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The Book of Household Management by Mrs. Isabella Beeton

Part 6 out of 34

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strong, and loses the delicacy of its flavour.

THE COST OF TURTLE SOUP.--This is the most expensive soup brought to
table. It is sold by the quart,--one guinea being the standard price for
that quantity. The price of live turtle ranges from 8d. to 2s. per lb.,
according to supply and demand. When live turtle is dear, many cooks use
the tinned turtle, which is killed when caught, and preserved by being
put in hermetically-sealed canisters, and so sent over to England. The
cost of a tin, containing 2 quarts, or 4 lbs., is about L2, and for a
small one, containing the green fat, 7s. 6d. From these about 6 quarts
of good soup may be made.

[Illustration: THE TURTLE.]

THE GREEN TURTLE.--This reptile is found in large numbers on the
coasts of all the islands and continents within the tropics, in
both the old and new worlds. Their length is often five feet and
upwards, and they range in weight from 50 to 500 or 600 lbs. As
turtles find a constant supply of food on the coasts which they
frequent, they are not of a quarrelsome disposition, as the
submarine meadows in which they pasture, yield plenty for them
all. Like other species of amphibia, too, they have the power of
living many months without food; so that they live harmlessly
and peaceably together, notwithstanding that they seem to have
no common bond of association, but merely assemble in the same
places as if entirely by accident. England is mostly supplied
with them from the West Indies, whence they are brought alive
and in tolerable health. The green turtle is highly prized on
account of the delicious quality of its flesh, the fat of the
upper and lower shields of the animal being esteemed the richest
and most delicate parts. The soup, however, is apt to disagree
with weak stomachs. As an article of luxury, the turtle has only
come into fashion within the last 100 years, and some hundreds
of tureens of turtle soup are served annually at the lord
mayor's dinner in Guildhall.

A GOOD FAMILY SOUP.

190. INGREDIENTS.--Remains of a cold tongue, 2 lbs. of shin of beef, any
cold pieces of meat or beef-bones, 2 turnips, 2 carrots, 2 onions, 1
parsnip, 1 head of celery, 4 quarts of water, 1/2 teacupful of rice;
salt and pepper to taste.

_Mode_.--Put all the ingredients in a stewpan, and simmer gently for 4
hours, or until all the goodness is drawn from the meat. Strain off the
soup, and let it stand to get cold. The kernels and soft parts of the
tongue must be saved. When the soup is wanted for use, skim off all the
fat, put in the kernels and soft parts of the tongue, slice in a small
quantity of fresh carrot, turnip, and onion; stew till the vegetables
are tender, and serve with toasted bread.

_Time_.--5 hours. __Average cost_,3d. per quart.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Sufficient_ for 12 persons.

HODGE-PODGE.

191. INGREDIENTS.--2 lbs. of shin of beef, 3 quarts of water, 1 pint of
table-beer, 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 turnips, 1 head of celery; pepper and
salt to taste; thickening of butter and flour.

_Mode_.--Put the meat, beer, and water in a stewpan; simmer for a few
minutes, and skim carefully. Add the vegetables and seasoning; stew
gently till the meat is tender. Thicken with the butter and flour, and
serve with turnips and carrots, or spinach and celery.

_Time_.--3 hours, or rather more. _Average cost_, 3d. per quart.

_Seasonable_ at any time. _Sufficient_ for 12 persons.

TABLE BEER.--This is nothing more than a weak ale, and is not
made so much with a view to strength, as to transparency of
colour and an agreeable bitterness of taste. It is, or ought to
be, manufactured by the London professional brewers, from the
best pale malt, or amber and malt. Six barrels are usually drawn
from one quarter of malt, with which are mixed 4 or 5 lbs. of
hops. As a beverage, it is agreeable when fresh; but it is not
adapted to keep long.

FISH SOUPS.

FISH STOCK.

192. INGREDIENTS.--2 lbs. of beef or veal (these can be omitted), any
kind of white fish trimmings, of fish which are to be dressed for table,
2 onions, the rind of 1/2 a lemon, a bunch of sweet herbs, 2 carrots, 2
quarts of water.

_Mode_.--Cut up the fish, and put it, with the other ingredients, into
the water. Simmer for 2 hours; skim the liquor carefully, and strain it.
When a richer stock is wanted, fry the vegetables and fish before adding
the water.

_Time_.--2 hours. _Average cost_, with meat, 10d. per quart; without,
3d.

_Note_.--Do not make fish stock long before it is wanted, as it soon
turns sour.

CRAYFISH SOUP.

193. INGREDIENTS.--50 crayfish, 1/4 lb. of butter, 6 anchovies, the
crumb of 1 French roll, a little lobster-spawn, seasoning to taste, 2
quarts of medium stock, No. 105, or fish stock, No. 192.

_Mode_.--Shell the crayfish, and put the fish between two plates until
they are wanted; pound the shells in a mortar, with the butter and
anchovies; when well beaten, add a pint of stock, and simmer for 3/4 of
an hour. Strain it through a hair sieve, put the remainder of the stock
to it, with the crumb of the rolls; give it one boil, and rub it through
a tammy, with the lobster-spawn. Put in the fish, but do not let the
soup boil, after it has been rubbed through the tammy. If necessary, add
seasoning.

_Time_.--1-1/2 hour. _Average cost_, 2s. 3d. or 1s. 9d. per quart.

_Seasonable_ from January to July.

_Sufficient_ for 8 persons.

[Illustration: CRAYFISH.]

THE CRAYFISH.--This is one of those fishes that were highly
esteemed by the ancients. The Greeks preferred it when brought
from Alexandria, and the Romans ate it boiled with cumin, and
seasoned with pepper and other condiments. A recipe tells us,
that crayfish can be preserved several days in baskets with
fresh grass, such as the nettle, or in a bucket with about
three-eighths of an inch of water. More water would kill them,
because the large quantity of air they require necessitates the
water in which they are kept, to be continually renewed.

EEL SOUP.

194. INGREDIENTS.--3 lbs. of eels, 1 onion, 2 oz. of butter, 3 blades of
mace, 1 bunch of sweet herbs, 1/4 oz. of peppercorns, salt to taste, 2
tablespoonfuls of flour, 1/4 pint of cream, 2 quarts of water.

_Mode_.--Wash the eels, cut them into thin slices, and put them in the
stewpan with the butter; let them simmer for a few minutes, then pour
the water to them, and add the onion, cut in thin slices, the herbs,
mace, and seasoning. Simmer till the eels are tender, but do not break
the fish. Take them out carefully, mix the flour smoothly to a batter
with the cream, bring it to a boil, pour over the eels, and serve.

_Time_.--1 hour, or rather more. _Average cost_, 10d. per quart.

_Seasonable_ from June to March.

_Sufficient_ for 8 persons.

_Note_.--This soup may be flavoured differently by omitting the cream,
and adding a little ketchup or Harvey's sauce.

LOBSTER SOUP.

195. INGREDIENTS.--3 large lobsters, or 6 small ones; the crumb of a
French roll, 2 anchovies, 1 onion, 1 small bunch of sweet herbs, 1 strip
of lemon-peel, 2 oz. of butter, a little nutmeg, 1 teaspoonful of flour,
1 pint of cream, 1 pint of milk; forcemeat balls, mace, salt and pepper
to taste, bread crumbs, 1 egg, 2 quarts of water.

_Mode_.--Pick the meat from the lobsters, and beat the fins, chine, and
small claws in a mortar, previously taking away the brown fin and the
bag in the head. Put it in a stewpan, with the crumb of the roll,
anchovies, onions, herbs, lemon-peel, and the water; simmer gently till
all the goodness is extracted, and strain it off. Pound the spawn in a
mortar, with the butter, nutmeg, and flour, and mix with it the cream
and milk. Give one boil up, at the same time adding the tails cut in
pieces. Make the forcemeat balls with the remainder of the lobster,
seasoned with mace, pepper, and salt, adding a little flour, and a few
bread crumbs; moisten them with the egg, heat them in the soup, and
serve.

_Time_.--2 hours, or rather more. _Average cost_, 3s 6d per quart.

_Seasonable_ from April to October.

_Sufficient_ for 8 persons.

OYSTER SOUP.

I.

196. INGREDIENTS.--6 dozen of oysters, 2 quarts of white stock, 1/2 pint
of cream, 2 oz. of butter, 1-1/2 oz. of flour; salt, cayenne, and mace
to taste.

_Mode_.--Scald the oysters in their own liquor; take them out, beard
them, and put them in a tureen. Take a pint of the stock, put in the
beards and the liquor, which must be carefully strained, and simmer for
1/2 an hour. Take it off the fire, strain it again, and add the
remainder of the stock with the seasoning and mace. Bring it to a boil,
add the thickening of butter and flour, simmer for 5 minutes, stir in
the boiling cream, pour it over the oysters, and serve.

_Time_.--1 hour. _Average cost_, 2s. 8d. per quart.

_Seasonable_ from September to April.

_Sufficient_ for 8 persons.

_Note_.--This soup can be made less rich by using milk instead of cream,
and thickening with arrowroot instead of butter and flour.

II.

197. INGREDIENTS.--2 quarts of good mutton broth, 6 dozen oysters, 2 oz.
butter, 1 oz. of flour.

_Mode_.--Beard the oysters, and scald them in their own liquor; then add
it, well strained, to the broth; thicken with the butter and flour, and
simmer for 1/4 of an hour. Put in the oysters, stir well, but do not let
it boil, and serve very hot.

_Time_.--3/4 hour. _Average cost_, 2s. per quart.

_Seasonable_ from September to April.

_Sufficient_ for 8 persons.

SEASON OF OYSTERS.--From April and May to the end of July,
oysters are said to be sick; but by the end of August they
become healthy, having recovered from the effects of spawning.
When they are not in season, the males have a black, and the
females a milky substance in the gill. From some lines of
Oppian, it would appear that the ancients were ignorant that the
oyster is generally found adhering to rocks. The starfish is one
of the most deadly enemies of these bivalves. The poet says:--

The prickly star creeps on with full deceit
To force the oyster from his close retreat.
When gaping lids their widen'd void display,
The watchful star thrusts in a pointed ray,
Of all its treasures spoils the rifled case,
And empty shells the sandy hillock grace.

PRAWN SOUP.

198. INGREDIENTS.--2 quarts of fish stock or water, 2 pints of prawns,
the crumbs of a French roll, anchovy sauce or mushroom ketchup to taste,
1 blade of mace, 1 pint of vinegar, a little lemon-juice.

