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Title: I Go A-Marketing

Author: Henrietta Sowle

Release date: September 17, 2017 [eBook #55566]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Emmy, MFR, Sam W. and the Online Distributed
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Front cover of the book

I Go A-Marketing


Publisher's logo


Copyright, 1900, by Little,
Brown, and Company




January 1
February 20
March 43
April 64
May 78
June 94
July 110
August 128
September 142
October 166
November 188
December 209
Index 233


Author’s Note

BEFORE dipping into this book very far, reader (pray note that I cozen you with neither “gentle” nor “dear”), allow me to suggest that you familiarize yourself with the spirit of Emerson, who has allowed that the truly consistent person changes his mind whenever occasion offers. Then you will be in a frame of mind to acknowledge that I have but exercised my privilege if you chance upon passages that seem to put me in a self-contradictory position. I hold to one opinion till new or increased light shows me I would do well to change, no longer.

Is it necessary, I wonder, to say that this compilation of persiflage and cookery is not intended to be the whole culinary library of any housekeeper? In case it may be believed that I have any such inflated idea of its value, [viii] let me say at once that any housekeeper who secures this book, by buying or by borrowing, will want just as many of the old-line “cook-books” at hand as if she had never heard of it. Its mission is a supplementary one. It is for those dark and dreary days when the housekeeper “wants something good,” but cannot say what. It suggests. Therein is all of beauty and use, for “beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all ye know and all ye need to know.”

Furthermore, it is for the housekeeper who knows by experience, or intuition, how to lay a fire, and how to broil a steak. With kindergarten methods it does not deal—it rather takes it for granted that it will fall into the hands of those who have been graduated from kindergarten cookery. Neither does it attempt to set forth the duties of butlers or of housemaids. It goes on the principle rather that the housekeeper who supports these factotums knows what their duties should be. [ix] And is there any necessity for those who cannot attain to such appointments burdening their minds with knowledge never to be used? Think on all these things omitted when you are getting inspiration from this slender source, and be thankful that I have shown so much consideration for you.

“Read my little fable:
He that runs may read.
Most can raise the flowers now,
For all have got the seed.”


I Go A-Marketing


Still Beauty must be stealing hearts,
And knavery stealing purses;
Still cooks must live by making tarts
And wits by making verses.

SOME fine day, perchance, I shall to market go and find there what all housekeepers are “a-sighin’ and a-cryin’ for”—namely a new edible; and be it fish, flesh, or fowl, I shall, with all haste, make you acquainted with its nature, and with the name of the marketman who introduces the boon; and methinks that nothing short of canonization should reward the man, or woman, who finds “something new under the sun.”

But till that blessed day of discovery really arrives I must be content with telling you of ways that may be new and tricks that are worth trying for the serving of viands which have constituted human nature’s daily food since the world began. Unless, however, I can bring to your minds by my suggestions a state of contentment which will enable you to await that hour of revealment with patience [2] almost amounting to indifference, my duty is but half done.


So here goes for a beginning. Don’t you ever feel quite dissatisfied with the ordinary, yes and the extraordinary, sausages of commerce? Of course you do. No need to ask. They are flat, there’s no gainsaying it. But it’s the easiest thing in the world to have home-made sausages seasoned to a point that will make them things of gastronomical joy. There must be equal quantities of lean and fat fresh pork finely minced; then to a pound of this meat add one-quarter of an ounce of salt, more or less, one-eighth of an ounce of good business-like pepper, more or less, and powdered sage ad lib. The use of seasoning, you see, is not bound by any hard and fast rules; in cases of this kind a due regard must be shown the whims and fancies of the palates to be pleased. Once you have added the proper amount of seasoning, add enough well beaten egg to allow of the mixture being moulded to any desired shape, and fried to a nice brown. And there you have a dish fit to put before a king. If the simplicity and homeliness of it somewhat upsets your equilibrium, why call it saucisses grillées; [3] they’ll taste just as well. They can be served either upon rounds of toasted bread or upon a foundation of cold boiled potatoes which have been diced and heated in cream.

If you are having them for luncheon then serve them on toast, but with the addition of a tomato purée. No need to tell how to make that; it’s an old story.

Broiled Pork Chops

Piquant Sauce

Another old story, altogether too old, is the way most housekeepers have of frying pork chops. They should never be fried. The only respectable way is to broil them decently and in order over a hot bed of coals. In that way what little juice they contain will be retained. But even then they will be so dry that you must supplement them with something,—say a sauce made of half a pint of good clear stock, highly seasoned, and having in it a tablespoonful of chopped pickled peppers and some sliced gherkins, with the juice of a lemon added.

Apple Croquettes

Or, you can serve with them apple croquettes, made by stewing the apples in a little butter, with a tiny bit of sugar; when quite cold, with the aid of a few bread-crumbs, shape the apple into croquettes, roll them in crumbs and beaten egg and fry. Arrange the [4] croquettes, which must be not more than an inch in diameter, with the chops upon a platter in any fanciful way that suggests itself to you, and the condition of the platter at the end of the meal will tell you whether or not the experiment was worth the trying.

Roasted Pork with Onion Sauce

These croquettes will win favor for themselves if you will try serving them some time with a loin of fresh pork, roasted. You will want to serve with them only the simplest kind of clear gravy. But you may prefer to serve the roasted loin of pork on steamed rice garnished with button onions, which have been boiled till fairly tender and then fried in butter to a light brown. If this is your preference, make a sauce by frying in two gills of oil, half a pound of minced onion, a pinch of parsley leaves, a crushed clove of garlic and a bay leaf, with salt and pepper; dilute with a pint of good stock, preferably white; strain and finish by adding the juice of a lemon and an ounce of fresh butter. By the way, when fresh pork is to be roasted, it is an excellent plan to rub salt well into it about twenty-four hours before cooking. If you slice and serve it cold you will readily see the wisdom of giving [5] the salt a chance to work its way through and season the whole loin.

Roasted Ham

When a ham is to be roasted, and small hams do make excellent roasts, a ham of about five pounds’ weight should be skinned and boiled in enough water to cover it; in this water you will want to put, just for variety’s sake, a carrot, an onion, three bay-leaves, three cloves, one clove of garlic, and six peppercorns. Boil very gently for about one hour; then remove from the fire, drain it well, and coat it with a paste of oil and flour. Be sure that it is well covered with the paste to prevent the escape of the juice, put into the oven and roast for about two hours.

Cider Sauce

Serve it with a sauce made of a sufficient quantity of the stock, to which you have added half its amount of cider, and there you behold what is commonly known as champagne sauce. But, bless you, it’s very doubtful if champagne is often used, as after it is heated it would be a sensitive palate indeed that could tell whether champagne or cider were employed.

Just a hint right here of what may be done with bits of cold ham, for we may never be on this subject again. Have some thin slices [6] of toasted white bread, spread well with butter and a trifle of mustard, then equal parts of grated cheese and minced ham, and some cayenne pepper. Send to the oven for a few minutes, or until the cheese is dissolved, and serve immediately. Say what you will, it is a delectable dish, this ham toast, and whether you allow for it in a prearranged luncheon or whether it is concocted on the impulse of the moment, when the necessity suddenly arises for a dish of the kind, trust me, whoever partakes of it will vow that it “relishes of wit and invention.”

Broiled Pigs’ Feet

Perhaps this batch of suggestions would be incomplete with no reference in it to the cooking of pigs’ feet, and yet there’s very little variety in the methods of preparing them. The simplest is the best, it seems to me, and that is dipping them in melted butter, then in bread-crumbs, and broiling over a moderate fire. A piquant sauce is by long odds the sauce par excellence to be served with them. Some chefs de cuisine prepare them elaborately with truffles, to my mind, however, there’s an incongruity in a combination of pork and truffles. But of course it’s only a matter of taste, and it is more than possible [7] that there will be some who read this and deplore my poor taste in devoting so much space to ways and means of cooking pork.

Well, to such I offer the suggestion that they call it a chapter on porcine potentials, and pass on.

By all means let us be economical—truly economical. But let us never make the grievous but common mistake of thinking that the buying of cheap, downright cheap food is economy. To commit such an error in judgment is to lay the cornerstone of more than one kind of unhappiness. But you know that, too. And with so many inexpensive viands as there are to be had, susceptible as they are of so many ways of serving, one can, with the exercise of a little judgment in such matters, have the appearance of “living high” when in reality one is laying up money out of the weekly table allowance, if one has such an institution in one’s family. For myself, I have a great respect for a housekeeper who keeps within her allowance week in and week out, year after year. But for the one who cuts loose occasionally from all allowance limits [8] when there is a “good thing up” I have the sincerest admiration and sympathy. It is with such a one that I always feel tempted to outstay my welcome if I get the shadow of a chance to be so ill bred. Such an ignoring of trammels of the financial sort is an indication of truancy in other matters now and then that rather appeals to me, to be very honest about it. But I don’t recommend it to you or to any one. Perhaps it hasn’t a place here, but since it is written it shall stand, labelled En parenthèse.

And we will talk of codfish—fresh codfish. This is a species of the gadus family that is eligible for duty in a family of any class—high, low, or middle. It may follow the soup at an unlimited course dinner and not be out of its element or it may form the pièce de résistance, or in fact the only piece of any kind at a dinner of another sort and still be quite at home.

Fresh Codfish, Delmonico Style

Broiled Fresh Codfish

Now let us get to business. Suppose that some day you have a piping hot oven that is as idle as you would like to be and that you have also a fresh codfish in the house split with the backbone removed for broiling. Let me suggest that you dry it well, put it in [9] a buttered baking pan, skin side down, coat it with melted butter, sprinkle it with salt, pepper, lemon juice, chopped parsley and chopped onion. Then bestrew it with bread crumbs moistened in melted butter and set into the oven to brown. Get it out as gracefully as possible when it is done, flip a little melted butter and lemon juice over it and serve. Or, if you can’t break away from tradition and have sworn to have a broiled fish broiled then I am sure that you do keep within your allowance for the table and will treat the fish this way: You will dry it well with a cloth, then brush it with melted butter, sprinkle salt and a little pepper, put it on the buttered bars of the broiler, and let the fire do the rest. Then after it is dished, sprinkle it with perhaps a few capers, surround it with broiled thin slices of bacon, and be on the alert to catch the first expression that flits over the face of the one who furnishes you with the aforesaid table allowance to see if all is well with the fish and consequently with you. Am I right?

Baked Fresh Codfish

But I would be willing to wager the price of a whole “catch” of codfish that I can tell you of a bran new way to bake one. Read [10] and see for yourself. Have the size that seems to find most favor in your family and fill it with a forcemeat made by mincing to paste a pound of raw codfish. Add to it half a pint of cream that has been just boiled, that’s all, and thickened with two eggs. Season with salt, a chopped onion—chopped so finely that it is of a paste consistency and fill the fish with the mixture. For pepper let me suggest that you use paprika in preference to any other brand. Cook till the fish is done and serve with any rich sauce that appeals to you.

Any or all of the foregoing recipes may be applied to haddock, as you probably suspect—if you know anything at all about fish.

You don’t know, you housekeepers of America what a jolly good reputation you’ve got to live up to unless you happen to have read G. W. Steevens’s clever book, “The Land of the Dollar,” in which he says of our national breakfasts: “First you have fruit—wonderful pears that look like green stones and taste like the Tree of Life. Then mush, so they call oatmeal porridge, or wheatmeal [11] porridge or hominy porridge, a noble food with the nectarous American cream. Then fishes and meats, sausages, and bacon and eggs. Then strange farinaceous foods which you marvel to find yourself swallowing with avid gust—graham bread, soda biscuits, buckwheat or griddle cakes with butter and maple treacle. It is magnificent; but it is indigestion. All the same, I look forward to the day when America shall produce an invention that will let me go across the Atlantic every morning for breakfast. I shall take a season ticket.”

Now let my humble pen chip in two or three things that shall help you to live up to this estimate of you.

Sweet Corn Croquettes

Suppose you are having a dish of fried eggs after a manner described later on in this book. Go still further, and see fit to have some croquettes also. Do you know just what they should be? If in doubt let them be of canned sweet corn. Mix with half a can of the corn two-thirds of its quantity of mashed potatoes, salt and a good generous bit of melted butter. Then form into croquettes, dip in beaten egg and crumbs and fry to a fine color in hot fat.

Sublimated Hash

Or, as second choice, you might like hash [12] instead of the eggs fried. Now, look here; you know me well enough by this time, I hope, to believe that when I suggest hash it is none of the commonplace minces that you shun at the table of your very best friend. Of what I have to say in the line of hash you won’t be overdoing the thing if you refer to it for evermore as a “sublimated hash.” See for yourself: Chop an onion and fry it in a good bit of butter till it is tender and likewise brown. Then put into the butter two cupfuls of diced cold mutton, diced not chopped, and one cupful of diced cold boiled potatoes. Pepper and salt to your fancy. Then put in four tablespoonfuls of tomato sauce and have ready some chopped parsley for sprinkling over the dish when it is served.

Rice Muffins

You might for a flyer try rice muffins with this hash. Have a cup of flour and sifted through it two heaping teaspoonfuls of baking powder. Add to it a tablespoonful of sugar, a saltspoonful of salt, and pass this through a sieve. Have three eggs well beaten in a cup of milk with half a cup of melted butter and stir into the flour. When it is perfectly smooth add to it two cupfuls of cold boiled or steamed rice. Turn into [13] small pans and bake in a hot oven. By grating in a little nutmeg to these muffins you will have a delicious dish for luncheon.

Rhode Island Johnnycake

Now, our friend Steevens spoke of griddle cakes and buckwheat cakes. Of these you know all that is necessary for any housekeeper to know. But I’ll wager a good sum that Rhode Island meal is an unknown quantity to you. Make its acquaintance then as soon as possible and set about having Rhode Island johnnycakes often. You will want nothing but the meal, some milk and salt. Have them considerably thinner than ordinary flour griddle cakes and fry in a little fat on a hot griddle so that the edges are crisp and toothsome. If you want to bake them have a cup of meal to a cup and one-half of milk with a pinch of salt, and bake in gem pans till brown. Instead of having butter with either the fried or baked specimens of this johnnycake try some of our “nectarous cream.” Is it a go?

Now and then, throughout this book, the directions for making a salad are brought in incidentally to the main topic of discourse. [14] Nowhere are they treated as the pièce de résistance, so to speak, of a chapter. And here are not many—only a few that go especially well in cold weather, when to have any variety at all in salads incurs a considerable outlay of rumination. Just a little inventive faculty and a firm purpose to have your table superior, even in details, to that of your dearest enemy, and you can with materials on hand in January have salads that give the eternal chicken and lobster with mayonnaise the go-by,—though, I fear me, the snubbing in the near future will come from the lobster itself. But that’s not to be discussed at just this minute.

Red Cabbage Salad

Before this you have probably made red cabbage salad with a French dressing and with a spread of mayonnaise over it, so that you think you know it all, but have you tried adding to it some celery? This is the way it is done. All the coarse outside leaves of the cabbage are removed and the inside is finely shredded. Then the best stalks of a head of celery are cut into inch pieces and put into the salad bowl, a layer of celery, then one of the cabbage, and so on, heaping a bit in the centre. Garnish with the fresh green leaves of the celery; pour a dressing, made of a [15] beaten egg, three tablespoonfuls of oil, two of vinegar, a saltspoon of salt, a dash of cayenne, and a suspicion of mustard, over all, and let stand for half an hour in a cool place before serving. For luncheon, when you are having croquettes of left-over ham bits, or of cold tongue scraps, this goes very near to being what would tempt any sane person to ask for a second helping.

Spanish Onion Salad

Then there is a way to make an onion salad, that sets you to wondering why you never heard of it before. Have the Spanish onions, and soak them four or five hours, after peeling, in cold water, changing the water every hour, or even oftener, if your time isn’t too precious. Then slice and chop them, but not to the mussy stage. Freeze them, not too hard, but so they will be crisp and cold. Meanwhile, prepare a dressing of two-thirds oil to one-third vinegar, with salt and pepper to taste, and pour over them. Serve immediately. But don’t forget the garnish, which naturally suggests itself—parsley, to be sure, and plenty of it. With this salad? Well, we will suppose it is making its début in your household at an after-theatre snack. So have with it toasted water crackers, a bit [16] of Swiss cheese, a smoked herring or two. And beer, of course.

Sardine Salad

Now, don’t skip what is going down here about a sardine salad—you will miss it if you do. I know you will say you wouldn’t fancy the oil in which they are preserved in a salad, and I can see that rather superior curl your lip takes on as you say it. But soak them for an hour in vinegar, then remove the skin from them and arrange in a circle on your salad dish. In the centre heap pitted and quartered olives. Make a dressing of the strained juice of a lemon mixed with a tablespoonful of olive oil, a bit of salt and of paprika, and over all a sprinkling of capers. Then, take a taste of it when your turn comes, and be sorry you were inclined to pass by it.

Brussels Sprouts Salad

Now and then, you know, we do have a few Brussels sprouts left over from the day before’s dinner, and at the price usually asked we couldn’t throw them away, and yet there weren’t enough to pay for reheating. So, in order to be forehanded, and also to have the “makings” of a delicious salad in the house, get double the quantity you usually have the next time you are getting them, and be glad for every one that is left over, for the [17] next day you will sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice over them, coat them with a mayonnaise, sprinkle with capers and sliced olives, and serve very cold. At a simple little dinner, where you are having “left-overs” daintily fixed up, this salad works in beautifully, or if you are giving a dinner that is as elaborate as anything you ever turn out, count on this salad to be one of the features of your dinner.

Oyster Salad

A delicious offering to put before your household some night is a salad of oysters. Have a quart of them, say, drain and wipe them well from their own liquor. Boil a cup of vinegar, and season it while boiling with salt and white pepper. Pour it over the oysters, and let them stand for two hours or so. Then drain them pretty dry, and lay on a bed of chopped celery in the salad bowl. If the oysters are very large cut in halves or quarters. Have a layer of chopped celery on top of the oysters, and coat thickly with mayonnaise. Be sure, however, that the oysters are perfectly cold before adding to the celery. Garnish with a few oyster crabs, pickled at the same time the oysters were pickled, and some sliced olives. To be very, very extravagant [18] in making this salad, if you so want to be for the purpose of impressing some one, add to it a few sliced truffles that have been soaked in white wine for an hour or two.

Nut Salad

For some occasions, at this season of the year, a nut salad just fills the bill as nothing else can. Choose almost any kind of nuts, but preferably let them be mainly English walnuts. Have them in halves, or in quarters, and squeeze lemon juice over them fifteen minutes before dressing. Then add to them half their quantity of quartered olives, some very tender little celery leaves, and a thin mask of mayonnaise. Really, when you have turned out this salad, for a party supper, say, you need give yourselves very little uneasiness as to how the other viands will set with your guests. Such a salad is calculated to redeem a good many faults in other directions.

Fruit Salad

Just a word about a sweet salad, and this screed is ended. Oranges. It shall be of oranges—big, luscious, juicy, seedless oranges, that are at their height for the next two months or more. These you slice, after peeling, as you would an apple. Put a layer of them in a bowl, sprinkle with powdered sugar and a few drops of orange curaçoa. Then another [19] layer of oranges, another of sugar, another fall of curaçoa, and so on till the dish is full. Then, if there are half a dozen oranges used, pour over them about half a gill of brandy, either the plain brandy or apricot brandy. The latter, I find, is possessed of a mysterious flavor that, when added to an orange salad, just sets people to wondering why it is they have to go away from home to find such delights.



To sing the same tune, as the saying is, is in everything cloying and offensive; but men are generally pleased with variety.

ONCE upon a time, one of the resourceless sort of housekeepers said to me that she was never quite so stumped as when she felt the economical burden laid upon her to utilize lamb or mutton “left-overs.” Now, this has been quite the opposite of my experience. In fact, I wouldn’t acknowledge that I found cold lamb a facer, anyway.

Roast Lamb with Caper Sauce

Suppose we talk of a leg of lamb roasted in this way: The bone neatly removed, the cavity filled with a mushroom stuffing, then roasted in a hot oven and served with caper sauce and currant jelly. To be sure I know you would as soon have pledged yourself to break one of the commandments, as to serve caper sauce with roasted lamb, if I had not tempted you. But you will do it, now that the suggestion has entered your consciousness of gastronomical beauties.

Roast Lamb with Onion Purée

Or, if, in the first blush, it doesn’t appeal [21] to you, there’s this way of roasting lamb that I dare say is new to you. First, make an onion purée, by mincing one quart of onions and boiling them till tender. Drain very dry, put them in a saucepan with two ounces of butter; season with salt and pepper; let them simmer for ten or fifteen minutes, but don’t let them brown. Then add to them half a pint of cream, and press all through a sieve, when serving as sauce.

Roast Lamb with Macaroni

Can you stand another novelty? It’s this. Put the lamb in the roasting-pan, and just a half hour before you think it is to be done, take it out and cover the bottom of the pan with boiled macaroni. Lay the lamb on this, and prick it all over that the juice may run over the macaroni. Moisten the macaroni with a little stock, too, if it threatens to get too dry or too brown. When the lamb is roasted take it out, heap the macaroni on a dish, pour a little tomato sauce over it, sprinkle with Parmesan and send to table. Have a little tomato, or any other sauce that pleases you, with the lamb, if you feel that you must have a sauce.

Broiled Lamb Slices

Now, for the second day—no, the third day, rather. Skip a day before dishing a [22] reheating of the lamb. Then get some good slices from the joint, even as to size and thickness, and lay them for an hour in a dressing of two tablespoonfuls of oil, one of Tarragon vinegar, with salt and pepper. Take them out of the dressing, dip in bread crumbs, broil over a hot fire, and serve with a tartar sauce, or, if you like, with some of the onion purée, if any was left.

Fried Lamb with Chutney

If you like chutney, and of course you do, have some neat slices of cold lamb spread with this palate-tickler, roll each slice up, coat with crumbs, and fry in boiling fat till brown. Skewer the rolled slices to keep them in shape. When serving, sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice. It will be a question with you, probably, which of these two ways of reheating is better. But that’s the sort of recipes with which to load your intelligence, so don’t complain.

Lamb Slices with Onions and Mushrooms

Can you digest another warmed-over dish of lamb? This time have the slices thick rather than thin, and put them in a stewpan with enough sherry wine to cover them. Cover closely, and let heat slowly while you are tossing together, in a little butter, some minced boiled onion and button mushrooms. Color [23] slightly, and moisten with a little rich stock. Take up the slices of lamb, arrange in a circle on a dish, fill the centre with the onions and mushrooms, pour the wine over all, and take the trick. It’s yours. In case you don’t like as much wine as is required to cover the lamb, use half wine and half water, and the juice of a lemon.

Lamb Slices in Chafing Dish

If you want to try the reheating of the lamb in the chafing dish, have it sliced as neatly as possible, and make ready in the chafing dish a sauce of one wineglass of port wine, half a pint of good stock, thickened, a teaspoonful of walnut ketchup, the same of French mustard, and a pinch of salt. When this is hot put in the lamb, and serve as soon as heated through.

If with any of the foregoing recipes you think you would fancy a border of rice, have it, by all means. But have plenty of butter in the water in which the rice is boiled; or if it is steamed, have it moistened well with butter just the same.

Lamb Croquettes

You might fancy this rice border with lamb croquettes. These, you know, are made by having the lamb chopped finely, and added to it half its quantity of chopped mushrooms. [24] Moisten with a little tomato sauce, shape and fry.

Lamb Salad

Surely you will not take offence if I assume, at this stage of the game, that you are educated up to a point where you can appreciate the delights that centre in a lamb salad. You dice the lamb, having it free of all fat and sinew. Then put a layer of it in the bottom of the salad bowl. Have a dressing of oil, vinegar, pepper, and salt, with a bit of French mustard in it, at hand, and with this sprinkle the lamb. Bestrew it, too, with a chopped anchovy or two, or more, if you are fond of anchovies. Then put in a layer of cold boiled potatoes, diced—more dressing; another stratum of lamb, and so on till the dish is full, having it mound-shaped. Garnish with sliced gherkins and capers, and let it go at that.

I would that fewer nursery rhymers had taken trips to market for their text when their pens took to turning out jingles; for goodness knows that what with “To market, to market to buy a fat pig,” and “To market, to market, all on a market day,” keeping up a continuous jig-like theme in my mind, to [25] say nothing of the insistent interruptions by the “little pig that went to market” I am well-nigh distracted when I try to get dry-as-dust facts from the marketman anent commonplace eatables. To be sure, if I go in search of frogs’ legs, say, and the story of the frog who went a-wooing recurs to my mind three or four times in a minute, it seems quite appropriate and doesn’t interfere in the least with my driving a pretty sharp bargain with the fish-dealer. But, so far as I know, no poet or writer of assonance has taken it into his head to sing a song of livers, kidneys, and such like edibles of which I am telling you herein, and no wonder, you may say, if I don’t succeed in making my story fairly interesting, as well as appetizing—though from the nature of it if it is one it must be the other.

Kidneys en Brochette

Everybody knows, I fancy, that when one has cut off the skin of some lambs’ kidneys, and then cut the kidneys into quarter-inch-thick slices, seasoned them with salt and pepper, dipped them in oil, and then threaded them on skewers with alternating slices of bacon a brochette of kidneys is well under way. To complete the operation they are dipped into oil, then into bread-crumbs and [26] broiled over a slow fire. In serving there’s no reason in the world why one should not indulge one’s fancy for any simple sauce that will help the kidneys to tickle one’s palate. Good as this dish is, I must confess I like it better when chickens’ livers are substituted for the kidneys. By the way, do you know that every up-to-date marketman has them all skewered, and all that you have to do is to add the seasoning and see to the broiling?

Fried Kidneys with Mushrooms

Another really delightful way of serving lambs’ kidneys is to prepare in a frying-pan a tablespoonful of chopped onions, a small chopped shallot, a clove of garlic and as many fresh mushrooms as you feel like buying, with salt and pepper to taste, and an ounce or so of butter; don’t let the vegetables color at all, and perhaps the best way to avoid this is to add a gill or so of any kind of wine and the same of cream. Let this sauce mull a while on the back of the range, while you broil the number of kidneys desired, after having skinned and split each one in two lengthwise. Dish and pour over them the sauce, removing from it the garlic. If you’ve never heard of this way for preparing kidneys, it seems [27] to me that you should be very grateful to me for calling your attention to it.

Minced Kidneys

Macaroni Croquettes

And may your gratitude be re-enforced after you have tried cooking veal kidneys in this fashion: Mince three very small ones, after removing all the fat and fibrous parts, and fry them in butter over a hot fire. Don’t let them get wizzled up, but just done to a turn, then take from the frying-pan and add to the butter in which they were fried some tomato sauce highly seasoned, half a can of mushrooms, some lemon juice, and chopped parsley; pour over the kidneys and even if you serve them in just this manner they will prove a great success; but should you wish to make it a dish to linger in one’s memory, then garnish it with macaroni croquettes. Ever make them? Well, boil a pound of macaroni in salted water for fifteen minutes. Then drain and cut it into quarter-inch lengths; put back into the saucepan with a little grated cheese, a little salt, cayenne pepper and a gill of cream. Let it get perfectly cold, then mould into croquettes, either cylinder-shaped or any other form, only have them very small; dip in egg and bread-crumbs and fry a pretty brown.

[28] These macaroni croquettes, by the way, make a suitable garnish for any number of dishes; try them with veal cutlets some time, or with thin, dainty slices of ham broiled for luncheon, and you’ll get more than your labor for your pains.

