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It is of some importance to know when the various seasons commence for procuring sweet and savory herbs, fit for culinary purposes. All vegetables are in the highest state of perfection, and fullest of juice and flavor, just before they begin to flower. The first and last crop have neither the fine flavor nor the perfume of those which are gathered in the height of the season; that is, when the greater part of the crop of each species is ripe. Let them be gathered on a dry day, and they will have a better color after being preserved. Cleanse them well from dust and dirt, cut off the roots, separate the bunches into smaller ones, and dry them by the heat of a stove, or in a Dutch oven before the fire.

Take them in small quantities, that the process may be speedily finished, and thus their flavor will be preserved. Drying them in the sun exhausts some of their best qualities. In the application of artificial heat, the only caution requisite is to avoid burning; and of this, a sufficient test is afforded by the preservation of the color. 

The common custom is, when they are perfectly dried, to put them in bags, and lay them in a dry place. But the best way to preserve the flavor of aromatic plants, is to pick off the leaves as soon as they are dried; then to pound and pass them through a hair sieve, and keep them in well-stopped bottles.

--Basil is in the best state for drying, from the middle of August, and three weeks afterwards. Knotted marjoram, from the beginning of July to the end of the month. Winter savory, the latter end of July, and throughout August. Thyme, lemon thyme, and orange thyme, during June and July. Mint, the latter end of June, and throughout July. Sage, August and September. Tarragon, June, July, and August. Chervil, May, June, and July. Burnet, June, July, and August. Parsley, May, June, and July. Fennel, the same. Elder flowers, and orange flowers, May, June, and July. Herbs carefully dried, are a very agreeable substitute; but when fresh ones can be had, their flavour and fragrance are much finer, and therefore to be preferred.


Make a good puff paste; then cut a loin of lamb into chops, and season with salt and nutmeg; lay a paste over the bottom of your dish; put in your chops, with a handful of currants washed and picked very clean; lay on your lid, and bake it. When it comes from the oven, take off the lid nicely, and pour over a caudle made of white wine, the yolks of eggs, a little nutmeg, and sugar pounded: lay the lid on again, and send it to table as hot as you can.


To make a very nice dish of macaroni, boil two ounces of it in a pint of milk, with a bit of cinnamon and lemon peel, till the pipes are swelled to their utmost size without breaking. Lay them on a custard dish, pour a custard over them, and serve them up cold.


Chop the meat of a boiled calf's foot, the liquor of which is intended for jelly; two apples, one ounce of orange and lemon peel candied, and some fresh peel and juice. Mix with them half a nutmeg grated, the yolk of an egg, a spoonful of brandy, and four ounces of currants washed and dried. Fill some small pattipans lined with paste, and bake them.--To make patties resembling mince pies, chop the kidney and fat of cold veal, apple, orange and lemon peel candied; adding some fresh currants, a little wine, two or three cloves, a little brandy and sugar.


Take three handfuls of orange flowers, three of clove gilliflowers, three of damask roses, one of knotted marjoram, one of lemon thyme, six bay leaves, a handful of rosemary, one of myrtle, one of lavender, half one of mint, the rind of a lemon, and a quarter of an ounce of cloves. Chop all together, and put them in layers, with pounded bay-salt between, up to the top of the jar. If all the ingredients cannot be got at once, put them in when obtained, always throwing in salt with every fresh article. This will be found a quick and easy way of making a sweet-scented pot.


Put some currant jelly into a stew pan, and when melted, pour it into a sauce boat. This is a more salubrious relish for venison or hare, than either spice or salt, and is an agreeable accompaniment to roast or hashed meats.


Cut the sweetbreads in pretty thick slices, boil them till about half done, with a little more water than just to cover them. Add a little salt, white pepper, and mace. Then some butter, the yolks of four eggs beaten with a little white wine, and some verjuice. Keep this over the fire, shaking it well, till the sauce is properly thickened. Serve it up with the juice of a Seville orange squeezed over it. If it is to be a brown fricassee, fry the sweetbreads first in butter till the outside is browned. Then pour away the butter, put water to the sweetbreads, and boil and finish them as before. An onion or a clove of garlic may be added to the water; or if broth be used instead of water, it will make the fricassee more savory.


