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BACON, though intended to be a cheap article of housekeeping, is often, through mismanagement, rendered one of the most expensive. Generally twice as much is dressed as need be, and of course there is a deal of waste. When sent to table as an accompaniment to boiled poultry or veal, a pound and a half is plenty for a dozen people.

Bacon will boil better, and swell more freely, if the rind is taken off before it is dressed; and when excessively salt, it should be soaked an hour or two in warm water. If the bacon be dried, pare off the rusty and smoked part, trim it neatly on the under side, and scrape the rind as clean as possible. Or take it up when sufficiently boiled, scrape the under side, and cut off the rind: grate a crust of bread over it, and place it a few minutes before the fire to brown. Two pounds will require to be boiled gently about an hour and a half, according to its thickness: the hock or gammon being very thick, will take more. See DRIED BACON.

BAKING. This mode of preparing a dinner is undoubtedly one of the cheapest and most convenient, especially for a small family; and the oven is almost the only kitchen which the poor man possesses. Much however depends on the care and ability of the baker: in the country especially, where the baking of dinners is not always considered as a regular article of business, it is rather a hazardous experiment to send a valuable joint to the oven; and more is often wasted and spoiled by the heedless conduct of the parish cook, than would have paid for the boiling or roasting at home. But supposing the oven to be managed with care and judgment, there are many joints which may be baked to great advantage, and will be found but little inferior to roasting. Particularly, legs and loins of pork, legs of mutton, fillets of veal, and other joints, if the meat be fat and good, will be eaten with great satisfaction, when they come from the oven. A sucking pig is also well adapted to the purpose, and is equal to a roasted one, if properly managed. When sent to the baker, it should have its ears and tail covered with buttered paper fastened on, and a bit of butter tied up in a piece of linen to baste the back with, otherwise it will be apt to blister. A goose should be prepared the same as for roasting, placing it on a stand, and taking care to turn it when it is half done. A duck the same.

If a buttock of beef is to be baked, it should be well washed, after it has been in salt about a week, and put into a brown earthen pan with a pint of water. Cover the pan tight over with two or three thicknesses of writing paper, and give it four or five hours in a moderate oven. Brown paper should never be used with baked dishes; the pitch and tar which it contains will give the meat a smoky bad taste. Previously to baking a ham, soak it in water an hour, take it out and wipe it, and make a crust sufficient to cover it all over; and if done in a moderate oven, it will cut fuller of gravy, and be of a finer flavour, than a boiled one. Small cod-fish, haddock, and mackarel will bake well, with a dust of flour and some bits of butter put on them. Large eels should be stuffed. Herrings and sprats are to be baked in a brown pan, with vinegar and a little spice, and tied over with paper. These and various other articles may be baked so as to give full satisfaction, if the oven be under judicious management.

BAKED CARP. Clean a large carp, put in a Portuguese stuffing, and sow it up. Brush it all over with the yolk of an egg, throw on plenty of crumbs, and drop on oiled butter to baste with. Place the carp in a deep earthen dish, with a pint of stock, a few sliced onions, some bay leaves, a bunch of herbs, such as basil, thyme, parsley, and both sorts of marjoram; half a pint of port wine, and six anchovies. Cover over the pan, and bake it an hour. Let it be done before it is wanted. Pour the liquor from it, and keep the fish hot while you heat up the liquor with a good piece of butter rolled in flour, a tea-spoonful of mustard, a little cayenne, and a spoonful of soy. Serve it on the dish, garnished with lemon and parsley, and horse-radish, and put the gravy into the sauce tureen.

 

BAKED CUSTARD. Boil a pint of cream and half a pint of milk with a little mace, cinnamon and lemon peel. When cold, mix the yolks of three eggs, and sweeten the custard. Make the cups or paste nearly full, and bake them ten minutes.

 

BAKED HERRINGS. Wash and drain, without wiping them; and when drawn, they should not be opened. Season with allspice in fine powder, salt, and a few whole cloves. Lay them in a pan with plenty of black pepper, an onion, and a few bay leaves. Add half vinegar and half small beer, enough to cover them. Put paper over the pan, and bake in a slow oven. If it be wished to make them look red, throw a little saltpetre over them the night before.

 

BAKED MILK. A very useful article may be made for weakly and consumptive persons in the following manner. Put a gallon of milk into a jar, tie white paper over it, and let it stand all night in the oven when baking is over. Next morning it will be as thick as cream, and may be drank two or three times a day.

 

BAKED PEARS. Those least fit to eat raw, are often the best for baking. Do not pare them, but wipe and lay them on tin plates, and bake them in a slow oven. When done enough to bear it, flatten them with a silver spoon; and when done through, put them on a dish. They should be baked three or four times, and very gently.

 

BAKED PIKE. Scale and open it as near the throat as possible, and then put in the following stuffing. Grated bread, herbs, anchovies, oysters, suet, salt, pepper, mace, half a pint of cream, four yolks of eggs; mix all over the fire till it thickens, and then sow it up in the fish. Little bits of butter should be scattered over it, before it is sent to the oven. Serve it with gravy sauce, butter and anchovy. In carving a pike, if the back and belly be slit up, and each slice drawn gently downwards, fewer bones will be given at table.

 

BAKED SOUP. A cheap and plentiful dish for poor families, or to give away, may be made of a pound of any kind of meat cut in slices, with two onions, two carrots sliced, two ounces of rice, a pint of split peas, or whole ones if previously soaked, seasoned with pepper and salt. Put the whole into an earthen jug or pan, adding a gallon of water: cover it very close, and bake it.

 

BALM WINE. Boil three pounds of lump sugar in a gallon of water; skim it clean, put in a handful of balm, and boil it ten minutes. Strain it off, cool it, put in some yeast, and let it stand two days. Add the rind and juice of a lemon, and let it stand in the cask six months.

 

BALSAMIC VINEGAR. One of the best remedies for wounds or bruises is the balsamic or anti-putrid vinegar, which is made in the following manner. Take a handful of sage leaves and flowers, the same of lavender, hyssop, thyme, and savory; two heads of garlic, and a handful of salt. These are to be infused in some of the best white-wine vinegar; and after standing a fortnight or three weeks, it will be fit for use.

 

BANBURY CAKES. Work a pound of butter into a pound of white-bread dough, the same as for puff paste; roll it out very thin, and cut it into bits of an even form, the size intended for the cakes. Moisten some powder sugar with a little brandy, mix in some clean currants, put a little of it on each bit of paste, close them up, and bake them on a tin. When they are taken out, sift some fine sugar over them.