Fried Calf’s Liver

If you are thinking to have liver, then my advice to you is to get if possible only that of a calf. To buy that of an older “beef critter” is so often a waste of time and money that it’s just as well to forego buying it altogether—it is so apt to have too much flavor, so to speak, or be tough or stringy, and wholly unsatisfactory. But get a calf’s liver, and something of a treat is in store for you, whether you fry it with bacon or prepare it in this way: Cut up finely three or four good-sized white onions and fry them in butter till of a golden brown. Drain the butter off and cover the onions with white stock; let cook for half an hour, then moisten with more stock and season with pepper, salt, chopped parsley, and just a suspicion of lemon juice. Fry the slices of liver, which should not be over half an inch in thickness, in enough butter to keep them from hardening; drain off the butter and add the above [29] sauce; let it boil up once, then serve, and garnish with slices of lemon. Perhaps this is a bit heavy for a breakfast dish—to my mind it is decidedly so—while for luncheon, where one is having a salad of watercress, or for an entrée at dinner it seems to be quite in its rightful place.

If the liver is to be served for breakfast, then it is a good idea to roll the slices in a little flour, sprinkle melted butter over them and broil over the coals, squeezing just enough lemon juice and sprinkling just enough chopped parsley over them to make them grateful to the taste and eye when served.

Sauce for Calf’s Liver

But why don’t you try to invent a sauce for calf’s liver? Fry it in plenty of butter, then add to the butter, when the liver is removed, anything that your palate suggests or which your common sense approves. For instance, put in a few tiny slices of gherkin, a handful of mushrooms, a soupçon of tomato sauce, a few capers, a little lemon juice, chopped chives or chervil, chopped shallot or any herb or condiment that you may have in the house. Of course you don’t want to use all of these articles, but try a combination of any two or three or more of them, with the [30] addition of a little stock and—who knows?—you may invent a sauce that will make you as famous as was Béchamel, Condé or Carême. Success be with you!

“Do be kind enough some of these times when you are scribbling about the good things at market to bear in mind that not every one is hale and hearty and blessed with digestive organs that could stand a diet of shingle nails. Give a thought to the poor unfortunates that are obliged to think twice before gratifying their appetites once.” Thus wailed one of the said “poor unfortunates” once upon a time, and as a result of the complaint I have since been “holding them in thought” to a considerable extent, with a view to making the material aspect of a period of invalidism and convalescence a bit the brighter.

Chicken Broth with Oatmeal

Of course we all know that the list of eatables allowed an invalid or a convalescent is of necessity a rather short one; but there is an infinite number of ways for varying the list, if one will use a little judgment and good taste in preparing the dishes. We have all had experience in seeing a sick person make [31] a wry face at the mention of gruel or porridge, and precious little we blamed him for it, to tell the truth. But the whole condition of affairs may be changed by preparing it in this way: Have a pint of good clear chicken broth, free from fat and not too strong; boil it, and into it shake slowly a cup of oatmeal or wheaten grits; let it cook for half an hour or so, pass it through a wire sieve, and add to it a little more broth if that is necessary to make it fit to be sipped easily from a cup without using a spoon. Take it to the sick-room with the remark, “I have brought you a little purée of oatmeal,” and my word for it you will not see a drop left in the cup.

Purée of Barley

And a purée of barley will be quite as acceptable. Soak the barley over night, and the next morning cover it with chicken broth; boil until the barley bursts, adding broth from time to time as it cooks away; when the broth begins to thicken, which will be at the end of about three hours’ time, strain it through a very fine sieve. Serve it in a cup; and if you dare do such a thing, add a tiny bit of butter to it. It makes it a deal more palatable, and I don’t believe it will harm the patient; but [32] it’s quite possible the physician in charge may think otherwise.

Beef Tea

There are ways and ways for making beef tea; but the best of all ways, it seems to me, is to have round steak about one inch in thickness, broil it for two minutes on each side over a brisk fire, cut it up into inch squares, cover it with cold water, and let it steep, not boil, for two hours. Serve it in a cup, and salt when serving. You and the ailing one will find, I think, that the broiling of the steak gives the tea a flavor that makes it “hit the spot”—a consummation devoutly to be wished when one is catering for an invalid.

Cream Soup

Cream soups make a pleasing change after plain broths or teas. Take any white stock that is rich, free from fat and well seasoned. Put into a saucepan half a pint of the stock and the same quantity of cream. When it comes to a boil add one tablespoonful of flour thoroughly moistened with cold milk, and let it boil at once. Serve with it finger-pieces of thin buttered toast.

Sabayon of Chicken

A highly nutritious dish is made by putting four egg-yolks into a double boiler, diluting them with half a pint of clear chicken broth, and beating the mixture with a whip or beater [33] until it becomes thick and frothy. When it is done add two teaspoonfuls of sherry to it, and serve in a cup; have it just as hot as possible. And if the person for whom you concoct this appetizing affair insists upon knowing its name, you may say that it is a sabayon of chicken.

Chicken Custard

And, by the way, what an endless amount of dainty edibles may be made from chicken! Take a chicken custard, for instance; could anything be daintier? Have a cupful of good clear chicken stock, and add to it an equal quantity of cream; cook it for a few minutes, then put it into a double boiler, and add the beaten yolks of three eggs and a little salt. Cook until the mixture thickens a little, and then pour it into custard cups to be served cold. It’s an ungrateful, whimsical, and grumpy sort of an invalid who doesn’t reckon as a red-letter day the time when he first tasted of a chicken custard. But whether or not this is the case, you will have to keep right on shaking up your ideas and producing other dishes.

Tapioca Jelly

In all probability you will try your hand at jelly-making; and when you have exhausted your own stock of recipes try making [34] a tapioca jelly. To prepare it, soak one cup of tapioca in three cups of water over night. In the morning put it into a double boiler with a cup of hot water, and let it simmer until perfectly clear, stirring often. Sweeten to taste and flavor with the juice of half a lemon and two tablespoonfuls of wine. Pour into cups, and set away to get perfectly cold. When serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar and heap a little whipped cream on it.

Or it may be that a blanc-mange made with tapioca will seem to you worth the trying. If so, soak a cupful of tapioca in two cups of water over night. In the morning put it into the double boiler, and stir into it two cups of boiling milk, three tablespoonfuls of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Cook it slowly for fifteen minutes, stirring several times. Take it from the fire, and flavor with wine or vanilla. Let it harden in small moulds, and serve with powdered sugar and whipped cream.

Violet Jelly

And some day when the patient is unusually capricious try surprising him or her with a violet jelly. A woman I know told me not long ago that she had found it more efficacious than a dozen “soft answers.” Have a pint [35] of clear boiling syrup, and into it throw a heaping handful of fresh violets, after removing the stalks; let this simmer, tightly covered, for half an hour. Then strain the liquor, and add to it half an ounce of gelatine dissolved in a very little water, the juice of an orange, and two teaspoonfuls of violet vegetable coloring, which is as harmless as so much cold water. Turn it into a mould, and set on ice to harden.

Steamed Rice

When boiled or steamed rice is ordered, try preparing it in this way. Wash a cupful of it thoroughly and put into the double boiler with just enough water to cover it. When the rice is nearly done, pour off the water, if any remains, and add one cup of milk and a little salt. Let the rice cook thoroughly till done. Beat an egg well, and the last thing before taking the rice from the fire stir the egg in as lightly as possible, and serve hot with sugar and cream. The egg makes the dish a bit more attractive and considerably more nutritious.

Invalid’s Chop

I wonder if you have ever tried cooking a lamb chop or cutlet in this way. Have three cutlets cut, two of them rather thinner than the third, then tie them together, the thick [36] one in the middle. Broil over a hot fire till the outside cutlets are burnt to a crisp, and at that stage you will find the inside one in just the right condition for serving; salt it, and serve piping hot. With it serve a baked potato that has been pressed through a sieve. Sprinkle the potato with salt and moisten it with a little cream. To be sure you may think that a somewhat expensive way of cooking a lamb chop, and so it is from some points of view; but it will set any self-respecting convalescent at least two days ahead on his journey to complete recovery, and when you think of it in that way you see it’s positively cheap. All these things, yea, and a thousand more, must be taken into consideration when one is in attendance upon a sick person.

To say that every one should have a chafing-dish in these days were to be trite—everyone should have seven chafing-dishes, or as near that number as possible; not one for every day in the week exactly, but rather that, if you are having a little after-the-opera or after-the-theatre jollification and have a dozen or so hungry ones to feed, there may [37] be enough to go round, and also that you may have a variety of dainties.

Creamed Oysters

Not all will want creamed oysters, of course, but you can set a pretty girl to preparing this dish for those who do want it. Give her about half a pint of rich, thick cream, an ounce or so of butter and a teaspoonful of flour which she will braid together in the most approved cooking-school fashion for thickening the cream when it is hot. Then she should put in two dozen or so oysters that have been well drained and freed from any bits of shell. If you can trust her to do so, let her season the dish with a dash of red pepper, and salt, and a shake or two of celery salt. When the edges of the oysters begin to frizzle, have ready for her either little strips of toast or some crackers on hot plates, on which to serve the oysters. If you find that more than three persons will be apt to bid for the creamed oysters, you will want rather more than two dozen, I fancy; still, you will know best about that.

Flaked Cold Cod in Tomato

If you have any cold fish in the house, halibut or cod or haddock that has been boiled or baked, not fried, have it flaked up in good-sized pieces and marinated for three or four [38] hours in a tablespoonful each of oil and vinegar, a dash of cayenne, the juice of an onion and salt to taste. When you are to use it have hot in the chafing-dish three teaspoonfuls each of rich tomato sauce, sherry wine and butter, putting the butter in and melting it first. When these are well blended together, lay in the fish and stir it about in the sauce till quite hot. This, let me tell you, will not go a-begging for admirers. It is a particularly savory tidbit, and on a cold night is its own best recommendation.

Lobster Newberg

I wonder if you will say a recipe for lobster à la Newberg is altogether too stale if I undertake to tell it to you. I know its age just as well as you do, and I also know that I could weep bitterly, if it would do any good, at some of the concoctions called by that name that I have had put before me, and which, worse than all, I have been expected to eat. So right here I shall put on record my way of preparing that delicious dish, and if you don’t care to read it, why skip it, of course. Into the chafing dish put two ounces of butter and let it melt; then put in the meat of a two-pound lobster cut into dice-shaped pieces and let them cook till they are really fried a bit. [39] Then turn low the flame of the lamp while you pour in a little less than a pint of cream in which has been beaten three eggs, seasoned with salt and red pepper. Just as this is hot add a scant wineglass of sherry and let it heat once more, regulating the flame all the time so that it cannot boil. For if it does the jig is up, the eggs will be sure to curdle, and you will wish to goodness you hadn’t undertaken it. Have little triangles of toasted bread on which to serve the lobster, and if it turns out the success it should, your reputation among your guests will be for all time established as a hostess who knows her business from A to Z.

Chicken Livers with Olive Sauce

If you will get some chicken livers you can prepare a very appetizing dish with very little trouble. Melt an ounce of butter in the chafing dish and in it put, say, eight or ten livers that have been salted well and rolled in a little flour. Let them cook pretty fast for ten minutes, or till you think they are done, then put with them half a pint of hot water and a teaspoonful of any extract of beef, with what salt and pepper your superior judgment deems suitable. When this is hot turn in a gill of sherry, and a dozen olives pitted and [40] quartered. Just a dash of lemon juice and the deed is done, provided you have ready some toast for the serving of the livers.

If you haven’t at the time of night when you will be serving these dishes a fire over which you can toast the bread, you can have one of the guests preparing the bread in a chafing dish. Cut the slices of the size you like and fry them delicately in a very little butter and they will go finely in this way.

Welsh Rabbit

Because you may think I don’t know how to make one if I say nothing, I suppose I shall have to offer a word or so about Welsh rabbits. Melt an ounce of butter in the chafing-dish and then stir in and let melt slowly a pound of cheese cut up into very small pieces. Season this as you go along with paprika, a little salt, and mustard as you think you like it. When the cheese is quite melted pour in, very slowly, a little beer or ale, about two gills in all. Then when it is well blended with the cheese stir in a couple of eggs well beaten and serve on crackers. Did you ever try making your rabbits with ginger ale? Really they are good in that way, and it is very palatable to drink when you are eating them. And cider is delicious [41] served with rabbits, also—the champagne cider. Try it some time.

Golden Buck

For a golden buck, prepare the cheese as for a rabbit, but on each plate when you are serving it place a poached egg. These must be prepared in another dish while the rabbit is under process of construction. So, you see, I wasn’t so far off in my calculations, rapid as they seemed to you at the time, when I said my little say about seven chafing dishes.

Eggs Poached in Tomato

Suppose you have on hand a pint of rich tomato sauce. Heat this in the chafing-dish and poach in it two eggs. Lift them out and lay on a hot dish while you poach two more. Continue in this way till you have half-a-dozen eggs poached. Serve one or two as you like, on a slice of toast or fried bread, pour some of the tomato sauce round, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over each and send them around the table on their mission.

Curried Eggs

If you are fond of curry try some curried eggs. Melt in the chafing-dish two ounces of butter, and fry in it two small onions, sliced; take these out and stir in a dessertspoonful of curry powder and a teaspoonful of Worcestershire sauce. When these are [42] well mixed add half a dozen well-beaten eggs. Cook quickly and serve.

Creamed Chicken

Perhaps you have a pet recipe for creamed chicken, and I don’t doubt it is all such a recipe should be; but let me suggest that, instead of putting chicken and cream and all the other things into the chafing-dish at the same time, you melt the butter first and then stir in the chicken and let it cook for two or three minutes before you put in the cream, or béchamel, or whatever it is you use. The flavor of the dish will be very much richer and more palatable to most persons. For, between ourselves, I think that creamed chicken is apt to be rather a flat and tasteless affair, and will stand quite a little bracing up.

I hope you won’t want to spoil the taste of any of these dishes by having sweets after them, in the way of fancy cakes, etc. If you do, you may choose them for yourselves. I’ll have none of them.



So comes a reckoning when the banquet’s o’er,—
The dreadful reckoning, and men smile no more.

THERE couldn’t be a better time than the present in which to have a smoke-talk, mesdames. There, there, now, pray don’t be alarmed; I’ve no notion of passing round any of the popular brands of cigars. Neither would I so much as offer you cigarettes, albeit the latest scientific utterance has pronounced them harmless.

No, our talk shall be of some of the smoked and salted viands that, while they may not perhaps come under the head of delicacies or indelicacies of the season, are decidedly appetizing, and quite worthy of having considerable attention given to the best ways and means of serving them.

Salt Fish with Cream

And haven’t you been saddened hundreds of times when reflecting upon the disregard of details that makes of a dish of salt-fish and cream nothing but a pasty and altogether horrid mess? But a dish of salted cod becomes delicacy itself if the fish is shredded while raw, all skin and bone removed, washed several [44] times in cold water and cooked in plenty of fresh water; then it should be drained and covered with cream, which has been heated and thickened with an egg or two beaten up well in a tablespoonful or so of cream; add a dash of cayenne, to give it a zest, and you have prepared for breakfast or luncheon a dainty that will quite justify you in fancying yourself for the rest of the day. And that’s a wonderfully comfortable state of mind in which to find oneself.

Salt Fish with Brown Butter

Perhaps, however, for a luncheon dish you would rather have the codfish served with brown butter. In which case you flake and freshen it as before, and cook in plenty of water. Take it up on a hot dish and pour over it a sauce made of butter, in which you have fried minced onion and a handful of chopped parsley till they are brown. And you can vary this sauce infinitely: add a bay leaf or two, or a few capers, or some chopped sweet red peppers, and get a new flavor with each addition.

The subject of codfish balls I won’t take up here. I fear I might make it too exhaustive. And, besides, every housekeeper seems to have a chosen way for preparing them.

Fried Cods’ Tongues

[45] I wish as much could be said about that too-little-appreciated genuine delicacy—fresh cods’ tongues. They are delicious when boiled till tender, and then served with brown butter, as suggested above for codfish. And they are just as good, and some think even better, if they are dipped in milk, then rolled one by one in flour, and fried in plenty of butter for about ten minutes. You can simply pour the butter on them when serving, with a little chopped parsley scattered over all, or you can put into the frying-pan, after taking the tongues out, a gill or two of tomato sauce, and serve this separately in a sauceboat, serving each tongue on a slice of toast. Usually it will be found necessary to soak the salted tongues for twenty-four hours or more in water, changing it once or twice, as seems necessary.

To be sure there’s considerable trouble and no small amount of care involved in having these edibles, or any others, for that matter, quite as one would like, but some old wiseacre has said that life’s cares are its comforts, and if one only has a firm belief, rooted and grounded in past experience, in this bit of philosophy it’s just as easy to apply it to cooking as to painting.

Broiled Smoked Salmon

[46] And a little of this care used in the broiling of smoked salmon redeems it from the charred and uninviting dish it too often makes. It is best to cut the salmon into small strips, wrap each strip in a piece of buttered paper, and then broil over a clear fire. When done remove the paper, and serve the fish on a piping hot dish, at once. And if you want a sauce for it make one by cooking a minced onion in a gill of vinegar and twice as much water, adding, as the onion shows signs of tenderness, two ounces of fresh butter, four finely chopped hard-boiled egg yolks, and a little chopped parsley.

Boiled Salt Mackerel, with Horse-radish Sauce

Of course you know how to cook salt mackerel—you could sue me for libel if I said aught to the contrary. But do you, I wonder, ever try preparing it in my favorite way? This is the manner of it: Soak the mackerel for twelve hours, changing the water several times. Then boil it in an abundance of water, in which there is a bay leaf, two or three onions, some parsley and the juice of a lemon. The fish should cook very slowly, and not be allowed to come to pieces. When they are done, serve them on a folded napkin, with a sauce made by reducing a pint of cream to [47] one-half, adding to it an ounce of butter, and thickening it with two egg yolks. Then add to it half its quantity of grated horse-radish, heating it again, without boiling. In most cases it is necessary to add salt to this sauce, but I prescribe no quantity. I only advise being skittish about the amount when it is to be used for a salt fish. If you are to have smoked mackerel, broil instead of boiling it and serve with it the cream horse-radish sauce.

Smoked Herring Fried

And then there are smoked and salted herring, that if cooked judiciously make life at least a bit more comfortable. It is best to soak them for five or six hours in water and then for two hours in sweet, fresh milk, after which you can work out some wonderful dishes with them. If they have been salted only, fry in butter and serve them on potatoes mashed with cream. But if the herring are smoked as well as salted, split them down the back and cook in enough milk to cover. Cook till thoroughly done, and then serve on a very hot dish with branches of parsley around, and a little sweet rich cream poured over them.

Finnan Haddies with Cream

But, to my thinking, the best of all the smoked and salted fish are the finnan haddies. [48] And one of the best ways of cooking them is as per that last described for cooking herring. But the haddies are much less salt, and require little, if any, soaking. Or, if you prefer, you can put them in a buttered baking-pan, pour cream and bread crumbs over them and brown in a hot oven. Give them a little more cream when serving. And again after you and your household have partaken of this dish and pronounced it good, hard to beat, etc., you will have occasion to be pleased with yourself, which, being interpreted, means of course being perfectly satisfied with all the world.

It is possible, nay, probable, that you, mesdames, with all the calls that the Lenten season makes upon your spiritual selves, find little time for ordering or arranging dinners; furthermore—and it’s in no way to your discredit—it may be that with so much of each day given over to reflection and concentrated thought you experience a sort of disinclination to give heed to things material. Therefore it behooves me to be alive to my duty, which in the premises certainly seems to prescribe that I shall think and plan a bit for you; and [49] I herewith submit, as the result of a goodly amount of cogitation on my part, a menu which I hope will strike you as being a very good sort of “working model,” should you not care to follow it to the letter:—

You see that such a menu provides a dinner perfectly within the rule implied by “diner maigre,” though it can in no sense be called a fast-day dinner. In fact, the very phrase is a contradiction. If you are fasting, you do not dine; you simply eat to live—a very different thing.

And now for particulars. No need to tell you how to make the soup; you have stacks of cookery books that will give you the information necessary for the making of a good clear consommé. As for the asparagus points, it will be quite as well from all points of view to buy the canned asparagus tips, and cook a little in salted water, adding them to the soup about five minutes before it is served.

Boiled Lake Trout

[50] Perhaps your housekeepers’ guides may not be sufficiently explicit in regard to cooking the lake trout in the manner suggested, so I will tell you in detail. In the first place, you take equal quantities of white French wine—as inexpensive as you please—and water, one small onion, a bouquet of parsley, thyme, etc., some peppercorns, and a proper amount of salt. Let this boil for fifteen minutes, and you have as good a court bouillon as one could wish. Into it put the trout, tied into any shape you desire, and boil until tender; remove it, and serve on a fish paper or napkin; garnish with fresh green parsley sprays. For the sauce, you will melt some butter in a part of the court bouillon, and serve separately. You should find good lake trout in the market now, and at a price that doesn’t confine them to the list of luxuries. Aren’t you glad?

Macaroni Timbales

Have you any idea how many ways are known to expert cooks for preparing macaroni? I haven’t. But I should not be surprised to see offered for sale any day a publication setting forth “One Thousand Ways to Cook Macaroni,” and I hope that macaroni timbales, in case such an event [51] comes to pass, will be given the place of honor. Try making them in this way, and you will agree with me. Boil the macaroni in plenty of salted water till it is tender, but not “mushy.” Drain off the water, and add, with all thoughts of economy thrown to the winds, melted butter; stir it in well, and add a goodly sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese and cayenne pepper. Line a mould with the very best puff-paste you know how to make, rolled as thinly as possible, and put in the macaroni; cover with a round of the paste, lay a sheet of buttered paper over the top, and bake in a hot oven for about thirty minutes. Unmould on a hot dish, and pour round it some tomato sauce made from the best recipe given in any of your gastronomical literature.

Casserole of Fillets of Sole

Then consult the aforesaid literature still further, and select therefrom the most appetizing recipe for making a stuffing of bread-crumbs, when you have it properly prepared spread with it some fillets of sole, and tie them into shape with a little thread. Now put into a casserole, or stewpan, three or four ounces of butter, two minced onions, and the fish; let it fry for five or six minutes, then add to it two or three gills of béchamel sauce [52] (see cookery books once more), a cupful of chopped mushrooms, and a claret-glass of claret. Cover the pan closely, and cook in the oven for half an hour. When finished, remove the strings from the fillets, and serve in a deep dish with the liquor in which they were cooked poured over them. And there you have a dish fit to tickle the palate of any king, or knave, that ever lived. Later in the season, when lobsters are selling at a more reasonable price, try substituting them for the soles, and your delight will be increased several-fold.

Oyster Soufflés

Very likely you know as much or more than I do about making oyster soufflés, but, be that as it may, I have the floor, and am going to tell you what I do know about them, for I may never get another chance. My way is to blanch two dozen good oysters in their own liquor, then cut them into dice, and while they are cooling prepare a sauce of two ounces each of butter and flour, a dust of cayenne, a little salt, the yolks of three eggs, and half a pint of rich milk; when it is thick enough and smooth enough I put in the oysters and their liquor, pour the mixture into little soufflé cases, sprinkle each with [53] browned bread-crumbs and bits of butter, and bake in a moderate oven for eighteen minutes; then serve at once. How do you think you would like to try that way of making them?

Coffee Cream Glacée

Now, you will admit that I very seldom presume to tell you how to prepare sweets, but to-day my story would be incomplete if I were to omit the directions for making a coffee cream glacée. It is easy as can be; that is, if you can freeze things. Beat the yolks of four eggs in a basin with four ounces of powdered sugar, standing the basin in another of hot water, so that they may get quite warm, but not hot; add to them a gill of strong coffee, beat it all together till it is light and creamy and quite cold. Then add to it a pint of stiffly whipped cream, pour the mixture into a mould, and bury in ice and salt for two hours. Unmould on the prettiest piece of lace paper you have when serving.

Almond Pudding

Perhaps I run the risk of overdoing the matter by telling you how to make an almond pudding, but it does harmonize so delightfully with coffee glacée that ’twould be actually sinful to leave you in ignorance of how it is made. It’s simple, too, simple as a b c. [54] You just beat up the yolks of five and the whites of three eggs with a large tablespoonful of rose-water, and add gradually to it four ounces of powdered sugar and four ounces of freshly ground almonds, mixed with a few small whole ones. Beat this thoroughly for ten or fifteen minutes, pour into a well-buttered pie-dish and bake. When half-cooked, garnish with strips of candied orange peel and blanched almonds. And if you have any of the pudding left, which is doubtful, you will find that it makes an excellent five-o’clock tea cake, for it is quite as good cold as hot.

Now, have I not given you a good ground plan, so to speak, for Lenten dinners? It is the easiest thing in the world to leave out a part of it, or add to it, for that matter, for it is composed wholly of neutral tints, you might say, and almost any viand under the sun will dovetail with it, if you wish to elaborate it.

I really don’t know the first thing about the dietetic properties of eggs, for which ignorance I am truly grateful, because I have always noticed that once a man or a woman [55] gets where the healthfulness or the hurtfulness of any edible becomes the first consideration all real pleasure to be found in dining has for that man or woman lost half its charm.

Neither could I guess, though I had a dozen chances, whether the fact that eggs form the backbone of so many meals during Lent has its foundation in history, or some religious rite. And I am also content to remain uninformed on this point.

But I do know that at market these days the sign “strictly fresh eggs” is the most noticeable feature on every hand; and I know, too, that there are a good many housekeepers who fairly long to know of some way in which to improve upon the neutral flavor of an egg so that it may become dainty, savory or delicately sweet as the case may seem to require.

Eggs Curdled in Cream

To begin with the savory list: Some fine morning when you are to have for breakfast just an appetizing bit of broiled salted herring, try cooking some eggs in this way—Put half a pint of cream into a saucepan and let it boil. Stir into it five well-beaten eggs, seasoned with salt and pepper. Let this mixture curdle, then turn it out on to a hot [56] dish and brown it quickly with a salamander; and you’ll be at a loss to know whether it’s the herring that makes the egg taste so well, or if it’s the egg that makes the herring so remarkably palatable.

Eggs, Epicurean Style

Another delicious way of serving eggs for breakfast is to have, as a beginning, say one dozen eggs and boil them till hard; take off their shells, cut them in halves and rub the yolks through a fine sieve; put an ounce of butter and one cupful of cream into a saucepan, season it with salt and white pepper and thicken with a very little flour. When it is quite hot but not boiling stir into it half of the whites of the eggs, chopped, and the yolks. Arrange the remainder of the whites on a dish, pour the mixture over them, and serve piping hot. You see the eggs can be boiled and prepared the day before, and there’s very little to be done to get them ready for breakfast. Now, should you want to make this into a more savory dish, you could easily add a little minced ham, the juice of an onion, or some minced olives and a few mushrooms, and have by so doing a delectable luncheon dish that would go admirably with, say, some cold sliced tongue or with pickled lambs’ tongues.

Baked Eggs

[57] A particularly savory dish of eggs is made by frying two small minced onions in butter till they are brown; then mix with them a dessertspoonful of vinegar, a very little salt, and some pepper. Butter a dish, spread the onions over it, break over them half a dozen eggs, and put into a hot oven. When the eggs are cooked sufficiently, cover them with a layer of bread-crumbs that have been fried in butter, and serve. The bread-crumbs must be hot, of course. Try this some day at luncheon when you are having broiled pigs’ feet and potato croquettes.

Egg Toast with Cheese

And if it doesn’t turn out the success you hoped, the next day you might take some very thin slices of bread, trim off the crusts, lay on a well-buttered dish, and cover with very thin slices of cheese. Beat up well enough eggs to cover the bread, season with salt and a little cayenne pepper, and pour them over the slices. Put the dish in a moderate oven and bake until the eggs are set. Serve while very hot in the same dish. If you prefer, you may use in place of the sliced cheese some grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the bread, and sprinkle a little over the eggs too.

Eggs in Tomato Purée

[58] Eggs scrambled in tomato purée make a delectable dish for luncheon, or for dinner as an entrée. Have half a pint of rich tomato purée, and cook in it half-a-dozen well beaten eggs; pour the whole into a deep dish, and serve with it some bread croutons. Some finely cut up chives will at times be thought an improvement to this dish.

