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KETCHUP 

The liquor obtained from mushrooms, approaches the nearest to meat gravy, in flavor and quality, of any other vegetable juice, and is the best substitute for it, in any of those savory dishes intended to please the palate. But in order to have it wholesome and good, it must be made at home, the mushrooms employed in preparing ketchup for sale being generally in a state of putrefaction; and in a few days after the mushrooms are gathered, they become the habitation of myriads of insects.

In order to procure and preserve the flavor of the vegetable for any considerable time, the mushrooms should be sought from the beginning of September, and care taken to select only the right sort, and such as are fresh gathered. Full grown flaps are the best for ketchup. Place a layer of these at the bottom of a deep earthen pan, and sprinkle them with salt; then another layer of mushrooms, and some more salt on them, and so on alternately. Let them remain two or three hours, by which time the salt will have penetrated the mushrooms, and rendered them easy to break. 

Then pound them in a mortar, or mash them with the hand, and let them remain two days longer, stirring them up, and mashing them well each day. Then pour them into a stone jar, and to each quart add an ounce of whole black pepper. Stop the jar very close, set it in a stew pan of boiling water, and keep it boiling at least for two hours. Take out the jar, pour the juice clear from the settlings through a hair sieve into a clean stew pan, and let it boil very gently for half an hour. If intended to be exquisitely fine, it may be boiled till reduced to half the quantity. It will keep much better in this concentrated state, and only half the quantity be required. Skim it well in boiling, and pour it into a clean dry jar; cover it close, let it stand in a cool place till the next day, and then pour it off as gently as possible, so as not to disturb the settlings. 

If a table-spoonful of brandy be added to each pint of ketchup, after standing a while, a fresh sediment will be deposited, from which the liquor is quietly to be poured off, and bottled into half pints, as it is best preserved in small quantities, which are soon used. It must be closely corked and sealed down, or dipped in bottle cement, that the air may be entirely excluded. If kept in a cool dry place, it may be preserved for a long time; but if it be badly corked, and kept in a damp place, it will soon spoil. Examine it from time to time, by placing a strong light behind the neck of the bottle; and if any pellicle appears about it, it must be boiled up again with a few peppercorns. No more spice is required than what is necessary to feed the ketchup, and keep it from fermenting. Brandy is the best preservative to all preparations of this kind.

KEEPING PROVISIONS 

When articles of food are procured, the next thing to be considered is, how they may be best preserved, in order to their being dressed. More waste is oftentimes occasioned by the want of judgment or of necessary care in this particular, than by any other means; and what was procured with expense and difficulty is rendered unwholesome, or given to the dogs. Very few houses have a proper place to keep provisions in; the best substitute is a hanging-safe, suspended in an airy situation. A well-ventilated larder, dry and shady, would be better for meat and poultry, which require to be kept a proper time to be ripe and tender. The most consummate skill in culinary matters, will not compensate the want of attention to this particular. Though animal food should be hung up in the open air, till its fibres have lost some degree of their toughness; yet if kept till it loses its natural sweetness, it is as detrimental to health as it is disagreeable to the taste and smell. 

As soon therefore as you can detect the slightest trace of putrescence, it has reached its highest degree of tenderness, and should be dressed immediately. Much of course will depend on the state of the atmosphere: if it be warm and humid, care must be taken to dry the meat with a cloth, night and morning, to keep it from damp and mustiness. During the sultry months of summer, it is difficult to procure meat that is not either tough or tainted. It should therefore be well examined when it comes in; and if flies have touched it, the part must be cut off, and then well washed. Meat that is to be salted should lie an hour in cold water, rubbing well any part likely to have been fly-blown. When taken out of the water, wipe it quite dry, then rub it thoroughly with salt, and throw a handful over it besides. 

Turn it every day, and rub in the pickle, which will make it ready for the table in three or four days. If to be very much corned, wrap it in a well-floured cloth, after rubbing it with salt. This last method will corn fresh beef fit for the table the day it comes in, but it must be put into the pot when the water boils. If the weather permit, meat eats much better for hanging two or three days before it is salted. In very cold weather, meat and vegetables touched by the frost should be brought into the kitchen early in the morning, and soaked in cold water. Putting them into hot water, or near the fire, till thawed, makes it impossible for any heat to dress them properly afterwards. In loins of meat, the long pipe that runs by the bone should be taken out, as it is apt to taint; as also the kernels of beef. Rumps and edgebones of beef when bruised, should not be purchased. To preserve venison, wash it well with milk and water, then dry it with clean cloths till not the least damp remains, and dust it all over with pounded ginger, which will protect it against the fly. By thus managing and watching, it will hang a fortnight. When to be used, wash it with a little lukewarm water, and dry it. Pepper is likewise good to keep it.

