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The Book of Household Management by Mrs. Isabella Beeton

Part 18 out of 34

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The male will keep on wing for an hour together, mounting like a
lark, and uttering a shrill piping noise; then, with a bleating
sound, not unlike that made by an old goat, it will descend with
great velocity, especially if the female be sitting in her nest,
from which it will not wander far.

ROAST TEAL.

1048. INGREDIENTS.--Teal, butter, a little flour.

_Mode_.--Choose fat plump birds, after the frost has set in, as they are
generally better flavoured; truss them in the same manner as wild duck,
No. 1022; roast them before a brisk fire, and keep them well basted.
Serve with brown or orange gravy, water-cresses, and a cut lemon. The
remains of teal make excellent hash.

_Time_.--From 9 to 15 minutes.

_Average cost_, 1s. each; but seldom bought.

_Sufficient_,--2 for a dish.

_Seasonable_ from October to February.

ROAST HAUNCH OF VENISON.

1049. INGREDIENTS.--Venison, coarse flour-and-water paste, a little
flour.

_Mode_.--Choose a haunch with clear, bright, and thick fat, and the
cleft of the hoof smooth and close; the greater quantity of fat there
is, the better quality will the meat be. As many people object to
venison when it has too much _haut gout_, ascertain how long it has been
kept, by running a sharp skewer into the meat close to the bone; when
this is withdrawn, its sweetness can be judged of. With care and
attention, it will keep good a fortnight, unless the weather is very
mild. Keep it perfectly dry by wiping it with clean cloths till not the
least damp remains, and sprinkle over powdered ginger or pepper, as a
preventative against the fly. When required for use, wash it in warm
water, and _dry_ it _well_ with a cloth; butter a sheet of white paper,
put it over the fat, lay a coarse paste, about 1/2 inch in thickness,
over this, and then a sheet or two of strong paper. Tie the whole firmly
on to the haunch with twine, and put the joint down to a strong close
fire; baste the venison immediately, to prevent the paper and string
from burning, and continue this operation, without intermission, the
whole of the time it is cooking. About 20 minutes before it is done,
carefully remove the paste and paper, dredge the joint with flour, and
baste well with _butter_ until it is nicely frothed, and of a nice
pale-brown colour; garnish the knuckle-bone with a frill of white paper,
and serve with a good, strong, but unflavoured gravy, in a tureen, and
currant jelly; or melt the jelly with a little port wine, and serve that
also in a tureen. As the principal object in roasting venison is to
preserve the fat, the above is the best mode of doing so where expense
is not objected to; but, in ordinary cases, the paste may be dispensed
with, and a double paper placed over the roast instead: it will not
require so long cooking without the paste. Do not omit to send very hot
plates to table, as the venison fat so soon freezes: to be thoroughly
enjoyed by epicures, it should be eaten on hot-water plates. The neck
and shoulder may be roasted in the same manner.

[Illustration: ROAST HAUNCH OF VENISON.]

_Time_.--A large haunch of buck venison, with the paste, 4 to 5 hours;
haunch of doe venison, 3-1/4 to 3-3/4 hours. Allow less time without the
paste.

_Average cost_, 1s. 4d. to 1s. 6d. per lb.

_Sufficient_ for 18 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Buck venison in greatest perfection from June to
Michaelmas; doe venison from November to the end of January.

THE DEER.--This active tribe of animals principally inhabit wild
and woody regions. In their contentions, both with each other
and the rest of the brute creation, these animals not only use
their horns, but strike very furiously with their fore feet.
Some of the species are employed as beasts of draught, whilst
the flesh of the whole is wholesome, and that of some of the
kinds, under the name of "venison," is considered very
delicious. Persons fond of hunting have invented peculiar terms
by which the objects of their pursuit are characterized: thus
the stag is called, the first year, a _calf_, or _hind-calf_;
the second, a _knobber_; the third, a _brock_; the fourth, a
_staggard_; the fifth, a _stag_; and the sixth, a _hart_. The
female is, the first year, called a _calf_; the second, a
_hearse_; and the third, a _hind_. In Britain, the stag has
become scarcer than it formerly was; but, in the Highlands of
Scotland, herds of four or five hundred may still be seen,
ranging over the vast mountains of the north; and some of the
stags of a great size. In former times, the great feudal
chieftains used to hunt with all the pomp of eastern sovereigns,
assembling some thousands of their clans, who drove the deer
into the toils, or to such stations as were occupied by their
chiefs. As this sport, however, was occasionally used as a means
for collecting their vassals together for the purpose of
concocting rebellion, an act was passed prohibitory of such
assemblages. In the "Waverley" of Sir Walter Scott, a
deer-hunting scene of this kind is admirably described.

VENISON.--This is the name given to the flesh of some kinds of
deer, and is esteemed as very delicious. Different species of
deer are found in warm as well as cold climates, and are in
several instances invaluable to man. This is especially the case
with the Laplander, whose reindeer constitutes a large
proportion of his wealth. There--

"The reindeer unharness'd in freedom can play,
And safely o'er Odin's steep precipice stray,
Whilst the wolf to the forest recesses may fly,
And howl to the moon as she glides through the sky."

In that country it is the substitute for the horse, the cow, the
goat, and the sheep. From its milk is produced cheese; from its
skin, clothing; from its tendons, bowstrings and thread; from
its horns, glue; from its bones, spoons; and its flesh furnishes
food. In England we have the stag, an animal of great beauty,
and much admired. He is a native of many parts of Europe, and is
supposed to have been originally introduced into this country
from France. About a century back he was to be found wild in
some of the rough and mountainous parts of Wales, as well as in
the forests of Exmoor, in Devonshire, and the woods on the banks
of the Tamar. In the middle ages the deer formed food for the
not over abstemious monks, as represented by Friar Tuck's
larder, in the admirable fiction of "Ivanhoe;" and at a later
period it was a deer-stealing adventure that drove the
"ingenious" William Shakspeare to London, to become a common
player, and the greatest dramatist that ever lived.

HASHED VENISON.

1050. INGREDIENTS.--The remains of roast venison, its own or mutton
gravy, thickening of butter and flour.

_Mode_.--Cut the meat from the bones in neat slices, and, if there is
sufficient of its own gravy left, put the meat into this, as it is
preferable to any other. Should there not be enough, put the bones and
trimmings into a stewpan, with about a pint of mutton gravy; let them
stew gently for an hour, and strain the gravy. Put a little flour and
butter into the stewpan, keep stirring until brown, then add the
strained gravy, and give it a boil up; skim and strain again, and, when
a little cool, put in the slices of venison. Place the stewpan by the
side of the fire, and, when on the point of simmering, serve: do not
allow it to boil, or the meat will be hard. Send red-currant jelly to
table with it.

_Time_.--Altogether, 1-1/2 hour.

_Seasonable_.--Buck venison, from June to Michaelmas; doe venison, from
November to the end of January.

_Note_.--A small quantity of Harvey's sauce, ketchup, or port wine, may
be added to enrich the gravy: these ingredients must, however, be used
very sparingly, or they will overpower the flavour of the venison.

[Illustration: FALLOW-DEER (BUCK). FALLOW-DEER (DOE).]

THE FALLOW-DEER.--This is the domestic or park deer; and no two
animals can make a nearer approach to each other than the stag
and it, and yet no two animals keep more distinct, or avoid each
other with a more inveterate animosity. They never herd or
intermix together, and consequently never give rise to an
intermediate race; it is even rare, unless they have been
transported thither, to find fellow-deer in a country where
stags are numerous. He is very easily tamed, and feeds upon many
things which the stag refuses: he also browzes closer than the
stag, and preserves his venison better. The doe produces one
fawn, sometimes two, but rarely three. In short, they resemble
the stag in all his natural habits, and the greatest difference
between them is the duration of their lives: the stag, it is
said, lives to the age of thirty-five or forty years, and the
fallow-deer does not live more than twenty. As they are smaller
than the stag, it is probable that their growth is sooner
completed.

STEWED VENISON.

1051. INGREDIENTS.--A shoulder of venison, a few slices of mutton fat, 2
glasses of port wine, pepper and allspice to taste, 1-1/2 pint of weak
stock or gravy, 1/2 teaspoonful of whole pepper, 1/2 teaspoonful of
whole allspice.

_Mode_.--Hang the venison till tender; take out the bone, flatten the
meat with a rolling-pin, and place over it a few slices of mutton fat,
which have been previously soaked for 2 or 3 hours in port wine;
sprinkle these with a little fine allspice and pepper, roll the meat up,
and bind and tie it securely. Put it into a stewpan with the bone and
the above proportion of weak stock or gravy, whole allspice, black
pepper, and port wine; cover the lid down closely, and simmer, very
gently, from 3-1/2 to 4 hours. When quite tender, take off the tape, and
dish the meat; strain the gravy over it, and send it to table with
red-currant jelly. Unless the joint is very fat, the above is the best
mode of cooking it.

_Time_.--3-1/2 to 4 hours.

_Average cost_, 1s. 4d. to 1s. 6d. per lb.

_Sufficient_ for 10 or 12 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Buck venison, from June to Michaelmas; doe venison, from
November to the end of January.

[Illustration: THE ROEBUCK.]

THE ROEBUCK.--This is the _Certuscapreolus_, or common roe, and
is of a reddish-brown colour. It is an inhabitant of Asia, as
well as of Europe. It has great grace in its movements, and
stands about two feet seven inches high, and has a length of
about three feet nine. The extent of its horns is from six to
eight inches.

[Illustration: THE STAG. THE HIND.]