Scrambled Eggs with Truffles

And there are scrambled eggs with truffles that are good enough for any time or place. Cook four sliced truffles in a wineglass of Madeira for about two minutes; then put in a tablespoonful of butter, and season with salt and white pepper. Break eight eggs and without beating stir them well with a wooden spoon in the wine for three minutes, cooking quickly all the while. Serve in a hot dish.

Caviare Omelets

If one is fond of caviare (and who isn’t nowadays?), an omelet with caviare is most tempting. Make an omelet of the desired number of eggs, and just before folding over spread it with a layer of caviare diluted with a little béchamel sauce. After the omelet is dished, garnish with parsley.

Spanish Omelet

You will find in your hunts for Spanish omelet recipes that they will turn up as thick [59] as bees in a hive, after which you will let the different directions for this savory dish foment in your mind till you get what seems to be the best from each and turn out one that is your very own, and entitled to be known to your friends as “Spanish omelet à la Madame Featherstonaugh”—or whatever name has the honor to belong to you. My recipe you shall have till you get one of your own, however. To begin with, have a rich tomato purée; to this you add chopped pimentos or sweet Spanish peppers con amore, then a bit of fried chopped onion, a few mushrooms, also cooked, and diced cold cooked tongue or ham, preferably tongue. Take any liberties with it that you like, pray. Don’t think you must follow it to the letter. I rarely do, to be candid with you. I have used cold chicken, cold duck, and also cold goose, when the larder has been bereft of ham or tongue; and not one of my household dared to say anything shady about it.

Omelet with Chicken Liver

Of course, every housekeeper has a chicken liver omelet recipe among her belongings, and made in the most ordinary way they are pretty sure to be worth the eating; but if the livers are cooked in a little butter, and then [60] a little Madeira is added to the butter, the omelet is far and away ahead of those made by ordinary recipes, as you will see by trying it.

Jelly Omelet

When it comes to an omelet for dessert, nothing can be better than an omelet stuffed with preserves or fresh fruit. If preserves are used, there’s a wide range from which to select, and any taste can be satisfied. Fill it with currant jelly, or apricot or grapefruit marmalade, or any other fruit that you like. In almost any case a little grated lemon peel and a handful of chopped almonds will be an improvement. After the omelet is dished it should always be sprinkled with finely powdered sugar.

Strawberry Omelet

You might in the way of fresh fruits use some of the strawberries that are of respectable flavor and price now. Get a box some day of the best-looking ones you can find, and sort them over. Save out about half of them, the fairest ones in the lot, cut in halves, and put them in a bowl with two heaping tablespoonfuls of sugar, a piece of orange peel, and two teaspoonfuls of rum, and set them in a cool place. Press the [61] remainder of the strawberries through a fine sieve, and sweeten well. Make an omelet of six eggs, and before folding over fill it with the cut-up strawberries, without any of the liquid. Dish the omelet, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and pour around it the juice of the strawberries, to which has been added the liquid from the halved strawberries. It’s a delicate dish, indeed, and you will find that it will be a favorite at any table.

Célestine Omelet

If you have a recipe for Célestine omelets, small ones, of which you are very much enamored, this paragraph will not interest you. But if you are at odds with the one you have, glance through this. Make as many small omelets as you think will be required, one egg to each, with yolk and white beaten separately. Put them on a hot dish, cover with a thin layer of peach marmalade, and on this sprinkle chopped candied fruits with a few chopped almonds, and over all spread whipped cream. Work at chain-lightning speed in preparing this after the omelets are dished, and get to the table in even quicker time, if you would know this dish in perfection. Though if anything happens to cause you to slacken [62] your pace a bit, it will be worth the having, for it will bear shading down a trifle from the top-notch. Or, make the eggs into one large omelet, and before folding it over fill with the jam and fruits, and sprinkle the almonds and whipped cream over it after it is dished.

Snow Eggs

Then there’s a dish called “Snow Eggs” that’s just as inoffensive as it sounds. You beat the whites of four eggs to a stiff froth, and then drop them a spoonful at a time into boiling milk till they poach a bit. Take them out, thicken the milk with the yolks, adding sugar and any desired flavoring. Pour this over the poached whites, dish, and sprinkle with chopped macaroons before serving.

Omelette Soufflée

It wouldn’t be fair to omit any mention of an omelette soufflée in a chapter on eggs; so here it shall go, though for myself I don’t care for it. It has always seemed to me like a dessert to be served when a dessert wasn’t really needed or wanted, but because a dessert of some kind must go down to make the luncheon or dinner complete. Separate, then, the yolks and whites of five eggs. Beat the yolks and half a cup of sugar together for ten minutes. Flavor with a little rose-water. [63] Then turn to the whites, and beat them to the stiffest kind of a froth. Butter a soufflé dish, and pour the mixture into it. Bake for twelve minutes, and send to table. The guests should always be waiting for an omelette soufflée, mind. Never force the omelet to do the waiting—it isn’t giving it a fair chance.



The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.

THE very first thing to be done on Easter morning is to get up in time to see the sun dance; for, as you probably know, not a bit of good luck will be yours for the year to come if laziness, or anything, in fact, save cloudy skies, prevents your beholding this phenomenon. But it is possible that you don’t know that this means nothing less than to be facing the east with eagle eye and steady nerve at a pretty early hour. Rather rough, isn’t it? How would it do, then, to sit up all night in order to be on hand to witness the fancy steps of the god of day? You could do that and then have a good long nap, after which you might be refreshed by a breakfast of shad roes (they’re about as inexpensive now as they will be), broiled to a turn, with a little melted butter and lemon juice, judiciously mixed, poured over them; dainty, crisp lettuce hearts, salted a bit; graham bread, thinly sliced, and toasted to that shade known the world [65] over as “epicurean brown;” and lastly, instead of coffee, a steaming, fragrant, appetizing cup of English breakfast tea. My word for it, you will be tempted to linger over this breakfast, but stern duty permits no such loitering. No, indeed; you must be up and away, or how on earth are you going to make certain comparisons that shall confirm you in your belief that your new bonnet is nothing less than a dream? Dear knows, I hope you won’t see any headgear that will take the shine off your own, for then you will be sure to go home out of sorts, and the charming little dinner menu that I have compiled for your use and behoof might as well be of corned beef and cabbage for all the appreciation it will get from you.

Clam Cocktails

But in case that everything does go smoothly, and nothing happens to nick your peace of mind, could anything be more delectable than a dinner which would unfold itself to your delighted palate in this order? To begin with: Clam cocktails, made, of course, with the little-neck variety; they should be put in half-dozen lots into small glasses, and seasoned with lemon juice, tabasco, salt, and the tiniest suspicion of onion juice—just [66] enough, you understand, to cause one to wonder if that delightful flavor is really onion.

And then to follow up the good impression left by the clam cocktails, have a soup of consommé of perfect flavor and delicacy—the sort, you know, that doesn’t jar with what has gone before or is to come.

The “to come” in this case might be, say, of trout, broiled to a nicety and served with tartar sauce. But if for financial reasons you object to the trout, why, then you may get good salmon from the West, or pompano, and bluefish of fairly good flavor. But whatever fish you decide upon, have it broiled, so that you may serve it with some delicious hothouse cucumbers. Quite a little fall in the price of cucumbers you will see within the next two or three weeks.

Lamb Steak

Béarnaise Sauce

And the price of spring lamb has dropped perceptibly too by this time. Now, please, whichever part of the lamb you select, don’t have it roasted. Have it sliced for steaks, and broiled to the stage most in favor in your family circle, then salted well, but buttered sparingly, as you must—there is no use in trying to dodge the issue—serve a Béarnaise sauce with lamb steak. Have lobster salad [67] without the lobster, omit the crabs from devilled crabs, if it pleases you, but never under any circumstances serve a lamb steak without a Béarnaise sauce. It would be barbarism—nothing short of it! And to make the sauce? Well, put into a saucepan a gill of vinegar and water, equal parts, half a teaspoonful of minced onion, and a few tarragon leaves. Let this cook, tightly covered, till reduced one-half; then take it off the fire, and when cold mix with it the well-beaten yolks of four eggs; season with salt and mignonette, and return to the fire; add slowly to it three ounces of melted butter, stirring continually till it thickens to the consistency of mayonnaise. Then strain it through a fine sieve, and add to it chopped tarragon, a teaspoonful, and the same quantity of chopped parsley.

Potatoes Soufflées

And there’s just one way to cook potatoes so that they seem quite good enough to accompany a lamb steak, and that way is called potatoes soufflées. The potatoes should be trimmed to ovals two and a quarter inches long by one and a quarter wide, and then sliced lengthwise, having the slices half an inch in thickness. When they are sliced, put them into ice-water to remain twenty-five [68] minutes. Then have ready two pans of frying fat, one just hot and the other piping hot. Into the former put the potatoes, in a frying-basket, and let them cook without browning till tender; take them out, place on a sieve to cool and dry somewhat, and then plunge them into the pan containing the piping hot fat; stir them about, and they will begin to souffler; then they must be taken out, salted and served.

Now, if anything happens to prevent this course from turning out the howling success that I predict for it, I want you to go to my favorite dining place the next time you are in New York and order “the same.” You will know then what these two dishes are in perfection.

It may be that a salad of new beets would be quite the thing on this occasion; if so, you will have no trouble in finding them in good condition, and as sweet as a new beet should be.

Here endeth my part of the lesson.

Set your own pace for a dessert.

Although I am prepared to sit up nights to sympathize with any one who is really deserving of having me share that emotion with [69] her, I don’t have a particle of desire to weep with the woman who weeps because visitors have dropped in on her suddenly and caught her with her cupboard bare. In these days of canned things the woman whose larder doesn’t boast as a continuous performance at least half a dozen varieties was never meant for a housekeeper.

For my part, I should think I was remiss in the duties of a housekeeper if I did not have half a dozen varieties of canned soup alone from which to select in time of need.

Sardine Toast

Start, then, we will say, an impromptu lunch with a soup canned by any one of the sixteen firms, more or less, that so prepare them. Of course, there will be sardines—the stand-by of all housekeepers; but you will have sardine toast—a rarity with almost every one. Wipe the skin off the sardines with a dry cloth. The toasted bread is free from all crust, mind, and it is spread with butter mixed with lemon juice and chopped parsley. The sardines are laid on it, and the whole arrangement set in the oven to heat.

Anchovy Toast

Just as tempting a bouchée is an anchovy toast. Chop the anchovies, and add to them bits of parsley, a suspicion of onion juice, a [70] few drops of lemon juice, and some paprika. Spread this on toast which has been buttered, and heat quickly in the oven.


Then, there’s tunny-fish always to be depended upon to furnish an impromptu dish that seems like one planned long before. Drain it from the oil in which it is preserved. Lay it on a dish, sprinkle with lemon juice, chopped parsley, and capers; and keep your eyes open for the admiring glances your guests will be trying to hide from you when they first taste of it.

Then smoked, boneless herring, you know, are good almost any way; but broiled till they curl up a bit over a hot fire, and sent to table flanked by olives, water crackers, and a bottle or two of lager beer, they are leaders.

Of course, with two or three kinds of devilled meats in the house the making of sandwiches, even at short notice, is just a pastime; and with all the crackers now to be had it would be foolish to waste tears over the absence of bread. In fact, the world, the market, and the grocery store are filled to the brim with substitutes nowadays—substitutes that make it easy to forget originals.

[71] Although ’tis by signs of promises soon to be richly fulfilled that a market interests me chiefly at this season, there is no lack even to-day of a good supply of edibles, both substantial and delicate, and do I go a-marketing determined to buy everything on an economical basis I find Dame Nature and the marketman in league to help me furnish forth my table daintily and inexpensively. Or, if in a reckless mood of extravagance I betake myself to the vendor of viands, I find him and the dear old dame quite as helpful in carrying out my plans.

Naturally, in trips to market, my methodical mind leads me to inquire first what is suitable for breakfast; what is best calculated to minister to an appetite capricious in the fickle springtime. Numerous answers are forthcoming to my inquiry, the first of which says shad roes made into delicious croquettes with a garnishing of lettuce hearts. Very good, I say, very appropriate, but what else is there?—every one doesn’t care for that dish. And then, taking the matter into my own hands, as the marketman is perfectly willing that I should, I peer around to see what is to be had, and make notes mentally for future use. [72] There are mackerel of finest flavor, which, if broiled to a turn and having as an accompaniment crisp, fresh radishes, are fit to put before a king. Another breakfast dish, which is also quite good enough for any royal person, is of kidneys broiled on skewers with alternate slices of bacon. A bit of parsley serves not only to decorate this last dish, but forms a piquant relish for it, and relishes for breakfast dishes are more of a necessity now than at any other season. The orange juice which has proved so potent an appetizer when the mercury ranges near to zero, fails to supply the needed zest for a springtime morning meal, and we must have recourse to a fresh green vegetable, in addition.

From breakfast fare to luncheon dishes I turn my attention logically, and learn that sweetbreads are particularly fine just now in whatever way they are served, but in my opinion they are never quite so good as when simmered gently in butter and served with cream sauce, to which has been added a few fresh mushrooms.

Spring chickens, tender and toothsome if broiled as they should be, are worthy of an honored place at any luncheon, and the [73] marketman tells me those lately received are of excellent quality.

That dainty of dainties, in the estimation of many people, frogs’ legs, if broiled or served with a cream sauce, appeals to the most fastidious palate. And just now they are not only plentiful and in fine condition, but are quite inexpensive.

A dish which we cannot always obtain, and which is especially suitable for a midday meal, is of the Taunton River alewives smoked; they should be broiled, and there should be served with them, without fail, a potato salad made from the Bermuda potatoes, which are exceptionally desirable at this season.

In the ordering of a dinner I have always maintained that though it consists of only two courses, there is an opportunity for the exercise of great discretion. A knowledge of the eternal fitness of things is essential above all else in order to arrange a dinner at which the courses shall not be at war with each other. A certain famous lawyer remarked in my hearing not long ago that “he knew women who could play whist and play it as it should be, and he knew women who could order a dinner fit for the gods, but [74] never had he known and never did he expect to know, a woman who could do both.” Perhaps he was right, but I believe there are women in plenty who are quite capable of doing both to perfection.

At this season, with oysters almost out of the running, little-neck clams may be depended upon to whet the appetite, while the soup which follows must be at once delicate and yet so rich that the first spoonful enchants. If the next course is to be of bluefish, or of salmon, or of striped bass, all of which are in first-class condition in this month, potatoes should be served in any desired shape if the fish is to be boiled or braised; should it be broiled or fried, then by all means let its accompaniment be cucumbers, which are plentiful, and are sold at a comparatively low figure, by now.

If you follow my advice you will avoid the heavy, clumsy, and unimaginative joint. Decide rather upon ducklings to be roasted or broiled, or upon squabs; or, if these are a thought too expensive, choose fowl, which should be good and plentiful. Have it parboiled and then fried Maryland style, or [75] fricasseed, or boil it till quite tender and serve with a caper sauce.

As for vegetables, just now, and for several weeks to come, nothing can be better than asparagus, which improves, and is less expensive every day. Frequently I tire of it served on toast, in which case, after boiling it, I moisten it with melted butter, sprinkle grated Parmesan over the top and brown it in the oven. Or, if I wish to serve it as a salad, I have it ice-cold and pour over it a dressing made of oil, vinegar, pepper, and salt, with a suspicion of French mustard added.

For salads, tomatoes, perhaps, have first choice, for they are really very fine, coming in from the hothouses fresh every day. Watercress is at its best estate, and whether it be served as a salad or taken simply with a grain of salt, it is a delicacy worthy of honor.

It is hardly possible to serve fruit out of place at dinner; before the soup it is appetizing, as a compote for an entrée it is highly delectable, while at dessert its presence is time-honored, and I would that there were more varieties in market just now. However, the strawberries and pineapples due are quite [76] sufficient to console us for the absence of other fruits.

With that most delicious vegetable asparagus as good and as plenty as it is bound to be for two months or so longer, it is but a waste of time to search for any other vegetable to take its place. The truth is, it hasn’t a rival, and it never had one—even in Pliny’s day, when it grew wild. But gardeners in those days cultivated it just as they do now, and it was no uncommon thing for them to produce stalks of which it took but three to weigh a pound. If any gardeners do raise such mammoth specimens in these days they keep very quiet about it. But perhaps they don’t taste any better than smaller ones. Why should they?

It will do to have asparagus boiled, just plainly boiled, two out of every three times that you have it. But the third times are those of which I would talk.

Asparagus Tips in Cream

Suppose you cut off the tips into inch lengths, and boil very slowly in salted water till tender. Then drain and let get perfectly cold, after which you brown them a bit in butter in a frying pan. At the first threat to become brown cover the asparagus with cream, heat well and serve on toasted bread.

Asparagus with Savory Sauce

[77]If this doesn’t satisfy you for a third try another way. Cut the asparagus up just the same and boil with it a few new green peas and some shredded lettuce. Season with pepper and salt, and flavor with a few drops of onion juice. Add an ounce or two of melted butter to them after draining off the water in which they were boiled, pour over them half a pint of white sauce thickened, and then go ahead with the serving on toast.

Baked Asparagus

Then you can boil the asparagus tips and heap them mound shape in a baking dish, pour through them a Hollandaise or a Béarnaise sauce, cover the top with grated Parmesan cheese and brown in a hot oven.

Asparagus Salad

But for asparagus salad be sure that after the tips are taken from the boiling water they are plunged into ice water. Then cover, when serving, with a French dressing in which has been stirred a little French mustard.

Asparagus Salad 2

Or take some asparagus tips boiled and cooled and serve them on shaved ice with a dressing of salt, lemon juice, and horse-radish, or tabasco, and with a little bit of your most charming persiflage you will be able to persuade some of your followers that you have produced an excellent substitute for little-neck clams.



Some said ‘John, print it,’ others said, ‘Not so,’
Some said ‘It might do good,’ others said ‘No.’

IT’S the month when, by a logical amount of reasoning, the housekeeper is persuaded that she can easily treat her family to roasted veal, at least once a week, without any member of it entering a complaint. She tries it. The second time serving it threatens to go a-begging, and the third time there is so much left over that it can’t be worked up in seven days—when, by her reckoning, another knuckle is due. People do tire of veal in short order, even those who have a liking for it, for some reason or other. I am inclined to think that a good many times the “tired feeling” sets in because of the way it is served—not enough is done to prepare the palate for it.

Olives with Caviare

Veal, then, more than any other roast, needs to have the way prepared for it, very gingerly and very delicately. Let us discuss a way for doing this. First, have pitted olives that you have filled with caviare. Rest these olives [79] on little rounds of toast that have been spread with caviare, and sprinkled with lemon juice.

Purée of Peas and Spinach

Now, for a soup. Soak over night a pint of green dried peas. Drain, and cook in plenty of fresh water till perfectly tender. Then press through a sieve. Have cooked, at the same time, a peck of spinach, and press through a sieve also. Then put the two purées together, season with salt and pepper; heat well, adding half a pint of milk. Just before taking up, pour in a pint of cream, and serve with tiny squares of fried bread in the tureen. Ever heard of this before? It’s a soup that is rich and delicate, but not so hearty that it does more than whet the appetite for what is to follow.

Mayonnaise with Horse-Radish

Shall we say salmon comes next? It’s a thought high as yet, perhaps, but you only need a little of it—a pound for four, where a roast is to follow. But, to tell the truth, my insisting on your having it comes almost wholly from a desire I have to tell you of a new sauce for boiled or broiled salmon. It is nothing more than mayonnaise, a half pint, with a heaping tablespoonful of horse-radish stirred through it. Oh, you will like it fast [80] enough! And you will like it with cold salmon, just as well.

Duchesse Sauce

By the time the fish is a thing of the past, you will all be ready for the roasted veal. On this, of course, you have had tied thin slices of salt pork before it is roasted. With it, will you have a duchesse sauce? I think you will. For this you have a pint of good stock, thickened a bit with butter braided with flour. After it is heated, there is added to it a wineglass of any white wine.

Onion Sauce

Or, if I have made a mistake, and you will have none of it, do let me suggest an onion sauce. Peel and chop three onions, and let simmer in plenty of butter, closely covered, for an hour. Let them brown, a trifle, at the last, and add a tablespoonful of flour with pepper and salt. Then add to them half a pint each of white stock and cream. Pour this into the pan in which the veal was roasted, after it is taken out, set the pan on top of the range and let boil gently for five minutes. It’s an improved sauce Soubise, you may say, if any of your guests are led to ask the name of it. But, if they ask for directions for making it, don’t give them up. Advise, instead, [81] buying this book to learn, as you did, how to concoct such a bit of deliciousness.

Really, I wouldn’t have more than one vegetable with the veal, and that asparagus, as it’s the season for it. Or, have something else, if you prefer, and have an asparagus salad.

Rhubarb Sherbet

For the dessert, why not a rhubarb sherbet? Cut up two pounds of it, and boil with a few drops of water and plenty of sugar, the rind of a lemon, and a little liquid carmine to color it prettily. Let this get cool; strain through a sieve, and add to it a pint of claret and two tablespoonfuls of rum. Freeze, and have ready to decorate it, when serving, some strips of candied ginger. You will find it all that you have reason to think it should be, coming from this source.

Apricot Charlotte

But, if you prefer an apricot charlotte, it shall be my pleasure to tell you how to make one. Line the same charlotte mould you always use with sponge drops, or fingers, carefully trimmed to fit. In fact, you want to give them a regular tailor-made fit. Then fill with a pint of preserved apricots, which have been stewed till tender enough to rub through a sieve. Stir into it an ounce of gelatine, [82] dissolved in a little water. Let it get perfectly cool, and then whip into it a pint of already whipped cream. Turn into the mould and set away to harden. And you have the most ungrateful family in the neighborhood if they don’t count this dinner as a red-letter event in their lives.

Think you that upon one of these mornings, when the mercury shows a sullen determination to do nothing but climb, climb, climb, you can prepare a more tempting dish for breakfast than one of shrimps, which have been boiled in fresh water, then salted and cooled, and finally sent to table upon chopped ice? You will find them at the market for the rest of this month, at least, in excellent condition, and at a reasonable price. And should you elect to serve them according to the foregoing suggestion, place near them on the table a dish of crisp, fresh watercress, lightly piled, ministering thereby to the eye’s pleasure as well as to the appetite’s desire.

Broiled Veal Cutlets

But if, some fine morning, a breath of winter comes o’er the land, via an east wind, then you will, perhaps, crave food served hot, in [83] which case have veal cutlets (veal is in fine shape now); dip them in melted butter and then broil over the coals; you will find this an infinitely better way of cooking them than by frying, which so many housekeepers consider the standard method. Or, if you do not care for veal, try thin slices of bacon, broiled, and served on toasted graham bread. As a fruit, for leading up to either of these dishes, I think you will prefer pineapples, for they are of delicious quality now, and sold at a price which also recommends them to your notice. Quite as appetizing, however, you might find cherries, but, though they are of fairly good flavor, they are a bit expensive, as they have a right to be, coming from such a distance.

Herring Salad

It is with intent and purpose that I do not suggest that everlasting Americanism, beefsteak for breakfast; to my mind, it seems far more suitable for the luncheon table, and just now, with mushrooms so plenty, and as inexpensive as they ever are, a well-broiled, tender, juicy sirloin steak, with a mushroom sauce, makes a dish fit for the gods, and yet not a whit too good for human nature’s daily food. Just as good, in its way, for luncheon, is a herring [84] salad, made of smoked herring. Omit the use of caviare, which many cook-books recommend, for you want nothing that will encroach upon the flavor of the herring, but rather something which will act as its complement. For this purpose use one-third cold sliced potatoes to two-thirds herring, a plentiful sprinkling of capers, and the ordinary oil and vinegar dressing, with the salt put in by a miserly hand. Another salad, suitable for luncheon, especially if cold tongue is served, is made of the little Bermuda onions, which are abundant now; they should be minced finely and served ice-cold to win your highest admiration.

Baked Chicken Hash

And now, just one more dish before leaving the luncheon table. Have you ever prepared a baked-chicken hash? If not, allow me to suggest that you chop quite finely the cold meat of chicken or fowl, season it with salt and white pepper, moisten it with cream or with milk and butter, scatter bread-crumbs over the top and brown in the oven, and behold, you have one of the homeliest dishes in the annals of housekeepers glorified to suit the palate of a veritable epicure.

Whenever, at this season of the year, I go [85] to market in search of fish for the dinner-table, it is only by the exercise of great will power that I am able to refrain from buying soft-shell crabs. They are so delicious, whether broiled or fried, that it seems positively wicked they should be so expensive. Still, the fish dealer assures me that almost any day the price may “break” and, other fish being plentiful, we can afford to wait patiently for the “drop.” Delicious trout, of either the lake or brook variety, are abundant, and in whatever way they are served are one of the pleasures of the present day.

Although the month of roses is generally known as the month of salmon, it is in first-class condition now, and obtainable at a fairly low figure. No other fish is so capable of reserving; little scraps left may be warmed in cream and served on toast for breakfast, made into a salad for luncheon, or shaped into croquettes for dinner the following day.

In the vernacular of the marketman, “spring lamb is getting down on to the earth.” Which, being interpreted for ears polite, means that the price is getting lower each week, but that the flavor remains unsurpassed; in fact “none but itself can be its parallel.” Bits of lamb [86] left from dinner may be prepared in the way suggested for baked-chicken hash, and will, I am sure, merit your favor.

When lamb is suggested, there follows, as a natural sequence, the thought of green peas; and if the peas in market to-day were only as good as they look, the thought would be a happy one. As matters stand, however, for those who know not the delight of eating peas in less than three hours from the time they are gathered from the vines, the representatives of this vegetable to be had now will pass muster. For myself, I prefer either cauliflower or egg plant, both of them plenty and in good condition now. The former if boiled and served with a white sauce, or baked with cheese is especially gratifying when served with a roast of lamb, while the egg-plant will be quite as much of a success if broiled, or stuffed and baked.

Of course asparagus has attained perfection, and is so in evidence on every hand that it is not necessary to mention it here. However, there are many persons of the belief that it is impossible to have too much of a good thing, and most decidedly asparagus is entitled to come under that head.

Savory Tomato Soup

[87] Shall I tell you of three little dinners and how to make them grow? Give ear, then, and you may hear. The first shall have a foundation of tomato soup. Now please don’t make a wry face and begin to say unkind things about tomato soup having a past until you have heard me through; for I want to tell you of an economical and really delicious way of making this soup that is not known to every one. Just at this season almost all housekeepers will be sure to have on hand two or three kinds of cooked vegetables, little scraps of each I mean. Now, suppose the list to comprise three new potatoes, boiled, half a cupful of string beans and about the same quantity of green peas; to these, or to any others which you may prefer to use, should be added two raw onions finely minced and a handful of chopped parsley. Put them into a saucepan with two ounces of butter, a sprinkling of pepper and salt, and, after they have simmered for ten minutes, add a can of tomatoes. Season then with a teaspoonful of whole allspice, a tablespoonful of sugar, and more pepper and salt if need be, and cook slowly for half an hour. At the end of that time strain through a fine hair [88] sieve, put back on the stove and thicken with a scant teaspoonful of cornstarch mixed with a teaspoonful of melted butter. Have little sippets of fried bread in the soup tureen, pour the soup over them and serve. And there you have a soup possessed of all the flavors that make a tomato soup worth the eating, while it has none of the heaviness of soup made with a rich stock.

And the next dish for dinner No. 1 shall be of dainty little lamb chops broiled to a turn. Have in the centre of the platter a mound of mashed potato, lean the chops against it, and serve in this way.

With the chops serve string beans. Boil them till tender in salted water, drain them and put into a saucepan with two ounces of butter and two tablespoonfuls of cream to a quart of beans. Cook them for three minutes and send to the table very hot.

