nutriment. In the South Sea Islands the natives live on yam from their infancy. The best and pleasantest way to cook them is to bake them in the ashes. Lay them in the dull, red ashes, turning them occasionally till done; then scrape off the outside, break open the yam, and eat with a spoon and some fresh butter and salt. They are delicious for supper on a cold night. Boiling them quite spoils their flavour. The English potato done in the same way is far nicer than boiled.
The common Pig Weed makes a very good vegetable when others are not to be had. Gather the young, tender shoots; wash them well and boil in salt and water. When done, strain the water off; add pepper, salt and a little bit of butter; serve with melted butter over it. Some people dress it as a salad, but it is not nice in that way, there being a peculiar taste about the weed unless cooked.
Boiled Cucumber is a very good dish. It must not be too old, or it will be bitter. Boil till tender, and serve with melted butter.
Parsnips.—Very few people care for parsnips alone. Mashed with potatoes they are a great improvement. About two well boiled parsnips to a good dish of potatoes, mashed quite smoothly, with a bit of butter, pepper, and salt make a good dish.
Pumpkin and Vegetable Marrow are usually boiled and served with melted butter. The former is also very good baked under a joint.
Mushrooms are a favourite dish with most, either as a vegetable eaten with meat, or as an ingredient in stews, gravies, and, indeed, almost all made dishes. I have often wondered mushrooms have not been cultivated like other vegetables. France is, I think, the only country where they really are grown like other things in gardens. Until of late years I did not know they could be preserved for future use by bottling, but a friend sent me a recipe which I have found answers very well. We have such quantities at certain times that it is a good thing to be able to keep them. Gather the small button mushrooms, trim off the stalks and rub them clean. Put them into a stewpan—say a quart of mushrooms with two tablespoonsful of butter, two teaspoonsful of salt, half a teaspoonful of cayenne, and a little mace. Stew gently till tender, take carefully out and strain on a sloping dish. When cold, press into pots or basins and pour clarified butter over them. Put writing paper over the butter, and on that again pour melted suet so as to exclude every particle of air, and they will keep thus for months, and can be used for sauces, stews—in fact, anything. It is best to do only a few each day, as they are gathered fresh.
Mushrooms Baked.—Peel, and cut off the stalks, lay them in a tin baking dish, the stalks uppermost. On each sprinkle salt and pepper and a wee bit of fresh butter. Set the dish in a quick oven, and bake from ten to twenty minutes, according to their size. Serve very hot on toast, with the juice from them poured over.
Stewed Mushrooms.—Trim and peel some large mushrooms. Put into a stew-pan one large tablespoonful of butter; let it melt, and then put in the mushrooms, some salt, pepper and a pinch of pounded mace. Stew till tender then add a tablespoonful of ketchup, or failing that, any sauce you have, and serve on a hot dish. Another way.—Treat them the same as the last recipe, but when nearly done pour in half a cup of good gravy or stock; roll a lump of butter in flour, and thicken with it.
Broiled Mushrooms.—When peeled and trimmed chop up some mushrooms. Make a small case with note-paper, rub the inside with butter, and fill it with the mushrooms. Season with pepper and salt, and stand on a tin plate, either over the fire or in the oven. When they are nearly dry serve on toast that has been well buttered. It was a Chinaman showed me how to do this. He sometimes used to make the cases of pastry, half-baking it before he put it in the mushrooms, and often he laid a poached egg on the top of each. Fried in butter, mushrooms are also very good, and, like tomatoes, they may be added to almost all made dishes with advantage. The pity is we cannot gather them all the year round.
Stewed Peas.—Put into a stewpan a quart of green peas, an onion sliced, and a lettuce shred fine, with very little water. Let it stew two hours, then beat up an egg with a little milk, and stir it in, with a spoonful of butter, pepper, salt, and a dust of flour to thicken it. Serve on buttered toast.
A Vegetarian's Dish.—Fry some snippets of bread; lay them on a dish, making four divisions, and put in each division the following vegetables—stewed cabbage in one, mashed potatoes in the next, mashed turnips in the third, and stewed onions in the fourth. The whole may be garnished with slices of fried carrot, and pieces of boiled cauliflower.
Ingredients: Cold vegetables, salt, pepper, two or three eggs, one cup of flour, milk.
Mode: Any kind of cold vegetables left from the last meal will do. Chop them up into dice, or better still, if possible, mash them and season with salt and pepper. Make a good stiff batter in a large basin; two or three eggs and the flour with milk to thin it. Now mix in the vegetables, stir all together, and when the fat in the pan is boiling drop a tablespoonful in at a time. Let them brown nicely on both sides and serve.
BREAD, SCONES, &c.
NOTWITHSTANDING all that has been said and written about cookery, the lectures delivered by lady cooks, the lessons given and received, it is the exception, rather than the rule, to find a young lady who can really cook and serve a dinner that is eatable, let alone enjoyable; and strange to say, fewer still can make a loaf of bread. In these colonies, where every woman, be she ever so wealthy, has some time or other to do her own cooking and housework, or else to teach her servants how to do it, it is essentially necessary all should have a practical knowledge of bread-making, if of nothing else, for it very often happens that, though a girl may be able to cook fairly well, she is totally ignorant of yeast and bread-making. By simple I do not mean what is usually called “plain cooking,” and which, according to the general servant of the present day, means roasting, boiling, and frying. “I can do plain cooking,” is quite a common phrase with a general servant, when you ask her can she cook; and, in most cases, the mistress very soon discovers that the girl’s knowledge is, indeed of the plainest. By simple cookery, I mean inexpensive dishes, quickly made, wholesome, toothsome, and suitable for men, women, and children. Frequently the most tempting dishes, and those which most attract the eye, are very simple. One sees and tastes a delicious pudding at a friend’s table; it looks complicated, but tastes so well that you beg the recipe, and try it. In some instances you succeed, but in many more you fail, and simply through some very slight error in the mixing of materials, or possibly a drop too much or too little flavouring. It is wonderful how small a matter will spoil a delicious dainty.
Bread-making is really of the utmost importance, and yet, as I said before, so few young women can make a good loaf. I would suggest to fathers who have several daughters, that they offer a prize for the best loaf; or do as a friend of my own did—give £1 to each one who made bread for the household for one week. Of course they must make the yeast as well. One would think bread-making very simple, yet I have met ladies who could not make a good batch, try as they would, and simple as it is. Nearly every one has a different way of making it. Many years ago, more than I care to count, indeed, I was staying on a station with five other young ladies. The servant left quite suddenly, so, of course, we all volunteered to help with the house-work. I had the cooking to do, being the only one who would undertake that department. When I set my first batch of bread, all the other girls prophesied that it would be a failure, as it was made differently from their way. For the sake of curiosity each of the others made a batch of bread. No two set about the work in the same way, and yet all the bread was beautiful. The old fashion used to be to knead the dough for a great length of time. That is done away with, except by a very few, who still stick to all the old fashions. I think—indeed, have proved—that bread, like pastry, cannot be got out of hand too quickly. The more you work it the closer it must become; and the quicker it is all done with and put into the oven, the lighter and whiter it is. The way you set your sponge does not matter. I think the only difference being the time saved one way and lost the other. However, I will give my own mode; it is the simplest I have ever seen.
To Make Bread.—Measure out your flour into your dish or basin, and let me impress upon all bread-makers to have one utensil—be it basin, tin dish, or what it may—let it be kept wholly and solely for the bread, and never used for anything else. It must be kept perfectly clean. Cleanliness is one of the first and chief laws to be observed in all cookery. Having measured your flour, you can sift it if preferred. I never do, unless the flour is inferior, but I rub it thoroughly through my hands and take out all lumps or particles of foreign matter. Now and then bits of string or paper may be found among it, and of course must be picked out—To every pound allow half a teaspoonful of the coarse salt. Never use the fine table salt if you can avoid it. This will be sufficient for most tastes, but, if preferred, of course more can be used. The quantity of yeast must depend upon its strength. If new, and quite brisk, two good tablespoonsful to the pound will be ample; if inclined to be flat, allow a little more. Mix the yeast with luke warm water, as much as will mix your flour into a stiff batter. Having mixed the whole of your flour, sprinkle a thick layer of dry flour over it, and leave it to rise in a warm place, either in the sun or by the fire; if the latter, cover your basin with a cloth or blanket, but neither is actually necessary—the cloth is merely to keep the dust out. Most housewives set their bread over night; giving it ten or even in some instances twelve hours to work. This is not at all necessary, and I believe is often the cause of sour unpalatable bread. I frequently set my sponge at eight in the morning; and have hot bread for lunch at one o’clock. I told this to a lady some weeks ago, and she disbelieved me, nor was she convinced until she spent a day with me, and saw for herself. Readers must forgive my quoting myself so often, but as it is entirely my own practical experience I am giving, it is hardly to be avoided. Do not let your sponge stand too long. Once it has worked through the dry flour it is time to proceed to the next stage. As your batter is rather wet to turn out on the board, stir as much flour as you can into it in the basin, and let the flour you use be salted the same as that you set. This is an important matter, and should be attended to, otherwise your bread will not be salt enough. Having stirred in as much as you can, now turn your dough out on the board, and knead in flour until the dough no longer sticks to the hands. Then return it to the basin, stand again in a warm place, and when risen well, which should be in an hour and a half, or two hours at most, knead into loaves, put into your tins, and let them stand before the fire, or in the sun for ten minutes, and bake in a moderate oven. One hour should be long enough, and when thoroughly done, let it stand in the oven with the door open for a few minutes. If these directions are exactly followed, you cannot go wrong. It sounds boastful to say I have never had a bad batch of bread, but it is a fact, and I made my own bread for fully ten years. I have tried other ways, and with potatoes mixed in, but have always come back to my own plan after a while. I find the bread sweeter, and it keeps longer than when other things are mixed with the flour. There is one small matter I have forgotten, and that is, about a quarter of an hour before taking the loaves from the oven damp a cloth and wipe the top of each, this will glaze the crust. Some people use milk, but water answers the same purpose. Now for the most important ingredient, viz.—Yeast. There are different ways of making yeast, but I think all are equally good, if it be used fresh. The oldest recipe is the simplest. Add a handful of hops to a quart of water; boil twenty minutes, and strain. Blend four tablespoonsful of sugar, and the same of flour with a little of the liquor, and add it to the whole; bottle, cork tightly, and stand near the fire. This will be ready in three or four days, perhaps, sooner in warm weather.
Another method: Boil six moderate sized potatoes in plenty of water. When soft take them from the water, which must be saved, mash them smoothly, and mix with them one cup of flour and one cup of sugar. Then gradually stir in the water the potatoes were boiled in. Put all into a jug, and add half a cup or a cupful of old yeast; or, failing that, beer. Stir all together, and let it stand a few hours. It will most probably rise to the top of the can or jug, and must be stirred down or bottled. This yeast makes the quickest bread. Another method: Blend two large cupsful of flour with three quarts of water; then mix in a cupful of dark sugar and half a cup of salt; boil this for one hour. When luke-warm, bottle, and before corking add a raisin to each bottle. Cork tightly and keep in a warm place. Will be fit for use in twenty-four hours.
Ingredients: Six good sized potatoes, one handful of hops, half a cup of salt, half a cup of sugar, one cup of old yeast or beer.
Mode: Peel and wash the potatoes, and boil them in two quarts of water with the hops tied in a muslin bag. When the potatoes are soft take them out of the water—do not strain it away—and mash them quite smoothly. Then pour the water they were boiled in over them, having previously removed the bag of hops. Add a little hot water to make up for what boiled away; and also the salt and sugar; mix well, and when about luke-warm add the old yeast, or failing that, beer, to ferment with. Cover closely, and keep in a warm place for five or six hours, when it will have begun to work and is fit to use. It should now be bottled and put away. Do not cork the bottles quite tight at first or they may burst. This yeast is very good, but in warm weather it will not keep for very long—about nine or ten days.
Bread Made with Brewer’s Yeast.
Ingredients: Two pounds of flour, a little salt, half a pint of warm milk or water, one tablespoonful of brewer’s yeast.
Mode: People who live in town can generally obtain good yeast from the brewery, and with it, then bread-making is greatly simplified, for there is no setting over night, or, indeed, half the trouble that there is when home made yeast is used. Two or three pennyworth of brewer’s yeast will last two or three bakings. Take the flour, stir in the salt, then add the water or milk and the yeast. Make a light batter in the centre of the flour, cover, and set by the fire for an hour or so till the yeast works through the flour. Now add a little more water if required, knead well, set again to rise for an hour or so, then make into loaves and bake. One can easily set the sponge at eight o’clock in the morning, and make and bake the bread by dinner time with brewer’s yeast.
French Rolls.—Boil three or four ordinary sized potatoes, having peeled them carefully first. When cooked, mash them smoothly in the water they were boiled in. Stir the potatoes into about two pints of flour, and add half a cup of yeast. Make the dough thick, as in rising it always softens. When well risen, knead for a quarter of an hour, and do so by pulling out and twisting the dough over and over. The object in making the dough stiff at first is to avoid adding flour after it is risen. Put away to rise again, and when light knead again as before, and even a third kneading will improve the rolls, but is not really necessary. When kneaded for the last time, turn on to the board, cut off each roll, mould, and place on the baking tin about an inch apart. Let them stand five or six minutes, and put into the oven. Ten or fifteen minutes will bake them if light. When beginning to brown wet the tops with a feather dipped in milk. With home made yeast the best time to set the rolls is at night, say at six o’clock in the evening set the sponge, work it up before going to bed, and leave it the night to rise, work up first thing next morning, and bake for breakfast.A Damper is very easily made, but still it requires a certain amount of knowledge to make it, and more than all to bake it. Now-a-days, most men travelling carry baking powder, but years ago I have often been amused when bushmen have asked me for a small quantity of soda for their dampers. I have argued with them that soda alone could be of no use, save to give a most unpleasant flavour, that they must have acid to counteract it; but it was to no purpose. They always used a pinch of soda, and, right or wrong, they preferred keeping to the old custom. In everything, be it bread, cake, or pudding, when soda is used half the quantity of acid should be added, or else sour milk, which, of course, comes to the same thing, as the acidity of the milk acts upon the soda. Any one who gives the matter a moment’s thought will understand why it is, but let me illustrate it more plainly. Dissolve a little soda in water, and then add a wee pinch of acid. It fizzes. Just the same effervescence takes place in the cake or damper as in the tumbler, and it is the air bubbles, caused by it, that make the cake, pudding, &c., rise or swell, and become light. Many of the baking powders sold are excellent, but as all are merely composed of the two ingredients mentioned, viz., soda and acid, and, in some instances, a small quantity of ground rice, or some other equally harmless powder, just to add to the quantity, they can as well be made at home, by pounding together soda and tartaric acid. It is better not to mix too much at a time, as it is apt to get damp. About four teaspoonsful of soda and two of acid is a convenient quantity, and to about a pound of flour use one teaspoonful of powder. Many cooks prefer cream of tartar to the stronger acid: possibly one is as good as the other, but the tartaric acid being stronger I prefer it. In mixing the baking powder into anything, it should always be rubbed in with the dry flour; if put in when the mixture is moist it effervesces at once, so half or three parts of its effect is lost before the cake is ready.
Plain Soda Loaf.—The great art in making soda bread is to get it out of hand, and into the oven as quickly as possibly. If you let it stand, as your own common sense will tell you, theis going on, and if not baked before it is all over the bread will be heavy. Put about one pound of flour into a dish or crock: mix in a small teaspoonful of soda pounded quite free from lumps; a teaspoonful of salt, and mix the whole with enough thick or sour milk to form into a dough. Divide into two parts and bake in bread tins in a moderately quick oven. Some people like a lump of butter added and rubbed in with the flour, but it is not necessary. If you cannot get sour milk use the baking powder instead of the plain soda, and mix with warm water. Borwick’s baking powder is very good, but there is one I much prefer to it called “William’s Australian Yeast Powder.” It is sold in small tins, and I have never yet found it fail, in producing light bread and cakes.
Scones are mixed in much the same way as the soda loaf. Butter in them is optional. Some people add a little sugar to sweeten them, but of course this is merely a matter of taste, just as treacle and currants are in scones. The nicest are mixed with buttermilk, but of course it is not often one can get buttermilk, unless on a farm or station. When it is procurable, both soda loaf and scones are the better for it, as indeed are all kinds of cakes that are not required to keep any time. For scones the dough should be rolled out to about half an inch in thickness, painted over with a feather dipped in milk, and laid close together upon a thin baking sheet, baked in a quick oven; a slow one will utterly spoil them. For this reason you should never begin to mix them until your oven is ready. It should be just hot enough to bear your hand in it for an instant. Flour your tins just before laying the scones on them, and when baked remove them at once. Dust the flour off with a clean napkin, and range them on end, one against the other, to cool. Some people when making scones do not trouble to light the oven but use the frying pan: of course if you have a griddle it is better than oven or pan, but very few people possess this useful utensil. When baking scones in a common frying pan great care must be taken lest they burn. The fire must be low and clear, as much flame will smoke them.
Fried Scones are very nice. You mix the dough in the same way, but roll out much thinner than for baked scones: half as thin again will do. Put two good spoonsful of dripping into the pan, and let it boil: mind, it must not be merely hot, it must bubble and boil before you put in the scones. Put them in carefully, and directly one side is a rich brown turn it, and when you remove one, add another at once in its place, or your fat will burn.
Puffs.—There is a very nice little scone my children call puffs. They are quickly made, and capital for breakfast or tea. Rub your flour free from all lumps, salt it according to taste, add soda, half a teaspoonful to about a pound of flour, and one small teaspoonful of cream of tartar, or failing that a small quantity of acid, but the former is better; moisten with sweet milk, roll out very thin, and cut into three corner cakes, and fry in plenty of fat. If properly made they puff up into round balls quite hollow in the centre. They should be eaten hot with butter or jam. Some people put eggs in scones. I cannot think why, for they certainly do not require them The eggs would be very much better boiled, and eaten as an accompaniment to the hot scones.
Scones (the best).—Put your flour (already sifted) into a large basin, a washhand basin is as good as any to use. To every pound of flour allow half a teaspoonful of salt, and the same of bi-carbonate of soda, crushed with the blade of a knife. Mix thoroughly while the flour is dry, then make a hole in the centre, pour in the sour milk, and very quickly stir into a dough. Knead a few minutes till the proper consistency is obtained, but on no account work it too dry. Roll out and cut into scones, and bake in a very quick oven. Everything depends on the oven, which should be heated and ready beforehand. Cut your scones about half an inch thick, or even thicker, so they will rise to nearly two inches, and a trayful should take just fifteen minutes to bake. Sweet scones are made by adding to the above about a cupful of white sugar. Butter can be rubbed into the dry flour if it is liked, but the plain unsweetened scones are best of all.
Scones (another recipe).
Ingredients: Three cups of flour, three teaspoonsful cream of tartar, one of soda, three of sugar, milk, salt.
Mode: Mix cream of tartar and a little salt with the flour, melt soda in milk, pour the mixture into the flour, mix up quickly into a soft dough. Bake in a quick oven.
Ingredients: Two cups flour, one and a half teaspoonsful baking powder, two tablespoonsful sugar, salt, milk, butter.
