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These being deemed particularly valuable, the birds in some counties are plucked four or five times in a year. The first operation is performed in the spring for feathers and quills, and is repeated for feathers only, between that period and Michaelmas. Though the plucking of geese appears to be a barbarous custom, yet experience has proved, that if carefully done, the birds thrive better, and are more healthy, when stripped of their feathers, than if they were left to drop them by molting. Geese intended for breeding in farm yards, and which are called old geese, may be plucked three times a year, at an interval of seven weeks, but not oftener. Every one should be thirteen or fourteen weeks old before they are subject to this operation, or they are liable to perish in cold summers; and if intended for the table, they would become poor and lose their quality, were they stripped of their feathers at an earlier period.


Quarter a goose, season it well, put it in a baking dish, and lay pieces of butter over it. Put on a raised crust, and bake it in a moderate oven. To make a richer pie, force-meat may be added, and slices of tongue. Duck pie is made in the same manner.


Put into melted butter a spoonful of sorrel juice, a little sugar, and some scalded gooseberries. Pour it into boats, and send it hot to table.


Put the fruit into a stone jar, with some good Lisbon sugar. Set the jar on a stove, or in a saucepan of water over the fire: if the former, a large spoonful of water should be added to the fruit. When it is done enough to pulp, press it through a cullender. Have ready a sufficient quantity of new milk, and a tea-cupful of raw cream, boiled together, or an egg instead of the latter. When cold, sweeten it pretty well with fine Lisbon sugar, and mix the pulp with it by degrees.


Gather the largest green gooseberries of the walnut kind, and slit the tops into four quarters, leaving the stalk end whole. Pick out the seeds, and with a strong needle and thread fasten five or six together, by running the thread through the bottoms, till they are of the size of a hop. Lay vine leaves at the bottom of a tin preserving-pan, cover them with the hops, then a layer of leaves, and so on: lay a good many on the top, and fill the pan with water. Stop it down so close that no steam can escape, set it by a slow fire till scalding hot, and then take it off to cool. Repeat the operation till the gooseberries, on being opened, are found to be of a good green. Then drain them on sieves, and make a thin syrup of a pound of sugar to a pint of water, well boiled and skimmed. When the syrup is half cold, put in the fruit; give it a boil up, and repeat it thrice. Gooseberry hops look well and eat best dried, and in this case they may be set to dry in a week. But if to be kept moist, make a syrup in the above proportions, adding a slice of ginger in the boiling. When skimmed and clear, give the gooseberries one boil, and pour the syrup cold over them. If found too sour, a little sugar may be added, before the hops that are for drying receive their last boil. The extra syrup will serve for pies, or go towards other sweetmeats.


Gather some ripe gooseberries, of the clear white or green sort, pick them clean and weigh them. Allow three quarters of a pound of lump sugar to a pound of fruit, and half a pint of water. Boil and skim the sugar and water, then put in the fruit, and boil it gently till it is quite clear. Break the gooseberries into jam, and put into small pots.

Another. Gather some ripe gooseberries in dry weather, of the red hairy sort, and pick off the heads and tails. Put twelve pounds of them into a preserving pan, with a pint of currant juice, drawn as for jelly. Boil them pretty quick, and beat them with a spoon; when they begin to break, add six pounds of white Lisbon sugar, and simmer them slowly to a jam. They require long boiling, or they will not keep; but they make an excellent jam for tarts and puffs. When the jam is put into jars, examine it after two or three days; and if the syrup and fruit separate, the whole must be boiled again. In making white gooseberry jam, clarified sugar should be used; and in all cases great care must be taken to prevent the fruit from burning to the bottom of the pan.


Stew some gooseberries in a jar over a hot hearth, or in a saucepan of water, till reduced to a pulp. Take a pint of the juice pressed through a coarse sieve, and mix it with three eggs beaten and strained. Add an ounce and a half of butter, sweeten it well, put a crust round the dish, and bake it. A few crumbs of roll should be mixed with the above to give it a little consistence, or four ounces of Naples biscuits.


Scald as much fruit as when pulped through a sieve, will cover the bottom of a dish intended to be used. Mix with it the rind of half a lemon grated fine, sweetened with sugar. Put any quantity of common custard over it, and a whip on the top, as for other trifles.


Boil some spring water; and when cold, put to every three quarts, a quart of bruised gooseberries in a large tub. Let them remain two or three days, stirring often; then strain through a hair bag, and to each gallon of liquor add a pound of the coarsest sugar. Put it into a barrel, with yeast spread upon a toast, and cover the bung hole with a piece of slate. The greater the quantity of sugar and fruit, the stronger the vinegar.