KIDNEY PUDDING 

Split and soak the kidney, and season it. Make a paste of suet, flour, and milk; roll it, and line a bason with some of it. Put in the kidney, cover the paste over, and pinch it round the edge. Tie up the bason in a cloth, and boil it a considerable time. A steak pudding is made in the same way.

KITCHEN ECONOMY 

Many articles thrown away, or suffered to be wasted in the kitchen, might by proper management be turned to a good account. The shank bones of mutton, so little esteemed in general, would be found to give richness to soups or gravies, if well soaked and brushed, before they are added to the boiling. They are also particularly nourishing for sick persons. Roast beef-bones, or shank bones of ham, make fine peas-soup; and should be boiled with the peas the day before the soup is to be eaten, that the fat may be taken off. The liquor in which meat has been boiled makes an excellent soup for the poor, by adding to it vegetables, oatmeal, or peas. When whites of eggs are used for jelly, or other purposes, a pudding or a custard should be made to employ the yolks. If not immediately wanted, they should be beat up with a little water, and put in a cool place, or they will soon harden, and become useless. 

It is a great mistake to imagine that the whites of eggs make cakes and puddings heavy: on the contrary, if beaten long and separately, they contribute greatly to give lightness. They are also an advantage to paste, and make a pretty dish beaten with fruit, to set in cream. All things likely to be wanted should be in readiness; sugars of different sorts, currants washed, picked, and perfectly dry; spices pounded, and kept in very small bottles closely corked, but not more than are likely to be used in the course of a month. Much waste may be prevented by keeping every article in the place best suited to it. Vegetables will keep best on a stone floor, if the air be excluded. Meat in a cold dry place. Salt, sugar, and sweetmeats require to be kept dry; candles cold, but not damp. Dried meats and hams the same. Rice, and all sorts of seeds for puddings and saloops, should be close covered to preserve from insects; but that will not prevent it, if long kept.

KITCHEN GARDEN 

Here a little attention will be requisite every month in the year, as no garden can be long neglected, without producing weeds which exhaust the soil, as well as give a very slovenly appearance.

JANUARY 

Throw up a heap of new dung to heat, that it may be ready to make hotbeds for early cucumbers, and raising of annuals for the flower garden. Dig up the ground that is to be sown with the spring crops, that it may lie and mellow. Nurse the cauliflower plants kept under glasses, carefully shut out the frost, but in the middle of milder days let in a little air. Pick up the dead leaves, and gather up the mould about the stalks. Make a slight hotbed in the open ground for young sallads, and place hoops over it, that it may be covered in very cold weather. Sow a few beans and peas, and seek and destroy snails and other vermin.

FEBRUARY 

Dig and level beds for sowing radishes, onions, carrots, parsnips, and Dutch lettuce. Leeks and spinage should also be sown in this month, likewise beets, celery, sorrel, and marigolds, with any other of the hardy kinds. The best way with beans and peas, is to sow a new crop every fortnight, that if one succeeds and another fails, as will often be the case, there still may be a constant supply of these useful articles for the table. Plant kidney beans upon a hotbed for an early crop; the dwarf, the white and Battersea beans, are the best sorts. They must have air in the middle of mild days when they are up, and once in two days they should be gently watered. Transplant cabbages, plant out Silesia and Cos lettuce from the beds where they grew in winter, and plant potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes.

MARCH 

Sow more carrots, and also some large peas, rouncevals and gray. In better ground sow cabbages, savoys, and parsnips for a second crop; and towards the end of the month, put in a larger quantity of peas and beans. Sow parsley, and plant mint. Sow Cos and imperial lettuce, and transplant the finer kinds. In the beginning of the month, sow Dutch parsley for the roots. The last week take advantage of the time, or the dry days, to make beds for asparagus. Clear up the artichoke roots, slip off the weakest, and plant them out for a new crop, leaving four on each good root to bear, and on such as are weaker two. Dig up a warm border, and sow some French beans; let them have a dry soil, and give them no water till they appear above ground.

APRIL 

On a dry warm border, plant a large crop of French beans. Plant cuttings of sage, and other aromatics. Sow marrowfat peas, and plant some beans for a late crop. Sow thyme, sweet marjoram, and savoury. Sow young sallads once in ten days, and some Cos and Silesia lettuces. The seeds of all kinds being now in the ground, look to the growing crops, clear away the weeds every where among them, dig up the earth between the rows of beans, peas, and all other kinds that are distantly planted. This gives them a strong growth, and brings them much sooner to perfection than can be done in any other way. Draw up the mould to the stalks of the cabbage and cauliflower plants, and in cold nights cover the glasses over the early cucumbers and melons.