_Mode_.--Pick out the tails of the prawns, put the bodies in a stewpan
with 1 blade of mace, 1/2 pint of vinegar, and the same quantity of
water; stew them for 1/4 hour, and strain off the liquor. Put the fish
stock or water into a stewpan; add the strained liquor, pound the prawns
with the crumb of a roll moistened with a little of the soup, rub them
through a tammy, and mix them by degrees with the soup; add ketchup or
anchovy sauce to taste, with a little lemon-juice. When it is well
cooked, put in a few picked prawns; let them get thoroughly hot, and
serve. If not thick enough, put in a little butter and flour.

_Time_.--hour. _Average cost_, 1s. 1d. per quart, if made with water.

_Seasonable_ at any time. _Sufficient_ for 8 persons.

_Note_.--This can be thickened with tomatoes, and vermicelli served in
it, which makes it a very tasteful soup.

[Illustration: THE PRAWN.]

THE PRAWN.--This little fish bears a striking resemblance to the
shrimp, but is neither so common nor so small. It is to be found
on most of the sandy shores of Europe. The Isle of Wight is
famous for shrimps, where they are potted; but both the prawns
and the shrimps vended in London, are too much salted for the
excellence of their natural flavour to be preserved. They are
extremely lively little animals, as seen in their native
retreats.

[Illustration]

FISH.

CHAPTER VII.

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF FISHES.

199. IN NATURAL HISTORY, FISHES form the fourth class in the system of
Linnaeus, and are described as having long under-jaws, eggs without
white, organs of sense, fins for supporters, bodies covered with concave
scales, gills to supply the place of lungs for respiration, and water
for the natural element of their existence. Had mankind no other
knowledge of animals than of such as inhabit the land and breathe their
own atmosphere, they would listen with incredulous wonder, if told that
there were other kinds of beings which existed only in the waters, and
which would die almost as soon as they were taken from them. However
strongly these facts might be attested, they would hardly believe them,
without the operation of their own senses, as they would recollect the
effect produced on their own bodies when immersed in water, and the
impossibility of their sustaining life in it for any lengthened period
of time. Experience, however, has taught them, that the "great deep" is
crowded with inhabitants of various sizes, and of vastly different
constructions, with modes of life entirely distinct from those which
belong to the animals of the land, and with peculiarities of design,
equally wonderful with those of any other works which have come from the
hand of the Creator. The history of these races, however, must remain
for ever, more or less, in a state of darkness, since the depths in
which they live, are beyond the power of human exploration, and since
the illimitable expansion of their domain places them almost entirely
out of the reach of human accessibility.

200. IN STUDYING THE CONFORMATION OF FISHES, we naturally conclude that
they are, in every respect, well adapted to the element in which they
have their existence. Their shape has a striking resemblance to the
lower part of a ship; and there is no doubt that the form of the fish
originally suggested the form of the ship. The body is in general
slender, gradually diminishing towards each of its extremities, and
flattened on each of its sides. This is precisely the form of the lower
part of the hull of a ship; and it enables both the animal and the
vessel, with comparative ease, to penetrate and divide the resisting
medium for which they have been adapted. The velocity of a ship,
however, in sailing before the wind, is by no means to be compared to
that of a fish. It is well known that the largest fishes will, with the
greatest ease, overtake a ship in full sail, play round it without
effort, and shoot ahead of it at pleasure. This arises from their great
flexibility, which, to compete with mocks the labours of art, and
enables them to migrate thousands of miles in a season, without the
slightest indications of languor or fatigue.

201. THE PRINCIPAL INSTRUMENTS EMPLOYED BY FISHES to accelerate their
motion, are their air-bladder, fins, and tail. By means of the
air-bladder they enlarge or diminish the specific gravity of their
bodies. When they wish to sink, they compress the muscles of the
abdomen, and eject the air contained in it; by which, their weight,
compared with that of the water, is increased, and they consequently
descend. On the other hand, when they wish to rise, they relax the
compression of the abdominal muscles, when the air-bladder fills and
distends, and the body immediately ascends to the surface. How simply,
yet how wonderfully, has the Supreme Being adapted certain means to the
attainment of certain ends! Those fishes which are destitute of the
air-bladder are heavy in the water, and have no great "alacrity" in
rising. The larger proportion of them remain at the bottom, unless they
are so formed as to be able to strike their native element downwards
with sufficient force to enable them to ascend. When the air-bladder of
a fish is burst, its power of ascending to the surface has for ever
passed away. From a knowledge of this fact, the fishermen of cod are
enabled to preserve them alive for a considerable time in their
well-boats. The means they adopt to accomplish this, is to perforate the
sound, or air-bladder, with a needle, which disengages the air, when the
fishes immediately descend to the bottom of the well, into which they
are thrown. Without this operation, it would be impossible to keep the
cod under water whilst they had life. In swimming, the _fins_ enable
fishes to preserve their upright position, especially those of the
belly, which act like two feet. Without those, they would swim with
their bellies upward, as it is in their backs that the centre of gravity
lies. In ascending and descending, these are likewise of great
assistance, as they contract and expand accordingly. The _tail_ is an
instrument of great muscular force, and largely assists the fish in all
its motions. In some instances it acts like the rudder of a ship, and
enables it to turn sideways; and when moved from side to side with a
quick vibratory motion, fishes are made, in the same manner as the
"screw" propeller makes a steamship, to dart forward with a celerity
proportioned to the muscular force with which it is employed.

202. THE BODIES OF FISHES are mostly covered with a kind of horny
scales; but some are almost entirely without them, or have them so
minute as to be almost invisible; as is the case with the eel. The
object of these is to preserve them from injury by the pressure of the
water, or the sudden contact with pebbles, rocks, or sea-weeds. Others,
again, are enveloped in a fatty, oleaginous substance, also intended as
a defence against the friction of the water; and those in which the
scales are small, are supplied with a larger quantity of slimy matter.

203. THE RESPIRATION OF FISHES is effected by means of those comb-like
organs which are placed on each side of the neck, and which are called
gills. It is curious to watch the process of breathing as it is
performed by the finny tribes. It seems to be so continuous, that it
might almost pass for an illustration of the vexed problem which
conceals the secret of perpetual motion. In performing it, they fill
their mouths with water, which they drive backwards with a force so
great as to open the large flap, to allow it to escape behind. In this
operation all, or a great portion, of the air contained in the water, is
left among the feather-like processes of the gills, and is carried into
the body, there to perform its part in the animal economy. In proof of
this, it has been ascertained that, if the water in which fishes are
put, is, by any means, denuded of its air, they immediately seek the
surface, and begin to gasp for it. Hence, distilled water is to them
what a vacuum made by an air-pump, is to most other animals. For this
reason, when a fishpond, or other aqueous receptacle in which fishes are
kept, is entirely frozen over, it is necessary to make holes in the ice,
not so especially for the purpose of feeding them, as for that of giving
them air to breathe.

204. THE POSITIONS OF THE TEETH OF FISHES are well calculated to excite
our amazement; for, in some cases, these are situated in the jaws,
sometimes on the tongue or palate, and sometimes even in the throat.
They are in general sharp-pointed and immovable; but in the carp they
are obtuse, and in the pike so easily moved as to seem to have no deeper
hold than such as the mere skin can afford. In the herring, the tongue
is set with teeth, to enable it the better, it is supposed, to retain
its food.

205. ALTHOUGH NATURALISTS HAVE DIVIDED FISHES into two great tribes, the
_osseous_ and the _cartilaginous_, yet the distinction is not very
precise; for the first have a great deal of cartilage, and the second,
at any rate, a portion of calcareous matter in their bones. It may,
therefore, be said that the bones of fishes form a kind of intermediate
substance between true bones and cartilages. The backbone extends
through the whole length of the body, and consists of vertebrae, strong
and thick towards the head, but weaker and more slender as it approaches
the tail. Each species has a determinate number of vertebrae, which are
increased in size in proportion with the body. The ribs are attached to
the processes of the vertebrae, and inclose the breast and abdomen. Some
kinds, as the rays, have no ribs; whilst others, as the sturgeon and
eel, have very short ones. Between the pointed processes of the
vertebrae are situated the bones which support the dorsal (back) and the
anal (below the tail) fins, which are connected with the processes by a
ligament. At the breast are the sternum or breastbone, clavicles or
collar-bones, and the scapulae or shoulder-blades, on which the
pectoral or breast fins are placed. The bones which support the ventral
or belly fins are called the _ossa pelvis_. Besides these principal
bones, there are often other smaller ones, placed between the muscles to
assist their motion.

206. SOME OF THE ORGANS OF SENSE IN FISHES are supposed to be possessed
by them in a high degree, and others much more imperfectly. Of the
latter kind are the senses of touch and taste, which are believed to be
very slightly developed. On the other hand, those of hearing, seeing,
and smelling, are ascertained to be acute, but the first in a lesser
degree than both the second and third. Their possession of an auditory
organ was long doubted, and even denied by some physiologists; but it
has been found placed on the sides of the skull, or in the cavity which
contains the brain. It occupies a position entirely distinct and
detached from the skull, and, in this respect, differs in the local
disposition of the same sense in birds and quadrupeds. In some fishes,
as in those of the ray kind, the organ is wholly encompassed by those
parts which contain the cavity of the skull; whilst in the cod and
salmon kind it is in the part within the skull. Its structure is, in
every way, much more simple than that of the same sense in those animals
which live entirely in the air; but there is no doubt that they have the
adaptation suitable to their condition. In some genera, as in the rays,
the external orifice or ear is very small, and is placed in the upper
surface of the head; whilst in others there is no visible external
orifice whatever. However perfect the _sight_ of fishes may be,
experience has shown that this sense is of much less use to them than
that of smelling, in searching for their food. The optic nerves in
fishes have this peculiarity,--that they are not confounded with one
another in their middle progress between their origin and their orbit.
The one passes over the other without any communication; so that the
nerve which comes from the left side of the brain goes distinctly to the
right eye, and that which comes from the right goes distinctly to the
left. In the greater part of them, the eye is covered with the same
transparent skin that covers the rest of the head. The object of this
arrangement, perhaps, is to defend it from the action of the water, as
there are no eyelids. The globe in front is somewhat depressed, and is
furnished behind with a muscle, which serves to lengthen or flatten it,
according to the necessities of the animal. The crystalline humour,
which in quadrupeds is flattened, is, in fishes, nearly globular. The
organ of _smelling_ in fishes is large, and is endued, at its entry,
with a dilating and contracting power, which is employed as the wants of
the animal may require. It is mostly by the acuteness of their smell
that fishes are enabled to discover their food; for their tongue is not
designed for nice sensation, being of too firm a cartilaginous substance
for this purpose.