Asparagus Salad

It would be a sin and a shame to arrange a dinner at this time of year without providing for the serving of asparagus. Even though the dinner is to consist of one course only, that course should be of asparagus. But in the dinner which we are now planning it is to make its appearance at the third course as a [89] salad. It must be boiled till quite tender, then chilled for three or four hours on the ice, cut into inch lengths, and served with a dressing of the yolks of three hard-boiled eggs beaten up with three tablespoonfuls of oil, two tablespoonfuls of vinegar, a saltspoonful of salt and the same quantity of French mustard.

The last course shall include strawberries served in some way. Have them plain, with sugar and cream, and serve with them narrow strips of delicate puff paste; or make little tartlets, and when they are done lift the covers and put a teaspoonful of whipped cream into each.

And the cost of dinner No. 1? Well, at the price of “comestible wares” at this season, this dinner should not cost over one dollar for four persons. And really it will not require very close figuring to bring it within that sum.

Bisque of Clams

But if that seems too small an amount to expend for a dinner intended to give pleasure to four persons, there will be no trouble in planning one to cost rather more. And for the first course let us have a bisque of clams. Get a quart of clams and a small piece of veal, about a pound of it. Cook the veal in a little more than a pint of water and the liquor [90] drained from the clams. Season with one onion, a sprig of parsley, a bay leaf, salt, and white pepper. Cook very slowly for one hour, then strain and again place it in the kettle; rub a couple of tablespoonfuls of butter with an equal amount of flour and add to the soup when boiling. Chop up the clams very fine, and put them into the soup; let it boil for five minutes and then add half a pint of cream. Heat thoroughly, but don’t let it boil after adding the cream, and serve. And after you have partaken of this I’ll warrant you will be ready to declare that Grimod de la Reynière had this especial kind of potage in mind when he said: “Soup is not only the commencement of a feast, but gives an idea of what is to follow.”

Asparagus Tops with Cheese

And its close follower in this instance should be some delicious little ducklings roasted. With the ducklings have new potatoes, from Bermuda or from the South, plainly boiled. And have, too, some asparagus—asparagus tops with cheese. Cut the tender part of the asparagus into inch lengths and cook in salted water till fairly tender; then drain and toss it about over the fire in a frying-pan with a little butter. Dress it on [91] a vegetable dish, spread the surface smoothly with butter into which has been kneaded an equal quantity of grated Parmesan cheese and just a suspicion of cayenne pepper. Brown as quickly as you can in a piping hot oven, and serve.

Lettuce Salad with Chives

And now for the salad. Does one of lettuce strike you favorably? If so, prepare it with a French dressing, as you always do, but after it is dressed sprinkle over it all some finely chopped chives. My word for it, you’ll find this a great improvement over the ordinary lettuce salad.

Frozen Strawberries

A tempting dessert with which to wind up this dinner would be frozen strawberries with whipped cream. Let me tell you how to prepare the dish, and see what you think about it. Make a syrup of a third of a pint of sugar and a pint of water. Into the syrup put a quart of fine ripe strawberries and let boil for five minutes. Then freeze the mixture. Whip half a pint of cream, work it into the strawberries, and serve in as dainty a fashion as possible.

And the amount of money required to furnish forth a table with dinner No. 2? Not a cent over two dollars for four persons.

Asparagus Soup

[92] But, for fear that to many that may seem too small an amount for just the kind of dinner they want to give, I will try again. Since we have decided that asparagus must appear in some form at every dinner while its season lasts, we will start dinner No. 3 with asparagus soup. This is made by cooking the tender parts of the asparagus in salted water for a few minutes. Before they get quite tender drain till dry and cold. If there are two bunches of asparagus put them into a saucepan with four ounces of butter, two finely chopped onions, a lump of sugar, and a little white pepper. Moisten with a pint of white broth and let cook for ten minutes. Then rub through a sieve, heat again and serve.

Green Peas with Mint

After the soup, crabs—soft-shell crabs dipped in beaten egg and crumbs and fried. Serve nothing but tartar sauce with them. Then have a couple of cunning little spring chickens broiled. Have new potatoes chopped and baked in cream served with the chickens, and have also new green peas. Try boiling with them a small bunch of mint and a small onion, both of which are to be removed before the peas are served. You will find that the peas have acquired a delightful flavor [93] from their contact with the other vegetables. Of course salt and pepper and butter are to be added as when they are cooked in the ordinary way.

For a salad have some hothouse tomatoes peeled and sliced; lay them on a flat dish, and on each slice heap a little chopped lettuce mixed with mayonnaise.

Let us borrow the dessert from dinner No. 2 to put the finishing touch to this last dinner. I don’t know a better one, but if you do there’s nothing to prevent your using it.

And, do your best, if you are to serve dinner No. 3 for four persons you cannot make it cost over three dollars.

Are you satisfied, now, that I know how to make dinners grow?



For her own breakfast she’ll project a scheme,
Nor take her tea without a stratagem.
Clams West Island Style

CLAMS are good and plentiful now,” said the fish dealer one day, and as I was in the frame of mind to take him at his word I hastily ran over in my mind the various ways in which this delectable fish may be prepared, the while I ordered from him the quantity I thought I could use. It doesn’t take very long to sum up the gastronomical possibilities of the clam that are cherished in the minds of most housekeepers, you will admit. But, with time and opportunity favoring, there is room for expansion of ideas with regard to clams. For instance, this is one way to expand: Poach, say, a pint of them in their own liquor, then drain off the liquor, adding to the clams milk thickened with egg yolks and seasoned with pepper and salt; forget economy and put in the butter you know it requires to make the flavor perfect, and on top of all have some tiny rice croquettes. You can’t know till you try it just what this dish may reveal served at breakfast. [95] But I will not spoil the story by telling you in advance. If, however, it’s for luncheon that you would be thinking of having them cooked in this way, add the juice of an onion to them.

Clam and Lobster in Shells

If you trust to me so far as to adopt the foregoing way of cooking clams you certainly will try this next way of preparing them at the slightest provocation. Have as many as you like and chop them. Add to them an equal quantity of chopped boiled lobster. Sprinkle in some parsley, also chopped, and butter to the amount above recommended. Season with white pepper and salt, and with the mixture fill some of the deepest clam shells, sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and brown in a hot oven. This may be counted on at any time for a luncheon dish when you are planning to go some persons who have entertained you at least one better.

Stuffed Baked Cucumbers

Before I forget it I am going to tell you of a dish that to my sorrow is rather uncommon, even among those who think they dine well. It’s nothing less than a stuffed, baked cucumber—that is, those are the essentials of the dish. The potentials are to be classified by you after you have partaken of it. Cut the [96] cucumbers in two lengthwise without peeling them, scoop out all the seeds, and fill to heaping each half with a highly seasoned mixture of bread crumbs; moisten with melted butter and brown in a hot oven. Vary this stuffing at your own sweet will—add a few chopped olives or some chopped pimientos—Spanish sweet peppers you know—but have bread crumbs enough to insure the dish getting browned in shape.

Fried Cucumbers

If the idea of cooking cucumbers assimilates itself harmoniously with your ideas of gastronomy you may not hesitate to try a dish of fried cucumbers. And don’t let any one infect your mind with the idea that they are especially indigestible. They’re not. Peel them first, then slice them into quarter-inch slices, say, then dip in beaten egg, then in crumbs, and then fry to a delicate brown in a little butter. Try either way of cooking the cucumbers with a tender spring chicken broiled. For if you are not deprived of your rights nowadays you should be finding “broilers” in good condition and not too high in price. You see of game there is little to be said in the Eastern markets during this month; so if you are trying to do the handsome [97] thing in the bird line you’ve not much of a list from which to make a selection. To be sure you have a right to inquire at market for brant just now, come to think of it. You will be apt to find them, and in good condition, too. Roasted shall we say? With them new potatoes of course. Don’t tell me you can’t afford them, I know better. And you can also afford to secure some new summer squash to go with the roasted brant. Don’t ask me where it comes from. I only know that in every up-to-date market it is on sale. So are young, sweet little carrots that appeal to you for a white cream sauce like that you serve with cauliflower.

By now you may reasonably be ordering blackberries if you are longing for a change. But my advice is to stick to the strawberry while it will stick to you. By the way, if you are to “do up” strawberries, get the first “natives” that come to town. Get them, you know, before they are soft from overripeness, and next winter when set on your table just as they are, or with the syrup of them jellied with a bit of gelatine, you will see the wisdom of being forehanded with them.

[98] “Give us breakfasts; tell us housekeepers what we can put before our families for the first meal of the day in summer that shall drive away the morning sulks.”

Thus did a matron young neither in years nor in experience beseech me as I set out for market one day. And while I was parleying with the marketman as to the ways and means and the whys and wherefores of things edible that plaintive “Give us breakfasts” rang so insistently in my ears that I could pay no attention to viands essentially suitable for later meals, but fell to thinking and planning breakfasts which should be antidotes—antidotes for that ill which more than any other human ailment is strengthened by recognition, the “morning sulks.”

And my first definite plan took shape in this wise: Cherries, for this is the month par excellence for that delicious fruit, cherries with some green leaves piled upon cracked ice in such a manner that the sight of them refreshes, while to taste of them leads one to think “All’s well with the world.” And then, to follow, there must be croquettes of fish; all kinds are so abundant now that it is only a case of paying one’s money and taking [99] one’s choice. But whatever fish is chosen, the croquettes should be smaller than those for use at luncheon or dinner, for the eye is repelled at breakfast-time by sight of large portions. With croquettes the daintiest and lightest parsley omelette imaginable should be served, it seems to me, and there you have a simple breakfast, easy of accomplishment, but one sure to be appreciated by King Sulks himself.

Iced Watermelon

Fried Chicken with Cream

My second plan, when it assumes tangible shape, shall be like this: Watermelons, not cut up into ungainly chunks with juice and seeds playing at hide-and-seek in one’s plate, but with the pretty pink portion cut into two-inch cubes, say, with all the seeds removed, and sent to table after being well cooled, fancifully piled on shaven ice. If you don’t mind a little fuss and bother, you may after it is cut up sprinkle the melon well with powdered sugar, put it into the freezer and frappé but not freeze it, and then send it to table. To the palates of many of this day and generation watermelon well chilled comes as a boon, for the best of men now and then are afflicted with a thirst these warm mornings which nothing save ice-water seems to quench, [100] but the physicians and moralists have held forth at such length on the subject that one feels like a guilty thing upon taking a drink of cold water before breaking fast. Now you are going to ask what will be quite good enough to follow watermelon, and for answer I shall recommend chicken, or fowl, boiled the previous day, and cut into neat pieces, then browned well in butter, with hot cream poured over it just before it is sent to the table. If you want a delightful adjunct for the chicken, let it be cold asparagus, with lemon juice and salt sprinkled over it. If you have never partaken of cold asparagus at breakfast, there is a new pleasure in store for you, for good as this vegetable is hot at dinner or luncheon, it seems especially apt when served cold in the morning.

Quite as attractive, and simpler in preparation, perhaps, you will find my third recipe for an antidote, it goes something like this: To begin with, blackberries, growing better and more abundant every day; to follow the blackberries smoked beef tossed in hot cream which has been seasoned with cayenne pepper, and thickened a trifle with corn starch, and—as a complement for the smoked beef you will [101] desire something sour—try watercress dressed with lemon juice and salt, unless you are so enamored of tomatoes that you prefer them to any other vegetable in the morning, now.

My next (really I don’t mean this to read like an enigma) idea if you choose to put it into action will cause your breakfast table to answer to this description: Raspberries, sweetened a bit, tossed in whipped cream and put into paper cases which come on purpose for the carrying out of dainty table schemes, and then chilled on the ice for at least an hour before serving. Trouble? Oh, yes, there’s some trouble involved, but your reward will be swift and sure, my word for it. Something exceptionally dainty and palate-appealing must follow the raspberries so prepared, and how does the thought of veal, minced finely and seasoned perfectly, with poached eggs on top, coincide with your idea of the fitness of things?

Ham Toast

Very soon we shall have currants in abundance, and it has always seemed to me that when one is to have ham for breakfast they go particularly well for a first course. And the ham is entitled to different treatment in summer from that which it receives in the cold [102] weather. For instance, just now if you have slices of toast and sprinkle lightly over them grated ham mixed with grated cheese, and then put them in a hot oven till the cheese is dissolved, your family will be your debtor to the extent of one new and distinct gastronomical emotion.

Gooseberry Cream

You will soon be able to get desirable gooseberries in the market, and while the average housekeeper will be engaged in reckoning their possibilities if “baked in a pie,” you will, if you but follow my advice, cook them in sugar till tender, strain through a sieve, cool the purée, then boil it down and cool once more, that it may be in readiness for the next morning’s breakfast, served with whipped cream flavored with lemon. You will find that this will pave the way excellently for a fine bluefish, properly broiled, and flanked by a tomato omelet.

It is not in my province at present to prescribe the different cakes, muffins, and rolls that should accompany the foregoing dishes, for every cook-book sets forth an array of such recipes from which to select one for every day in the year. Neither do I presume to suggest to any woman in what she shall be clothed. No, when I go into the subject of [103] dress for the breakfast table it will be to exploit my ideas upon the way that men should array themselves.

Whatever other faults the out-of-season strawberry may have it cannot be said of it that it induces satiety. And I wonder if the season of “natives” could be long enough to have that effect on the palate. Probably. But this isn’t the place to go into a discussion of that side of the question.

Strawberry Fritters

Serving strawberries is or should be an every-day occurrence while the season lasts. I have told you in other places of two or three ways of serving them that I hope you found worthy a place among your collection of recipes for dainty dishes. But I believe I’ve said nothing about strawberry fritters. And in case you have never tried them let me suggest that you have them soon prepared in this way: Get the very largest strawberries you can find. Take off the hulls and cover them entirely with any sort of marmalade, preferably apricot, then roll them in macaroon crumbs, dip them one at a time into the lightest frying batter you know how to [104] make and fry them in very hot fat. Drain and roll them in powdered sugar before serving. A really delicious dish you will find these fritters, quite good enough to be served at dessert for the very best dinner you know how to arrange.

Strawberry Pudding

It comes to pass sometimes, you know, that one will have on hand a pint or so of strawberries that can hardly be called passée, still they have lost their pristine freshness and show symptoms of becoming soft. Well, the best way to serve them is to heat them through in a little syrup, not letting them lose their shape or their color. Then put them into a pudding dish and cover them with a half-inch layer of bread-crumbs. Make a custard of four eggs and a quart of milk, seasoning it with a little grated nutmeg, pour into the dish with the berries and bread-crumbs and bake for half an hour. It may be served either hot or cold. And you will have reason to be pleased with yourself for having turned out an appetizing sweet, and one that will help you to foster that pet belief of every housekeeper, namely, that you are past mistress in the art of domestic economy.

Strawberry Jelly

Another dainty sweet can be made by mashing [105] a quart of strawberries with half a pint or so of sugar, and then letting them stand for half an hour while you are making a syrup of half a pint of sugar and the same quantity of water. When this syrup has boiled twenty minutes mix with it an ounce of gelatine dissolved in half a pint of water. Take the syrup from the fire and strain the strawberries through a fine sieve into it. Stand the bowl containing the mixture on the ice and whip briskly for five minutes, then add the whipped whites of four eggs and keep right on beating till it has the grace to thicken. Then turn it into a number of small moulds or one large one. When it is to be served unmould on the prettiest dish you own, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and pour a little whipped cream round in a fanciful shape for a border.

Strawberry Salad

If you are going to make a strawberry salad, and I think you will after I tell you how, you should have the strawberries as fresh as possible. Cut them in halves, and if they are the bouncer variety cut them in quarters. Put them into a basin with as much sugar as you think they will need; to one quart of berries add a wineglass of brandy, a tablespoonful of strained lemon juice, and then [106] pack in ice till they are all but frozen. Dish up in a pile when serving and put a border of whipped cream round the salad.

Pear Salad

A salad of almost any kind of fruit makes an appetizing dish for luncheon or for dinner. One of pears is really delicious if the pears are peeled, cored, and cut in thin slices, laid in a dish, sprinkled ever so lightly with powdered sugar, and have a few drops of brandy or rum poured over them. Of course this salad, like all others made of fruit, needs to be thoroughly chilled before it is served, to have its appetizing qualities at their best.

Pineapple Salad

If a pineapple salad seems to you a fitting dessert for the particular luncheon you have in mind, it is easily prepared. Be sure that the pineapples, two of them we’ll say, are perfectly ripe; shred them thoroughly and throw away the core. Put the shredded fruit into a deep glass dish, and pour over it a good half-pint of powdered sugar mixed with a tablespoon each of brandy and curaçoa. This salad should stand for about three hours before serving, so that the sugar may become quite dissolved.

Salad of Several Fruits

And a salad of several kinds of fruits makes an altogether charming dish. Try it some [107] time. Have half a pound of perfectly ripe cherries, remove the stalks and stones; have the same quantity of currants, but have a part of them red and the other part white, just to make the dish a bit prettier, and have a quarter of a pound each of raspberries and strawberries. Sprinkle over the fruit plenty of powdered white sugar and three tablespoons of brandy. Shake about lightly that the sugar may dissolve before it is served.

Crystallized Raspberries

Some day when you have been so fortunate as to get some particularly large and good raspberries, fix them up in this way: Hull them, of course, and then dip them one at a time in the beaten white of an egg mixed with a tablespoonful of water. As you take the raspberries from the egg roll them, one at a time, in powdered sugar and put at short distances from each other on a sheet of white paper to become perfectly dry, which will take two or three hours. When dry keep on ice till served for dessert. And a dainty dessert you will find it, my word for it. Strawberries and blackberries, also, may be treated in the same way, but I doubt if they will find the favor that will be shown the raspberries.

Raspberry Cream

And a raspberry cream is pretty sure to be [108] a favorite dish in almost any company. It is very simple, too. Just press the raspberries through a fine sieve to remove the seeds; mix in well half a pint of cream and sufficient sugar to sweeten. Beat it well, and as fast as froth rises skim it off and put it on a hair sieve. Put the cream that is left in a glass dish, pile the whipped cream on the top, mounting it as high as possible, and serve.

Banana Cream

Another delicious fruit cream is made by pressing half a dozen bananas through a fine hair sieve into a basin, mixing with the fruit one and one-half pints of cream, flavored with vanilla, and then passing the whole through a fine sieve. Freeze the cream a little—till it just thickens—and then add to it a pint of cream, two tablespoonfuls of sugar and a wineglassful of Madeira. Keep in the freezer for two or three hours before serving.

Peach Cream

This you will find is also a tempting way in which to make a peach cream, but if the peaches are not perfectly ripe it will be a good idea to stew them for two or three minutes in a little syrup. The peaches, of course, will need more sugar than the bananas do, but no hard and fast rule can be given for the amount—just sweeten them according to your judgment.

[109] Have you noticed that with all I’ve had to say about strawberries herein, not once have I quoted Dr. Boteler’s remark concerning them? And yet I’ve heard it said that a woman finds it as impossible to refrain from mentioning the famous saying when writing about strawberries, if only half a dozen lines, as does a man to omit all mention of Izaak Walton when he has anything to say about going a-fishing.



Unlike my subject now shall be my song;
It shall be witty, and it shan’t be long.

IT was with the thought of Hortensia’s garden party weighing somewhat heavily on my mind that I made my customary tour “all on a market day,” for she had beseeched me with tears in her voice to plan for her a list of appetizing dishes to put before her guests which should not be so elaborate as though meant for a grand dinner, nor yet so simple as if intended for the refreshment of a Sunday-school picnic.

Hortensia would, I felt sure, see to it that the piazzas, grounds, and tent-like buffet were so decorated and adorned that one would at once conclude that Flora herself had taken a personal interest in the appointments, and I firmly resolved that, come what would, my part of the programme should be carried out in such a manner that reasonable grounds should be furnished for the supposition that no less a person than Epicurus had had a finger in the pie. Therefore it was with a full appreciation of the responsibility I had [111] assumed that I opened negotiations with the marketman.

Roasted Doe Birds

As all the world knows, a garden party wouldn’t be much of an affair without game, and fortunately for the hosts and hostesses at such merrymakings, there are in market at this season now fine doe birds, which may be seasoned with a little salt, a suspicion of Madeira, roasted in a quick oven, and depended on to furnish delight, when thoroughly cooled, to the most captious of guests.

Game Tarts

Another delightful manner of serving game is in the form of tarts—squab or pigeon tarts; line the tart moulds with paste, and then fill with the breasts only of the birds, adding a few slices of mushrooms and moistening with a liquor made by boiling the bones of the birds in a little water well seasoned with salt, a bit of pepper, and a spoonful or two of sherry. Cover the tarts with the paste, have perfectly cold, and unmould before serving.

Turkey in Aspic

Just now one may find tender and toothsome young turkeys in the market stalls, waiting to do duty at any event to which they may be called, and for the particular occasion in which we are interested at this instant there can be no better way of serving them than by [112] boiling till tender and then cutting into small pieces, moulding them with the help of aspic jelly into shapes so attractive that one longs to learn if they can be quite as gratifying to the palate as to the eye. And, by the way, what a godsend aspic jelly is in the preparation of dishes to be served cold!

Beef Tongue

Another cold dish which is looked upon as being a sort of commonplace stand-by is of boiled tongue, but I have found that it is easily raised to a level bordering on the ideal if prepared in this way: Boil the beef tongue till tender in water which has been highly seasoned with vegetables, herbs, and spice; remove the skin, brush the tongue with beaten egg, strew it thickly with bread-crumbs, and bake for half an hour in a hot oven, basting frequently with port wine. Let it get perfectly cold before slicing and have the slices as thin as possible.

Near to the tongue, as a relish for it, and indeed for all of the foregoing dishes, one’s sense of the fitness of things approves the idea of having crisp, thin slices of toast, sprinkled with the finest little bits of green peppers imaginable, and masked with a thin layer of mayonnaise.

In fact, one, if not the best, way to serve [113] salads at an outdoor festivity, is upon thin slices of toast of white or graham bread, as one chooses. For instance, a lettuce and anchovy salad made by shredding the lettuce and cutting the anchovies in two and dressing with lemon juice and a dash of cayenne, with the yolks of hard-boiled eggs finely minced, seems to call for just such a tiny bit of toast as one gets in this way of serving, to carry out one’s idea of perfection in little things.

French Sandwiches

And after I had decided that the salads at Hortensia’s garden party should be so served, it was quite natural that the idea of sandwiches should suggest itself to my mind; but before the idea had time to really assume a definite shape I hastily but conclusively rebelled against the prospect of seeing those time-honored edibles set forth for the delectation of Hortensia’s guests in the guise of the common or restaurant variety. And this is the way I overcame what bade fair to be a troublesome difficulty: Rolls, deliciously fresh French rolls, with a circular piece of the top crust removed and kept whole, while all the soft part of the roll was scooped out to make room for a filling of chicken, lobster, or sardines, after which the little cover was put back [114] into place, and the comfort and joy of the partaker was an assured thing.

Musk Melon Jelly

After the sandwich scheme was fully arranged, it seemed as though the “substantials” were well looked out for, and that I must be giving a thought to the fruits which were to make glad the senses of those bidden to the feast. Not any great amount of deep thinking was required to make a selection, however, for there was an abundance at hand from which to choose; there were plums, juicy and sweet, of richest hues—purple, red, and green, and others of the most tempting golden color imaginable, and certainly no well-furnished table could afford to be without either specimen. Grapes, too, there were in an infinite variety, but for Hortensia’s party I chose only black Hamburgs and Muscats. Of course, I knew she must have peaches, and I spent a weary hour in trying to find some that tasted as well as they looked, but my labor was in vain. As a compensation for this disappointment, however, I found cantaloupes possessing a flavor which can only be expressed by the words “divinely perfect.” And I found, too, delicious little musk melons to be prepared in this way: Slice the melon, removing both [115] rind and seeds, put in a preserving pan with a little sugar, and stew to a marmalade; rub it through a sieve, dissolve in it a sufficient amount of gelatine, and when quite cool mix with it stiffly whipped cream, flavored with a little essence or liqueur, as one likes.

Cakes and ices, of course, are as important to the great and unqualified success of a garden party as are the guests, and of the former I decided that the varieties known as “Madeleines” and “petits fours” would be most acceptable to all concerned, while of the latter there could be no question as to the desirability of moussé with peaches, chocolat parfait, and milk sherbet.

Of quite as much importance as either of the articles mentioned in the foregoing paragraph are the bonbons, and the advice which I have bestowed upon Hortensia in regard to them I repeat here for the benefit of any who may care to follow it, namely: “Costly thy bonbons as thy purse can buy.”

Moss Rose

For out-of-door feasting plenty of drinks should be provided; “cups,” whether of claret, hock, or champagne, should be made on the spot and not prepared beforehand, as the taste of stale soda water is absolutely objectionable. [116] Cider, if iced, is really delicious, while a drink which the English find highly refreshing is called “moss rose,” and is made of equal quantities of tea, coffee, and “cup,” either of the champagne or claret brand.

I have a story to tell you. It has nothing of mystery in it, neither need it, necessarily, prove harrowing; it is far from being romantic, and there isn’t a glimmer of sentiment in it. It hasn’t a moral; if it had I shouldn’t relate it. No, it is just true; that’s the best of it and it’s the worst of it, too, as you will admit, because it isn’t without a parallel.

It—my story—is of a very charming old farmhouse situated “near to Nature’s heart.”

At this farmhouse was gathered together a small company of people known to the natives of that section of the country as “summer boarders.” To themselves this same company was known as a band of “nature-worshippers.” One day they were all seated in the shade on a little knoll, each one trying to outdo the others in the matter of rhapsodizing the “eternal hills,” the “books to be found in brooks,” etc., when up spake one of their number who [117] had hitherto been silent: “Oh, I would give all the delights that this place possesses for one hour in the company of an ice-chest stocked as it could be with the good things in market now.”

Of course this was philistinism of the rankest sort, and it savored of treason, too. But the offender held her head high and parried well, if the truth must be told, the rebukes of her hearers. The mischief was done, however; the seeds of discontent fell upon fertile ground, made receptive by a long diet of corned beef, curd cheese and “plenty of milk.”

The next morning every conveyance the farmer-landlord could muster was pressed into service to take his guests to the station. Every one of them had received a sudden call to Boston. But none confided to his or her neighbor the exact nature of this post haste summons to the Hub, and when the train pulled into the station they scattered in different directions, hurriedly saying to each other: “See you on the 4.30 train this afternoon; good-by.”

And sure enough they were all aboard the train as agreed, each of them with an armful of bundles. Nobody volunteered any [118] information as to what his or her bundles contained, and nobody asked any questions. They simply ignored the existence of them and talked of how good it would seem to get back to Peaceful Valley once more, with its quietness and vast opportunities for reflection.

That night each of them had a private audience with the landlady and the next day at dinner was seen the result of the trip to Boston and of the said private audience.

First of all was brought in some delicious Spanish mackerel, broiled to a turn. These were furnished by Professor A., author of the celebrated work “Does Angling Produce Insanity?” He said that of all the fish in market these seemed to him just now the most desirable.

Oyster Plant with Cream

With the fish were served some of the finest oyster plants that ever found their way into the Boston market. They were cut in pieces, boiled in salted water till tender, then drained and served with a tablespoonful or so of melted butter and cream enough to cover them, having just a dash of pepper in it. A simple way of preparing them and yet quite good enough for anybody, as you will see upon [119] trying it. My word for it, the Peaceful Valley boarders thought it a dish fit for the gods.

After the mackerel had been discussed and despatched and Professor A. had accepted with a great deal of grace the vote of thanks presented to him, the game was brought in. This course was offered for the delectation of his fellow-boarders by Professor B., author of “Birds I Have Met.”

There were delicious chicken grouse that had cost the professor quite a pretty penny, viz.: two dollars and a half the pair; and plover of various kinds that were to be had for four dollars the dozen.