MAY 

Once in two days water the peas, beans, and other large growing plants. Destroy the weeds in all parts of the ground, dig up the earth between the rows, and about the stems of all large kinds. Sow small sallads once in two days, as in the former month: at the same time choose a warm border, and sow some purslain. Sow also some endive, plant peas and beans for a large crop, and French beans to succeed the others. The principal object with these kinds of vegetables, is to have them fresh and young throughout the season. Choose a moist day, and an hour before sunset plant out some savoys, cabbages, and red cabbages. Draw the earth carefully up to their stems, and give them a few gentle watering.

JUNE 

Transplant the cauliflowers sown in May, give them a rich bed, and frequent watering. Plant out thyme, and other savory herbs sown before, and in the same manner shade and water them. Take advantage of cloudy weather to sow turnips; and if there be no showers, water the ground once in two days. Sow broccoli upon a rich warm border, and plant out celery, for blanching. This must be planted in trenches a foot and a half deep, and the plants must be set half a foot asunder in the rows. Endive should also be planted out for blanching, but the plants should be set fifteen inches asunder, and at the same time some endive seed should be sown for a second crop. Pick up snails, and in the damp evenings kill the naked slugs.

JULY 

Sow a crop of French beans to come in late, when they will be very acceptable. Clear all the ground from weeds, dig between the rows of beans and peas, hoe the ground about the artichokes, and every thing of the cabbage kind. Water the crops in dry weather, and the cucumbers more freely. Watch the melons as they ripen, but give them very little water. Clear away the stalks of beans and peas that have done bearing. Spinach seed will now be ready for gathering, as also that of the Welch onion, and some others: take them carefully off, and dry them in the shade. Take up large onions, and spread them upon mats to dry for the winter.

AUGUST 

Spinach and onions should be sowed on rich borders, prepared for that purpose. These two crops will live through the winter, unless very severe, and be valuable in the spring. The second week in this month sow cabbage seed of the early kind, and in the third week sow cauliflower seed. This will provide plants to be nursed up under bell glasses in the winter. Some of these may also be planted in the open ground in a well defended situation. The last week of this month sow another crop, to supply the place of these in case of accidents; for if the season be very severe, they may be lost; and if very mild, they will run to seed in the spring. These last crops must be defended by a hotbed frame, and they will stand out and supply deficiencies. Sow cabbage lettuces, and the brown Dutch kinds, in a warm and well sheltered border. Take up garlic, and spread it on a mat to harden. In the same manner take up onions and rocambole, and shalots at the latter end of the month.

SEPTEMBER 

Sow various kinds of lettuces, Silesia, Cos, and Dutch, and when they come up, shelter them carefully. The common practice is to keep them under hand-glasses, but they will thrive better under a reed fence, placed sloping over them. Make up fresh warm beds with the dung that has lain a month in the heap. Plant the spawn in these beds, upon pasture mould, and raise the top of the bed to a ridge, to throw off the wet. Look to the turnip beds and thin them, leaving the plants six inches apart from each other. Weed the spinach, onions, and other new-sown plants. Earth up the celery, and sow young sallads upon warm and well-sheltered borders. Clean asparagus beds, cut down the stalks, pare off the earth from the surface of the alleys, throw it upon the beds half an inch thick, and sprinkle over it a little dung from an old melon bed. Dig up the ground where summer crops have ripened, and lay it in ridges for the winter. The ridges should be disposed east and west, and turned once in two months, to give them the advantage of a fallow. Sow some beans and peas on warm and well-sheltered borders, to stand out the winter.

OCTOBER 

Set out cauliflower plants, where they can be sheltered; and if glasses are used, put two under each, for fear of one failing. Sow another crop of peas, and plant more beans; choose a dry spot for them, where they can be sheltered from the winter's cold. Transplant the lettuces sown last month, where they can be defended by a reed fence, or under a wall. Transplant cabbage plants and coleworts, where they are to remain. Take great care of the cauliflower plants sown early in summer; and as they now begin to show their heads, break in the leaves upon them to keep off the sun and rain; it will both harden and whiten them.

NOVEMBER 

Weed the crops of spinach, and others that were sown late, or the wild growth will smother and starve the crop. Dig up a border under a warm wall, and sow some carrots for spring; sow radishes in a similar situation, and let the ground be dug deep for both. Turn the mould that was trenched and laid up for fallowing; this will destroy the weeds, and enrich the soil by exposing it to the air. Prepare some hotbeds for salading, cover them five inches with mould, and sow them with lettuces, mustard, rape, cresses, and radish. Plant another crop of beans, and sow more peas for a succession. Trench the ground between the artichokes, and throw a thick ridge of earth over the roots: this will preserve them from the frost, and prevent their shooting at an improper time. Make a hotbed for asparagus. Take up carrots and parsnips, and put them in sand to be ready for use. Give air occasionally to the plants under hand-glasses and on hotbeds, or they will suffer as much for want of it, as they would have done by an exposure to the cold.