207. WITH RESPECT TO THE FOOD OF FISHES, this is almost universally
found in their own element. They are mostly carnivorous, though they
seize upon almost anything that comes in their way: they even devour
their own offspring, and manifest a particular predilection for all
living creatures. Those, to which Nature has meted out mouths of the
greatest capacity, would seem to pursue everything with life, and
frequently engage in fierce conflicts with their prey. The animal with
the largest mouth is usually the victor; and he has no sooner conquered
his foe than he devours him. Innumerable shoals of one species pursue
those of another, with a ferocity which draws them from the pole to the
equator, through all the varying temperatures and depths of their
boundless domain. In these pursuits a scene of universal violence is the
result; and many species must have become extinct, had not Nature
accurately proportioned the means of escape, the production, and the
numbers, to the extent and variety of the danger to which they are
exposed. Hence the smaller species are not only more numerous, but more
productive than the larger; whilst their instinct leads them in search
of food and safety near the shores, where, from the shallowness of the
waters, many of their foes are unable to follow them.

208. THE FECUNDITY OF FISHES has been the wonder of every natural
philosopher whose attention has been attracted to the subject. They are
in general oviparous, or egg-producing; but there are a few, such as the
eel and the blenny, which are viviparous, or produce their young alive.
The males have the _milt_ and the females the _roe_; but some
individuals, as the sturgeon and the cod tribes, are said to contain
both. The greater number deposit their spawn in the sand or gravel; but
some of those which dwell in the depths of the ocean attach their eggs
to sea-weeds. In every instance, however, their fruitfulness far
surpasses that of any other race of animals. According to Lewenhoeck,
the cod annually spawns upwards of nine millions of eggs, contained in a
single roe. The flounder produces one million; the mackerel above five
hundred thousand; a herring of a moderate size at least ten thousand; a
carp fourteen inches in length, according to Petit, contained two
hundred and sixty-two thousand two hundred and twenty-four; a perch
deposited three hundred and eighty thousand six hundred and forty; and a
female sturgeon seven millions six hundred and fifty-three thousand two
hundred. The viviparous species are by no means so prolific; yet the
blenny brings forth two or three hundred at a time, which commence
sporting together round their parent the moment they have come into
existence.

209. IN REFERENCE TO THE LONGEVITY OF FISHES, it is affirmed to surpass
that of all other created beings; and it is supposed they are, to a
great extent, exempted from the diseases to which the flesh of other
animals is heir. In place of suffering from the rigidity of age, which
is the cause of the natural decay of those that "live and move and have
their being" on the land, their bodies continue to grow with each
succeeding supply of food, and the conduits of life to perform their
functions unimpaired. The age of fishes has not been properly
ascertained, although it is believed that the most minute of the species
has a longer lease of life than man. The mode in which they die has been
noted by the Rev. Mr. White, the eminent naturalist of Selbourne. As
soon as the fish sickens, the head sinks lower and lower, till the
animal, as it were, stands upon it. After this, as it becomes weaker, it
loses its poise, till the tail turns over, when it comes to the surface,
and floats with its belly upwards. The reason for its floating in this
manner is on account of the body being no longer balanced by the fins of
the belly, and the broad muscular back preponderating, by its own
gravity, over the belly, from this latter being a cavity, and
consequently lighter.

210. FISHES ARE EITHER SOLITARY OR GREGARIOUS, and some of them migrate
to great distances, and into certain rivers, to deposit their spawn. Of
sea-fishes, the cod, herring, mackerel, and many others, assemble in
immense shoals, and migrate through different tracts of the ocean; but,
whether considered in their solitary or gregarious capacity, they are
alike wonderful to all who look through Nature up to Nature's God, and
consider, with due humility, yet exalted admiration, the sublime
variety, beauty, power, and grandeur of His productions, as manifested
in the Creation.

FISH AS AN ARTICLE OF HUMAN FOOD.

211. AS THE NUTRITIVE PROPERTIES OF FISH are deemed inferior to those of
what is called butchers' meat, it would appear, from all we can learn,
that, in all ages, it has held only a secondary place in the estimation
of those who have considered the science of gastronomy as a large
element in the happiness of mankind. Among the Jews of old it was very
little used, although it seems not to have been entirely interdicted, as
Moses prohibited only the use of such as had neither scales nor fins.
The Egyptians, however, made fish an article of diet, notwithstanding
that it was rejected by their priests. Egypt, however, is not a country
favourable to the production of fish, although we read of the people,
when hungry, eating it raw; of epicures among them having dried it in
the sun; and of its being salted and preserved, to serve as a repast on
days of great solemnity.

The modern Egyptians are, in general, extremely temperate in
regard to food. Even the richest among them take little pride,
and, perhaps, experience as little delight, in the luxuries of
the table. Their dishes mostly consist of pilaus, soups, and
stews, prepared principally of onions, cucumbers, and other cold
vegetables, mixed with a little meat cut into small pieces. On
special occasions, however, a whole sheep is placed on the
festive board; but during several of the hottest months of the
year, the richest restrict themselves entirely to a vegetable
diet. The poor are contented with a little oil or sour milk, in
which they may dip their bread.

212. PASSING FROM AFRICA TO EUROPE, we come amongst a people who have,
almost from time immemorial, occupied a high place in the estimation of
every civilized country; yet the Greeks, in their earlier ages, made
very little use of fish as an article of diet. In the eyes of the heroes
of Homer it had little favour; for Menelaus complained that "hunger
pressed their digestive organs," and they had been obliged to live upon
fish. Subsequently, however, fish became one of the principal articles
of diet amongst the Hellenes; and both Aristophanes and Athenaeus allude
to it, and even satirize their countrymen for their excessive partiality
to the turbot and mullet.

So infatuated were many of the Greek gastronomes with the love
of fish, that some of them would have preferred death from
indigestion to the relinquishment of the precious dainties with
which a few of the species supplied them. Philoxenes of Cythera
was one of these. On being informed by his physician that he was
going to die of indigestion, on account of the quantity he was
consuming of a delicious fish, "Be it so," he calmly observed;
"but before I die, let me finish the remainder."

213. THE GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATION OF GREECE was highly favourable for the
development of a taste for the piscatory tribes; and the skill of the
Greek cooks was so great, that they could impart every variety of relish
to the dish they were called upon to prepare. Athenaeus has transmitted
to posterity some very important precepts upon their ingenuity in
seasoning with salt, oil, and aromatics.

At the present day the food of the Greeks, through the combined
influence of poverty and the long fasts which their religion
imposes upon them, is, to a large extent, composed of fish,
accompanied with vegetables and fruit. Caviare, prepared from
the roes of sturgeons, is the national ragout, which, like all
other fish dishes, they season with aromatic herbs. Snails
dressed in garlic are also a favourite dish.

214. AS THE ROMANS, in a great measure, took their taste in the fine
arts from the Greeks, so did they, in some measure, their piscine
appetites. The eel-pout and the lotas's liver were the favourite fish
dishes of the Roman epicures; whilst the red mullet was esteemed as one
of the most delicate fishes that could be brought to the table.

With all the elegance, taste, and refinement of Roman luxury, it
was sometimes promoted or accompanied by acts of great
barbarity. In proof of this, the mention of the red mullet
suggests the mode in which it was sometimes treated for the, to
us, _horrible_ entertainment of the _fashionable_ in Roman
circles. It may be premised, that as England has, Rome, in her
palmy days, had, her fops, who had, no doubt, through the medium
of their cooks, discovered that when the scales of the red
mullet were removed, the flesh presented a fine pink-colour.
Having discovered this, it was further observed that at the
death of the animal, this colour passed through a succession of
beautiful shades, and, in order that these might be witnessed
and enjoyed in their fullest perfection, the poor mullet was
served alive in a glass vessel.

215. THE LOVE OF FISH among the ancient Romans rose to a real mania.
Apicius offered a prize to any one who could invent a new brine
compounded of the liver of red mullets; and Lucullus had a canal cut
through a mountain, in the neighbourhood of Naples, that fish might be
the more easily transported to the gardens of his villa. Hortensius, the
orator, wept over the death of a turbot which he had fed with his own
hands; and the daughter of Druses adorned one that she had, with rings
of gold. These were, surely, instances of misplaced affection; but there
is no accounting for tastes. It was but the other day that we read in
the "_Times_" of a wealthy _living_ English hermit, who delights in the
companionship of rats!

The modern Romans are merged in the general name of Italians,
who, with the exception of macaroni, have no specially
characteristic article of food.

216. FROM ROME TO GAUL is, considering the means of modern locomotion,
no great way; but the ancient sumptuary laws of that kingdom give us
little information regarding the ichthyophagous propensities of its
inhabitants. Louis XII. engaged six fishmongers to furnish his board
with fresh-water animals, and Francis I. had twenty-two, whilst Henry
the Great extended his requirements a little further, and had
twenty-four. In the time of Louis XIV. the cooks had attained to such a
degree of perfection in their art, that they could convert the form and
flesh of the trout, pike, or carp, into the very shape and flavour of
the most delicious game.

The French long enjoyed a European reputation for their skill
and refinement in the preparing of food. In place of plain
joints, French cookery delights in the marvels of what are
called made dishes, ragouts, stews, and fricassees, in which no
trace of the original materials of which they are compounded is
to be found.

217. FROM GAUL WE CROSS TO BRITAIN, where it has been asserted, by, at
least, one authority, that the ancient inhabitants ate no fish. However
this may be, we know that the British shores, particularly those of the
North Sea, have always been well supplied with the best kinds of fish,
which we may reasonably infer was not unknown to the inhabitants, or
likely to be lost upon them for the lack of knowledge as to how they
tasted. By the time of Edward II., fish had, in England, become a
dainty, especially the sturgeon, which was permitted to appear on no
table but that of the king. In the fourteenth century, a decree of King
John informs us that the people ate both seals and porpoises; whilst in
the days of the Troubadours, whales were fished for and caught in the
Mediterranean Sea, for the purpose of being used as human food.

Whatever checks the ancient British may have had upon their
piscatory appetites, there are happily none of any great
consequence upon the modern, who delight in wholesome food of
every kind. Their taste is, perhaps, too much inclined to that
which is accounted solid and substantial; but they really eat
more moderately, even of animal food, than either the French or
the Germans. Roast beef, or other viands cooked in the plainest
manner, are, with them, a sufficient luxury; yet they delight in
living _well_, whilst it is easy to prove how largely their
affections are developed by even the prospect of a substantial
cheer. In proof of this we will just observe, that if a great
dinner is to be celebrated, it is not uncommon for the appointed
stewards and committee to meet and have a preliminary dinner
among themselves, in order to arrange the great one, and after
that, to have another dinner to discharge the bill which the
great one cost. This enjoyable disposition we take to form a
very large item in the aggregate happiness of the nation.

