BOOK OF DOMESTIC COOKERY,
FROM THE BEST AUTHORS.
ARMOUR & RAMSAY.
RAMSAY, ARMOUR AND CO.
SCOBIE AND BALFOUR.
RAMSAY AND M'KENDRICK.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
CHAPTER I-CHOICE OF MEATS, &C,..................1
CHAPTER II-COOKING FISH, SOUPS, MEATS, &C.,..................................................7
CHAPTER IV-PIES, PUDDINGS, CAKES, &C.,......65
CHAPTER V-MAKING VINEGAR, BEER, &C., .......87
CHAPTER VI-COOKERY FOR THE SICK AND FOR
CHAPTER VIII-DIRECTIONS TO SERVANTS,.....123
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SKILFUL HOUSEWIFE'S GUIDE.
ON THE CHOICE OF MEATS.
Beef. When it is
young, it will have a fine smooth open grain, be
a good red, and feel tender. The fat should be white,
rather than yellow; when that is of a deep colour, the
meat is seldom good. When fed with oil cakes, it is usually
so, and the flesh is flabby.
Pork. If the rind is
tough and thick, is old. A thin rind is always preferable.
When fresh, the meat will be smooth and cool; if clammy,
it is tainted.
Mutton. Choose this
by its fine grain, good colour, and white fat.
Lamb. If it has a green
or yellow cast, it is stale.
Veal. The whitest is
the most juicy, and therefore preferable.
Bacon. If the rind
is thin, the fat firm, and a red tinge, the lean of
a good colour and adhering to the bone, it is good,
and not old.
Hams. Stick a sharp
knife under the bone, if it comes out clean with a pleasant smell, it
is good; but if the knife is daubed and has a bad
scent, do not buy it.
1 - PAGE 2]
ON THE CHOICE OF FOWLS.
Turkeys. If young, the
legs will be black and smooth, the eyes lively, and
the feet pliable. If old, the eyes will be sunk and
the feet dry.
Geese. If young, the
bill will be yellow, and the feet limber. If old, the
bill and feet will be red and dry.
Hens. If their comb
and legs are rough, they are old; if smooth and limber,
they are young.
Wild and Tame
Ducks. If young, they will be limber-footed; if
old, hard and thick on the lower part of the body. A
wild duck has red feet, and smaller than tame ones.
Partridges. If young,
will have a black bill and yellow legs; if old, the
bill will be white and the legs blue. Old fowls, tame
and wild, may be told by their hard, rough, or dry feet.
Hares and Rabbits.
If young, they will be white and stiff, the ears
will tear like brown paper. If old, the flesh will be
dark, the body limber, and the ears tough. A rabbit,
if old, will be dark, the body limber, and the ears
tough. A rabbit, if old, will be limber and flimsy;
if young, white and stiff.
ON THE CHOICE OF FISH.
Cod. The gills should
be very red, the fish thick at the neck, the flesh white
and firm, and the eyes fresh. When flabby, they are
new, the flesh is of a fine red, the gills particularly,
the scales bright, and the whole fish stiff.
1 - PAGE 3]
Shad, if good, are white and thick;
gills red, and eyes bright, the fish stiff and firm.
Season, May and June.
Mackerel. Their season is May, June, and
July. Being very tender, they do not carry or keep as
well as other fish unsalted.
Striped Bass. If the
eyes are sunken, and gills pale, they have been from
the water too long. Their fineness depends upon being
cooked immediately after they are killed.
Trout. These should be killed and dressed
as soon as caught. When you buy them, see that the gills
are red, and hard to open; the eyes bright, and the
body stiff. The season, July, August, and September.
Flounders soon become flabby and
bad; they should be thick and firm, the eyes bright.
Lobsters. If they have not been too long
taken, the claws will have a strong motion if you press
your finger on the eyes. The heaviest are the best.
The male, though generally smaller has the highest flavour,
the firmest flesh, and the deepest red. It may be known
from the female by having a narrow tail.
Crabs. Those of middling
size are the sweetest. The heaviest are best. When
in perfection, the joints of the legs are stiff and
the body has an agreeable smell. The eyes look loose
and dead when stale.
All fish should be well dressed and clean as nothing
is more unpalatable than fresh fish not thoroughly cooked.
1 - PAGE 4]
Fresh Fish, when boiled, should be
placed in cold, and shell-fish in boiling water.
Fish should be garnished with
parsley, or hard boiled eggs cut in rings, and laid
around the dish.
To keep Oysters.
After washing them, lay them in a tub, with
the deep part of the shell undermost, sprinkle them
with salt and Indian meal, or flour, and fill the tub
with cold water, and set it in a cool place. Change
the water daily, and they will keep fresh a fortnight.
Rules and Suggestions.
If meat or fish has acquired a slightly unpleasant
flavor, or does not smell perfectly fresh, when prepared
to boil, add a tea-spoonful of saleratus, and, unless
it is bad, it will remove every thing unpleasant in
taste and smell. If the brine of meat or fish begins
to have an unpleasant smell, scald and skim it, adding
to it a spoonful or two of saleratus, pepper and cinnamon,
or throw it away and make new with the above ingredients.
Baking meats is easily done, and is a nice
way of dressing a dinner, but a lean thin piece should
never be used in this manner, it will all shrivel.
The most economical way of cooking fresh meat,
is to boil it, if the liquid is used, as it always may
be, for soups or broths.
It takes fat meat longer than lean to bake.
1 - PAGE 5]
fresh meat should be kept awhile to make it tender.
In baking any kind of meats
or puddings, if a stove is used, they will bear more
fire at first than when they are nearly done.
