Part 25 out of 34
mixture into a freezing-pot. Freeze as directed for Ice Pudding, No.
1290, and, when the mixture is thoroughly and equally frozen, put it
_Time_.--1/2 hour to freeze the mixture. _Average cost_, 3d. to 4d.
_Seasonable_ at any time.
ICED CURRANTS, for Dessert.
1558. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 pint of water, the whites of 2 eggs, currants,
_Mode_.--Select very fine bunches of red or white currants, and well
beat the whites of the eggs. Mix these with the water; then take the
currants, a bunch at a time, and dip them in; let them drain for a
minute or two, and roll them in very fine pounded sugar. Lay them to dry
on paper, when the sugar will crystallize round each currant, and have a
very pretty effect. All fresh fruit may be prepared in the same manner;
and a mixture of various fruits iced in this manner, and arranged on one
dish, looks very well for a summer dessert.
_Time_.--1/4 day to dry the fruit.
_Average cost_, 8d. for a pint of iced currants. _Seasonable_ in summer.
1559.--This fruit is rarely preserved or cooked in any way, and should
be sent to table on a dish garnished with leaves or flowers, as fancy
dictates. A border of any other kind of small fruit, arranged round the
melon, has a pretty effect, the colour the former contrasting nicely
with the melon. Plenty of pounded sugar should be served with it; and
the fruit should be cut lengthwise, in moderate-sized slices. In
America, it is frequently eaten with pepper and salt.
_Average cost_,--English, in full season, 3s. 6d. to 5s. each; when
scarce, 10s. to 15s.; _seasonable_, June to August. French, 2s. to 3s.
6d. each; _seasonable_, June and July. Dutch, 9d. to 2s. each;
_seasonable_, July and August.
MELON.--The melon is a most delicious fruit, succulent, cool,
and high-flavoured. With us, it is used only at the dessert, and
is generally eaten with sugar, ginger, or pepper; but, in
France, it is likewise served up at dinner as a sauce for boiled
meats. It grows wild in Tartary, and has been lately found in
abundance on the sandy plains of Jeypoor. It was brought
originally from Asia by the Romans, and is said to have been
common in England in the time of Edward III., though it is
supposed that it was lost again, as well as the cucumber, during
the wars of York and Lancaster. The best kind, called the
_Cantaloupe_, from the name of a place near Rome where it was
first cultivated in Europe, is a native of Armenia, where it
grows so plentifully that a horse-load may be bought for a
1560. INGREDIENTS.--To 2 lbs. of fruit and 1 pint of juice allow 2-1/2
lbs. of loaf sugar.
_Mode_.--Put some of the fruit into a preserving-pan, and simmer it
gently until the juice is well drawn. Strain it through a bag, measure
it, and to every pint allow the above proportion of sugar and fruit. Put
the sugar into the preserving-pan, moisten it with the juice, boil it
up, skim well, and then add the mulberries, which should be ripe, but
not soft enough to break to a pulp. Let them stand in the syrup till
warm through, then set them on the fire to boil gently; when half done,
turn them carefully into an earthen pan, and let them remain till the
next day; then boil them as before, and when the syrup is thick, and
becomes firm when cold, put the preserve into pots. In making this, care
should be taken not to break the mulberries: this may be avoided by very
gentle stirring, and by simmering the fruit very slowly.
_Time_.--3/4 hour to extract the juice;
1/4 hour to boil the mulberries the first time, 1/4 hour the second
_Seasonable_ in August and September.
MULBERRY.--Mulberries are esteemed for their highly aromatic flavour,
and their sub-acid nature. They are considered as cooling, laxative, and
generally wholesome. This fruit was very highly esteemed by the Romans,
who appear to have preferred it to every other. The mulberry-tree is
stated to have been introduced into this country in 1548, being first
planted at Sion House, where the original trees still thrive. The
planting of them was much encouraged by King James I. about 1605; and
considerable attempts were made at that time to rear silkworms on a
large scale for the purpose of making silk; but these endeavours have
always failed, the climate being scarcely warm enough.
TO PRESERVE MORELLO CHERRIES.
1561. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of cherries allow 1-1/4 lb. of sugar, 1
gill of water.
_Mode_.--Select ripe cherries; pick off the stalks, and reject all that
have any blemishes. Boil the sugar and water together for 5 minutes; put
in the cherries, and boil them for 10 minutes, removing the scum as it
rises. Then turn the fruit, &c. into a pan, and let it remain until the
next day, when boil it all again for another 10 minutes, and, if
necessary, skim well. Put the cherries into small pots; pour over them
the syrup, and, when cold, cover down with oiled papers, and the tops of
the jars with tissue-paper brushed over on both sides with the white of
an egg, and keep in a dry place.
_Time_.--Altogether, 25 minutes to boil.
_Average cost_, from 8d. to 10d. per lb. pot.
_Seasonable_.--Make this in July or August.
THE CHERRY-TREE IN ROME.--The Cherry-tree was introduced into Rome by
Lucullus about seventy years before the Christian era; but the capital
of the world knew not at first how to appreciate this present as it
deserved; for the cherry-tree was propagated so slowly in Italy, that
more than a century after its introduction it was far from being
generally cultivated. The Romans distinguished three principal species
of cherries--the _Apronian_, of a bright red, with a firm and delicate
pulp; the _Lutatian_, very black and sweet; the _Caecilian_, round and
stubby, and much esteemed. The cherry embellished the third course in
Rome and the second at Athens.
1562. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of sugar allow 1/4 pint of water;
_Mode_.--Divide the nectarines in two, take out the stones, and make a
strong syrup with sugar and water in the above proportion. Put in the
nectarines, and boil them until they have thoroughly imbibed the sugar.
Keep the fruit as whole as possible, and turn it carefully into a pan.
The next day boil it again for a few minutes, take out the nectarines,
put them into jars, boil the syrup quickly for 5 minutes, pour it over
the fruit, and, when cold, cover the preserve down. The syrup and
preserve must be carefully skimmed, or it will not be clear.
_Time_.--10 minutes to boil the sugar and water; 20 minutes to boil the
fruit the first time, 10 minutes the second time; 5 minutes to boil the
_Seasonable_ in August and September, but cheapest in September.
STEWED NORMANDY PIPPINS.
1563. INGREDIENTS.--1 lb. of Normandy pippins, 1 quart of water, 1/2
teaspoonful of powdered cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoonful of ground ginger, 1
lb. of moist sugar, 1 lemon.
_Mode_.--Well wash the pippins, and put them into 1 quart of water with
the above proportion of cinnamon and ginger, and let them stand 12
hours; then put these all together into a stewpan, with the lemon sliced
thinly, and half the moist sugar. Let them boil slowly until the pippins
are half done; then add the remainder of the sugar, and simmer until
they are quite tender. Serve on glass dishes for dessert.
_Time_.--2 to 3 hours. _Average cost_, 1s. 6d. _Seasonable_.--Suitable
for a winter dish.
1564. INGREDIENTS.--Oranges; to every lb. of pounded loaf sugar allow
the whites of 2 eggs.
_Mode_.--Whisk the whites of the eggs well, stir in the sugar, and beat
this mixture for 1/4 hour. Skin the oranges, remove as much of the white
pith as possible without injuring the pulp of the fruit; pass a thread
through the centre of each orange, dip them into the sugar, and tie them
to a stick. Place this stick across the oven, and let the oranges remain
until dry, when they will have the appearance of balls of ice. They make
a pretty dessert or supper dish. Care must be taken not to have the oven
too fierce, or the oranges would scorch and acquire a brown colour,
which would entirely spoil their appearance.
_Time_.--From 1/2 to 1 hour to dry in a moderate oven.
_Average cost_, 1-1/2d. each.
_Sufficient_.--1/2 lb. of sugar to ice 12 oranges.
_Seasonable_ from November to May.
THE FIRST ORANGE-TREE IN FRANCE.--The first Orange-tree cultivated in
the centre of France was to be seen a few years ago at Fontainebleau. It
was called _Le Connetable_ (the Constable), because it had belonged to
the Connetable de Bourbon, and had been confiscated, together with all
property belonging to that prince, after his revolt against his
COMPOTE OF ORANGES.
1565. INGREDIENTS.--1 pint of syrup No. 1512, 6 oranges. _Mode_.--Peel
the oranges, remove as much of the white pith as possible, and divide
them into small pieces without breaking the thin skin with which they
are surrounded. Make the syrup by recipe No. 1512, adding the rind of
the orange cut into thin narrow strips. When the syrup has been well
skimmed, and is quite clear, put in the pieces of orange, and simmer
them for 5 minutes. Take them out carefully with a spoon without
breaking them, and arrange them on a glass dish. Reduce the syrup by
boiling it quickly until thick; let it cool a little, pour it over the
oranges, and, when cold, they will be ready for table.
[Illustration: COMPOTE OF ORANGES.]
_Time_.--10 minutes to boil the syrup; 5 minutes to simmer the oranges;
5 minutes to reduce the syrup.
_Average cost_, 9d.
_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.
_Seasonable_ from November to May.
THE ORANGE IN PORTUGAL.--The Orange known under the name of "Portugal
Orange" comes originally from China. Not more than two centuries ago,
the Portuguese brought thence the first scion, which has multiplied so
prodigiously that we now see entire forests of orange-trees in Portugal.
ORANGE AND CLOVES.--It appears to have been the custom formerly, in
England, to make new year's presents with oranges stuck full with
cloves. We read in one of Ben Jonson's pieces,--the "Christmas
Masque,"--"He has an orange and rosemary, but not a clove to stick in
1566. INGREDIENTS.--Equal weight of fine loaf sugar and Seville oranges;
to 12 oranges allow 1 pint of water.
_Mode_.--Let there be an equal weight of loaf sugar and Seville oranges,
and allow the above proportion of water to every dozen oranges. Peel
them carefully, remove a little of the white pith, and boil the rinds in
water 2 hours, changing the water three times to take off a little of
the bitter taste. Break the pulp into small pieces, take out all the
pips, and cut the boiled rind into chips. Make a syrup with the sugar
and water; boil this well, skim it, and, when clear, put in the pulp and
chips. Boil all together from 20 minutes to 1/2 hour; pour it into pots,
and, when cold, cover down with bladders or tissue-paper brushed over on
both sides with the white of an egg. The juice and grated rind of 2
lemons to every dozen of oranges, added with the pulp and chips to the
syrup, are a very great improvement to this marmalade.
_Time_.--2 hours to boil the orange-rinds; 10 minutes to boil the syrup;
20 minutes to 1/2 hour to boil the marmalade.