THE STAG.--The stag, or hart, is the male of the red deer, and
the hind is the female. He is much larger than the fallow-deer,
and his age is indicated by his horns, which are round instead
of being palmated, like those of the fallow-deer. During the
first year he has no horns, but a horny excrescence, which is
short and rough, and covered with a thin hairy skin. The next
year, the horns are single and straight; and in the third they
have two antlers, three the fourth, four the fifth, and five the
sixth year; although this number is not always certain, for
sometimes they are more, and often less. After the sixth year,
the antlers do not always increase; and, although in number they
may amount to six or seven on each side, yet the animal's age is
then estimated rather by the size of the antlers and the
thickness of the branch which sustains them, than by their
variety. Large as these horns seem, however, they are shed every
year, and their place supplied by new ones. This usually takes
place in the spring. When the old horns have fallen off, the new
ones do not make their appearance immediately; but the bones of
the skull ore seen covered with a transparent periosteum, or
skin, which enwraps the bones of all animals. After a short
time, however, the skin begins to swell, and to form a sort of
tumour. From this, by-and-by, rising from the head, shoot forth
the antlers from each side; and, in a short time, in proportion
as the animal is in condition, the entire horns are completed.
The solidity of the extremities, however, is not perfect until
the horns have arrived at their full growth. Old stags usually
shed their horns first, which generally happens towards the
latter end of February or the beginning of March. Such as are
between five and six years old shed them about the middle or
latter end of March; those still younger in the month of April;
and the youngest of all not till the middle or latter end of
May. These rules, though generally true, are subject to
variations; for a severe winter will retard the shedding of the
horns.--The HIND has no horns, and is less fitted for being
hunted than the male. She takes the greatest care of her young,
and secretes them in the most obscure thickets, lest they become
a prey to their numerous enemies. All the rapacious family of
the cat kind, with the wolf, the dog, the eagle, and the falcon,
are continually endeavouring to find her retreat, whilst the
stag himself is the foe of his own offspring. When she has
young, therefore, it would seem that the courage of the male is
transferred to the female, for she defends them with the most
resolute bravery. If pursued by the hunter, she will fly before
the hounds for half the day, and then return to her young, whose
life she has thus preserved at the hazard of her own.

[Illustration: ELAND (BULL). ELAND (COW).]

THE NEW VENISON.--The deer population of our splendid English
parks was, until a few years since, limited to two species, the
fallow and the red. But as the fallow-deer itself was an
acclimated animal, of comparatively recent introduction, it came
to be a question why might not the proprietor of any deer-park
in England have the luxury of at least half a dozen species of
deer and antelopes, to adorn the hills, dales, ferny brakes, and
rich pastures of his domain? The temperate regions of the whole
world might be made to yield specimens of the noble ruminant,
valuable either for their individual beauty, or for their
availability to gastronomic purposes.

During the last four or live years a few spirited English
noblemen have made the experiment of breeding foreign deer in
their parks, and have obtained such a decided success, that it
may be hoped their example will induce others to follow in a
course which will eventually give to England's rural scenery a
new element of beauty, and to English tables a fresh viand of
the choicest character.

A practical solution of this interesting question was made by
Viscount Hill, at Hawkestone Park, Salop, in January, 1809. On
that occasion a magnificent eland, an acclimated scion of the
species whose native home is the South African wilderness, was
killed for the table. The noble beast was thus described:--"He
weighed 1,176 lbs. as he dropped; huge as a short-horn, but with
bone not half the size; active as a deer, stately in all his
paces, perfect in form, bright in colour, with a vast dewlap,
and strong sculptured horn. This eland in his lifetime strode
majestic on the hill-side, where he dwelt with his mates and
their progeny, all English-born, like himself." Three pairs of
the same species of deer were left to roam at large on the
picturesque elopes throughout the day, and to return to their
home at pleasure. "Here, during winter, they are assisted with
roots and hay, but in summer they have nothing but the pasture
of the park; so that, in point of expense, they cost no more
than cattle of the best description." Travellers and sportsmen
say that the male eland is unapproached in the quality of his
flesh by any ruminant in South Africa; that it grows to an
enormous size, and lays on fat with as great facility as a true
short-horn; while in texture and flavour it is infinitely
superior. The lean is remarkably fine, the fat firm and
delicate. It was tried in every fashion,--braised brisket,
roasted ribs, broiled steaks, filet saute, boiled aitchbone,
&c.,--and in all, gave evidence of the fact, that a new meat of
surpassing value had been added to the products of the English
park.

When we hear such a gratifying account of the eland, it is
pleasing to record that Lord Hastings has a herd of the Canadian
wapiti, a herd of Indian nylghaus, and another of the small
Indian hog-deer; that the Earl of Ducie has been successful in
breeding the magnificent Persian deer. The eland was first
acclimated in England by the late Earl of Derby, between the
years 1835-1851, at his menagerie at Knowsley. On his death, in
1851, he bequeathed to the Zoological Society his breed of
elands, consisting of two males and three females. Here the
animals have been treated with the greatest success, and from
the year 1853 to the present time, the females have regularly
reproduced, without the loss of a single calf.

ROAST WIDGEON.

1052. INGREDIENTS.--Widgeons, a little flour, butter.

_Mode_.--These are trussed in the same manner as wild duck, No. 1022,
but must not be kept so long before they are dressed. Put them down to a
brisk fire; flour, and baste them continually with butter, and, when
browned and nicely frothed, send them to table hot and quickly. Serve
with brown gravy, or orange gravy, No. 488, and a cut lemon.

_Time_.--1/4 hour; if liked well done, 20 minutes.

_Average cost_, 1s. each; but seldom bought.

_Sufficient_,--2 for a dish.

_Seasonable_ from October to February.

[Illustration: ROAST WOODCOCK.]

ROAST WOODCOCK.

1053. INGREDIENTS.--Woodcocks; butter, flour, toast.

_Mode_.--Woodcocks should not be drawn, as the trails are, by epicures,
considered a great delicacy. Pluck, and wipe them well outside; truss
them with the legs close to the body, and the feet pressing upon the
thighs; skin the neck and head, and bring the beak round under the wing.
Place some slices of toast in the dripping-pan to catch the trails,
allowing a piece of toast for each bird. Roast before a clear fire from
15 to 25 minutes; keep them well basted, and flour and froth them
nicely. When done, dish the pieces of toast with the birds upon them,
and pour round a very little gravy; send some more to table in a tureen.
These are most delicious birds when well cooked, but they should not be
kept too long: when the feathers drop, or easily come out, they are fit
for table.--See coloured plate, I 1.

_Time_.---When liked underdone, 15 to 20 minutes; if liked well done,
allow an extra 5 minutes.

_Average cost_.--Seldom bought.

_Sufficient_,--2 for a dish.

_Seasonable_ from November to February.

[Illustration: THE WOODCOCK.]

THE WOODCOCK.--This bird being migratory in its habits, has,
consequently, no settled habitation; it cannot be considered as
the property of any one, and is, therefore, not game by law. It
breeds in high northern latitudes, and the time of its
appearance and disappearance in Sweden coincides exactly with
that of its arrival in and return from Great Britain. On the
coast of Suffolk its vernal and autumnal visits have been
accurately observed. In the first week of October it makes its
appearance in small numbers, but in November and December it
appears in larger numbers, and always after sunset, and most
gregariously. In the same manner as woodcocks take their leave
of us, they quit France, Germany, and Italy, making the northern
and colder climates their summer rendezvous. They visit Burgundy
in the latter part of October, but continue there only a few
weeks, the country being hard, and unable to supply them with
such sustenance as they require. In the winter, they are found
as far south as Smyrna and Aleppo, and, during the same season,
in Barbary, where the Africans name them "the ass of the
partridge." It has been asserted that they have been seen as far
south as Egypt, which is the most remote region to which they
can be traced on that side of the eastern world; on the other
side, they are common in Japan. Those which resort to the
countries of the Levant are supposed to come from the mountains
of Armenia, or the deserts of Tartary or Siberia. The flesh of
the woodcock is held in high estimation; hence the bird is
eagerly sought after by the sportsman.

GAME CARVING.

BLACKCOCK.

[Illustration: BLACKCOCK.]

1054. Skilful carving of game undoubtedly adds to the pleasure of the
guests at a dinner-table; for game seems pre-eminently to be composed of
such delicate limbs and tender flesh that an inapt practitioner appears
to more disadvantage when mauling these pretty and favourite dishes,
than larger and more robust _pieces de resistance_. As described at
recipe No. 1019, this bird is variously served with or without the head
on; and although we do not personally object to the appearance of the
head as shown in the woodcut, yet it seems to be more in vogue to serve
it without. The carving is not difficult, but should be elegantly and
deftly done. Slices from the breast, cut in the direction of the dotted
line from 2 to 1, should be taken off, the merrythought displaced and
the leg and wing removed by running the knife along from 3 to 4, and
following the directions given under the head of boiled fowl, No. 1000,
reserving the thigh, which is considered a great delicacy, for the most
honoured guests, some of whom may also esteem the brains of this bird.

WILD DUCK.

[Illustration: WILD DUCK.]

1055. As game is almost universally served as a dainty, and not as a
dish to stand the assaults of an altogether fresh appetite, these dishes
are not usually cut up entirely, but only those parts are served of
each, which are considered the best-flavoured and the primest. Of
wild-fowl, the breast alone is considered by epicures worth eating, and
slices are cut from this, in the direction indicated by the lines, from
1 to 2; if necessary, the leg and wing can be taken off by passing the
knife from 3 to 4, and by generally following the directions described
for carving boiled fowl, No. 1000.

ROAST HARE.

[Illustration: ROAST HARE.]

1056. The "Grand Carver" of olden times, a functionary of no ordinary
dignity, was pleased when he had a hare to manipulate, for his skill and
grace had an opportunity of display. _Diners a la Russe_ may possibly,
erewhile, save modern gentlemen the necessity of learning the art which
was in auld lang syne one of the necessary accomplishments of the
youthful squire; but, until side-tables become universal, or till we see
the office of "grand carver" once more instituted, it will be well for
all to learn how to assist at the carving of this dish, which, if not
the most elegant in appearance, is a very general favourite. The hare,
having its head to the left, as shown in the woodcut, should be first
served by cutting slices from each side of the backbone, in the
direction of the lines from 3 to 4. After these prime parts are disposed
of, the leg should next be disengaged by cutting round the line
indicated by the figures 5 to 6. The shoulders will then be taken off by
passing the knife round from 7 to 8. The back of the hare should now be
divided by cutting quite through its spine, as shown by the line 1 to 2,
taking care to feel with the point of the knife for a joint where the
back may be readily penetrated. It is the usual plan not to serve any
bone in helping hare; and thus the flesh should be sliced from the legs
and placed alone on the plate. In large establishments, and where
men-cooks are kept, it is often the case that the backbone of the hare,
especially in old animals, is taken out, and then the process of carving
is, of course, considerably facilitated. A great point to be remembered
in connection with carving hare is, that plenty of gravy should
accompany each helping; otherwise this dish, which is naturally dry,
will lose half its flavour, and so become a failure. Stuffing is also
served with it; and the ears, which should be nicely crisp, and the
brains of the hare, are esteemed as delicacies by many connoisseurs.

PARTRIDGES.

[Illustration: ROAST PARTRIDGES.]