218. THE GENERAL USE OF FISH, as an article of human food among
civilized nations, we have thus sufficiently shown, and will conclude
this portion of our subject with the following hints, which ought to be
remembered by all those who are fond of occasionally varying their
dietary with a piscine dish:--

I. Fish shortly before they spawn are, in general, best in condition.
When the spawning is just over, they are out of season, and unfit for
human food.

II. When fish is out of season, it has a transparent, bluish tinge,
however much it may be boiled; when it is in season, its muscles are
firm, and boil white and curdy.

III. As food for invalids, white fish, such as the ling, cod, haddock,
coal-fish, and whiting, are the best; flat fish, as soles, skate,
turbot, and flounders, are also good.

IV. Salmon, mackerel, herrings, and trout soon spoil or decompose after
they are killed; therefore, to be in perfection, they should be prepared
for the table on the day they are caught. With flat fish, this is not of
such consequence, as they will keep longer. The turbot, for example, is
improved by being kept a day or two.

GENERAL DIRECTIONS FOR DRESSING FISH.

219. IN DRESSING FISH, of any kind, the first point to be attended to,
is to see that it be perfectly clean. It is a common error to wash it
too much; as by doing so the flavour is diminished. If the fish is to be
boiled, a little salt and vinegar should be put into the water, to give
it firmness, after it is cleaned. Cod-fish, whiting, and haddock, are
far better if a little salted, and kept a day; and if the weather be not
very hot, they will be good for two days.

220. WHEN FISH IS CHEAP AND PLENTIFUL, and a larger quantity is
purchased than is immediately wanted, the overplus of such as will bear
it should be potted, or pickled, or salted, and hung up; or it may be
fried, that it may serve for stewing the next day. Fresh-water fish,
having frequently a muddy smell and taste, should be soaked in strong
salt and water, after it has been well cleaned. If of a sufficient size,
it may be scalded in salt and water, and afterwards dried and dressed.

221. FISH SHOULD BE PUT INTO COLD WATER, and set on the fire to do very
gently, or the outside will break before the inner part is done. Unless
the fishes are small, they should never be put into warm water; nor
should water, either hot or cold, be poured _on_ to the fish, as it is
liable to break the skin: if it should be necessary to add a little
water whilst the fish is cooking, it ought to be poured in gently at the
side of the vessel. The fish-plate may be drawn up, to see if the fish
be ready, which may be known by its easily separating from the bone. It
should then be immediately taken out of the water, or it will become
woolly. The fish-plate should be set crossways over the kettle, to keep
hot for serving, and a clean cloth over the fish, to prevent its losing
its colour.

222. IN GARNISHING FISH, great attention is required, and plenty of
parsley, horseradish, and lemon should be used. If fried parsley be
used, it must be washed and picked, and thrown into fresh water. When
the lard or dripping boils, throw the parsley into it immediately from
the water, and instantly it will be green and crisp, and must be taken
up with a slice. When well done, and with very good sauce, fish is more
appreciated than almost any other dish. The liver and roe, in some
instances, should be placed on the dish, in order that they may be
distributed in the course of serving; but to each recipe will be
appended the proper mode of serving and garnishing.

223. IF FISH IS TO BE FRIED OR BROILED, it must be dried in a nice soft
cloth, after it is well cleaned and washed. If for frying, brush it over
with egg, and sprinkle it with some fine crumbs of bread. If done a
second time with the egg and bread, the fish will look so much the
better. If required to be very nice, a sheet of white blotting-paper
must be placed to receive it, that it may be free from all grease. It
must also be of a beautiful colour, and all the crumbs appear distinct.
Butter gives a bad colour; lard and clarified dripping are most
frequently used; but oil is the best, if the expense be no objection.
The fish should be put into the lard when boiling, and there should be a
sufficiency of this to cover it.

224. WHEN FISH IS BROILED, it must be seasoned, floured, and laid on a
very clean gridiron, which, when hot, should be rubbed with a bit of
suet, to prevent the fish from sticking. It must be broiled over a very
clear fire, that it may not taste smoky; and not too near, that it may
not be scorched.

225. IN CHOOSING FISH, it is well to remember that it is possible it may
be _fresh_, and yet not _good_. Under the head of each particular fish
in this work, are appended rules for its choice and the months when it
is in season. Nothing can be of greater consequence to a cook than to
have the fish good; as if this important course in a dinner does not
give satisfaction, it is rarely that the repast goes off well.

RECIPES.

CHAPTER VIII.

FISH.

[_Nothing is more difficult than to give the average prices of Fish,
inasmuch as a few hours of bad weather at sea will, in the space of one
day, cause such a difference in its supply, that the same fish--a turbot
for instance--which may be bought to-day for six or seven shillings,
will, to-morrow, be, in the London markets, worth, perhaps, almost as
many pounds. The average costs, therefore, which will be found appended
to each recipe, must be understood as about the average price for the
different kinds of fish, when the market is supplied upon an average,
and when the various sorts are of an average size and quality._

GENERAL RULE IN CHOOSING FISH.--_A proof of freshness and goodness in
most fishes, is their being covered with scales; for, if deficient in
this respect, it is a sign of their being stale, or having been
ill-used._]

FRIED ANCHOVIES.

226. INGREDIENTS.--1 tablespoonful of oil, 1/2 a glass of white wine,
sufficient flour to thicken; 12 anchovies.

_Mode_.--Mix the oil and wine together, with sufficient flour to make
them into a thickish paste; cleanse the anchovies, wipe them, dip them
in the paste, and fry of a nice brown colour.

_Time_.--1/2 hour. _Average cost_ for this quantity, 9d.

_Seasonable_ all the year.

_Sufficient_ for 2 persons.

[Illustration: THE ANCHOVY.]

THE ANCHOVY.--In his book of "British Fishes," Mr. Yarrell
states that "the anchovy is a common fish in the Mediterranean,
from Greece to Gibraltar, and was well known to the Greeks and
Romans, by whom the liquor prepared from it, called _garum_, was
in great estimation. Its extreme range is extended into the
Black Sea. The fishing for them is carried on during the night,
and lights are used with the nets. The anchovy is common on the
coasts of Portugal, Spain, and France. It occurs, I have no
doubt, at the Channel Islands, and has been taken on the
Hampshire coast, and in the Bristol Channel." Other fish, of
inferior quality, but resembling the real Gorgona anchovy, are
frequently sold for it, and passed off as genuine.

ANCHOVY BUTTER OR PASTE.

227. INGREDIENTS.--2 dozen anchovies, 1/2 lb. of fresh butter.

_Mode_.--Wash the anchovies thoroughly; bone and dry them, and pound
them in a mortar to a paste. Mix the butter gradually with them, and rub
the whole through a sieve. Put it by in small pots for use, and
carefully exclude the air with a bladder, as it soon changes the colour
of anchovies, besides spoiling them.

_Average cost_ for this quantity, 2s.

POTTED ANCHOVIES.

POTTED ANCHOVIES are made in the same way, by adding pounded mace,
cayenne, and nutmeg to taste.

ANCHOVY TOAST.

228. INGREDIENTS.--Toast 2 or 3 slices of bread, or, if wanted very
savoury, fry them in clarified butter, and spread on them the paste, No.
227. Made mustard, or a few grains of cayenne, may be added to the paste
before laying it on the toast.

ANCHOVY PASTE.--"When some delicate zest," says a work just
issued on the adulterations of trade, "is required to make the
plain English breakfast more palatable, many people are in the
habit of indulging in what they imagine to be anchovies. These
fish are preserved in a kind of pickling-bottle, carefully
corked down, and surrounded by a red-looking liquor, resembling
in appearance diluted clay. The price is moderate, one shilling
only being demanded for the luxury. When these anchovies are
what is termed potted, it implies that the fish have been
pounded into the consistency of a paste, and then placed in flat
pots, somewhat similar in shape to those used for pomatum. This
paste is usually eaten spread upon toast, and is said to form an
excellent _bonne bouche_, which enables gentlemen at
wine-parties to enjoy their port with redoubled gusto.
Unfortunately, in six cases out of ten, the only portion of
these preserved delicacies, that contains anything indicative of
anchovies, is the paper label pasted on the bottle or pot, on
which the word itself is printed.... All the samples of anchovy
paste, analyzed by different medical men, have been found to be
highly and vividly coloured with very large quantities of bole
Armenian." The anchovy itself, when imported, is of a dark dead
colour, and it is to make it a bright "handsome-looking sauce"
that this red earth is used.

BARBEL.

229. INGREDIENTS.--1/2 pint of port wine, a saltspoonful of salt, 2
tablespoonfuls of vinegar, 2 sliced onions, a faggot of sweet herbs,
nutmeg and mace to taste, the juice of a lemon, 2 anchovies; 1 or 2
barbels, according to size.

_Mode_--Boil the barbels in salt and water till done; pour off some of
the water, and, to the remainder, put the ingredients mentioned above.
Simmer gently for 1/2 hour, or rather more, and strain. Put in the fish;
heat it gradually; but do not let it boil, or it will be broken.

_Time_.--Altogether 1 hour. _Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

_Seasonable_ from September to November.

[Illustration: THE BARBEL.]

THE BARBEL,--This fish takes its name from the barbs or wattels
at its mouth; and, in England, is esteemed as one of the worst
of the fresh-water fish. It was, however, formerly, if not now,
a favourite with the Jews, excellent cookers of fish. Others
would boil with it a piece of bacon, that it might have a
relish. It is to be met with from two to three or four feet
long, and is said to live to a great age. From Putney upwards,
in the Thames, some are found of large size; but they are valued
only as affording sport to the brethren of the angle.

BRILL.

230. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 lb. of salt to each gallon of water; a little
vinegar.

_Mode_.--Clean the brill, cut off the fins, and rub it over with a
little lemon-juice, to preserve its whiteness. Set the fish in
sufficient cold water to cover it; throw in salt, in the above
proportions, and a little vinegar, and bring it gradually to boil;
simmer very gently till the fish is done, which will be in about 10
minutes; but the time for boiling, of course, depends entirely on the
size of the fish. Serve it on a hot napkin, and garnish with cut lemon,
parsley, horseradish, and a little lobster coral sprinkled over the
fish. Send lobster or shrimp sauce and plain melted butter to table with
it.

_Time_.--After the water boils, a small brill, 10 minutes; a large
brill, 15 to 20 minutes.

_Average cost_, from 4s. to 8s.