_Average cost_, from 6d. to 8d. per lb. pot.
_Seasonable_.--This should be made in March or April, as Seville oranges
are then in perfection.
1567. INGREDIENTS.--Equal weight of Seville oranges and sugar; to every
lb. of sugar allow 1/2 pint of water.
_Mode_.--Weigh the sugar and oranges, score the skin across, and take it
off in quarters. Boil these quarters in a muslin bag in water until they
are quite soft, and they can be pierced easily with the head of a pin;
then cut them into chips about 1 inch long, and as thin as possible.
Should there be a great deal of white stringy pulp, remove it before
cutting the rind into chips. Split open the oranges, scrape out the best
part of the pulp, with the juice, rejecting the white pith and pips.
Make a syrup with the sugar and water; boil it until clear; then put in
the chips, pulp, and juice, and boil the marmalade from 20 minutes to
1/2 hour, removing all the scum as it rises. In boiling the syrup, clear
it carefully from scum before the oranges are added to it.
_Time_.--2 hours to boil the rinds, 10 minutes the syrup, 20 minutes to
1/2 hour the marmalade.
_Average cost_, 6d. to 8d. per lb. pot.
_Seasonable_.--Make this in March or April, when Seville oranges are in
AN EASY WAY OF MAKING ORANGE MARMALADE.
1568. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of pulp allow 1-1/2 lb. of loaf sugar.
_Mode_.--Choose some fine Seville oranges; put them whole into a stewpan
with sufficient water to cover them, and stew them until they become
perfectly tender, changing the water 2 or 3 times; drain them, take off
the rind, remove the pips from the pulp, weigh it, and to every lb.
allow 1-1/2 of loaf sugar and 1/2 pint of the water the oranges were
last boiled in. Boil the sugar and water together for 10 minutes; put in
the pulp, boil for another 10 minutes; then add the peel cut into
strips, and boil the marmalade for another 10 minutes, which completes
the process. Pour it into jars; let it cool; then cover down with
bladders, or tissue-paper brushed over on both sides with the white of
_Time_.--2 hours to boil the oranges; altogether 1/2 hour to boil the
_Average cost_, from 6d. to 8d. per lb. pot.
_Seasonable_--Make this in March or April.
ORANGE MARMALADE MADE WITH HONEY.
1569. INGREDIENTS.--To 1 quart of the juice and pulp of Seville oranges
allow 2 lbs. of honey, 1 lb. of the rind.
_Mode_.--Peel the oranges and boil the rind in water until tender, and
cut it into strips. Take away the pips from the juice and pulp, and put
it with the honey and chips into a preserving-pan; boil all together for
about 1/2 hour, or until the marmalade is of the proper consistency; put
it into pots, and, when cold, cover down with bladders.
_Time_.--2 hours to boil the rind, 1/2 hour the marmalade.
_Average cost_, from 7d. to 9d. per lb. pot.
_Seasonable_.--Make this in March or April.
TO PRESERVE ORANGES.
1570. INGREDIENTS.--Oranges; to every lb. of juice and pulp allow 2 lbs.
of loaf sugar; to every pint of water 1/2 lb. of loaf sugar.
_Mode_.--Wholly grate or peel the oranges, taking off only the thin
outside portion of the rind. Make a small incision where the stalk is
taken out, squeeze out as much of the juice as can be obtained, and
preserve it in a basin with the pulp that accompanies it. Put the
oranges into cold water; let them stand for 3 days, changing the water
twice; then boil them in fresh water till they are very tender, and put
them to drain. Make a syrup with the above proportion of sugar and
water, sufficient to cover the oranges; let them stand in it for 2 or 3
days; then drain them well. Weigh the juice and pulp, allow double their
weight of sugar, and boil them together until the scum ceases to rise,
which must all be carefully removed; put in the oranges, boil them for
10 minutes, place them in jars, pour over them the syrup, and, when
cold, cover down. They will be fit for use in a week.
_Time_.--3 days for the oranges to remain in water, 3 days in the syrup;
1/2 hour to boil the pulp, 10 minutes the oranges.
_Seasonable_.--This preserve should be made in February or March, when
oranges are plentiful.
1571. INGREDIENTS.--6 oranges, 1/4 lb. of muscatel raisins, 2 oz. of
pounded sugar, 4 tablespoonfuls of brandy.
_Mode_.--Peel 5 of the oranges; divide them into slices without breaking
the pulp, and arrange them on a glass dish. Stone the raisins, mix them
with the sugar and brandy, and mingle them with the oranges. Squeeze the
juice of the other orange over the whole, and the dish is ready for
table. A little pounded spice may be put in when the flavour is liked;
but this ingredient must be added very sparingly.
_Average cost_, 1s.
_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.
_Seasonable_ from November to May.
COMPOTE OF PEACHES.
1572. INGREDIENTS.--1 pint of syrup No. 1512, about 15 small peaches.
_Mode_.--Peaches that are not very large, and that would not look well
for dessert, answer very nicely for a compote. Divide the peaches, take
out the stones, and pare the fruit; make a syrup by recipe No. 1512, put
in the peaches, and stew them gently for about 10 minutes. Take them out
without breaking, arrange them on a glass dish, boil the syrup for 2 or
3 minutes, let it cool, pour it over the fruit, and, when cold, it will
be ready for table.
_Time_.--10 minutes. _Average cost_, 1s. 2d.
_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons. _Seasonable_ in August and September.
PEACH AND NECTARINE.--The peach and nectarine, which are among
the most delicious of our fruits, are considered as varieties of
the same species, produced by cultivation. The former is
characterized by a very delicate down, while the latter is
smooth; but, as a proof of their identity as to species, trees
have borne peaches on one part and nectarines on another; and
even a single fruit has had down on one side, and on the other
none; the trees are almost exactly alike, as well as the
blossoms. Pliny states that the peach was originally brought
from Persia, where it grows naturally. At Montreuil, a village
near Paris, almost the whole population is employed in the
cultivation of peaches; and this occupation has maintained the
inhabitants for ages, and, in consequence, they raise better
peaches than anywhere else in France. In Maryland and Virginia,
peaches grow nearly wild in orchards resembling forests; but the
fruit is of little value for the table, being employed only in
fattening hogs and for the distillation of peach brandy. On the
east side of the Andes, peaches grow wild among the cornfields
and in the mountains, and are dried as an article of food. The
young leaves of the peach are sometimes used in cookery, from
their agreeable flavour; and a liqueur resembling the fine
noyeau of Martinique may be made by steeping them in brandy
sweetened with sugar and fined with milk: gin may also be
flavoured in the same manner. The kernels of the fruit have the
same flavour. The nectarine is said to have received its name
from nectar, the particular drink of the gods. Though it is
considered as the same species as the peach, it is not known
which of the varieties come from the other; the nectarine, is by
some considered as the superior fruit.
PEACHES PRESERVED IN BRANDY.
1573. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of fruit weighed before being stoned,
allow 1/4 lb. of finely-pounded loaf sugar; brandy.
_Mode_.--Let the fruit be gathered in dry weather; wipe and weigh it,
and remove the stones as carefully as possible, without injuring the
peaches much. Put them into a jar, sprinkle amongst them pounded loaf
sugar in the above proportion, and pour brandy over the fruit. Cover the
jar down closely, place it in a saucepan of boiling water over the fire,
and bring the brandy to the simmering-point, but do not allow it to
boil. Take the fruit out carefully, without breaking it; put it into
small jars, pour over it the brandy, and, when cold, exclude the air by
covering the jars with bladders, or tissue-paper brushed over on both
sides with the white of an egg. Apricots may be done in the same manner,
and, if properly prepared, will be found delicious.
_Time_.--From 10 to 20 minutes to bring the brandy to the
_Seasonable_ in August and September.
1574. INGREDIENTS.--12 pears, the rind of 1 lemon, 6 cloves, 10 whole
allspice; to every pint of water allow 1/2 lb. of loaf sugar.
_Mode_.--Pare and cut the pears into halves, and, should they be very
large, into quarters; leave the stalks on, and carefully remove the
cores. Place them in a clean baking-jar, with a closely-fitting lid; add
to them the lemon-rind cut in strips, the juice of 1/2 lemon, the
cloves, pounded allspice, and sufficient water just to cover the whole,
with sugar in the above proportion. Cover the jar down closely, put it
into a very cool oven, and bake the pears from 5 to 6 hours, but be very
careful that the oven is not too hot. To improve the colour of the
fruit, a few drops of prepared cochineal may be added; but this will not
be found necessary if the pears are very gently baked.
_Time_.--Large pears, 5 to 6 hours, in a very slow oven.
_Average cost_, 1d. to 2d. each.
_Sufficient_ for 7 or 8 persons.
_Seasonable_ from September to January.
PEAR.--The pear, like the apple, is indigenous to this country;
but the wild pear is a very unsatisfactory fruit. The best
varieties were brought from the East by the Romans, who
cultivated them with care, and probably introduced some of their
best sorts into this island, to which others were added by the
inhabitants of the monasteries. The Dutch and Flemings, as well
as the French, have excelled in the cultivation of the pear, and
most of the late varieties introduced are from France and
Flanders. The pear is a hardy tree, and a longer liver than the
apple: it has been known to exist for centuries. There are now
about 150 varieties of this fruit. Though perfectly wholesome
when ripe, the pear is not so when green; but in this state it
is fit for stewing. An agreeable beverage, called perry, is made
from pears, and the varieties which are least fit for eating
make the best perry.
1575. INGREDIENTS.--Jargonelle pears; to every lb. of sugar allow 1/2
pint of water.
_Mode_.--Procure some Jargonelle pears, not too ripe; put them into a
stewpan with sufficient water to cover them, and simmer them till rather
tender, but do not allow them to break; then put them into cold water.
Boil the sugar and water together for 5 minutes, skim well, put in the
pears, and simmer them gently for 5 minutes. Repeat the simmering for 3
successive days, taking care not to let the fruit break. The last time
of boiling, the syrup should be made rather richer, and the fruit boiled
for 10 minutes. When the pears are done, drain them from the syrup, and
dry them in the sun, or in a cool oven; or they may be kept in the
syrup, and dried as they are wanted.
_Time_.--1/2 hour to simmer the pears in water, 20 minutes in the syrup.
_Average cost_, 1d. to 2d. each.
_Seasonable_.--Most plentiful in September and October.
[Illustration: STEWED PEARS.]