When the weather is dry, gather gooseberries about the time they are half ripe. Pick them clean as much as a peck into a convenient vessel, and bruise them with a piece of wood, taking as much care as possible to keep the seeds whole. Now having put the pulp into a canvas bag, press out all the juice; and to every gallon of the gooseberries, add about three pounds of fine loaf sugar. Mix the whole together by stirring it with a stick, and as soon as the sugar is quite dissolved, pour it into a cask which will exactly hold it. If the quantity be about eight or nine gallons, let it stand a fortnight: if twenty gallons, forty days, and so on in proportion. Set it in a cool place; and after standing the proper time, draw it off from the lees. Put it into another clean vessel of equal size, or into the same, after pouring out the lees and making it clean. Let a cask of ten or twelve gallons stand for about three months, and twenty gallons for five months, after which it will be fit for bottling off.


Gather some dry gooseberries of the hairy sort, before the seeds become large, and take care not to cut them in taking off the stalks and buds. If gathered in the damp, or the gooseberry skins are the least broken in the preparation, the fruit will mould. Fill some jars or wide-mouthed bottles, put the corks loosely in, and set the bottles up to the neck in a kettle of water. When the fruit looks scalded, take them out; and when perfectly cold, cork them down close, and rosin the top. Dig a trench sufficiently deep to receive all the bottles, and cover them with the earth a foot and a half. When a frost comes on, a little fresh litter from the stable will prevent the ground from hardening, so that the fruit may more easily be dug up.

Green gooseberries may also be preserved for winter use, without bedding them in the earth. Scald them as above, and when cold, fill the bottles up with cold water. Cork and rosin them down, and keep them in a dry place.

Another way. Having prepared the gooseberries as above, prepare a kettle of boiling water, and put into it as much roche alum as will harden the water, or give it a little roughness when dissolved: but if there be too much it will spoil the fruit. Cover the bottom of a large sieve with gooseberries, without laying one upon another; and hold the sieve in the water till the fruit begins to look scalded on the outside. Turn them gently out of the sieve on a cloth on the dresser, cover them with another cloth, putting some more to be scalded, till the whole are finished. Observe not to put one quantity upon another, or they will become too soft. The next day pick out any bad or broken ones, bottle the rest, and fill up the bottles with the alum water in which they were scalded. If the water be left in the kettle, or in a glazed pan, it will spoil; it must therefore be quickly put into the bottles. Gooseberries prepared in this way, and stopped down close, will make as fine tarts as when fresh from the trees.

Another way. In dry weather pick some full grown but unripe gooseberries, top and tail them, and put them into wide-mouthed bottles. Stop them lightly with new velvet corks, put them into the oven after the bread is drawn, and let them stand till they are shrunk one fourth. Take them out of the oven, fasten the corks in tight, cut off the tops, and rosin them down close. Set them in a dry place; and if well secured from the air, they will keep the year round. Currants and damsons may be preserved in the same way.


Melt some hog's lard, add as much clivers or goose-grass as the lard will moisten, and boil them together over a slow fire. Keep the mixture stirring till it becomes a little brown, and then strain it through a cloth. When cold, take the ointment from the water, and put it up in gallipots.


Gouty patients are required to abstain from all fermented and spirituous liquors, and to use wine very moderately; carefully to avoid all fat, rancid, and salted provisions, and high seasoned dishes of every description. The constant use of barley bread is recommended, with large doses of powdered ginger boiled in milk for breakfast. Absorbent powders of two scruples of magnesia, and three or four grains each of rhubarb and purified kali, should be taken during the intervals of gouty fits, and repeated every other morning for several weeks. The feet should be kept warm, sinapisms frequently applied to them, and the part affected should be covered with flannel.


Take four pounds of sun raisins sliced and stoned, two ounces of senna, one ounce of fennel seed, one of coriander, half an ounce of cochineal, half an ounce of saffron, half an ounce of stick liquorice, and half a pound of rhubarb: infuse them all in two gallons of brandy, and let it stand for ten days. Stir it occasionally, then strain it off, and bottle it. Take a small wine-glass full, when the gout is in the head or stomach; and if the pain be not removed, take two large spoonfuls more.

Or take six drams of opium, half an ounce of soap of tartar, half an ounce of castile soap, one dram of grated nutmeg, three drams of camphor, two scruples of saffron, and nine ounces of sweet spirit of sal-ammoniac. Put them all into a wine flask in a sand-heat for ten days, shaking it occasionally till the last day or two: then pour it off clear, and keep it stopped up close for use. Take thirty or forty drops in a glass of peppermint two hours after eating; it may also be taken two or three times in the day or night if required.


These depositories are very liable to be infested with weasels, and various kinds of insects. To prevent their depredations, the floors of granaries should be laid with poplars of Lombardy.