_Seasonable_ from August to April.

[Illustration: THE BRILL.]

THE BRILL.--This fish resembles the sole, but is broader, and
when large, is esteemed by many in a scarcely less degree than
the turbot, whilst it is much cheaper. It is a fine fish, and is
abundant in the London market.

TO CHOOSE BRILL.--The flesh of this fish, like that of turbot, should be
of a yellowish tint, and should be chosen on account of its thickness.
If the flesh has a bluish tint, it is not good.

CODFISH.

231. Cod may be boiled whole; but a large head and shoulders are quite
sufficient for a dish, and contain all that is usually helped, because,
when the thick part is done, the tail is insipid and overdone. The
latter, cut in slices, makes a very good dish for frying; or it may be
salted down and served with egg sauce and parsnips. Cod, when boiled
quite fresh, is watery; salting a little, renders it firmer.

[Illustration: THE COD.]

THE COD TRIBE.--The Jugular, characterized by bony gills, and
ventral fins before the pectoral ones, commences the second of
the Linnaean orders of fishes, and is a numerous tribe,
inhabiting only the depths of the ocean, and seldom visiting the
fresh waters. They have a smooth head, and the gill membrane has
seven rays. The body is oblong, and covered with deciduous
scales. The fins are all inclosed in skin, whilst their rays are
unarmed. The ventral fins are slender, and terminate in a point.
Their habits are gregarious, and they feed on smaller fish and
other marine animals.

COD'S HEAD AND SHOULDERS.

232. INGREDIENTS.--Sufficient water to cover the fish; 5 oz. of salt to
each gallon of water.

_Mode_.--Cleanse the fish thoroughly, and rub a little salt over the
thick part and inside of the fish, 1 or 2 hours before dressing it, as
this very much improves the flavour. Lay it in the fish-kettle, with
sufficient cold water to cover it. Be very particular not to pour the
water on the fish, as it is liable to break it, and only keep it just
simmering. If the water should boil away, add a little by pouring it in
at the side of the kettle, and not on the fish. Add salt in the above
proportion, and bring it gradually to a boil. Skim very carefully, draw
it to the side of the fire, and let it gently simmer till done. Take it
out and drain it; serve on a hot napkin, and garnish with cut lemon,
horseradish, the roe and liver. (_See_ Coloured Plate C.)

_Time_.--According to size, 1/2 an hour, more or less. _Average cost_,
from 3s. to 6s.

_Sufficient_ for 6 or 8 persons.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

_Note_.--Oyster sauce and plain melted butter should be served with
this.

TO CHOOSE COD.--The cod should be chosen for the table when it is plump
and round near the tail, when the hollow behind the head is deep, and
when the sides are undulated as if they were ribbed. The glutinous parts
about the head lose their delicate flavour, after the fish has been
twenty-four hours out of the water. The great point by which the cod
should be judged is the firmness of its flesh; and, although the cod is
not firm when it is alive, its quality may be arrived at by pressing the
finger into the flesh. If this rises immediately, the fish is good; if
not, it is stale. Another sign of its goodness is, if the fish, when it
is cut, exhibits a bronze appearance, like the silver side of a round of
beef. When this is the case, the flesh will be firm when cooked.
Stiffness in a cod, or in any other fish, is a sure sign of freshness,
though not always of quality. Sometimes, codfish, though exhibiting
signs of rough usage, will eat much better than those with red gills, so
strongly recommended by many cookery-books. This appearance is generally
caused by the fish having been knocked about at sea, in the well-boats,
in which they are conveyed from the fishing-grounds to market.

SALT COD, COMMONLY CALLED "SALT-FISH."

233. INGREDIENTS.--Sufficient water to cover the fish.

_Mode_.--Wash the fish, and lay it all night in water, with a 1/4 pint
of vinegar. When thoroughly soaked, take it out, see that it is
perfectly clean, and put it in the fish-kettle with sufficient cold
water to cover it. Heat it gradually, but do not let it boil much, or
the fish will be hard. Skim well, and when done, drain the fish and put
it on a napkin garnished with hard-boiled eggs cut in rings.

_Time_.--About 1 hour. _Average cost_, 6d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ in the spring.

_Sufficient_ for each person, 1/4 lb.

_Note_.--Serve with egg sauce and parsnips. This is an especial dish on
Ash Wednesday.

PRESERVING COD.--Immediately as the cod are caught, their heads
are cut off. They are then opened, cleaned, and salted, when
they are stowed away in the hold of the vessel, in beds of five
or six yards square, head to tail, with a layer of salt to each
layer of fish. When they have lain in this state three or four
days, in order that the water may drain from them, they are
shifted into a different part of the vessel, and again salted.
Here they remain till the vessel is loaded, when they are
sometimes cut into thick pieces and packed in barrels for the
greater convenience of carriage.

COD SOUNDS.

Should be well soaked in salt and water, and thoroughly washed before
dressing them. They are considered a great delicacy, and may either be
broiled, fried, or boiled: if they are boiled, mix a little milk with
the water.

COD SOUNDS, EN POULE.

234. INGREDIENTS.--For forcemeat, 12 chopped oysters, 3 chopped
anchovies, 1/4 lb. of bread crumbs, 1 oz. of butter, 2 eggs; seasoning
of salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mace to taste; 4 cod sounds.

_Mode_.--Make the forcemeat by mixing the ingredients well together.
Wash the sounds, and boil them in milk and water for 1/2 an hour; take
them out and let them cool. Cover each with a layer of forcemeat, roll
them up in a nice form, and skewer them. Rub over with lard, dredge with
flour, and cook them gently before the fire in a Dutch oven.

_Time_.--1 hour. _Average cost_, 6d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from November to March. _Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

THE SOUNDS IN CODFISH.--These are the air or swimming bladders,
by means of which the fishes are enabled to ascend or descend in
the water. In the Newfoundland fishery they are taken out
previous to incipient putrefaction, washed from their slime and
salted for exportation. The tongues are also cured and packed up
in barrels; whilst, from the livers, considerable quantities of
oil are extracted, this oil having been found possessed of the
most nourishing properties, and particularly beneficial in cases
of pulmonary affections.

COD PIE.

(_Economical_.)

I.

235. INGREDIENTS.--Any remains of cold cod, 12 oysters, sufficient
melted butter to moisten it; mashed potatoes enough to fill up the dish.

_Mode_.--Flake the fish from the bone, and carefully take away all the
skin. Lay it in a pie-dish, pour over the melted butter and oysters (or
oyster sauce, if there is any left), and cover with mashed potatoes.
Bake for 1/2 an hour, and send to table of a nice brown colour.

_Time_.--1/2 hour.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

II.

236. INGREDIENTS.--2 slices of cod; pepper and salt to taste; 1/2 a
teaspoonful of grated nutmeg, 1 large blade of pounded mace, 2 oz. of
butter, 1/2 pint of stock No. 107, a paste crust (_see_ Pastry). For
sauce, 1 tablespoonful of stock, 1/4 pint of cream or milk, thickening
of flour or butter; lemon-peel chopped very fine to taste; 12 oysters.

_Mode_.--Lay the cod in salt for 4 hours, then wash it and place it in a
dish; season, and add the butter and stock; cover with the crust, and
bake for 1 hour, or rather more. Now make the sauce, by mixing the
ingredients named above; give it one boil, and pour it into the pie by a
hole made at the top of the crust, which can easily be covered by a
small piece of pastry cut and baked in any fanciful shape--such as a
leaf, or otherwise.

_Time_.--1-1/2 hour. _Average cost_, with fresh fish, 2s. 6d.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

_Sufficient_ for 6 persons.

_Note_.--The remains of cold fish may be used for this pie.

CURRIED COD.

237. INGREDIENTS.--2 slices of large cod, or the remains of any cold
fish; 3 oz. of butter, 1 onion sliced, a teacupful of white stock,
thickening of butter and flour, 1 small teaspoonful of curry-powder,
1/4 pint of cream, salt and cayenne to taste.

_Mode_.--Flake the fish, and fry it of a nice brown colour with the
butter and onions; put this in a stewpan, add the stock and thickening,
and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir the curry-powder into the cream; put it,
with the seasoning, to the other ingredients; give one boil, and serve.

_Time_.--3/4 hour. _Average cost_, with fresh fish, 3s.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

THE FOOD OF THE COD.--This chiefly consists of the smaller
species of the scaly tribes, shell-fish, crabs, and worms. Their
voracity is very great, and they will bite at any small body
they see moved by the water, even stones and pebbles, which are
frequently found in their stomachs. They sometimes attain a
great size, but their usual weight is from 14 to 40 lbs.

COD A LA CREME.

238. INGREDIENTS.--1 large slice of cod, 1 oz. of butter, 1 chopped
shalot, a little minced parsley, 1/4 teacupful of white stock, 1/4 pint
of milk or cream, flour to thicken, cayenne and lemon-juice to taste,
1/4 teaspoonful of powdered sugar.

_Mode_.--Boil the cod, and while hot, break it into flakes; put the
butter, shalot, parsley, and stock into a stewpan, and let them boil for
5 minutes. Stir in sufficient flour to thicken, and pour to it the milk
or cream. Simmer for 10 minutes, add the cayenne and sugar, and, when
liked, a little lemon-juice. Put the fish in the sauce to warm
gradually, but do not let it boil. Serve in a dish garnished with
croutons.

_Time_.--Rather more than 1/2 hour. _Average cost_, with cream, 2s.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

_Sufficient_ for 3 persons.

_Note_.--The remains of fish from the preceding day answer very well for
this dish.

COD A LA BECHAMEL.

239. INGREDIENTS.--Any remains of cold cod, 4 tablespoonfuls of bechamel
(_see_ Sauces), 2 oz. butter; seasoning to taste of pepper and salt;
fried bread, a few bread crumbs.

_Mode_.--Flake the cod carefully, leaving out all skin and bone; put the
bechamel in a stewpan with the butter, and stir it over the fire till
the latter is melted; add seasoning, put in the fish, and mix it well
with the sauce. Make a border of fried bread round the dish, lay in the
fish, sprinkle over with bread crumbs, and baste with butter. Brown
either before the fire or with a salamander, and garnish with toasted
bread cut in fanciful shapes.

_Time_.--1/2 hour.

_Average cost_, exclusive of the fish, 6d.