Mode: Put flour, powder, sugar, and salt in a basin, and mix well. Pour on sufficient milk to make a batter thin enough to drop. Put a small lump of butter in the frying pan, when melted, drop in your scones, a tablespoonful for each, and cook over a moderate fire. Do not use much butter, or the scones will be greasy. Serve hot, and eat with butter or jam.
Ingredients: Four cups of flour, half cup of good dripping, half cup of butter, one teaspoonful soda, one tablespoonful mixed spice, one cup sugar, one cup treacle, sour milk.
Mode: Rub the dripping and butter into the flour, add the other ingredients, and mix to a wet dough with some sour milk, and bake in a moderate oven. This quantity will make two good sized loaves.
Ingredients: Three cups of flour, two tablespoonsful butter, a little salt, one teaspoonful baking powder, milk, or two or three eggs.
Mode: Take the flour, rub in the butter, salt and baking powder, mix into a dough with either milk or the eggs, form into buns, and bake quickly. Sugar can be added if liked. If short of bread for breakfast, which often happens in the bush, these buns are quickly made.
Ingredients: Two cups flour, three eggs, cup and a half of milk, half a teaspoonful of salt.
Mode: Oil some little tins or earthenware cups and put them into the oven to get warm. Beat the eggs, yolks and whites separately, and then mix them; when light add the milk and salt to them, and pour this on the flour by degrees, stirring all the while till the batter is smooth. If any lumps remain strain through a sieve. Quickly half fill the hot cups and bake in a very hot oven about twenty-five minutes. They should swell to three times their size or bulk. Serve hot for breakfast.
Ingredients: Slices of bread, marrow or dripping, and salt.
Mode: Cut the bread into convenient pieces, and having brought the fat to boiling point in the pan, take one slice of bread, dip it quickly into cold water, in which is a little salt, and at once, before it gets soft, lay it in the pan. If you have the salt and water in a dinner plate it will be best, as then you will not get the bread too wet, which might happen in a deeper vessel. It only wants to be just moistened on each side to prevent it becoming hard, and also to avoid its taking up too much of the fat. Be sure the fat is boiling when you put the bread in, or it will be sodden and greasy, and directly it browns on one side turn it. This is a very good way to do the toast for poached eggs. Stale bread is the best to fry, though fresh bread can be done with care. The tinned marrow is excellent for frying.
Ingredients: Quarter pound cheese, one cup milk, one egg, one teaspoonful of flour, cayenne, mustard.
Mode: Make a nice slice of toast, cut off the crusts, and stand it on its edge so it will not become hard. Shred or cut up the cheese into the milk and let it boil for a minute or two till the cheese is quite melted, add more milk till you have the quantity you require, beat up the egg with the flour, and stir into the boiling cheese, season with cayenne and a little made mustard if liked. Cut your slice of toast into small squares, and pour the mixture over it. Serve very hot.
BISCUITS, CAKES, and PASTRY.
Ingredients: One pound flour, one pound sugar, four eggs, and some caraway seeds.
Mode: Beat up the eggs with the sugar and a little drop of water, then work in the flour and seeds. Butter a tin and drop the mixture on in spoonsful, sprinkle fine sugar on them, and bake in a moderate oven.
Time: Fifteen to twenty minutes. Average cost, 10d.
Ingredients: Quarter pound butter, half pound powdered sugar, half pound flour, half teaspoonful baking powder, quarter pound currants, two eggs, vanilla essence.
Mode: Beat the butter and sugar together, add the flour and baking powder, and currants if liked, mix with the eggs well beaten, and a few drops of vanilla essence, roll out thin, cut with a wine glass, and bake on a floured tin in a moderate oven.
Ingredients: Quarter pound butter, half pound ground rice, quarter pound sugar, two eggs.
Mode: Beat the butter and sugar together, stir in the ground rice, and mix into a dough with the eggs well beaten, roll out on the paste board, and cut the biscuits out with a wine glass or paste cutter. Bake in a slow oven.
Time: Fifteen to twenty minutes to bake. Average cost, 1s.
Ingredients: One pound sugar, one pound butter, one pound currants, one and a quarter pounds flour, two eggs.
Mode: Mix sugar and butter together, well wash and dry the currants and add them, then rub in the flour, beat up the eggs, and mix the whole into a dough or paste with them, using a little milk if necessary, but not unless, roll out thin and cut with a wine glass. Bake on a tin in a moderate oven.
Time: Fifteen minutes to bake. Average cost, 2s. 3d.
Ingredients: Half pound butter, half pound flour, six eggs, six ounces arrowroot, half pound sugar.
Mode: Beat the butter and the sugar together, whisk the yolks and whites of the eggs separately, add the yolks first to the mixture, then the whites, mix the flour and arrowroot together, being careful to have no lumps in the latter. Stir them in by degrees and beat the mixture well. Butter a tin and drop the biscuits on to it, about the size of half-a-crown, and bake in a slow oven.
Time: To bake about a quarter of an hour. Average cost, 2s.
Ingredients: Half pound flour, three ounces oatmeal, three ounces good dripping or butter, half teaspoonful baking powder, one egg, a little salt.
Mode: Mix the flour, oatmeal, dripping, salt, and baking powder with the egg and a little water, roll out thin and cut with a tumbler. Some people like a little sugar in these cakes, three ounces will be enough for this quantity. Bake in a quick oven. The biscuits are very good for children, but they are not the ones for cheese.
Good Biscuits.—Dissolve a tablespoonful of butter in less than half a pint of warm milk; add a small lump of ammonia to make them light and short. With two pounds of flour, a quarter of a pound of sugar, and a few seeds, make a stiff, smooth paste. Roll out thin, cut with a tumbler, prick them, and bake on tins in a quick oven.
Short Biscuits.—Rub half a pound of butter into one pound of flour; a quarter of a pound of sugar. Mix into a stiff paste with one egg and a little milk. Roll out thin, and cut with the top of a wine glass. Bake on tins for ten minutes.
Sweet Biscuits.—Take one pound of flour, rub into it a quarter of a pound of butter, and half a pound of sugar. Dissolve a small lump of ammonia in a cup of warm milk. Mix into a stiff paste, roll out, and cut with the top of a wine glass. Place a comfit on top of each, and bake in a quick oven.
Vanilla Drops.—Beat the yolks of three eggs with one cup of white sugar. Add the whites well whisked. Stir into this a cupful of sifted flour, in which a small teaspoonful of cream of tartar has been mixed. Dissolve half a teaspoonful of soda in a little warm milk, and add it. After well beating the mixture, flavour with vanilla essence. Butter a baking tin, and drop the mixture in tablespoonsful upon it, about three inches apart. Bake in a very quick oven.
Ginger Bread Nuts.
Ingredients: One pound flour, half pound butter, half pound sugar, two good tablespoonsful ginger, one teaspoonful of mixed spice, a little lump of ammonia in one cup of milk, three parts of a cup of treacle.
Mode: Mix the flour and butter well together, the sugar, ginger, spice, pour in the treacle, and having first dissolved the ammonia in the warm milk, mix with it into a dough, roll out, make into nuts, and bake in a moderate oven. Cost, 1s. 5d.
Time: Twenty minutes.
Ingredients: Two pounds flour, two tablespoonsful sugar, one teaspoonful brewer’s yeast, milk, four eggs, quarter pound butter, a little salt.
Mode: Put the flour in a deep basin, mix the sugar with it; make a hole in the centre as in making bread, and stir in the yeast mixed with some warm milk, cover, and leave to rise for an hour, or till the sponge is sufficiently light. Then work up the rest of the flour, adding more milk, the eggs well beaten, and a little salt, and the butter. Beat the whole together and set it to rise for another hour, then make up into rusks and bake in a quick oven.
Ingredients: Quarter of a pound of fresh butter, quarter of a pound of sugar, four eggs, flour, salt, half a teaspoonful baking powder.
Mode: Beat the butter to a cream, with the sugar, add the eggs well whisked, and sufficient flour to roll out, to which has been added the salt and baking powder. Roll out pretty thin, and cut into oblong pieces, divide the middle into strips, wet the edges, and twist or plait one over the other and form into circles. Have your pan well filled with boiling lard or good dripping, throw in the crullers gently, and when cooked a light brown, which they will be in a minute or two, take them out and drain before the fire.
The chief reason that so many people fail in making cakes is simply because they imagine they can mix them any way; this thing, that thing, all one on top of the other, without regard to any stated or fixed method. Unless one has a very correct eye or hand for weight or quantity it is safer to weigh or measure all ingredients. Of course it is not always possible to do the former, as one may not have scales and weights, but it is always possible to measure by cupsful, pints, spoonsful. A pint of flour should be a pound, a little more or less, as you fill it. Two heaped cupsful should also be a pound of sugar, flour, &c. A tablespoon holds about two ounces; by this means it is quite possible to weigh your materials roughly. Nine ordinary eggs will weigh one pound, but for half a pound it is best to allow five, that is, four ordinary sized and one small.
In mixing a cake do not make it too moist, or your currants will drop to the bottom. Too much butter will make it sad or heavy. Too much dripping will make it taste. Only half fill your tins. If the top catches before the rest is baked, wet a sheet of brown paper and lay it over the top. Better still, if you are constantly making cakes, have a regular protector made; that is a piece of tin with four legs just like a table. When your cakes are brown on top place or stand it over them. They will then go on cooking without getting any browner.
Before beginning to make cakes, &c., see to the oven. If you are going to make small cakes, scones, ginger bread nuts, &c., have your oven hot enough to cook them thoroughly in fifteen minutes. The success of cake making lies far oftener with the oven than the making. A pound cake should take one hour to bake, therefore the oven must not be too hot.
Currant Cake.—In mixing a currant cake, the sugar and butter are first beaten together: then the yolks of the eggs. (It is a mistake to beat the whites and yolks together, even for a custard: they are better beaten separately). Mix all this together quite smoothly, then add the whites. Rub the flour quite smooth between the hands, and mix into it the baking powder. Stir it in by slow degrees, till all is mixed. Now drop in the currants, raisins, &c., and, when all are in, stir or beat it for five minutes to be sure the whole is well mixed. There’s not the least occasion for long beating before the mixture is poured into the tins. It is better to use butter to grease your tins than dripping, or even sweet oil; dripping does not always prevent the cake sticking to the tin, particularly the corners; the butter can be melted by the fire, and run into all corners, and the least little bit is sufficient. Dripping for cakes should always be clarified as for pastry, and when using it for a good currant cake, if a little butter is mixed with it, it does away with the taste, though, if the exact quantity in proportion to other ingredients is used, dripping makes as pleasant cakes as butter. Many cooks imagine they should use more dripping than the quantity of butter directed, but on the contrary they must use less. Sour milk is a capital thing to mix a cake with instead of eggs, but, of course, when it is used plain soda must take the place of baking powder in the flour. Buttermilk is better still than thick milk.
Sponge Cakes.—I hear many say they cannot make sponge cakes, and yet they are of all the most simple, but the one infallible rule which must be adhered to for success is with regard to quantities. The weight of your eggs in sugar, and half their weight in flour; that is the whole secret of sponge cake making. One person will say “Oh you don’t beat it enough;” another will tell you “you didn’t mix the ingredients in properly;” this is nonsense. The whole success of a sponge cake lies in having the right quantities. It is a usual thing to hear a lady say, “I cannot make a sponge cake to-day, I have not enough eggs.” No definite number of eggs are required. You can make as nice a cake with one egg as with five or six. Of course it will be small, but it is quite enough for an invalid, and two eggs will make half a dozen little cakes for afternoon tea. With one egg, divide the white and yolk, beat the latter with one tablespoonful of good white sugar—no occasion for it to be loaf. Then add the white, well beaten to a froth, and one teaspoonful of flour, with which has been mixed as much baking powder as will lie on a threepenny bit. Mix all together, and just before pouring into this, add two drops of vanilla, or the grated rind of half a lemon; in fact, any flavouring liked. Then bake in well-buttered patty tins in a very quick oven. Half a teaspoonful of butter and one of currants turns this into a tiny queen cake. Five eggs make a very convenient sized cake, and nine of course makes the pound, but that is the hard and fast rule with regard to sponge cakes. The weight of the eggs in sugar, half their weight in flour; follow it and you cannot go wrong. I have seen dozens of different recipes, in all of which you are told to beat for half an hour, in some an hour, and to break the eggs on to the sugar. This is more trouble than my way, for if you do not separate the whites and yolks, you are bound to keep on beating them till the desired lightness is attained. When you have them separate it takes no time to make the whites rise. But if they are stale and dull, a pinch of salt will make them rise, or even beating—whisking them is the proper term—in the air, or where there is a draught, will have the desired effect. Baking powder is not actually necessary in sponge cakes, though a little can be used to ensure lightness. Duck eggs do not make good sponge cakes, so should be avoided. Indeed they are not good in cakes of any sort, though they can be used, but require twice the whisking hen eggs do.
Family Cake.—Take half a pound of butter, and half a pound of good beef dripping. Beat this with one pound of brown sugar. Separate the whites and yolks of six or seven eggs, and stir in the latter with the sugar and butter. Whisk the whites and stir them in also. One pound of currants washed and dried; some candied peel cut into strips; some almonds; also, cut up a small packet of mixed spice. Having mixed all these in, take one pound and a half of flour, in this mix two small teaspoonsful of baking powder, and now stir this in with the rest gradually. Beat it for a few moments. Pour into a couple of well buttered tins, and bake in a moderate oven.
Drop Cakes.—One pint or pound of flour, half a pound of butter or dripping, one cup of white sugar, half a cup of currants, half a nutmeg grated, one teaspoonful baking powder mixed in with the flour. Mix all together with two eggs, and a little milk if required. Drop from a spoon on to a baking sheet, and bake from a quarter of an hour to twenty minutes. This quantity will make about two dozen cakes.
Gingerbread.—Rub half a pound of butter into two pounds and a half of flour; the rind of a lemon grated, two tablespoonsful of brown sugar, half an ounce of ground ginger. Make this into a stiff paste with treacle, roll out, cut into squares, and bake. Very good.
Bread Cake (for children).—Procure a piece of dough from your baker’s. Roll it out, and work into it five or six ounces of butter, half a pound of sugar, some candied peel, two or three eggs. Beat all these ingredients together, and then let it stand to rise for an hour. Bake in a bread tin.
Seed Cake.—Half a pound butter, beaten up with a pound of fine white sugar, one pound of flour, a teaspoonful of baking powder, one ounce of seeds. Mix together with eight or nine eggs, well beaten; flavour with a teaspoonful of essence of lemon, and bake in a tin in a quick oven.
Rice Cake.—Take half a pound of ground rice, half a pound of flour,the same quantity of white sugar, and seven eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately, half a pound of butter, half a teaspoonful of baking powder, and the rind of a lemon grated. Beat all well together till thoroughly mixed. Pour into a buttered tin, and bake for three quarters of an hour.
Short Cakes.—Rub half a pound of butter into one pound of flour,and a quarter of a pound of white sugar. Mix into a paste or dough with one egg and a little milk. Roll out pretty thin, and cut into cakes with the top of a tumbler. Bake for about ten minutes in a quick oven.
Maize Meal Cake.—Two pounds of maize meal, half a pound of flour, half a pound of butter, the same of dripping, half a pound of sugar, a teaspoonful of ground ginger, a teaspoonful of baking powder. Mix with five or six eggs, and a little milk, if required. Bake in tins, and eat cold with butter.
Hoe Cakes.—This is an American recipe, and it is best to try a small quantity at first, as it is not every one who likes them. Take one pound of maize meal into a basin, pour over it a little boiling water, enough to scald it all thoroughly. While still hot stir in two tablespoonsful of butter. Salt according to taste, and then bake in a well buttered tin. It should be eaten hot for tea or breakfast.
Johnny Cakes.—Make a thick batter of Indian or maize meal, butter, salt, and warm water. Make it so thick that you can handle it, and mould into small cakes. Rub plenty of flour on the hands to prevent them sticking. Fry in butter or lard. When browned on one side, turn the other. They take twenty or twenty-five minutes to cook thoroughly, and should be eaten hot, with butter or treacle.
Cheap Luncheon Cake.—One pound flour, quarter of a pound of sugar, quarter of a pound of butter, quarter of a pound of currants, teaspoonful baking soda—mixed in with the flour—three eggs, half a pint of thick milk or buttermilk. Mix quickly, and bake in a moderate oven.
Tea Cakes.—One pound of flour, teaspoonful baking powder, one ounce of sugar, one ounce of butter. Mix with a little sweet milk, divide into three cakes, and bake in a very hot oven.
Afternoon Tea Cake.—Afternoon tea has become almost a universal custom now in the colonies. As cakes are considered a part of the institution it is well to know a few recipes, which are at once cheap and quickly made. Take one tablespoonful of butter, one of good dripping, and two tablespoonsful of sugar. Mix these together, break the yolk of an egg into it, beat the white to a froth and add it, also mix half a teaspoonful of baking powder with five tablespoonsful of flour, stir it all in, adding a little milk to moisten the mixture, drop in two tablespoonsful of currants, beat all together, and pour into your tin, and bake in a quick oven.
Honey Cake.—Dissolve three tablespoonsful of white sugar in half a cup of milk in a saucepan, over a gentle fire. Add twelve ounces of honey, and let it boil. Remove from the fire, and mix in gradually one pound of flour, in which a teaspoonful of baking powder has been mixed. Knead thoroughly, form into cakes, and bake on a tin sprinkled with flour.
The Bushman’s Cake.
Ingredients: One cup of flour, three quarters of a cup of corn meal, one teaspoonful of soda, one teaspoonful of salt, two teaspoonsful of sugar, one cupful of fresh buttermilk.
Mode: Mix together the flour, corn meal, soda, salt, and sugar, rub them well together and mix with the buttermilk, and stir well. Pour into a buttered baking tin and bake in a quick oven. Bush cooks often pour into the camp oven and thus bake. It is excellent eaten with butter.
Ingredients: One and a half cups of sugar, half a cup of butter, half a cup of cornflour, one and a half cups of flour, one teaspoonful of baking powder, whites of five eggs, sweet milk, flavour with vanilla.
Mode: Mix the sugar, flour, butter, cornflour, and baking powder together, then add the whites of the eggs, well beaten, and a little sweet milk, flavour with a few drops of vanilla, and bake in a quick oven.
Ingredients: One cup of butter or marrow, two cups of sugar, one cup of cornflour, two cups of flour, two small teaspoonsful of cream of tartar, one teaspoonful of baking soda, five or six eggs, milk.
Mode: Rub the butter, flour, sugar, corn flour, cream of tartar, and soda together, dry. Then mix with the whites (only) of the eggs, and a little sweet milk, flavoured with vanilla. Bake a light brown.
Ingredients: Three eggs, one cup of sweet milk, one cup of flour, half a teaspoonful of salt, one teaspoonful of baking powder.
Mode: Separate the whites and yolks of the eggs, beat the latter and add to them the milk and flour, beat till smooth, add the salt and baking powder. Have ready a frying pan, with some hot lard or good dripping. Pour the mixture into a funnel and allow it to run through, winding it round and round about the pan. When brown on one side, turn and brown the other.
Ingredients: Half a pound of butter, half a pound of the best white sugar, one pound of flour, eight eggs, half a nutmeg, three ounces of candied peel, a few drops of essence of lemon, and a little icing sugar.