Grouse Pie

And this is the way the grouse were cooked: After the feet, necks, and pinions had been removed their bodies were divided into three pieces and put in a stewpan with the pinions and a little chopped bacon; after frying a bit some salt and pepper were introduced. Then were added two tablespoonfuls of white wine for each bird; then the birds were taken off and cooled; after which they were arranged with the wine in a pie dish with hard-boiled eggs cut in quarters amongst them, covered with the best pastry crust that the landlady knew how to make, and it was pretty good, [120] really. In fact the dish turned out a great success, as the result of a good many conferences between the donator of the birds and the cook. The Professor had bought, the day before, the latest and best thing in the way of a cookery book, and after carefully reading it had come to the conclusion that this recipe for cooking grouse would be more easily mastered by the landlady than any other. The beauty of a grouse pie, too, as everybody knows, lies in its being just as good cold as it is hot.

Roasted Plover

The plovers were dressed, and with a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper put inside of them and the thinnest possible slice of fat salt pork tied over their breasts, were roasted for about twelve minutes in a hot oven.

And with the game was served some of the choicest stalks of celery that it has ever been the lot of mortal to enjoy at this time of year.

As for the fruit that was donated for this special occasion you would consider it a treat to hear the landlady tell of it, and of the sensations she experienced at seeing such a variety when the “apples on the Early Harvest [121] tree on the south side of the orchard wall were only just beginning to get mellow.”

There were plums of almost every color under the sun; there were nectarines, the mere sight of which would make one’s mouth to water; there were delicious Delaware grapes and some little white grapes called the Lady de Coverley, that come from California. They are just as good, too, as one would expect from the name that has been given them. There was a curiosity in the shape of a banana cantaloupe, and there were all sorts of other melons, but the melon par excellence was what is known as the Montreal cantaloupe. They are raised on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, and simply refuse to grow in any other locality. Gardeners in other places have done everything to induce it to become naturalized, but all to no purpose. The particular specimen that found its way to the Peaceful Valley weighed just twenty-one pounds, and cost the purchaser $2.50. But it wasn’t extravagance to buy twenty-one pounds of such deliciousness, even if it had cost twice that sum.

And what do you suppose these nature-worshippers did after partaking of all the [122] good things herein described and set forth? Well, they went out and sat under the trees and began to talk of what Thoreau said about huckleberries!

I came away then.

As a refreshing entr’acte let us dwell on the subject of ices. Let us have something more than just the ordinary way of making every-day routine ice creams. We will say “ices”—they mean unutterable, indescribable things that tickle the palate and cool one’s very existence simultaneously. Though after all it may be well to talk a minute of ice creams—beginning with generalities. The first of these I have found is that the easiest and best ice cream is made by using one-third rich cream to two-thirds milk with sugar as desired. No eggs and no cooking. If it is frozen smoothly it is perfect. This, however, is but the working plan—the flavoring and the moulding are to be arranged to suit yourself.

However, if cream is not available, then eggs and milk in the proportion of eight eggs to one quart of milk may be used. This requires cooking like an ordinary custard. [123] Sugar to your taste, but flour or cornstarch are to be left out, by all means.

If you are using fresh fruits, such as pineapple, peaches, strawberries and the like they should not be cooked but be added to the cream after it is frozen and just before it is packed. Candied fruit, fruit used for frozen puddings and the like, is usually soaked in brandy or rum before adding to the cream. At least, that’s the sort of treatment it gets from me.

Coffee Ice Cream

Just a word about coffee ice cream. For I don’t think you will find this recipe anywhere else. And it’s a pity you shouldn’t know of it. Have then one pint of very strong coffee, a gill of brandy, one quart of cream and three pints of rich milk. Then freeze and be thankful whenever a hot day makes it possible for you to serve your coffee at dinner in this way.

Milk Sherbet

A great many people have a preference for sherbets and of these I have some charming things to say, for I appreciate a sherbet myself. There’s a milk sherbet that suits me down to the ground. It is made of two quarts of milk, four cups of sugar, and the juice of six lemons. Also the whites whipped well of two or three or more eggs as you feel [124] inclined to use them. Surely the lemons will curdle the milk. But don’t let that disturb you. Put it in the freezer and go ahead. It will come out as right as right can be.

Strawberry Sherbet

For a strawberry sherbet made in this way I have a fondness that I am not ashamed to acknowledge anywhere: Sprinkle over one quart of strawberries half a pound of sugar; let it stand three hours, then strain through a coarse cloth, squeezing hard. To this juice add three pints of water, as much sugar as it seems to you to need, the juice of a lemon and freeze.

Pineapple Sherbet

A pineapple sherbet is made in the same way, though not as much sugar will be required probably.

Peach Sherbet

And for a peach sherbet follow the same directions, adding a wineglassful of brandy before freezing.

Currant Sherbet

A currant sherbet is a deliciously refreshing thing to have either in anticipation or in reality on a hot day. Boil a quart of water and a pound of sugar to a syrup. Skim and stir with it a pint of fresh currant juice which has been heated with a little sugar. Let this cool thoroughly, then add the beaten whites of four eggs and freeze. [125] For myself, I am quite through shying when anyone says artificial coloring in food—I have found the vegetable colorings as innocuous as so much water, and worth their weight in gold in cases like the present, namely the coloring of this currant sherbet. The only drawback about which is that of itself it will not be pretty to the eye—therefore hesitate not, but in with a few drops of carmine coloring.

Champagne Sherbet

A champagne ice isn’t such a high-roller refreshment as it sounds. To begin with it’s a rank solecism to freeze any but the most inexpensive of champagnes, and then you don’t require many other good things for your ice—the champagne is enough in itself. You just make a very strong and sweet lemonade—a quart of it and half freeze it; then pour in the champagne and wholly freeze the mixture. Get the champagne into the freezer as soon as you can after it is opened before its volatile gas escapes. If you prefer a more hilarious refreshment just keep on with your use of intoxicants by adding after the champagne a wineglassful of brandy. Also, if you like, you may add the beaten whites of eggs, ad libitum.

Champagne with Strawberries

[126] While we are on the subject of frozen champagne and the entering wedge has done its work let me speak a good word for champagne with strawberries. Freeze together a quart of champagne and a pint of sugar syrup. Just at the last add one pint of strawberries which have been halved and quartered and marinaded in a little brandy and sugar for about fifteen minutes. Cherries used in this way will make you ready to declare that till you tried it you didn’t know how to live.

Claret Sherbet

A claret sherbet is even better than it sounds if you make it in this way: Rub the peel of two oranges off with plenty of loaf sugar and then make a syrup of this sugar and a pint of water. When cool, stir in the juice of three oranges, a quart of claret, a tablespoonful of brandy and the whites of four eggs whipped to a stiff froth and freeze slowly. Sometimes there is used in this recipe the zest of lemon peel instead of oranges and then there is used some orange marmalade, heated and strained of course. Or any jelly which you may fancy goes in very harmoniously with this concoction.

Kirsch Sherbet

A kirsch sherbet is a delicacy that doesn’t put itself in the way of ordinary mortals every [127] day in the week. That’s why its welcome is a soulful one when it does appear. You have a pint of chablis and a pint of any preferred fruit syrup, which you freeze. Then at the last there is added to it half a pint of kirschenwasser.

By the way, before I forget it, you may treat watermelon with the frozen champagne exactly as prescribed hereinbefore for strawberries and champagne.

All these are but a few of the ices familiar to expert cooks nowadays. But each one herein given is capable of so many variations that I am leaving that part of it to you. Do you know that I am saddened more and more every day as I contemplate the power that lies in suggestion and the stupidity of people who will not avail themselves of it? But this is not perhaps the sort of talk you look for in a book that has to do with the material things of life. Very well, we will cut it off.



Ah, you flavor everything; you are the vanilla of society.

ABOUT the only time when I am really anxious to have the right to vote is when some legislation tending toward the preservation of the lobster is on the docket. Then, if I had the opportunity, I should not only vote with both hands for a “close season” on that delectable shellfish, but I should lecture as long as I could get any one to listen to me, either on Boston Common or in Faneuil Hall, in an endeavor to induce others, men and women, to vote with me. I believe I should even resort to bribery where I thought it would do—and I am a fair judge of individuals who don’t require their “inducements” to be too heavily coated with sugar—in order to put it through.

As matters are now there are almost as many ways for preparing lobster as there are lobsters in the sea, and in order to try them all you would better be about it before the supply is utterly exhausted, or some one in authority calls “time.”

Devilled Lobster

[129] For devilling lobsters I have a budget of recipes, but this seems to be about the best one in the lot: Split the lobster, after it is boiled, in two lengthwise, and put it into a baking-pan; season with salt and cayenne, and pour over it plenty of melted butter, and bake in a hot oven for five minutes. Just before serving spread over it a sauce of melted butter thickened with flour and seasoned with a few drops of lemon juice, a sprinkling of mustard, and a little Madeira or sherry wine.

Lobster Toast

Lest you should get so attached to this devilled lobster of mine, I hasten to put here an alluring sounding recipe, hoping you may be induced to try it before forming the devilled lobster habit. First fry a sliced onion in enough butter so that there will be no browning of it. Take out the onion in two or three minutes, as it is only intended to flavor the butter, and then fry in this butter the diced meat of two boiled lobsters for two or three minutes. Sprinkle in some chopped parsley and salt and pepper as you like it. Pour over the lobster a pint of white wine, and as soon as this gets to the boiling point take out the lobster and put it on slices of toast. Into the boiling wine put all the [130] butter from the lobsters, just a few chopped mushrooms, if they are at hand, and pour over the slices of lobster toast. Have this just as hot as possible when sending to table, and you will find the alluringness of this dish is not in the telling of it only.

Lobster Tartlet

A lobster tartlet is a gastronomical dream, let me tell you, while we are on the subject, and after you try it you will be telling the same story. You should have tartlet moulds made of the very best puff paste, which you fill with diced cold boiled lobster, chopped cooked mushrooms, a caper or two, and a bit of mayonnaise.

Lobster à la Newberg

Lobster à la Newberg is such a staple dish that it seems almost like plagiarizing something or somebody to put it on record here. However, as no list of lobster dishes is correct without it, here it shall go. Cut the boiled lobster into two-inch pieces and fry over a tremendously hot fire, either in a chafing dish or on a range, for just two or three seconds; lessen the heat then, or pull the frying-pan into cooler quarters, while you cover the lobster with thick, rich cream. Let this come to a threat to boil, then stir in say three egg yolks [131] to a pint of cream, the yolks stirred in a little cream, till it thickens a bit. Just a dash of sherry, say two tablespoonfuls, and there you are.

Stuffed Lobster Tails

For stuffing lobster tails cut the meat of the lobsters up rather finely, and add to it half its quantity of mushrooms. Fry in butter a bit, dilute with a little cream, season highly with cayenne and salt and fill the half tails with the mixture. Coat with bread crumbs that have been stirred about in melted butter, and brown in a hot oven.

Lobster Croquettes

The making of lobster croquettes is a pleasant sort of business, for there is so much anticipation of good to come stirred in with it. Cut the meat—don’t chop it—rather finely: moisten with a bit of cream and the butter from the lobster. Mould and roll in crumbs and fry a golden brown. Don’t go to seasoning these croquettes very highly or the delicacy will depart from them. But you know that. And do you know that you may add to almost any sauce used for boiled or baked fish some diced cooked lobster to the benefit of everything and everybody concerned? Well, you may—my word for it.

[132] If I were to tack a sub-title to this screed it might very properly be: “Women’s Luncheons,” inasmuch as it was in aid of one of these mild social dissipations that I last perambulated through the markets. Very properly also I might characterize the trip as a “peripatetic wandering through the market-place,” for all the while I was in quest of edibles suitable to put before a purely feminine company I was talking to myself about the probable origin of this form of hospitality. When, where, and by whom it was invented? My own conjecture as to its inception finally took this course: Algernon was in the habit of attending a great many goings-on to which women were never bidden. And Araminta frequently discussed with him the calls thus made upon his time. Whereupon it came to pass that after one particularly interesting debate on the subject, which debate was brought to an end by the sharp, quick closing of the street door, Araminta had an idea. An idea which she called an inspiration, nothing less, and it had for its starting-point a luncheon, a dainty, gay little affair, at which no black coat should be allowed to intrude. And the pièce de résistance of the meal should be a sweet [133] called “revenge.” Oh, yes indeed, not only would her guests applaud her originality, but the hearts of the absent males would be torn to tatters at her assumption of independence. And doubtless Part One of the programme was carried out to the letter, but, between you and me, I don’t believe Algernon ever lost a wink of sleep over it. In fact, when he settled the bill I have good reasons for mistrusting that he said something about the “game being jolly well worth the candle.”

But to-day the women’s luncheon is an institution, and a very chic and dainty diversion into the bargain. And there are those who make it their business to tell how a woman should be arrayed at such a festivity, but that is out of my province. If, however, you would know how the menu should read at this time of year, allow me:—

I almost said oysters at the beginning of [134] the menu, but oysters we shall have with us for several months to come, while cantaloupes are beginning to say it’s about time they were going. As yet, however, they are just as delicious and no more expensive than they have been at any time through the season.

Now as for bouillon. I get it canned, and think myself very fortunate in being able to do so. But you may prefer to make your own, and if so you probably have an always reliable recipe. Mes congratulations.

Lobster Patties

But if you have a score of recipes for making lobster patties, I honestly believe you will follow the one I am pleased to give you herein. I take myself very seriously, you see. Well, prepare some of the very best puff paste that you know how to make. Roll it out on a floured table; with a fluted cutter cut out some rounds, put them on a baking dish, set them on ice for fifteen minutes, then brush them over with beaten egg. With a plain tin cutter of about half the size of the fluted cover cut through a third of each of the rounds, dipping the cutter in warm water every time; this will form the cover when baked. Bake in a quick oven. When cooked lift off the cover and scoop out a little of the [135] soft paste inside. For the lobster filling take the meat from a boiled lobster, cut it into very small pieces and fry a little in butter, in a very little butter, till they just threaten to brown. Then pour over the lobster bits enough thick cream to barely cover them; heat this, but don’t let it boil. Thicken it with two or more beaten eggs, according to the quantity of lobster. Season delicately with salt and a suspicion of cayenne. Have the patties hot and the lobster hot, and arrange them on a hot dish for serving. For dear knows that a cold or a lukewarm patty is an abomination.

Lamb Cutlets with Mushrooms

After the patties the lamb cutlets. And, mind you, they are to be fried, not broiled. Season them well with salt and pepper, and fry in a little butter over a brisk fire till browned on both sides. Then drain off the butter and baste them with just a little Madeira wine. Dress the cutlets in a circle and pour into the centre a Madeira sauce with mushrooms. This you make by heating half a pint of any good stock, adding to it a gill of Madeira, thickening it with a little flour braided with butter, and adding at the last a dozen mushrooms that have been minced and fried [136] moderately in a little butter. You may use sherry instead of the Madeira for basting the cutlets and for the sauce if you like. And also you may use the tinned instead of fresh mushrooms if you prefer to do so. For fresh mushrooms may not be any too plenty just now, and consequently are a thought expensive. Still, they’re quite worth the price.

And now that the “law’s off” probably hereabouts on quail, you will find them in pretty good condition. Indeed, they are so good that I hope you will just have them broiled after salting a bit, and pin your faith to their own delicious flavor to give delight to your guests. Have them served on toast, if you must, that has been slightly buttered, but forget to serve any jelly with them.

I’ve told you elsewhere all about tomatoes stuffed with celery and mayonnaise, so I won’t go into particulars this time. But tomatoes will not be with us at the prices for which we can now get them a great while longer, and celery is remarkably good in quality and low in price. So there’s a good broad hint for you.

Wine Ice Cream

That wine ice cream which I have recommended is truly a delightful confection. You have a pint of moderately rich cream, and you [137] add to it the yolks of five eggs and three tablespoonfuls of sugar, and then you heat it just a trifle. Next you stir in a gill of white wine, and then you freeze it. When quite frozen stir into it some chopped preserved cherries. Then turn the cream into a mould packed in ice to set till time for serving, when it is to be turned out on a cold dish. Doesn’t that sound as if it would be worth a trial?

You see I’ve simply said grapes in the menu because, as far as that fruit is concerned just now, it is a case of paying your money and taking your choice.

And what will the ladies have to drink? Suppose we say a sip of sherry with the bouillon and a bottle of pretty good Rhine wine to be brought in with the cutlets. And it doesn’t seem to me that it would be overdoing the matter to have a cordial finale—say crème yvette, or crème de cacao à la vanille.

Of course, I will tell you the approximate cost of such a luncheon. With good management it can be served, inclusive of the wines, for twelve dollars for a dozen persons. And that is not bad, now, is it?

Didn’t you just enjoy that cooling little entr’acte we had in July? I did. Let’s [138] have another. We will not have anything sweet in this, however, we will have it cold and savory. Doesn’t that hit you favorably? There are plenty of cold and dainty savories that may come to table as your chief dish at luncheon or at dinner or as an entrée only, at the latter meal, according to the degree with which you manage to put on style.

Cold Chicken Cream

There’s chicken cream, for instance, made from a cold boiled or roasted—well, bird. I don’t know whether it’s chicken or fowl. Perhaps you paid for chicken and got fowl. Perhaps you paid for fowl and wheedled the provisioner into giving you chicken. But we will say chicken, anyway. Pick, then, all the flesh from the chicken, mince and then pound it. Now add to it half a pint of cream stiffly whipped and half a pint of just liquid aspic jelly. Season with salt and white pepper and any other condiment if you like. Then have one large or several small moulds and line them with aspic jelly and fill with the chicken cream. Let set till cold and stiff and then unmould on slices of very thin fried bread. Chop parsley and sprinkle over the creams when unmoulded.

Chicken Cream with Tomato

Another way would be to line the moulds [139] with liquid aspic and a little tomato sauce. When this sets fill with the chicken cream as before. If you like the cream may be omitted from the chicken and when it is unmoulded it may be covered with a French dressing or with mayonnaise.

Any remains of cold meat can be chopped finely, mixed with shredded lettuce or watercress or parsley, capers, stoned olives, a truffle or two and mayonnaise, with enough liquid aspic to stiffen it and moulded in any way.

These do make delicious presentations of old subjects—just a little labor and a little inventive painstaking and you have accomplished wonders. There are so many garnishes that may be used with these cold things to make them more of a delight that it is impossible to go through the list. Sliced tomatoes or cucumbers or some cold cooked vegetable with a French dressing—any quantity of them you see once you begin to cast about for them.

No one knows better than I do that to make the conventional aspic jelly is a labor that involves terrible risks as regards the breaking of the commandment concerning profanity. I don’t mind telling you that I [140] found it was having such a degenerating effect on my whole moral nature that I hit upon using just the best gelatine I can buy—this is not the place to name it, however—and dissolving it in a clear stock—white or brown as the case demands. Try it in making these aspic things.

Cold Cutlets in Jelly

You know, of course, that cold cutlets are the most impossible left-over thing with which the housekeeper has to deal. But prepare some savory jelly with stock and tomato sauce and coat these left-over cutlets with it some day and have them for luncheon. You will confess that you have learned something worth knowing.

Then there are numberless kinds of fish, almost any kind in fact that doesn’t run to bone, that will flake well; dip the pieces in a jelly of this kind diluted with any kind of sauce—Hollandaise, vinaigrette, tomato, and so on to the end of the list. Now, mind, when I say coat these viands with this jelly I don’t mean for you to give them a regular ulster for a coat—but a little thin diaphanous jacket, suitable for hot weather, you understand.

When you can use cream in the jellies, [141] either whipped or straight, the daintiness of them is increased by just so much.

There are some kinds of game—dark game especially—that you may slice and coat with this jelly using currant jelly with it also and get some combinations that will drive your friends to despair.

Bear in mind that these jellied things must be kept on ice till served and the plates on which they are served must also be ice-cold. It does seem too bad for me to have to burden my soul with such instructions for you—they should be needless. But when good fortune takes me to luncheon in a crack hotel and I get my salad on a hot plate, or a hot plate set before me for the serving of it, I am forced to the conclusion that the mental lightweights are still in evidence and there’s no knowing but what some of them in a moment of lucidity may become the owner of this book. Therefore I go into tiresome details, occasionally.



But the fruit that falls without shaking
Indeed is too mellow for me.

THERE are persons, as some of us can testify, who appear to be horrified if a Manhattan cocktail is mentioned in the most casual manner, and who are warranted to shy if they but get a whiff of a Martini, but give them a chance to partake of an oyster cocktail and you have added a substantial item to their sum of worldly pleasure.

Almost everybody likes an oyster cocktail when it is judiciously mixed, but folk of the ilk above referred to do seem to have a peculiar fondness for it. Now, is it because a course of total abstinence has rendered their palates extremely sensitive to highly seasoned impressions, or is it that the name has a witchery that beguiles them into thinking that they are tasting a forbidden thing without sacrificing a principle? I don’t know. You tell.

Oyster Cocktail

And tell me, too, if this is the way you set about preparing one of these palate-ticklers. Half a dozen little oysters dropped into a glass, with their juice, a little lemon juice, four [143] miserly drops of Tabasco sauce, half a teaspoonful of Worcestershire sauce, a dessertspoonful of tomato ketchup, and several grains of salt. Or do you substitute horse-radish for the Tabasco? They tell me it’s frequently done, but for myself I prefer the Tabasco. It is a vexed question, anyway, this matter of what shall be put on a raw oyster to make it more palatable; the real dyed-in-the-wool epicurean vows that it is nothing short of barbarism to use more than the tiniest pinch of salt, while many a discriminating gourmet declares that the more you do for an oyster the more it does for you. So there you are.

Baked Oysters

But epicureans and laymen alike are agreed on one point, and that is the way to bake oysters so that they are worthy of a place on any table. Put into a small lined stewpan a quarter of a pound of butter and one teacupful of cream, stirring it well over a quick fire till hot. Add a wineglass of sherry, a tablespoonful of anchovy sauce, and a skimpy sprinkling of cayenne and grated lemon peel. Stir over the fire till it bubbles once. Then pour half of the mixture into a baking dish. Lay the oysters on it, besprinkle them with [144] a scanty covering of bread-crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese, with salt and pepper. Pour the remainder of the cream over all and brown to a good color.

Once one gets in the way of baking oysters as herein prescribed, one’s recipe for scalloped oysters, no matter how true and tried, will be lost sight of.

Oyster Stew with Cream

And the same fate will likely befall one’s rule for making an oyster stew, provided one adopts this suggestion for preparing oysters with cream. In the first place there should be put into a saucepan a pint of cream with a tiny piece of onion and a little mace tied up in a muslin bag. When the cream boils thicken it with a tablespoonful of flour mixed with two tablespoonfuls of cream. Heat a quart of oysters, with their liquor and sufficient salt. Then drain and put them into a dish which is to be sent to table; pour the cream over them, removing the onion and mace. With the dish serve toasted bread or biscuit.

Devilled Fried Oysters

Undoubtedly all your friends are ready to take oath that you do have at your table the very best fried oysters they ever tasted. But the next time that you regale them with the [145] dish, let the oysters be devilled and then fried. Wipe the oysters perfectly dry and lay them on a flat dish. Have a goodly supply of butter at just the melting point, mix with it a little salt, a suspicion of cayenne, and a certainty of lemon juice; pour this over the oysters and leave them in it for at least ten minutes. Then roll them in a paper of cracker crumbs or sifted bread-crumbs; dip them into beaten egg, then into the crumbs again, and fry in boiling lard.

Stuffed Fried Oysters

Or you can make a dish of fried oysters even more elaborate if you will chop six ounces of the white meat of any fowl with one ounce of fat salt pork, pound it in a mortar till your stock of patience threatens to strike, then chop a few truffles to the size of peas, and add them with a little white pepper to the chopped meat. Have four dozen oysters wiped dry, and with a sharp knife make an opening in the side of each one; fill the holes with the mixture. Dip the oysters in crumbs, then in egg, again in the crumbs, and fry.

Oysters, Celery Roast

Now see to it that your guests don’t exhaust their pet adjectives on either of these dishes. They will need at least a good round dozen of superlatives after an experience with a celery [146] roast of oysters. And this is the way the story goes: Have ready some dainty slices of bread, toasted, with the crusts removed. Wipe dry and broil some of the smallest oysters you can get; broil till they begin to shrivel all round, then put them on the toast. Sprinkle a little salt over them; cover them with some finely chopped celery. Salt the celery a bit also. Have ready cream heated, but not boiled, and pour it over the whole. Serve it as hot as possible, and rejoice in the fact that you have demonstrated how divine a thing an oyster may be made.

Oyster Pie

It’s a thousand pities that everybody doesn’t know how to make good puff paste, for without that knowledge it is impossible to make a good oyster pie; but in case you are an adept at puff paste making, just try concocting one some fine day. Line a pie dish with the paste and fill it with uncooked rice; butter the paste that covers the edge of the dish and lay a cover of puff paste over the pie; press the edges together a bit and trim them neatly. Meanwhile prepare a quart of oysters by draining them from their liquor and chopping them fine. Mix a teaspoonful of cornstarch [147] in a very little cold milk, and pour over slowly half a pint of boiling milk or cream; when it is thick and smooth add to it an ounce of butter. Season the oysters with salt and pepper, and stir them into the mixture; simmer for five minutes. When the pie-crust is done remove it from the oven, take off the top crust, turn out all the rice and fill the dish with the oysters; put on the cover again, and set in the oven to get thoroughly hot.

They do say the recollection of an oyster pie so made is one of the sweetest echoes to start when memory plays a tune on the heart, even though one lives to be as old as Methuselah.

Pickled Oysters

And now let me tell you of a way to prepare oysters so that they may come under the head of stand-bys, so dear to every housekeeper. Take two quarts of oysters and put them into a porcelain-lined saucepan with their own liquor strained, half a grated nutmeg, a teaspoonful of salt, a little cayenne, and half a pint of strong vinegar. Then into a muslin bag put half a teaspoonful of cloves, two blades of mace, a teaspoonful of allspice, and two bay leaves; put this in with the oysters. Let them cook very slowly, stirring [148] all the while with a wooden spoon. As soon as they come to a boil pour them into an earthenware jar. When thoroughly cold they are ready to serve; if they are well covered in a cool place they can easily be kept for a week or even longer.

Of late years, when the subject of home-made preserves and pickles has been referred to in my hearing, I have been wont to assume a very superior and quite top-lofty air, and to remark in a know-it-all tone of voice: “Oh, life’s too short for me to bother with anything like that; give me the fruits and vegetables and all other edibles that one can buy preserved in tin or glass the year round; they’re better than home-made nine times out of ten, they cost no more in the end, and there’s slight necessity for guesswork when you are to open a can as to the condition of its contents.” Sometimes, if I had a very tractable audience, this would end all discussion for the time being. At others it would fairly set the advocates of domestic preserving by their ears, and then you may be sure they [149] defended their cause in good earnest. But they never induced me to go in for anything of the sort. Still, I now have on hand a very fair array of jars and bottles and tumblers filled with jellies and jams and pickles, and they are home-made, and they are old-fashioned and I am proud of them. And I’ll tell you how it happened. Out in the country, three weeks or so ago, I was passing a farmhouse where the door opening into the kitchen stood wide open, and through that open door came a fragrant breath that called to mind numberless sweet woodsy smells. There was in it a suggestion of sweet fern, a reminder of bayberry, a hint of sassafras and a distinct likeness of grapevine blossoms. And this divine odor was conjured up, I learned, by the stewing of grapes—wild grapes, of course; the cultivated varieties being quite out of it when it comes to preserving. That settled it. Within twenty-four hours from that time there was issuing from my kitchen an odor of wild grapes a-stewing.

Grape Jam

To go into particulars, I was making grape jam. I weighed the grapes, and to every pound I allowed three-quarters of a pound of sugar. Then I squeezed the pulp out of [150] the skins, putting the pulp in one bowl and the skins in another. The sugar with a quarter of its quantity of water was boiled in a preserving kettle till it was quite clear. Then was added to it the pulp of the grapes which were boiled ever so slowly for twenty minutes—when they were rubbed through a hair sieve and put back on the stove, with the skins added to them. Then they were boiled until the skins filled and looked good and plump. And when they were quite cooled I put them into jars covered tightly to keep out the air. Next winter I shall depend upon this jam to help me out at many a luncheon with hot buttered toast or with waffles. And I’ve a strong notion that it won’t play me false.