THE HABITAT OF THE COD.--This fish is found only in the seas of
the northern parts of the world, between the latitudes of 45 deg.
and 66 deg.. Its great rendezvous are the sandbanks of Newfoundland,
Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, and New England. These places are its
favourite resorts; for there it is able to obtain great
quantities of worms, a food peculiarly grateful to it. Another
cause of its attachment to these places has been said to be on
account of the vicinity to the Polar seas, where it returns to
spawn. Few are taken north of Iceland, and the shoals never
reach so far south as the Straits of Gibraltar. Many are taken
on the coasts of Norway, in the Baltic, and off the Orkneys,
which, prior to the discovery of Newfoundland, formed one of the
principal fisheries. The London market is supplied by those
taken between the Dogger Bank, the Well Bank, and Cromer, on the
east coast of England.

COD A LA MAITRE D'HOTEL.

240. INGREDIENTS.--2 slices of cod, 1/4 lb. of butter, a little chopped
shalot and parsley; pepper to taste, 1/4 teaspoonful of grated nutmeg,
or rather less, when the flavour is not liked; the juice of 1/4 lemon.

_Mode_.--Boil the cod, and either leave it whole, or, what is still
better, flake it from the bone, and take off the skin. Put it into a
stewpan with the butter, parsley, shalot, pepper, and nutmeg. Melt the
butter gradually, and be very careful that it does not become like oil.
When all is well mixed and thoroughly hot, add the lemon-juice, and
serve.

_Time_.--1/2 hour. _Average cost_, 2s. 6d.; with remains of cold fish,
5d.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

_Note_.--Cod that has been left will do for this.

THE SEASON FOR FISHING COD.--The best season for catching cod is
from the beginning of February to the end of April; and although
each fisherman engaged in taking them, catches no more than one
at a time, an expert hand will sometimes take four hundred in a
day. The employment is excessively fatiguing, from the weight of
the fish as well as from the coldness of the climate.

COD A L'ITALIENNE.

241. INGREDIENTS.--2 slices of crimped cod, 1 shalot, 1 slice of ham
minced very fine, 1/2 pint of white stock, No. 107; when liked, 1/2
teacupful of cream; salt to taste; a few drops of garlic vinegar, a
little lemon-juice, 1/2 teaspoonful of powdered sugar.

_Mode_.--Chop the shalots, mince the ham very fine, pour on the stock,
and simmer for 15 minutes. If the colour should not be good, add cream
in the above proportion, and strain it through a fine sieve; season it,
and put in the vinegar, lemon-juice, and sugar. Now boil the cod, take
out the middle bone, and skin it; put it on the dish without breaking,
and pour the sauce over it.

_Time_.--3/4 hour. _Average cost_, 3s. 6d., with fresh fish.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

THE FECUNDITY OF THE COD.--In our preceding remarks on the
natural history of fishes, we have spoken of the amazing
fruitfulness of this fish; but in this we see one more instance
of the wise provision which Nature has made for supplying the
wants of man. So extensive has been the consumption of this
fish, that it is surprising that it has not long ago become
extinct; which would certainly have been the case, had it not
been for its wonderful powers of reproduction. "So early as
1368," says Dr. Cloquet, "the inhabitants of Amsterdam had
dispatched fishermen to the coast of Sweden; and in the first
quarter of 1792, from the ports of France only, 210 vessels went
out to the cod-fisheries. Every year, however, upwards of 10,000
vessels, of all nations, are employed in this trade, and bring
into the commercial world more than 40,000,000 of salted and
dried cod. If we add to this immense number, the havoc made
among the legions of cod by the larger scaly tribes of the great
deep, and take into account the destruction to which the young
are exposed by sea-fowls and other inhabitants of the seas,
besides the myriads of their eggs destroyed by accident, it
becomes a miracle to find that such mighty multitudes of them
are still in existence, and ready to continue the exhaustless
supply. Yet it ceases to excite our wonder when we remember that
the female can every year give birth to more than 9,000,000 at a
time."

BAKED CARP.

242. INGREDIENTS--1 carp, forcemeat, bread crumbs, 1 oz. butter, 1/2
pint of stock No. 105, 1/2 pint of port wine, 6 anchovies, 2 onions
sliced, 1 bay-leaf, a faggot of sweet herbs, flour to thicken, the juice
of 1 lemon; cayenne and salt to taste; 1/2 teaspoonful of powdered
sugar.

_Mode_.--Stuff the carp with a delicate forcemeat, after thoroughly
cleansing it, and sew it up to prevent the stuffing from falling out.
Rub it over with an egg, and sprinkle it with bread crumbs, lay it in a
deep earthen dish, and drop the butter, oiled, over the bread crumbs.
Add the stock, onions, bay-leaf, herbs, wine, and anchovies, and bake
for 1 hour. Put 1 oz. of butter into a stewpan, melt it, and dredge in
sufficient flour to dry it up; put in the strained liquor from the carp,
stir frequently, and when it has boiled, add the lemon-juice and
seasoning. Serve the carp on a dish garnished with parsley and cut
lemon, and the sauce in a boat.

_Time_.--1-1/4 hour. _Average cost_. Seldom bought.

_Seasonable_ from March to October.

_Sufficient_ for 1 or 2 persons.

[Illustration: THE CARP.]

THE CARP.--This species of fish inhabit the fresh waters, where
they feed on worms, insects, aquatic plants, small fish, clay,
or mould. Some of them are migratory. They have very small
mouths and no teeth, and the gill membrane has three rays. The
body is smooth, and generally whitish. The carp both grows and
increases very fast, and is accounted the most valuable of all
fish for the stocking of ponds. It has been pronounced the queen
of river-fish, and was first introduced to this country about
three hundred years ago. Of its sound, or air-bladder, a kind of
glue is made, and a green paint of its gall.

STEWED CARP.

243. INGREDIENTS.--1 carp, salt, stock No. 105, 2 onions, 6 cloves, 12
peppercorns, 1 blade of mace, 1/4 pint of port wine, the juice of 1/2
lemon, cayenne and salt to taste, a faggot of savoury herbs.

_Mode_.--Scale the fish, clean it nicely, and, if very large, divide it;
lay it in the stewpan, after having rubbed a little salt on it, and put
in sufficient stock to cover it; add the herbs, onions, and spices, and
stew gently for 1 hour, or rather more, should it be very large. Dish up
the fish with great care, strain the liquor, and add to it the port
wine, lemon-juice, and cayenne; give one boil, pour it over the fish,
and serve.

_Time_.--1-1/4 hour. _Average cost_. Seldom bought.

_Seasonable_ from March to October.

_Sufficient_ for 1 or 2 persons.

_Note_.--This fish can be boiled plain, and served with parsley and
butter. Chub and Char may be cooked in the same manner as the above, as
also Dace and Roach.

THE AGE OF CARP.--This fish has been found to live 150 years.
The pond in the garden of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, contained
one that had lived there 70 years, and Gesner mentions an
instance of one 100 years old. They are, besides, capable of
being tamed. Dr. Smith, in his "Tour on the Continent," says, in
reference to the prince of Conde's seat at Chantilly, "The most
pleasing things about it were the immense shoals of very large
carp, silvered over with age, like silver-fish, and perfectly
tame; so that, when any passengers approached their watery
habitation, they used to come to the shore in such numbers as to
heave each other out of the water, begging for bread, of which a
quantity was always kept at hand, on purpose to feed them. They
would even allow themselves to be handled."

[Illustration: THE CHUB.]

[Illustration: THE CHAR.]

THE CHUB.--This fish takes its name from its head, not only in
England, but in other countries. It is a river-fish, and
resembles the carp, but is somewhat longer. Its flesh is not in
much esteem, being coarse, and, when out of season, full of
small hairy bones. The head and throat are the best parts. The
roe is also good.

THE CHAR.--This is one of the most delicious of fish, being
esteemed by some superior to the salmon. It is an inhabitant of
the deep lakes of mountainous countries. Its flesh is rich and
red, and full of fat. The largest and best kind is found in the
lakes of Westmoreland, and, as it is considered a rarity, it is
often potted and preserved.

THE DACE, OR DARE.--This fish is gregarious, and is seldom above
ten inches long; although, according to Linnaeus, it grows a
foot and a half in length. Its haunts are in deep water, near
piles of bridges, where the stream is gentle, over gravelly,
sandy, or clayey bottoms; deep holes that are shaded, water-lily
leaves, and under the foam caused by an eddy. In the warm months
they are to be found in shoals on the shallows near to streams.
They are in season about the end of April, and gradually improve
till February, when they attain their highest condition. In that
month, when just taken, scotched (crimped), and broiled, they
are said to be more palatable than a fresh herring.

THE ROACH.--This fish is found throughout Europe, and the
western parts of Asia, in deep still rivers, of which it is an
inhabitant. It is rarely more than a pound and a half in weight,
and is in season from September till March. It is plentiful in
England, and the finest are caught in the Thames. The proverb,
"as sound as a roach," is derived from the French name of this
fish being _roche_, which also means rock.

[Illustration: THE DACE.]

[Illustration: THE ROACH.]

TO DRESS CRAB.

244. INGREDIENTS.--1 crab, 2 tablespoonfuls of vinegar, 1 ditto of oil;
salt, white pepper, and cayenne, to taste.

_Mode_.--Empty the shells, and thoroughly mix the meat with the above
ingredients, and put it in the large shell. Garnish with slices of cut
lemon and parsley. The quantity of oil may be increased when it is much
liked. (See Coloured Plate I.)

_Average cost_, from 10d. to 2s.

_Seasonable_ all the year; but not so good in May, June, and July.

_Sufficient_ for 3 persons.

TO CHOOSE CRAB.--The middle-sized crab is the best; and the crab, like
the lobster, should be judged by its weight; for if light, it is watery.

HOT CRAB.

245. INGREDIENTS.--1 crab, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste, 3 oz. of
butter, 1/4 lb. of bread crumbs, 3 tablespoonfuls of vinegar.

_Mode_.--After having boiled the crab, pick the meat out from the
shells, and mix with it the nutmeg and seasoning. Cut up the butter in
small pieces, and add the bread crumbs and vinegar. Mix altogether, put
the whole in the large shell, and brown before the fire or with a
salamander.

_Time_.--1 hour. _Average cost_, from 10d. to 2s.

_Seasonable_ all the year; but not so good in May, June, and July.

_Sufficient_ for 3 persons.

[Illustration: THE CRAB.]