Mode: Slightly melt the butter, then add the sugar, beating both together with a wooden spoon, break in the eggs one at a time, stir in the flour, add the nutmeg and essence, divide the mixture into three, and bake in hoops. Smooth them with a knife, and dust them with the icing sugar and put some strips of candied peel on them.
Time: About forty minutes to bake. Average cost, 2s. 2d.
American Tea Cake.
Ingredients: One cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, four eggs.
Mode: Beat the eggs, yolks and whites separately; beat the butter to a cream, adding the sugar gradually, then the eggs, yolks first, sift in the flour, and beat the whole vigorously till light. Line a cake tin with buttered paper, pour in the mixture, and bake in a moderate oven.
Time: One and a quarter hours.
Ingredients: Quarter of a pound of butter, quarter of a pound of sugar, three eggs, two ounces of chocolate grated, two ounces of chopped almonds, three ounces of flour, half a teaspoonful of baking powder, a little essence of vanilla.
Mode: Beat butter and sugar together, stir in the grated chocolate and the yolks of the eggs, the chopped almonds, and the flour and baking powder, then the whites beaten stiff, and the essence of vanilla. Line a cake tin with buttered paper, pour in the cake, and bake in a moderate oven.
Time: Half-an-hour. Cost, 1s. 3½d.
(For the Nursery).
Ingredients: Quarter of a pound of butter, quarter of a pound of sugar, two eggs, half a cup of milk, quarter of a pound of flour,quarter of a pound of ground rice, half a teaspoonful of baking powder, vanilla or lemon essence.
Mode: Put the butter into a basin with the sugar, beat both together with the yolks of the eggs, then the whites well beaten, and the milk. Then stir in the flour and ground rice mixed together, and the baking powder. Add the few drops of flavouring. Put into a well oiled cake tin, and bake in a moderate oven.
A Rich Cake.
Ingredients: One pound of butter, one cup of golden syrup, half a pound of sugar, one pound of raisins, one pound of currants, one packet of mixed spice, one nutmeg, two pounds of flour, fourteen eggs, two teaspoonsful of baking powder.
Mode: Beat the butter to a cream with the golden syrup and sugar, add the raisins, stoned and cut in halves, currants well washed and dried, spice, grated nutmeg and flour, eggs well beaten, and the baking powder mixed dry with the flour. Mix all together, and stir for ten or fifteen minutes, then pour into a well buttered tin and bake slowly.
Wedding and Birthday Cakes.
Ingredients: Five cups flour, three cups sugar, 1 1/2lb. butter, twelve eggs, two cups currants, 1 1/21b. mixed peel (cut into shreds), one dessert spoonful salt, one teaspoonful baking powder, 1/2lb. almonds (blanched and pounded), 1/2oz. grated nutmeg, 1/2oz. ground cinnamon, half a pint brandy.
Mode: Beat the butter to a cream, gradually beat in the sugar, add the frothed whites of the eggs, beating well all the time, then the yolks. Now by degrees add the flour, salt, powder, and spices, mixed together; then the currants and peel, and after more working the brandy. Be sure your ingredients are all well beaten and well mixed - mix and mix again. Bake in a moderate oven about three hours.
Icing for a Wedding or Birthday Cake.
Ingredients: 3lb. of icing sugar (which may be obtained at the grocer's), 1lb. sweet almonds, whites of five large eggs.
Mode: For the almond icing, which ies next the cake, take the almonds, blanch them, and throw into cold water for one hour. Then put them into a mortar and pound them to a smooth paste, adding a few drops of water now and again. When well pounded add 1lb. of icing sugar and mix well. The preparation is now ready for the cake. Place your cake upside down on the back of a large plate. If not level pare a little off the top of the cake. If the cake is greasy dust on a little flour and wipe off lightly with a cloth. Now place your almond icing on the cake with your hand, smoothing with a knife dipped frequently in cold water. Do not use too much water, or the icing will take longer to dry. Make this icing about half an inch thick. Leave it two days to dry, then it is ready for the sugar icing. To make the latter put 2lbs. of icing sugar (no other will do) into a basin, throw in the whites of the eggs one at a time. The whites should not be whisked, only beaten a little to break them; also take care not a speck of yellow goes with the white. Use as few whites as possible. The number used will depend on the size. Three should be about sufficient for 2 lbs. sugar. Work the first white of egg well into the sugar with a spoon adding a few drops of lemon juice now and then. When it has been worked for a good while add another white and so on. Add eggs until all the sugar is worked in. To test it put some on a piece of dry bread, and if it does not run it is a sign it is ready. Keep out a spoonful or two if you desire decorations. Next place the rest of the mixture on top of the almond icing, using the blade of a knife dipped frequently in cold water to make it smooth. The icing should be allowed to harden before decorating. The cake may be placed in a cool oven or warm room for a short time. Have your forcers ready for making the decorations. They may either be bought or a baker may lend them. You must have them if you want to decorate the cake with knobs and wavy lines. Moisten the icing with a little more white of egg before using. Ornaments, flowers, and silver leaves may be bought off any
baker. If the cake is a birthday one you may sprinkle it over with hundreds and thousands, or use a very little cochineal to colour with according to taste. The almond icing may be omitted if preferred.
Jam Roll and Victoria Sandwich.
Ingredients: Six eggs, one cup flour, one cup sugar, little baking powder, raspberry jam.
Mode: Make batter as for sponge cake already given. When well beaten pour into buttered tins, long ones for roll, round ones for sandwich. Do not make your roll thick or it will be difficult to roll. Bake in a quick oven for a few minutes. When done, have some sugar sprinkled on the baking board and carefully turn the cake on to it top side down, quickly cut off crisp edges, spread on the jam thinly and roll.
For Victoria Sandwich turn out on board, spread on the jam and place another cake on top.
Ingredients: Half cup sugar, half cup flour, three eggs, small teaspoonful baking powder; also, whites of four eggs, ½ lb. icing sugar, pinch salt, six drops ratifia (almonds), jam.
Mode: Beat three eggs, half cup sugar for half an hour. Mix in flour and baking powder. Bake in a quick oven in lids of tins. After they are cooked heap on following mixture: beat the whites of eggs, icing sugar, salt and ratifia till it stands heaped up without losing shape. Put some jam on centre of the cakes, heap on mixture, put in slow oven, brown lightly, fire on top only.
Ingredients: One and a half pounds of flour (1), one (cup) pound of treacle, quarter (oz) of a pound of butter, quarter of a (oz) pound of brown sugar, one ounce of ginger, half an ounce of spice, one nutmeg, one teaspoonful of soda, quarter of a pint of warm milk, three eggs, some lemon peel.
Mode: Mix flour, ginger, spice, sugar, nutmeg (grated) together. Warm butter and treacle, and add to flour, &c., stirring all well. Dissolve soda in milk, to which add eggs, well beaten; then mix all well together, adding the peel. Bake in a moderate oven one hour.
Ingredients: One pound of flour, half a pound of butter, quarter of a pound of sugar, five ounces of sweet almonds, orange peel, sugar.
Mode: Blanch and chop your almonds, mix in with the flour and sugar, then add the butter. Knead well until workable. Roll or press the paste out on a board, cut into any shape liked. Pinch the edges round with your fingers, and place some peel and sugaredon top. Bake in a slow oven on paper. Care must be taken not to break the cakes in removing from the oven. They soon become crisp and short.
Ingredients: Five eggs, ½lb of sugar, ¼lb. butter, ½lb. flour, half a teaspoonful of baking powder, a pinch of salt.
Mode: Mix the butter and sugar together first, then the yolks of the eggs and the whites beaten to a froth. Beat all well, and stir in the flour by degrees. Pour into a well buttered baking tin till the bottom of the tin is covered about a half an inch thick. Bake quickly, then turn out and cut in halves. Spread with jam on one side and fold the other over. Make some icing with ½lb. of powdered sugar and the white of one egg. Spread thickly on the cake, and when quite hard cut into diamond shaped pieces.
A Simple Cake.
Ingredients: Half a cup of, one cup sugar, three eggs, half cup of sour milk, two cups flour, half a teaspoonful of carbonate of soda.
Mode: Beat the butter with the sugar, add the eggs (well beaten) and the milk, then stir the flour in by degrees, in which the carbonate of soda has been mixed.
In making all cakes and puddings in which soda or baking powder is used, it should be mixed in dry with the flour unless specially mentioned otherwise.
Ingredients: Three tablespoonfuls of butter, one cup sugar, three eggs, grated rind of two lemons, two cups of flour, one small teaspoonful of baking powder.
Mode: Mix together the butter with the sugar, eggs, grated rind of the lemons, and the flour in which the baking powder is mixed. Mix with sweet milk till it will drop stiffly from the spoon on to the tin, and bake quickly.
Ingredients: One cup sugar, two tablespoonsful of butter, two cups flour, one teaspoonful of baking powder, milk.
Mode: Mix the ingredients with some milk, and bake in sheets or layers—the above will make five or six. A square baking tin is the best to bake them in. Spread the mixture thinly over the bottom of the tin, and bake in a very quick oven. When brown, turn out, and spread with the mixture given in next recipe.
Custard for Cake.
Ingredients: Three tablespoonsful cornflour, two of sugar, half a pint of milk, two eggs, vanilla flavouring.
Mode: Beat the cornflour, sugar, and eggs together, have the milk boiling and pour on to them, return to the saucepan, and boil one minute, or till thick, flavour with vanilla, and add a pinch of salt. Now spread each layer of cake with this custard; cover with another layer. When cold, cut into convenient pieces. It is a very good cake for children.
Pancakes with Jam.
Ingredients: Five eggs, one and a half pints of sweet milk, one teaspoonful of salt, one teaspoonful of butter, flour sufficient to make a batter, half a teaspoonful of baking powder.
Mode: Beat the yolks and whites of the eggs separately. Into the yolks stir the milk, salt, butter, and add by degrees the flour, to which the baking powder has been added; last of all stir in the whites of the eggs, well beaten, and beat the whole for a few minutes. Fry in good dripping, lard, or butter—the least little bit is all that is required to fry pancakes. When brown on one side turn carefully and do not break the cake. When brown on both sides lift out on a plate, spread with jam, and roll up again. When all are piled on the dish sprinkle with sugar and serve hot.
Very few who are even good cooks otherwise succeed in making pastry worth eating, and as a rule those who can make it are always exclaiming and wondering how it is others cannot manage it. The whole secret of pastry-making lies in a light hand and a quick one. It does not do to run away, and leave it just in the midst of mixing, nor is it necessary to keep on kneading and handling it till it is like bread dough. As it requires very little art to make good short-crust, I will treat of it first. All dripping for pastry should be clarified—that is, put on in cold water, and when it has boiled, remove from the fire,and let stand till cold, when the cake on top is easily lifted off. This, again, must be melted down and poured into a jar or basin; the fat taken off soup is the best for short-crust, when it has been clarified as I direct. Take the quantity of flour required into a basin, say one pound; rub into this a teaspoonful of baking powder, and the same of salt, and five or six tablespoonsful of dripping, according to how rich you want your crust; rub this in with the flour till all looks and feels like bread crumbs. Now make a hole in the centre and pour in some luke warm water, or warm milk and water if you have it. Mix with a spoon, and when all is moist, not wet, knead for a few minutes on the board with some dry flour. Cover your tart, patty tins, or whatever you want covered, and pop into a quick oven as soon as possible. It is a great mistake to roll your pastry too thin, as it burns before the tart is cooked. One good plan is to cut strips of paste, and put round the edge of your pie dish before putting the whole cover over, that ensures the edges being nice and thick, but be sure you damp those strips before putting the other paste over them, or they will not stick together. The rim of the dish should also be damped. You can brush over the top with white of egg or milk if liked, to give it a gloss.
Suet Pastry.—Pass some fresh suet through the mincing machine. Rub a pound of flour quite smooth, salt it, and add a teaspoonful of baking powder. Mix it into a paste with warm water—roll out very thin and with a knife spread the suet in small pieces thickly over it, sprinkle with flour, and roll together and beat it with the rolling pin for some minutes, roll out again and spread as before and beat, do this three or four times, then roll out finally and use, and bake as above directed.
A Rich Paste.—One pound of flour rubbed smooth, salted, and the baking powder added to it, divide it into two equal portions. Take one on to the paste board, cut some butter into slices, or use a spoon; less than half a pound of butter and about the same of good lard will be required, and mix the butter and lard together; rub half of it in with the flour on your board first, and then gradually the other half. Now mix the rest of the flour into a very stiff paste with water, roll out till it is half an inch thick, then lay part of the butter, lard, and flour all over it, roll up and beat with the rolling pin and repeat until all is mixed in; then cover jour tart and bake quickly. This is an expensive paste, as well as being complicated in the mixing, but it is very good when made.
Puff Paste.—This was taught me by a French cook, and it is, without exception, the most delicious paste I know, but it also is expensive. One pound of flour sifted and dried in front of the fire, one pound of butter, and three eggs; divide the flour into two equal portions, take one into a basin and mix into a paste with the eggs well beaten, and a tablespoonful of water, lay this on one side, and now mix in the butter with the other part of the flour, roll it if possible. Take the first lump, roll it out thin and lay the butter and flour over it in pieces until all is used up; always roll the paste one way. This should be made over night and used in the morning. I always use both salt and a little baking powder in this recipe as in the others, but the cook I speak of did not.
Potato Paste.—This is a paste many people are very fond of for meat pies. Take a quarter of a pound of mashed potatoes, half a pound of flour, rub well together, wet with a little water, and work in some good lard or butter. Roll out and use. The potatoes must be quite fresh, if not they will make the paste sour.
Ingredients: Puff paste, half a pint of milk, one teaspoonful of cornflour, sugar to taste, two eggs, vanilla flavouring.
Mode: Line some patty pans with puff paste, and bake till half done, filling them with dry rice to preserve their shape. Then take the milk and bring it to a boil; mix the cornflour with a little milk and stir it in, add the sugar and a few drops of vanilla or any essence liked. When it has thickened beat up the eggs and stir them in slowly. Fill the patties.
Lemon Cheese Cakes.
Ingredients: Three eggs, three lemons, three tablespoonfuls of butter, one cup sugar.
Mode: Line some patty tins with good pie-crust, and fill with the following mixture:—Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the sugar, and let these melt together, being careful they do not burn. Grate the rind of the lemons, and stir it in, then the juice strained, and lastly pour in the eggs well beaten, and stir till thick.
Cream Puffs (the Cases).
Ingredients: Half a cup of boiling water, one tablespoonful butter, one breakfast cup of sifted flour, three eggs.
Mode: Put the water into a small saucepan with the butter, then blend the flour with half a cup of water and stir it into the saucepan of boiling water. Add more dry flour if necessary, as the mixture should be very stiff. When it will leave the sides of the saucepan clean, and can be taken out in a solid lump, it is done. Turn it into a basin and leave it to cool for a few minutes. Then beat up the eggs, and while beating the mixture add a teaspoonful of egg at a time, till all is beaten in. When ready to bake the mixture must just drop in solid lumps from the spoon; if thinner the cases will not be strong enough to hold the cream. Either drop on to a baking sheet or bake in patty tins well greased. They should rise or puff up. Bake in a moderate oven about half an hour. Do not remove them till quite done or they will fall. When cool fill with the cream. Time—about an hour.
Cream Puffs (the Cream).
Ingredients: Three eggs, two tablespoonsful of sugar, two tablespoonsful of flour, one cupful of milk, one teaspoonful vanilla essence.
Mode: Break the eggs into a basin, stir in with them the sugar and flour. Let the milk boil and then stir it in, return to the saucepan, and boil till thick. When cool add the vanilla essence. Open each case at the side and fill in the cream, or if preferred make the opening on top, fill in the cream, and sprinkle powdered sugar over the opening.
Ingredients: Two eggs, two spoonsful sugar, cornflour, three-quarters of a pint milk, vanilla.
Mode: Line some tart tins with good paste and bake them. Beat up the eggs, sugar, and as much cornflour as will lie on a threepenny piece. Stir this into the boiling milk till it thickens (not curdles). When cool add a few drops of essence of vanilla and fill the tartlets. Before serving warm them in a quick oven.
Good mixture for Tartlets.
Ingredients. Five or six tablespoonsful of golden syrup, half a teaspoonful of ground ginger, two lemons, a small piece of butter.
Mode: When you have your patty tins covered with pastry, pour the treacle into a basin and stir well; by degrees add the ginger, butter, the grated rind of one lemon and the juice of two. Beat this mixture well and pour into the tarts and bake. Children are very fond of this.
Mince Meat (Simple).
Ingredients: One pound of raisins stoned), one pound of currants, seven pounds of apples (weighed after peeling), half a pound of brown sugar, one pound of suet, juice of two lemons, two teaspoonsful of mixed spice, two ounces of candied lemon peel, two ounces candied citron peel, one cup of brandy.
Mode: Pass all these ingredients through a mincing machine twice or even three times, then press into a jar and pour in the brandy, let it stand for twenty-four hours, and then stir well to let the brandy get through. Do this twice or three times at intervals, and then cover with a cake of mutton fat, tie down securely, and put away for use.
(Quickly made and without meat).
Ingredients: Three pounds of raisins (stoned), three pounds of currants, one and a quarter pounds of suet, three pounds of apples, one and a half pounds of sugar, quarter of a pound of candied peel, two pounds of almonds, a little mixed spice, and a glass or two of spirits.
Mode: Put the raisins, currants, apples, suet, peel, almonds, sugar and spice through the mincing machine, moisten with the spirits, and put into a jar for use. This is very useful when in a hurry, but it will not keep very long.
Mince Meat (for a large family)
Ingredients: One pound of sirloin of beef (boiled), two pounds of fresh suet, eight large apples, four pounds of currants, two pounds of sultanas, one pound of mixed candied peel, one and a half pounds of sugar, two nutmegs, cloves, one teaspoonful of ginger, rind of two oranges, and two lemons, juice of six oranges and lemons, one pint of port wine, one pint of brandy.
Mode: Take the meat and suet, freed from all skins, and mince together very fine, then add the green apples, chopped, currants, sultanas, peel, sugar, grated nutmegs, cloves, ginger, grated rinds of oranges and lemons, and the juice, mince all together well, and stir in the port wine and brandy. Tied down securely and stored in a dry place, this should keep twelve months or more. In making mince meat the great secret is to get all the ingredients well mixed together, and the simplest way to do this is by passing all through the mincing machine. The plan I generally follow is mincing all except the currants and those I put in whole, but it is all a matter of taste or opinion.
PUDDINGS, PIES AND COOKED FRUITS.
IN baking light puddings the oven should not be too hot, as the top will brown too quickly. A custard should be removed directly it is set; if left it will become watery. The reason so many cooks fail in making rice, sago, and such simple puddings, is because they use too much rice, sago, &c., forgetting evidently they all swell. Half a breakfast cup is enough for a very large rice pudding, and it should be par-boiled first, then turned into the pie dish, the eggs and milk added, and a little grated nutmeg on the top. A few small lumps of butter added just before putting into the oven is a great improvement. All light puddings should have an edging of pastry round the pie dish; it is a great improvement to the appearance of the dish, besides being a pleasant accompaniment. Two eggs or three at most is sufficient for any ordinary sized pudding.