Quince Marmalade

You know how one word leads to another. Well, I find that one preserve leads to another just as surely. After making the grape jam I was determined to try my hand at quinces—at quince marmalade. And it turned out such a success that I offer the recipe for your use if you like to try it. Peel and cut into thin slices four pounds of quinces, put them into a preserving kettle, with half their quantity of peeled and sliced sweet apples, [151] two quarts of water and the juice of a lemon. Cover the kettle and let the contents boil quickly till softened; then put in three pounds of crushed sugar loaf, and stir over the fire while it boils slowly for twenty minutes. Take the kettle from the fire, pour the marmalade into jars, and when it is cool tie brandied papers over the tops. I shall find many uses for this sweet, I fancy, and some day when I am quite put to it to know what to have for dessert, I shall just have the simplest sort of a bread pudding, and for a sauce some of this quince marmalade.

Quince Jelly

And having made the marmalade, I find that no reasonable excuse exists for not making quince jelly, because the parings can be used along with more of the fruit. Core the whole fruit and put this with the parings into a stewpan with just as much water as will cover them; stew them gently till they are tender, but not red. Strain the juice from the quinces without pressing them, measure it, and for each cupful allow an equal quantity of crushed loaf sugar. Pour the juice into a preserving pan and boil it for twenty minutes, then add the sugar and boil until reduced to the consistency of jelly, stirring it well all the [152] time. Strain through a jelly bag and pour into small jelly tumblers. And this you know is going to be not only a toothsome bit, but if I put it into a pretty and suitable dish and set it in just the right place on my luncheon or dinner table, it will be a thing of beauty.

Plum Jam

I’m feeling rather proud, too, of my success with plum jam. It really strikes me as being delicious, and from the favored few who have been allowed to “taste” it, I have heard very flattering things. So you shall receive this recipe also. Have ready say twelve pounds of large ripe plums peeled and divided into halves; crack their stones, blanch the kernels and pound them in a mortar. Put the parings and cracked stones into a pan with three quarts of water. Boil this until it is reduced one-half, and then strain it through a fine wire sieve. Put the fruit into a preserving pan with the strained liquor and pounded kernels and twelve pounds of crushed loaf sugar. Cook over a slow fire until it is reduced to a stiff jam, then turn it into jars and let it stand till quite cold, sift into each jar a layer of powdered sugar, cover with rounds of paper dipped in brandy, tie securely and put away. Some foggy morning spread [153] a little of this jam on some toasted muffins for breakfast, have some English breakfast tea, and play you are in “Lunnun.”

Brandied Plums

Really, you know, I shouldn’t feel that I had done the right thing by you if, after recommending that jams be covered by brandied papers I should omit to say something of plums preserved in brandy. They make a dainty tidbit, serve them when you will—morning, noon, or night. You don’t want to use plums that are any more than ripe; in fact, if they’re not much more than half-ripe it will be quite as well. Say you have eight pounds of them; prick them all over and put over the fire in cold water. As soon as the water boils and the fruit rises to the surface take out with a skimmer and lay them in a pan of ice water. Then make a clear syrup of two pounds of loaf sugar and a pint of water. Put in the plums and let them boil up just once; and let them stand in the syrup over night. The next day take them out of the syrup, boil this once, put in the plums and let them boil just once and let them stand over night once more in the syrup. Repeat this operation the next day and the following day, then [154] drain the plums and put them into bottles. Boil the syrup till it will almost candy, and when quite cold add to it three-fourths of its own quantity of the best brandy you feel that you can afford, mix thoroughly with the syrup, strain it and pour over the plums. Cork the bottles securely.

Brandied Peaches

But if it’s peaches that you want to see in brandy, you go about it in this way: Split the peaches in halves and boil them in a syrup such as is used for the plums. Boil them two minutes only, then take them out and remove their skins, put them back in the syrup to simmer for five minutes; take the pan off and leave the peaches in it till the next day. Then drain and arrange them carefully in jars. Boil the syrup down and mix with it an equal quantity of white brandy and when quite cold pour it over the peaches. Cover the jars tightly. And it’s not for me to tell you when to use them,—because the using of brandied peaches soon becomes a fixed habit, and it’s pretty hard to be able to tell when not to use them.

Apples in Vanilla Syrup

Why is it that housekeepers, the land over, with excellent reputations as “good [155] managers,” see in an apple only three possibilities, to wit: apple pie, apple sauce and baked apples, when by the aid of a vegetable spoon, such as is used for preparing Parisienne potatoes, the apples may be scooped out into balls, cooked in a syrup flavored with vanilla, served hot with a sprinkling of finely chopped pistachios over all, and so served be worthy a place on the table of the veriest gourmet? Hardly a whit more trouble involved, you see, or expense, for that matter, than in the preparation of “apple sauce,” and yet how much more appetizing and wholly satisfactory! Again, if you want to idealize baked apples, have them peeled and cored, then boil in a flavored syrup till tender, but firm, and with sugar and burnt almond scattered over them set in oven to acquire a delicate brown. Garnish when serving with bits of marmalade or jelly.

Fried Apples

The frying of apples successfully is a ticklish matter, it must be admitted, but if the fruit is perfectly sound when peeled, cored, and quartered, the fat piping hot, with only a few pieces dropped in at a time, if, as I say, all these conditions prevail and your fried apples be not a success, then rest assured [156] there is some witchcraft at work and you are in no wise to blame. The pity will be none the less, however, for nothing so complements delicious little pork chops for a luncheon dish as apples so prepared. And pork chops, by the way, are quite to be desired these cool autumn days.

Apple Salad

Nothing can exceed the joy-giving properties of an apple salad if it be rightly concocted. For myself I prefer that there shall be a judicious mixture of celery with the apple, that the pepper, salt, and oil be added with a sparing hand, and that without fail lemon juice shall be used in place of vinegar. It hardly seems necessary to say, and yet one never knows just what is the proper stopping place in giving advice, that a steel knife must not be allowed to touch the apples, else what might have been and should be a thing of beauty is a damaging blight to an otherwise perfectly appointed table. This kind of salad is in its rightful place when accompanying any variety of black duck, and just now wild ducks are of prime flavor. The marketmen know this, but I find that not many of them know why these birds are to be in their best estate for the next two months, when the [157] reason as explained to me by sportsmen is both sound and plausible, namely, that now the birds are getting their feed where it is the sweetest and best, along the shores of fresh ponds, but later when Jack Frost shall have done his perfect work they must hie them to the salt marshes for sustenance, and very soon thereafter the fact of their changed diet is made manifest to those who dine from them.

Pears in Vanilla Syrup

One can hardly talk of ways and means for treating apples and leave unsaid one or two directions for serving pears so that they shall be quite good enough to do duty upon any occasion. Have you ever tried peeling them, splitting them in two lengthwise, scooping out the core, cooking till tender in a syrup strongly flavored with vanilla, and then draining them, filling the hollows left by removing the cores with powdered macaroons? If you have, then you know how to complete the pretty task; if not, then I will tell you that after the macaroons have been added the two parts of a pear must be put together, the pears laid on their side alternately with tiny rice croquettes which have been coated with apricot marmalade or any preferred jam. You may take the syrup in which the pears [158] were boiled and adding to it a little whipped cream pour it over the whole. My word for it, if the early part of your feast has consisted of such delicacies as nightingales’ tongues and plovers’ eggs, pears so prepared will seem a fitting dessert, but if, as is more probable, you have dined from a perfectly broiled chicken (and they were never better and less expensive than now), you will find this dish of pears quite the crowning beauty of your dinner that it deserves to be.

Stuffed Stewed Pears

And while we are on the subject of cooking pears I will tell you of another way in which I have always seen them find favor. After they are cooked and the core scooped out I fill them with a mixture of several kinds of fruit, finely chopped, laying them on a shallow dish of rice and cream, pouring syrup over them.

Pears Stewed in Claret

Now for another way of cooking pears as they should be, to be “not like other folks’” pears: let me suggest that you get inexpensive, oh very inexpensive claret in which to stew pears the next time you see fit to have them. Stew them till tender, then take them out and add to the claret what sugar you think is needed to have it sweet enough when [159] it is boiled down to about one-half the original quantity. Pour over the pears and let cool before serving. Sublimate this idea, if you see fit, by sprinkling in chopped almonds or chopped pistachios or any other little pleasantry that occurs to your inventive genius,—that is, if you’ve an inventive genius that is to be trusted.

Fried Chicken, Italian Style

Suppose you find, on one of your trips to market this month, as you probably will, that poultry is very low in price, won’t you give this suggestion a trial? Cut a chicken up as for a ragout, and boil it in as little water as will cover it, seasoning the water with a small onion, salt, white pepper, and a gill of sherry wine. When the chicken is almost tender enough, drain it from the liquor and let it get perfectly cold. Meanwhile have in a stewpan half a gill of olive oil, with a pinch of minced onion and a little salt and pepper. When this is quite hot and the chicken quite cold, cook the chicken in it to a delicate brown. Dish the chicken when it is browned evenly, and pour over it a sauce made by adding a gill of the stock in which it was boiled to the oil in [160] the stewpan, thickening it all with the yolks of two eggs. This makes a most delicious dish and is well worth the trial. The frying in oil gives it its distinctive flavor, and makes it very different from fowl fried in butter, which is in France always called poulet sautée, to mark the difference.

With Tomatoes

And this same dish can be varied a little by using tomatoes with the chicken. After the chicken has been fried in the oil, lay it on fried tomatoes, and then pour the sauce over all. Have the tomatoes as large as possible and not too ripe; slice them, dust them with salt and pepper, and fry very, very slowly in a little oil till they are cooked; but don’t let the slices get out of shape.

Roast Duck with Orange Sauce

Broiled Devilled Tomatoes

If you think you would prefer a roast of poultry, do try ducks to be had now. Roast them in any way that experience has taught you is the best, but when it comes to making the sauce for them, let me have a word to say. Mince two or three slices of bacon and a small onion and fry together for five minutes; add to them the juice of an orange and a wineglassful of port wine, the drippings from the pan in which the ducks were roasted, and a seasoning of salt and pepper. It’s an [161] ideal September dish, that’s what it is. And you might accompany it or follow it with another that is particularly seasonable, namely, broiled devilled tomatoes. First you mash the yolks of three hard-boiled eggs, then you mix with them a saltspoonful of salt, one teaspoonful each of powdered sugar and mustard, and as much cayenne as your taste calls for; then stir in three ounces of melted butter, and when all the ingredients are well blended add three tablespoonfuls of vinegar. At this stage put the mixture over the fire to reach the boiling point, and stir in two well-beaten eggs. When it has thickened a bit stand in hot water on the stove to keep warm while you give a little attention to the tomatoes. These must be ripe and firm. Cut them in half-inch slices, broil over a clear fire, place on a hot dish, pour the sauce over them, and there you are. This makes a really appetizing breakfast dish as well as a savory dinner course. Try it some morning, having with it crisp broiled bacon and some dainty rice muffins, and you will find yourself considerably above par with your household for the rest of that day at least.

Broiled Tomatoes on Toast

And in a day or so follow up the good [162] impression by having at luncheon tomatoes prepared in this way: Cut some round slices of bread and fry them delicately in butter till they are brown. Slice firm, ripe tomatoes to match the sizes of the bread slices; broil the tomatoes just a wee bit, and then lay a slice on each piece of the French bread. Season them with pepper and salt, scatter grated Parmesan cheese over them, spread them with a layer of fine bread-crumbs moistened with melted butter. Brown in a hot oven and serve piping hot. And if the man o’ the house is the right sort you will get a vote of thanks in the shape of a big bunch of the earliest and brightest chrysanthemums to be found in town.

Celery and Apple Salad

Have you ever made a salad of apples and celery? Use sour apples cut into dice-shaped pieces, and cut the celery into half-inch bits. Arrange in the salad dish in this way: A layer of the apple, then a sprinkling of capers; next a layer of the celery, and over this three or four olives cut in thin slices, and so on till the dish is full. Make a dressing of a saltspoonful of salt, a good dash of cayenne pepper, the juice of a lemon, and six tablespoonfuls of olive oil. [163] Pour this over the apples and celery about ten minutes before serving. Be sure that you let the youngsters have all of this salad that they want, for it will be hard to concoct a more wholesome and healthful one.

Apple Sauce with Orange Juice

With Whipped Cream

And I am going to suggest a variation or two of the apple sauce theme for your approval. Go ahead and get your apples ready as you always have, and when you put them on the stove to cook add to them the peel of an orange. When the apples are quite cooked press them through a sieve, add brown sugar to them to taste, and the juice of one orange to a pint of apple. Put this on the stove to cook for about two minutes, and then put aside to cool before serving. Or, stew your apples till they are tender, press them through a sieve, add to them the amount of sugar they require, and when they are quite cold beat up with them lightly some well-whipped cream—a pint of cream after it is whipped to a quart of apple sauce.

Pear Salad

Now, if it comes to pass that neither or both of these ways of making apple sauce finds favor with you, you will certainly give an attentive ear to a hint on the subject of pears. For one of the daintiest and most [164] seasonable of desserts is a pear salad. Know how it is made? Have the pears quite ripe, cut them in thin slices, lay them in a glass dish, sprinkle powdered sugar on them, pour over them a glass of brandy which has in it a dozen drops or so of lemon juice, and let stand on ice for about fifteen minutes before serving. It is a good idea also to have the pears on ice for two or three hours before they are sliced.

Stuffed Pears

Another delectable dessert made from pears is called “stuffed pears.” Cut them in two and scoop out the core with a vegetable spoon. Cook the pears very gently in a little syrup till they are quite tender. Drain them, and have ready any kind of marmalade into which you have stirred chopped almonds. Stuff the pears with this and put them together in their original shape. Have in a dish a thin layer of boiled rice, over which you have spread a little whipped cream. Arrange the pears in a circle on the rice, and fill the centre with the same kind of marmalade as that used for stuffing the pears.

Stuffed Peaches

And peaches may be prepared in just the same way; but you may add just a few of the kernels of the peaches to the syrup while you [165] are stewing them, which will give them a delightful flavor. Indeed, I think it is always an improvement to use some of the kernels when cooking peaches for any way of serving. In tarts the kernels should be chopped as finely as possible.

Peach Cream

Peach cream makes a dainty and delicious dessert. Have a dozen ripe peaches, peel, remove the stones, and then stew them with half a dozen of the kernels in a syrup made of half a pound of sugar and half a pint of water. When the peaches are quite soft press them through a sieve. Mix with the pulp one pint of cream, whipped, and one ounce of dissolved gelatine. Wet a fancy mould with cold water, pour in the preparation, and leave till firm. Unmould when serving.

To be sure, there’s no way in the world that a peach is so delightful as when eaten from the hand, but it must be the very best sort of a peach to be eaten in this way, and the best sorts just now may be a thought expensive. That is the reason I have suggested ways for cooking them, because one can use an inferior quality and yet get perfectly satisfactory results. And that isn’t possible with most of life’s commodities.



Fill up the bowl, then, fill it high—
Fill all the glasses there, for why
Should every creature drink but I;
Why, man of morals, tell me why?

WHEN all the world adopts the Pythagorean menu as its standard of good living then I will bestir myself and concoct the daintiest dishes possible from those “foods that are freshly chemicalized by the sun’s rays,” and will gladly give you the benefit of my experiences. But I’m no reformer, and until that day of universal self-denial arrives I will continue the tenor of my way along the old line, and try to idealize commonplace, every-day viands into dishes that pique the appetite, and make of eating a delicate delight. A very material vocation, it is true, but as matters stand a highly useful one. Eh?

Now there are smelts, as plump and inviting a fish as can be found in the market, and at their best, too. But how many housekeepers are there who ever think of serving them in any way but just simply fried? Frequently, [167] of course, they do serve them with a tartar sauce, but nine times out of ten it would be better for all concerned if the sauce were neglected or forgotten, or upset, or anything that would keep it away from the table.

Baked Smelts

The next time you are to have smelts try cooking them in this way: After they are cleaned have them wiped till perfectly dry, and lay them in a baking dish; over them pour a wineglass of white wine, add a sprinkling of salt and pepper, according to your judgment, half a dozen whole fresh mushrooms, and pour over them one-half a pint of Spanish sauce. Sprinkle ever so lightly with bread-crumbs and a little warmed butter, and bake in a hot oven for twenty minutes. This is the way you would prepare a dozen or fifteen of the fish; of course for a larger number the amount of seasoning, etc., would be increased proportionately. Garnish the smelts before serving with thinly sliced lemon, each slice sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Broiled Smelts with Béarnaise

Or try broiling them, if you like. Split the fish, using only the largest size, down the backs; remove the backbones, wipe well and then rub them with a little oil and [168] season with salt and a bit of white pepper. Broil in a double broiler for three minutes on each side, over a hot fire. Have spread on the bottom of the dish in which they are to be served a layer of Béarnaise sauce; arrange the smelts carefully and daintily on this and sprinkle over them a scanty bit of chopped parsley. You’ll find this far and away ahead of the eternal “fried smelts and sauce tartare.”

Fried Smelts with Parsley

But if you really feel that you must fry them, then go about it in this way: First of all, fry some thinly sliced bacon and in its fat fry to a delicate brown the smelts which you have previously dipped in sweet, rich cream, and then dredged with flour to make a thick paste around them. Serve garnished with the bacon and with fried parsley. The frying of parsley is as you know, a somewhat ticklish job; it must be perfectly dry, put into a frying basket and then plunged into hot fat for just a few minutes—don’t have the fat too hot—this is where you must think and act simultaneously—or the parsley will lose its color, and then you will have to begin all over again. After it is put on the dish squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over it. My word [169] for it you will find this an acceptable dish, whether it is prepared for breakfast, luncheon or dinner.

Bluefish—Newport Style

I didn’t mean you to understand that I considered smelts to be the only fish in the market at present; I simply wanted to call your attention to them as being as good as any other, and a good deal better than they, themselves, are at any other time of year.

Bluefish are good now, too; they are excellent, really, and a bluefish at its best is hard to beat. Have you ever tried cooking them in the oven? Have them split, you know, as for broiling, then put them into a well-greased baking pan. Have ready half a cupful of melted butter with the juice of an onion in it and likewise the juice of a lemon, with a reasonable amount of salt and of cayenne pepper. Before the fish goes into the oven moisten it well with the prepared butter, and baste with the butter every ten minutes while it is in the oven. When it is of a good even brown it is done. Now, don’t serve with the bluefish cooked in this way potatoes of any sort or kind. Have cucumbers, hothouse, of course, and have them fried. Cut them into thick slices and remove the seeds; then soak [170] them in equal parts of ice-water and vinegar, well salted, for one hour. Take them out, drain and wipe dry and fry in boiling lard until a light brown. They are not only good when served with bluefish cooked in this way, but they are appetizing bits to accompany pork or lamb chops when you are serving them with a brown sauce.

So much for to-day’s fish story. As for meat, anybody can get good meats at any time of the year if they will go to a man who knows how to cut them, and won’t insist on dickering with him about the price.

Domestic ducks are now in good condition. You might get one of them and try preparing it in some new way to be used, if it’s a success, on Thanksgiving Day. Say stuffing it with mushrooms; use one can of mushrooms to three heaping cupfuls of stale bread-crumbs; one-half a cupful of melted butter, with salt and pepper. If the stuffing appears to be too dry moisten it with a bit of milk. Split the mushrooms and use all their liquor; if the duck is too small to require the full amount you may add some of the mushrooms to the giblet gravy to be served with it.

And there is plenty of material in market [171] for green salads; there are celery and lettuce, the stand-bys; watercress, escarolle, romaine, and chicory. Try this latter some time soon, using a plain dressing of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper for it, with bits of Roquefort cheese sprinkled over it. If any among you object to eating this cheese because of its odor, rest easy, for you may have at hand a counteracting force in the Bar-le-Duc currants. They do, as you probably are aware, put the finishing touch to almost any sort of dinner, but when particularly strong cheese has been served they are nothing short of a godsend.

To the ordinary reader the name of Bontoux conveys nothing; to the Parisian of a generation or two ago it was synonymous with all that was delightful in the way of food and drink. The shop over which Madame Bontoux presided remains in the Rue de l’Échelle, but Madame, herself, has been gathered to her forefathers. Originally she had been a cordon bleu, and in the early forties opened a small establishment in the Rue Montesquieu, which establishment, if I mistake not, is mentioned in Sue’s [172] “Seven Cardinal Sins.” Thence she moved to the Rue de l’Échelle, where she died. Acting on the whim of the moment, she would sell her wares only to those whom she liked, and those whom she did not like might offer her a hundred times their value in vain. The Rue de l’Échelle being near the Comédie Française, Rachel, who was a gourmet of the first water, frequently went to the shop after rehearsals. One afternoon she went in while one of the shopmen was busy packing a hamper for Nicholas I. Among the delicacies there were a dozen magnificent quails on a skewer. “I want those,” said Rachel in the imperious way she adopted now and then. “You will have to want, my little woman,” replied Madame, shaking her head in her enormous bonnet, which seemed a fixture; no one had ever seen her without it. Then Rachel toned down. “I will give you ten francs apiece for them,” she said. “Not for ten crowns apiece,” came the retort, and in a voice which left the great actress no doubt as to its meaning.

Rachel was disappointed, and rose from her chair to go. Just when she had reached the door an idea flashed on her. She turned [173] round and began to recite the famous lines from Corneille’s “Horace.” The effect was electrical on the shopman, who dropped the quails. Madame Bontoux was not so easily impressed. She kept shaking her head just as if to say “You may save yourself the trouble, my girl;” but all of a sudden, when Rachel brought out the last line—

Moi seule en être cause et mourir de plaisir,”

she jumped up. “Give her the dozen quails and a pheasant besides.” Wonderful to relate, the enormous bonnet had got pushed on one side.

Now, there’s a very pretty question to be discussed at your dinner table o’ Sunday night: Were those birds à bon marché for Rachel, or did Madame Bontoux, in the language of to-day, “get the best of the bargain?”

When you go to market in search of game in these days, and the marketman, leading you in the direction of the ice-box wherein he keeps his choicest wares, says, “Look at ’em; ain’t they beauties?” you will be quite safe in acquiescing by a plain yea or a nod, but do not go to the extent of ordering a dozen quail, [174] or woodcock, or snipe, or any other game bird, in fact, until you have ascertained if the legs are smooth and the quill feathers soft, which facts prove them to be young birds. Furthermore, be sure that the breasts are hard, firm, and well-covered with flesh, for this will show them to be in good condition.

Once the birds are under your roof-tree see to it that the cook does not draw the trail from the woodcock or snipe, for by all gourmets this is reckoned a great delicacy, and, by the way, though, of course, it is a matter of common knowledge, the heads of these birds are the most delicious morsels of all. Another point to be borne in mind is that when preparing game for cooking it should never be washed inside, but merely well wiped with a clean cloth.

Toast for Game

Partridges, grouse and quail are of so fine a flavor that it is little short of a criminal act to serve them in any way but roasted or broiled. If they are to be broiled and served on toast, then a delicious way of preparing the toast is to have the giblets boiled till they are so tender that they can be pounded to a paste with a little of the [175] water in which they were boiled, and then, when mixed with an equal amount of butter, spread over the toast. This giblet butter may be varied to suit a variety of tastes. A little chopped parsley may be added, or a squeeze of lemon juice, or both, in which case a complementary dash of cayenne must be added. The meat of the partridge is so dry that it is well to serve with it a sauce made of melted butter, slightly seasoned with onion and a dash of white wine, or a tartar sauce is really excellent with broiled partridge.

Sauce for Partridge

If these birds—partridges, grouse, and quail—are to be roasted, the garnishing in either case must consist of seasoned watercress. With the partridge is served a bread sauce, but it’s a custom as old as the hills, and for that very reason I have tried many experiments to find a sauce more to my liking. I have found it, and this is the way I prepare it: half a pint of clear stock, preferably white, seasoned with onion juice, a bunch of parsley, a bay-leaf, and four cloves, strained through a napkin before using. The birds will be much better if an ounce of butter is [176] placed inside of them before cooking, and if they are occasionally basted with melted butter during the process of roasting.

Roasted Grouse

Grouse need no sauce, especially if before they are put into the oven they are stuffed with one slice of bread each which has been toasted and dipped in Madeira wine. They may be larded, or barded, or basted with melted butter while roasting, if it is thought likely to improve their flavor.

Roasted Quail

Beware of cooks who assure you that they know how to roast quail until you have seen their skill put to the test. It is a failing common to too many cooks to over-roast these dainty little birds. Fourteen to sixteen minutes in a hot oven is quite long enough to cook them to the point favored by epicurean palates. They should be served on bread sliced and fried, and with them, if desired, a very little of the clear sauce above recommended for partridges.

Any of the pieces left from these birds roasted may be daintily served with a mayonnaise dressing, and you may be willing to assert that the last state of that bird was better than the first.


It was with the intention of preparing a dinner according to the above menu that I went about my duties “all on a market day,” for it seemed to me upon looking it over to be a dainty repast for four people, and one wherein neither parsimony nor extravagance held the trick hand. And a safe middle course in one’s daily regimen tends quite as much to health and prosperity in individual and nation as does the same policy in seemingly weightier matters.

Velvet Soup

The velvet soup is easy of accomplishment, as one need only to have a quart of some simple white stock on hand, made from veal or poultry remnants, into which is stirred the minced red part of four carrots seasoned with pepper and salt and stewed till tender in butter, two tablespoonfuls of tapioca which has [178] been soaked for four hours in cold water, and then let the whole boil for nearly an hour before straining and serving. It is not only easily prepared, but it is easily digested, as a soup should always be which precedes a rather rich fish course similar to that given above.

Baked Halibut with Parmesan

About a pound and a half of halibut, at eighteen cents the pound, will be required, and it should be boiled till tender enough to flake lightly; then, if you have a rather deep dish, with a border of mashed potato about the inside, all will go smoothly. Into the bottom of the dish put a layer of white sauce made of half a pint of boiling milk, three ounces of butter and a little salt, thickened with flour; sprinkle in flakes of the fish, then a layer of the sauce, adding a little milk if it promises to be too dry, and so on till the dish is full, having a layer of sauce on top. Then scatter grated Parmesan over all, and brown to a tempting shade.

Roasted Duck with Olives

With ducklings tender and toothsome, as they should be in this month, it is plainly seen that the next course is capable of being a pièce de résistance at a far more stately affair even than the one which we are considering. But if they are roasted in the ordinary way [179] known to every housekeeper in the land, stuffed with bread crumbs, highly seasoned, and have a giblet sauce, quite an extraordinary flavor will be given them if, just before serving, half a pint of pitted and quartered olives are added to the sauce. It’s only a trifling addition to the old way, you see, but the improvement is so great you will wonder that every one doesn’t know of the gastronomical harmony existing between duck and olives. Now, the flavor of the ducks is so rich and altogether satisfying that it takes only the simplest and mildest-flavored vegetable to complement this course. And nothing will answer the purpose better than cauliflower. If they are cut into pieces of uniform size, they cook in a much more satisfactory manner, and they should boil as gently as possible; do not add the salt to the water till they are nearly tender. When taking them up, drain well, and over all pour melted butter thickened with browned bread-crumbs, and send to table. I fancy you will find them more to your liking served in this way than in the old rutty way of so many cooks, namely, with a white sauce, which varies in different households from a fair [180] quality of flour paste to a very rich and fairly cloying concoction of cream and melted butter.

