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Article Index

PLUM CAKE 

This is such a favourite article in most families, and is made in so many different ways, that it will be necessary to give a variety of receipts, in order that a selection may be made agreeably to the taste of the reader, or the quality of the article to be preferred.

For a good common plum cake, mix five ounces of butter in three pounds of fine dry flour, and five ounces of the best moist sugar. Add six ounces of currants, washed and dried, and some pimento finely powdered. Put three spoonfuls of yeast into a pint of new milk warmed, and mix it with the above into a light dough.

A cake of a better sort. Mix thoroughly a quarter of a peck of fine flour well dried, with a pound of dry and sifted loaf sugar, three pounds of currants washed and very dry, half a pound of raisins stoned and chopped, a quarter of an ounce of mace and cloves, twenty peppercorns, a grated nutmeg, the peel of a lemon cut as fine as possible, and half a pound of almonds blanched and beaten with orange-flower water. Melt two pounds of butter in a pint and a quarter of cream, but not too hot; add a pint of sweet wine, a glass of brandy, the whites and yolks of twelve eggs beaten apart, and half a pint of good yeast. Strain this liquid by degrees into the dry ingredients, beating them together a full hour; then butter the hoop or pan, and bake it. When the batter is put into the pan, throw in plenty of citron, lemon, and orange candy. If the cake is to be iced, take half a pound of double refined sugar sifted, and put a little with the white of an egg; beat it well, and by degrees pour in the remainder. It must be whisked nearly an hour, with the addition of a little orange-flower water, but not too much. When the cake is done, pour the iceing over it, and return it to the oven for fifteen minutes. But if the oven be quite warm, keep it near the mouth, and the door open, lest the colour be spoiled.--Another. Dried flour, currants washed and picked, four pounds; sugar pounded and sifted, a pound and a half; six orange, lemon, and citron peels, cut in slices. These are to be mixed together. Beat ten eggs, yolks and whites separately. Melt a pound and a half of butter in a pint of cream; when cold, put to it half a pint of yeast, near half a pint of sweet wine, and the eggs. Then strain the liquid to the dry ingredients, beat them well, and add of cloves, mace, cinnamon, and nutmeg, half an ounce each. Butter the pan, and put it into a quick oven. Three hours will bake it.

Another. Mix with a pound of well-dried flour, a pound of loaf sugar, and the eighth of an ounce of mace, well beaten. Beat up five eggs with half the whites, a gill of rose water, and a quarter of a pint of yeast, and strain them. Melt half a pound of butter in a quarter of a pint of cream, and when cool, mix all together. Beat up the batter with a light hand, and set it to rise half an hour. Before it is put into the oven, mix in a pound and a half of currants, well washed and dried, and bake it an hour and a quarter.

For a rich cake, take three pounds of well-dried flour, three pounds of fresh butter, a pound and a half of fine sugar dried and sifted, five pounds of currants carefully cleaned and dried, twenty-four eggs, three grated nutmegs, a little pounded mace and cloves, half a pound of almonds, a glass of sack, and a pound of citron or orange peel. Pound the almonds in rose water, work up the butter to a thin cream, put in the sugar, and work it well; then the yolks of the eggs, the spices, the almonds, and orange peel. Beat the whites of the eggs to a froth, and put them into the batter as it rises. Keep working it with the hand till the oven is ready, and the scorching subsided; put it into a hoop, but not full, and two hours will bake it. The almonds should be blanched in cold water. This will make a large rich plum cake.--A small common cake may be made of a pound of dough, a quarter of a pound of butter, two eggs, a quarter of a pound of lump sugar, a quarter of a pound of currants, and a little nutmeg.

Another. Take a pound and a half of fine white dough, roll into it a pound of butter, as for pie crust, and set it by the fire. Beat up the yolks of four eggs, with half a pound of fine powdered sugar; pour it upon the mass, and work it well by the fire. Add half a pound of currants, well picked and washed, and send it to the oven. Half the quantity of sugar, eggs, and butter, will make a very pleasant cake.

Another. A pound and a half of well-dried flour, a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, and a pound of currants, picked and washed. Beat up eight eggs, warm the butter, mix all together, and beat it up for an hour.