1057. There are several ways of carving this most familiar game bird.
The more usual and summary mode is to carry the knife sharply along the
top of the breastbone of the bird, and cut it quite through, thus
dividing it into two precisely equal and similar parts, in the same
manner as carving a pigeon, No. 1003. Another plan is to cut it into
three pieces; viz., by severing a small wing and leg on either side from
the body, by following the line 1 to 2 in the upper woodcut; thus making
2 helpings, when the breast will remain for a third plate. The most
elegant manner is that of thrusting back the body from the legs, and
then cutting through the breast in the direction shown by the line 1 to
2: this plan will give 4 or more small helpings. A little bread-sauce
should be served to each guest.

GROUSE.

[Illustration]

1058. GROUSE may be carved in the way first described in carving
partridge. The backbone of the grouse is highly esteemed by many, and
this part of many game birds is considered the finest flavoured.

PHEASANT.

[Illustration: ROAST PHEASANT.]

1059. Fixing the fork in the breast, let the carver cut slices from it
in the direction of the lines from 2 to 1: these are the prime pieces.
If there be more guests to satisfy than these slices will serve, then
let the legs and wings be disengaged in the same manner as described in
carving boiled fowl, No. 1000, the point where the wing joins the
neckbone being carefully found. The merrythought will come off in the
same way as that of a fowl. The most valued parts are the same as those
which are most considered in a fowl.

SNIPE.

[Illustration: SNIPE.]

1060. One of these small but delicious birds may be given, whole, to a
gentleman; but, in helping a lady, it will be better to cut them quite
through the centre, from 1 to 2, completely dividing them into equal and
like portions, and put only one half on the plate.

HAUNCH OF VENISON.

[Illustration: HAUNCH OF VENISON.]

1061. Here is a grand dish for a knight of the carving-knife to exercise
his skill upon, and, what will be pleasant for many to know, there is
but little difficulty in the performance. An incision being made
completely down to the bone, in the direction of the line 1 to 2, the
gravy will then be able easily to flow; when slices, not too thick,
should be cut along the haunch, as indicated by the line 4 to 3; that
end of the joint marked 3 having been turned towards the carver, so that
he may have a more complete command over the joint. Although some
epicures affect to believe that some parts of the haunch are superior to
others, yet we doubt if there is any difference between the slices cut
above and below the line. It should be borne in mind to serve each guest
with a portion of fat; and the most expeditious carver will be the best
carver, as, like mutton, venison soon begins to chill, when it loses
much of its charm.

WOODCOCK.

[Illustration: WOODCOCK.]

1062. This bird, like a partridge, may be carved by cutting it exactly
into two like portions, or made into three helpings, as described in
carving partridge (No. 1057). The backbone is considered the tit-bit of
a woodcock, and by many the thigh is also thought a great delicacy. This
bird is served in the manner advised by Brillat Savarin, in connection
with the pheasant, viz., on toast which has received its drippings
whilst roasting; and a piece of this toast should invariably accompany
each plate.

LANDRAIL.

1063. LANDRAIL, being trussed like Snipe, with the exception of its
being drawn, may be carved in the same manner.--See No. 1060.

PTARMIGAN.

1064. PTARMIGAN, being of much the same size, and trussed in the same
manner, as the red-bird, may be carved in the manner described in
Partridge and Grouse carving, Nos. 1057 and 1058.

QUAILS.

1065. QUAILS, being trussed and served like Woodcock, may be similarly
carved.--See No. 1062.

PLOVERS.

1066. PLOVERS may be carved like Quails or Woodcock, being trussed and
served in the same way as those birds.--See No. 1055.

TEAL.

1067. TEAL, being of the same character as Widgeon and Wild Duck, may be
treated, in carving, in the same style.

WIDGEON.

1068. WIDGEON may be carved in the same way as described in regard to
Wild Duck, at No. 1055.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

CHAPTER XXIV.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON VEGETABLES.

"Strange there should be found
Who, self-imprison'd in their proud saloons,
Renounce the odours of the open field
For the unscented fictions of the loom;
Who, satisfied with only pencilled scenes,
Prefer to the performance of a God,
Th' inferior wonders of an artist's hand!
Lovely, indeed, the mimic works of art,
But Nature's works far lovelier."--COWPER.

1069. "THE ANIMAL AND VEGETABLE KINGDOMS," says Hogg, in his Natural
History of the Vegetable Kingdom, "may be aptly compared to the primary
colours of the prismatic spectrum, which are so gradually and intimately
blended, that we fail to discover where the one terminates and where the
other begins. If we had to deal with yellow and blue only, the eye would
easily distinguish the one from the other; but when the two are blended,
and form green, we cannot tell where the blue ends and the yellow
begins. And so it is in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. If our powers
of observation were limited to the highest orders of animals and plants,
if there were only mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes, and insects in the
one, and trees, shrubs, and herbs in the other, we should then be able
with facility to define the bounds of the two kingdoms; but as we
descend the scale of each, and arrive at the lowest forms of animals and
plants, we there meet with bodies of the simplest structure, sometimes a
mere cell, whose organization, modes of development and reproduction,
are so anomalous, and partake so much of the character of both, that we
cannot distinguish whether they are plants or whether they are animals."

1070. WHILST IT IS DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE where the animal begins and
the vegetable ends, it is as difficult to account for many of the
singularities by which numbers of plants are characterized. This,
however, can hardly be regarded as a matter of surprise, when we
recollect that, so far as it is at present known, the vegetable kingdom
is composed of upwards of 92,000 species of plants. Of this amazing
number the lichens and the mosses are of the simplest and hardiest
kinds. These, indeed, may be considered as the very creators of the
soil: they thrive in the coldest and most sterile regions, many of them
commencing the operations of nature in the growth of vegetables on the
barest rocks, and receiving no other nourishment than such as may be
supplied to them by the simple elements of air and rain. When they have
exhausted their period in such situations as have been assigned them,
they pass into a state of decay, and become changed into a very fine
mould, which, in the active spontaneity of nature, immediately begins to
produce other species, which in their turn become food for various
mosses, and also rot. This process of growth and decay, being, from time
to time, continued, by-and-by forms a soil sufficient for the
maintenance of larger plants, which also die and decay, and so increase
the soil, until it becomes deep enough to sustain an oak, or even the
weight of a tropical forest. To create soil amongst rocks, however, must
not be considered as the only end of the lichen; different kinds of it
minister to the elegant arts, in the form of beautiful dyes; thus the
_lichen rocella_ is used to communicate to silk and wool, various shades
of purple and crimson, which greatly enhance the value of these
materials. This species is chiefly imported from the Canary Islands,
and, when scarce, as an article of commerce has brought as much as L1000
per ton.

1071. IN THE VICINITY OF LICHENS, THE MUSCI, OR MOSSES, are generally to
be found. Indeed, wherever vegetation can be sustained, there they are,
affording protection to the roots and seeds of more delicate vegetables,
and, by their spongy texture, retaining a moisture which preserves other
plants from the withering drought of summer. But even in winter we find
them enlivening, by their verdure, the cold bosom of Nature. We see them
abounding in our pastures and our woods, attaching themselves to the
living, and still more abundantly to the dead, trunks and branches of
trees. In marshy places they also abound, and become the medium of their
conversion into fruitful fields. This is exemplified by the manner in
which peat-mosses are formed: on the surface of these we find them in a
state of great life and vigour; immediately below we discover them, more
or less, in a state of decomposition; and, still deeper, we find their
stems and branches consolidated into a light brown peat. Thus are
extensive tracts formed, ultimately to be brought into a state of
cultivation, and rendered subservient to the wants of man.

1072. WHEN NATURE HAS FOUND A SOIL, her next care is to perfect the
growth of her seeds, and then to disperse them. Whilst the seed remains
confined in its capsule, it cannot answer its purpose; hence, when it is
sufficiently ripe, the pericardium opens, and lets it out. What must
strike every observer with surprise is, how nuts and shells, which we
can hardly crack with our teeth, or even with a hammer, will divide of
themselves, and make way for the little tender sprout which proceeds
from the kernel. There are instances, it is said, such as in the
Touch-me-not (_impatiens_), and the Cuckoo-flower (_cardamine_), in
which the seed-vessels, by an elastic jerk at the moment of their
explosion, cast the seeds to a distance. We are all aware, however, that
many seeds--those of the most composite flowers, as of the thistle and
dandelion--are endowed with, what have not been inappropriately called,
wings. These consist of a beautiful silk-looking down, by which they are
enabled to float in the air, and to be transported, sometimes, to
considerable distances from the parent plant that produced them. The
swelling of this downy tuft within the seed-vessel is the means by which
the seed is enabled to overcome the resistance of its coats, and to
force for itself a passage by which it escapes from its little
prison-house.

[Illustration: BEETON'S Book of HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT
EDITED BY MRS. ISABELLA BEETON]

[Illustration: "THE FREE, FAIR HOMES OF ENGLAND."]

1073. BIRDS, AS WELL AS QUADRUPEDS, are likewise the means of dispersing
the seeds of plants, and placing them in situations where they
ultimately grow. Amongst the latter is the squirrel, which is an
extensive planter of oaks; nay, it may be regarded as having, in some
measure, been one of the creators of the British navy. We have read of a
gentleman who was walking one day in some woods belonging to the Duke of
Beaufort, near Troy House, in Monmouthshire, when his attention was
arrested by a squirrel, sitting very composedly upon the ground. He
stopped to observe its motions, when, in a short time, the little animal
suddenly quitted its position, and darted to the top of the tree beneath
which it had been sitting. In an instant it returned with an acorn in
its mouth, and with its paws began to burrow in the earth. After digging
a small hole, it therein deposited an acorn, which it hastily covered,
and then darted up the tree again. In a moment it was down with another,
which it buried in the same manner; and so continued its labour,
gathering and burying, as long as the gentleman had patience to watch
it. This industry in the squirrel is an instinct which directs it to lay
up a store of provision for the winter; and as it is probable that its
memory is not sufficiently retentive to enable it to recollect all the
spots in which it deposits its acorns, it no doubt makes some slips in
the course of the season, and loses some of them. These few spring up,
and are, in time, destined to supply the place of the parent tree. Thus
may the sons of Britain, in some degree, consider themselves to be
indebted to the industry and defective memory of this little animal for
the production of some of those "wooden walls" which have, for
centuries, been the national pride, and which have so long "braved the
battle and the breeze" on the broad bosom of the great deep, in every
quarter of the civilized globe. As with the squirrel, so with jays and
pies, which plant among the grass and moss, horse-beans, and probably
forget where they have secreted them. Mr. White, the naturalist, says,
that both horse-beans and peas sprang up in his field-walks in the
autumn; and he attributes the sowing of them to birds. Bees, he also
observes, are much the best setters of cucumbers. If they do not happen
to take kindly to the frames, the best way is to tempt them by a little
honey put on the male and female bloom. When they are once induced to
haunt the frames, they set all the fruit, and will hover with impatience
round the lights in a morning till the glasses are opened.