Candied Peel Pudding.—Cut up three ounces of candied peel (mixed) into very thin pieces. Beat up three eggs, add to them sugar and a tablespoonful of fresh butter. Heat these ingredients over the fire, and pour them over the peel. Stir all together till nearly cold, so that the peel will not sink to the bottom. Line a pie dish with short crust, pour in the mixture, and bake half an hour.
Chocolate Pudding.—Dissolve a packet of gelatine in a cupful of milk. Add to it the peel of a small lemon, and five or six sticks of chocolate—those in the silver paper—grated; whisk four eggs to a stiff froth, and stir in gradually with the other ingredients. Put into a dish with or without an edging of pastry, and bake in a moderate oven less than an hour. This is a delicious pudding.
Marmalade Pudding.—Melt two tablespoonsful of butter, add to it the same of sugar, and four eggs well beaten. On the bottom of a pie dish spread a thick layer of marmalade, and pour in the mixture. Bake half-an-hour. Pine-apple or any other jam can be used.
Lemon Pudding.—Beat together two tablespoonsful of butter and four of white sugar; to this add four eggs well beaten, the grated rind of one large lemon, and the juice—this last must be added by degrees, and stirring all the time. Bake in a dish lined with short crust, about three-quarters of an hour.
Yorkshire Pudding.—When roasting a piece of beef, lay it on a trivet in the baking pan, so that the juice from the meat will drop into the pan below. Three-quarters of an hour before the meat is done mix the following pudding and pour it into the pan under the meat, letting the drippings continue to fall upon it:—One pint of milk, four eggs well beaten, two cups of flour, one teaspoonful of salt.
Ingredients: Half a tablespoonful of butter, two teaspoonsful of flour, milk, three tablespoonsful of cheese, pepper, salt, three eggs.
Mode: Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir into it the flour, and when the two are well mixed add a small quantity of milk and the cheese grated. Stir this mixture till it looks like thick cream, but do not let it boil. Season with pepper and salt if needed, and keep stirring. Take the saucepan off the fire and let it stand, stirring just now and then till cold, then beat up the yolks of the eggs with little milk and stir it into the mixture, whisk the whites and add them also. Pour the mixture into a pie dish and put it into the oven at once. Serve directly it has risen and the top is brown. This is a very favorite dish with gentlemen and suitable for supper.
Ingredients: Quarter of a pound of butter, quarter of a pound of sugar, three eggs, one lemon, quarter of a pound of flour, half a teaspoonful of baking powder, two tablespoonsful of strawberry or raspberry jam, pinch of salt.
Mode: Beat the butter with the sugar, add the yolks and whites of the eggs well beaten to a froth, the grated rind of the lemon, and the flour, in which the powder and salt have been mixed. Mix all well together, and just at the last, stir in the jam. Pour into a well oiled mould, and either bake or steam.
Time: One hour.
Pumpkin Pie (very good).
Ingredients: Two pounds of mashed pumpkin, one packet of mixed spice, one cupful of currants, two or three eggs.
Mode: Take the pumpkin, sweeten to taste, and add the spice, currants, and eggs well beaten. Put into a pie dish and cover with a good short crust, and bake. In the Southern States of America they make the pumpkins in large flat round dishes, which are first lined with paste, so that when the pie is baked it can be taken right off the dish and cut into pieces or slices—hence the term, a slice of pumpkin pie, and it is often eaten with new cheese. Another way to make it is without the currants, eggs, milk, &c., and using the juice of three lemons, and the rind grated. This is equally delicious, indeed, many people prefer it.
Ingredients: Two lemons, two eggs, one cup of sugar, one heaped tablespoonful of cornflour, one tablespoonful of butter.
Mode: Squeeze the juice of the two lemons into a cup of cold water in a large basin. Add the eggs well beaten, the sugar, cornflour, and butter. Beat all together, and pour into a pie dish. Bake in a moderate oven.Time: Half-an-hour.
Ingredients: 2 lbs. of breadcrumbs, one teacupful of flour, 2 lbs. moist sugar, 2 lbs. of pudding raisins (stoned), 2 lbs. currants, 1 lb. candied peel, 2 lbs. of beef suet, 2 ozs. mixed spice, 1/4 lb. ground almonds, one teaspoonful of salt, rind of two lemons (grated), two teaspoonsful of baking powder, twelve eggs, one glass of brandy, juice of two lemons, a little milk.
Mode: Before beginning to make your Xmas. pudding you should have the raisins stoned, the currants washed, the bread crumbed, in fact, everything should be ready for mixing; if not, it makes one so long, and while getting one ingredient one forgets to add others. Mix all the dry ingredients together first, and then moisten and stir with twelve eggs, well beaten, add the brandy and the juice of the lemons. If not sufficiently moist, add milk. This makes a very rich pudding, and the above quantity will make three large puddings, or six small ones, to be used as required. It is best to put them into basins or moulds, well oiled or buttered, and if the former is used a paste of flour should be covered over the top before they are tied in the pudding cloth. When done remove the paste, and next day cover with brandy paper and store in a dry place till required for use. Will keep a year if necessary.
Time: Six hours.
Plum Pudding for every day.—This is a very simple pudding, quickly made and quickly boiled. It hardly deserves the name of plum pudding. though it does contain raisins or plums, As a rule, a plum pudding is considered quite an undertaking to make, and only made on high days and holidays. In this climate, where very often the children turn from meat during the hot weather, I have found this pudding a capital substitute, and it can be made any size. Take three cups breadcrumbs, one cup flour, one cup chopped suet or dripping, one teaspoonful baking powder; rub these well together, and a cup of sugar. A cupful of currants washed and picked, the same of raisins, sultanas or pudding raisins, stoned and chopped, candied peel—if you like it—and, if you have them to spare, mix with a couple or three eggs, if not, use plain milk, or even water. Tie in a cloth and boil two hours. Never put the pudding into the water until it boils. It is a mistake that dripping cannot be used in a boiled pudding. I use it as often as I do suet, and even make roley-poleys with it, or any boiled pastry.
Ingredients: Half a stale loaf, one and a half cups flour, half a nutmeg, one teaspoonful ginger, one teaspoonful of baking powder, half a teaspoonful of salt, one cup sugar, one cup currants, one cup sultanas, four tablespoonsful good dripping, two or three eggs.
Mode: Crumb into your basin the stale loaf and to it add the flour, grate the nutmeg and ginger over it, then mix all the other ingredients together dry. Then beat up the eggs with a little milk and mix well. Pour into a well-greased mould or basin and boil. Serve with boiled custard.
Time: Two hours and a half.
Another Sunday Pudding.
Ingredients: Half a stale loaf, three medium-sized carrots, half a nutmeg, half a teaspoonful of ginger and pepper, one teaspoonful of baking powder, one cup of flour, one cup of sultanas, one cup of golden syrup, two eggs.
Mode: Crumb the loaf into a basin, grate the carrots, nutmeg and ginger over it, add the flour, baking powder and sultanas. Mix with the golden syrup and the eggs. Boil in a mould or basin. Time: Two hours.
Ingredients: Sultana raisins, slices of stale bread, two eggs, half pint of milk, vanilla flavouring, suet or beef dripping.
Mode: Butter a cake or pudding mould, and line thickly with sultana raisins, then fill up the mould with slices of stale bread, sprinkling each piece with the suet or beef dripping. Make a custard with two eggs and the milk, flavour with vanilla, and pour into the mould, let it stand ten minutes, then steam. It can be eaten with any sweet sauce.
Time: One hour.
Very Light Suet Pudding.—Sift together three cups of flour, two large teaspoons of baking powder, one half-teaspoonful of salt, and a little ground cloves and cinnamon. Add two cups of finely chopped suet, three fourths cup of syrup or molasses, two well beaten eggs, and enough milk to make rather stiff pudding batter. Give it a good beat, pour into buttered mould, steam for three hours and serve with syrup.
Ingredients: Two teaspoonsful of arrowroot, half a pint of milk, one teaspoonful of butter, three eggs, one tablespoonful of marmalade.
Mode: Mix the arrowroot smoothly with the milk in a saucepan, add to it the butter, and when thickened, take off the fire and let stand till cool, then stir in the eggs well beaten, and the marmalade. Beat all well together, pour into a buttered mould with a lid to it, or cover with a small plate, and steam. Be sure no water gets in.
Time: An hour and a half.
Cold Peach Puddings.
Ingredients: Two or three rounds of bread, peaches, sugar.
Mode: Cut the bread, and line a pudding basin or mould with it as neatly as you can. Have some peaches stewed with sugar, or the tinned fruit will do, in either case they should be only just warm. Fill the centre of the mould with peaches, and pour in enough of the syrup to well soak the bread. Place a saucer or small plate on the top and a heavy weight on that again. It should be done over night and left under the weight. An hour or two before using place in the ice chest. Turn into a glass dish for table.
Ingredients: Six eggs, one and a half pints sweet milk, sugar and flavouring to taste.
Mode: Beat up the eggs, yolks and whites separately, add the milk, sugar, and flavour with any essence preferred, and stir in a pinch of salt. Take a tin mould (a smooth one is best), melt a tablespoonful of sugar in it (in the oven or a saucepan of hot water), making it run all over the mould, as you would butter if oiling it. When the whole is sugared, pour in the custard, cover with a saucer or plate if the mould has no cover, then stand in a saucepan of water, letting the water reach well up the mould, but not to boil into it. Let it cook slowly till set, be sure not to overcook it or it will become watery. Let it stand till cold and then turn out into a glass dish and serve with stewed or tinned fruit. This is a most delicious pudding, but requires care and watchfulness in cooking.
Time: One and a half hours.
Ingredients: ½ lb. flour, two tablespoonsful butter, one teaspoonful ground ginger, sugar, half a teaspoonful of baking powder, milk.
Mode: Rub the butter into the flour, add the ginger, a little sugar, and baking powder. Mix into a light batter with sweet milk, pour into a well-oiled mould leaving plenty of room for swelling and steam. Serve with any kind of sweet sauce.
Time: Two hours.
Ingredients: One teacupful of sago, sugar to taste, vanilla flavouring, one wineglassful of raspberry vinegar.
Mode: Well wash the sago and boil in water with the flavouring and sugar to taste, when soft add the raspberry vinegar. Boil a few minutes, pour into a mould, and when cold turn out and serve with custard.
Another Sago Mould.—Plain boiled sago with the juice of two lemons, some white sugar, and a couple of eggs and a spoonful of butter, beaten in it and thickened over the fire is a delicious pudding. It should be pressed into a shape, turned out when cold, and custard poured over it.
To Boil Rice.
Ingredients: Rice, water.
Mode: This is a thing very few servants succeed in cooking properly—more often than not it is cooked to a jelly. If you put rice into plenty of cold water over a brisk fire, it will take exactly twenty minutes to cook. Then turn into a colander and throw a cup of cold water over it. If not ready to use it just then, throw a cloth over it, but do not leave it in the saucepan to become sticky and dead. Every grain should be separate from its fellow. Rice should be washed in three or four waters to get rid of the glutine or rice-flour that is on the grains. If making rice-water you need only wash in one water and keep stirring, but it must not be stirred for any other purpose, as it bursts the grains and dissolves all the goodness into the water. If you are in a hurry you can put the rice into boiling water, then it will only take from six to eight minutes to boil. By throwing the cold water over it you separate the grains one from the other.
Ingredients: One cupful of boiled rice, one small onion, one pint of good gravy, a small piece of cheese, and half a nutmeg, a tiny piece of butter.
Mode: Chop up the onion, and fry in good dripping till a light golden colour, stir in the rice, let it get well warmed through, stirring all the time to prevent it burning, add the gravy, and let it simmer slowly. When nearly cooked grate the cheese, and nutmeg over it, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix all together, and when quite done stir in the butter. Serve with slices of fried bacon.
Savoury Rice (another recipe).
Ingredients: One cup of rice, some good gravy, curry powder.
Mode: Parboil the rice, then strain off the water and pour over it the gravy, and simmer till quite cooked. Stir in a little curry powder, if liked. Serve with fried eggs on top.
Ingredients: One cupful of rice, four eggs, one lemon, one pint milk.
Mode: Boil the rice in one pint of milk, stirring it all the time so as to break the rice, stir in a piece of butter the size of a nut, and the yolks of the eggs, with the grated rind of the lemon. Turn into a pie dish and bake. When done heap the beaten whites of the eggs upon it and serve cold.
Rice and Cocoanut.
Ingredients: Rice, cocoanut, or almonds, milk, sugar, and nutmeg or cinnamon.
Mode: Put on some well washed rice to boil in plenty of milk, add sugar to taste, and let it cook till the milk is nearly all absorbed; then stir in some grated cocoanut, or, if preferred, chopped almonds. Dish in a glass dish and sprinkle the cocoanut thickly over the top, and grate nutmeg or powdered cinnamon over it.
A Chinese Dish.
Ingredients: One cupful of good rice, half an onion, good stock or gravy, grated cheese.
Mode: Well wash the rice, throw it into boiling water and let boil for five minutes; strain from the water and mix with it the onion chopped very small, and fried a light brown in butter. Now have ready some good stock or gravy, put into a stewpan with the rice, and stew slowly, being careful not to let it burn. When done press into a basin or mould till cold, then turn out, cover with grated cheese, and brown in the oven. This is a very troublesome dish to make, but when well done repays one, as it is very good. The cheese can be left out if liked. It is usually eaten with mushrooms.
Ingredients: 3 ozs. dripping, ½ lb. flour, 3 ozs. currants, 3 ozs. sugar, half a teaspoonful ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg, one teaspoonful baking powder, milk.
Mode: Rub dripping into the flour, add all the ingredients but the milk, mix well, then moisten with the milk, and boil two hours.
Good Boiled Pudding.
Ingredients: Three tablespoonsful of beef dripping, two tablespoonsful of ground rice, two tablespoonsful of flour, one lemon, two eggs, one cup sweet milk, a little candied peel, sugar to taste, and a few drops of essence.
Mode: Beat the dripping in a basin, stir in gradually the rice, flour, sugar, the grated rind of half a lemon, and the candied peel cut fine, add the milk and eggs beaten together. Flavour with the essence. Last of all mix a pinch of baking soda with a spoonful of milk, stir it into the mixture, also the juice of one lemon. As quickly as possible pour it into a well oiled mould or basin, place a plate on top, tie a cloth over, and boil or steam.
Time: Two hours and a quarter.
Ingredients: Two cups of bread crumbs, one cup of well chopped suet, one cup sugar, two tablespoonsful flour, three tablespoonsful of good marmalade, two eggs, juice of two oranges.
Mode: Add the suet or beef dripping to the bread crumbs, sugar, flour, and marmalade. Mix with the eggs well beaten, and the orange juice. Boil in a well buttered mould or basin and serve with orange sauce.
Time: One hour.
Sauce for Boiled Puddings.
Ingredients: One cup of golden syrup, one tablespoonful of butter, half a cupful of water, two tablespoonsful of sugar, one teaspoonful cornflour, one lemon, a little nutmeg.
Mode: Boil the golden syrup or treacle, butter, water, and sugar together, then thicken with the cornflour, add the nutmeg and the juice of the lemon, and serve either over the pudding or in a sauce boat.
Time: Ten minutes.
Boiled Custard.—There is no nicer sauce for plum pudding, or, indeed, any boiled pudding, than custard. And it can be so easily made that it is little or no trouble. Some people make a great fuss with a jug and saucepan of water, when in reality there is no actual occasion for so much trouble. The following way is all that is required to make as nice a boiled custard as possible. Break two eggs into a basin, put on top of them as much cornflour as you can take up between finger and thumb, and a tablespoonful of white sugar. Beat these well together. Have on a cupful of milk in a saucepan, and directly it bubbles pour it over the eggs into the basin; do not pour the eggs into the milk, remember. It seems a trifling and useless detail, but it will prevent your custard from curdling or breaking. Stir well, and return to the saucepan, and just let it come to the boil, so that it thickens. Then pour into a jug, stir a few minutes and add any flavouring you prefer. You can either serve in custard cups, or in the jug, to eat with the pudding. If in cups, grate a little nutmeg over the top of each.
Porridge.—Every one has his own way of working ship, as the old sailor said when he gave the order to “lay aft and haul down the jib;” and so every cook has her own way of making porridge. The main thing is to boil it well, and have it the right consistency, so that it can be poured into the plates and will set. My children do not consider it properly cooked unless it will float when the milk is poured on to it. First put on your water to boil, with a teaspoonful of coarse salt in it. You can either wet your meal with water and pour it in so, stirring the while, or you can gradually dredge it in dry from your hand. By the former process you can be certain of no lumps; but most good cooks prefer the latter way. Stir till it thickens, and then it can be allowed to boil—without more than an occasional stir—over a gentle fire, but he sure it keeps boiling all the time. Maizemeal makes very good porridge but it is usually preferred mixed with oatmeal. Wheatmeal is also a good porridge; but all these things should be well boiled or they are unwholesome.
Boiled Cornflour and Arrowroot.—All milk food, such as cornflour, arrowroot, etc., should be boiled. No greater mistake is made than the impression that blanc-mange needs no boiling. It should always be allowed to boil for a few seconds to take off the rawness. When the milk is brought to boiling point stir in the cornflour or arrowroot, blended smoothly with a little milk, and the sugar mixed with it. When it has boiled remove from the fire,and stir for a few minutes to get rid of some of the steam. Then, and not till then, stir in your flavouring. Many people put in the flavouring while it is still very hot or while over the fire, consequently the flavouring all goes up the chimney in the steam, and then they blame the essence, or wonder how it is the pudding is not flavoured. The cooler it is before adding it, the better and stronger it will taste.
Tapioca and Fruit Syrup.
Ingredients: Half a pint of fruit syrup, tapioca, sugar.
Mode: Very often when stewing fruit there may be some syrup over, and which it is a pity to waste. It. can be utilized as follows:—Put the syrup into a saucepan with a little water (if you have enough use all syrup), add sugar if not sweet enough. When boiling stir in some tapioca, and boil till quite clear. Pour into a mould, and set in a cold place on ice if possible. Serve with custard.
To Cook Apples.
Ingredients: Bread, two eggs, apples, sugar, one lemon, cinnamon, cream.
Mode: Cut a few slices of bread of moderate thickness, butter a basin or mould, and also the slices of bread, and as well as you can line the mould or basin with them; you may have to cut the bread into pieces or strips to do it. When all are in beat up the whites of two eggs, and with a spoon pour it or smear it over the edges of the bread to make them hold together. Stew some apples with plenty of sugar, a little water, the juice and rind of a lemon, and a little cinnamon, pass through a hair sieve, and then fill the mould. Cover with a slice of bread and set in a quick oven till it looks done. Turn out and serve with cream.
Time: One hour.
To Cook Apples.—No. 2.
Ingredients: Baking apples, sugar, one lemon, one stick cinnamon, cochineal, one small packet gelatine.
Mode: Peel, quarter and core some baking apples, and stew them with a little water, some sugar, the rind of a lemon, and the cinnamon. When quite soft pass through a sieve, and colour with a few drops of cochineal. Soak a small packet of gelatine in some water, and when soft mix it in with the hot apples over the fire till all is dissolved. Pour into a mould, and when set turn out and serve with cream or custard.
