Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Article Index


In order to breed pigeons, it is best to take two young ones at a time; and if well looked after, and plentifully fed, they will breed every month. They should be kept very clean, and the bottom of the dove-cote be strewed with sand once a month or oftener. Tares and white peas are their proper food, and they should be provided with plenty of fresh water. Starlings and other birds are apt to come among them, and suck the eggs. Vermin likewise are their enemies, and frequently destroy them. If the brood should be too small, put among them a few tame pigeons of their own colour. Observe not to have too large a proportion of cock birds, for they are quarrelsome, and will soon thin the dove-cote. Pigeons are fond of salt, and it keeps them in health. Lay a large piece of clay near their dwelling, and pour upon it any of the salt brine that may be useless in the family. Bay salt and cummin seeds mixed together, is a universal remedy for the diseases of pigeons. The backs and breasts are sometimes scabby, but may be cured in the following manner. Take a quarter of a pound of bay salt, and as much common salt; a pound of fennel seed, a pound of dill seed, as much cummin seed, and an ounce of assafoetida; mix all with a little wheat flour, and some fine wrought clay. When all are well beaten together, put it into two earthen pots, and bake them in the oven. When the pots are cold, put them on the table in the dove-cote; the pigeons will eat the mixture and get well.


These birds are particularly useful, as they may be dressed in so many ways. The good flavour of them depends very much on their being cropped and drawn as soon as killed. No other bird requires so much washing. Pigeons left from dinner the day before may be stewed, or made into a pie. In either case, care must be taken not to overdo them, which will make them stringy. They need only be heated up in gravy ready prepared; and forcemeat balls may be fried and added, instead of putting a stuffing into them. If for a pie, let beef steaks be stewed in a little water, and put cold under them. Cover each pigeon with a piece of fat bacon to keep them moist, season as usual, and put in some eggs.

In purchasing pigeons, be careful to see that they are quite fresh: if they look flabby about the vent, and that part is discoloured, they are stale. The feet should be supple: if old the feet are harsh. The tame ones are larger than the wild, and by some they are thought to be the best. They should be fat and tender; but many are deceived in their size, because a full crop is as large as the whole body of a small pigeon. The wood-pigeon is large, and the flesh dark coloured: if properly kept, and not over roasted, the flavour is equal to teal.


Draw the pigeons, take out the craw very carefully, wash them clean, cut off the pinions, and turn their legs under their wings. Season them with pepper and salt, roll each pigeon in a puff paste, close them well, tie them in separate cloths, and boil them an hour and a half. When they are untied be careful they do not break; put them in a dish, and pour a little good gravy over them.


Truss four young pigeons, as for boiling, and season them with pepper, salt, and mace. Put into the belly of each a small piece of butter, lay them in a pie dish, and pour batter over them, made of three eggs, two spoonfuls of flour, and half a pint of milk. Bake them in a moderate oven, and send them to table in the same dish.


Save some of the liquor in which a knuckle of veal has been boiled, or boil a calf's or a neat's foot; put the broth into a pan with a blade of mace, a bunch of sweet herbs, some white pepper, lemon peel, a slice of lean bacon, and the pigeons. Bake them, and let them stand to be cold; but season them before baking. When done, take them out of the liquor, cover them close to preserve the colour, and clear the jelly by boiling it with the whites of two eggs. Strain it through a thick cloth dipped in boiling water, and put into a sieve. The fat must be all removed, before it be cleared. Put the jelly roughly over and round the pigeons.