1576. INGREDIENTS.--8 large pears, 5 oz. of loaf sugar, 6 cloves, 6
whole allspice, 1/2 pint of water, 1/4 pint of port wine, a few drops of
_Mode_.--Pare the pears, halve them, remove the cores, and leave the
stalks on; put them into a _lined_ saucepan with the above ingredients,
and let them simmer very gently until tender, which will be in from 3 to
4 hours, according to the quality of the pears. They should be watched,
and, when done, carefully lifted out on to a glass dish without breaking
them. Boil up the syrup quickly for 2 or 3 minutes; allow it to cool a
little, pour it over the pears, and let them get perfectly cold. To
improve the colour of the fruit, a few drops of prepared cochineal may
be added, which rather enhances the beauty of this dish. The fruit must
not be boiled fast, but only simmered, and watched that it be not too
_Time_.--3 to 4 hours. _Average cost_, 1s. 6d.
_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons. _Seasonable_ from September to January.
THE BON CHRETIEN PEAR.--The valuable variety of pear called _Bon
Chretien, which comes to our tables in winter, either raw or
cooked, received its name through the following incident:--Louis
XI., king of France, had sent for Saint Francois de Paule from
the lower part of Calabria, in the hopes of recovering his
health through his intercession. The saint brought with him the
seeds of this pear; and, as he was called at court Le Bon
Chretien, this fruit obtained the name of him to whom France
owed its introduction.
1577. INGREDIENTS.--Pineapples; sugar to taste.
_Mode_.--Pare and slice the fruit thinly, put it on dishes, and strew
over it plenty of pounded sugar. Keep it in a hot closet, or very slow
oven, 8 or 10 days, and turn the fruit every day until dry; then put the
pieces of pine on tins, and place them in a quick oven for 10 minutes.
Let them cool, and store them away in dry boxes, with paper between each
_Time_.--8 to 10 days.
_Seasonable_.--Foreign pines, in July and August.
1578. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of fruit, weighed after being pared,
allow 1 lb. of loaf sugar; 1/4 pint of water.
_Mode_.--The pines for making this preserve should be perfectly sound
but ripe. Cut them into rather thick slices, as the fruit shrinks very
much in the boiling. Pare off the rind carefully, that none of the pine
be wasted; and, in doing so, notch it in and out, as the edge cannot be
smoothly cut without great waste. Dissolve a portion of the sugar in a
preserving-pan with 1/4 pint of water; when this is melted, gradually
add the remainder of the sugar, and boil it until it forms a clear
syrup, skimming well. As soon as this is the case, put in the pieces of
pine, and boil well for at least 1/2 hour, or until it looks nearly
transparent. Put it into pots, cover down when cold, and store away in a
_Time_.--1/2 hour to boil the fruit. _Average cost_, 10d. to 1s. per lb.
_Seasonable_.--Foreign pines, in July and August.
THE PINEAPPLE IN HEATHENDOM.--Heathen nations invented
protective divinities for their orchards (such as Pomona,
Vertumnus, Priapus, &c.), and benevolent patrons for their
fruits: thus, the olive-tree grew under the auspices of Minerva;
the Muses cherished the palm-tree, Bacchus the fig and grape,
_and the pine and its cone were consecrated to the great Cyble_.
PRESERVED PINEAPPLE, for Present Use.
1579. INGREDIENTS.--Pineapple, sugar, water.
_Mode_.--Cut the pine into slices 1/4 inch in thickness; peel them, and
remove the hard part from the middle. Put the parings and hard pieces
into a stewpan with sufficient water to cover them, and boil for 1/4
hour. Strain the liquor, and put in the slices of pine. Stew them for 10
minutes, add sufficient sugar to sweeten the whole nicely, and boil
again for another 1/4 hour; skim well, and the preserve will be ready
for use. It must be eaten soon, as it will keep but a very short time.
_Time_.--1/4 hour to boil the parings in water; 10 minutes to boil the
pine without sugar, 1/4 hour with sugar.
_Average cost_.--Foreign pines, 1s. to 3s. each; English, from 2s. to
12s. per lb.
_Seasonable_.--Foreign, in July and August; English, all the year.
1580. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of plums, weighed before being stoned,
allow 3/4 lb. of loaf sugar.
_Mode_.--In making plum jam, the quantity of sugar for each lb. of fruit
must be regulated by the quality and size of the fruit, some plums
requiring much more sugar than others. Divide the plums, take out the
stones, and put them on to large dishes, with roughly-pounded sugar
sprinkled over them in the above proportion, and let them remain for one
day; then put them into a preserving-pan, stand them by the side of the
fire to simmer gently for about 1/2 hour, and then boil them rapidly for
another 15 minutes. The scum must be carefully removed as it rises, and
the jam must be well stirred all the time, or it will burn at the bottom
of the pan, and so spoil the colour and flavour of the preserve. Some of
the stones may be cracked, and a few kernels added to the jam just
before it is done: these impart a very delicious flavour to the plums.
The above proportion of sugar would answer for Orleans plums; the
Imperatrice Magnum-bonum, and Winesour would not require quite so much.
_Time_.--1/2 hour to simmer gently, 1/4 hour to boil rapidly.
_Best plums for preserving_.--Violets, Mussels, Orleans, Imperatrice
Magnum-bonum, and Winesour.
_Seasonable_ from the end of July to the beginning of October.
PLUMS.--The Damson, or Damascene plum, takes its name from
Damascus, where it grows in great quantities, and whence it was
brought into Italy about 114 B.C. The Orleans plum is from
France. The Greengage is called after the Gage family, who first
brought it into England from the monastery of the Chartreuse, at
Paris, where it still bears the name of Reine Claude. The
Magnum-bonum is our largest plum, and greatly esteemed for
preserves and culinary purposes. The best sorts of plums are
agreeable at the dessert, and, when perfectly ripe, are
wholesome; but some are too astringent. They lose much of their
bad qualities by baking, and are extensively used, from their
cheapness, when in full season, in tarts and preserves; but they
are not a very wholesome fruit, and should be eaten in
1581. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of fruit allow 3/4 lb. of loaf sugar;
for the thin syrup, 1/4 lb. of sugar to each pint of water.
_Mode_.--Select large ripe plums; slightly prick them, to prevent them
from bursting, and simmer them very gently in a syrup made with the
above proportion of sugar and water. Put them carefully into a pan, let
the syrup cool, pour it over the plums, and allow them to remain for two
days. Having previously weighed the other sugar, dip the lumps quickly
into water, and put them into a preserving-pan with no more water than
hangs about them; and boil the sugar to a syrup, carefully skimming it.
Drain the plums from the first syrup; put them into the fresh syrup, and
simmer them very gently until they are clear; lift them out singly into
pots, pour the syrup over, and when cold, cover down to exclude the air.
This preserve will remain good some time, if kept in a dry place, and
makes a very nice addition to a dessert. The magnum-bonum plums answer
for this preserve better than any other kind of plum. Greengages are
also very delicious done in this manner.
_Time_.--1/4 hour to 20 minutes to simmer the plums in the first syrup;
20 minutes to 1/2 hour very gentle simmering in the second.
_Seasonable_ from August to October.
TO PRESERVE PLUMS DRY.
1582. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of sugar allow 1/4 pint of water.
_Mode_.--Gather the plums when they are full-grown and just turning
colour; prick them, put them into a saucepan of cold water, and set them
on the fire until the water is on the point of boiling. Then take them
out, drain them, and boil them gently in syrup made with the above
proportion of sugar and water; and if the plums shrink, and will not
take the sugar, prick them as they lie in the pan; give them another
boil, skim, and set them by. The next day add some more sugar, boiled
almost to candy, to the fruit and syrup; put all together into a
wide-mouthed jar, and place them in a cool oven for 2 nights; then drain
the plums from the syrup, sprinkle a little powdered sugar over, and dry
them in a cool oven.
_Time_.--15 to 20 minutes to boil the plums in the syrup. _Seasonable_
from August to October.
PLUMS.--The wild sloe is the parent of the plum, but the
acclimated kinds come from the East. The cultivation of this
fruit was probably attended to very early in England, as Gerrard
informs us that, in 1597, he had in his garden, in Holborn,
threescore sorts. The sloe is a shrub common in our hedgerows,
and belongs to the natural order _Amygdaleae_; the fruit is
about the size of a large pea, of a black colour, and covered
with a bloom of a bright blue. It is one of the few indigenous
to our island. The juice is extremely sharp and astringent, and
was formerly employed as a medicine, where astringents were
necessary. It now assists in the manufacture of a red wine made
to imitate port, and also for adulteration. The leaves have been
used to adulterate tea; the fruit, when ripe, makes a good
STEWED FRENCH PLUMS.
(_A Dessert Dish_.)
1583. INGREDIENTS.--1-1/2 lb. of French plums, 3/4 pint of syrup No.
1512, 1 glass of port wine, the rind and juice of 1 lemon.
_Mode_.--Stew the plums gently in water for 1 hour; strain the water,
and with it make the syrup. When it is clear, put in the plums with the
port wine, lemon-juice, and rind, and simmer very gently for 1-1/2 hour.
Arrange the plums on a glass dish, take out the lemon-rind, pour the
syrup over the plums, and, when cold, they will be ready for table. A
little allspice stewed with the fruit is by many persons considered an
_Time_.--1 hour to stew the plums in water, 1-1/2 hour in the syrup.
_Average cost_,--plums sufficiently good for stewing, 1s. per lb.
_Sufficient_ for 7 or 8 persons.
_Seasonable_ in winter.
1584. INGREDIENTS.--To each lb. of pumpkin allow 1 lb. of roughly
pounded loaf sugar, 1 gill of lemon-juice.
_Mode_.--Obtain a good sweet pumpkin; halve it, take out the seeds, and
pare off the rind; cut it into neat slices, or into pieces about the
size of a five-shilling piece. Weigh the pumpkin, put the slices in a
pan or deep dish in layers, with the sugar sprinkled between them; pour
the lemon-juice over the top, and let the whole remain for 2 or 3 days.
Boil altogether, adding 1/4 pint of water to every 3 lbs. of sugar used
until the pumpkin becomes tender; then turn the whole into a pan, where
let it remain for a week; then drain off the syrup, boil it until it is
quite thick; skim, and pour it, boiling, over the pumpkin. A little
bruised ginger and lemon-rind, thinly pared, may be boiled in the syrup
to flavour the pumpkin.
_Time_.--From 1/2 to 3/4 hour to boil the pumpkin tender.
_Average cost_, 5d. to 7d. per lb. pot.
_Seasonable_ in September and October; but better when made in the
latter month, as the pumpkin is then quite ripe.