To Cook Apples.—No. 3.
Ingredients: Apples, butter, sugar.
Mode: Peel and core a number of apples without halving them, lay them in a baking tin with some butter round them, and fill up each core with sugar and a bit of butter. Put into a slow oven and baste occasionally with the butter and sugar, keeping the cores well filled till they turn brown and are done. Serve with custard. The peels can be left on if preferred. They are easier to do with them on.
To Cook Apples.—No. 4.
Ingredients: Six large apples, one lemon, a few cloves, syrup, apple or currant jelly.
Mode: Peel, core, and halve the apples, have them as nearly of a size as possible. As they are done drop them into cold water, to which a little lime or lemon juice has been added to prevent them from becoming brown. Make a strong syrup, and while boiling drop the apples into it, with the thin rind of the lemon and the cloves. As soon as they are cooked take them out, and lay them prettily in a glass dish with a spoonful of currant or apple jelly in the hollow of each. Then reduce the syrup, and when cold pour a little of it round the apples. Do not let them break when boiling.
To Cook Apples.—No. 5.
Ingredients: Suet paste, apples, sugar or jam.
Mode: Make some good suet paste, roll out in sheets quarter of an inch thick, and of sufficient size to enclose an apple. Place an apple, peeled and cored, on each sheet, fill the core with sugar or jam, close up the paste well over, and bake till a good colour, but not too quickly.
To Cook Apples.—No. 6.
Ingredients: Ripe apples, butter, sugar, bread crumbs.
Mode: Peel, core, and slice some ripe apples. Butter a pie dish, and in the bottom put a layer of apple, then on it a layer of sugar, bread crumbs, and some small pieces of butter, then another layer of apple, sugar, bread crumbs, and butter, and so on till the dish is full, putting the butter last. Bake in a moderate oven.
Ingredients: Six or eight apples, one lemon, sugar, one pint milk, three eggs, vanilla.
Mode: Peel, core, and boil to a pulp the apples, with the grated rind of the lemon, and sugar to taste. Pour into a deep glass dish, and make a good boiled custard with the eggs, milk, and a little vanilla flavouring. When cold pour over the apple, and ornament with white of egg whipped to a stiff froth.
Cold Fruit Pudding.
Ingredients: Slices of stale bread, stewed or bottled fruit, sugar.
Mode: Cut some thin slices of stale bread, and with them line a basin or mould, then fill up with the fruit, sweetened to taste, place a slice of bread on the top, then a saucer or plate, and a weight on that, and leave for twelve hours, when it can be turned out. Some people steam it for an hour, then let it cool and turn out, but it is not necessary.
Stewed Guavas.—Choose sound fruit, just ripe. Cut them in halves and lay in an enamel pie dish. Sprinkle sugar over them, and if you have any wind-fallen oranges, squeeze the juice of five or six into the dish. Failing the oranges, use water and a little acid. Put them into the oven, and let them stew for two hours, basting them occasionally. Another way:—Cut the large pink guavas in thick slices, and also cut a citron in the same way. Arrange them in a pie dish; three or four slices of guava, then one of citron. Sprinkle sugar over them, and pour in some water. Bake a couple of hours, and when done remove the slices of citron. Put the guavas into a glass dish, and serve cold with boiled custard.
Ingredients: Eight or nine large ripe peaches, one pint of best brandy.
Mode: Peel the peaches, and having made a strong syrup put the peaches into a jar, pour over them the brandy slightly warmed, and fill up with syrup. Peaches can be easily peeled by being put into the potato steamer over boiling water for three or four minutes. Remove, and when cold, the skin can be peeled off quite easily.
Peaches and Rice.
Ingredients: Peaches, rice, sugar.
Mode: Stew some peaches, which have been previously cut in halves, in a prepared syrup. Fill a basin or mould with hot boiled rice, turn it out, and arrange the fruit round it; pour the syrup over the whole. This is very good for children’s dinner.
Meringue of Peaches.
Ingredients: Several ripe peaches, five eggs, 5 ozs. powdered sugar, rich cream.
Mode: Peel the peaches, break or cut in halves, and take out the stones and sprinkle powdered or loaf sugar over the fruit. Now make a meringue mixture by beating the whites of four or five eggs until stiff enough to drop, adding the powdered sugar by slow degrees. Cover the ordinary oven tin with white paper slightly buttered, and drop the beaten egg on it by tablespoonsful, place in a hot oven for a few minutes. Brown very slightly, remove the soft part when they are cold, and place half a peach in the cavity. Have ready some rich cream beaten to three times its original quantity, and place mounds of it on top of the meringues, and serve. To whip cream you require to use a very light whisk, and if in the summer, the bowl must be surrounded with ice.
Ingredients: Fruit, loaf sugar.
Mode: A compôte is merely fresh fruit stewed or boiled in syrup until sufficiently cooked, without losing its shape or colour. The best way to do it is in a hot oven. First make the syrup by boiling together loaf or good white sugar and water, the amount of sugar depending upon the acidity of the fruit, but it must be made strong or the fruit will not sweeten sufficiently or look clear. A cup to a cup of water will make a strong enough syrup for peaches. Boil the sugar and water, skim it carefully. When the syrup is ready transfer it to a deep tin or crockery-ware dish and place in the oven. When hot put in the fruit whole, or in quarters if liked. If the syrup does not cover they must be basted. Let them simmer till clear, then remove the fruit into a glass dish, and when cold pour the syrup over. Many cooks colour the syrup, and also flavour it.
Ingredients: Bananas, two eggs, three tablespoonsful of flour, a little sugar, milk.
Mode: Divide each banana into four or five thin slices. Now make a batter of the eggs, flour, sugar, and as much milk as will make it the right consistency. Dip the pieces of banana into this and fry in plenty of hot fat.
Ingredients: One egg, one pint of milk, one tablespoonful of sugar, one desertspoonful of maizena, six bananas.
Mode: Slice your bananas across, and lay in a pie dish. Make a boiled custard in following way:—Boil the milk, beat up the egg and sugar, and add to it the maizena blended in a little milk. Mix well, and when milk is at the boiling point, stir in the mixture, stir well and let it boil up once or twice. Pour the custard over the bananas, stirring them in.
AND OTHER EGG PREPARATIONS.
Ingredients: One cup of bread crumbs, one cup of boiled milk, four eggs, a little salt.
Mode: Soak the crumbs in the milk for an hour, then beat up the eggs and mix them in, season with salt and pepper if liked. Fry slowly, and when done cut into squares and serve.
Ingredients: Six eggs, four spoonsful of powdered sugar, the grated rind of one lemon.
Mode: Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs, mix the sugar with the yolks and the grated rind of the lemon. Then heat the whites to a stiff froth, mix them in lightly, and beat all together a few minutes. Butter a shallow pie dish, pour in the omelette, sprinkle with sugar, and bake in the oven a light brown. Serve directly it is cooked on a hot water dish if possible. Sufficient for four persons.
Time: Seven or eight minutes. Average cost, 8d.
Eggs and Milk (Breakfast Dish).
Ingredients: Milk, eggs, pepper and salt.
Mode: Set some milk on the fire, and when boiling break the eggs into it without beating, season, and cook slowly, stirring now and then. When done pour into a deep dish and serve with toast. Time: Ten minutes.
(A Nice Supper Dish).
Ingredients: Five or six eggs, grated cheese, one tablespoonful of butter, dry mustard, salt, pepper, one tablespoonful of anchovy sauce or paste.
Mode: Boil the eggs until hard, cool in water so that the shells will peel off easily. Remove the shells and cut the eggs in halves, scoop out the yolks, and cut the tips off the ends of the whites so they will stand upright. Put the yolks in a basin with some grated cheese, the butter, mustard, salt, pepper, and anchovy sauce or paste. Rub all together till quite a smooth paste, and then fill up the whites of the eggs, raising it high in the centre. Put into a hot oven for a few minutes to heat through before sending to table, heap some grated cheese over and round them. This dish can be prepared in the morning and just heated half-an-hour or so before supper.
Sour Milk Fritters.
Ingredients: Three eggs, two tablespoonsful of sugar, one pint of sour milk or buttermilk, sufficient flour to make a batter, half a teaspoonful soda.
Mode: This batter must be mixed an hour or two before frying. Beat up the eggs with the sugar and sour milk, then stir in sufficient flour to make a batter that will pour easily, but be sure to mix in with the flour the baking soda. Whenever using either baking powder or soda mix it with the flour dry. Let the mixture stand an hour or so, and when frying use plenty of fat in your pan, and let it be boiling when you begin. Fry in small cakes, about a third of a cup of batter to each. They will bubble all over as they cook, and brown very quickly. Serve sprinkled with sugar.
PRESERVES, JAMS, CONFECTIONERY.
VERY many people who have gardens of fruit might preserve them for future use with a small amount of trouble, or if not too much blessed with this world’s goods, they could sell their canned fruit if it was put up attractively. I give the directions for those who would like to try. The best bottles to use are Mason’s preserving jars with the rubber bands, or those with the screw ring that fits over the glass stopper. I have used the ordinary fruit tins (2 lbs.), but the soldering is a great trouble, and if you can afford the others they will be more satisfactory.
To Bottle or Can Fruit—No 1.—Take only fruit that is fresh and perfectly ripe, but not too soft. Fill the bottles or jars quite full and stand them in a boiler with straw or dry grass between them to prevent cracking or breaking, put over a slow fire and pour in cold water up to the shoulders of the bottles. Let it heat gradually, and as the fruit falls or sinks together, keep filling in more. Meanwhile make a syrup of white sugar. The quantity of sugar depends upon the fruit. For pears, 8 ozs. to the lb.; for quince, 10 ozs. tolb.; for peaches, 4 ozs. to the lb.; for plums, 8 ozs. to the lb.; for grapes, 8 ozs. to the lb.; for gooseberries, 8 ozs. to the lb.; for pineapples, 6 ozs. to the lb. When the fruit is about half done, pour the syrup over it hot, and let it go on boiling till quite done, but not to fall to pieces. When the jar or bottle is full take a long skewer or pickle fork and run it down the fruit to let the air bubbles escape. Screw on the tops as securely as possible, and let them stand until cold, then store away. As a rule the length of time to boil varies with the different fruit. Pears, thirty minutes; quinces, fifteen minutes; peaches, fifteen minutes: plums, ten minutes; grapes, ten minutes; gooseberries, eight minutes; pineapples, thirteen minutes. It is a good plan to put white paper on the top, or a few spoonsful of mutton fat to exclude all air. In canning, when the tops have been soldered on, a tiny hole should be left to allow all the air to escape, then put the tins in boiling water, and while the steam is coming out just drop a little bit of solder on to the hole and stop it up.
To Bottle or Can Fruit—No 2.—Make a syrup of white sugar as directed in last recipe. When boiling in preserving jars drop in the fruit, taking great care that it does not break in the cooking or bottling. Boil until tender, according to time already given; have your jars and their lids hot; keep your pan on the fire while bottling, that the fruit may all be put boiling into the jars. When one jar is full to overflowing, very quickly dry the neck, put on the rubber ring, and screw on the top, not too tightly at first; in two or three minutes tighten the screw, and as the bottle cools you will find it will screw tighter still. Go on to the second bottle and so on, but screw up each one as it is filled. If properly done this recipe never fails. Boil the syrup well, as it keeps it from fermenting.
To Make Syrup for Preserving.
Ingredients: 2 lbs. of sugar to one pint of fruit, two eggs.
Mode: Put the sugar into the preserving pan, pour the water over it, and let it stand till quite dissolved, stirring now and then. When the sugar has melted, place the pan over the fire and let it come to the boil slowly, and then boil fast for half-an-hour. Beat up the whites and shells of two eggs, and while the syrup is boiling throw in the egg and water, give it one stir round, and let it boil five minutes. Then skim carefully and draw to one side of the fire before putting in the fruit to be preserved. In doing vegetable marrow it is as well to let it soak twelve hours (at least) in salt and water, to take out the acrid taste of unripe marrow. The lemon juice can be added after it is nearly cooked if liked, or it can be boiled in the syrup first. It makes very delicious preserve, and can be flavoured with citron, orange, or pineapple, which is a great improvement. The syrup for preserving need not necessarily be clarified with white of egg. It can be done very well with cold water, a little thrown in now and then when the syrup is boiling fast, and skim at once, or directly the impurities rise. Some fruits require, or are the better for boiling in clear water before preserving in syrup—quinces for instance, and pears. Pineapples are delicious done in this way, but it is advisable to prick them here and there with a knitting needle or a bonnet pin before they are put in at all. If you do it after they have been in they may fall to pieces. Syrup for preserving requires great care in making, as if the least burnt or smoked, all the jam or preserve will be spoiled.
To Preserve Fruit without Sugar.—This is an American recipe, therefore should be good. Have some wide mouthed bottles or jars, and having well washed and dried them, hold them for a moment over sulphur fumes to purify the inside. Fill them with the fresh sound fruit, packing it closely and right up to the neck. Now cork tightly with new sound corks and tie down, wrap each bottle in a piece of calico and stand all together in a boiler and pour in cold water up to the shoulders of the bottles. Bring the water to boiling, and boil gently for fifteen minutes. Withdraw the fire and let them cool slowly.
To Preserve Lemon or Lime Juice.
Ingredients: To every pint of juice one tablespoonful of whisky or brandy.
Mode: wiser to let them have something that is easily cleaned. Enamel is that, provided it is not allowed to burn. For those who cannot afford enamel, tin vessels, if they are tolerably new, are just as good. Some of the best looking and tasting jelly I ever saw was made in a kerosene tin. Its usual size is too long and awkward, so must be cut down, taking off a third. I saw one made and finished off very neatly the other day. When the tin was cut, instead of nearly turning over, and hammering the edges flat, a piece of ordinary fencing wire was first shaped into a square the exact size, then put over, and the edges turned neatly over it and hammered down. It looks difficult to do oneself, and a lady may cut and damage her fingers in the attempt. The job is to keep the wire in place until you get the tin curled over it. I was a long time trying to do it, and nearly gave it up in disgust, when I hit on the plan of boring a few holes in the edge, passing a wire or piece of string through and over the thick wire to keep it in place while I hammered it. The plan answered well, and enabled me to finish my pan. The wire around makes the pan much firmer, and the handle does not tear out so soon. Before leaving the subject of kerosene tins, I may as well mention a fish boiler I saw made of one. It was cut the other way, that is lengthways, the tin lying on its side. The wire can be used round it if liked, or the edges hammered down without. It makes a nice sized pan for anything. But the most novel use I ever saw one of these tins put to was for baking scones. I was caught in a storm one afternoon, and took refuge in a tent, where were a couple of men, who were working at a house. The woman was making scones when I entered, and just outside under a sheet of bark, she had a couple of kerosene tins standing on end over some red ashes. There were a few holes bored round the tins about half way up I think. As they became hot she baked her scones on them, and to my surprise they did beautifully, cooking in a very short time. I told her about the oil drum oven, and gave her directions how to set it. And next time I passed she had one in use. But to return to our subject. One of the most convenient preserving pans, when one cannot have the real thing, is a milk dish, block tin being the best. From preserving pans it seems natural to go to jars, bottles, &c., for holding the preserve. I don't think everyone knows how to cut down the ordinary bottle for this purpose. Get a blacksmith to make you an iron ring of half-inch iron, and the exact size of a common bottle. There must be a handle to the ring to hold it by. Now fill your bottle with water up to the size you want your jar. Make the ring red hot, and fit it over the bottle, which will crack off all round, leaving you a neat jar. Bottles cut this way are very convenient for use in the pantry to hold different things. There is a simpler way of cutting down bottles without the ring. Soak a piece of thick string in kerosene. Tie it round the bottle where you want it to break off; then set light to it, and when the string has burnt out, and the bottle is still hot, pour cold water over it.the juice from the lemons and strain it very carefully through fine muslin, and to every pint of juice allow one tablespoonful of whisky or brandy. Bottle, cork, and seal the corks, and keep in a cool place. The juice must be done at once, and not left to stand.
Night Shade or Blackberry.—Every one is acquainted with the little bushes covered with glossy blackberries that come up all over scrub land when it is first cleared. It is, I believe, correctly speaking, a nightshade, but certainly it is not deadly; on the contrary, it makes one of the nicest jams I know. Pick the berries when they are just ripe, throwing out all stalks. Ten ounces of sugar to the lb. is sufficient if the jam is not required to be kept long. The juice of one or two lemons to the lb. is an improvement, though not necessary. A little water may be added if required, but, as a rule, the berries are moist in themselves. Boil very slowly till thick.
Lilly Pilly.—What the children call Lilly Pilly is a bright red berry growing in the scrubs on a very tall, glossy-leafed tree. It also makes a good preserve. While rather acid to eat raw, they have a very pleasant sharpness whenpreserved. They require a pound to a pound of sugar, or even more. Like native currants they make a good summer drink.
Wild Raspberry.—It is not generally known that these make a very nice preserve, insipid as they are in a raw state; they develop a good flavour when made into jam. Gather them when just ripe, pick off all stalks, and lay them in a preserving pan over night, with ten ounces of sugar to the pound, and just sufficient water to prevent burning. Boil slowly until they thicken, and become a good colour. Lime juice or a few lemons can be added, if liked, but they are very nice without any flavouring save their own.
The reason so much of the jam now-a-days does not keep is because it is boiled so fast. I have noticed that many cookery books tell you to boil quickly, that a better colour is the result. I deny this utterly. In our young days the jams were always a good colour, and very seldom required re-boiling after they had been put away, and only because they were boiled very slowly. One used to give up a whole day when jam making. I can remember putting on quince jam at eight o’clock in the morning, and it was not done until three or four. Peach and grape the same. But, now-a-days it it is usual to get the jam made, bottled, labelled, and put away before the midday meal, and, as a consequence, in about three months it all wants re-boiling, instead of being as good in a year as when first made. I am convinced that jam cannot be boiled too slowly. Jelly, of course, is different, it requiring only time enough to set or jell, as American housekeepers call it. Jelly is much harder to make, for that reason as the least over boiling and it will not set properly, becoming either a sticky glutinous mass, or else watery and only fit for syrup.
Citrons.—One of the nicest ways of preserving citrons is as jelly, and, without exception, citron jelly is the easiest of all to make, and I think it is least known. Soak the citrons in pretty strong salt and water first to get rid of some of the bitterness. Cut them in quarters, slice any way you like, and boil a couple or three hours till you think the liquor is strong enough. Then strain through a jelly bag several times. I would advise a new flannel bag, and the beauty of the preserve depends upon the clearness of the liquor before the sugar is added. If you want to have it particularly good to look at use loaf sugar, but there is no actual necessity, ordinary white sugar answering as well if care is taken. Add a pint of sugar to a pint of juice; stir well with a wooden spoon till all is dissolved, then set on the fire again till it jells, which it will in from half-an-hour to forty minutes. It will be noticed round the sides of the pan first; now remove from the fire, and when cool pour into glasses, jars, etc. This is much prettier than marmalade made with citron, and it has much the same flavour.