A beautiful dish may be made in the following manner. Pick two very nice pigeons, and make them look as well as possible by singeing, washing, and cleaning the heads well. Leave the heads and the feet on, but the nails must be clipped close to the claws. Roast them of a very nice brown; and when done, put a small sprig of myrtle into the bill of each. Prepare a savoury jelly, and with it half fill a bowl of such a size as shall be proper to turn down on the dish intended for serving in. When the jelly and the birds are cold, see that no gravy hangs to the birds, and then lay them upside down in the jelly. Before the rest of it begins to set, pour it over the birds, so as to be three inches above the feet. This should be done full twenty four hours before serving. The dish thus prepared will have a very handsome appearance in the mid range of a second coarse; or when served with the jelly roughed large, it makes a side or corner dish, being then of a smaller size. The head of the pigeons should be kept up, as if alive, by tying the neck with some thread, and the legs bent as if the birds sat upon them.


Rub the pigeons with pepper and salt, inside and out. Put in a bit of butter, and if approved, some parsley chopped with the livers, and a little of the same seasoning. Lay a beef steak at the bottom of the dish, and the birds on it; between every two, a hard egg. Put a cup of water in the dish; and if a thin slice or two of ham be added, it will greatly improve the flavour. When ham is cut for gravy or pies, the under part should be taken, rather than the prime. Season the gizzards, and two joints of the wings, and place them in the centre of the pie. Over them, in a hole made in the crust, put three of the feet nicely cleaned, to show what pie it is.


To prepare a pig's cheek for boiling, cut off the snout, and clean the head. Divide it, take out the eyes and the brains, sprinkle the head with salt, and let it drain twenty-four hours. Salt it with common salt and saltpetre; and if to be dressed without being stewed with peas, let it lie eight or ten days, but less if to be dressed with peas. It must first be washed, and then simmered till all is tender.


Clean them carefully, soak them some hours, and boil them quite tender. Then take them out, and boil a little salt and vinegar with some of the liquor, and pour it over them when cold. When to be dressed, dry them, cut the feet in two, and slice the ears. Fry them, and serve with butter, mustard, and vinegar. They may be either done in batter, or only floured.


If to be dressed with cream, put no vinegar into the pickle. Cut the feet and ears into neat bits, and boil them in a little milk. Pour the liquor from them, and simmer in a little veal broth, with a bit of onion, mace, and lemon peel. Before the dish is served up, add a little cream, flour, butter, and salt.


Clean the feet and ears very carefully, and soak them some hours. Then boil them in a very small quantity of water, till every bone can be taken out. Throw in half a handful of chopped sage, the same of parsley, and a seasoning of pepper, salt, and mace in fine powder. Simmer till the herbs are scalded, and then pour the whole into a melon form.


Wash and dry some liver, sweetbreads, and fat and lean bits of pork, beating the latter with a rolling-pin to make it tender. Season with pepper, salt, sage, and a little onion shred fine. When mixed, put all into a cawl, and fasten it up tight with a needle and thread. Roast it on a hanging jack, or by a string. Serve with a sauce of port wine and water, and mustard, just boiled up, and put into the dish. Or serve it in slices with parsley for a fry.


Scour the head and ears nicely, take off the hair and snout, and remove the eyes and the brain. Lay the head into water one night, then drain it, salt it extremely well with common salt and saltpetre, and let it lie five days. Boil it enough to take out the bones, then lay it on a dresser, turning the thick end of one side of the head towards the thin end of the other, to make the roll of equal size. Sprinkle it well with salt and white pepper, and roll it with the ears. The pig's feet may also be placed round the outside when boned, or the thin parts of two cow heels, if approved. Put it in a cloth, bind it with a broad tape, and boil it till quite tender. Place a good weight upon it, and do not remove the covering till the meat is cold. If the collar is to be more like brawn, salt it longer, add a larger proportion of saltpetre, and put in also some pieces of lean pork. Then cover it with cow heel to make it look like the horn. This may be kept in a pickle of boiled salt and water, or out of pickle with vinegar: it will be found a very convenient article to have in the house. If likely to spoil, slice and fry it, either with or without batter.