There is nothing like a simple salad to prepare one’s palate for the sweets which come at the last, and with hothouse cucumbers now in evidence and lettuce always with us, the making of a salad is a delight in more ways than one. It is not so many years ago that we had to pay from thirty-five to fifty cents each for cucumbers at this season of the year, but the large number of cucumber hothouses near every city is fast bringing this desirable vegetable to a state where it will be known as an all-the-year-round commodity.

Macaroon Charlotte

There are a good many people, and the number is increasing, who declare that to them a dinner is finished by a bit of cheese after the salad, and finished quite to their satisfaction, too. But for those whose dinner is incomplete without a bit of sweetness, I would recommend a macaroon charlotte made by lining a dish with broken macaroons and then filling the dish with whipped cream which has been sweetened and flavored to taste; adding to it at last half a pound of crystallized cherries.

[181] As to the wines, of course, it’s a matter of purse and principle whether or not they shall be served. I have suggested the kinds appropriate to the courses, for the reason that I have heard many a hostess “on hospitable thoughts intent” wonder “what wine goes with what.”

To be sure, I went a-marketing t’other day, and I was able to collect a stock of valuable information which I came home prepared to dish up for the delectation of any who chose to read and profit by it. But by some chance, or mischance, it occurred to me that All-Hallows Eve is near at hand, and that when it comes you girls will be up to all sorts of pranks. Now, years and years ago I was a girl myself, and I can dimly recall that the playing of pranks on the fairies’ anniversary night induced a desire for liquid refreshment, either for the purpose of chirking up one’s spirits when the omens proved unfavorable or for helping out the general merry-making when the signs foretold bliss.

Claret Tipple

And a drink that seemed to me at that [182] time apropos of either event we used to make by slicing half a dozen juicy apples and three lemons as a starting point. Then we would lay them alternately in a large bowl, sprinkling each layer plentifully with sugar, and over all would pour a quart of claret. Then we would let it stand for fully six hours, pour it through a muslin bag, and it was ready for use.

Hot Spiced Claret

If you desire a hot drink, and it is likely that you will, if the tricks you have on hand call you out of doors at midnight, you might prepare one in this way: Have half-a-dozen lumps of sugar, the juice of half a lemon, four whole allspice, two whole cloves and half a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon in a dish; over it pour half a pint of claret and let it boil for just two minutes, stirring it all the time. Strain it into hot glasses and grate just a little nutmeg on top as you serve it. At the first sip the good qualities of this libation will present themselves to you.

Hot Claret Egg-nog

And for an encore you might vary it a little bit in this way: Stir together two tablespoonfuls of sugar, the juice of half a lemon, half a teaspoonful of mixed spices and half a pint of claret. Boil this for two minutes and [183] then pour it over the yolks of two eggs that have been beaten well with a teaspoonful of sugar. Stir all the while that you are pouring the wine slowly over the eggs. Grate a little nutmeg over the top after you have poured the mixture into hot glasses. Now mind, don’t get confused and pour the eggs into the wine, for that would spoil everything; pour the wine over the eggs. And be thankful that you have lived long enough to concoct such a satisfying drink as this always proves itself to be.

Hot Sherry Egg-nog

But if you feel that you must find a use for the whites of the eggs dissolve a tablespoonful of powdered sugar in half a pint of hot water, add to it half a pint of sherry wine and let this come to a boil. Meanwhile have the whites of the eggs beaten to a froth and pour the hot mixture over them, stirring rapidly. Pour into hot glasses, grating a bit of nutmeg over the top of each. See to it that the vessel in which you boil the wine is thoroughly clean. You don’t want even the faintest trace of a taste of anything besides the ingredients herein prescribed.

Orange Punch

An orange punch isn’t just the innocent tipple that its name would seem to indicate. [184] But that doesn’t hinder its being a treat for the palate. Infuse the peel of three and the juice of six oranges with three-quarters of a pound of loaf sugar in two quarts of boiling water for half an hour. Strain and add to the juice a half pint of brandy and a liqueur glass of maraschino. And it is quite likely that you will think it needs a little more sugar; if so, add it. Now it may be that you will like this hot, or it may be that you will like it cold; in the latter case cool it on the ice for several hours before serving or ice it when serving. This is also an excellent recipe for lemon punch—substituting lemons for the oranges.

Cider Punch

If you really long for drinks which seem suitable for days the “saddest of the year,” why then see to it that your cider jug is filled with sweet cider as a prerequisite, and go ahead. Call your first effort a cider punch. Peel a lemon and pour half a pint of sherry on the peeling; to the juice of the lemon add a cupful of sugar, a little grated nutmeg and a quart of cider. Mix this together thoroughly and then add to it the rind of the lemon and the sherry. Let it get perfectly cold on the ice, or if you are short of time ice it when [185] serving. Now if you wish to make this punch a bit more insidious you can easily do so by adding to it a wineglass of brandy. It will be quite as palatable also, I think you will find.

Cider Egg-nog

And then cider egg-nog is well worth the making and the drinking. Use a large glass; beat up in it an egg and a scant teaspoonful of sugar; put in half a dozen small lumps of ice, fill the glass with cider and grate a little nutmeg on top. This is not only a very pleasant drink, but it is an extremely wholesome one. It will act as a pick-me-up many times when one is tired or not feeling quite up to the mark.

Quince Liqueur

Another delicious potation that will be found of use at all sorts of occasions is quince liqueur. Grate a sufficient number of quinces to make a quart of juice after it is squeezed through a jelly bag. With this juice mix a pound of sugar, six ounces of bitter almonds, bruised, a dozen whole cloves and a gill of brandy. Mix these all well together and set away in a demijohn for ten days at least. Then strain it through the jelly bag till it is perfectly clear, and bottle for use. Besides drinking this as a liqueur, you will find [186] that you can vary and improve a number of your recipes for punch by adding just a suspicion of it to them.

Various Cups

At all times cups are alluring decoctions, don’t you think? And there are many varieties of them. But they all begin in the same way. A cordial glass each of maraschino, benedictine and brandy put into a quart jug, and then if you fill the jug with champagne you have champagne cup, with Rhine wine you have Rhine wine cup, and with cider you have cider cup. If you use claret you add a few drops of lemon juice and double the quantity of maraschino.

Rhine Wine Seltzer

But it may be that you prefer to take your Rhine wine with seltzer; if so, just half fill the glass with the wine and pour enough seltzer to fill it. Both the wine and the seltzer should be kept on the ice for some little time before using.

Ginger Lemonade

If after all this array of non-temperance drinks you feel that you should turn your attention to something milder, and yet can’t quite make up your mind to clear cold water, why not try a ginger lemonade? Have a teaspoonful of powdered sugar in a tumbler, add to it the juice of half a lemon [187] and fill the tumbler with ginger ale that has been well iced. You will find this a pleasant change from the ordinary lemonade, and for many persons it serves to make ginger ale a deal more palatable.

Soda Cocktail

Now, if you should feel that you would like to serve a drink that is as innocent and harmless as so much milk, but that when judged by its name alone seems to be intended, oh, my! for very dissipated persons, indeed! let me suggest to you a soda cocktail. Fill a glass with lemon soda, put into it a dash of raspberry syrup and on top of it a thin slice of orange. And, your very good health.



From our own selves our joys must flow,
And that dear hut our home.

ONCE upon a time, a somebody who was famous for his or her wit or wisdom, or for both qualities, remarked that oftentimes the easiest and best way to get over a difficulty was to go round it. To my great regret, I can’t give you the name of the author of the very pithy saying, neither can I tell you just what conditions called it forth, but it’s safe to say that its context was a suggestion or opinion offered for the settling of some great big question of state. But, what is more to the point, I can be of help in showing you, I hope, how to make a practical application of the epigram to every-day affairs. Because, just as sure as we are living, there is always a way to go round if one can’t get over the very toughest hands that one gets in life’s shuffle.

Now, there’s the servant-girl question in its Sunday-night aspect. It exists; it can’t be wiped out; and it is impossible to ignore it. She, or they, as the case may be, will have [189] “the evening out,” come what may, and guests are pretty sure to come o’ Sunday nights. Of course you can’t send them home supperless, and neither can you send your family to bed in a semi-famished condition. No; you must go round the situation. And it’s not so hard. Indeed, my last trip to market, which included a call at the grocer’s, was for the express purpose of picking up points that would make the circuit easy for you.

I’m not going to say a word, here, about the chafing-dish. And I will tell you why. It is the custom in a large number of families for the man of the house to preside at the chafing-dish Sunday nights, and while my stock of book-learning is very diminutive, I have learned that under no circumstances is it wise to offer suggestions to a man who thinks he can cook.

Frequently it is easy to have some little dish left ready by the cook which needs only to be heated before it is served, but in nine households out of ten cold viands are the staple commodity. And the singular sameness is surprising and saddening. If one is in the habit of dropping in to “pot luck” at the [190] houses of one’s intimes, one soon learns to reckon with a fair degree of certainty upon what will be likely to be set before one.

Now, there are sandwiches. Once let a housekeeper acquire a reputation for a particular brand of that edible, and it’s like getting her to change her religion to induce her to try making any other sort. But it requires only a very little time, with a fair amount of common sense, to have a sandwich repertoire that will enable one to get through a fairly long season without repetitions.

Caviare Sandwiches

The next time you are to have caviare sandwiches, try using brown-bread, sliced as thinly as possible, spread with unsalted butter, and then with a layer of caviare and a sprinkling of lemon juice. And you will find them as good as they are uncommon.

Oyster Sandwiches

Fish and Game Sandwiches

Then there are oyster sandwiches. Cook the oysters a bit, or till they are firm, then when they are cool stir them into good stiff mayonnaise, with a seasoning of red pepper and just a few capers. Spread day-old bread with this mixture and finish off, sandwich fashion. You can use cold fish of any sort in this way; having the bits very small, and adding chopped gherkins to the mayonnaise. [191] And, better yet, use in this way any bits of cold game, or poultry, using with them chopped olives and chopped truffles. In either case, you may if you like lay a lettuce leaf on the bread and put the mixture on that. But for myself I have always disliked the addition of lettuce to sandwiches.

Savory Butters

It is very easy to have savory butters, “beurres composés,” so familiar to the French cuisine, and so give an infinite variety of taste to any kind of sandwiches. Take, for instance, unsalted butter and season it well with anchovy essence, some very finely chopped parsley, a bit of paprika, and spread thin slices of bread with it and then use a layer of any kind of cold meat. Or you can use shrimp essence, or in fact any essence or sauce that you think would prove to be a favorite.

Crust Sandwiches

One of the most palatable ways, it seems to me, in which to make sandwiches is to take paste, not puff paste that is too rich, and roll it out as thinly as possible; cut it into rounds of uniform size spread around with a certain mixture, then cover it with another round of the paste, pinch the edges together and bake them till they are brown. As to [192] the mixtures, they may be made of an endless number of savory viands. Say bloater paste softened so that it will spread easily with a little melted butter. And then there are all sorts of potted meats and devilled things that seem almost as if they were made expressly to be used in this way. Believe me, you will find these sandwiches ever so dainty if you get them small enough and thin enough, and, by the way, they make a capital appointment for the five-o’clock tea-table.

Sweet Sandwiches

Now for the sweet sandwiches. They may be made with either white bread, cake, or wafers—preferably the last. Have some icing made by your favorite rule and sprinkle into it chopped nuts of any kind and spread the wafers with it. Or, use chopped crystallized fruits and cherries preserved in maraschino; and then try, the next time you make this sort of sweets, some brandied fruits with the icing. You might make a chocolate icing and add to that some chopped pistachios or almonds or preserved ginger. But surely you’ve enough now in the way of a ground plan for the making of any number of dainty and appetizing bouchées.

Savory Jelly

Just a word about jellied things. You [193] can have a pint of stock, white if possible, season it with an onion, a bay-leaf, a bit of thyme, a clove, and pepper and salt. Then put in a good half-ounce of dissolved gelatine; and turn about one quarter of it, after straining, into a mould and set on ice to cool. Have the rest of the jelly in a liquid state, but perfectly cold. When that in the mould is set, have any sort of cold meat, chicken, turkey, ham or tongue cut into strips free of skin and bone, and pack it into the mould with alternate layers of the jelly, finishing with the latter. Now see how successful you can be in making such a dish a joy to the eye. Use sliced olives, gherkins, capers, truffles, fanciful shapes of beet or anything that your artistic eye will permit, and sprinkle these through the dish as you go along. Run a thin knife blade in between the jelly and mould and then plunge the mould into boiling water and the jelly will unmould easily.

Cheese Salad

Then there are salads. To make one of cheese rub the yolk of a hard-boiled egg in a basin with a tablespoonful of salad oil; add one teaspoonful of salt, a bit of cayenne and a little made mustard; when all is well [194] mixed stir in about half a pound of grated Parmesan cheese, the juice of an onion, and a tablespoon of vinegar. Serve on lettuce leaves. You will find that this will go particularly well with sandwiches of bloater paste.

But for a salad to be served with a jellied meat, make one of nuts, one kind or several, broken into bits, mixed with an equal quantity of sliced olives and spread with only a very little mayonnaise.

I did want to tell you of ways to make some very appetizing beverages, for the sort of occasions we are discussing, but they will have to wait. And perhaps it’s just as well; already my conscience is troubling me for fear that you are going to be so taken up with the goodies I have told you of that you will have no inclination to think on “better things” when it comes Sunday. But it can’t be helped now.

Last spring a certain Boston man with his family moved into the country. Not so far out, however, but that he could come to town daily to attend to business, and yet far enough from the gilded dome to be [195] able to buy sufficient land for a small farm without paying all creation for it. The next move was the stocking of the farm. So a Jersey cow was bought to keep the family supplied with cream, a flock of prize hens was set at work in a bran new henhouse that there might be fresh eggs on hand, and last but not least, a pair of tiny young pigs were secured to provide the household with sweet, home-made pork when winter should set in. And having secured the stock, the owner proceeded at once to make pets, collectively and individually, of the whole equipment. Actually the cow would manage to look half-way intelligent when he stroked her neck and told her she was the sort that deserved to live in clover the year round; the hens really did add a note to their regular cackle when the master was about, to show him that they knew who gave them heaping measures of grain, and the pigs, which he called Tim and Jim, got in no time to know their names when they were spoken by his voice. Well, cold weather came on and with it those crisp, frosty mornings when a toothsomely seasoned sausage with a potato purée makes an ideal breakfast. So Tim and Jim went the way of [196] all pork, and in due course of time their owner had the satisfaction of seeing on his own breakfast table pork “of his own raising.” And what do you think happened then?

“Susan,” said he to his wife, “I can’t do it; if you will believe me, I can’t eat that pork. Give it away—give it all away. Never have any more put on this table. Why, dash it all, Susan, I may be a ninny, but I was actually fond of Tim and Jim, and don’t see what I was thinking of when I had them killed.”

“Samuel,” said the wife, a woman who knew how and when to point a moral, “you needn’t call yourself a ninny; be thankful for the feeling you have, because it can give you a glimpse, though from afar off, of the mighty power that will make of us a nation of vegetarians, if we ever do become such.”

And I, when I heard of this little episode, fell to wondering if it would be such terribly hard lines after all to be put on a strictly vegetarian diet. At any rate, I managed to turn out one dinner, sans fish, sans flesh, sans fowl, that didn’t appear in the least like a substitute for something better. You shall have the menu:


Consommé with Asparagus

As I was determined to be thoroughly conscientious in the preparation of this dinner, using stock for the soup was quite out of the question, so I prepared it in this way: A couple of onions, a carrot and a bunch of herbs fried in plenty of butter till of a good brown. Add to them a bunch of celery chopped, with salt and pepper for seasoning, and a tiny bit of sugar. Cover with water and boil till the vegetables are quite tender. Strain and add to the liquid a dash of sherry, a few drops of lemon juice and some asparagus points that have been cooked by themselves till tender. Of course, the asparagus you will buy in tins or glass just now, but for use in this way it is quite as good as though freshly cut. You will be surprised, I fancy, when you see how savory a soup you have turned out.

Cannelons of Mushrooms

It isn’t often that we feel justified in buying fresh mushrooms at this time of year, but at a [198] dinner of this sort where one is not obliged to pay for a steak or for game, one can afford to be a little bit reckless in the matter of vegetables, especially when they are to be put to such a delicious use as the making of cannelons. Coarsely mince a pound or so of well-wiped mushrooms and toss them with a little minced parsley in butter till nicely browned; then season with white pepper and salt, adding a little more butter to moisten the mushrooms till they are quite cooked. Then stir in—off the fire—the yolks of three eggs, a squeeze of lemon juice, and set the whole aside to cool. Roll out some puff or very short paste thin, cut it out in oblongs, put a good spoonful of the mushroom mixture on each oblong, roll these up like sausages, moistening the edges to make them adhere, brush them over with egg and fry in plenty of oil or in butter. For myself, I prefer the oil, and the using of oil for frying purposes isn’t the extravagant act that it seems at the first flush to be, because it wastes very little and can be used repeatedly for different purposes.

The cannelons are to be served with the [199] poached eggs and tomato. And the directions for preparing the latter dish are to be found elsewhere in this book.

Macaroni with Cheese

The macaroni with cheese you know all about, I dare say. Is this your way of doing it? Break the macaroni into two-inch lengths and drop into boiling salted water. When it is quite tender pour cold water over it, drain and stir about in plenty of melted butter till each piece is well covered, then put into a baking-dish, strew grated Parmesan cheese over it and let brown in a hot oven. Just a little bit of cayenne added to the cheese improves the flavor wonderfully, to my thinking.

String Beans with Butter

You can find green string beans at the provisioner’s yet, or you can get them tinned, as you choose. I shall not presume to advise you as to that, but for the cooking of them I will say a word or two. Boil them till perfectly tender, then drain well and place them in a pan with a tablespoonful or more of fine herbs (minced chives or minced shallot and parsley), with pepper, salt and lemon juice and two ounces of butter; toss them over the fire till the butter is melted and serve.

[200] Perhaps this isn’t the place to go into a discussion of the circumstances that have landed us as a nation at a point where we think we must have turkey on Thanksgiving Day, or be accused of showing a disrespect for the Declaration of Independence. But some time the matter will be attacked by somebody who will spend a decade or so in the Astor Library or the Boston Athenæum to discover who said “turkey” first and where they said it. Evidently it was said in one of those voices that are heard around the world and its echoes have not begun to diminish, so far as my ear can detect, even yet. So turkey it is, I suppose.

Grape Fruit with Rum

But this little talk shall be of the addenda of the dinner. Know what addenda means, don’t you? Well, call them “fixin’s,” then. Nowadays grape fruit is a hard and fast “fixin’” of a Thanksgiving Day dinner. Before the soup it comes on cut in halves with the seeds removed and also all of the white pith in the centre of each half with a pair of sharp scissors. Then by the taste of them it is evident that about an hour before they were put on the table they had a lump of sugar and a teaspoonful of rum put into [201] each half, after which little refection they reposed on the ice till wanted. Don’t go on the principle that if a little rum is good more must be better and try to float the fruit in—that would have been hailed as a rank outrage even by Captain Shaddock himself—but just be content to see how potent a little bit of rum can be in good company.

Grape Fruit Sorbet

Fruit Salad

If you want a grape fruit sorbet, thinking it best to begin your dinner with oysters, you may pick out the pulp with a fork in sizable bits, free from seeds and pith, cover these bits with sherry and with a sprinkling of sugar and freeze. You know the rest—how to serve it and the like. But you may be firm in the conviction that when grape fruit comes to your table it doesn’t make its appearance till dessert. If so, you will allow me to put in just a word, won’t you? The word is to advise you to get the pulp out as recommended for the sorbet, mix with it an equal quantity of Malaga grapes cut in halves with seeds removed, covered with sugar and sherry and iced for three or four hours before serving.

I don’t know whether it is true or not but it seems to me more than likely that the mushroom [202] hunters for science’ sake are doing “us folks” who like good things to eat a kind turn by getting out so many books on the subject of good, bad, and indifferent sorts. At any rate, they are getting to be more plentiful every year and consequently should be lower in price. Thanksgiving Day seems to be a pretty appropriate time for having them. You must spread yourself on that day, even if you live on bread and cheese for the rest of the month. Have them then and by themselves after the table is cleared of the “bird and its fixin’s,” and have them in croquettes.

Of course, you knew just what to have for dinner on Thanksgiving Day, and if perchance you didn’t there were plenty at hand to tell you how the menu should be composed. So just let me advise you how to prepare two or three dishes, to be called Thanksgiving en réchauffée, if it will make things seem any more prosperous to you.

Broiled Turkey Legs

Yes, I shall begin with turkey, because in nine families out of ten, or perhaps ninety-and-nine out of a hundred would be a closer estimate, that bird formed the pièce de résistance. [203] You know that if there’s plenty to “go round” at the first serving of a turkey the legs are generally left untouched; the carver doesn’t feel like giving them to any one, and when it comes to waiting on himself he thinks he is entitled to a choicer bit. And so he is. But you can use those legs all in good time. Just gash them three or four times with a very sharp knife, sprinkle them over with salt, pepper and a few drops of lemon juice and broil them over a hot fire till browned well; put them on a hot dish, pour a little melted butter over them and send to table. They will go uncommonly well, say for a Sunday morning breakfast to help out with a bacon omelet.

Broiled Devilled Turkey Legs

Potato Omelet

But if they are to do duty at luncheon, devil them before broiling. Season them with salt and pepper and then rub lightly with mustard which has been mixed with oil. Turn the legs often while they are broiling, basting them once in a while with a little melted butter. When they are dished pour a little rich brown gravy over them. And with them cooked in this way serve a potato omelet. Pardon the digression, and I will tell you how this is made. It may not prove a digression, [204] however, as it is quite possible that you had a sufficient quantity of mashed potato left from the Thanksgiving Day dinner to make it. But if you didn’t, boil four large potatoes and when soft mash them; beat four eggs with a cup of milk, mix it with the potatoes and season with salt and white pepper. Cut four or five ounces of bacon into tiny squares, fry till crisp and brown, then mix in the potatoes and stir over the fire till they are heated through. Let brown well, fold the omelet over and serve.

Minced Turkey with Mushrooms

If there is a considerable quantity of the white meat of the turkey left over cut it up into dice-shaped bits and add to it half its quantity of canned mushrooms cut in two; moisten well with béchamel sauce, season with pepper and salt and let heat for ten minutes, but don’t stir it. Dish it on triangular pieces of toasted white bread. Or, if you like, you may use in place of the béchamel sauce, cream and butter; but, whatever amount of cream is used, let it heat till it reduces to one-half.

Minced Turkey

A more savory hash may be made in this way: Use any or all bits of the turkey and chop them rather finely; add a little chopped parsley, a few drops of lemon juice, the juice [205] of an onion or two, and white stock enough to moisten it sufficiently. Let it simmer for half an hour very slowly and then add a little white wine just before taking up. If you are in the habit of using wine in cooking you will know all about how much it will require to give just the right flavor; but if you are pledged to abstain from such practices you won’t want to know and you won’t need to know how much should be used, so I’ll not go into particulars.

Goose Pie

But perhaps for good and sufficient reasons you didn’t have turkey at all but had roasted goose, and if that is so please do use up the tidbits by making a goose pie. Cut all the meat from the bones and put the bones with the skin into a saucepan with a little water to boil slowly for two hours. Let it cool, and skim off all the fat; into the bottom of a deep dish put a scanty layer of boiled and mashed onions; sprinkle well with salt and pepper, put in a layer of the goose meat, then a layer of the onions, and so on till the dish is filled. Pour in the water in which the bones were boiled, cover with a good crust and bake in a moderate oven till the crust is done.

Stewed Goose

[206] Let me tell you also that stewed goose is by no means a slow sort of dish. In fact, it is reckoned by a good many as being among the joys of earth. Take two onions, peel and chop, and put them in a saucepan with a tablespoonful of butter and fry until soft; dredge them with flour and stir in half a pint or so of the water in which the bones of the goose have been boiled. Cut up into dice-shaped pieces any or all of the cold cooked goose and put it into the saucepan with a wineglass of white wine and a tablespoonful of vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover closely and stew for half an hour slowly. Turn out and serve very hot.

Baked Squash

It is more than probable that, whatever else you had for dinner, you saw fit to have in addition squash boiled and mashed. And it is safe to say that some of it was left. So take this remnant and heat it well with plenty of butter over the fire and then put it into a baking dish. Scatter Parmesan cheese over the top and brown it very quickly in a hot oven. Serve this with your stewed goose, and the trick is yours.

Broiled Duck Fillets with Orange Sauce

And suppose you had ducks for your dinner, could you find a better way than this [207] to serve up what was left of them? Cut as good-sized pieces as you can and dip them in a little melted butter; season with pepper and salt, and broil for a minute or so over a hot fire. Arrange the pieces on a hot dish and pour over them a sauce made in this way: Fry two or three slices of fat bacon and an onion together for five minutes; add the juice of an orange and a wineglass of port or sherry wine with what salt and pepper is needed. Strain it before using. You will find this so delectable, I dare say, that you will be ready to declare that the last days of those ducks were better than the first.

Duck Salad

Did you ever make a duck salad in this way? Rub the bottom of the salad bowl with a peeled onion, and squeeze in a few drops of lemon juice. Put the cold bits of duck in the bowl with what you consider a suitable amount of chopped whites of boiled eggs; over this sprinkle a few quartered olives and a handful or so of capers, and then put in a layer of chopped watercresses. Cover this with a layer of mayonnaise and serve. Now if you want to use a little turkey meat, or a little goose meat, or a little [208] of each, to eke out what you have of cold duck, go right ahead and do so. The salad will be just as good as when duck alone is used and perhaps some will think it even better.

Fish Salad

Didn’t you have a boiled or even a broiled fish of some kind for your dinner, either halibut, striped bass, or fresh cod? If you did, just take what was left of it and flake it up daintily; put a layer of it in a salad bowl that has been rubbed with an onion, sprinkle the fish with salt and lemon juice, put in a layer of shredded lettuce, dressing this also with lemon juice and salt, another layer of the fish and lastly one of lettuce. Cover it all with a layer of tartar sauce, and there you have a salad worth the eating. ’Twouldn’t tempt a dying anchorite, perhaps, but it’s quite good enough for human nature’s daily food.



And we meet, with champagne and chicken, at last.

ANY one can go to market if she has the wherewithal and secure any kind of game that happens to be on the list and be happy in the purchase and eating of it, I dare say. But the happiest dames in these times are those who have a husband or sweetheart in the field shooting straight to the mark with all thoughts for the recipient of his day’s work. So it comes to pass that by express to many a door there come on these fine crisp mornings boxes or hampers of game birds. The next thing, of course, is to get one’s neighbors in to partake of them in order that they may be set by the ears with envy. I am with you. I will help you to make this envy business complete while you are about it.

There shall be a dinner given—a dinner which by a wise and palatable arrangement of courses shall lead up to the game.

Now, you know all about scallops, of course—and by “all” you mean fried and served with tartar sauce. Bah! to you and [210] your stereotyped dishes. Novelty I beg of you, and then put in your way the means to do as I beg. Do you appreciate it, I wonder? I doubt it.

Scallops in Shells

Well, then, scallops after the bouillon. Cook them in a little white wine till you know they are done. Then drain, cut them in halves or in quarters and add to them half their quantity of minced onion fried till tender, but not brown. Moisten with a little white sauce, season with cayenne and salt, heap in scallop shells, cover with bread-crumbs moistened with melted butter and brown in the hottest oven you can arrange.

Salmi of Cold Partridge

Whereas it is agreed that the pleasure of a repast must be continuous—not jerky—let us plan for the next dish at your luncheon salmis of partridge, cold. The birds must be roasted and then cooled. Cut them into neat pieces, removing all the skin. Boil the skin and all the odd bits in a little red wine and water. Season with salt and a bay-leaf and thicken after it has boiled five minutes with a little flour braided with butter. Take it off, lift out all the pieces of meat and add enough aspic jelly to stiffen it. Set on ice and beat till stiff, then dip into it the neatly [211] trimmed pieces of partridge. Dress them on a dish, using chop frills for the legs and set on ice till the time comes for serving.