1074. Some of the acorns planted by the squirrel of Monmouthshire may be
now in a fair way to become, at the end of some centuries, venerable
trees; for not the least remarkable quality of oaks is the strong
principle of life with which they are endued. In Major Rooke's "Sketch
of the forest of Sherwood" we find it stated that, on some timber cut
down in Berkland and Bilhaugh, letters were found stamped in the bodies
of the trees, denoting the king's reign in which they were marked. The
bark appears to have been cut off, and then the letters to have been cut
in, and the next year's wood to have grown over them without adhering to
where the bark had been cut out. The ciphers were found to be of James
I., William and Mary, and one of King John. One of the ciphers of James
was about one foot within the tree, and one foot from the centre. It was
cut down in 1786. The tree must have been two feet in diameter, or two
yards in circumference, when the mark was cut. A tree of this size is
generally estimated at 120 years' growth; which number being subtracted
from the middle year of the reign of James, would carry the year back to
1492, which would be about the period of its being planted. The tree
with the cipher of William and Mary displayed its mark about nine inches
within the tree, and three feet three inches from the centre. This tree
was felled in 1786. The cipher of John was eighteen inches within the
tree, and rather more than a foot from the centre. The middle year of
the reign of that monarch was 1207. By subtracting from this 120, the
number of years requisite for a tree's growth to arrive at the diameter
of two feet, the date of its being planted would seem to have been 1085,
or about twenty years after the Conquest.

[Illustration: CELLULAR DEVELOPMENT.]

1075. Considering the great endurance of these trees, we are necessarily
led to inquire into the means by which they are enabled to arrive at
such strength and maturity; and whether it may be considered as a
humiliation we will not determine, but, with all the ingenious
mechanical contrivances of man, we are still unable to define the limits
of the animal and vegetable kingdoms. "Plants have been described by
naturalists, who would determine the limits of the two kingdoms, as
organized living bodies, without volition or locomotion, destitute of a
mouth or intestinal cavity, which, when detached from their place of
growth, die, and, in decay, ferment, but do not putrefy, and which, on
being subjected to analysis, furnish an excess of carbon and no
nitrogen. The powers of chemistry, and of the microscope, however,
instead of confirming these views, tend more and more to show that a
still closer affinity exists between plants and animals; for it is now
ascertained that nitrogen, which was believed to be present only in
animals, enters largely into the composition of plants also. When the
microscope is brought to aid our powers of observation, we find that
there are organized bodies belonging to the vegetable kingdom which
possess very evident powers of locomotion, and which change about in so
very remarkable a manner, that no other cause than that of volition can
be assigned to it." Thus it would seem that, in this particular at
least, some vegetables bear a very close resemblance to animal life; and
when we consider the manner in which they are supplied with nourishment,
and perform the functions of their existence, the resemblance would seem
still closer. If, for example, we take a thin transverse slice of the
stem of any plant, or a slice cut across its stem, and immerse it in a
little pure water, and place it under a microscope, we will find that it
consists principally of cells, more or less regular, and resembling
those of a honeycomb or a network of cobweb. The size of these varies in
different plants, as it does in different parts of the same plant, and
they are sometimes so minute as to require a million to cover a square
inch of surface. This singular structure, besides containing water and
air, is the repository or storehouse of various secretions. Through it,
the sap, when produced, is diffused sideways through the plant, and by
it numerous changes are effected in the juices which fill its cells. The
forms of the cells are various; they are also subject to various
transformations. Sometimes a number of cylindrical cells are laid end to
end, and, by the absorption of the transverse partitions, form a
continuous tube, as in the sap-vessels of plants, or in muscular and
nervous fibre; and when cells are thus woven together, they are called
cellular tissue, which, in the human body, forms a fine net-like
membrane, enveloping or connecting most of its structures. In pulpy
fruits, the cells may be easily separated one from the other; and within
the cells are smaller cells, commonly known as pulp. Among the
cell-contents of some plants are beautiful crystals, called _raphides_.
The term is derived from [Greek: rhaphis] a _needle_, on account of the
resemblance of the crystal to a needle. They are composed of the
phosphate and oxalate of lime; but there is great difference of opinion
as to their use in the economy of the plant, and one of the French
philosophers endeavoured to prove that crystals are the possible
transition of the inorganic to organic matter. The differences, however,
between the highest form of crystal and the lowest form of organic life
known, viz., a simple reproductive cell, are so manifold and striking,
that the attempt to make crystals the bridge over which inorganic matter
passes into organic, is almost totally regarded as futile. In a layer of
an onion, a fig, a section of garden rhubarb, in some species of aloe,
in the bark of many trees, and in portions of the cuticle of the
medicinal squill, bundles of these needle-shaped crystals are to be
found. Some of them are as large as 1-40th of an inch, others are as
small as the 1-1000th. They are found in all parts of the plant,--in the
stem, bark, leaves, stipules, petals, fruit, roots, and even in the
pollen, with some few exceptions, and they are always situated in the
interior of cells. Some plants, as many of the _cactus_ tribe, are made
up almost entirely of these needle-crystals; in some instances, every
cell of the cuticle contains a stellate mass of crystals; in others, the
whole interior is full of them, rendering the plant so exceedingly
brittle, that the least touch will occasion a fracture; so much so, that
some specimens of _Cactus senilis_, said to be a thousand years old,
which were sent a few years since to Kew, from South America, were
obliged to be packed in cotton, with all the care of the most delicate
jewellery, to preserve them during transport.

[Illustration: SILICEOUS CUTICLE FROM UNDER-SIDE OF LEAF OF DEUTZIA
SCABRA.]

[Illustration: SILICEOUS CUTICLE OF GRASS.]

1076. Besides the cellular tissue, there is what is called a vascular
system, which consists of another set of small vessels. If, for example,
we, early in the spring, cut a branch transversely, we will perceive the
sap oozing out from numerous points over the whole of the divided
surface, except on that part occupied by the pith and the bark; and if a
twig, on which the leaves are already unfolded, be cut from the tree,
and placed with its cut end in a watery solution of Brazil-wood, the
colouring matter will be found to ascend into the leaves and to the top
of the twig. In both these cases, a close examination with a powerful
microscope, will discover the sap perspiring from the divided portion of
the stem, and the colouring matter rising through real tubes to the top
of the twig: these are the sap or conducting vessels of the plant. If,
however, we examine a transverse section of the vine, or of any other
tree, at a later period of the season, we find that the wood is
apparently dry, whilst the bark, particularly that part next the wood,
is swelled with fluid. This is contained in vessels of a different kind
from those in which the sap rises. They are found in the _bark_ only in
trees, and may be called returning vessels, from their carrying the sap
downwards after its preparation in the leaf. It is believed that the
passage of the sap in plants is conducted in a manner precisely similar
to that of the blood in man, from the regular contraction and expansion
of the vessels; but, on account of their extreme minuteness, it is
almost an impossibility to be certain upon this point. Numerous
observations made with the microscope show that their diameter seldom
exceeds a 290th part of a line, or a 3,000th part of an inch.
Leuwenhoeck reckoned 20,000 vessels in a morsel of oak about one
nineteenth of an inch square.

1077. In the vascular system of a plant, we at once see the great
analogy which it bears to the veins and arteries in the human system;
but neither it, nor the cellular tissue combined, is all that is
required to perfect the production of a vegetable. There is, besides, a
tracheal system, which is composed of very minute elastic spiral tubes,
designed for the purpose of conveying air both to and from the plant.
There are also fibres, which consist of collections of these cells and
vessels closely united together. These form the root and the stem. If we
attempt to cut them transversely, we meet with difficulty, because we
have to force our way across the tubes, and break them; but if we slit
the wood lengthwise, the vessels are separated without breaking. The
layers of wood, which appear in the stem or branch of a tree cut
transversely, consist of different zones of fibres, each the produce of
one year's growth, and separated by a coat of cellular tissue, without
which they could not be well distinguished. Besides all these, there is
the cuticle, which extends over every part of the plant, and covers the
bark with three distinct coats. The _liber_, or inner bark, is said to
be formed of hollow tubes, which convey the sap downwards to increase
the solid diameter of the tree.

1078. THE ROOT AND THE STEM NOW DEMAND A SLIGHT NOTICE. The former is
designed, not only to support the plant by fixing it in the soil, but
also to fulfil the functions of a channel for the conveyance of
nourishment: it is therefore furnished with pores, or spongioles, as
they are called, from their resemblance to a sponge, to suck up whatever
comes within its reach. It is found in a variety of forms, and hence its
adaptation to a great diversity of soils and circumstances. We have
heard of a willow-tree being dug up and its head planted where its roots
were, and these suffered to spread out in the air like naked branches.
In course of time, the roots became branches, and the branches roots, or
rather, roots rose from the branches beneath the ground, and branches
shot from the roots above. Some roots last one year, others two, and
others, like the shrubs and trees which they produce, have an indefinite
period of existence; but they all consist of a collection of fibres,
composed of vascular and cellular tissue, without tracheae, or
breathing-vessels. The stem is the grand distributor of the nourishment
taken up by the roots, to the several parts of the plant. The seat of
its vitality is said to be in the point or spot called the neck, which
separates the stem from the root. If the root of a young plant be cut
off, it will shoot out afresh; if even the stem be taken away, it will
be renewed; but if this part be injured, the plant will assuredly die.

1079. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PLAN OF THIS WORK, special notices of
culinary vegetables will accompany the various recipes in which they are
spoken of; but here we cannot resist the opportunity of declaring it as
our conviction, that he or she who introduces a useful or an ornamental
plant into our island, ought justly to be considered, to a large extent,
a benefactor to the country. No one can calculate the benefits which may
spring from this very vegetable, after its qualities have become
thoroughly known. If viewed in no other light, it is pleasing to
consider it as bestowing upon us a share of the blessings of other
climates, and enabling us to participate in the luxury which a more
genial sun has produced.

RECIPES.

CHAPTER XXV.

BOILED ARTICHOKES.

1080. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1/2 gallon of water, allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt, a piece of soda the size of a shilling;
artichokes.

[Illustration: ARTICHOKES.]