Take a tea-spoonful of white gravy, a small piece of anchovy, with the gravy from the roasting of the pig, and mix the brains with it when chopped. Add a quarter of a pound of butter, a little flour to thicken it, a slice of lemon, and a little salt. Shake it over the fire, and put it hot into the dish. Good sauce may also be made by putting some of the bread and sage, which has been roasted in the pig, into good beef gravy, and adding the brains to it.


Stew a pound of rice in white gravy till it is tender. Half boil a well grown fowl, then lay it into a baking dish with some pepper and salt strewed over it. Lay truffles, morels, mushrooms, hard eggs, or forcemeat balls, any or all of them round it at pleasure; put a little gravy into the dish, and spread the rice over the whole like a paste. Bake it gently, till the fowl is done enough. If it seem dry, cut a hole carefully at the top, and pour in some white gravy, made pretty warm, before it is sent to table. Partridges or pheasants are very nice, dressed the same way.


Soak two or three salted pilchards for some hours, the day before they are to be dressed. Clean and skin the white part of some large leeks, scald them in milk and water, and put them in layers into a dish, with the pilchards. Cover the whole with a good plain crust. When the pie is taken out of the oven, lift up the side crust with a knife, and empty out all the liquor: then pour in half a pint of scalded cream.


Cut some green shoots of elder early in the spring, clear away the bark, and put two good handfuls into a quart of thick cream. Boil it till it comes to an ointment, and as it rises take it off with a spoon, and be careful to prevent its burning. Strain the ointment through a fine cloth, and keep it for use.


If this complaint be occasioned by costiveness, proper attention must be paid to that circumstance; but if it originate from weakness, strong purgatives must be avoided. The part affected should be bathed twice a day with a sponge dipped in cold water, and the bowels regulated by the mildest laxatives. An electuary, consisting of one ounce of sulphur, and half an ounce of cream of tartar, mixed with a sufficient quantity of treacle, may be taken three or four times a day. The patient would also find relief by sitting over the steam of warm water. A useful liniment for this disorder may be made of two ounces of emollient ointment, and half an ounce of laudanum. Mix them with the yolk of an egg, and work them well together.


Opening pills may be made of two drams of Castile soap, and two drams of succotrine aloes, mixed with a sufficient quantity of common syrup. Or when aloes will not agree with the patient, take two drams of the extract of jalap, two drams of vitriolated tartar, and as much syrup of ginger as will form them of a proper consistence for pills. Four or five of these pills will generally prove a sufficient purge; and for keeping the body gently open, one may be taken night and morning.--Composing pills may consist of ten grains of purified opium, and half a dram of Castile soap, beaten together, and formed into twenty parts. When a quieting draught will not sit upon the stomach, one or two of these pills may be taken to great advantage.--Pills for the jaundice may be made of one dram each of Castile soap, succotrine aloes, and rhubarb, mixed up with a sufficient quantity of syrup. Five or six of these pills taken twice a day, more or less, to keep the body open, with the assistance of a proper diet, will often effect a cure.


Boil or bake them with a pudding well seasoned. If baked, put a large cup of rich broth into the dish; and when done, boil up together for sauce, the broth, some essence of anchovy, and a squeeze of lemon.


Coddle six pippins in vine leaves covered with water, very gently, that the inside may be done without breaking the skins. When soft, take off the skin, and with a tea-spoon take the pulp from the core. Press it through a cullender, add two spoonfuls of orange-flower water, three eggs beaten, a glass of raisin wine, a pint of scalding cream, sugar and nutmeg to taste. Lay a thin puff paste at the bottom and sides of the dish; shred some very thin lemon peel as fine as possible, and put it into the dish; likewise lemon, orange, and citron, in small slices, but not so thin as to dissolve in the baking.


Pare two seville or china oranges quite thin, boil the peel tender and shred it fine. Pare and core twenty pippins, put them in a stewpan, with as little water as possible. When half done, add half a pound of sugar, the orange peel and juice, and boil all together till it is pretty thick. When cold, put it in a shallow dish, or pattipans lined with paste, to turn out, and be eaten cold.