Mandarins.—The little sour mandarin orange makes delicious jelly treated in exactly the same way. Every one knows how to make guava jelly, so I need give no directions, but I may tell those who cannot get their guava jelly to cut clean like the Indian preserve, that it is owing to acid put in at the last moment. About half a cupful of lemon or lime juice should be added to a good pan of jelly just the minute before lifting it from the fire. One often sees sticky jelly, which is very nice to eat and in appearance, but only needs that one quality, which the lemon juice can give.
When the season has been very wet, the fruit should be left to stand some hours after it is cut up, and before the sugar is over it. In this way some of the water will drain out, and should be thrown away. Very often the watery state of the fruit is the cause of fermentation in the jam afterwards. In some seasons it is even advisable to evaporate some of the water before adding sugar.
Jelly can frequently be made from the skins, cores, &c., of the fruit—for instance, quince, apple, and pineapple. A novel way of preserving the last-named is the following:—
Pineapple.—Take a couple or three ripe pines. Slice them as thin as possible, having peeled off every particle of skin. Now get a glass prune jar, put a little sugar at the bottom, then a slice of pine, more sugar, and another slice, and so on till the jar is quite full. Now squeeze the juice of two or three lemons, or limes, over the top. Put the lid on, and fasten securely, and place the jar in a saucepan of water over the fire; let it boil several hours—in fact, as long as possible. This makes a lovely preserve.
Ingredients: One pineapple, powdered sugar, two or three lemons.
Mode: Take a pine that is quite ripe all over, mind not the least over ripe, but just when it is at its best. Peel very carefully, and pick out all the eyes with the point of a sharp knife. Now lay it upon a board and slice very thin, without breaking any of the slices. Have some powdered sugar if possible, or good loaf sugar. Begin to build up your pine, again putting a thick layer of the sugar between each slice till the pine is whole together again. It is best to do it on a soup plate or shallow dish of some sort, and be as quick as possible, as the sugar will all melt away. Having got the whole together, now wind thread round it so as to keep the slices in position. Use a lot, do not mind the look of it, better have a little thread showing than spoil your conserve. Have ready a glass prune jar large enough to hold the pineapple comfortably, let it be well washed and purified, as unless it is the conserve may not keep. Now very carefully put the pine into the jar, and the best way to do this is by turning the prune jar over the pine, and then slipping the blade of a knife under to lift it. Having got it into the jar, pour in the syrup from the plate with the surplus sugar, and also put in one whole cup of powdered sugar, the juice of two or three lemons, and the grated rind of one, then fill up to just cover the fruit with clear water. before screwing on the lid, pour in about three tablespoonsful of mutton fat (oiled over the fire). Now screw on the lid securely and stand the jar in a boiler—a kerosene tin is the best to do it in, because it is deep—with water just reaching below the top of the jar. If you have more than one jar you must wrap each one in grass, or put some between them to prevent their breaking. Boil for four or five hours, or till the pineapple looks clear. Then draw the fire and let them cool in the water by degrees. Store the jars away for a month or two, the longer they are kept the nicer they become. When opened, the fat must be taken off very carefully so as not to break and get into the syrup. I have had them turn out in one solid mass from the jar, but they do not always, it greatly depends upon the juiciness of the fruit I think. If put into the ice chest an hour or two before turning out it makes a lovely dish, fit for the gods as the saying is. If it were possible to patent a dish I think I should have done so to this. As it is, I have letters from several professional cooks complimenting me upon it. The lemon juice can be increased or lessened as liked, or the lemon can be done in slices, or orange can be used instead. Whole oranges can be done in the same way, but all pips must be taken out.
Ingredients: Use the yellow egg shaped tomatoes. 5 lbs. tomatoes, 5 lbs. white sugar, three lemons.
Mode: Cover the fruit with the sugar over night. In the morning strain off the syrup, put it on to boil, and skim it carefully; then put in the fruit and boil slowly for half-an-hour. Remove the fruit on to a dish, and continue boiling the syrup till it is thick, and then add the juice of the lemons. If liked, the lemons can be sliced and boiled when the tomatoes are. Now put the tomatoes into jars, and cover with the hot syrup, and seal up the corks at once.
Pie Melon Conserve.
Ingredients: 18 lbs. of fruit, six lemons, 10 ozs. of sugar to 1 lb. of fruit, one cupful of lime or lemon juice.
Mode: Cut up the melon into pieces about an inch square, and the same thickness, carefully removing all seeds. Put it into your preserving pan, but be careful it is not too full, as there is a great deal of water in the melon. Cut up some lemons as if for marmalade, allow six to eighteen pounds of melon, if possible use the rough skinned lemons instead of the Lisbon. When all is in the pan, cover it with sugar, and let it stand all night. Next morning there will be a great deal of water or syrup, do not take any of it away. Put it on to boil over a good fire, and let it boil as fast as it possibly can till it becomes thick, then draw some of the fire, and if you prefer it acid add the lime or lemon juice. Let it boil till the pieces are clear, and the syrup will set on a saucer. This is an excellent recipe for melon jam.
Ingredients: Apricots, sugar.
Mode: Peel, quarter, and stone some ripe apricots, put them into the preserving pan with very little water, and let them boil gently, stirring constantly. When reduced to a pulp, add three quarters of a pound of sugar to each pound of fruit. Crack the stones, blanch and cut up the kernels and add them too, and boil again till clear. Put into jars, pour a little mutton fat over the top to keep out the air, and cover with bladder or gum paper.
Apricot Preserve.—No. 2.
Ingredients: Apricots, sugar.
Mode: Halve and stone your apricots, put them in the preserving pan over night in layers of sugar, one pound of sugar to one pound of fruit. Crack the stones, blanch and cut the kernels, and add them. Next day put on the fire, stir well till it boils, then boil from thirty to forty minutes till stiff enough. This makes a beautiful clear preserve.
Ingredients: Apples, sugar.
Mode: Pick out apples with bright red skins if possible, wipe, and cut into quarters, but do not peel them. To each pound of fruit allow two pints of water, bring it to a boil, and let it simmer for half-an-hour. Strain, and to every pint of juice allow one pound of good white sugar, and boil quickly for half-an-hour, or a little more if necessary. While hot strain through a piece of net, when cold put into jars or bottles and tie down.
Ingredients: Tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice.
Mode: Peel your tomatoes first, and cover with an equal weight of sugar. Let them stand thus all night. Strain off the syrup, and put the fruit on to boil over a slow fire for one hour, or till you think it is cooked enough. Then fill your jars and put on the syrup to boil till it is quite thick. When nearly done add the lemon juice. Pour this over the fruit in the jars, and when cold tie down.
Very Good Tomato Jam.
Ingredients: Tomatoes, sugar, one teaspoonful cinnamon, half a cup of sultana raisins.
Mode: Peel a quantity of red tomatoes. If small they can be left whole, but if large must be sliced or broken. Allow three quarters of a pound of sugar to one pound of fruit. Make the syrup, and put in the tomatoes, raisins, and cinnamon, and boil. Then take out the tomatoes and boil the syrup half-an-hour longer, or till it is thick. Put the fruit in jars and pour the syrup over.
Time: One and a half hours.
Green Tomato Jam.
Ingredients: 6 lbs. green tomatoes, 7 lbs. sugar, four lemons, ginger.
Mode: To the tomatoes add the juice and rind (finely cut) of the lemons, add the sugar, and some ginger if liked. Boil till the syrup will jelly on a plate. Time: One hour.
Vegetable Marrow Jam.
Ingredients: Marrows, sugar, one lemon, a little ginger, one glass of brandy.
Mode: Peel the marrows (which should be only just ripe) and cut them into dice, and throw into clearwater, for two days. Make a strong syrup, two pounds of sugar to a pint of fruit the juice and rind of the lemon, and the ginger, if it is liked. Lay the marrow in this, place over a clear fire, and boil very slowly till clear. Before storing away stir in a glass of brandy.
Ingredients: Rhubarb, sugar, lemon.
Mode: Wipe the stalks, peel and cut them in lengths, and put them into a preserving pan, or an enamel stewpan if you have only a small quantity. Allow one pound of sugar to each pound of fruit, and one lemon cut into very thin slices to every three pounds. Do not put on to the hot fire till the sugar is melted. Then boil till the jam will set on a plate. Keep stirring to prevent it burning. This is best made, in small quantities, as it does not keep well. I have preserved as little as four bunches at a time; that quantity will make a medium sized basin full.
To Preserve Oranges Whole.
Ingredients: Oranges, sugar.
Mode: Grate or peel off the outer portion of the rind. Make a small opening at the stalk end, squeeze out as much of the juice as possible into a basin, with the pulp that accompanies it. Now put the oranges into cold water for three days, changing the water two or three times; then boil them in fresh water till they are so tender you can run a straw through them, and set them to drain. Make a syrup, allowing one pound of sugar to one pint of water, enough to just cover the oranges, and let them stand in this for two or three days, then drain them again. Weigh juice and pulp, and allow double quantity of sugar to it, and boil till all scum ceases to rise. Put in the oranges carefully, boil ten minutes, and then place them in jars and pour the syrup over them. When cold, tie down. They will be fit to use in a fortnight. Though a good deal of trouble, oranges done this way are well worth it. Mandarins are delicious, and lemons are also very good.
To Preserve Green Apricots.
Ingredients: Green apricots, sugar, ginger.
Mode: Lay apricot leaves at the bottom of the pan, or a large tin milk dish is a good thing to do them in, then a layer of fruit, and so on alternately leaves and fruit till the pan is full, the top layer being leaves. Fill up with clear water and cover closely (if a milk dish, cover with another dish). Set by the side of the fire or over a very very slow fire, but do not let the fruit boil on any account. Drain the fruit and make a thin syrup with some of the juice; when cool pour over them, and set the pan again near the fire but not over it, so that the fruit may green without cracking or boiling. Then take out the apricots and let them stand for three or four days. Now make a thick rich syrup to which a little ginger may be added, and when the fruit is in the jars pour it over them.
Green peaches are also delicious done in this way.
To Preserve Grapes.—Grapes can be bottled and preserved for use with very little trouble. Pick them before they are quite ripe, break off the stalks, and put the fruit into wide mouthed bottles—pickle or fruit bottles—cork gently, if possible using new corks; now put the bottles into a pan of water, and let it boil till the fruit has shrunk somewhat; then beat in the corks tightly and pour hot resin over them. They will keep a year in this way, and make very good tarts and puddings.
To Preserve Green Peas.—Gather the peas early in the morning, shell them at once, and throw them into boiling water. When they have had one good boil, take them off, and when cold, spread them thickly over a wire or tray and place in a cool oven so as to dry them gradually. Then bottle and cork down tightly. They will keep fresh for months.
Ingredients: Young cucumbers, one stick of cinnamon, 1 oz. ground ginger, a little alum.
Mode: Get some young fresh cucumbers before they have made many seeds, split them and cut the pieces across, take out what seeds there are and let them remain in very strong brine for three days. Put cabbage leaves over them to keep them under water and cover the dish. After the three days remove and well wash in cold water, set them on to heat in cold water and a lump of alum the size of a nut. As the water heats keep adding a little till the cucumbers have become a bright green, which they will in a short time, and if they do not, change the water and let them heat as before, but they must not boil. Drain them and when cool pour over them a strong syrup (1lb. to a pint), in which the cinnamon, ginger (a little green ginger too if procurable) has been boiled. Let the syrup be thick and put the cucumbers into it for two or three days; then strain it off and boil again for a few minutes; when boiling, return them and let them boil together for five or ten minutes. Put into jars and when cold, tie down.
Preserved Melon Rind.
Ingredients: Melon rinds, sugar, ginger, lemons.
Mode: In the melon season the rinds can be saved till there is a sufficient quantity to preserve. Peel off a thin layer of the outer green and cut up the remainder into dice shaped pieces. Soak in salt and water overnight. In the morning drain and put into the preserving pan with ¾ lb. of sugar to each lb. of melon, and one teaspoonful of ground ginger to every 3 or 4 lbs.; one lemon to each 1 lb. (not squeezed, but just sliced). Let this stand for five hours before cooking; then boil quickly till quite tender.
Preserved Melon Rind.
Ingredients: Melon rinds, alum, syrup.
Mode: Soak the melon in salt and water in which is also some alum. This has the effect of hardening the fruit so that it will not boil soft but will remain in hard pieces like the Chinese Chow Chow. When well soaked, take out, drain and dry in the sun, while making a strong syrup. Then throw in the small dice while the syrup is boiling, and boil quickly till they are saturated with syrup but not soft. Drain, put into jars, and pour the syrup over them. Keep a few months before using.
Ingredients: Any kind of fruit, three or four eggs, powdered sugar.
Mode: Choose the finest and ripest (not over ripe) specimens of the fruit you wish to do. If peaches, you can peel them, though it is not actually necessary. Pull the skin off without cutting or breaking the fruit at all. Beat the whites of the eggs to a froth, and lay the fruit in this so that every part gets covered. Then take each fruit by the stalk if possible and dip it in powdered sugar, have a dredger and dredge the powdered sugar over any part not covered. Lay some sheets white paper in a baking pan, place the fruit on it and set in a cool oven to dry slowly, be sure they do not brown. When dry pile on a dish and keep in a cool place till to be used. Plums can be peeled like peaches and do very well when well done. They make a pretty bon bon for a Christmas tree and for this purpose it is best to colour the sugar.
To Candy Orange and Lemon Peel.
Ingredients: Orange and lemon peels, sugar.
Mode: Cut the fruit lengthways and remove the pulp. Soak the peels in salt and water for three or four days, then boil in fresh water till soft. Place on a sieve to drain. Make a syrup of 1 lb of sugar to one quart of water and in this boil the peels again till clear. Then make a very strong syrup by mixing sugar with just sufficient water to melt it. Boil the peels in this slowly till the sugar candies. Take them out, strew powdered sugar over them, and dry either before the fire or in a cool oven.
To Dry Cherries and Plums.
Ingredients: For every one pound of fruit, allow ¾lb. of sugar.
Mode: Stone the cherries, lay them in a deep dish and strew part of the sugar over them for a few hours. Then boil them very fast with the rest of the sugar till the fruit is done and the syrup thick. Be sure to remove all scum as it rises. Now take them out, and lay them on tins or plates to dry, and powder them with some dry sugar. They will take about two days in the sun to dry, or be ready for putting in boxes.
Old fig boxes are handy to pack them in.
To Dry Figs.
This is a very simple process, and as fig trees when they do bear, generally bear plentifully and ripen so equally that the fruit cannot all be used in the fresh state. The jam is very good, but dried figs almost everyone likes and they are particularly wholesome. For drying they should be picked a little green, that is to say, just before they are perfectly ripe. Have ready some hot lye, its strength must depend upon the character of the fig, the thick skinned variety require a stronger solution than the thin skinned and it is as well with them just to cut the skin or burst it slightly with the finger and thumb. Some recipes will tell you that it is not necessary to dip the thin skinned ones into the lye, but this is a mistake as I have proved it more than once. Dip each fruit in the hot lye, but the thin skins need not be burst, and they will only require a weak lye. About two or three seconds is long enough to immerse them, and directly after dip them in pure water to wash off the lye. Then spread them out on boards or galvanised iron, best of all wire netting to dry in the sun. They can be done in a slow oven but I have never found them so successful as when dried in the sun. Turn them every few hours and be sure to take them in before the dew begins to fall, they may take two or three days, but the quicker they are dried the better. I have always found two hot days enough. When dry dip them for an instant in hot brine not too strong, (say half a cup of coarse salt to one quart of water) boil it, but let it be off the boil when you dip the fruit. Now work them into shape for packing, with the fingers, keeping the fingers moist with the brine and pack closely. This recipe was given by a man who had been in the business for years and it can be depended on.
Ingredients: Peach kernels, brandy.
Mode: Put the kernels into bottles and cover them with good brandy. It should be kept a few months before using, and as you take from it fill up with fresh spirit. A teaspoonful will flavour a pudding; if very strong, a few drops will be enough. Three or four peach leaves tied together and bruised will flavour blanc mange or custard if boiled in the milk.
Ingredients: A tablespoonful of butter, ½lb. white sugar, three eggs, two lemons.
Mode: Melt the butter in an enamel or tin saucepan, stir into it the juice and grated rinds of the lemons and the sugar. Beat up the eggs and stir them into the rest; keep stirring till it is the thickness of honey. This is very nice on bread instead of butter.
Ingredients: One tin molasses or golden syrup, two tablespoonsful brown sugar, one tablespoonful of butter.
Mode: Put two tablespoonsful of water in the bottom of a small enamel saucepan, and pour in the molasses. Let it boil a few minutes and stir in the sugar and butter. Boil till done. It is best to test it in cold water before removing from the fire. Pour on to buttered plates or pans, and mark in squares. This can be worked when cool, in the hands, into a very nice soft rock. Time, about ten minutes.
Ingredients: 1lb. loaf or powdered sugar, milk, vanilla essence, ½lb. pure unsweetened chocolate.
Mode: Put the sugar into a saucepan. Wet it with as much milk as it will just absorb. Put it over a gentle fire, and boil very slowly until it will candy when dropped into cold water. Avoid stirring if possible, but do not let it stick to the pan. When you find it will candy take it from the fire and stir with a spoon till it creams. Add the vanilla or a few drops of any essence preferred, and go on beating it till nearly cold or till it can be handled. Then take small pieces and roll them into little balls; lay these on buttered paper. Prepare the chocolate by pounding and then dissolving it over some boiling water. A shallow tin basin is the best to use for this purpose. When quite dissolved dip the little sugar balls into it one by one, and lay them again on buttered paper to cool. The great art is in boiling the sugar and knowing exactly when it is done or ready to take off. It should cream when done, not shew in grains or be sandy. If it does grain it is a sign it has been boiled too long and you will have to begin again with fresh sugar. There is another way of making the centres of these sweets and that is with arrowroot and beat in powdered sugar till stiff enough to handle. But the proper way is with the pure sugar, and with a little practice chocolate creams are very easily made.
MANY a woman who has a small garden, or a bit of ground she could convert into a garden, could easily make a few pounds every season by growing small vegetables for pickling. If near a big city she may be able to sell to a pickling company, but if not she can pickle the vegetables herself and begin by selling a few bottles to friends, or there is always some small shopkeeper who will sell for her, for a small commission, then if the pickles are good she will very soon know it and get known.
Now, the easiest to grow are eschallots. In a loose sandy soil they will require little or no care, but they must be a fair size before pickling, and be sure not to pick them till the bulbs are fully formed. If you gather them too soon you will have to cut off a piece of green top which will spoil the flavor of the bulb. You can always tell when they are ready, by the tops withering down and the roots spreading out. Then gather at once and spread them out on a shelf or floor to dry for a week or so, then sort them out, keeping the small ones for seed and the large ones can be skinned and thrown into salt water.
To Pickle Eschallots.—One way of pickling eschallots is in plain cold vinegar, but they require to be kept a month or two in this before using. Some can be done this way and put by, but the greater part can be done as follows: Put some good vinegar into an enamel pan or saucepan with one tablespoonful of sugar to the pint, one teaspoonful of allspice, some cloves and black pepper. Let this come to the boil, remove from the fire, fill your bottles with eschallots and pour the hot vinegar over them, add a few pepper corns and two or three birds-eye chilies to each bottle and when cold cork down and seal. In one week these are ready for table.