_Mode_.--Wash the artichokes well in several waters; see that no insects
remain about them, and trim away the leaves at the bottom. Cut off the
stems and put them into _boiling_ water, to which have been added salt
and soda in the above proportion. Keep the saucepan uncovered, and let
them boil quickly until tender; ascertain when they are done by
thrusting a fork in them, or by trying if the leaves can be easily
removed. Take them out, let them drain for a minute or two, and serve in
a napkin, or with a little white sauce poured over. A tureen of melted
butter should accompany them. This vegetable, unlike any other, is
considered better for being gathered two or three days; but they must be
well soaked and washed previous to dressing.

_Time_.--20 to 25 minutes, after the water boils.

_Sufficient_,--a dish of 5 or 6 for 4 persons.

_Seasonable_ from July to the beginning of September.

[Illustration: CARDOON ARTICHOKE.]

THE COMPOSITAE, OR COMPOSITE FLOWERS.--This family is so
extensive, as to contain nearly a twelfth part of the whole of
the vegetable kingdom. It embraces about 9,000 species,
distributed over almost every country; and new discoveries are
constantly being made and added to the number. Towards the poles
their numbers diminish, and slightly, also, towards the equator;
but they abound in the tropical and sub-tropical islands, and in
the tracts of continent not far from the sea-shore. Among
esculent vegetables, the Lettuce, Salsify, Scorzonera, Cardoon,
and Artichoke belong to the family.

FRIED ARTICHOKES.

(Entremets, or Small Dish, to be served with the Second Course.)

1081. INGREDIENTS.--5 or 6 artichokes, salt and water: for the
batter,--1/4 lb. of flour, a little salt, the yolk of 1 egg, milk.

_Mode_.--Trim and boil the artichokes by recipe No. 1080, and rub them
over with lemon-juice, to keep them white. When they are quite tender,
take them up, remove the chokes, and divide the bottoms; dip each piece
into batter, fry them in hot lard or dripping, and garnish the dish with
crisped parsley. Serve with plain melted butter.

_Time_.--20 minutes to boil the artichokes, 5 to 7 minutes to fry them.

_Sufficient_,--5 or 6 for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ from July to the beginning of September.

A FRENCH MODE OF COOKING ARTICHOKES.

1082. INGREDIENTS.--5 or 6 artichokes; to each 1/2 gallon of water allow
1 heaped tablespoonful of salt, 1/2 teaspoonful of pepper, 1 bunch of
savoury herbs, 2 oz. of butter.

_Mode_.--Cut the ends of the leaves, as also the stems; put the
artichokes into boiling water, with the above proportion of salt,
pepper, herbs, and butter; let them boil quickly until tender, keeping
the lid of the saucepan off, and when the leaves come out easily, they
are cooked enough. To keep them a beautiful green, put a large piece of
cinder into a muslin bag, and let it boil with them. Serve with plain
melted butter.

_Time_.--20 to 25 minutes.

_Sufficient_,--5 or 6 sufficient for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ from July to the beginning of September.

ARTICHOKES A L'ITALIENNE.

1083. INGREDIENTS.--4 or 6 artichokes, salt and butter, about 1/2 pint
of good gravy.

_Mode_.--Trim and cut the artichokes into quarters, and boil them until
tender in water mixed with a little salt and butter. When done, drain
them well, and lay them all round the dish, with the leaves outside.
Have ready some good gravy, highly flavoured with mushrooms; reduce it
until quite thick, and pour it round the artichokes, and serve.

_Time_.--20 to 25 minutes to boil the artichokes.

_Sufficient_ for one side-dish.

_Seasonable_ from July to the beginning of September.

CONSTITUENT PROPERTIES OF THE ARTICHOKE.--According to the
analysis of Braconnet, the constituent elements of an artichoke
are,--starch 30, albumen 10, uncrystallizable sugar 148, gum 12,
fixed oil 1, woody fibre 12, inorganic matter 27, and water 770.

BOILED JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES.

1084. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1 gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt; artichokes.

_Mode_.--Wash, peel, and shape the artichokes in a round or oval form,
and put them into a saucepan with sufficient cold water to cover them,
salted in the above proportion. Let them boil gently until tender; take
them up, drain them, and serve them in a napkin, or plain, whichever
mode is preferred; send to table with them a tureen of melted butter or
cream sauce, a little of which may be poured over the artichokes when
they are _not_ served in a napkin.

[Illustration: JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES.]

_Time_.--About 20 minutes after the water boils.

_Average cost_, 2d. per lb.

_Sufficient_,--10 for a dish for 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ from September to June.

USES OF THE JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE.--This being a tuberous-rooted
plant, with leafy stems from four to six feet high, it is
alleged that its tops will afford as much fodder per acre as a
crop of oats, or more, and its roots half as many tubers as an
ordinary crop of potatoes. The tubers, being abundant in the
market-gardens, are to be had at little more than the price of
potatoes. The fibres of the stems may be separated by
maceration, and manufactured into cordage or cloth; and this is
said to be done in some parts of the north and west of France,
as about Hagenau, where this plant, on the poor sandy soils, is
an object of field culture.

MASHED JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES.

1085. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1 gallon of water allow 1 oz. of salt; 15 or
16 artichokes, 1 oz. butter, pepper and salt to taste.

_Mode_.--Boil the artichokes as in the preceding recipe until tender;
drain and press the water from them, and beat them up with a fork. When
thoroughly mashed and free from lumps, put them into a saucepan with the
butter and a seasoning of white pepper and salt; keep stirring over the
fire until the artichokes are quite hot, and serve.

_Time_.--About 20 minutes. _Average cost_, 2d. per lb.

_Sufficient_ for 6 or 7 persons.

_Seasonable_ from September to June.

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES WITH WHITE SAUCE.

(Entremets, or to be served with the Second Course as a Side-dish.)

1086. INGREDIENTS.--12 to 15 artichokes, 12 to 15 Brussels sprouts, 1/2
pint of white sauce, No. 538.

_Mode_.--Peel and cut the artichokes in the shape of a pear; cut a piece
off the bottom of each, that they may stand upright in the dish, and
boil them in salt and water until tender. Have ready 1/2 pint of white
sauce, made by recipe No. 538; dish the artichokes, pour over them the
sauce, and place between each a fine Brussels sprout: these should be
boiled separately, and not with the artichokes.

_Time_.--About 20 minutes. _Average cost_, 2d. per lb.

_Sufficient_ for 6 or 7 persons.

_Seasonable_ from September to June.

THE JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE.--This plant is well known, being, for
its tubers, cultivated not only as a garden vegetable, but also
as an agricultural crop. By many it is much esteemed as an
esculent, when cooked in various ways; and the domesticated
animals eat both the fresh foliage, and the tubers with great
relish. By some, they are not only considered nourishing, but
even fattening.

BOILED ASPARAGUS.

1087. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt; asparagus.

[Illustration: ASPARAGUS ON TOAST. ASPARAGUS TONGS.]

_Mode_.--Asparagus should be dressed as soon as possible after it is
cut, although it may be kept for a day or two by putting the stalks into
cold water; yet, to be good, like every other vegetable, it cannot be
cooked too fresh. Scrape the white part of the stems, _beginning_ from
the _head_, and throw them into cold water; then tie them into bundles
of about 20 each, keeping the heads all one way, and cut the stalks
evenly, that they may all be the same length; put them into _boiling
water, with salt in the above proportion; keep them boiling quickly
until tender, with the saucepan uncovered. When the asparagus is done,
dish it upon toast, which should be dipped in the water it was cooked
in, and leave the white ends outwards each war, with the points meeting
in the middle. Serve with a tureen of melted butter.

_Time_.--15 to 18 minutes after the water boils.

_Average cost_, in full season, 2s. 6d. the 100 heads.

_Sufficient_.--Allow about 50 heads for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_.--May be had, forced, from January but cheapest in May,
June, and July.

[Illustration: ASPARAGUS.]

ASPARAGUS.--This plant belongs to the variously-featured family
of the order _Liliaceae_, which, in the temperate regions of
both hemispheres, are most abundant, and, between the tropics,
gigantic in size and arborescent in form. Asparagus is a native
of Great Britain, and is found on various parts of the seacoast,
and in the fens of Lincolnshire. At Kynarve Cove, in Cornwall,
there is an island called "Asparagus Island," from the abundance
in which it is there found. The uses to which the young shoots
are applied, and the manure in which they are cultivated in
order to bring them to the highest state of excellence, have
been a study with many kitchen-gardeners.

ASPARAGUS PEAS.

(Entremets, or to be served as a Side-dish with the Second Course.)

1088. INGREDIENTS.--100 heads of asparagus, 2 oz. of butter, a small
bunch of parsley, 2 or 3 green onions, flour, 1 lump of sugar, the yolks
of 2 eggs, 4 tablespoonfuls of cream, salt.

_Mode_.--Carefully scrape the asparagus, cut it into pieces of an equal
size, avoiding that which is in the least hard or tough, and throw them
into cold water. Then boil the asparagus in salt and water until
three-parts done; take it out, drain, and place it on a cloth to dry the
moisture away from it. Put it into a stewpan with the butter, parsley,
and onions, and shake over a brisk fire for 10 minutes. Dredge in a
little flour, add the sugar, and moisten with boiling water. When boiled
a short time and reduced, take out the parsley and onions, thicken with
the yolks of 2 eggs beaten with the cream; add a seasoning of salt, and,
when the whole is on the point of simmering, serve. Make the sauce
sufficiently thick to adhere to the vegetable.

_Time_.--Altogether, 1/2 hour. _Average cost_, 1s. 6d. a pint.

_Seasonable_ in May, June, and July.

MEDICINAL USES OF ASPARAGUS.--This plant not only acts as a
wholesome and nutritious vegetable, but also as a diuretic,
aperient, and deobstruent. The chemical analysis of its juice
discovers its composition to be a peculiar crystallizable
principle, called asparagin, albumen, mannite, malic acid, and
some salts. Thours says, the cellular tissue contains a
substance similar to sage. The berries are capable of undergoing
vinous fermentation, and affording alcohol by distillation. In
their unripe state they possess the same properties as the
roots, and probably in a much higher degree.

ASPARAGUS PUDDING.

(A delicious Dish, to be served with the Second Course.)

1089. INGREDIENTS.--1/2 pint of asparagus peas, 4 eggs, 2 tablespoonfuls
of flour, 1 tablespoonful of _very finely_ minced ham, 1 oz. of butter,
pepper and salt to taste, milk.