For little plum cakes, intended to keep for some time, dry a pound of fine flour, and mix it with six ounces of finely pounded sugar. Beat six ounces of butter to a cream, and add to three eggs well beaten, half a pound of currants nicely washed and dried, together with the sugar and flour. Beat all for some time, then dredge some flour on tin plates, and drop the batter on them the size of a walnut. If properly mixed, it will be a stiff paste. Bake in a brisk oven. To make a rich plum cake, take four pounds of flour well dried, mix with it a pound and a half of fine sugar powdered, a grated nutmeg, and an ounce of mace pounded fine. When they are well mixed, make a hole in the middle, and pour in fifteen eggs, but seven whites, well beaten, with a pint of good yeast, half a quarter of a pint of orange-flower water, and the same quantity of sack, or any other rich sweet wine. Then melt two pounds and a half of butter in a pint and a half of cream; and when it is about the warmth of new milk, pour it into the middle of the batter. Throw a little of the flour over the liquids, but do not mix the whole together till it is ready to go into the oven. Let it stand before the fire an hour to rise, laying a cloth over it; then have ready six pounds of currants well washed, picked, and dried; a pound of citron and a pound of orange peel sliced, with a pound of blanched almonds, half cut in slices length-ways, and half finely pounded. Mix all well together, butter the tin well, and bake it two hours and a half. This will make a large cake.

Another, not quite so rich. Three pounds of flour well dried, half a pound of sugar, and half an ounce of spice, nutmeg, mace, and cinnamon, well pounded. Add ten eggs, but only half the whites, beaten with a pint of good yeast. Melt a pound of butter in a pint of cream, add it to the yeast, and let it stand an hour to rise before the fire. Then add three pounds of currants well washed, picked and dried. Butter the tin, and bake it an hour.

A common plum cake is made of three pounds and a half of flour, half a pound of sugar, a grated nutmeg, eight eggs, a glass of brandy, half a pint of yeast, a pound of butter melted in a pint and half of milk, put lukewarm to the other ingredients. Let it rise an hour before the fire, then mix it well together, add two pounds of currants carefully cleaned, butter the tin, and bake it.

PLUM JAM 

Cut some ripe plums to pieces, put them into a preserving pan, bruise them with a spoon, warm them over the fire till they are soft, and press them through a cullender. Boil the jam an hour, stir it well, add six ounces of fine powdered sugar to every pound of jam, and take it off the fire to mix it. Then heat it ten minutes, put it into jars, and sift some fine sugar over it.

PLUM PUDDING 

Take six ounces of suet chopped fine, six ounces of malaga raisins stoned, eight ounces of currants nicely washed and picked, three ounces of bread crumbs, three ounces of flour, and three eggs. Add the sixth part of a grated nutmeg, a small blade of mace, the same quantity of cinnamon, pounded as fine as possible; half a tea-spoonful of salt, nearly half a pint of milk, four ounces of sugar, an ounce of candied lemon, and half an ounce of citron. Beat the eggs and spice well together, mix the milk with them by degrees, and then the rest of the ingredients. Dip a fine close linen cloth into boiling water, and put it in a hair sieve, flour it a little, and tie the pudding up close. Put it into a saucepan containing six quarts of boiling water; keep a kettle of boiling water near it, to fill up the pot as it wastes, and keep it boiling six hours. If the water ceases to boil, the pudding will become heavy, and be spoiled. Plum puddings are best when mixed an hour or two before they are boiled, as the various ingredients by that means incorporate, and the whole becomes richer and fuller of flavour, especially if the various ingredients be thoroughly well stirred together. A table-spoonful of treacle will give the pudding a rich brown colour.

Another. Beat up the yolks and whites of three eggs, strain them through a sieve, gradually add to them a quarter of a pint of milk, and stir it well together. Rub in a mortar two ounces of moist sugar, with as much grated nutmeg as will lie on a six-pence, and stir these into the eggs and milk. Then put in four ounces of flour, and beat it into a smooth batter; by degrees stir into it seven ounces of suet, minced as fine as possible, and three ounces of bread crumbs. Mix all thoroughly together, at least half an hour before the pudding is put into the pot. Put it into an earthenware pudding mould, well buttered, tie a pudding cloth tight over it, put it into boiling water, and boil it three hours. Half a pound of raisins cut in halves, and added to the above, will make a most admirable plum pudding. This pudding may also be baked, or put under roast meat, like a Yorkshire pudding. In the latter case, half a pint more milk must be added, and the batter should be an inch and a quarter in thickness. It will take full two hours, and require careful watching; for if the top get burned, an unpleasant flavour will pervade the whole pudding. Or butter some saucers, and fill them with batter; in a dutch oven they will bake in about an hour.