_Note_.--Vegetable marrows are very good prepared in the same manner,
but are not quite so rich.
1585. INGREDIENTS.--To every pint of juice allow 1 lb. of loaf sugar.
_Mode_.--Pare and slice the quinces, and put them into a preserving-pan
with sufficient water to float them. Boil them until tender, and the
fruit is reduced to a pulp; strain off the clear juice, and to each pint
allow the above proportion of loaf sugar. Boil the juice and sugar
together for about 3/4 hour; remove all the scum as it rises, and, when
the jelly appears firm when a little is poured on a plate, it is done.
The residue left on the sieve will answer to make a common marmalade,
for immediate use, by boiling it with 1/2 lb. of common sugar to every
lb. of pulp.
_Time_.--3 hours to boil the quinces in water; 3/4 hour to boil the
_Average cost_, from 8d. to 10d. per lb. pot.
_Seasonable_ from August to October.
1586. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of quince pulp allow 3/4 lb. of loaf
_Mode_.--Slice the quinces into a preserving-pan, adding sufficient
water for them to float; place them on the fire to stew, until reduced
to a pulp, keeping them stirred occasionally from the bottom, to prevent
their burning; then pass the pulp through a hair sieve, to keep back the
skin and seeds. Weigh the pulp, and to each lb. add lump sugar in the
above proportion, broken very small. Place the whole on the fire, and
keep it well stirred from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon,
until reduced to a marmalade, which may be known by dropping a little on
a cold plate, when, if it jellies, it is done. Put it into jars whilst
hot; let it cool, and cover with pieces of oiled paper cut to the size
of the mouths of the jars. The tops of them may be afterwards covered
with pieces of bladder, or tissue-paper brushed over on both sides with
the white of an egg.
_Time_.--3 hours to boil the quinces without the sugar; 3/4 hour to boil
the pulp with the sugar.
_Average cost_, from 8d. to 9d. per lb. pot.
_Sufficient_.--Allow 1 pint of sliced quinces for a lb. pot.
_Seasonable_ in August, September, and October.
1587. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of raisins allow a lb. of loaf sugar;
pounded cinnamon and cloves to taste.
_Mode_.--Stone the raisins; put them into a stewpan with the sugar,
cinnamon, and cloves, and let them boil for 1-1/2 hour, stirring all the
time. Let the preparation cool a little, pour it into a glass dish, and
garnish with strips of candied lemon-peel and citron. This will remain
good some time, if kept in a dry place.
_Time_.--1-1/2 hour. _Average cost_, 9d. _Sufficient_.--1 lb. for 4 or 5
persons. _Seasonable_ at any time.
1588. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of raspberries allow 1 lb. of sugar,
1/4 pint of red-currant juice.
_Mode_.--Let the fruit for this preserve be gathered in fine weather,
and used as soon after it is picked as possible. Take off the stalks,
put the raspberries into a preserving-pan, break them well with a wooden
spoon, and let them boil for 1/4 hour, keeping them well stirred. Then
add the currant-juice and sugar, and boil again for 1/2 hour. Skim the
jam well after the sugar is added, or the preserve will not be clear.
The addition of the currant juice is a very great improvement to this
preserve, as it gives it a piquant taste, which the flavour of the
raspberries seems to require.
_Time_.--1/4 hour to simmer the fruit without the sugar; 1/4 hour after
it is added.
_Average cost_, from 6d. to 8d. per lb. pot.
_Sufficient_.--Allow about 1 pint of fruit to fill a 1-lb. pot.
_Seasonable_ in July and August.
1589. INGREDIENTS.--To each pint of juice allow 3/4 lb. of loaf sugar.
_Mode_.--Let the raspberries be freshly gathered, quite ripe, and picked
from the stalks; put them into a large jar, after breaking the fruit a
little with a wooden spoon, and place this jar, covered, in a saucepan
of boiling water. When the juice is well drawn, which will be in from
3/4 to 1 hour, strain the fruit through a fine hair sieve or cloth;
measure the juice, and to every pint allow the above proportion of loaf
sugar. Put the juice and sugar into a preserving-pan, place it over the
fire, and boil gently until the jelly thickens when a little is poured
on a plate; carefully remove all the scum as it rises, pour the jelly
into small pots, cover down, and keep in a dry place. This jelly answers
for making raspberry cream, and for flavouring various sweet dishes,
when, in winter, the fresh fruit is not obtainable.
_Time_.--3/4 to 1 hour to draw the juice.
_Average cost_, from 9d. to 1s. per lb. pot.
_Sufficient._--From 3 pints to 2 quarts of fruit should yield 1 pint of
_Seasonable_.--This should be made in July or August.
1590. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of rhubarb allow 1 lb. of loaf sugar,
the rind of 1/2 lemon.
_Mode_.--Wipe the rhubarb perfectly dry, take off the string or peel,
and weigh it; put it into a preserving-pan, with sugar in the above
proportion; mince the lemon-rind very finely, add it to the other
ingredients, and place the preserving-pan by the side of the fire; keep
stirring to prevent the rhubarb from burning, and when the sugar is well
dissolved, put the pan more over the fire, and let the jam boil until it
is done, taking care to keep it well skimmed and stirred with a wooden
or silver spoon. Pour it into pots, and cover down with oiled and egged
_Time_.--If the rhubarb is young and tender, 3/4 hour, reckoning from
the time it simmers equally; old rhubarb, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hour.
_Average cost_, 5d. to 7d. per lb. pot.
_Sufficient_.--About 1 pint of sliced rhubarb to fill a lb. pot.
_Seasonable_ from February to April.
RHUBARB AND ORANGE JAM, to resemble Scotch Marmalade.
1591. INGREDIENTS.--1 quart of finely-cut rhubarb, 6 oranges, 1-1/2 lb.
of loaf sugar.
_Mode_.--Peel the oranges; remove as much of the white pith as possible,
divide them, and take out the pips; slice the pulp into a
preserving-pan, add the rind of half the oranges cut into thin strips,
and the loaf sugar, which should be broken small. Peel the rhubarb, cut
it into thin pieces, put it to the oranges, and stir altogether over a
gentle fire until the jam is done. Remove all the scum as it rises, put
the preserve into pots, and, when cold, cover down. Should the rhubarb
be very old, stew it alone for 1/4 hour before the other ingredients are
_Time_.--3/4 to 1 hour. _Average cost_, from 6d. to 8d. per lb. pot.
_Seasonable_ from February to April.
RASPBERRY AND CURRANT, or any Fresh Fruit Salad.
(_A Dessert Dish_.)
1592. _Mode_.--Fruit salads are made by stripping the fruit from the
stalks, piling it on a dish, and sprinkling over it finely-pounded
sugar. They may be made of strawberries, raspberries, currants, or any
of these fruits mixed; peaches also make a very good salad. After the
sugar is sprinkled over, about 6 large tablespoonfuls of wine or brandy,
or 3 tablespoonfuls of liqueur, should be poured in the middle of the
fruit; and, when the flavour is liked, a little pounded cinnamon may be
added. In helping the fruit, it should be lightly stirred, that the wine
and sugar may be equally distributed.
_Sufficient._--1-1/2 pint of fruit, with 3 oz. of pounded sugar, for 4
or 5 persons.
_Seasonable_ in summer.
STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM.
1593. INGREDIENTS.--To every pint of picked strawberries allow 1/3 pint
of cream, 2 oz. of finely-pounded sugar.
_Mode_.--Pick the stalks from the fruit, place it on a glass dish,
sprinkle over it pounded sugar, and slightly stir the strawberries, that
they may all be equally sweetened; pour the cream over the top, and
serve. Devonshire cream, when it can be obtained, is exceedingly
delicious for this dish; and, if very thick indeed, may be diluted with
a little thin cream or milk.
_Average cost_ for this quantity, with cream at 1s. per pint, 1s.
_Sufficient_ for 2 persons.
_Seasonable_ in June and July.
1594. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of fruit allow 1/2 pint of red-currant
juice, 1-1/4 lb. of loaf sugar.
_Mode_.--Strip the currants from the stalks, put them into a jar; place
this jar in a saucepan of boiling water, and simmer until the juice is
well drawn from the fruit; strain the currants, measure the juice, put
it into a preserving-pan, and add the sugar. Select well-ripened but
sound strawberries; pick them from the stalks, and when the sugar is
dissolved in the currant juice, put in the fruit. Simmer the whole over
a moderate fire, from 1/2 to 3/4 hour, carefully removing the scum as it
rises. Stir the jam only enough to prevent it from burning at the bottom
of the pan, as the fruit should be preserved as whole as possible. Put
the jam into jars, and when cold, cover down.
_Time_.--1/2 to 3/4 hour, reckoning from the time the jam simmers all
_Average cost_, from 7d. to 8d. per lb. pot.
_Sufficient._--12 pints of strawberries will make 12 lb. pots of jam.
_Seasonable_ in June and July.
PRESERVED STRAWBERRIES IN WINE.
1595. INGREDIENTS.--To every quart bottle allow 1/4 lb. of
finely-pounded loaf sugar; sherry or Madeira.
_Mode_.--Let the fruit be gathered in fine weather, and used as soon as
picked. Have ready some perfectly dry glass bottles, and some nice soft
corks or bungs. Pick the stalks from the strawberries, drop them into
the bottles, sprinkling amongst them pounded sugar in the above
proportion, and when the fruit reaches to the neck of the bottle, fill
up with sherry or Madeira. Cork the bottles down with new corks, and dip
them into melted resin.
_Seasonable_.--Make this in June or July.
TO PRESERVE STRAWBERRIES WHOLE.
1596. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of fruit allow 1-1/2 lb. of good loaf
sugar, 1 pint of red-currant juice.
_Mode_.--Choose the strawberries not too ripe, of a fine large sort and
of a good colour. Pick off the stalks, lay the strawberries in a dish,
and sprinkle over them half the quantity of sugar, which must be finely
pounded. Shake the dish gently, that the sugar may be equally
distributed and touch the under-side of the fruit, and let it remain for
1 day. Then have ready the currant-juice, drawn as for red-currant jelly
No. 1533; boil it with the remainder of the sugar until it forms a thin
syrup, and in this simmer the strawberries and sugar, until the whole is
sufficiently jellied. Great care must be taken not to stir the fruit
roughly, as it should be preserved as whole as possible. Strawberries
prepared in this manner are very good served in glasses and mixed with
_Time_.--1/4 hour to 20 minutes to simmer the strawberries in the syrup.