_Mode_.--Cut up the nice green tender parts of asparagus, about the size
of peas; put them into a basin with the eggs, which should be well
beaten, and the flour, ham, butter, pepper, and salt. Mix all these
ingredients well together, and moisten with sufficient milk to make the
pudding of the consistency of thick batter; put it into a pint buttered
mould, tie it down tightly with a floured cloth, place it in _boiling
water_, and let it boil for 2 hours; turn it out of the mould on to a
hot dish, and pour plain melted butter _round_, but not over, the
pudding. Green peas pudding may be made in exactly the same manner,
substituting peas for the asparagus.

_Time_.--2 hours. _Average cost_, 1s. 6d. per pint.

_Seasonable_ in May, June, and July.

BOILED FRENCH BEANS.

1090. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt, a very small piece of soda.

[Illustration: Scarlet Runner.]

_Mode_.--This vegetable should always be eaten young, as, when allowed
to grow too long, it tastes stringy and tough when cooked. Cut off the
heads and tails, and a thin strip on each side of the beans, to remove
the strings. Then divide each bean into 4 or 6 pieces, according to
size, cutting them lengthways in a slanting direction, and, as they are
cut, put them into cold water, with a small quantity of salt dissolved
in it. Have ready a saucepan of boiling water, with salt and soda in the
above proportion; put in the beans, keep them boiling quickly, with the
lid uncovered, and be careful that they do not get smoked. When tender,
which may be ascertained by their sinking to the bottom of the saucepan,
take them up, throw them into a colander; and when drained, dish and
serve with plain melted butter. When very young, beans are sometimes
served whole: when they are thus dressed, their colour and flavour are
much better preserved; but the more general way of dressing them is to
cut them into thin strips.

_Time_.--Very young beans, 10 to 12 minutes; moderate size, 15 to 20
minutes, after the water boils.

_Average cost_, in full season, 1s. 4d. a peck; but, when forced, very
expensive.

_Sufficient_.--Allow 1/2 peck for 6 or 7 persons.

_Seasonable_ from the middle of July to the end of September; but may be
had, forced, from February to the beginning of June.

FRENCH MODE OF COOKING FRENCH BEANS.

1091. INGREDIENTS.--A quart of French beans, 3 oz. of fresh butter,
pepper and salt to taste, the juice of 1/2 lemon.

_Mode_.--Cut and boil the beans by the preceding recipe, and when
tender, put them into a stewpan, and shake over the fire, to dry away
the moisture from the beans. When quite dry and hot, add the butter,
pepper, salt, and lemon-juice; keep moving the stewpan, without using a
spoon, as that would break the beans; and when the butter is melted, and
all is thoroughly hot, serve. If the butter should not mix well, add a
tablespoonful of gravy, and serve very quickly.

_Time_.--About 1/4 hour to boil the beans; 10 minutes to shake them over
the fire.

_Average cost_, in full season, about 1s. 4d. a peck.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ from the middle of July to the end of September.

BOILED BROAD OR WINDSOR BEANS.

1092. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1/2 gallon of water, allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt; beans.

[Illustration: BROAD BEAN.]

_Mode_.--This is a favourite vegetable with many persons, but to be
nice, should be young and freshly gathered. After shelling the beans,
put them into _boiling_ water, salted in the above proportion, and let
them boil rapidly until tender. Drain them well in a colander; dish, and
serve with them separately a tureen of parsley and butter. Boiled bacon
should always accompany this vegetable, but the beans should be cooked
separately. It is usually served with the beans laid round, and the
parsley and butter in a tureen. Beans also make an excellent garnish to
a ham, and when used for this purpose, if very old, should have their
skins removed.

_Time_.--Very young beans, 15 minutes; when of a moderate size, 20 to 25
minutes, or longer.

_Average cost_, unshelled, 6d. per peck.

_Sufficient_.--Allow one peck for 6 or 7 persons.

_Seasonable_ in July and August.

NUTRITIVE PROPERTIES OF THE BEAN.--The produce of beans in meal
is, like that of peas, more in proportion to the grain than in
any of the cereal grasses. A bushel of beans is supposed to
yield fourteen pounds more of flour than a bushel of oats; and a
bushel of peas eighteen pounds more, or, according to some,
twenty pounds. A thousand parts of bean flour were found by Sir
II. Davy to yield 570 parts of nutritive matter, of which 426
were mucilage or starch, 103 gluten, and 41 extract, or matter
rendered insoluble during the process.

BROAD BEANS A LA POULETTE.

1093. INGREDIENTS.--2 pints of broad beans, 1/2 pint of stock or broth,
a small bunch of savoury herbs, including parsley, a small lump of
sugar, the yolk of 1 egg, 1/4 pint of cream, pepper and salt to taste.

_Mode_.--Procure some young and freshly-gathered beans, and shell
sufficient to make 2 pints; boil them, as in the preceding recipe, until
nearly done; then drain them and put them into a stewpan, with the
stock, finely-minced herbs, and sugar. Stew the beans until perfectly
tender, and the liquor has dried away a little; then beat up the yolk of
an egg with the cream, add this to the beans, let the whole get
thoroughly hot, and when on the point of simmering, serve. Should the
beans be very large, the skin should be removed previously to boiling
them.

_Time_.--10 minutes to boil the beans, 15 minutes to stew them in the
stock.

_Average cost_, unshelled, 6d. per peck.

_Seasonable_ in July and August.

ORIGIN AND VARIETIES OF THE BEAN.--This valuable plant is said
to be a native of Egypt, but, like other plants which have been
domesticated, its origin is uncertain. It has been cultivated in
Europe and Asia from time immemorial, and has been long known in
Britain. Its varieties may be included under two general
heads,--the white, or garden beans, and the grey, or field
beans, of the former, sown in the fields, the mazagan and
long-pod are almost the only sorts; of the latter, those known
as the horse-bean, the small or ticks, and the prolific of
Heligoland, are the principal sorts. New varieties are procured
in the same manner as in other plants.

BOILED BEETROOT.

1094. INGREDIENTS,--Beetroot; boiling water.

_Mode_.--When large, young, and juicy, this vegetable makes a very
excellent addition to winter salads, and may easily be converted into an
economical and quickly-made pickle. (_See_ No. 369.) Beetroot is more
frequently served cold than hot: when the latter mode is preferred,
melted butter should be sent to table with it. It may also be stewed
with button onions, or boiled and served with roasted onions. Wash the
beets thoroughly; but do not prick or break the skin before they are
cooked, or they would lose their beautiful colour in boiling. Put them
into boiling water, and let them boil until tender, keeping them well
covered. If to be served hot, remove the peel quickly, cut the beetroot
into thick slices, and send to table melted butter. For salads, pickle,
&c., let the root cool, then peel, and cut it into slices.

_Time_.--Small beetroot, 1-1/2 to 2 hours; large, 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

_Average cost_, in full season, 2d. each.

_Seasonable_.--May be had at any time.

[Illustration: BEETROOT.]

BEETROOT.--The geographical distribution of the order Saltworts
(_Salxolaceae_), to which beetroot belongs, is most common in
extra-tropical and temperate regions, where they are common
weeds, frequenting waste places, among rubbish, and on marshes
by the seashore. In the tropics they are rare. They are
characterized by the large quantities of mucilage, sugar,
starch, and alkaline salts which are found in them. Many of them
are used as potherbs, and some are emetic and vermifuge in their
medicinal properties. The _root_ of _garden_ or red beet is
exceedingly wholesome and nutritious, and Dr. Lyon Playfair has
recommended that a good brown bread may be made by rasping down
this root with an equal quantity of flour. He says that the
average quality of flour contains about 12 per cent. of azotized
principles adapted for the formation of flesh, and the average
quality of beet contains about 2 per cent. of the same
materials.

BOILED BROCOLI.

1095. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt; brocoli.

[Illustration: BOILED BROCOLI.]

_Mode_.--Strip off the dead outside leaves, and the inside ones cut off
level with the flower; cut off the stalk close at the bottom, and put
the brocoli into cold salt and water, with the heads downwards. When
they have remained in this for about 3/4 hour, and they are _perfectly_
free from insects, put them into a saucepan of _boiling_ water, salted
in the above proportion, and keep them boiling quickly over a brisk
fire, with the saucepan uncovered. Take them up with a slice the moment
they are done; drain them well, and serve with a tureen of melted
butter, a _little_ of which should be poured over the brocoli. If left
in the water after it is done, it will break, its colour will be
spoiled, and its crispness gone.

_Time_.--Small brocoli, 10 to 15 minutes; large one, 20 to 25 minutes.

_Average cost_, 2d. each.

_Sufficient_,--2 for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ from October to March; plentiful in February and March.

[Illustration: BROCOLI.]

THE KOHL-RABI, OR TURNIP-CABBAGE.--This variety presents a
singular development, inasmuch as the stem swells out like a
large turnip on the surface of the ground, the leaves shooting
from it all round, and the top being surmounted by a cluster of
leaves issuing from it. Although not generally grown as a garden
vegetable, if used when young and tender, it is wholesome,
nutritious, and very palatable.

BOILED BRUSSELS SPROUTS.

1096. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt; a _very small_ piece of soda.

_Mode_.--Clean the sprouts from insects, nicely wash them, and pick off
any dead or discoloured leaves from the outsides; put them into a
saucepan of _boiling_ water, with salt and soda in the above proportion;
keep the pan uncovered, and let them boil quickly over a brisk fire
until tender; drain, dish, and serve with a tureen of melted butter, or
with a maitre d'hotel sauce poured over them. Another mode of serving
is, when they are dished, to stir in about 1-1/2 oz. of butter and a
seasoning of pepper and salt. They must, however, be sent to table very
quickly, as, being so very small, this vegetable soon cools. Where the
cook is very expeditious, this vegetable, when cooked, may be arranged
on the dish in the form of a pineapple, and, so served, has a very
pretty appearance.

_Time_.--From 9 to 12 minutes after the water boils.

_Average cost_, 1s. 4d. per peck.

_Sufficient_.--Allow between 40 and 50 for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

SAVOYS AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS.--When the Green Kale, or Borecole,
has been advanced a step further in the path of improvement, it
assumes the headed or hearting character, with blistered leaves;
it is then known by the name of Savoys and Brussels Sprouts.
Another of its headed forms, but with smooth glaucous leaves, is
the cultivated Cabbage of our gardens (the _Borecole oleracea
capitula_ of science); and all its varieties of green, red,
dwarf, tall, early, late, round, conical, flat, and all the
forms into which it is possible to put it.

TO BOIL YOUNG GREENS OR SPROUTS.

1097. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt; a _very small_ piece of soda.

[Illustration: BRUSSELS SPROUTS.]