Cut them into long slices, rub them over with egg, season with pepper, salt, and grated bread, and fry them in butter. Serve them up with melted butter and ketchup, garnished with crisped parsley, and thin slices of toasted bacon.


Cut them about the size of a walnut, wash and dry them, then fry them of a fine brown. Pour on them a good gravy, seasoned with salt, pepper, allspice, and either mushrooms or mushroom ketchup, adding truffles and morels, if approved. Strain, and thicken with butter and a little flour.


Parboil two large ones; when cold, lard them with bacon, and roast them in a Dutch oven. For sauce, plain butter and mushroom ketchup.


Preserves or sweetmeats should be carefully kept from the air, and set in a very dry place. If they have only a small proportion of sugar, a warm situation would not injure them; but if they have not been sufficiently boiled, the heat will make them ferment, and the damp will cause them to grow mouldy. They should be inspected two or three times in the first two months that they may be gently boiled again, if not likely to keep. It is necessary to observe, that the boiling of sugar more or less, constitutes the chief art of the confectioner; and those who are not practically acquainted with the subject, and only preserve fruit in a plain way for family use, are not aware that in two or three minutes, a syrup over the fire will pass from one gradation to another, called by the confectioners, degrees of boiling, of which there are six, and those sub-divided. Without entering, however, into the minutiea of the business, it is only necessary to make the observation in order to guard against under boiling, which prevents sweetmeats from keeping; and quick and long boiling, which reduces them to candy. Attention, without much practice, will enable a person to do any of the following sorts of sweetmeats and preserves, which are quite sufficient for a private family. The higher articles of preserved fruits may be bought at less expense than made. 

Jellies of fruit are made with an equal quantity of sugar, that is, a pound to a pint, and require no very long boiling. A pan should be kept for the purpose of preserving, of double block tin, with a bow handle for safety, opposite the straight one: and if when done with, it be carefully cleaned and set by in a dry place, it will last for several years. Pans of copper or brass are extremely improper, as the tinning wears out by the scraping of the ladle. Sieves and spoons should likewise be kept on purpose for sweetmeats. Sweetmeats keep best in drawers that are not connected with a wall. If there be the least damp, cover them only with paper dipped in brandy, and laid on quite close; and to prevent the mouldiness occasioned by insects, cover them with fresh paper in the spring. When any sweetmeats are to be dried in the sun, or in a stove, it will be best in private families, where there is not a regular stove for the purpose, to place them in the sun on flag stones, which reflect the heat, and to cover them with a garden glass to keep off the insects. 

If put into an oven, take care that it be not too warm, and watch to see them done properly and slowly. When green fruits are to be preserved, take pippins, apricots, pears, plums, or peaches, and put them into a block tin preserving pan, with vine leaves under and over them, and cover them with spring water. Put on the tin cover to exclude the air, and set the pan on the side of the fire. When the fruit begins to simmer, remove the pan from the fire, pour off the water, and if not green, put fresh leaves when cold, and repeat the same. Take them out carefully with a slice, peel and do them as directed for the different kinds of preserves. When fruit is plentiful, and sweetmeats are wanted for tarts, divide two pounds of apricots just ripe, and take out and break the stones. Put the kernels without their skins to the fruit; add three pounds of greengages, and two pounds and a half of lump sugar. The sugar should be broken in large pieces, and just dipped in water, and added to the fruit over a slow fire. Simmer it till reduced to a clear jam, but observe that it does not boil, and skim it well. If the sugar be clarified, it will make the jam the better. Put it into small pots, which art the best for preserving sweetmeats.


Sweetmeats made with syrups are made into pies the same as raw fruit, and the same crusts may be used for them. Tarts made of any kind of jam are commonly made with a crust round the bottom of the dish, the sweetmeat then put in, and only little ornaments of crust cut with a jagging iron, and laid over the top. Sugar paste may be used if preferred. Little tartlets are made in the same way, only baked in tins and turned out.