_Seasonable_ in June and July.
TO MAKE EVERTON TOFFEE.
1597. INGREDIENTS.--1 lb. of powdered loaf sugar, 1 teacupful of water,
1/4 lb. of butter, 6 drops of essence of lemon.
_Mode_.--Put the water and sugar into a brass pan, and beat the butter
to a cream. When the sugar is dissolved, add the butter, and keep
stirring the mixture over the fire until it sets, when a little is
poured on to a buttered dish; and just before the toffee is done, add
the essence of lemon. Butter a dish or tin, pour on it the mixture, and
when cool, it will easily separate from the dish. Butter-Scotch, an
excellent thing for coughs, is made with brown, instead of white sugar,
omitting the water, and flavoured with 1/2 oz. of powdered ginger. It is
made in the same manner as toffee.
_Time_.--18 to 35 minutes.
_Average cost_, 10d.
_Sufficient_ to make a lb. of toffee.
[Illustration: DISH OF NUTS.]
[Illustration: BOX OF FRENCH PLUMS.]
[Illustration: DISH OF MIXED FRUIT.]
1598. The tazza, or dish with stem, the same as that shown in our
illustrations, is now the favourite shape for dessert-dishes. The fruit
can be arranged and shown to better advantage on these tall high dishes
than on the short flat ones. All the dishes are now usually placed down
the centre of the table, dried and fresh fruit alternately, the former
being arranged on small round or oval glass plates, and the latter on
the dishes with stems. The fruit should always be gathered on the same
day that it is required for table, and should be tastefully arranged on
the dishes, with leaves between and round it. By purchasing fruits that
are in season, a dessert can be supplied at a very moderate cost. These,
with a few fancy biscuits, crystallized fruit, bon-bons, &c., are
sufficient for an ordinary dessert. When fresh fruit cannot be obtained,
dried and foreign fruits, compotes, baked pears, stewed Normandy
pippins, &c. &c., must supply its place, with the addition of preserves,
bon-bons, cakes, biscuits, &c. At fashionable tables, forced fruit is
served growing in pots, these pots being hidden in more ornamental ones,
and arranged with the other dishes.--(See coloured plate W1.) A few
vases of fresh flowers, tastefully arranged, add very much to the
appearance of the dessert; and, when these are not obtainable, a few
paper ones, mixed with green leaves, answer very well as a substitute.
In decorating a table, whether for luncheon, dessert, or supper, a vase
or two of flowers should never be forgotten, as they add so much to the
elegance of the _tout ensemble_. In summer and autumn, ladies residing
in the country can always manage to have a few freshly-gathered flowers
on their tables, and should never be without this inexpensive luxury. On
the continent, vases or epergnes filled with flowers are invariably
placed down the centre of the dinner-table at regular distances. Ices
for dessert are usually moulded: when this is not the case, they are
handed round in glasses with wafers to accompany them. Preserved ginger
is frequently handed round after ices, to prepare the palate for the
delicious dessert wines. A basin or glass of finely-pounded lump sugar
must never be omitted at a dessert, as also a glass jug of fresh cold
water (iced, if possible), and two goblets by its side. Grape-scissors,
a melon-knife and fork, and nutcrackers, should always be put on table,
if there are dishes of fruit requiring them. Zests are sometimes served
at the close of the dessert; such as anchovy toasts or biscuits. The
French often serve plain or grated cheese with a dessert of fresh or
dried fruit. At some tables, finger-glasses are placed at the right of
each person, nearly half filled with cold spring water, and in winter
with tepid water. These precede the dessert. At other tables, a glass or
vase is simply handed round, filled with perfumed water, into which each
guest dips the corner of his napkin, and, when needful, refreshes his
lips and the tips of his fingers.
[Illustration: BOX OF CHOCOLATE.]
[Illustration: DISH OF APPLES.]
[Illustration: ALMONDS AND RAISINS.]
[Illustration: DISH OF STRAWBERRIES.]
After the dishes are placed, and every one is provided with plates,
glasses, spoons, &c., the wine should be put at each end of the table,
cooled or otherwise, according to the season. If the party be small, the
wine may be placed only at the top of the table, near the host.
DISH OF NUTS.
1599. These are merely arranged piled high in the centre of the dish, as
shown in the engraving, with or without leaves round the edge. Filberts
should always be served with the outer skin or husk on them; and walnuts
should be well wiped with a damp cloth, and then--with a dry one, to
remove the unpleasant sticky feeling the shells frequently have.
_Seasonable_.--Filberts from September to March, good; may be had after
that time, but are generally shrivelled and dry. Walnuts from September
HAZEL NUT AND FILBERT.--The common Hazel is the wild, and the
Filbert the cultivated state of the same tree. The hazel is
found wild, not only in forests and hedges, in dingles and
ravines, but occurs in extensive tracts in the more northern and
mountainous parts of the country. It was formerly one of the
most abundant of those trees which are indigenous in this
island. It is seldom cultivated as a fruit-tree, though perhaps
its nuts are superior in flavour to the others. The Spanish nuts
imported are a superior kind, but they are somewhat oily and
rather indigestible. Filberts, both the red and the white, and
the cob-nut, are supposed to be merely varieties of the common
hazel, which have been produced, partly by the superiority of
soil and climate, and partly by culture. They were originally
brought out of Greece to Italy, whence they have found their way
to Holland, and from that country to England. It is supposed
that, within a few miles of Maidstone, in Kent, there are more
filberts grown than in all England besides; and it is from that
place that the London market is supplied. The filbert is longer
than the common nut, though of the same thickness, and has a
larger kernel. The cob-nut is a still larger variety, and is
roundish. Filberts are more esteemed at the dessert than common
nuts, and are generally eaten with salt. They are very free from
oil, and disagree with few persons.
WALNUTS.--The Walnut is a native of Persia, the Caucasus, and
China, but was introduced to this kingdom from France. The ripe
kernel is brought to the dessert on account of its agreeable
flavour; and the fruit is also much used in the green state, but
before the stone hardens, as a pickle. In Spain, grated walnuts
are employed in tarts and other dishes. The Walnut abounds in
oil which is expressed and which, being of a highly drying
nature, and very limpid, is much employed for delicate painting.
This, on the continent, is sometimes used as a substitute for
olive-oil in cooking, but is very apt to turn rancid. It is also
manufactured into a kind of soap. The mare, or refuse matter
after the oil is extracted, proves very nutritious for poultry
or other domestic animals. In Switzerland, this is eaten by poor
people under the name of _pain amer._
BOX OF FRENCH PLUMS.
1600. If the box which contains them is exceedingly ornamental, it may
be placed on the table; if small, on a glass dish; if large, without
one, French plums may also be arranged on a glass plate, and garnished
with bright-coloured sweetmeats, which make a very good effect. All
fancy boxes of preserved and crystallized fruit may be put on the table
or not, at pleasure. These little matters of detail must, of course, be
left to individual taste.
_Seasonable_.--May be purchased all the year; but are in greater
perfection in the winter, and are more suitable for that season, as
fresh fruit cannot be obtained.
DISH OF MIXED FRUIT.
1601. For a centre dish, a mixture of various fresh fruits has a
remarkably good effect, particularly if a pine be added to the list. A
high raised appearance should be given to the fruit, which is done in
the following manner. Place a tumbler in the centre of the dish, and, in
this tumbler, the pine, crown uppermost; round the tumbler put a thick
layer of moss, and, over this, apples, pears, plums, peaches, and such
fruit as is simultaneously in season. By putting a layer of moss
underneath, so much fruit is not required, besides giving a better shape
to the dish. Grapes should be placed on the top of the fruit, a portion
of some of the bunches hanging over the sides of the dish in a neglige
kind of manner, which takes off the formal look of the dish. In
arranging the plums, apples, &c., let the colours contrast well.
_Seasonable_.--Suitable for a dessert in September or October.
GRAPES.--France produces about a thousand varieties of the
grape, which is cultivated more extensively in that country than
in any other. Hygienists agree in pronouncing grapes as among
the best of fruits. The grape possesses several rare qualities:
it is nourishing and fattening, and its prolonged use has often
overcome the most obstinate cases of constipation. The skins and
pips of grapes should not be eaten.
BOX OF CHOCOLATE.
1602. This is served in an ornamental box, placed on a glass plate or
_Seasonable_.--May be purchased at any time.
DISH OF APPLES.
1603. The apples should be nicely wiped with a dry cloth, and arranged
on a dish, piled high in the centre, with evergreen leaves between each
layer. The inferior apples should form the bottom layer, with the
bright-coloured large ones at the top. The leaves of the laurel, bay,
holly, or any shrub green in winter, are suitable for garnishing dessert
dishes. Oranges may be arranged in the same manner; they should also be
wiped with a dry cloth before being sent to table.
DISH OF MIXED SUMMER FRUIT.
1604. This dish consists of cherries, raspberries, currants, and
strawberries, piled in different layers, with plenty of leaves between
each layer; so that each fruit is well separated. The fruit should be
arranged with a due regard to colour, so that they contrast nicely one
with the other. Our engraving shows a layer of white cherries at the
bottom, then one of red raspberries; over that a layer of white
currants, and at the top some fine scarlet strawberries.
_Seasonable_ in June, July, and August.
ALMONDS AND RAISINS.
1605. These are usually served on glass dishes, the fruit piled high in
the centre, and the almonds blanched, and strewn over. To blanch the
almonds, put them into a small mug or teacup, pour over them boiling
water, let them remain for 2 or 3 minutes, and the skins may then be
easily removed. Figs, dates, French plums, &c., are all served on small
glass plates or oval dishes, but without the almonds.
_Seasonable_ at any time, but more suitable in winter, when fresh fruit
is not obtainable.
DATES.--Dates are imported into Britain, in a dried state, from
Barbary and Egypt, and, when in good condition, they are much
esteemed. An inferior kind has lately become common, which are
dried hard, and have little or no flavour. They should be chosen
large, softish, not much wrinkled, of a reddish-yellow colour on
the outside, with a whitish membrane between the fruit and the
DISH OF STRAWBERRIES.
1606. Fine strawberries, arranged in the manner shown in the engraving,
look exceedingly well. The inferior ones should be placed at the bottom
of the dish, and the others put in rows pyramidically, with the stalks
downwards; so that when the whole is completed, nothing but the red part
of the fruit is visible. The fruit should be gathered with rather long
stalks, as there is then something to support it, and it can be placed
more upright in each layer. A few of the finest should be reserved to
crown the top.
TO HAVE WALNUTS FRESH THROUGHOUT THE SEASON.