DECEMBER 

Plant cabbages and savoys for seed: this requires to be done carefully. Dig up a dry border, and break the mould well; then take up some of the stoutest cabbage and savoy plants, hang them up by the stalks four or five days, and afterwards plant them half way up the stalks into the ground. Draw up a good quantity of mould about the stalk that is above ground, make it into a kind of hill round each, and leave them to nature. Sow another crop of peas, and plant some more beans, to take their chance for succeeding the other. Make another hotbed for asparagus, to yield a supply when the former is exhausted. Continue to earth up celery, and cover some endive with a good quantity of peas straw, as it is growing, that it may be taken up when wanted, and be preserved from the winter's frost.

KITCHEN PEPPER 

Mix in the finest powder, one ounce of ginger, half an ounce each of cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, and Jamaica pepper; ten cloves, and six ounces of salt. Keep it in a bottle, and it will be found an agreeable addition to any brown sauces or soups. Spice in powder, kept in small bottles close stopped, goes much farther than when used whole. It must be dried before it is pounded, and should be done in quantities that may be used in three or four months. Nutmeg need not be done, but the others should be kept in separate bottles, with a label on each.

KITCHEN UTENSILS 

Continual attention must be paid to the condition of the boilers, saucepans, stewpans, and other kitchen requisites, which ought to be examined every time they are used. Their covers also must be kept perfectly clean, and well tinned. Stewpans in particular should be cleaned, not only on the inside, but about a couple of inches on the outside, or the broths and soups will look green and dirty, and taste bitter and poisonous. Not only health but even life depends on the perfectly clean and wholesome state of culinary utensils. If the tinning of a pan happens to be scorched or blistered, it is best to send it directly to be repaired, to prevent any possible danger arising from the solution of the metal. 

Stewpans and soup pots should be made with thick round bottoms, similar to those of copper saucepans; they will then wear twice as long, and may be cleaned with half the trouble. The covers should be made to fit as close as possible, that the broth or soup may not waste by evaporation. They are good for nothing, unless they fit tight enough to keep the steam in, and the smoke out. Stewpans and saucepans should always be bright on the upper rim, where the fire does not burn them; but it is not necessary to scour them all over, which would wear out the vessels. Soup pots and kettles should be washed immediately after being used, and carefully dried by the fire, before they are put by. They must also be kept in a dry place, or damp and rust will soon destroy them. 

Copper utensils should never be used in the kitchen; or if they be, the utmost care should be taken not to let the tin be rubbed off, and to have them fresh done when the least defect appears. Neither soup nor gravy should at any time be suffered to remain in them longer than is absolutely necessary for the purposes of cookery, as the fat and acid employed in the operation, are capable of dissolving the metal, and so of poisoning what is intended to be eaten. Stone and earthen vessels should be provided for soups and gravies intended to be set by, as likewise plenty of common dishes, that the table-set may not be used for such purposes. Vegetables soon turn sour, and corrode metals and glazed red ware, by which a strong poison is produced. Vinegar, by its acidity, does the same, the glazing being of lead or arsenic. 

Care should be taken of sieves, jelly bags, and tapes for collared articles, to have them well scalded and kept dry, or they will impart an unpleasant flavour when next used. Stewpans especially, should never be used without first washing them out with boiling water, and rubbing them well with a dry cloth and a little bran, to clean them from grease and sand, or any bad smell they may have contracted since they were last used. In short, cleanliness is the cardinal virtue of the kitchen; and next to this, economy.

KNIFE BOARD 

Common knife boards with brick dust, soon wear out the knives that are sharpened upon them. To avoid this, cover the board with thick buff leather, and spread over it a thin paste of crocus martis, with a little emery finely powdered, and mixed up with lard or sweet oil. This will give a superior edge and polish to the knives, and make them wear much longer than in the usual way of cleaning them.

KNUCKLE OF VEAL 

As few persons are fond of boiled veal, it may be well to cut the knuckle small, and take off some cutlets or collops before it is dressed; but as the knuckle will keep longer than the fillet, it is best not to cut off the slices till wanted. Break the bones to make it take less room, wash the joint well, and put it into a saucepan with three onions, a blade or two of mace, and a few peppercorns. Cover it with water, and simmer it till quite done. In the mean time some macaroni should be boiled with it if approved, or rice, or a little rice flour, to give it a small degree of thickness; but avoid putting in too much. Before it is served, add half a pint of milk and cream, and let it go to table either with or without the meat.--A knuckle of veal may also be fried with sliced onion and butter, to a good brown. Prepare some peas, lettuce, onion, and a cucumber or two, stewed in a small quantity of water for an hour. Add these to the veal, and stew it till the meat is tender enough to eat, but not overdone. Put in pepper, salt, and a little shred mint, and serve all together.