Small Cucumbers or gherkins can be done in the same way, but be careful not to bruise or break any of them, and add a small lump of alum to the brine they are first thrown into. They can also be thrown into the vinegar while it is on the fire, but on no account let them boil or they become too soft. When you have a great quantity of gherkins ripening or becoming ready day after day, a good plan is to have a large jar or tub of strong brine, and each day as the gherkins are gathered, throw them into it, and then can pickle them later on, in a week or fortnight. Do not forget the piece of alum to save the colour, and be careful to examine the jar every morning. If any scum appears it is a sign the brine is not strong enough, and you will have to boil it up again with more salt. Use plenty of salt, as the stronger the brine the better, and soak them in fresh water for 12 hours before putting them into the vinegar, if they have been very long in the brine.
French Beans can be done the same way, but they must be gathered young for the purpose. I have given directions for pickling green tomatoes elsewhere.
For Mustard Pickle.—Put into a pan about one gallon of vinegar, one cup and a half of good brown sugar, half a cup coarse salt, four ounces whole ginger (bruised), half ounce tumeric, some whole pepper, one tablespoonful of black pepper, one whole cup of made mustard. Boil these together for a few minutes, and pour it over any vegetables you have ready such as cauliflower, pieces of turnip cut fancifully, or carrot, the tender top of bamboo and sugar cane, cut in slices, makes good pickle. Eggs can be put into the mustard pickle with advantage.
Ingredients: Four pounds vegetable marrow, two ouncesginger, two ounces mustard, ¾lb sugar, half ounce tumeric, six or seven chilies, two ounces eschallots, a few cloves, and three pints of vinegar.
Mode: Cut up the vegetable marrow into square pieces, sprinkle with salt and leave over-night. Strain and put it into the vinegar, etc., and boil all together. When cold, bottle for use.
To Pickle Young Cucumbers.
Ingredients: Cucumbers, vinegar, whole pepper, ginger, salt.
Mode: Do not pick the cucumbers too small, as they are not best. Wipe them clean and put into a wide mouthed jar with a handful of coarse salt. Boil up some good vinegar and pour it over them. Let it stand three days and pour off and boil again. Repeat this four or five times or till the cucumbers begin to look green. Then add whole pepper and a little ginger. Will be fit to use in a month.
Ingredients: Tomatoes, water, sugar.
Mode: Gather a large quantity of tomatoes, mash or pulp them and steep in cold water for 24 hours. Then draw off the liquid, add some sugar and let it ferment in the usual way.
Ingredients: Two dozen small round tomatoes, salt, vinegar, half ounce of pepper, half ounce of cloves, half ounce of allspice, one tablespoonful of mustard seed, a few bird’s eye chilies.
Mode: The small round tomato is the best for pickling. Take them just as they are turning colour, prick each one in two or three places with a darning needle. Put them into a large basin or deep jar and sprinkle a little coarse salt between each layer. Cover the jar or basin, and let them remain untouched for three days. At the end of that time wash them well from the brine and dry carefully. Put them into pickle bottles and cover them with the vinegar in which the other ingredients have been boiled, when cold fill up the bottles containing the tomatoes. They will be ready to use in a fortnight.
Green Tomato Pickle.
Ingredients: One gallon green tomatoes, half teaspoonful each of cayenne, cloves and allspice (whole), three onions (sliced), three pounds apples (sliced), four and a half pints vinegar, half a pound treacle.
Mode: Slice tomatoes, sprinkling a little salt over each layer. Let them, stand twelve hours, then drain off the water. Take all the ingredients but the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Then add the tomatoes and boil gently for twenty minutes not more. When cold, bottle and cork tightly.
Ingredients: One peck of tomatoes (small green), one ounce of cloves, two ounces of mustard seed, salt, vinegar and pepper.
Mode: Prick each tomato with a fork and then lay them in a deep pan, with plenty of salt over them. Cover them and let them remain for about three days. Then wash off the salt and cover with cold vinegar which has been previously boiled, the tomato juice, mustard seed, cloves and some pepper. Will be ready for use in three weeks or so.
Ingredients: One quart vinegar, one pound brown sugar, half a pound cinnamon in sticks, half a pound mustard (made), some whole pepper, two tablespoonsful black pepper, a little mace.
Mode: Place the above ingredients in a pan with the vinegar stirring together over the fire and let them just seethe up. Then pour into a jar, which should at least be half full, and whenever you have pieces of hard vegetable such as turnip, carrot, cucumber, melon rind, pumpkin rind, etc., etc., throw them in, first cutting them into shape. Cabbage stalk and cauliflower will make good pickles. When the jar is about half full, or every few weeks, put it into a pan of cold water over the fire and let the water come to the boil, and boil for five minutes, then remove, and go on filling as before, if there is not enough vinegar add more to it. When you throw in any pieces stir round the contents and when the jar is full boil up as described, cork tightly and put away for three months, then begin to use.
A sweet pickle or chow chow can be made the same way by using a strong syrup instead of the vinegar.
Beet Root Pickle.
Ingredients: Beet roots, vinegar, 2 oz. all-spice whole pepper.
Mode: Wash and boil as carefully as possible but do not break or prick or cause bleeding from any small roots. Large beets will take one hour or an hour and a half to cook, simmering. Boil sufficient vinegar to cover them with two oz. allspice and some whole pepper about ten minutes. Peel the beets and slice them and when the vinegar is cold pour it over them in the jar. Cover with bladder, and in a week they will be fit for use.
When fully grown these little bulbs become round and spread apart; then is the time to pickle them. Pick, shred off the dry outside skin, and drop into a jar or bottle of vinegar with a few pepper corns and some salt.
Another way is to shred the bulbs and throw them into salt and water for a few hours. Then boil about one gallon of vinegar with one pound of moist sugar, one pound coarse salt, half a pound black pepper, one tablespoonful of mixed spice. Let this just come to the boil and remove from the fire. When cold throw in the eschalots. Cork down tightly and stand in a cool place for one month, when it will be fit for use either eaten as pickles, used in curry, salads, or any other way.
Ingredients: Eschalots, white vinegar, pepper corns, bird’s eye chilies.
Mode: Peel a quantity of full-grown eschalots and soak in strong salt and water over night. Have some good white vinegar in a jar with the pepper corns and bird’s eye chilies if possible. Take the eschalots from the brine and when dry put them into the vinegar till the jar is full. Tie down and do not use for at least one month.
To Pickle Onions.
Ingredients: Onions, white vinegar, bruised ginger, pepper corns, mace.
Mode: Choose small button onions, and, as they are peeled, throw them into milk and water. Drain from this when they have been in it two or three hours, and put them into jars or pickle bottles, and pour over them a strong brine of salt and water (boiling), and a small lump of alum; cover and leave them two days. Then drain and dry on a cloth. Put them back into the jar or bottles, and pour over them strong white vinegar with the ginger (broken small) some pepper corns, and a little mace. Be sure the vinegar covers the onions. Cork the jar close and keep in a cool place. Done in this way the onions should be quite white. A silver plated knife, or a fruit knife must be used in preparing them.
To Make Vinegar.
Ingredients: 1 quart of treacle, one pint of yeast, 3 gallons warm rain water.
Mode: Put the treacle, yeast and water into a barrel, leave the bung hole open, but covered with a bit of muslin to keep out insects and flies. The time depends on the weather.
Prepared Vinegar for Salads.
Ingredients: Fresh parsley, mint, borridge, celery, thyme, sage, eschalots, one clove of garlic, few red chilies, 5 pints of pure vinegar, 3 tablespoonsful of salt, 3 pints water.
Mode: Take equal quantities of the above herbs, wash all well, dry, and then chop all together. Put into a large jar and pour over them about five pints of vinegar, the stronger the better, and leave it standing, stirring every day for a week. Then add the salt, and when that has dissolved, strain off the vinegar from the herbs and add the clear water to it. Bottle it and seal the bottles to make them air tight. and use for salads and salad dressings.
This vinegar is excellent, and not unlike in flavour to the very expensive French vinegars so much thought of, though I believe the above is a Chinese recipe.
Chutney. No. 1.
Ingredients: Ten or twelve green apples, 1lb. pudding raisins, candied lemon peel, three or four bird’s eye chilies, two tablespoonsful brown sugar, two teaspoonsful of mixed spice, cayenne pepper, one teaspoonful of salt, one cup of vinegar.
Mode: Peel and core the apples; the small, green, sour ones are best, as they give a peculiar sharp flavour. Stone and cut up the raisins and the candied peel, add the other ingredients, mix with the vinegar, and boil slowly for several hours till all the ingredients are mashed together. When cold, bottle, cork down, and seal the corks.
Ingredients: Two dozen apples, six large or twelve smaller tomatoes, half a pound of dark sugar, quarter of a pound salt, two ounces of eschalots, three ounces ground ginger, two ounces garlic, two ounces chilies (dried), four ounces mustard seed, half a pound pudding raisins (stoned and chopped), half a bottle vinegar.
Mode: Peel and core the apples (the green, sour ones are the best), peel the tomatoes, and boil these together, add to these the other ingredients, and pour in the vinegar. Let these boil slowly for about an hour or more, and, when cold, put into jars.
An Excellent Tomato Sauce.
Ingredients: Twelve large tomatoes (ripe), two teaspoonsful ground ginger, one dessertspoonful salt, three dessertspoonfuls vinegar, one dessertspoonful chili vinegar, one dessertspoonful garlic (chopped), two dessertspoonsful sugar.
Mode: Put the tomatoes into a stone jar with a close lid, and stand it in a cool oven for five or six hours, or until soft enough to pulp through a sieve; mix the pulp with the juice in the jar; add the ginger, salt, garlic, vinegar, and sugar. Mix well, and boil for about half an hour, stirring continually; then strain and bottle. When cold, cork, and seal the corks.
Tomato Sauce (Another).
Ingredients: Twenty-four pounds tomatoes, two pounds apples, two pounds onions, two ounces garlic, one pound salt, half an ounce chilies, two ounces peppercorns, two ounces allspice, half an ounce mace, half an ounce cloves, half an ounce curry powder, two pounds sugar, two quarts vinegar.
Mode: Boil all the ingredients together for three hours, strain through the colander or a hair sieve, and bottle.
Ingredients: Mushrooms, salt, pepper, allspice, cloves, peppercorns.
Mode: Clean and thoroughly wash the mushrooms, stalks and all, and cut each into two or three pieces. Put into a stone jar, layer upon layer, and sprinkle salt between each, and let stand twenty-four hours. Then turn them out of the jar, and press all the juice out. Return the mushrooms to the jar, let them again stand twenty-four hours, and press again. Repeat this till every drop is extracted, and mix all the juice together, adding to it pepper, allspice, and a few cloves. Simmer over a slow fire, removing the scum as it rises. Then set away to cool and bottle, adding a few peppercorns to each bottle. Seal the corks to make them air-tight.
This ketchup will keep for years.
Mixed Herbs.—When herbs are in season and plentiful, the thrifty housekeeper should lay in a supply for the time when there are none to be got. If picked and dried in a hot oven, they can be crushed, pounded in a mortar, or rubbed quite fine between the hands, and each herb bottled separately. Sage, thyme, parsley, and marjoram can be so treated. A bottle of mixed herbs is also very useful for savoury stews, hashes, minces, etc., etc. It is the absence of herbs in cookery that makes it, as a rule, so tasteless. The hardest piece of salt junk can be transformed into a savoury and delicious dish with a few herbs and condiments judiciously introduced. Eschalots are the most useful of all herbs, and the most easily grown. Yet how seldom one sees more than a small bed of them, even in a large garden.
Dried Herbs.—Here is another means of turning an honest penny, to those not too proud to turn it. And herbs can be grown on a verandah if there is no room for them elsewhere. One old dame I knew once told me she made half the rent of her room, viz. 2s. 6d. per week (her daughter paying the other half) by the sale of herbs which she grew in a few boxes, on her verandah. Sage, thyme and mint dry best and are used most in the powder. You want to pick the sprigs of thyme, and the sage leaves, put them into paper bags, and hang in the sun till they are quite dry and will powder, then fill small olive bottles with them, cork and label. If you notice what a small bunch of herbs you get for 1d. you will not be surprised to hear of 1s. 6d. being given for a small bottle of finely powdered sage, thyme, or mint which will last a month or more in most kitchens.
To Fry Parsley.
Ingredients: Parsley and oil or dripping.
Mode: Gather some freshsprigs of parsley and put them into cold water. Half fill the pan with the oil or dripping and let it bubble and boil. Dry the parsley in a cloth, cut off the longest stalks and just drop the green head into the boiling fat. Directly it is done, remove to blotting paper and then garnish.
ONE may safely say a few words on the matter of pleasant drinks. Most people like ginger beer, and as it is so cheap and so simply made few households need be without it. If the housekeeper has no time to make it, one of the young children can. My boy of ten years old made a brew yesterday, and as I sit here writing, I can hear some corks popping one after the other, he did not trouble to tie them down.
Ginger Beer.—There are dozens of recipes for ginger beer, but the one I now give is the best and quickest, and like many of mine found out by accident. If you have a crockery vessel it is best to make it in, but failing that, a tin one will do. I have used a kerosene tin, but on no account use a galvanized iron tub. A family near me were very ill from doing so once; something in the iron acting upon the acid caused the beer to be poisonous. Put four cupfuls of sugar (brown sugar is best) into your vessel; two tablespoonsful of cream of tartar, a good handful of whole ginger, bruised well (more if you like it hot); a couple of oranges sliced. Over this pour three dippers of boiling water, stir well, and when cool add three parts of a cup of good yeast. Let it stand all night and bottle early next morning, putting three or four grains of rice in each bottle. The corks must be good, and will need tying down. It will be ready for drinking next day or that night. Instead of bottling, it is handier to have it in a small keg with a tap to it. For a large quantity of ginger beer the following is a good recipe:—Five pounds of sugar, a quarter of a pound of cream of tartar, half a pound of whole ginger,(bruised), three or four bird’s eye chilies, six lemons sliced, or the same number of oranges; if Seville or poor man’s oranges are used, it gives the beer a pleasingly bitter taste. Over these ingredients pour five gallons of boiling water, stir well, and, when cool, toast a piece of bread very brown, let it float on the liquid, and pour about half a bottle of good yeast over it. Next morning put it into a keg, and a handful of rice with it. It will be ready in two or three days.
Apple Drink.—A very nice drink for a hot day can be made by slicing a couple of small sour apples into a jug, with a tablespoonful of sugar, and a little grated nutmeg. Pour on it some boiling water, cover, and let it stand till cold.
Apple Beer.—Slice ten or twelve sour apples into a deep tin or crock with 2 lbs. of sugar, three or four mandarins or other oranges sliced, and ½ lb of pudding raisins. Pour over this three dippers of boiling water, stir well, and when cool, add half a cupful of yeast. Let stand over night, and bottle next morning the same as ginger beer.
Lemon Syrup—This recipe is the best for lemon and raspberry syrup I ever drank; it was given me by an old shepherd many years ago. Twelve pints of water, twelve pints of sugar, seven ounces of tartaric acid (citric acid will answer as well, or better, if preferred) let it boil ten minutes, and remove from the fire. When cold add a tablespoonful of essence of lemon, or essence of raspberry. Stir well, and bottle for use.
Hop or Sugar Beer.—As many people prefer sugar beer to any other summer drink, I give the following recipe, which I know to be a very good one. Put on five gallons of cold water to boil; tie ¼ lb. of hops in a muslin bag, and boil till they sink; then add 5 lbs. of brown sugar, a handful of bruised ginger, one pint of whole corn. Let these boil together about one hour, adding a little water as they boil to keep up the quantity. When cold, pour into a keg; before putting in the bung, pour in a cupful of yeast. Do not bung tightly till it has worked a day. If drawn off into bottles, corked and tied down, it will become as clear and as nice as bottled beer in three or four days.
Lemonade.—A small lemon cut in half, the pieces squeezed into a glass, and half the rind grated, with a little nutmeg, a spoonful of sugar, and filled up with cold water, makes a pleasant drink after a long walk.
Hop Beer.—Five gallons of water, 5 lb. brewer's crystal, ¼ lb. hops, ¼ lb. mixed ginger, one packet of gelatine, half pint of yeast, half pint of burnt sugar colourings. Boil water, hops, and ginger one hour and a half; add sugar, and boil another half hour. Strain into a keg, and when cool add the yeast and stir well. Let it stand two days and skim. Then dissolve the gelatine and stir it in with the colourings. Let it stand again for two days, and then draw off into bottles. This recipe was given to me by one who made it for sale, and it is better than most, though a little more troublesome.
Ingredients: Three fresh lemons, three pounds of sugar, two ounces of tartaric acid, one teaspoonful of essence of lemon.
Mode: Peel the lemons and put the rinds into a saucepan with the sugar and one pint of water, let them boil until clear, stirring now and then and removing any scum. Strain into a jug and cover with a cloth till cold. Now squeeze the juice of the three lemons over the tartaric acid and add a little cold water to dissolve it. Mix this with the syrup and add the essence of lemon. Stir well and then bottle. One tablespoonful in a glass of water or soda water will make a delicious drink in summer.
Ingredients: Raspberries, sugar, one pint of vinegar, one tablespoonful of brandy.
Mode: Place the fruit in a stone jar and stand it in a saucepan of boiling water until thoroughly heated. Break the fruit up carefully, strain off the juice and to each pint and a half allow one pound of white sugar. To this syrup add one pint of vinegar to six pints of syrup (more if liked). Boil all together for half an hour, skimming the while. When cool put into bottles and into each bottle pour one tablespoonful of brandy or whisky. This is not actually necessary if the vinegar is good, but it helps to keep the syrup. A wineglassful to a tumbler of water is the quantity to use.
Good Hop Beer.
Ingredients: Six gallons of water, quarter of a pound of hops, one cup of corn, three and a quarter pounds of sugar, three quarters of a cup of good yeast.
Mode: Put the water into a boiler and when it is warm throw in the hops (in a muslin bag) and the corn. Let these boil for an hour and then add the sugar, and let it boil again for an hour. Remove from the fire and when cold put in the yeast. Then let it stand for a day or two, carefully skim off all froth but do not stir or move the sediment. After the two days it is fit to bottle, and will be ready to use in two days more. The corks will require to be tied down.
Ingredients: Four gallons of water, four ounces of hops, ten pounds of sugar, two bottles of porter, a few pinches of isinglass, a few raisins.
Mode: Put the water into a large boiler with the hops (in a muslin bag) and sugar. Let these boil for one hour. Then strain into a cask and put the hops on again with a little water and boil half an. Then add to the rest and put the whole into a ten gallon keg and fill up with some cold water every morning. Add to it the porter or else one pint of yeast. When the keg is full put in the isinglass and a few raisins. The isinglass can be dissolved in a little of the beer made warm and then added to the rest. On the fourth or fifth day it is ready for bottling, and will require to be tied down securely. This is quite the best hop beer I have ever tasted.
Ingredients: One ounce ground ginger, quarter of a pound of cream of tartar, two pounds of sugar, one lemon, two gallons of boiling water and two tablespoonsful of good yeast.
Mode: Pour the boiling water on to the ginger, cream of tartar, and sugar, and the lemon cut in slices. Let it stand six hours and then add the yeast. Let stand another six hours then strain and bottle. Tie the corks down.