1607. INGREDIENTS.--To every pint of water allow 1 teaspoonful of salt.
_Mode_.--Place the walnuts in the salt and water for 24 hours at least;
then take them out, and rub them dry. Old nuts may be freshened in this
manner; or walnuts, when first picked, may be put into an earthen pan
with salt sprinkled amongst them, and with damped hay placed on the top
of them, and then covered down with a lid. They must be well wiped
before they are put on table.
_Seasonable_.--Should be stored away in September or October.
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON MILK, BUTTER, CHEESE, AND EGGS.
1608. Milk is obtained only from the class of animals called Mammalia,
and is intended by Nature for the nourishment of their young. The milk
of each animal is distinguished by some peculiarities; but as that of
the cow is by far the most useful to us in this part of the world, our
observations will be confined to that variety.
1609. Milk, when drawn from the cow, is of a yellowish-white colour, and
is the most yellow at the beginning of the period of lactation. Its
taste is agreeable, and rather saccharine. The viscidity and specific
gravity of milk are somewhat greater than that of water; but these
properties vary somewhat in the milk procured from different
individuals. On an average, the specific gravity of milk is 1.035, water
being 1. The small cows of the Alderney breed afford the richest milk.
1610. Milk which is carried to a considerable distance, so as to be much
agitated, and cooled before it is put into pans to settle for cream,
never throws up so much, nor such rich cream, as if the same milk had
been put into pans directly after it was milked.
1611. Milk, considered as an aliment, is of such importance in domestic
economy as to render all the improvements in its production extremely
valuable. To enlarge upon the antiquity of its use is unnecessary; it
has always been a favourite food in Britain. "Lacte et carno vivunt,"
says Caesar, in his Commentaries; the English of which is, "the
inhabitants subsist upon flesh and milk." The breed of the cow has
received great improvement in modern times, as regards the quantity and
quality of the milk which she affords; the form of milch-cows, their
mode of nourishment, and progress, are also manifest in the management
of the dairy.
1612. Although milk in its natural state be a fluid, yet, considered as
an aliment, it is both solid and fluid: for no sooner does it enter the
stomach, than it is coagulated by the gastric juice, and separated into
curd and whey, the first of these being extremely nutritive.
1613. Milk of the _human subject_ is much thinner than cow's milk;
_Ass's milk_ comes the nearest to human milk of any other; _Goat's milk_
is something thicker and richer than cow's milk; _Ewe's milk_ has the
appearance of cow's milk, and affords a larger quantity of cream;
_Mare's milk_ contains more sugar than that of the ewe; _Camel's milk_
is used only in Africa; _Buffalo's milk_ is employed in India.
1614. From no other substance, solid or fluid, can so great a number of
distinct kinds of aliment be prepared as from milk; some forming food,
others drink; some of them delicious, and deserving the name of
luxuries; all of them wholesome, and some medicinal: indeed, the variety
of aliments that seems capable of being produced from milk, appears to
be quite endless. In every age this must have been a subject for
experiment, and every nation has added to the number by the invention of
some peculiarity of its own.
1615. BECKMAN, in his "History of Inventions," states that butter was
not used either by the Greeks or Romans in cooking, nor was it brought
upon their tables at certain meals, as is the custom at present. In
England it has been made from time immemorial, though the art of making
cheese is said not to have been known to the ancient Britons, and to
have been learned from their conquerors.
1616. The taste of butter is peculiar, and very unlike any other fatty
substance. It is extremely agreeable when of the best quality; but its
flavour depends much upon the food given to the cows: to be good, it
should not adhere to the knife.
1617. Butter, with regard to its dietetic properties, may be regarded
nearly in the light of vegetable oils and animal fats; but it becomes
sooner rancid than most other fat oils. When fresh, it cannot but be
considered as very wholesome; but it should be quite free from
rancidity. If slightly salted when it is fresh, its wholesomeness is
probably not at all impaired; but should it begin to turn rancid,
salting will not correct its unwholesomeness. When salt butter is put
into casks, the upper part next the air is very apt to become rancid,
and this rancidity is also liable to affect the whole cask.
1618. _Epping butter_ is the kind most esteemed in London. _Fresh
butter_ comes to London from Buckinghamshire, Suffolk, Oxfordshire,
Yorkshire, Devonshire, &c. _Cambridge butter_ is esteemed next to fresh;
_Devonshire butter_ is nearly similar in quality to the latter; _Irish
butter_ sold in London is all salted, but is generally good. The number
of firkins exported annually from Ireland amounts to 420,000, equal to a
million of money. _Dutch butter_ is in good repute all over Europe,
America, and even India; and no country in the world is so successful in
the manufacture of this article, Holland supplying more butter to the
rest of the world than any country whatever.
1619. There are two methods pursued in the manufacture of butter. In
one, the cream is separated from the milk, and in that state it is
converted into butter by churning, as is the practice about Epping; in
the other, milk is subjected to the same process, which is the method
usually followed in Cheshire. The first method is generally said to give
the richest butter, and the latter the largest quantity, though some are
of opinion that there is little difference either in quality or
1620. CHEESE is the curd formed from milk by artificial coagulation,
pressed and dried for use. Curd, called also casein and caseous matter,
or the basis of cheese, exists in the milk, and not in the cream, and
requires only to be separated by coagulation. The coagulation, however,
supposes some alteration of the curd. By means of the substance employed
to coagulate it, it is rendered insoluble in water. When the curd is
freed from the whey, kneaded and pressed to expel it entirely, it
becomes cheese. This assumes a degree of transparency, and possesses
many of the properties of coagulated albumen. If it be well dried, it
does not change by exposure to the air; but if it contain moisture, it
soon putrefies. It therefore requires some salt to preserve it, and this
acts likewise as a kind of seasoning. All our cheese is coloured more or
less, except that made from skim milk. The colouring substances employed
are arnatto, turmeric, or marigold, all perfectly harmless unless they
are adulterated; and it is said that arnatto sometimes contains red
1621. Cheese varies in quality and richness according to the materials
of which it is composed. It is made--1. Of entire milk, as in Cheshire;
2. of milk and cream, as at Stilton; 3. of new milk mixed with skimmed
milk, as in Gloucestershire; 4. of skimmed milk only, as in Suffolk,
Holland, and Italy.
1622. The principal varieties of cheese used in England are the
following:--_Cheshire cheese_, famed all over Europe for its rich
quality and fine piquant flavour. It is made of entire new milk, the
cream not being taken off. _Gloucester cheese_ is much milder in its
taste than the Cheshire. There are two kinds of Gloucester
cheese,--single and double. _Single Gloucester_ is made of skimmed milk,
or of the milk deprived of half the cream; _Double Gloucester_ is a
cheese that pleases almost every palate: it is made of the whole milk
and cream. _Stilton cheese_ is made by adding the cream of one day to
the entire milk of the next: it was first made at Stilton, in
Leicestershire. _Sage cheese_ is so called from the practice of
colouring some curd with bruised sage, marigold-leaves, and parsley, and
mixing this with some uncoloured curd. With the Romans, and during the
middle ages, this practice was extensively adopted. _Cheddar cheese_
much resembles Parmesan. It has a very agreeable taste and flavour, and
has a spongy appearance. _Brickbat cheese_ has nothing remarkable except
its form. It is made by turning with rennet a mixture of cream and new
milk. The curd is put into a wooden vessel the shape of a brick, and is
then pressed and dried in the usual way. _Dunlop cheese_ has a
peculiarly mild and rich taste: the best is made entirely from new milk.
_New cheese_ (as it is called in London) is made chiefly in
Lincolnshire, and is either made of all cream, or, like Stilton. by
adding the cream of one day's milking to the milk that comes immediately
from the cow: they are extremely thin, and are compressed gently two or
three times, turned for a few days, and then eaten new with radishes,
salad, &c. _Skimmed Milk cheese_ is made for sea voyages principally.
_Parmesan cheese_ is made in Parma and Piacenza. It is the most
celebrated of all cheese: it is made entirely of skimmed cow's milk. The
high flavour which it has, is supposed to be owing to the rich herbage
of the meadows of the Po, where the cows are pastured. The best Parmesan
is kept for three or four years, and none is carried to market till it
is at least six months old. _Dutch cheese_ derives its peculiar pungent
taste from the practice adopted in Holland of coagulating the milk with
muriatic acid instead of rennet. _Swiss cheeses_ in their several
varieties are all remarkable for their fine flavour. That from
_Gruyere_, a bailiwick in the canton of Fribourg, is best known in
England. It is flavoured by the dried herb of _Melilotos officinalis_ in
powder. Cheese from milk and potatoes is manufactured in Thuringia and
Saxony. _Cream cheese_, although so called, is not properly cheese, but
is nothing more than cream dried sufficiently to be cut with a knife.
1623. There is only one opinion as to the nutritive properties of eggs,
although the qualities of those belonging to different birds vary
somewhat. Those of the common hen are most esteemed as delicate food,
particularly when "new-laid." The quality of eggs depends much upon the
food given to the hen. Eggs in general are considered most easily
digestible when little subjected to the art of cookery. The lightest way
of dressing them is by poaching, which is effected by putting them for a
minute or two into brisk boiling water: this coagulates the external
white, without doing the inner part too much. Eggs are much better when
new-laid than a day or two afterwards. The usual time allotted for
boiling eggs in the shell is 3 to 3-3/4 minutes: less time than that in
boiling water will not be sufficient to solidify the white, and more
will make the yolk hard and less digestible: it is very difficult to
_guess_ accurately as to the time. Great care should be employed in
putting them into the water, to prevent cracking the shell, which
inevitably causes a portion of the white to exude, and lets water into
the egg. Eggs are often beaten up raw in nutritive beverages.
1624. Eggs are employed in a very great many articles of cookery,
entrees, and entremets, and they form an essential ingredient in pastry,
creams, flip, &c. It is particularly necessary that they should be quite
fresh, as nothing is worse than stale eggs. Cobbett justly says, stale,
or even preserved eggs, are things to be run from, not after.
1625. The Metropolis is supplied with eggs from all parts of the
kingdom, and they are likewise largely imported from various places on
the continent; as France, Holland, Belgium, Guernsey, and Jersey. It
appears from official statements mentioned in McCulloch's "Commercial
Dictionary," that the number imported from France alone amounts to about
60,000,000 a year; and supposing them on an average to cost fourpence a
dozen, it follows that we pay our continental neighbours above L83,000 a
year for eggs.