Another. To three quarters of a pound of flour, add the same weight of stoned raisins, half a pound of suet or marrow, cut small, a pint of milk, two eggs, three spoonfuls of moist sugar, and a little salt. Boil the pudding five hours.

To make a small rich plum pudding, take three quarters of a pound of suet finely shred, half a pound of stoned raisins a little chopped, three spoonfuls of flour, three spoonfuls of moist sugar, a little salt and nutmeg, three yolks of eggs, and two whites. Boil the pudding four hours in a basin of tin mould, well buttered. Serve it up with melted butter, white wine and sugar, poured over it.

For a large rich pudding, take three pounds of suet chopped small, a pound and a half of raisins stoned and chopped, a pound and a half of currants, three pounds of flour, sixteen eggs, and a quart of milk. Boil it in a cloth seven hours. If for baking, put in only a pint of milk, with two additional eggs, and an hour and a half will bake it.

A plum pudding without eggs may be made of three quarters of a pound of flour, three quarters of a pound of suet chopped fine, three quarters of a pound of stoned raisins, three quarters of a pound of currants well washed and dried, a tea-spoonful of ground ginger, and rather more of salt. Stir all well together, and add as little milk as will just mix it up quite stiff. Boil the pudding four hours in a buttered basin.

Another. The same proportions of flour and suet, and half the quantity of fruit, with spice, lemon, a glass of white wine, an egg and milk, will make an excellent pudding, but it must be well boiled.

POACHED EGGS 

Set a stew pan of water on the fire; when boiling, slip an egg, previously broken into a cup, into the water. When the white looks done enough, slide an egg-slice under the egg, and lay it on toast and butter, or boiled spinach. As soon as done enough, serve them up hot. If the eggs be not fresh laid, they will not poach well, nor without breaking. Trim the ragged parts of the whites, and make them look round.

POISON

 Whenever a quantity of arsenic has been swallowed, by design or mistake, its effects may be counteracted by immediately drinking plenty of milk. The patient should afterwards take a dram of the liver of sulphur, in a pint of warm water, a little at a time as he can bear it; or he may substitute some soap water, a quantity of common ink, or any other acid, if other things cannot be readily procured.

To obviate the ill effects of opium, taken either in a liquid or solid form, emetics should be given as speedily as possible. These should consist of an ounce each of oxymel squills and spearmint water, and half a scruple of ipecacuanha, accompanied with frequent draughts of water gruel to assist the operation.

Those poisons which may be called culinary, are generally the most destructive, because the least suspected; no vessels therefore made of copper or brass should be used in cooking. In cases where the poison of virdigris has been recently swallowed, emetics should first be given, and then the patient should drink abundance of cold water.

If any one has eaten of the deadly nightshade, he should take an emetic as soon as possible, and drink a pint of vinegar or lemon juice in an equal quantity of water, a little at a time; and as sleep would prove fatal, he should keep walking about to prevent it.

For the bite of the mad dog, or other venomous animals, nothing is to be depended on for a cure but immediately cutting out the bitten part with a lancet, or burning it out with a red-hot iron.

To prevent the baneful effects of burning charcoal, set an open vessel of boiling water upon the pan containing the charcoal, and keep it boiling. The steam arising from the water will counteract the effects of the charcoal. Painters, glaziers, and other artificers, should be careful to avoid the poisonous effects of lead, by washing their hands and face clean before meals, and by never eating in the place where they work, nor suffering any food or drink to remain exposed to the fumes or dust of the metal. Every business of this sort should be performed as far as possible with gloves on the hands, to prevent the metal from working into the pores of the skin, which is highly injurious, and lead should never be touched when it is hot.

POIVRADE SAUCE 

Pick the skins of twelve shalots, chop them small, mix with them a table-spoonful of veal gravy, a gill and a half of vinegar, half an anchovy pressed through a fine sieve, and a little salt and cayenne. If it is to be eaten with hot game, serve it up boiling: if with cold, the sauce is to be cold likewise.