_Mode_.--Pick away all the dead leaves, and wash the greens well in cold
water; drain them in a colander, and put them into fast-boiling water,
with salt and soda in the above proportion. Keep them boiling quickly,
with the lid uncovered, until tender; and the moment they are done, take
them up, or their colour will be spoiled; when well drained, serve. The
great art in cooking greens properly, and to have them a good colour, is
to put them into _plenty_ of _fast-boiling_ water, to let them boil very
quickly, and to take them up the moment they become tender.

_Time_.--Brocoli sprouts, 10 to 12 minutes; young greens, 10 to 12
minutes; sprouts, 12 minutes, after the water boils.

_Seasonable_.--Sprouts of various kinds may be had all the year.

GREEN KALE, OR BORECOLE.--When Colewort, or Wild Cabbage, is
brought into a state of cultivation, its character becomes
greatly improved, although it still retains the loose open
leaves, and in this form it is called Green Kale, or Borecole.
The scientific name is _Borecole oleracea acephala_, and of it
there are many varieties, both as regards the form and colour of
the leaves, as well as the height which the plants attain. We
may observe, that among them, are included the Thousand-headed,
and the Cow or Tree Cabbage.

BOILED CABBAGE.

1098. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt; a _very small_ piece of soda. _Mode_.--Pick off
all the dead outside leaves, cut off as much of the stalk as possible,
and cut the cabbages across twice, at the stalk end; if they should be
very large, quarter them. Wash them well in cold water, place them in a
colander, and drain; then put them into _plenty_ of _fast-boiling_
water, to which have been added salt and soda in the above proportions.
Stir them down once or twice in the water, keep the pan uncovered, and
let them boil quickly until tender. The instant they are done, take them
up into a colander, place a plate over them, let them thoroughly drain,
dish, and serve.

_Time_.--Large cabbages, or savoys, 1/3 to 3/4 hour, young summer
cabbage, 10 to 12 minutes, after the water boils.

_Average cost_, 2d. each in full season.

_Sufficient_,--2 large ones for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Cabbages and sprouts of various kinds at any time.

THE CABBAGE TRIBE: THEIR ORIGIN.--Of all the tribes of the
_Cruciferae this is by far the most important. Its scientific
name is _Brassiceae_, and it contains a collection of plants
which, both in themselves and their products, occupy a prominent
position in agriculture, commerce, and domestic economy. On the
cliffs of Dover, and in many places on the coasts of
Dorsetshire, Cornwall, and Yorkshire, there grows a wild plant,
with variously-indented, much-waved, and loose spreading leaves,
of a sea-green colour, and large yellow flowers. In spring, the
leaves of this plant are collected by the inhabitants, who,
after boiling them in two waters, to remove the saltness, use
them as a vegetable along with their meat. This is the _Brassica
oleracea_ of science, the Wild Cabbage, or Colewort, from which
have originated all the varieties of Cabbage, Cauliflower,
Greens, and Brocoli.

STEWED RED CABBAGE.

1099. INGREDIENTS.--1 red cabbage, a small slice of ham, 1/2 oz. of
fresh butter, 1 pint of weak stock or broth, 1 gill of vinegar, salt and
pepper to taste, 1 tablespoonful of pounded sugar.

_Mode_.--Cut the cabbage into very thin slices, put it into a stewpan,
with the ham cut in dice, the butter, 1/2 pint of stock, and the
vinegar; cover the pan closely, and let it stew for 1 hour. When it is
very tender, add the remainder of the stock, a seasoning of salt and
pepper, and the pounded sugar; mix all well together, stir over the fire
until nearly all the liquor is dried away, and serve. Fried sausages are
usually sent to table with this dish: they should be laid round and on
the cabbage, as a garnish.

_Time_.--Rather more than 1 hour. _Average cost_, 4d. each.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

_Seasonable_ from September to January.

THE WILD CABBAGE, OR COLEWORT.--This plant, as it is found on
the sea-cliffs of England, presents us with the origin of the
cabbage tribe in its simplest and normal form. In this state it
is the true Collet, or Colewort, although the name is now
applied to any young cabbage which has a loose and open heart.

BOILED CARROTS.

1100. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1/2 gallon of water, allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt; carrots.

_Mode_.--Cut off the green tops, wash and scrape the carrots, and should
there be any black specks, remove them. If very large, cut them in
halves, divide them lengthwise into four pieces, and put them into
boiling water, salted in the above proportion; let them boil until
tender, which may be ascertained by thrusting a fork into them: dish,
and serve very hot. This vegetable is an indispensable accompaniment to
boiled beef. When thus served, it is usually boiled with the beef; a few
carrots are placed round the dish as a garnish, and the remainder sent
to table in a vegetable-dish. Young carrots do not require nearly so
much boiling, nor should they be divided: these make a nice addition to
stewed veal, &c.

_Time_.--Large carrots, 1-3/4 to 2-1/4 hours; young ones, about 1/2
hour.

_Average cost_, 6d. to 8d, per bunch of 18.

_Sufficient_,--4 large carrots for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Young carrots from April to June, old ones at any time.

[Illustration: CARROTS.]

ORIGIN OF THE CARROT.--In its wild state, this vegetable is
found plentifully in Britain, both in cultivated lands and by
waysides, and is known by the name of birds-nest, from its
umbels of fruit becoming incurved from a hollow cup, like a
birds-nest. In this state its root is whitish, slender, and
hard, with an acrid, disagreeable taste, and a strong aromatic
smell, and was formerly used as an aperient. When cultivated, it
is reddish, thick, fleshy, with a pleasant odour, and a
peculiar, sweet, mucilaginous taste. The carrot is said by
naturalists not to contain much nourishing matter, and,
generally speaking, is somewhat difficult of digestion.

TO DRESS CARROTS IN THE GERMAN WAY.

1101. INGREDIENTS.--8 large carrots, 3 oz. of butter, salt to taste, a
very little grated nutmeg, 1 tablespoonful of finely-minced parsley, 1
dessertspoonful of minced onion, rather more than 1 pint of weak stock
or broth, 1 tablespoonful of flour.

_Mode_.--Wash and scrape the carrots, and cut them into rings of about
1/4 inch in thickness. Put the butter into a stewpan; when it is melted,
lay in the carrots, with salt, nutmeg, parsley, and onion in the above
proportions. Toss the stewpan over the fire for a few minutes, and when
the carrots are well saturated with the butter, pour in the stock, and
simmer gently until they are nearly tender. Then put into another
stewpan a small piece of butter; dredge in about a tablespoonful of
flour; stir this over the fire, and when of a nice brown colour, add the
liquor that the carrots have been boiling in; let this just boil up,
pour it over the carrots in the other stewpan, and let them finish
simmering until quite tender. Serve very hot.

This vegetable, dressed as above, is a favourite accompaniment of roast
pork, sausages, &c. &c.

_Time_.--About 3/4 hour. Average cost, 6d. to 8d. per bunch of 18.

_Sufficient_ for 6 or 7 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Young carrots from April to June, old ones at any time.

CONSTITUENTS OF THE CARROT.--These are crystallizable and
uncrystallizable sugar, a little starch, extractive, gluten,
albumen, volatile oil, vegetable jelly, or pectin, saline
matter, malic acid, and a peculiar crystallizable ruby-red
neuter principle, without odour or taste, called carotin. This
vegetable jelly, or pectin, so named from its singular property
of gelatinizing, is considered by some as another form of gum or
mucilage, combined with vegetable acid. It exists more or less
in all vegetables, and is especially abundant in those roots and
fruits from which jellies are prepared.

STEWED CARROTS.

1102. INGREDIENTS.--7 or 8 large carrots, 1 teacupful of broth, pepper
and salt to taste, 1/2 teacupful of cream, thickening of butter and
flour.

_Mode_.--Scrape the carrots nicely; half-boil, and slice them into a
stewpan; add the broth, pepper and salt, and cream; simmer till tender,
and be careful the carrots are not broken. A few minutes before serving,
mix a little flour with about 1 oz. of butter; thicken the gravy with
this; let it just boil up, and serve.

_Time_.--About 3/4 hour to parboil the carrots, about 20 minutes to cook
them after they are sliced.

_Average cost_, 6d. to 8d. per bunch of 18.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Young carrots from April to June, old ones at any time.

NUTRITIVE PROPERTIES OF THE CARROT.--Sir H. Davy ascertained the
nutritive matter of the carrot to amount to ninety-eight parts
in one thousand; of which ninety-five are sugar and three are
starch. It is used in winter and spring in the dairy to give
colour and flavour to butter; and it is excellent in stews,
haricots, soups, and, when boiled whole, with salt beef. In the
distillery, owing to the great proportion of sugar in its
composition, it yields more spirit than the potato. The usual
quantity is twelve gallons per ton.

SLICED CARROTS.

(Entremets, or to be served with the Second Course, as a Side-dish.)

1103. INGREDIENTS.--5 or 6 large carrots, a large lump of sugar, 1 pint
of weak stock, 3 oz. of fresh butter, salt to taste.

_Mode_.--Scrape and wash the carrots, cut them into slices of an equal
size, and boil them in salt and water, until half done; drain them well,
put them into a stewpan with the sugar and stock, and let them boil over
a brisk fire. When reduced to a glaze, add the fresh butter and a
seasoning of salt; shake the stewpan about well, and when the butter is
well mixed with the carrots, serve. There should be no sauce in the dish
when it comes to table, but it should all adhere to the carrots.

_Time_.--Altogether, 3/4 hour.

_Average cost_, 6d. to 8d. per bunch of 18.

_Sufficient_ for 1 dish.

_Seasonable_.--Young carrots from April to June, old ones at any time.

THE SEED OF THE CARROT.--In order to save the seed of carrots,
the plan is, to select annually the most perfect and best-shaped
roots in the taking-up season, and either preserve them in sand
in a cellar till spring, or plant them immediately in an open
airy part of the garden, protecting them with litter during
severe frost, or earthing them over, and uncovering them in
March following. The seed is in no danger from being injured by
any other plant. In August it is fit to gather, and is best
preserved on the stalks till wanted.

BOILED CAULIFLOWERS.

[Illustration: BOILED CAULIFLOWER.]

[Illustration: CAULIFLOWER.]

1104. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt.