THE CRAB TRIBE.--The whole of this tribe of animals have the
body covered with a hard and strong shell, and they live chiefly
in the sea. Some, however, inhabit fresh waters, and a few live
upon land. They feed variously, on aquatic or marine plants,
small fish, molluscae, or dead bodies. The _black-clawed_
species is found on the rocky coasts of both Europe and India,
and is the same that is introduced to our tables, being much
more highly esteemed as a food than many others of the tribe.
The most remarkable feature in their history, is the changing of
their shells, and the reproduction of their broken claws. The
former occurs once a year, usually between Christmas and Easter,
when the crabs retire to cavities in the rocks, or conceal
themselves under great stones. Fishermen say that they will live
confined in a pot or basket for several months together, without
any other food than what is collected from the sea-water; and
that, even in this situation, they will not decrease in weight.
The _hermit_ crab is another of the species, and has the
peculiarity of taking possession of the deserted shell of some
other animal, as it has none of its own. This circumstance was
known to the ancients, and is alluded to in the following lines
from Oppian:--
The hermit fish, unarm'd by Nature, left
Helpless and weak, grow strong by harmless theft.
Fearful they stroll, and look with panting wish
For the cast crust of some new-cover'd fish;
Or such as empty lie, and deck the shore,
Whose first and rightful owners are no more.
They make glad seizure of the vacant room,
And count the borrow'd shell their native home;
Screw their soft limbs to fit the winding case,
And boldly herd with the crustaceous race.

CRAYFISH.

246. Crayfish should be thrown into boiling water, to which has been
added a good seasoning of salt and a little vinegar. When done, which
will be in 1/4 hour, take them out and drain them. Let them cool,
arrange them on a napkin, and garnish with plenty of double parsley.

_Note_.--This fish is frequently used for garnishing boiled turkey,
boiled fowl, calf's head, turbot, and all kinds of boiled fish.

POTTED CRAYFISH.

247. INGREDIENTS.--100 crayfish; pounded mace, pepper and salt to taste,
2 oz. butter.

_Mode_.--Boil the fish in salt and water; pick out all the meat and
pound it in a mortar to a paste. Whilst pounding, add the butter
gradually, and mix in the spice and seasoning. Put it in small pots, and
pour over it clarified butter, carefully excluding the air.

_Time_.--15 minutes to boil the crayfish. _Average cost_, 2s. 9d.

_Seasonable_ all the year.

JOHN DORY.

248. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 lb. of salt to each gallon of water.

_Mode_.--This fish, which is esteemed by most people a great delicacy,
is dressed in the same way as a turbot, which it resembles in firmness,
but not in richness. Cleanse it thoroughly and cut off the fins; lay it
in a fish-kettle, cover with cold water, and add salt in the above
proportion. Bring it gradually to a boil, and simmer gently for 1/4
hour, or rather longer, should the fish be very large. Serve on a hot
napkin, and garnish with cut lemon and parsley. Lobster, anchovy, or
shrimp sauce, and plain melted butter, should be sent to table with it.

_Time_.--After the water boils, 1/4 to 1/2 hour, according to size.

_Average cost_, 3s. to 5s. _Seasonable_ all the year, but best from
September to January.

_Note_.--Small John Dorie are very good, baked.

[Illustration: THE JOHN DORY.]

THE DORU, or JOHN DORY.--This fish is of a yellowish golden
colour, and is, in general, rare, although it is sometimes taken
in abundance on the Devon and Cornish coasts. It is highly
esteemed for the table, and its flesh, when dressed, is of a
beautiful clear white. When fresh caught, it is tough, and,
being a ground fish, it is not the worse for being kept two, or
even three days before it is cooked.

BOILED EELS.

249. INGREDIENTS.--4 small eels, sufficient water to cover them; a large
bunch of parsley.

_Mode_.--Choose small eels for boiling; put them in a stewpan with the
parsley, and just sufficient water to cover them; simmer till tender.
Take them out, pour a little parsley and butter over them, and serve
some in a tureen.

_Time_.--1/2 hour. _Average cost_, 6d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from June to March.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

[Illustration: THE EEL.]

THE EEL TRIBE.--The Apodal, or bony-gilled and ventral-finned
fish, of which the eel forms the first Linnaean tribe, in their
general aspect and manners, approach, in some instances, very
nearly to serpents. They have a smooth head and slippery skin,
are in general naked, or covered with such small, soft, and
distant scales, as are scarcely visible. Their bodies are long
and slender, and they are supposed to subsist entirely on animal
substances. There are about nine species of them, mostly found
in the seas. One of them frequents our fresh waters, and three
of the others occasionally pay a visit to our shores.

STEWED EELS.

I.

250. INGREDIENTS.--2 lbs. of eels, 1 pint of rich strong stock, No. 104,
1 onion, 3 cloves, a piece of lemon-peel, 1 glass of port or Madeira, 3
tablespoonfuls of cream; thickening of flour; cayenne and lemon-juice to
taste.

_Mode_.--Wash and skin the eels, and cut them into pieces about 3 inches
long; pepper and salt them, and lay them in a stewpan; pour over the
stock, add the onion stuck with cloves, the lemon-peel, and the wine.
Stew gently for 1/2 hour, or rather more, and lift them carefully on a
dish, which keep hot. Strain the gravy, stir to the cream sufficient
flour to thicken; mix altogether, boil for 2 minutes, and add the
cayenne and lemon-juice; pour over the eels and serve.

_Time_.--3/4 hour. _Average cost_ for this quantity, 2s. 3d.

_Seasonable_ from June to March.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

THE COMMON EEL.--This fish is known frequently to quit its
native element, and to set off on a wandering expedition in the
night, or just about the close of clay, over the meadows, in
search of snails and other prey. It also, sometimes, betakes
itself to isolated ponds, apparently for no other pleasure than
that which may be supposed to be found in a change of
habitation. This, of course, accounts for eels being found in
waters which were never suspected to contain them. This rambling
disposition in the eel has been long known to naturalists, and,
from the following lines, it seems to have been known to the
ancients:--

"Thus the mail'd tortoise, and the wand'ring; eel,
Oft to the neighbouring beach will silent steal."

II.

251. INGREDIENTS.--2 lbs. of middling-sized eels, 1 pint of medium
stock, No. 105, 1/4 pint of port wine; salt, cayenne, and mace to taste;
1 teaspoonful of essence of anchovy, the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

_Mode_.--Skin, wash, and clean the eels thoroughly; cut them into pieces
3 inches long, and put them into strong salt and water for 1 hour; dry
them well with a cloth, and fry them brown. Put the stock on with the
heads and tails of the eels, and simmer for 1/2 hour; strain it, and add
all the other ingredients. Put in the eels, and stew gently for 1/2
hour, when serve.

_Time_.--2 hours. _Average cost_, 1s. 9d.

_Seasonable_ from June to March.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

FRIED EELS.

252. INGREDIENTS.--1 lb. of eels, 1 egg, a few bread crumbs, hot lard.

_Mode_.--Wash the eels, cut them into pieces 3 inches long, trim and
wipe them very dry; dredge with flour, rub them over with egg, and cover
with bread crumbs; fry of a nice brown in hot lard. If the eels are
small, curl them round, instead of cutting them up. Garnish with fried
parsley.

_Time_.--20 minutes, or rather less. _Average cost_, 6d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from June to March.

_Note_.--Garfish may be dressed like eels, and either broiled or baked.

THE PRODUCTIVENESS OF THE EEL.--"Having occasion," says Dr.
Anderson, in the _Bee_, "to be once on a visit to a friend's
house on Dee-side, in Aberdeenshire, I frequently delighted to
walk by the banks of the river. I, one day, observed something
like a black string moving along the edge of the water where it
was quite shallow. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that
this was a shoal of young eels, so closely joined together as to
appear, on a superficial view, on continued body, moving briskly
up against the stream. To avoid the retardment they experienced
from the force of the current, they kept close along the water's
edge the whole of the way, following all the bendings and
sinuosities of the river. Where they were embayed, and in still
water, the shoal dilated in breadth, so as to be sometimes
nearly a foot broad; but when they turned a cape, where the
current was strong, they were forced to occupy less space and
press close to the shore, struggling very hard till they passed
it. This shoal continued to move on, night and day without
interruption for several weeks. Their progress might be at the
rate of about a mile an hour. It was easy to catch the animals,
though they were very active and nimble. They were eels
perfectly well formed in every respect, but not exceeding two
inches in length. I conceive that the shoal did not contain, on
an average, less than from twelve to twenty in breadth; so that
the number that passed, on the whole, must have been very great.
Whence they came or whither they went, I know not; but the place
where I saw this, was six miles from the sea."

EEL PIE.

253. INGREDIENTS.--1 lb. of eels, a little chopped parsley, 1 shalot;
grated nutmeg; pepper and salt to taste; the juice of 1/2 a lemon, small
quantity of forcemeat, 1/4 pint of bechamel (see Sauces); puff paste.

_Mode_.--Skin and wash the eels, cut them into pieces 2 inches long, and
line the bottom of the pie-dish with forcemeat. Put in the eels, and
sprinkle them with the parsley, shalots, nutmeg, seasoning, and
lemon-juice, and cover with puff-paste. Bake for 1 hour, or rather more;
make the bechamel hot, and pour it into the pie.

_Time_.--Rather more than 1 hour.

_Seasonable_ from August to March.

COLLARED EEL.

254. INGREDIENTS.--1 large eel; pepper and salt to taste; 2 blades of
mace, 2 cloves, a little allspice very finely pounded, 6 leaves of sage,
and a small bunch of herbs minced very small.

_Mode_.--Bone the eel and skin it; split it, and sprinkle it over with
the ingredients, taking care that the spices are very finely pounded,
and the herbs chopped very small. Roll it up and bind with a broad piece
of tape, and boil it in water, mixed with a little salt and vinegar,
till tender. It may either be served whole or cut in slices; and when
cold, the eel should be kept in the liquor it was boiled in, but with a
little more vinegar put to it.

_Time_.--2 hours. _Average cost_, 6d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from August to March.

HAUNTS OF THE EEL.--These are usually in mud, among weeds, under
roots or stumps of trees, or in holes in the banks or the
bottoms of rivers. Here they often grow to an enormous size,
sometimes weighing as much as fifteen or sixteen pounds. They
seldom come forth from their hiding-places except in the night;
and, in winter, bury themselves deep in the mud, on account of
their great susceptibility of cold.

EELS A LA TARTARE.

255. INGREDIENTS.--2 lbs. of eels, 1 carrot, 1 onion, a little flour, 1
glass of sherry; salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste; bread crumbs, 1 egg,
2 tablespoonfuls of vinegar.

_Mode_.--Rub the butter on the bottom of the stewpan; cut up the carrot
and onion, and stir them over the fire for 5 minutes; dredge in a little
flour, add the wine and seasoning, and boil for 1/2 an hour. Skin and
wash the eels, cut them into pieces, put them to the other ingredients,
and simmer till tender. When they are done, take them out, let them get
cold, cover them with egg and bread crumbs, and fry them of a nice
brown. Put them on a dish, pour sauce piquante over, and serve them hot.