1626. The eggs of different birds vary much in size and colour. Those of
the ostrich are the largest: one laid in the menagerie in Paris weighed
2 lbs. 14 oz., held a pint, and was six inches deep: this is about the
usual size of those brought from Africa. Travellers describe _ostrich
eggs_ as of an agreeable taste: they keep longer than hen's eggs.
Drinking-cups are often made of the shell, which is very strong. The
eggs of the _turkey_ are almost as mild as those of the hen; the egg of
the _goose_ is large, but well-tasted. _Duck's eggs_ have a rich
flavour; the albumen is slightly transparent, or bluish, when set or
coagulated by boiling, which requires less time than hen's eggs.
_Guinea-fowl eggs_ are smaller and more delicate than those of the hen.
Eggs of _wild fowl_ are generally coloured, often spotted; and the taste
generally partakes somewhat of the flavour of the bird they belong to.
Those of land birds that are eaten, as the _plover, lapwing, ruff_, &c.,
are in general much esteemed; but those of _sea-fowl_ have, more or
less, a strong fishy taste. The eggs of the _turtle_ are very numerous:
they consist of yolk only, without shell, and are delicious.
SEPARATION OF MILK AND CREAM.
1627. If it be desired that the milk should be freed entirely from
cream, it should be poured into a very shallow broad pan or dish, not
more than 1-1/2 inch deep, as cream cannot rise through a great depth of
milk. In cold and wet weather, milk is not so rich as it is in summer
and warm weather, and the morning's milk is always richer than the
evening's. The last-drawn milk of each milking, at all times and
seasons, is richer than the first-drawn, and on that account should be
set apart for cream. Milk should be shaken as little as possible when
carried from the cow to the dairy, and should be poured into the pans
very gently. Persons not keeping cows, may always have a little cream,
provided the milk they purchase be pure and unadulterated. As soon as it
comes in, it should be poured into very shallow open pie-dishes, and set
by in a very cool place, and in 7 or 8 hours a nice cream should have
risen to the surface.
MILK is one of the most complete of all articles of food: that
is to say, it contains a very large number of the elements which
enter into the composition of the human body. It "disagrees"
with fat, heavy, languid people, of slow circulation; and, at
first, with many people of sedentary habits, and stomachs
weakened by stimulants of different kinds. But, if exercise can
be taken and a little patience shown, while the system
accommodates itself to a new regimen, this bland and soothing
article of diet is excellent for the majority of thin, nervous
people; especially for those who have suffered much from
emotional disturbances, or have relaxed their stomachs by too
much tea or coffee, taken too hot. Milk is, in fact, a nutrient
and a sedative at once. Stomachs, however, have their
idiosyncrasies, and it sometimes proves an unwelcome and
ill-digested article of food. As milk, when good, contains a
good deal of respiratory material (fat),--material which _must_
either be burnt off, or derange the liver, and be rejected in
other ways, it may disagree because the lungs are not
sufficiently used in the open air. But it is very probable that
there are really "constitutions" which cannot take to it; and
_they_ should not be forced.
TO KEEP MILK AND CREAM IN HOT WEATHER.
1628. When the weather is very warm, and it is very difficult to prevent
milk from turning sour and spoiling the cream, it should be scalded, and
it will then remain good for a few hours. It must on no account be
allowed to boil, or there will be a skin instead of a cream upon the
milk; and the slower the process, the safer will it be. A very good plan
to scald milk, is to put the pan that contains it into a saucepan or
wide kettle of boiling water. When the surface looks thick, the milk is
sufficiently scalded, and it should then be put away in a cool place in
the same vessel that it was scalded in. Cream may be kept for 24 hours,
if scalded without sugar; and by the addition of the latter ingredient,
it will remain good double the time, if kept in a cool place. All pans,
jugs, and vessels intended for milk, should be kept beautifully clean,
and well scalded before the milk is put in, as any negligence in this
respect may cause large quantities of it to be spoiled; and milk should
never be kept in vessels of zinc or copper. Milk may be preserved good
in hot weather, for a few hours, by placing the jug which contains it in
ice, or very cold water; or a pinch of bicarbonate of soda may be
introduced into the liquid.
MILK, when of good quality, is of an opaque white colour: the
cream always comes to the top; the well-known milky odour is
strong; it will boil without altering its appearance, in these
respects; the little bladders which arise on the surface will
renew themselves if broken by the spoon. To boil milk is, in
fact, the simplest way of testing its quality. The commonest
adulterations of milk are not of a hurtful character. It is a
good deal thinned with water, and sometimes thickened with a
little starch, or colored with yolk of egg, or even saffron; but
these processes have nothing murderous in them.
CURDS AND WHEY.
1629. INGREDIENTS.--A very small piece of rennet, 1/2 gallon of milk.
_Mode_.--Procure from the butcher's a small piece of rennet, which is
the stomach of the calf, taken as soon as it is killed, scoured, and
well rubbed with salt, and stretched on sticks to dry. Pour some boiling
water on the rennet, and let it remain for 6 hours; then use the liquor
to turn the milk. The milk should be warm and fresh from the cow: if
allowed to cool, it must be heated till it is of a degree quite equal to
new milk; but do not let it be too hot. About a tablespoonful or rather
more, would be sufficient to turn the above proportion of milk into
curds and whey; and whilst the milk is turning, let it be kept in rather
a warm place.
_Time_.--From 2 to 3 hours to turn the milk.
_Seasonable_ at any time.
1630. The milk should stand 24 hours in the winter, half that time when
the weather is very warm. The milkpan is then set on a stove, and should
there remain until the milk is quite hot; but it must not boil, or there
will be a thick skin on the surface. When it is sufficiently done, the
undulations on the surface look thick, and small rings appear. The time
required for scalding cream depends on the size of the pan and the heat
of the fire; but the slower it is done, the better. The pan should be
placed in the dairy when the cream is sufficiently scalded, and skimmed
the following day. This cream is so much esteemed that it is sent to the
London markets in small square tins, and is exceedingly delicious eaten
with fresh fruit. In Devonshire, butter is made from this cream, and is
usually very firm.
1631. INGREDIENTS.--To every pint of new milk allow 2 dessertspoonfuls
of brandy, 1 dessertspoonful of sugar, and 1-1/2 dessertspoonful of
prepared rennet; thick cream, pounded cinnamon, or grated nutmeg.
_Mode_.--Make the milk blood-warm; put it into a deep dish with the
brandy, sugar, and rennet; stir it altogether, and cover it over until
it is set. Then spread some thick or clotted cream over the top, grate
some nutmeg, and strew some sugar over, and the dish will be ready to
_Time_.--About 2 hours to set the milk. _Seasonable_ at any time.
TO KEEP AND CHOOSE FRESH BUTTER.
1632. Fresh butter should be kept in a dark, cool place, and in as large
a mass as possible. Mould as much only as is required, as the more
surface is exposed, the more liability there will be to spoil; and the
outside very soon becomes rancid. Fresh butter should be kept covered
with white paper. For small larders, butter-coolers of red brick are now
very much used for keeping fresh butter in warm weather. These coolers
are made with a large bell-shaped cover, into the top of which a little
cold water should be poured, and in summer time very frequently changed;
and the butter must be kept covered. These coolers keep butter
remarkably firm in hot weather, and are extremely convenient for those
whose larder accommodation is limited.
In choosing fresh butter, remember it should smell deliciously, and be
of an equal colour all through: if it smells sour, it has not been
sufficiently washed from the buttermilk; and if veiny and open, it has
probably been worked with a staler or an inferior sort.
TO PRESERVE AND TO CHOOSE SALT BUTTER.
1633. In large families, where salt butter is purchased a tub at a time,
the first thing to be done is to turn the whole of the butter out, and,
with a clean knife, to scrape the outside; the tub should then be wiped
with a clean cloth, and sprinkled all round with salt, the butter
replaced, and the lid kept on to exclude the air. It is necessary to
take these precautions, as sometimes a want of proper cleanliness in the
dairymaid causes the outside of the butter to become rancid, and if the
scraping be neglected, the whole mass would soon become spoiled. To
choose salt butter, plunge a knife into it, and if, when drawn out, the
blade smells rancid or unpleasant, the butter is bad. The layers in tubs
will vary greatly, the butter being made at different times; so, to try
if the whole tub be good, the cask should be unhooped, and the butter
tried between the staves.
It is not necessary to state that butter is extracted from cream, or
from unskimmed milk, by the churn. Of course it partakes of the
qualities of the milk, and winter butter is said not to be so good as
A word of caution is necessary about _rancid_ butter. Nobody eats it on
bread, but it is sometimes used in cooking, in forms in which the
acidity can be more or less disguised. So much the worse; it is almost
poisonous, disguise it as you may. Never, under any exigency whatever,
be tempted into allowing butter with even a _soupcon_ of "turning" to
enter into the composition of any dish that appears on your table. And,
in general, the more you can do without the employment of butter that
has been subjected to the influence of heat, the better. The woman of
modern times is not a "leech;" but she might often keep the "leech" from
the door, if she would give herself the trouble to invent _innocent_
BUTTER-MOULDS, for Moulding Fresh Butter.
[Illustration: DISH OF ROLLED BUTTER.]
1634. Butter-moulds, or wooden stamps for moulding fresh butter, are
much used, and are made in a variety of forms and shapes. In using them,
let them be kept scrupulously clean, and before the butter is pressed
in, the interior should be well wetted with cold water; the butter must
then be pressed in, the mould opened, and the perfect shape taken out.
The butter may be then dished, and garnished with a wreath of parsley,
if for a cheese course; if for breakfast, put it into an ornamental
butter-dish, with a little water at the bottom, should the weather be
1635. Tie a strong cloth by two of the corners to an iron hook in the
wall; make a knot with the other two ends, so that a stick might pass
through. Put the butter into the cloth; twist it tightly over a dish,
into which the butter will fall through the knot, so forming small and
pretty little strings. The butter may then be garnished with parsley, if
to serve with a cheese course; or it may be sent to table plain for
breakfast, in an ornamental dish. Squirted butter for garnishing hams,
salads, eggs, &c., is made by forming a piece of stiff paper in the
shape of a cornet, and squeezing the butter in fine strings from the
hole at the bottom. Scooped butter is made by dipping a teaspoon or
scooper in warm water, and then scooping the butter quickly and thin. In
warm weather, it would not be necessary to heat the spoon.
BUTTER may be kept fresh for ten or twelve days by a very simple
process. Knead it well in cold water till the buttermilk is
extracted; then put it in a glazed jar, which invert in another,
putting into the latter a sufficient quantity of water to
exclude the air. Renew the water every day.