Blanch four ounces of pistachio nuts, beat them fine with a little rose-water, and add the paste to a pint of cream. Sweeten it, let it just boil, and then put it into glasses.


Shell and peel half a pound of pistachio nuts, beat them very fine in a marble mortar, and work into them a piece of fresh butter. Add to this a quarter of a pint of cream, or of the juice of beet leaves, extracted by pounding them in a marble mortar, and then draining off the juice through a piece of muslin. Grate in two macarones, add the yolks of two eggs, a little salt, and sugar to the taste. Bake it lightly with a puff crust under it, and some little ornaments on the top. Sift some fine sugar over, before it is sent to table.


The following is an excellent way of dressing a large plaice, especially if there be a roe. Sprinkle it with salt, and keep it twenty four hours. Then wash, and wipe it dry, smear it over with egg, and cover it with crumbs of bread. Boil up some lard or fine dripping, with two large spoonfuls of vinegar; lay in the fish, and fry it of a fine colour. Drain off the fat, serve it with fried parsley laid round, and anchovy sauce. The fish may be dipped in vinegar, instead of putting vinegar in the pan.


Prepare five ounces of bread crumbs, put them in a basin, pour three quarters of a pint of boiling milk over them, put a plate over the top to keep in the steam, and let it stand twenty minutes. Then beat it up quite smooth, with two ounces of sugar, and a little nutmeg. Break four eggs on a plate, leaving out one white, beat them well, and add them to the pudding. Stir it all well together, put it into a mould that has been well buttered and floured, tie a cloth tight over it, and boil it an hour.


Three quarters of a pound of cheese curd, and a quarter of a pound of butter, beat together in a mortar. Add a quarter of a pound of fine bread soaked in milk, three eggs, six ounces of currants well washed and picked, sugar to the taste, a little candied orange peel, and a little sack. Bake them in a puff crust in a quick oven.


Grate a fine penny loaf into a pint of milk, beat it smooth, add the yolks of five eggs, three ounces of fine sugar, and a little nutmeg. Fry them in hog's lard, and serve them up with melted butter and sugar.


The receipts too generally given for peas are so much crowded with ingredients, that they entirely overpower the flavour of the peas. Nothing more is necessary to plain good soup, than a quart of split peas, two heads of celery, and an onion. Boil all together in three quarts of broth or soft water; let them simmer gently on a trivet over a slow fire for three hours, and keep them stirring, to prevent burning at the bottom of the kettle. If the water boils away, and the soup gets too thick, add some boiling water to it. When the peas are well softened, work them through a coarse sieve, and then through a tammis. Wash out the stewpan, return the soup into it, and give it a boil up; take off any scum that rises, and the soup is ready. Prepare some fried bread and dried mint, and send them up with it on two side dishes. This is an excellent family soup, produced with very little trouble or expense, the two quarts not exceeding the charge of one shilling. Half a dram of bruised celery seed, and a little sugar, added just before finishing the soup, will give it as much flavour as two heads of the fresh vegetable.


Wash and pick some rice, scatter among it some pimento finely powdered, but not too much. Tie up the rice in a cloth, and leave plenty of room for it to swell. Boil it in a good quantity of water for an hour or two, and serve it with butter and sugar, or milk. Lemon peel may be added to the pudding, but it is very good without spice, and may be eaten with butter and salt.


In rendering swampy ground useful, nothing is so well adapted as planting it with birch or alder, which grows spontaneously on bogs and swamps, a kind of soil which otherwise would produce nothing but weeds and rushes. The wood of the alder is particularly useful for all kinds of machinery, for pipes, drains, and pump trees, as it possesses the peculiar quality of resisting injury from wet and weather. The bark is also highly valuable to black dyers, who purchase it at a good price; and it is much to be lamented that the properties of this useful tree are not duly appreciated.


