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The Book of Household Management Part 12

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_Time_.--Half an hour. _Average_ cost, 1s. 6d. per quart.

_Seasonable_ from June to the end of August.

_Sufficient_ for 8 persons.

_Note_.--Cold peas pounded in a mortar, with a little stock added to them, make a very good soup in haste.

Parsley.--Among the Greeks, in the cla.s.sic ages, a crown of parsley was awarded, both in the Nemaean and Isthmian games, and the voluptuous Anacreon p.r.o.nounces this beautiful herb the emblem of joy and festivity. It has an elegant leaf, and is extensively used in the culinary art. When it was introduced to Britain is not known. There are several varieties,--the _plain_-leaved and the _curled_-leaved, _celery_-parsley, _Hamburg_ parsley, and _purslane_. The curled is the best, and, from the form of its leaf, has a beautiful appearance on a dish as a garnish. Its flavour is, to many, very agreeable in soups; and although to rabbits, hares, and sheep it is a luxury, to parrots it is a poison. The celery-parsley is used as a celery, and the Hamburg is cultivated only for its roots, which are used as parsnips or carrots, to eat with meat. The purslane is a native of South America, and is not now much in use.

CHESTNUT (SPANISH) SOUP.

124. INGREDIENTS.--3/4 lb. of Spanish chestnuts, 1/4 pint of cream; seasoning to taste of salt, cayenne, and mace; 1 quart of stock No. 105.

_Mode_.--Take the outer rind from the chestnuts, and put them into a large pan of warm water. As soon as this becomes too hot for the fingers to remain in it, take out the chestnuts, peel them quickly, and immerse them in cold water, and wipe and weigh them. Now cover them with good stock, and stew them gently for rather more than 3/4 of an hour, or until they break when touched with a fork; then drain, pound, and rub them through a fine sieve reversed; add sufficient stock, mace, cayenne, and salt, and stir it often until it boils, and put in the cream. The stock in which the chestnuts are boiled can be used for the soup, when its sweetness is not objected to, or it may, in part, be added to it; and the rule is, that 3/4 lb. of chestnuts should be given to each quart of soup.

_Time_.--rather more than 1 hour. _Average cost_ per quart, 1s. 6d.

_Seasonable_ from October to February.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

[Ill.u.s.tration: CHESTNUT.]

THE CHESTNUT.--This fruit is said, by some, to have originally come from Sardis, in Lydia; and by others, from Castanea, a city of Thessaly, from which it takes its name. By the ancients it was much used as a food, and is still common in France and Italy, to which countries it is, by some, considered indigenous.

In the southern part of the European continent, it is eaten both raw and roasted. The tree was introduced into Britain by the Romans; but it only flourishes in the warmer parts of the island, the fruit rarely arriving at maturity in Scotland. It attains a great age, as well as an immense size. As a food, it is the least oily and most farinaceous of all the nuts, and, therefore, the easiest of digestion. The tree called the _horse chestnut_ is very different, although its fruit very much resembles that of the other. Its "nuts," though eaten by horses and some other animals, are unsuitable for human food.

COCOA-NUT SOUP.

125. INGREDIENTS.--6 oz. of grated cocoa-nut, 6 oz. of rice flour, 1/2 a teaspoonful of mace; seasoning to taste of cayenne and salt; 1/4 of a pint of boiling cream, 3 quarts of medium stock No. 105.

_Mode_.--Take the dark rind from the cocoa-nut, and grate it down small on a clean grater; weigh it, and allow, for each quart of stock, 2 oz.

of the cocoa-nut. Simmer it gently for 1 hour in the stock, which should then be strained closely from it, and thickened for table.

_Time_.--2-1/4 hours. _Average cost_ per quart, 1s. 3d.

_Seasonable_ in Autumn.

_Sufficient_ for 10 persons.

[Ill.u.s.tration: COCOA-NUT PALM.]

[Ill.u.s.tration: NUT & BLOSSOM.]

THE COCOA-NUT.--This is the fruit of one of the palms, than which it is questionable if there is any other species of tree marking, in itself, so abundantly the goodness of Providence, in making provision for the wants of man. It grows wild in the Indian seas, and in the eastern parts of Asia; and thence it has been introduced into every part of the tropical regions. To the natives of those climates, its bark supplies the material for creating their dwellings; its leaves, the means of roofing them; and the leaf-stalks, a kind of gauze for covering their windows, or protecting the baby in the cradle. It is also made into lanterns, masks to screen the face from the heat of the sun, baskets, wicker-work, and even a kind of paper for writing on.