1636. INGREDIENTS.--The yolks of 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 tablespoonful of
orange-flower water, 2 tablespoonfuls of pounded sugar, 1/4 lb. of good
_Mode_.--Beat the yolks of the eggs smoothly in a mortar, with the
orange-flower water and the sugar, until the whole is reduced to a fine
paste; add the butter, and force all through an old but clean cloth by
wringing the cloth and squeezing the butter very hard. The butter will
then drop on the plate in large and small pieces, according to the holes
in the cloth. Plain butter may be done in the same manner, and is very
quickly prepared, besides having a very good effect.
BUTTER.--White-coloured butter is said not to be so good as the
yellow; but the yellow colour is often artificially produced, by
the introduction of colouring matter into the churn.
1637. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of butter allow 6 anchovies, 1 small
bunch of parsley.
_Mode_.--Wash, bone, and pound the anchovies well in a mortar; scald the
parsley, chop it, and rub through a sieve; then pound all the
ingredients together, mix well, and make the butter into pats
immediately. This makes a pretty dish, if fancifully moulded, for
breakfast or supper, and should be garnished with parsley.
_Average cost_, 1s. 8d.
_Sufficient_ to make 2 dishes, with 4 pats each.
_Seasonable_ at any time.
1638. In families where much cheese is consumed, and it is bought in
large quantities, a piece from the whole cheese should be cut, the
larger quantity spread with a thickly-buttered sheet of white paper, and
the outside occasionally wiped. To keep cheeses moist that are in daily
use, when they come from table a damp cloth should be wrapped round
them, and the cheese put into a pan with a cover to it, in a cool but
not very dry place. To ripen cheeses, and bring them forward, put them
into a damp cellar; and, to check too large a production of mites,
spirits may be poured into the parts affected. Pieces of cheese which
are too near the rind, or too dry to put on table, may be made into
Welsh rare-bits, or grated down and mixed with macaroni. Cheeses may be
preserved in a perfect state for years, by covering them with parchment
made pliable by soaking in water, or by rubbing them over with a coating
of melted fat. The cheeses selected should be free from cracks or
bruises of any kind.
CHEESE.--It is well known that some persons like cheese in a
state of decay, and even "alive." There is no accounting for
tastes, and it maybe hard to show why mould, which is
vegetation, should not be eaten as well as salad, or maggots as
well as eels. But, generally speaking, decomposing bodies are
not wholesome eating, and the line must be drawn somewhere.
[Illustration: STILTON CHEESE.]
1639. Stilton cheese, or British Parmesan, as it is sometimes called, is
generally preferred to all other cheeses by those whose authority few
will dispute. Those made in May or June are usually served at Christmas;
or, to be in prime order, should be kept from 10 to 12 months, or even
longer. An artificial ripeness in Stilton cheese is sometimes produced
by inserting a small piece of decayed Cheshire into an aperture at the
top. From 3 weeks to a month is sufficient time to ripen the cheese. An
additional flavour may also be obtained by scooping out a piece from the
top, and pouring therein port, sherry, Madeira, or old ale, and letting
the cheese absorb these for 2 or 3 weeks. But that cheese is the finest
which is ripened without any artificial aid, is the opinion of those who
are judges in these matters. In serving a Stilton cheese, the top of it
should be cut off to form a lid, and a napkin or piece of white paper,
with a frill at the top, pinned round. When the cheese goes from table,
the lid should be replaced.
MODE OF SERVING CHEESE.
1640. The usual mode of serving cheese at good tables is to cut a small
quantity of it into neat square pieces, and to put them into a glass
cheese-dish, this dish being handed round. Should the cheese crumble
much, of course this method is rather wasteful, and it may then be put
on the table in the piece, and the host may cut from it. When served
thus, the cheese must always be carefully scraped, and laid on a white
d'oyley or napkin, neatly folded. Cream cheese is often served in a
cheese course, and, sometimes, grated Parmesan: the latter should he put
into a covered glass dish. Rusks, cheese-biscuits, pats or slices of
butter, and salad, cucumber, or water-cresses, should always form part
of a cheese course.
SMOKING CHEESES.--The Romans smoked their cheeses, to give them
a sharp taste. They possessed public places expressly for this
use, and subject to police regulations which no one could evade.
A celebrated gourmand remarked that a dinner without cheese is
like a woman with one eye.
1641. INGREDIENTS.--Slices of brown bread-and-butter, thin slices of
_Mode_.--Cut from a nice fat Cheshire, or any good rich cheese, some
slices about 1/2 inch thick, and place them between some slices of brown
bread-and-butter, like sandwiches. Place them on a plate in the oven,
and, when the bread is toasted, serve on a napkin very hot and very
_Time_.--10 minutes in a brisk oven.
_Average cost_, 1-1/2d. each sandwich.
_Sufficient_.--Allow a sandwich for each person.
_Seasonable_ at any time.
CHEESE.--One of the most important products of coagulated milk
is cheese. Unfermented, or cream-cheese, when quite fresh, is
good for subjects with whom milk does not disagree; but cheese,
in its commonest shape, is only fit for sedentary people as an
after-dinner stimulant, and in very small quantity. Bread and
cheese, as a meal, is only fit for soldiers on march or
labourers in the open air, who like it because it "holds the
stomach a long time."
1642. INGREDIENTS.--1/2 lb. of butter, 1/2 lb. of flour, 1/2 lb. of
grated cheese, 1/3 teaspoonful of cayenne, 1/3 teaspoonful of salt;
_Mode_.--Rub the butter in the flour; add the grated cheese, cayenne.
and salt; and mix these ingredients well together. Moisten with
sufficient water to make the whole into a paste; roll out, and cut into
fingers about 4 inches in length. Bake them in a moderate oven a very
light colour, and serve very hot.
_Time_.--15 to 20 minutes. _Average cost_, 1s. 4d.
_Sufficient_ for 6 or 7 persons. _Seasonable_ at any time.
TO MAKE A FONDUE.
1643. INGREDIENTS.--4 eggs, the weight of 2 in Parmesan or good Cheshire
cheese, the weight of 2 in butter; pepper and salt to taste.
_Mode_.--Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs; beat the former
in a basin, and grate the cheese, or cut it into _very thin_ flakes.
Parmesan or Cheshire cheese may be used, whichever is the most
convenient, although the former is considered more suitable for this
dish; or an equal quantity of each may be used. Break the butter into
small pieces, add it to the other ingredients, with sufficient pepper
and salt to season nicely, and beat the mixture thoroughly. Well whisk
the whites of the eggs, stir them lightly in, and either bake the fondue
in a souffle-dish or small round cake-tin. Fill the dish only half full,
as the fondue should rise very much. Pin a napkin round the tin or dish,
and serve very hot and very quickly. If allowed to stand after it is
withdrawn from the oven, the beauty and lightness of this preparation
will be entirely spoiled.
_Time_.--From 15 to 20 minutes. _Average cost_, 10d.
_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons. _Seasonable_ at any time.
BRILLAT SAVARIN'S FONDUE.
(_An excellent Recipe_.)
1644. INGREDIENTS.--Eggs, cheese, butter, pepper and salt.
_Mode_.--Take the same number of eggs as there are guests; weigh the
eggs in the shell, allow a third of their weight in Gruyere cheese, and
a piece of butter one-sixth of the weight of the cheese. Break the eggs
into a basin, beat them well; add the cheese, which should be grated,
and the butter, which should be broken into small pieces. Stir these
ingredients together with a wooden spoon; put the mixture into a lined
saucepan, place it over the fire, and stir until the substance is thick
and soft. Put in a little salt, according to the age of the cheese, and
a good sprinkling of pepper, and serve the fondue on a very hot silver
or metal plate. Do not allow the fondue to remain on the fire after the
mixture is set, as, if it boils, it will be entirely spoiled. Brillat
Savarin recommends that some choice Burgundy should he handed round with
this dish. We have given this recipe exactly as he recommends it to be
made; but we have tried it with good Cheshire cheese, and found it
answer remarkably well.
_Time_.--About 4 minutes to set the mixture.
_Average cost_ for 4 persons, 10d.
_Sufficient_.--Allow 1 egg, with the other ingredients in proportion,
for one person.
_Seasonable_ at any time.
MACARONI, as usually served with the CHEESE COURSE.
1645. INGREDIENTS.--1/2 lb. of pipe macaroni, 1/4 lb. of butter, 6 oz.
of Parmesan or Cheshire cheese, pepper and salt to taste, 1 pint of
milk, 2 pints of water, bread crumbs.
_Mode_.--Put the milk and water into a saucepan with sufficient salt to
flavour it; place it on the fire, and, when it boils quickly, drop in
the macaroni. Keep the water boiling until it is quite tender; drain the
macaroni, and put it into a deep dish. Have ready the grated cheese,
either Parmesan or Cheshire; sprinkle it amongst the macaroni and some
of the butter cut into small pieces, reserving some of the cheese for
the top layer. Season with a little pepper, and cover the top layer of
cheese with some very fine bread crumbs. Warm, without oiling, the
remainder of the butter, and pour it gently over the bread crumbs. Place
the dish before a bright fire to brown the crumbs; turn it once or
twice, that it may be equally coloured, and serve very hot. The top of
the macaroni may be browned with a salamander, which is even better than
placing it before the fire, as the process is more expeditious; but it
should never be browned in the oven, as the butter would oil, and so
impart a very disagreeable flavour to the dish. In boiling the macaroni,
let it be perfectly tender but firm, no part beginning to melt, and the
form entirely preserved. It may be boiled in plain water, with a little
salt instead of using milk, but should then have a small piece of butter
mixed with it.
_Time_.--1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hour to boil the macaroni, 5 minutes to brown it
before the fire.
_Average cost_, 1s. 6d.
_Sufficient_ for 6 or 7 persons. _Seasonable_ at any time.
_Note_.--Riband macaroni may be dressed in the same manner, but does not
require boiling so long a time.
1646. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 lb. of pipe or riband macaroni, 1/2 pint of
milk, 1/2 pint of veal or beef gravy, the yolks of 2 eggs, 4
tablespoonfuls of cream, 3 oz. of grated Parmesan or Cheshire cheese, 1
oz. of butter.
_Mode_.--Wash the macaroni, and boil it in the gravy and milk until
quite tender, without being broken. Drain it, and put it into rather a
deep dish. Beat the yolks of the eggs with the cream and 2
tablespoonfuls of the liquor the macaroni was boiled in; make this
sufficiently hot to thicken, but do not allow it to boil; pour it over