Young plantations are liable to great injury, by being barked in the winter season. To prevent this, take a quantity of grease, scent it with a little tar, and mix them well together. Brush it round the stems of young trees, as high at least as hares and rabbits can reach, and it will effectually prevent their being barked by these animals. Tar must not be used alone, for when exposed to the sun and air, it becomes hard and binding, and hinders the growth of the plantation. Grease will not have this effect, and the scent of the tar is highly obnoxious to hares and rabbits.


Common plaster is made of six pints of olive oil, and two pounds and a half of litharge finely powdered. A smaller quantity may of course be made of equal proportions. Boil them together over a gentle fire, in about a gallon of water, and keep the ingredients constantly stirring. After they have boiled about three hours, a little of the salve may be taken out, and put into cold water. When of a proper consistence, the whole may be suffered to cool, and the water pressed out of it with the hands. This will serve as a basis for other plasters, and is generally applied in slight wounds and excoriations of the skin. It keeps the part warm and supple, and defends it from the air, which is all that is necessary in such cases.

Adhesive plaster, which is principally used for keeping on other dressings, consists of half a pound of common plaster, and a quarter of a pound of Burgundy pitch melted together.

Anodyne plaster is as follows. Melt an ounce of the adhesive, and when cooling, mix with it a dram of powdered opium, and the same of camphor, previously rubbing with a little oil. This plaster generally gives ease in acute pains, especially of the nervous kind.

Blistering plaster is made in a variety of ways, but seldom of a proper consistence. When compounded of oils, and other greasy substances, its effects are lessened, and it is apt to run, while pitch and rosin render it hard and inconvenient. The following will be found the best method. Take six ounces of venice turpentine, two ounces of yellow wax, three ounces of spanish flies finely powdered, and one ounce of the flour of mustard. Melt the wax, and while it is warm, add the turpentine to it, taking care not to evaporate it by too much heat. After the turpentine and wax are sufficiently incorporated, sprinkle in the powders, and stir the mass till it is cold. When the blistering plaster is not at hand, mix with any soft ointment a sufficient quantity of powdered flies, or form them into a plaster with flour and vinegar.


The best way to clean plate, is to boil an ounce of prepared hartshorn powder in a quart of water; and while on the fire, put in as much plate as the vessel will hold. Let it boil a little, then take it out, drain it over the saucepan, and dry it before the fire. Put in more, and serve it the same, till all is done. Then soak some clean rags in the water, and when dry they will serve to clean the plate. Cloths thus saturated with hartshorn powder, are also the best things for cleaning brass locks, and the finger plates of doors. When the plate is quite dry, it must be rubbed bright with soft leather. In many plate powders there is a mixture of quicksilver, which is very injurious; and among other disadvantages, it makes silver so brittle that it will break with a fall. In common cases, whitening, properly purified from sand, applied wet, and rubbed till dry, is one of the cheapest and best of all plate powders.


Pour some mercury on a tin foil, smoothly laid on a flat table, and rub it gently with a hare's foot. It soon unites itself to the tin, which then becomes very splendid, or is what they call quickened. A plate of glass is then cautiously, passed upon the tin leaf, in such a manner as to sweep off the redundant mercury, which is not incorporated with the tin. Leaden weights are then to be placed on the glass; and in a little time the quicksilvered tin foil adheres, so firmly to the glass, that the weights may be removed without any danger of its falling off. The glass thus coated is a common looking-glass. About two ounces of mercury are sufficient for covering three square feet of glass.


In purchasing plovers, choose those that feel hard at the vent, which shows they are fat. In other respects, choose them by the same marks as other fowl. When stale, the feet are harsh and dry. They will keep a long time. There are three sorts of these birds, the grey, the green, and the bastard plover, or lapwing. Green plovers are roasted in the same way as snipes and woodcocks, without drawing, and are served on toast. The grey ones may be roasted, or stewed with gravy, herbs, and spice.


Boil them ten minutes, and serve them either hot or cold on a napkin. These make a nice and fashionable dish.