Combs, brooms, torches, ropes, matting, and sailcloth are made of its fibers. With these, too, beds are made and cushions stuffed. Oars are supplied by the leaves; drinking-cups, spoons, and other domestic utensils by the sh.e.l.ls of the nuts; milk by its juice, of which, also, a kind of honey and sugar are prepared. When fermented, it furnishes the means of intoxication; and when the fibres are burned, their ashes supply an alkali for making soap. The buds of the tree bear a striking resemblance to cabbage when boiled; but when they are cropped, the tree dies. In a fresh state, the kernel is eaten raw, and its juice is a most agreeable and refreshing beverage. When the nut is imported to this country, its fruit is, in general, comparatively dry, and is considered indigestible. The tree is one of the least productive of the palm tribe.

SOUP A LA CRECY.

126. INGREDIENTS.--4 carrots, 2 sliced onions, 1 cut lettuce, and chervil; 2 oz. b.u.t.ter, 1 pint of lentils, the crumbs of 2 French rolls, half a teacupful of rice, 2 quarts of medium stock No. 105.

_Mode_.--Put the vegetables with the b.u.t.ter in the stewpan, and let them simmer 5 minutes; then add the lentils and 1 pint of the stock, and stew gently for half an hour. Now fill it up with the remainder of the stock, let it boil another hour, and put in the crumb of the rolls. When well soaked, rub all through a tammy. Have ready the rice boiled; pour the soup over this, and serve.

_Time_.--1-3/4 hour. _Average cost_,1s. 2d. per quart.

_Seasonable_ all the year.

_Sufficient_ for 8 persons.

[Ill.u.s.tration: THE LENTIL.]

THE LENTIL.--This belongs to the legumious or _pulse_ kind of vegetables, which rank next to the corn plants in their nutritive properties. The lentil is a variety of the bean tribe, but in England is not used as human food, although considered the best of all kinds for pigeons. On the Continent it is cultivated for soups, as well as for other preparations for the table; and among the presents which David received from Shobi, as recounted in the Scriptures, were beans, lentils, and parched pulse. Among the Egyptians it was extensively used, and among the Greeks, the Stoics had a maxim, which declared, that "a wise man acts always with reason, and prepares his own lentils."

Among the Romans it was not much esteemed, and from them the English may have inherited a prejudice against it, on account, it is said, of its rendering men indolent. It takes its name from _lentus_ 'slow,' and, according to Pliny, produces mildness and moderation of temper.

CUc.u.mBER SOUP (French Recipe).

127. INGREDIENTS.--1 large cuc.u.mber, a piece of b.u.t.ter the size of a walnut, a little chervil and sorrel cut in large pieces, salt and pepper to taste, the yolks of 2 eggs, 1 gill of cream, 1 quart of medium stock No. 105.

_Mode_.--Pare the cuc.u.mber, quarter it, and take out the seeds; cut it in thin slices, put these on a plate with a little salt, to draw the water from them; drain, and put them in your stewpan, with the b.u.t.ter.

When they are warmed through, without being browned, pour the stock on them. Add the sorrel, chervil, and seasoning, and boil for 40 minutes.

Mix the well-beaten yolks of the eggs with the cream, which add at the moment of serving.

_Time_.--1 hour. _Average cost_, 1s. 2d. per quart.

_Seasonable_ from June to September.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

THE CUc.u.mBER.--The antiquity of this fruit is very great. In the sacred writings we find that the people of Israel regretted it, whilst sojourning in the desert; and at the present time, the cuc.u.mber, and other fruits of its cla.s.s, form a large portion of the food of the Egyptian people. By the Eastern nations generally, as well as by the Greeks and Romans, it was greatly esteemed. Like the melon, it was originally brought from Asia by the Romans, and in the 14th century it was common in England, although, in the time of the wars of "the Roses," it seems no longer to have been cultivated. It is a cold food, and of difficult digestion when eaten raw. As a preserved sweetmeat, however, it is esteemed one of the most agreeable.

EGG SOUP.

128. INGREDIENTS.--A tablespoonful of flour, 4 eggs, 2 small blades of finely-pounded mace, 2 quarts of stock No. 105.

_Mode_.--Beat up the flour smoothly in a teaspoonful of cold stock, and put in the eggs; throw them into boiling stock, stirring all the time.

Simmer for 1/4 of an hour. Season and serve with a French roll in the tureen, or fried sippets of bread.

_Time_. 1/2 an hour. _Average cost_,11d. per quart.

_Seasonable_ all the year.

_Sufficient_ for 8 persons.

SOUP A LA FLAMANDE (Flemish).

I.

129. INGREDIENTS.--1 turnip, 1 small carrot, 1/2 head of celery, 6 green onions shred very fine, 1 lettuce cut small, chervil, 1/4 pint of asparagus cut small, 1/4 pint of peas, 2 oz. b.u.t.ter, the yolks of 4 eggs, 1/2 pint of cream, salt to taste, 1 lump of sugar, 2 quarts of stock No. 105.

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The Book of Household Management Part 12 summary

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