At this sort of a luncheon you know you must have two dishes of game and to let the first one be cold is doing the matter up as not one neighbor in ten of yours would think of doing.

Chicken Liver Patties

Now for the next link in this gastronomical harmony. Let it be chicken liver patties. You know how to make the puff paste and how to line the pans with it. Then you cook the desired number of chicken livers till tender, drain off the water, cover them with a rich Spanish sauce in which are as many sliced truffles as your means will allow. Of course this must be hot when the patty pans are filled with it and then the patties must be hot when they go to table.

Roasted Teal

Now make way for the pièce de résistance. What shall it be? He sent you blue-winged teal duck, you say? Couldn’t be better. His intentions towards you are of the best, you may depend. His blue-winged teal go where his heart is every time, let me tell you. Into each bird you will put a slice or two of toasted bread which has been soaked in any [212] red wine. Rub the inside of the bird well with salt. Roast in a piping hot oven for twenty minutes, basting five times with melted butter. Garnish with sliced lemon when serving.

Tomatoes Stuffed with Mayonnaise and Celery

You will want tomato with celery and mayonnaise for this course, you know. Have large, firm, fine tomatoes peeled carefully. Then cut a round out of the top of each and scoop out all the seeds. Keep the round whole, by the way. Fill each tomato with celery chopped and mixed with mayonnaise. Clap on the top in which you have cut a tiny hole in the centre and in this hole stick a little sprig of tender green celery.

Macaroon Custards

Only macaroon custards are good enough to be served at this point and these you make by covering half a pound of macaroons with hot cream first. When cool, beat well. Then add the yolks and whites beaten separately of six eggs and a tablespoonful of brandy. Butter some moulds, fill with the mixture and bake for ten minutes. Unmould on lace paper before serving. Yes, of course, have them cold. Who wants hot custard?

For a drink? Cider cup. Not here, but [213] elsewhere, a page or two away, will you find directions for making this decoction.

A few pages back I related an account of some of the happenings of my trip to market in search of game birds of the smaller kinds. Appended to this recital were given in a more or less appetizing fashion a few directions for preparing the birds which it seemed to me must find favor with epicures and laymen alike; and, assuming that approval was accorded these recipes, of which some were begged, others borrowed and more stolen, I am giving herewith hints for use in the preparation of the larger birds to be had now, with honors easy as to quantity and quality. As to price, you may pay what you will, almost, from seventy-five cents up to three and four and even five dollars per pair.

To begin with, there are the toothsome canvas-backs that lead in price and palate-tickling properties. Now, I know quite as well as you that not every one who pleases may dine from canvas-back when fancy dictates; in fact, with nine out of ten [214] householders something very like a dispute takes place between the purse and the palate in every instance where canvas-back forms the pièce de résistance at dinner. But the next time the palate wins in the debate go straightway to market and secure its indulgence from a marketman who will give you his oath that the canvas-backs he has on sale have fed on the banks where the wild celery grows, i. e., along the Gunpowder River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, and you may feel sure that you have the best the market affords.

Broiled Canvas-back

As to the cooking. Wasn’t it that wholly delightful old Colonel Carter who laid it down as a law that to smother a canvas-back in jelly of any sort or description was little short of criminal? And that he was right there are scores of persons devoted to the art of good living ready to attest. No; if you are to have the bird broiled, use a double-broiler, leave over the fire ten minutes, eight will be better, and serve with only a little melted butter having in it a soupçon of lemon juice. There is nothing there, you see, to encroach upon the delicate flavor of the duck. About two [215] minutes before removing from the fire sprinkle a little salt over the bird.

Roasted Canvas-back, Port Wine Sauce

But if a roast of game seems to you better calculated to round out your dinner scheme, then roast them, but don’t have them too well done (’tis said the blood should follow the knife); and for a sauce have some port wine heated in a bain-marie with a few drops of orange juice added thereto. H’m, talk about being able to tempt a dying anchorite! Sydney Smith may have thought it a great height attained to concoct a salad calculated to make that abstemious old recluse dip his fingers in the salad bowl, but for me, I’d a thousand times rather prepare a dish fit to tickle the palate of a gourmet who is somewhat aweary of good things; and I fancy that canvas-back so roasted and served is quite capable of lending a fillip to the existence of those most experienced in the joys to be found in eating.

It’s very sad, but it’s also very true, that there are instances where a redhead duck is foisted upon an unknowing and consequently unsuspecting purchaser in place of a canvas-back. This is easily done, because of the strong resemblance between them as to [216] plumage and habits, for the two kinds fly and feed in the same flock. But while the flavor of the redhead is of a desirable quality, it in no way approaches that of the canvas-back.

In the cooking of the redhead duck, the rules given for preparing canvas-backs may be followed, with the exceptions that in the melted butter used for the broiled bird a little minced parsley will be an improvement, and in the port wine sauce for the roasted duck currant jelly may be melted and impart a flavor that will be generally liked.

Roasted Mallard Duck with Fried Celery

A favorite duck with many good diners is the mallard, and when they are in good condition they are quite worthy the favor shown them. It is only a matter of choice whether they shall be roasted or broiled; if the latter way is decided upon, then a garnishing of fried celery makes a tempting dish more tempting still. Only the tender, smallest stocks of celery should be used, and then, after being dipped in frying batter, they should be fried quickly in butter. These birds, and, in fact, all others, when being broiled or roasted, should not be salted till about two minutes before removing from the [217] fire. If the salt is put on earlier the meat is apt to be tough and the quality of the flavor somewhat injured. I don’t know that cookery books give this direction explicitly, but I have found from experience that it is the case.

If you are to have your mallards roasted, then by all means make a sour-apple marmalade, strain it through a sieve and add to it half its quantity of unsweetened whipped cream. If you have never tried this sauce with roasted duck, then, my word for it, there is a gastronomical delight waiting for you, and I wouldn’t advise you to keep it waiting long, for you will be the loser.

Don’t you recognize in this sauce an old friend in a new dress? Why, of course, roast duck and apple sauce is a dish our great-grandmothers were fond of; but this latter-day manner of preparing the sauce, you see, idealizes it a bit and renders it so much the daintier.

Another duck of delectable flavor is the ruddy duck, or broadbill, as it is known in some localities. They live in the fresh ponds hereabouts, and as long as the ponds remain unfrozen the ducks will be quite satisfied with this climate.

[218] Teal ducks, too, especially the blue-winged, are of excellent flavor, and, in addition to this, the meat is said to be highly nutritious and easily digested, making them desirable for convalescents. There is also a green-winged teal, but it is far inferior to the first-mentioned variety.

One cannot very well decide upon the particular kind of game and the manner in which it shall be served without giving some thought to the salad that in reality acts as its supplement. And the same rule which forbids the serving of a rich, heavy sauce with game applies to salads. The simpler the salad the more keenly will you relish the game. Chopped celery, lettuce, chicory, watercress or cucumbers, with a simple French dressing, are the salads par excellence to be served with game.

By the way, not long ago some one wrote to a certain weekly published in New York asking if it was “good form” to serve the game and the salad on the same plate. It doesn’t seem to me to be a matter in any way to be governed by what is called “good form.” Good taste and a very superficial knowledge of epicureanism would enable their [219] possessor to understand that hot game should be hot, not lukewarm, and that the salads should be cold, and the only way to accomplish this is to have a plate for each.

Sardine Canapé

Cut some slices of bread from a not too fresh loaf, trim them to an oblong shape, remove all crust and toast a delicate brown. Into a pat of butter mix some finely chopped parsley, pepper and lemon juice, in suitable proportions, and with the mixture coat the slices of toast. Remove the skin and bones from the desired number of sardines and lay them on the toast; garnish between the sardines with hard-boiled eggs, chopped very finely, the whites and yolks separately. Sprinkle over all some minced parsley and there you have a canapé—a sardine canapé—one of the most delightful appetizers known to good diners of this day and generation. Moreover it is a fitting beginning for a Christmas dinner of the kind which I am about to submit for your approval.

Chicken Consommé

The wisdom of following the canapé with the simplest soup possible will be quite apparent, if I mistake not, some time before the [220] dinner is a thing of the past. Why not, therefore, prepare it in this way? Take a chicken, cut it in pieces and put it into a saucepan with two quarts of water to simmer gently until the scum begins to rise, skim until every particle is removed, then add salt, a carrot, an onion, two slices of turnip and three celery stalks. Boil gently for two hours, strain and serve, and your family and guests will have reason to bless the hour when you set before them a chicken consommé.

Oysters Baked with Cheese

After the soup? Well, suppose you lay in a deep dish fit to be placed in the oven a bed of medium-sized oysters; season them with salt, pepper, and a few small pieces of butter; sift over them some fresh bread-crumbs and pour in a little sherry with some of the oyster liquor; repeat the same operation until the dish is full, then besprinkle the whole with bread-crumbs; scatter small pats of butter here and there, and set the dish in a hot oven for fifteen minutes to color a light brown, then serve, and serving be modestly proud of the fact that you have prepared a dish which sometimes appears upon the menu at Delmonico’s as “Huîtres au Gratin à la Crane.” Order it the next time you are [221] lunching or dining at that hostelry and compare your effort with that of the famous chef at Delmonico’s. For your sake, as well as for my own, I trust that you will find that the success turned out by your own cuisine gains by the comparison.

Goose Stuffed with Potato

Are you still wavering in your opinion as to whether your choice shall fall on turkey, ducks or goose for the Christmas dinner? Let it be goose then, for if properly cooked and served they go far toward clinching the success of the feast. But “properly cooked and served,” there’s the rub. And isn’t it enough to amaze a contemplative person to note how wide apart are the conditions which different housekeepers define by that phrase? Nevertheless I am going to tell you how it seems to me a goose should be prepared to answer the description. If the bird is of medium size then you will want to boil and mash eight or ten large potatoes; to them add half a dozen small onions which have been peeled and chopped as finely as possible; then season with white pepper and salt to taste. Add at least half a pint of cream or rich milk, about three ounces of melted butter, and three eggs beaten to a froth. Whip the [222] potato till it is light and smooth and fill the inside of the goose with it. When it is sent to the table have it garnished with very small onions which have been boiled till tender without losing their shape, and then fried a light brown in butter. Nothing can be better for a sauce than the giblets boiled till tender, then chopped finely and returned to the water in which they were boiled, with a little Madeira, and a gill of button mushrooms cut in halves; thicken with a tablespoonful of browned flour braided with an equal quantity of butter.

Turnips with Butter Sauce

Although there may be in market a goodly showing of vegetables from almost every part of the country, not everything is calculated to supplement the flavor of roasted goose so well as is a sweet and well-flavored turnip. Particularly is this the case if the turnips are cut into fanciful shapes, such as dice, crescents, etc., with the vegetable cutters, which come expressly for this purpose, boiled till tender and then served with melted butter and chopped parsley poured over them.

Victoria Sorbet

Perhaps there are some housekeepers who will think I should suggest an entrée to follow the goose, but at this season of the year [223] I am trying to live up to the golden rule, and as at this point I should vastly prefer a punch or a sorbet to anything else, I am going to recommend that you be guided by my preference. You may take one quart of lemon water ice to which has been added the whites of three eggs beaten to a froth, a gill of kirsch and half a pint of champagne, and send to table in some of the pretty punch cups which formed one of your Yule-tide gifts. You may also serve cigarettes at the same time, and, my word for it, your guests at table assembled will have a keener appetite for the next course than if you had sandwiched in some rich entrée.

With about nine out of every ten suburbanites raising pigeons in these days it is very easy to understand why the squabs in the market are of such good quality and are sold at such a reasonable price. And under these circumstances don’t you think they will be excellent for the next course if broiled to a turn and accompanied by a salad of chicory or watercress?

After the squabs the sweets. Few housekeepers will think a Christmas dinner complete without mince pies and plum-pudding, [224] but I cannot suggest a way in which to make them, for truth to tell, I never prepared either, and I’m above offering you any recipes which I’ve not tried, no matter how true they may be. Consult your cookery books if you’ve not a favorite method of your own for preparing these aids to indigestion, and select those that seem least harmful.

Of course, there will be upon the table till dessert is served celery, olives stuffed or plain, salted almonds or pecans, etc. I know that you know this, but had I neglected to mention it more than likely you would have accused me of being ignorant of the necessity of having these side dishes at a dinner.

After the sweets the biscuit, cheese and coffee, and if the cheese is to be of a particularly rich flavor, such as Camembert, Roquefort, or Brie, then by all means serve with it some of the little Bar-le-Duc currants, both red and white.

Are you to have wine? Then make it sherry with the soup, champagne with the goose, and the very best burgundy to be had to accompany the squabs.

I fancy there is nothing more that I can suggest that will add to your happiness or that of [225] your guests, who will probably feel very grateful to you for spreading for them a feast “delectable to eat and to behold.” For yourself, you will probably feel very grateful that Christmas comes but once a year.

You shall not be put off with any side issue in these very last pages, but shall have dished up for your critical examination a list that I promise you shall be a hodge-podge, a mélange, or, if it please your sense of the fitness of things better, a macédoine of the best edibles the market affords.

Doubtless when you have been in Western cities you have dined many a time and oft at those sky-high restaurants overlooking one of the Great Lakes, and have had the waiter, with an air of honesty made perfect by practice, point out to you the very spot where the whitefish you were at the minute admiring had been pulled in scarcely three hours before. If so, you know the delicious and unapproachable flavor of the fish in their purest and best estate. And yet they reach eastern markets in a remarkable state of freshness and are inexpensive enough to warrant any one in [226] trying them for a change from the kinds that are more common here.

Baked Whitefish

Broiled over a hot fire and served with a simple sauce made of melted butter, lemon juice and a sprinkling of cayenne they are good enough to serve at any meal for anybody. But you can make a more elaborate dish from them by going to work in this way: Scale a rather good-sized fish, split it, remove the backbone, and then season the fish well with salt and pepper, dip it in beaten egg, then in bread-crumbs, again in beaten egg, and lay in a well buttered baking pan. Bake in a hot oven till it is colored a good brown. Take it up on a hot dish, set the baking pan having in it the hot butter on the top of the range and cook in it for a minute or two half a pint of drained oysters; arrange the oysters round the fish and pour a little melted butter over all, with a garnishing of fried parsley. If you are having this dish for luncheon, have with it some potato croquettes, but if it is intended for dinner and a roast or rich entrée is to follow, then have a dainty salad of crisp radishes with a handful of capers shaken over them.

Boiled Cods’ Tongues

And now is the time if ever that fresh cods’ [227] tongues should find favor. They are inexpensive and in perfect condition, and by more than one gourmet are considered an unrivalled delicacy. If this statement persuades you to give them a trial, just a word as to preparing them: Have three pints of water boiling in a saucepan, add to it two carrots and half a dozen onions very finely chopped, a few sprigs of parsley and two gills of vinegar. When the vegetables are nearly tender enough put into the saucepan with them two pounds of cods’ tongues. Let them boil just once, then move back where they will simmer but not boil for twenty minutes or so. Take up the tongues, drain, dress them on a hot dish and keep hot while you prepare the sauce. For this drain the vegetables and toss them about in a frying-pan in plenty of butter till they show signs of browning a bit, then add to them some chopped cucumber pickles and a few capers and pour round the tongues. Season the sauce, of course, with salt and pepper, and if you are gifted with rare discretion in the matter of spices use ever so little nutmeg in it; just one or two turns of the grater will give you all you should have. I intend to be very [228] particular in my choice of readers and hearers when I suggest the use of nutmeg in savory sauces, because there are so many housekeepers as well as cooks who positively are not to be trusted with a nutmeg in one hand and a grater in the other; they will persist in going on the principle that if a little is good more must be better, and then grate away for dear life.

Of course you know that smelts are in their prime, but is your sense of smell keen enough to detect in that fish the likeness of its fragrance to that of the violet or of the cucumber? Well, the similarity is there if the fish be as fresh as it should, and if you don’t discover it you may add another to your list of misfortunes, for they do say, those who know whereof they speak, that inability to perceive this subtle scent indicates a correspondingly unappreciative palate. And so much for my fish story.

Fried Partridge Breasts

Along with the many things for which we have cause for rejoicing about this time of year there should certainly be reckoned the fact that game of almost all kinds is more plentiful and less expensive than at other seasons. And you know that under such [229] favorable circumstances as these I am wont to urge you to make experiments in preparing the viand in question. Suppose, for instance, that the next time you are to have partridges you pretend to forget that these birds are ever roasted or broiled, and so set to work to serve them in this way: Have four partridges, cut off the breasts, divide them in two and lay them aside; boil the legs and livers of the birds in salted water till they are quite tender—so tender, in fact, that they can be pressed through a rather coarse sieve. Put this pulp into a saucepan with a gill of the water used for boiling it, half a gill of sherry wine, a bit of cayenne, an ounce of butter, and salt if it is needed. Let this get hot, very hot, without boiling, and keep it hot while you cook the breasts. These fry in butter and range in a circle on a dish with alternate slices of bread also fried in butter, and in the centre pour the sauce made from the legs and livers. To be sure, you can make the sauce somewhat richer by adding to it chopped mushrooms or chopped truffles or both.

Roasted Quails

Forget, also, for a time, your favorite ways of cooking quails in order that you may [230] pronounce judgment on this manner of preparing them: Have half a dozen of them drawn and singed for roasting. Chop up the livers, double the quantity of chicken liver and as much minced fat salt pork as liver; add chopped parsley, salt, cayenne, three or four drops of onion juice, a tablespoonful of very fine bread-crumbs, and one beaten egg. Mix these ingredients all well together and fill the quails with it; roast them in a rather moderate oven for twenty minutes, basting occasionally with melted butter. Dress the quails on a hot dish, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into the pan in which they were roasted, adding a little melted butter, and pour this sauce over the birds.

Roasted Duck Stuffed with Celery

Or it may be that for yourself you prefer a roasted black duck, but cannot gratify your preference because some members of the family will insist upon calling such a bird “strong,” when you know and speak of the flavor only as being “gamey.” Now, there’s a way out of the difficulty for all of you. Just stuff the birds as full as you can with celery tops, tie thin slices of fat salt pork over their breasts and roast them till they are [231] quite tender and brown. You will find the strong flavor entirely gone, while the gamey taste will be so aided and abetted by the celery that your palate will receive a new and altogether delightful sensation. Surround the ducks when serving with a border prepared as follows: Brown some slices of bread in the oven, and when of a good color and very dry, roll and pass through a fine sieve, mix these crumbs with a little butter, season them with salt and pepper and heat well in the oven before using. Serve with the ducks also a hot apple sauce; make it as you always do and add to one pint of sauce an ounce of butter.

With either of the ways suggested for cooking game you will want to serve a salad, probably, and you can’t do better than decide to have one of escarole or of romaine with a simple French dressing. But there is chicory, of course, and there is lettuce, and both of them in fine condition, if you don’t feel inclined to take my advice. And there are cucumbers, from hothouses, and there are hothouse tomatoes, that are expensive or the reverse, according to one’s [232] position on the financial question. In fact, you can get almost any kind of vegetable or fruit in the large markets to-day, and at all times; and if the particular thing that you desire happens to be absent, just wait a few minutes and your order will be filled by lightning express from some part of the world.



Asparagus 92
Bisque of clams 89
Chicken consommé 220
Consommé with asparagus 197
Purée of peas and spinach 79
Savory tomato 87
Soup, velvet 177
Bluefish, Newport style 169
Cods’ tongues, boiled 227
Fresh cod, baked 9
Fresh cod, broiled 9
Fresh cod, Delmonico style 8
Fresh cod, flaked, in tomato sauce 37
Halibut, baked, with Parmesan 178
Smelts, baked 167
Smelts, broiled, Béarnaise sauce 167
Smelts, fried, with parsley 168
Trout, lake, boiled 50
Whitefish, baked 226
Codfish with brown butter 44
Codfish with cream 43
Cods’ tongues, fried 45
Fillets of sole, casserole of 51
Finnan haddies with cream 48
Herring, fried 47
Mackerel, boiled, horse-radish sauce 46
Salmon, broiled 46
Clam cocktails 65
Clams, West Island style 94
Clams and lobsters in shells 95
Lobster à la Newberg 38, 130
Lobster croquettes 131
Lobster, devilled 129
Lobster patties 134
Lobster tartlets 130
Lobster toast 129
Lobster tails stuffed 131
Oysters, baked 143
Oysters, baked with cheese 220
Oyster cocktails 142
Oysters, creamed 37
Oysters, celery roast 146
Oysters, devilled and fried 145
Oysters, pickled 147
Oyster pie 146
Oyster salad 17
Oyster sandwiches 190
Oyster soufflée 52
[234]Oysters, stewed, with cream 144
Oysters, stuffed and fried 145
Scallops in shells 210
Beef tongue 112
Cutlets, jellied 140
Ham, roasted 5
Ham toast 102
Kidneys, en brochette 25
Kidneys, fried, with mushrooms 26
Kidneys, minced 27
Lamb croquettes 23
Lamb cutlets with mushrooms 135
Lamb, roasted, with caper sauce 20
Lamb, roasted, with macaroni 21
Lamb, roasted, with onion purée 21
Lamb steak 66
Lamb steak, with Béarnaise sauce 67
Lamb slices, broiled 22
Lamb slices, fried with chutney 22
Lamb slices, stewed with onions and mushrooms 22
Lamb slices in chafing dish 23
Liver, calf’s, fried 28
Pigs’ feet, broiled 6
Pork chops, broiled, sauce piquante 3
Pork, roasted, onion sauce 4
Sausages 2
Veal cutlets, broiled 83
Chicken cream (cold) 42, 138
Chicken cream with tomato (cold) 139
Chicken, fried, Italian style 159
Chicken, fried with tomatoes 160
Chicken, fried, cream sauce 100
Chicken hash, baked 84
Chicken livers, olive sauce 39
Chicken liver patties 211
Doe birds, roasted 111
Duck, broiled canvas-back 214
Duck, canvas-back, roasted, port wine sauce 215
Duck, fillets, with orange sauce 207
Ducks, roasted, with orange sauce 160
Ducks, roasted, with olives 179
Duck, stuffed with celery tops, roasted 230
Duck, mallard, roasted, with fried celery 216
Game tarts 111
Goose pie 205
Goose, roasted, potato stuffing 221
Goose, stewed 206
[235]Grouse pie 119
Grouse, roasted 176
Partridge breasts, fried 229
Partridge salmi (cold) 210
Plover, roasted 120
Quail, roasted 176, 230
Teal (ducks), roasted 211
Turkey in aspic 111
Turkey legs, broiled 203
Turkey legs, devilled and broiled 203
Turkey, minced 205
Turkey, minced with mushrooms 204
Asparagus, baked 77
Asparagus tops with cheese 90
Asparagus tops with cream 76
Asparagus with savory sauce 77
Cucumbers, fried 96
Cucumbers, stuffed and baked 95
Mushroom cannelons 198
Oyster plant with cream 118
Peas with mint 92
Potato soufflée 67
Potato omelet 204
Squash, baked 206
String beans with butter 199
Tomatoes, broiled, devilled 161
Tomatoes, broiled, on toast 162
Tomatoes with celery and mayonnaise 212
Turnips with butter sauce 222
Apple and celery 162
Asparagus 77, 88
Brussels sprouts 16
Cheese 193
Duck 207
Fish 208
Herring 84
Lamb 24
Lettuce with chives 91
Nut 18
Oyster 17
Red cabbage 14
Sardine 16
Spanish onion 15
Fruit—general 107
Fruit—summer 201
Fruit—winter 18
Pear 106
Pear salad, No. 2 164
Pineapple 106
Strawberry 105
Baked 57
Curdled in cream 55
Eggs, curried 41
Eggs, snow 62
Epicurean style 56
In tomato purée 58
Omelet Célestine 61
Omelet jelly 60
Omelet, Spanish 59
Omelet strawberries 60
Omelet with caviare 58
[236]Omelet with chicken liver 59
Omelette soufflée 62
Scrambled with truffles 58
Toast with Parmesan 57
Almond pudding 53
Charlotte, apricot 81
Charlotte, macaroon 180
Cream, banana 108
Cream, coffee glacée 53
Cream, gooseberry 102
Cream, peach 108
Cream, raspberry 108
Macaroon custard 212
Milk sherbet 123
Musk melon jelly 114
Omelet Célestine 61
Omelet with jelly 60
Omelet with strawberries 60
Omelette soufflée 62
Raspberries, crystallized 107
Strawberries, frozen 91
Strawberry fritters 103
Strawberry jelly 105
Strawberry pudding 104
Strawberry sherbet 124
Watermelon, iced 99
Champagne sherbet 125
Champagne sherbet with strawberries 126
Claret sherbet 126
Coffee ice cream 123
Currant sherbet 124
Grape fruit sherbet 201
Kirsch sherbet 127
Peach sherbet 124
Pineapple sherbet 124
Rhubarb sherbet 81
Victoria sorbet 223
Wine ice cream 137
Apple croquettes 3
Apple salad 156
Apple sauce with orange 163
Apple sauce with whipped cream 163
Apples, fried 155
Apples in vanilla syrup 155
Grape jam 149
Peach cream 165
Pears in vanilla syrup 157
Pears stewed in claret 158
Pears, stuffed 164
Pears, stuffed stewed 158
Peaches, brandied 154
Peaches, stuffed 165
Plums, brandied 153
Plum jam 152
Quince jelly 151
Quince marmalade 150
Claret, hot, egg-nog 182
Claret, hot, spiced 182
Claret tipple 182
Cider cup 186
Cider egg-nog 185
Cider punch 184
Ginger lemonade 186
Moss rose 115
Orange punch 184
Quince liqueur 185
Rhine wine cup 186
Rhine wine seltzer 186
[237]Soda cocktail 187
Sherry egg-nog, hot 183
Various cups 186
Butters, savory 191
Cider sauce 5
Croquettes, macaroni 27
Croquettes, sweet corn (canned) 11
Golden buck 41
Grape fruit with rum 201
Hash, sublimated 12
Jelly, savory 193
Johnny cake, Rhode Island style 13
Macaroni, timbales 51
Macaroni with cheese 199
Mayonnaise, with horse-radish 79
Olives with caviare 78
Partridge, sauce for 175
Rice muffins 12
Sandwiches, caviare 190
Sandwiches, crust 191
Sandwiches, fish 191
Sandwiches, French 113
Sandwiches, game 191
Sandwiches, sweet 192
Sardine canapé 219
Sauce duchesse 80
Sauce for calf’s liver 29
Sauce, onion 80
Toast, anchovy 69
Toast for game 174
Toast, sardine 69
Tunny fish 70
Welsh rabbit 40
Barley, purée of 31
Beef tea 32
Chicken broth with oatmeal 31
Chicken custard 33
Chicken, sabayon of 32
Cream soup 32
Invalid’s chop 35
Rice, steamed 35
Tapioca jelly 33
Violet jelly 34

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Transcriber’s Note

The table of contents has been added by the transcriber for the convenience of the reader.

Minor punctuation errors have been repaired.

Several terms appear variously with a hyphen or a space—bread-crumbs and bread crumbs, chafing-dish and chafing dish, egg-plant and egg plant, horse-radish and horse radish, etc. These are preserved as printed. Hyphenation has otherwise been made consistent.

The author uses some variant spelling, for example, curaçoa or bran new. There are also some inconsistencies—omelet and omelette, soufflé and soufflée, piquant and piquante. These are all preserved as printed.

There are some small inconsistencies between recipe names in the main body of the book and those in the index. These are all preserved as printed.

On page 29, the word chevril (a type of horse tea) occurred. As it appeared in a paragraph referencing several herbs as seasoning, it has been amended to chervil, on the assumption that that was actually the intended word.

On page 216 is the phrase “tender, smallest stocks of celery.” This may be an error for “stalks of celery,” or it could be that the intention was to refer to a store of celery or the availability of it. As there is no way to sure, it is preserved as printed.