Ginger Beer.—A Small Quantity.
Ingredients: One pound of good white sugar, one ounce of bruised ginger, one ounce of cream of tartar, 40 grains of citric acid, two tablespoonsful of brewer’s yeast or three of home made.
Mode: Pour one gallon of boiling water on the sugar, ginger, cream of tartar, and citric acid. Stir well till everything is mixed and when nearly cold add the yeast. Let it stand all night or 12 hours. Then strain, bottle, cork tightly or tie down. Ready for use next day.
Ginger Beer Powders.
Ingredients: Thirty grains of bicarbonate of soda, five grains of powdered ginger, oneof white sugar, 25 grains of powdered tartaric acid.
Mode: Put into blue or yellow papers, to each one 30 grains of bicarbonate of soda, five grains of powdered ginger and one drachm of white sugar. Then into white papers, for each one 25 grains of powdered tartaric acid. Put a paper of each kind of powder into half a pint of water and let them dissolve separately. Then pour together in a large glass. These powders are excellent and very useful when travelling or for bush picnics.
Ginger Ale.—Very good.—Bruise one and a half or two pounds of ginger according to the strength wished, boil it in three gallons of soft water for half an hour, then add to it 20 pounds of sugar, one quart of lime juice, one and a half pounds of honey, and as much warm water as will make it up to 16 gallons. Strain carefully through a flannel jelly bag. Put it into a cask with the beaten up whites of two eggs and about a tablespoonful of essence of lemon. Shake the casks well and now pour in half a cup of good yeast. Shake again for a few minutes and let it stand from three to five days according to the weather, or strength of the yeast, then bottle and store away for use in a few days. The yeast can be left out if liked but it is not so sparkling or so sharp without. It can be coloured with burnt sugar in solution.
This is a capital recipe, but each one who makes it must use his or her own judgment in using the ginger, some like it hot, others not.
Ingredients: Twenty-two chili pods from the chemists), 12 quarts of water, two and a half pounds of sugar, two ounces of cream of tartar, one tablespoonful of yeast, white and shell of one egg, two teaspoonsful essence of lemon.
Mode: Boil the chilies, sugar and cream of tartar with six quarts of water for 20 minutes, then add six quarts of cold water, the yeast and the white and shell of one egg. Strain through muslin, add the essence of lemon, let it stand till next day, bottle and cork tightly. Ready for use in a few days.
Ingredients: Five or six dozen lemons, four or five quarts of brandy, 43 and a half pounds of sugar, half a cup of good yeast.
Mode: Take the lemons, any kind will do, peel them very thin, cover the peels with the brandy and let them stand for ten days. Squeeze the juice from the lemons and boil it for five minutes with three and a half pounds of sugar to make a syrup. Then when the peels are ready, boil 14 gallons of water with 40 pounds of sugar for half an hour or so and put it into a wooden tub, and when cold add the yeast and let it work two or three days according to the weather. Then put into a cask, add the brandy, peels and syrup. Stir all together and close the cask. In three months bottle off, when it will be a delicate pale colour. This is in reality more a cordial than a wine. It is a very old recipe and very good when well made, but it is both troublesome and expensive. It can be made in the same way as orange wine which is less trouble than the recipe just given, but the latter is superior and quite repays for the extra trouble.
Ingredients: Twenty-eight pounds of sugar, four eggs, eight dozen Seville oranges, one bottle of brandy and half a pint of yeast.
Mode: Put on to boil the sugar in about eight gallons of water, and clarify it with the whites and shells of of the eggs. When clear let the liquid or syrup cool, and then add the juice of the oranges and mix well. Pour about half or three parts of a pint of yeast on to a slice of toasted bread, and let it stand for 24 hours. In the mean time having soaked the rinds of four dozen of the oranges in two gallons of clarified syrup for four days, strain and add the liquor to the rest. Put it into the cask which must be thoroughly clean and sweet, and when fermentation has ceased, bung up the cask and place where it will not be shaken. Bottle in twelve months. A bottle of brandy can be added to it if liked or if in a very warm climate where it is likely to sour. This is a very good recipe but requires to be carried out exactly.
Ingredients: Quarter of a pound of loaf sugar, two lemons, two oranges, one glass of good brandy, two bottles of claret, four bottles of sodawater, four of lemonade, one glass of Maraschino and one glass of cherry brandy, ice.
Mode: Into a punch bowl put the sugar (previously rubbed on the yellow rind of the two lemons), the oranges sliced thin, and over this pour the brandy and let it stand closely covered for an hour or two, then just before requiring it add the claret, sodawater, lemonade, Maraschino, and cherry brandy if liked. Stir all well together put in some lumps of ice and serve with a punch ladle into champagne glasses. This is an excellent recipe.
Ingredients: Hops, whiskey and half a pound of sugar.
Mode: Fill a large pickle bottle with hops, shake them down but do not press. Cover with good whiskey and let them stand for a month. Strain and press out the liquid and mix with it a syrup, made by boiling half a pint of water with the sugar. Strain and keep in closely corked bottle for use.
CREAMS, ICES, JELLIES.
Ingredients: One quart of cream, quarter of a pound white sugar, three tablespoonsful tinned coffee and milk.
Mode: Beat the cream to a froth like the white of eggs for icing, mix in gradually the sugar and two or three tablespoonsful of the tinned coffee and milk. Serve either in glass dish with small cakes or in custard glasses. This dainty can only be indulged in when one has plenty of cream.
Ingredients: Three eggs, one pint of milk, cocoanut, powdered sugar, thick cream, any essence preferred.
Mode: Make a custard with the eggs and milk, set it to cool. Grate all the white part of the cocoanut and mix in with it the sugar and some good thick cream till the whole is pretty stiff. When the custard is cold beat all together and fill custard glasses or a glass dish. It can be flavored with any essence preferred.
Ingredients: One pint sweet milk one pint cream, one cup white sugar three eggs, four or five ripe bananas.
Mode: Heat the milk to scalding, beat the eggs and sugar together, and pour the milk over them slowly and stirring all the time, thicken over a slow fire. Let it get cold and then mix in the cream, or if you have not any cream about half a tin of condensed milk is an excellent substitute. Peel, cut up, and beat the bananas to a cream and stir them into the custard. If you have an ice cream churn this is delicious frozen, or even set upon ice in the ice chest till required, it makes a delightful dessert dish.
(A Quick Way.)
Ingredients: Five or six quarts rich new milk.
Mode: Strain the milk and let it stand only one hour before putting on the stove to scald and do not let it stand afterwards beyond the time it takes the milk to cool. Devonshire cream is very good in afternoon tea and can be made in small quantities for the purpose. It can only be had when and where milk is plentiful.
Ingredients: Five or six quarts rich new milk.
Mode: Strain the milk into the milk dish and set it away in the dairy for the cream to rise. In a few hours or when the cream has well risen, carry the dish very carefully into the kitchen and set it an the top of the stove, but be sure not to put it on too hot a part as it must on no account boil, let it come to the scald. It should take from half to three quarters of an hour if the heat is right. When done the surface of the milk is all crinkled and wrinkled, and the cream will detach itself from the sides of the dish and contract somewhat. Now carry your dish very gently again back to the dairy and let it stand again for ten or twelve hours. Then skim off the cream which should be very thick and solid. Put into a bowl or glass dish and it is ready to be used with strawberries, peaches, rhubarb, etc.
Ingredients: One pint cream, four tablespoonsful sifted loaf sugar, one ounce isinglass, one lemon, yolks of two eggs.
Mode: To the cream add the sugar, the isinglass, previously soaked in a little milk, and the peel of the lemon, simmer gently till the isinglass is dissolved, let it cool a little, add the yolks of eggs, well beaten. Strain into a jug, place jug in saucepan of cold water, then over a slow fire stir the cream till it thickens, do not let it boil. When nearly cold put in the juice of the lemon, pouring the cream backwards and forwards till the juice is well mixed. Dip your mould into cold water before putting the cream into it, put it into a cool place to set. The color of the cream may be varied by boiling a little beetroot in some milk for pink.
Ingredients: Three and a half ounces sulphuric acid, one ounce sulphate of soda.
Mode: Take a large earthenware jar and into it put the sulphuric acid, and not quite two ounces of water, then add the powdered sulphate of soda. In the centre of this mixture place a smaller vessel full of the water to be frozen. Cover the jar, and revolve the whole very gently, and in a few minutes the water will have become ice. It wants to be done in a cool place.
Time: Fifteen to twenty minutes.
Calves’ Feet Jelly.
Ingredients: Calves’ feet, quarter of a pound of loaf sugar, rind of one lemon, whites and shells of two or three eggs, juice of two or three lemons.
Mode: When the feet are perfectly cleaned, wash them carefully, split the feet or claws and remove the fat that will be formed between them; joint them or chop them into pieces with the kitchen chopper, and put them to boil in one quart of water to each foot. Let them come to the boil and then draw to one side and simmer till every particle of flesh has come from the bones and the liquor is reduced to one half the original quantity, strain this off into a china basin and let it stand till cold, when the fat can be taken off. If the fat breaks or there are small particles on top of the jelly, instead of using a spoon or fork to remove them, wring out a clean cloth in hot water and wipe the surface over. Now you have pure unflavored jelly or stock and can make either savory or sweet as you choose.
To make sweet jelly, put one quart of the stock into a clean saucepan with the loaf sugar, the rind of the lemon pared thin, the whites and shells of the eggs beaten up together (not frothed) and at the last the strained juice of two or three lemons (according to taste). Place over the fire and stir gently till it begins to boil, then leave it alone to boil a few minutes, remove from the fire and strain at once through a jelly bag pouring it very carefully to avoid breaking the scum as much as possible. If not quite clear run through the bag a second time; and if wine is used put it in when the jelly is cool, if put in before and boiled with it the wine often clouds the whole. Many old cooks will exclaim at putting it in last, I know but the old proverb “live and learn” holds good in this case and I have learned by practical results that it is best as I have directed.
Cow heel or cows’ feet treated in the same way as the calves’ feet makes excellent stock for jelly, but being rather stronger in flavor it is best used for savory jellies.
Jelly for an Invalid.
Ingredients: One quart of stock, rind of one lemon, juice of three, some cloves, half a glass of brandy, two eggs.
Mode: Take the stock and add to it the rind and juice of the lemons, some cloves, the brandy and the whites and shells of the eggs. Place over the fire and whisk till it boils, let it boil three minutes and then strain carefully through a jelly bag. If preferred sugar can be used.
Ingredients: One ounce gelatine, water, two lemons, three quarters of a pound sugar, whites of three eggs.
Mode: Soak the gelatine in a quarter of a pint of water for half an hour. Then put it into a saucepan with three quarters of a pint of water, thin rind and strained juice of two lemons, and three quarters of a pound of loaf sugar. When the gelatine is dissolved pour the liquid out, let it stand till cold and beginning to set. Take the whites of eggs, without a speck of yellow, beat them well, then put them with the dissolved gelatine. Whisk together till the preparation stiffens and looks like snow. Pile it high on a dish and make it look as rocky as possible. At the last moment you may sprinkle hundreds and thousands over it, or pink sugar. To make pink sugar, put some sugar in a plate and rub one drop of cochineal into it. Spread out to dry. Another way is to pile the sponge on colored jelly or make a border of sponge round the jelly. purposely for carrying a dinner. It was about the size of a three quart tin billy, made in the same shape—but in two parts—which fitted together in the middle. The bottom held meat and vegetables, the top pudding, &c. The day I saw it the woman had in the bottom tray a slice of cheese, which was frizzling away with a slice of toast laid over it. In the top she had meat and vegetables. At the bottom of the tin there was a hollow for a red hot iron. This it was that made her cheese cook. The idea was so simple and yet so convenient, that I could not resist stopping to inquire all about it. Her husband had been a tinsmith himself, and he had made it. But I should not think one would cost more than a couple or three shillings to make.
For a simple dinner cut some cold meat into small pieces, salt and pepper it, and dredge a little flour over it while on the board. Slice a small onion or two or three eschalots. Put this on to stew in a small saucepan with a cup of water. Let it simmer gently. Peel two or three potatoes, cut them into halves or quarters, if large perhaps one will be enough; add them to the stew an hour before it is needed, and cut a small cabbage into quarters, remove the outer leaves from one leaving only the white heart, place this on top of the meat, &c., with a little pinch of salt, and let all cook till time to remove; add water or gravy as required. In this way the meat and vegetables are kept separate, yet all cooked together.
Cabbage is a favorite vegetable with the poorer classes, particularly with the Irish. One of their ways of cooking it is with bacon or pickled pork. Cut a few slices of bacon—let them be pretty thick. Put them into a stewpan with some water. Wash and cut up a small cabbage, put about a quarter in with the bacon, and let both stew together. When nearly done pour two tablespoonsful of vinegar over the cabbage.
Mutton Chops.—Take a couple of mutton chops, trim off some of the fat, and put them into the stewpan with a carrot cut into dice, an onion sliced, and celery or any other vegetable in season. Salt and pepper. Let this stew in about as much water as will cover it and very slowly; if too fast, the mutton will harden. When nearly done, chop up some pickles and add them, and blend a tablespoonful of flour with milk, and so thicken the gravy.
Thick Soup.—Many men get tired of meat and vegetables in the hot weather; then thick soups are a change, and easily made. First make some good stock by boiling down some meat or bones. The bones of a roast of beef or a leg of mutton, if broken up, make excellent stock. Do not put too much water on; it will be too weak. Slice up three or four potatoes, an onion, and any other vegetable you choose. Flavour with pepper and salt, toast a slice of bread very brown, without burning, and lay it on the top. Let all boil together till the potatoes are dissolved; then remove the bones. Strain, or rather press, the soup through the , put on to boil for another minute, and it is ready to serve. I need not give any recipes for these; they can be varied according to the circumstances of the cook. Almost anything can be introduced—rice, sago, barley, &c., &c.
Cheese makes another nice change, either cooked or not, with toast or without. The following is a simple way of serving cheese. Toast a large slice of bread, butter it lightly, and on it lay a good, thick slice of new cheese, with a sprinkling of pepper; or, if liked, a thin layer of mustard on it. Place this on a tin plate in a hot oven till the cheese melts. Eaten with fresh celery or lettuce, this makes a good and pleasant meal.
Another way is to have the bread toasted. Grate a good quantity of cheese; put it with a small lump of butter into a saucepan. When melted, add half a cup of milk and an egg well beaten; pepper, and, if liked, an onion sliced. Let it thicken, and pour over the toast. Most prefer to eat the raw onion with it, instead of having it sliced with the mixture. A teaspoonful of made mustard is a great improvement stirred in with the cheese.
Stewed Tripe and Onions.—Cut the tripe into small pieces, and put it into a stewpan with some water, let it stew gently for two hours, and pour in a pint of sweet milk. Slice an onion and add it with pepper and salt, let it stew again till the onion is tender, and before serving thicken with a teaspoonful of butter rolled in flour.
Stewed Onions.—The onion is considered one of the most wholesome vegetables we have. Were it not for the unpleasant aftertaste it leaves, and the smell it imparts to the breath, it would be much more generally used. Peel and cut onions into quarters, then put them on to boil in cold water, and a little salt. When tender strain off the water, and add milk. Let it boil and thicken with a tablespoonful of flour and a lump of butter.
WHAT TO TAKE.
MEAT for sandwiches must be boiled the day before. Remove all bone, and press if possible for the convenience of cutting. Bread must also be one day old, and a very sharp knife is wanted. Besides beef, ham, tongue, sardines, egg and salad make excellent sandwiches. When all are cut wrap in a table napkin, packed close together to keep them fresh.
Cakes should be a day old, and when making cakes for a picnic mix your cakes a little stiffer and allow five or ten minutes extra in baking to ensure a firmer crust. If iced, let it be put on hot, otherwise it will crack and crumble. Small cakes are better to carry than large ones.
Jellies, cream or custards should not be taken to picnics. Pies and tartlets are best made turnover shape, the pastry covering the filling, wrap each in a separate paper for carrying. If coffee is taken it should be the bottled essence, as being easily made.
Hampers are of course the best for packing, failing them, a case lined with paper answers. All small cakes and biscuits are best put into tins. Plates are unnecessary and far too heavy for a small picnic party, unless the paper picnic plates are used. Paper napkins are useful, and instead of buying can be made from common white paper. Everything required last should be packed at the bottom.
HINTS ABOUT PICNICS.
It is better to take too much than too little.
Pack sandwiches in a dry table napkin with a damp one rolled round the outside. And always cut them the last thing. If cut over night they will be dry and stale by the luncheon hour.
Salad is a favorite dish at picnics. Make the dressing before starting and carry it in a bottle. Cut the lettuce up just before luncheon.
A plum pudding in which a number of coins, ring, thimble and button have been put makes much fun.
Never take china plates, if you can avoid it, to a picnic. Proper paper plates made for the purpose are very cheap and easily obtained.
Pressed tongues, round of beef, and hard-boiled eggs all make very nice sandwiches.
Sardine sandwiches are also very good.
When providing for a large number allow so much for each guest and a little over.
Blanc manges, fruit pies, jellies, and all such soft things should be avoided as unsuitable for a picnic.
If poultry is taken let it be carved before hand.
If the tea has to be made in a billy, put the desired quantity of tea into a muslin bag before putting it into the boiling water.
Ingredients: A piece of brisket, or thick flank, saltpetre, three ounces of allspice, one ounce of cloves, two ounces black pepper, two and a half pounds of salt, one pound of black sugar, three lemons.
Mode: Place the meat in a large milk dish or, better still, a small wooden tub if you have one, and rub the beef well with salt and saltpetre. Pound up together the allspice, cloves, pepper, salt and sugar. Tie up the meat carefully and then return to the tub or dish and rub it with the pounded spice, &c., for a week or ten days. Then drain it well and squeeze over it the juice of three lemons. Chop up some suet, put a layer at the top and one at the bottom of the beef, cover with a paste of flour and water and bake six or seven hours. Then remove the crust and press under a heavy weight. This makes capital sandwich beef.
A CHILDREN’S PICNIC.
FOR 25 GUESTS.
First and foremost to provide for the sandwiches you will require—A nice round of beef of about twelve pounds weight, and two ox tongues to be pressed. If you have ham sandwiches instead of beef, a small ham, if well cut by a good carver, will do. Order your round of beef, or ham and tongues so that they may be cooked the day before, as if not they will not be so easily cut. If the tongues are not to be got from the butcher you can fall back on the tinned ones; but get the beef and boil it yourself as the tinned beef is very difficult to cut. If you decide on ham let the ham be baked if possible instead of boiled.
For 25 guests you had better allow 250 or 300 sandwiches as they are only small, and as a loaf will only cut into about 40 slices (not so many with some cutters), you will want to have quite five stale loaves for that purpose, and about three more for other purposes. Sausage rolls are very nice for a picnic and easily carried. Allow two for each guest, and of cheese cakes, or tarts of some kind, also one each.
Small rock cakes with some sponge or queen cakes should be made, also a couple of good pound cakes.
Oyster patties are consideredat picnics, indeed any things that do not entail the use of plates. You can hardly have too much fruit; and for drinkables—tea will of course come first, for the making of which you must carry a large tin billy or tea urn and a few bottles of milk; three or four dozen of lemonade and ginger beer.