_Mode_.--Choose cauliflowers that are close and white; trim off the
decayed outside leaves, and cut the stalk off flat at the bottom. Open
the flower a little in places to remove the insects, which generally are
found about the stalk, and let the cauliflowers lie in salt and water
for an hour previous to dressing them, with their heads downwards: this
will effectually draw out all the vermin. Then put them into
fast-boiling water, with the addition of salt in the above proportion,
and let them boil briskly over a good fire, keeping the saucepan
uncovered. The water should be well skimmed; and, when the cauliflowers
are tender, take them up with a slice; let them drain, and, if large
enough, place them upright in the dish. Serve with plain melted butter,
a little of which may be poured over the flower.

_Time_.--Small cauliflower, 12 to 15 minutes, large one, 20 to 25
minutes, after the water boils.

_Average cost_, for large cauliflowers, 6d. each.

_Sufficient_.--Allow 1 large cauliflower for 3 persons.

_Seasonable_ from the beginning of June to the end of September.

CAULIFLOWERS A LA SAUCE BLANCHE.

(Entremets, or Side-dish, to be served with the Second Course.)

1105. INGREDIENTS.--3 cauliflowers, 1/2 pint of sauce blanche, or French
melted butter, No. 378; 3 oz. of butter; salt and water.

_Mode_.--Cleanse the cauliflowers as in the preceding recipe, and cut
the stalks off flat at the bottom; boil them until tender in salt and
water, to which the above proportion of butter has been added, and be
careful to take them up the moment they are done, or they will break,
and the appearance of the dish will be spoiled. Drain them well, and
dish them in the shape of a large cauliflower. Have ready 1/2 pint of
sauce, made by recipe No. 378, pour it over the flowers, and serve hot
and quickly.

_Time_.--Small cauliflowers, 12 to 15 minutes, large ones, 20 to 25
minutes, after the water boils.

_Average cost_,--large cauliflowers, in full season, 6d. each.

_Sufficient_,--1 large cauliflower for 3 or 4 persons.

_Seasonable_ from the beginning of June to the end of September.

CAULIFLOWER AND BROCOLI.--These are only forms of the wild
Cabbage in its cultivated state. They are both well known; but
we may observe, that the purple and white Brocoli are only
varieties of the Cauliflower.

CAULIFLOWERS WITH PARMESAN CHEESE.

(Entremets, or Side-dish, to be served with the Second Course.)

1106. INGREDIENTS.--2 or 3 cauliflowers, rather more than 1/2 pint of
white sauce No. 378, 2 tablespoonfuls of grated Parmesan cheese, 2 oz.
of fresh butter, 3 tablespoonfuls of bread crumbs.

_Mode_.--Cleanse and boil the cauliflowers by recipe No. 1104, and drain
them and dish them with the flowers standing upright. Have ready the
above proportion of white sauce; pour sufficient of it over the
cauliflowers just to cover the top; sprinkle over this some rasped
Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, and drop on these the butter, which
should be melted, but not oiled. Brown with a salamander, or before the
fire, and pour round, but not over, the flowers the remainder of the
sauce, with which should be mixed a small quantity of grated Parmesan
cheese.

_Time_.--Altogether, 1/2 hour. _Average cost_, for large cauliflowers,
6d. each.

_Sufficient_,--3 small cauliflowers for 1 dish.

_Seasonable_ from the beginning of June to the end of September.

CELERY.

[Illustration: CELERY IN GLASS.]

1107. With a good heart, and nicely blanched, this vegetable is
generally eaten raw, and is usually served with the cheese. Let the
roots be washed free from dirt, all the decayed and outside leaves being
cut off, preserving as much of the stalk as possible, and all specks or
blemishes being carefully removed. Should the celery be large, divide it
lengthwise into quarters, and place it, root downwards, in a
celery-glass, which should be rather more than half filled with water.
The top leaves may be curled, by shredding them in narrow strips with
the point of a clean skewer, at a distance of about 4 inches from the
top.

_Average cost_, 2d. per head.

_Sufficient_.--Allow 2 heads for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ from October to April.

_Note_.--This vegetable is exceedingly useful for flavouring soups,
sauces, &c., and makes a very nice addition to winter salad.

STEWED CELERY A LA CREME.

1108. INGREDIENTS.--6 heads of celery; to each 1/2 gallon of water allow
1 heaped tablespoonful of salt, 1 blade of pounded mace, 1/3 pint of
cream.

_Mode_.--Wash the celery thoroughly; trim, and boil it in salt and water
until tender. Put the cream and pounded mace into a stewpan; shake it
over the fire until the cream thickens, dish the celery, pour over the
sauce, and serve.

_Time_.--Large heads of celery, 25 minutes; small ones, 15 to 20
minutes.

_Average cost_. 2d. per head.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ from October to April.

ALEXANDERS.--This plant is the _Smyrnium olustratum_ of science, and is
used in this country in the same way in which celery is. It is a native
of Great Britain, and is found in its wild state near the seacoast. It
received its name from the Italian "herba Alexandrina," and is supposed
to have been originally brought from Alexandria; but, be this as it may,
its cultivation is now almost entirely abandoned.

STEWED CELERY (with White Sauce).

I.

1109. INGREDIENTS.--6 heads of celery, 1 oz. of butter; to each 1/2
gallon of water allow 1 heaped tablespoonful of salt, 1/2 pint of white
sauce, No. 537 or 538.

_Mode_.--Have ready sufficient boiling water just to cover the celery,
with salt and butter in the above proportion. Wash the celery well; cut
off the decayed outside leaves, trim away the green tops, and shape the
root into a point; put it into the boiling water; let it boil rapidly
until tender; then take it out, drain well, place it upon a dish, and
pour over about 1/2 pint of white sauce, made by either of the recipes
No. 537 or 538. It may also be plainly boiled as above, placed on toast,
and melted butter poured over, the same as asparagus is dished.

_Time_.--Large heads of celery, 25 minutes, small ones, 15 to 20
minutes, after the water boils.

_Average cost_, 2d. per head.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ from October to April.

ORIGIN OF CELERY.--In the marshes and ditches of this country
there is to be found a very common plant, known by the name of
Smallage. This is the wild form of celery; but, by being
subjected to cultivation, it loses its acrid nature, and becomes
mild and sweet. In its natural state, it has a peculiar rank,
coarse taste and smell, and its root was reckoned by the
ancients as one of the "five greater aperient roots." There is a
variety of this in which the root becomes turnip-shaped and
large. It is called _Celeriae_, and is extensively used by the
Germans, and preferred by them to celery. In a raw state, this
plant does not suit weak stomachs; cooked, it is less difficult
of digestion, although a large quantity should not he taken.

[Illustration: CELERY.].

II.

1110. INGREDIENTS.--6 heads of celery, 1/2 pint of white stock or weak
broth, 4 tablespoonfuls of cream, thickening of butter and flour, 1
blade of pounded mace, a _very little_ grated nutmeg; pepper and salt to
taste.

_Mode_.--Wash the celery, strip off the outer leaves, and cut it into
lengths of about 4 inches. Put these into a saucepan, with the broth,
and stew till tender, which will be in from 20 to 25 minutes; then add
the remaining ingredients, simmer altogether for 4 or 5 minutes, pour
into a dish, and serve. It may be garnished with sippets of toasted
bread.

_Time_.--Altogether, 1/2 hour. _Average cost_, 2d. per head.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ from October to April.

_Note_.--By cutting the celery into smaller pieces, by stewing it a
little longer, and, when done, by pressing it through a sieve, the above
stew may be converted into a puree of celery.

TO DRESS CUCUMBERS.

1111. INGREDIENTS.--3 tablespoonfuls of salad-oil, 4 tablespoonfuls of
vinegar, salt and pepper to taste; cucumber.

_Mode_.--Pare the cucumber, cut it equally into _very thin_ slices, and
_commence_ cutting from the _thick end_; if commenced at the stalk, the
cucumber will most likely have an exceedingly bitter taste, far from
agreeable. Put the slices into a dish, sprinkle over salt and pepper,
and pour over oil and vinegar in the above proportion; turn the cucumber
about, and it is ready to serve. This is a favourite accompaniment to
boiled salmon, is a nice addition to all descriptions of salads, and
makes a pretty garnish to lobster salad.

[Illustration: SLICED CUCUMBERS.]

[Illustration: CUCUMBER.]

_Average cost_, when scarce, 1s. to 2s. 6d.; when cheapest, may be had
for 4d. each.

_Seasonable_.--Forced from the beginning of March to the end of June; in
full season in July, August, and September.

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE CUCUMBERS.--This family is not
known in the frigid zone, is somewhat rare in the temperate, but
in the tropical and warmer regions throughout the world they are
abundant. They are most plentiful in the continent of Hindostan;
but in America are not near so plentiful. Many of the kinds
supply useful articles of consumption for food, and others are
actively medicinal in their virtues. Generally speaking,
delicate stomachs should avoid this plant, for it is cold and
indigestible.

CUCUMBERS A LA POULETTE.

1112. INGREDIENTS.--2 or 3 cucumbers, salt and vinegar, 2 oz. of butter,
flour, 1/2 pint of broth, 1 teaspoonful of minced parsley, a lump of
sugar, the yolks of 2 eggs, salt and pepper to taste.

_Mode_.--Pare and cut the cucumbers into slices of an equal thickness,
and let them remain in a pickle of salt and vinegar for 1/2 hour; then
drain them in a cloth, and put them into a stewpan with the butter. Fry
them over a brisk fire, but do not brown them, and then dredge over them
a little flour; add the broth, skim off all the fat, which will rise to
the surface, and boil gently until the gravy is somewhat reduced; but
the cucumber should not be broken. Stir in the yolks of the eggs, add
the parsley, sugar, and a seasoning of pepper and salt; bring the whole
to the point of boiling, and serve.

_Time_.--Altogether, 1 hour.

_Average cost_, when cheapest, 4d. each.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ in July, August, and September; but may be had, forced,
from the beginning of March.

FRIED CUCUMBERS.

1113. INGREDIENTS.--2 or 3 cucumbers, pepper and salt to taste, flour,
oil or butter.

_Mode_.--Pare the cucumbers and cut them into slices of an equal
thickness, commencing to slice from the thick, and not the stalk end of
the cucumber. Wipe the slices dry with a cloth, dredge them with flour,
and put them into a pan of boiling oil or butter; Keep turning them
about until brown; lift them out of the pan, let them drain, and serve,
piled lightly in a dish. These will be found a great improvement to
rump-steak: they should be placed on a dish with the steak on the top.

_Time_.--5 minutes. _Average cost_, when cheapest, 4d. each.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Forced from the beginning of March to the end of June; in
full season in July and August.

PROPERTIES AND USES OF THE CUCURBITS.--The common cucumber is
the C. sativus of science, and although the whole of the family
have a similar action in the animal economy, yet there are some

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