_Time_.--1-1/2 hour. _Average cost_, 1s. 8d., exclusive of the sauce
piquante.

_Seasonable_ from August to March. _Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

VORACITY OF THE EEL.--We find in a note upon Isaac Walton, by
Sir John Hawkins, that he knew of eels, when kept in ponds,
frequently destroying ducks. From a canal near his house at
Twickenham he himself missed many young ducks; and on draining,
in order to clean it, great numbers of large eels were caught in
the mud. When some of these were opened, there were found in
their stomachs the undigested heads of the quacking tribe which
had become their victims.

EELS EN MATELOTE.

256. INGREDIENTS.--5 or 6 young onions, a few mushrooms, when
obtainable; salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste; 1 laurel-leaf, 1/2 pint
of port wine, 1/2 pint of medium stock, No. 105; butter and flour to
thicken; 2 lbs. of eels.

_Mode_.--Rub the stewpan with butter, dredge in a little flour, add the
onions cut very small, slightly brown them, and put in all the other
ingredients. Wash, and cut up the eels into pieces 3 inches long; put
them in the stewpan, and simmer for 1/2 hour. Make round the dish, a
border of croutons, or pieces of toasted bread; arrange the eels in a
pyramid in the centre, and pour over the sauce. Serve very hot.

_Time_.--3/4 hour. Average cost, 1s. 9d. for this quantity.

_Seasonable_ from August to March. _Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

TENACITY OF LIFE IN THE EEL.--There is no fish so tenacious of
life as this. After it is skinned and cut in pieces, the parts
will continue to move for a considerable time, and no fish will
live so long out of water.

[Illustration: THE LAMPREY.]

THE LAMPREY.--With the Romans, this fish occupied a respectable
rank among the piscine tribes, and in Britain it has at various
periods stood high in public favour. It was the cause of the
death of Henry I. of England, who ate so much of them, that it
brought on an attack of indigestion, which carried him off. It
is an inhabitant of the sea, ascending rivers, principally about
the end of winter, and, after passing a few months in fresh
water, returning again to its oceanic residence. It is most in
season in March, April, and May, but is, by some, regarded as an
unwholesome food, although looked on by others as a great
delicacy. They are dressed as eels.

FISH AND OYSTER PIE.

257. INGREDIENTS.--Any remains of cold fish, such as cod or haddock; 2
dozen oysters, pepper and salt to taste, bread crumbs sufficient for the
quantity of fish; 1/2 teaspoonful of grated nutmeg, 1 teaspoonful of
finely-chopped parsley.

_Mode_.--Clear the fish from the bones, and put a layer of it in a
pie-dish, which sprinkle with pepper and salt; then a layer of bread
crumbs, oysters, nutmeg, and chopped parsley. Repeat this till the dish
is quite full. You may form a covering either of bread crumbs, which
should be browned, or puff-paste, which should be cut into long strips,
and laid in cross-bars over the fish, with a line of the paste first
laid round the edge. Before putting on the top, pour in some made melted
butter, or a little thin white sauce, and the oyster-liquor, and bake.

_Time_.--If made of cooked fish, 1/4 hour; if made of fresh fish and
puff-paste, 3/4 hour.

_Average cost_, 1s. 6d.

_Seasonable_ from September to April.

_Note_.--A nice little dish may be made by flaking any cold fish, adding
a few oysters, seasoning with pepper and salt, and covering with mashed
potatoes; 1/4 hour will bake it.

FISH CAKE.

258. INGREDIENTS.--The remains of any cold fish, 1 onion, 1 faggot of
sweet herbs; salt and pepper to taste, 1 pint of water, equal quantities
of bread crumbs and cold potatoes, 1/2 teaspoonful of parsley, 1 egg,
bread crumbs.

_Mode_.--Pick the meat from the bones of the fish, which latter put,
with the head and fins, into a stewpan with the water; add pepper and
salt, the onion and herbs, and stew slowly for gravy about 2 hours; chop
the fish fine, and mix it well with bread crumbs and cold potatoes,
adding the parsley and seasoning; make the whole into a cake with the
white of an egg, brush it over with egg, cover with bread crumbs, and
fry of a light brown; strain the gravy, pour it over, and stew gently
for 1/4 hour, stirring it carefully once or twice. Serve hot, and
garnish with slices of lemon and parsley.

_Time_--1/2 hour, after the gravy is made.

BOILED FLOUNDERS.

259. INGREDIENTS.--Sufficient water to cover the flounders, salt in the
proportion of 6 oz. to each gallon, a little vinegar.

_Mode_.--Pat on a kettle with enough water to cover the flounders, lay
in the fish, add salt and vinegar in the above proportions, and when it
boils, simmer very gently for 5 minutes. They must not boil fast, or
they will break. Serve with plain melted butter, or parsley and butter.

_Time_.--After the water boils, 5 minutes.

_Average cost_, 3d. each.

_Seasonable_ from August to November.

[Illustration: FLOUNDERS.]

THE FLOUNDER.--This comes under the tribe usually denominated
Flat-fish, and is generally held in the smallest estimation of
any among them. It is an inhabitant of both the seas and the
rivers, while it thrives in ponds. On the English coasts it is
very abundant, and the London market consumes it in large
quantities. It is considered easy of digestion, and the Thames
flounder is esteemed a delicate fish.

FRIED FLOUNDERS.

260. INGREDIENTS.--Flounders, egg, and bread crumbs; boiling lard.

_Mode_.--Cleanse the fish, and, two hours before they are wanted, rub
them inside and out with salt, to render them firm; wash and wipe them
very dry, dip them into egg, and sprinkle over with bread crumbs; fry
them in boiling lard, dish on a hot napkin, and garnish with crisped
parsley.

_Time_.--From 5 to 10 minutes, according to size.

_Average cost_, 3d. each.

_Seasonable_ from August to November.

_Sufficient_, 1 for each person.

GUDGEONS.

261. INGREDIENTS.--Egg and bread crumbs sufficient for the quantity of
fish; hot lard.

_Mode_.--Do not scrape off the scales, but take out the gills and
inside, and cleanse thoroughly; wipe them dry, flour and dip them into
egg, and sprinkle over with bread crumbs. Fry of a nice brown.

_Time_.--3 or 4 minutes.

_Average cost_. Seldom bought.

_Seasonable_ from March to July.

_Sufficient_, 3 for each person.

[Illustration: THE GUDGEON.]

THE GUDGEON.--This is a fresh-water fish, belonging to the carp
genus, and is found in placid streams and lakes. It was highly
esteemed by the Greeks, and was, at the beginning of supper,
served fried at Rome. It abounds both in France and Germany; and
is both excellent and numerous in some of the rivers of England.
Its flesh is firm, well-flavoured, and easily digested.

GURNET, or GURNARD.

262. INGREDIENTS.--1 gurnet, 6 oz. of salt to each gallon of water.

_Mode_.--Cleanse the fish thoroughly, and cut off the fins; have ready
some boiling water, with salt in the above proportion; put the fish in,
and simmer very gently for 1/2 hour. Parsley and butter, or anchovy
sauce, should be served with it.

_Time_.--1/2 hour.

_Average cost_. Seldom bought.

_Seasonable_ from October to March, but in perfection in October.

_Sufficient_, a middling sized one for 2 persons.

_Note_.--This fish is frequently stuffed with forcemeat and baked.

[Illustration: THE GURNET.]

THE GURNET.-"If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a souced
gurnet," says Falstaff; which shows that this fish has been long
known in England. It is very common on the British coasts, and
is an excellent fish as food.

BAKED HADDOCKS.

263. INGREDIENTS.--A nice forcemeat (_see_ Forcemeats), butter to taste,
egg and bread crumbs.

_Mode_.--Scale and clean the fish, without cutting it open much; put in
a nice delicate forcemeat, and sew up the slit. Brush it over with egg,
sprinkle over bread crumbs, and baste frequently with butter. Garnish
with parsley and cut lemon, and serve with a nice brown gravy, plain
melted butter, or anchovy sauce. The egg and bread crumbs can be
omitted, and pieces of butter placed over the fish.

_Time_.--Large haddock, 3/4 hour; moderate size, 1/4 hour.

_Seasonable_ from August to February.

_Average cost_, from 9d. upwards.

_Note_.--Haddocks may be filleted, rubbed over with egg and bread
crumbs, and fried a nice brown; garnish with crisped parsley.

[Illustration: THE HADDOCK.]

THE HADDOCK.--This fish migrates in immense shoals, and arrives
on the Yorkshire coast about the middle of winter. It is an
inhabitant of the northern seas of Europe, but does not enter
the Baltic, and is not known in the Mediterranean. On each side
of the body, just beyond the gills, it has a dark spot, which
superstition asserts to be the impressions of the finger and
thumb of St. Peter, when taking the tribute money out of a fish
of this species.

BOILED HADDOCK.

264. INGREDIENTS.--Sufficient water to cover the fish; 1/4 lb. of salt
to each gallon of water.

_Mode_.--Scrape the fish, take out the inside, wash it thoroughly, and
lay it in a kettle, with enough water to cover it and salt in the above
proportion. Simmer gently from 15 to 20 minutes, or rather more, should
the fish be very large. For small haddocks, fasten the tails in their
mouths, and put them into boiling water. 10 to 15 minutes will cook
them. Serve with plain melted butter, or anchovy sauce.

_Time_.--Large haddock, 1/2 hour; small, 1/4 hour, or rather less.

_Average cost_, from 9d. upwards.

_Seasonable_ from August to February.

WEIGHT OF THE HADDOCK.--The haddock seldom grows to any great
size. In general, they do not weigh more than two or three
pounds, or exceed ten or twelve inches in size. Such are
esteemed very delicate eating; but they have been caught three
feet long, when their flesh is coarse.

DRIED HADDOCK.

I.

265. Dried haddock should be gradually warmed through, either before or
over a nice clear fire. Hub a little piece of butter over, just before
sending it to table.

II.

266. INGREDIENTS.--1 large thick haddock, 2 bay-leaves, 1 small bunch of
savoury herbs, not forgetting parsley, a little butter and pepper;
boiling water.

_Mode_.--Cut up the haddock into square pieces, make a basin hot by
means of hot water, which pour out. Lay in the fish, with the bay-leaves
and herbs; cover with boiling water; put a plate over to keep in the
steam, and let it remain for 10 minutes. Take out the slices, put them
in a hot dish, rub over with butter and pepper, and serve.

_Time_.--10 minutes. _Seasonable_ at any time, but best in winter.

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