Another way. Put a piece of butter the size of half an egg into a saucepan, with two or three sliced onions, some of the red outward part, of carrots, and of the part answering to it of parsnip, a clove of garlic, two shalots, two cloves, a bay leaf, with basil and thyme. Shake the whole over the fire till it begins to colour, then add a good pinch of flour, a glass of red wine, a glass of water, and a spoonful of vinegar. Boil it half an hour, take off the fat, pass the sauce through a tammis, add some salt and pepper, and use it with any thing that requires a relishing sauce.

POLISHED STOVES 

Steel or polished stoves may be well cleaned in a few minutes, by using a piece of fine-corned emery stone, and afterwards polishing with flour of emery or rottenstone. If stoves or fire irons have acquired any rust, pound some glass to fine powder; and having nailed some strong woollen cloth upon a board, lay upon it a thick coat of gum water, and sift the powdered glass upon it, and let it dry. This may be repeated as often as is necessary to form a sharp surface, and with this the rust may easily be rubbed off; but care must be taken to have the glass finely powdered, and the gum well dried, or the polish on the irons will be injured. Fire arms, or similar articles, may be kept clean for several months, if rubbed with a mixture consisting of one ounce of camphor dissolved in two pounds of hog's lard, boiled and skimmed, and coloured with a little black lead. The mixture should be left on twenty four hours to dry, and then rubbed off with a linen cloth.

POMADE DIVINE 

Clear a pound and a half of beef marrow from the strings and bone, put it into an earthen pan of fresh water from the spring, and change the water night and morning for ten days. Then steep it in rose water twenty four hours, and drain it in a cloth till quite dry. Take an ounce of each of the following articles, namely, storax, gum benjamin, odoriferous cypress powder, or of florence; half an ounce of cinnamon, two drams of cloves, and two drams of nutmeg, all finely powdered. Mix them with the marrow above prepared, and put all the ingredients into a pewter pot that holds three quarts. Make a paste of flour and the white of an egg, and lay it upon a piece of rag. Over that must be another piece of linen, to cover the top of the pot very close, that none of the steam may evaporate. Set the pot into a large copper pot of water, observing to keep it steady, that it may not reach to the covering of the pot that holds the marrow. As the water shrinks add more, boiling hot, for it must boil incessantly for four hours. Strain the ointment through a linen cloth into small pots, and cover them when cold. Do not touch it with any thing but silver, and it will keep many years. A fine pomatum may also be made by putting half a pound of fresh marrow prepared as above, and two ounces of fresh hog's lard, on the ingredients; and then observing the same process as above.

POMATUM 

To make soft pomatum, beat half a pound of unsalted fresh lard in common water, then soak and beat in two different rose-waters. Drain it, and beat it, with two spoonfuls of brandy. Let it drain from this, then add some essence of lemon, and keep it in small pots. Or soak half a pound of clear beef marrow, and a pound of unsalted fresh lard, in water two of three days, changing and beating it every day. Put it into a sieve; and when dry, into a jar, and the jar, into a saucepan of water. When melted, pour it into a bason, and beat it with two spoonfuls of brandy. Drain off the brandy, and add essence of lemon, bergamot, or any other scent that is preferred.

For hard pomatum, prepare as before equal quantities of beef marrow and mutton suet, using the brandy to preserve it, and adding the scent. Then pour it into moulds, or phials, of the size intended for the rolls. When cold break the bottles, clear away the glass carefully, and put paper round the balls.

PONDS 

Stagnant or running water is often infected with weeds, which become troublesome and injurious to the occupier, but which might easily be prevented by suffering geese, or particularly swans, to feed upon the surface. These water fowls, by nibbling the young shoots as fast as they arise, will prevent their growth and appearance on the surface of the water, and all the expense which might otherwise be incurred in clearing them away.

POOR MAN'S SAUCE 

Pick a handful of parsley leaves from the stalks, mince them very fine, and strew over a little salt. Shred fine half a dozen young green onions, add these to the parsley, and put them into a sauce boat, with three table-spoonfuls of oil, and five of vinegar. Add some ground black pepper and salt, stir them together, and it is ready. Pickled French beans or gherkins cut fine, may be added, or a little grated horseradish. This sauce is much esteemed in France, where people of taste, weary of rich dishes, occasionally order the fare of the peasant.