In cooking by a fire-place,
cooks impose on themselves discomfort, and incur a
great waste in fuel, by making too much fire. Often,
in summer, a fire is made like a small furnace to boil
a pot. Three small sticks of wood, or two, with chips,
are sufficient at a time, if the pot or kettle is hung
low, and but little inconvenience is felt from the fire.
If you use a tin baker, the upper part or lid is sufficient
to bake meats of almost any kind, if bright. Mutton,
veal, pork, beef, &c. have been well cooked in this simple way. Set the dripping pan on a few coals, with
a small quantity of water, with merely the cover over
it, and it will be done in the same time with less fire,
less trouble, and no drawing out of smoke. Puddings
may be done in the same way, and also custards.
When a pig is baked, a nice crisp may be given
by rubbing it over well with butter. It is better than
oil, on account of the salt.
REGULATION OF TIME IN COOKING.
The first caution is, that whatever is used for
boiling must be perfectly dean. The second, keep it
constantly boiling. Salt meat may be put into cold,
and fresh into hot water. If a scum rises upon the
surface, it must skimmed off, or it will
1 - PAGE 6]
discolour the meat. Never crowd the pot with meat,
but leave room for plenty of water. Allow a quarter
of an hour for every pound of meat. An old fowl will
need boiling three or four hours. A grown one an hour
and a half. A pullet an hour. A chicken about half
Beef. A large roasting piece will bake
in four hours, a smaller one in three or three and a
Mutton. A leg, or saddle,
will require two hours and a half each. A shoulder,
loin, neck, and heart, will each need an hour and a
half or three quarters.
Veal. A fillet, which is the thick
part of the hind quarter, will require four or five
hours. A loin, or shoulder, from three to three and
a half. A neck, or breast, nearly two hours.
Lamb. A hind-quarter of lamb, is generally
cooked whole, and requires nearly two hours. A fore-quarter,
two hours. A leg nearly an hour and a half. A shoulder
and breast, one hour.
Pork. A leg will require nearly three
hours, A thick spare-rib, two hours or more; a thin
one, an hour and a quarter or half. A loin will bake
in two hours or more. A pig, three or four weeks old,
will require but about an hour and a half.
Venison. A large haunch, will require
four and a half; a smaller one, about three hours.
Turkey. The largest size will
require three a smaller one, two hours; the least size,
one hour and a half,
[CHAPTER 1 - PAGE 7]
Goose. A full grown goose will
require nearly two hours; but a young one will roast
in an hour.
Duck. The largest will bake in less than
an hour; the smaller ones in half an hour. Pricking
with a fork will determine you, whether done or not.
Fowls should be well done through, and all meats but
beef; this is generally preferred rare done.
5 - PAGE 87]
MAKING VINEGAR, BEER,
Take five gallons of soft clean
water; two quarts of whiskey; two quarts of molasses,
and half a pint of good fresh yeast. Lay a sheet of
white paper at the bottom of the keg, and put in the
mixture. Place it in the warm sun, and in six weeks
it will be fit for use. If made in winter, it should
be kept where there is a fire.
5 - PAGE 88]
This may be made of poor cider, or that which is good,
weakened a little with water. It should be partly drawn
off, after the cider is well worked, leaving the casks
about two thirds full. A piece of wire gauze, or a linen
cloth, let in a little, should be nailed over for a cover
to keep out flies, and also for a strainer. When the vinegar
is good, which will be sometimes in six months by frequent
shaking, it may be increased by adding occasionally the
juice of fruit, the rinsings of sweetmeat jars, cold tea,
To each gallon of water, add two pounds of brown sugar
and a little yeast; expose it to the sun for six months,
in a vessel slightly stopped.
Mix one pound of honey with a gallon of cider, and
expose it to the sun, or keep it where it is warm, and
in a few months it will be so strong that water will be
necessary to dilute it,
HOW TO MAKE BEER, ETC.
White Spruce Beer.
Three pounds of loaf sugar; five gallons of water;
with enough of essence of spruce to give it a flavour;
a cup of good yeast; a little lemon peel, if you choose;
and when fermented, bottle it up close. It is a delightful
beverage in warm weather.
5 - PAGE 89]
One cup of ginger; one pint of molasses; one pail
and a half of water, and a cup of lively yeast. In warm
weather it may be made cold, but in cold weather, scald
the ginger with two quarts of hot water, and the rest
cold. Add the yeast when slightly warm. It should be put
in jars or bottles, and securely corked. It is a pleasant
and lively beverage, and will keep several weeks.
Common Small Beer.
A handful of hops to a pailful of water; a pint of
bran, and half a pint of molasses; a cup of yeast and
a spoonful of ginger.
Take a pint of bran; a handful of hops; some twigs
of spruce, hemlock or cedar; a little sassafrasfras,
or not, as you have it; roots of various kinds, plantains,
burdocks, dock, dandelions, &c.; boil and strain,
add a spoonful of ginger molasses to make it pleasant,
and a cup of yeast. When you want it soon, let one bottle
stand where it is warm, and the rest will work cold. This
for a gallon.
Six quarts of water; two quarts of molasses; half
a pint of yeast; two spoonsful of cream tartar. Stir all
together. Add the grated peel of a lemon; and the juice
may be substituted for the cream tartar. Bottle, after
standing ten or twelve hours, with a raisin in each.
5 - PAGE 90]
Mix with five gallons of water, half a gallon of
molasses, one quart of vinegar, and two ounces of powdered
ginger. This will make not only a very pleasant beverage,
but one highly invigorating and healthful.
Restore Acid Beer.
Stir in a small quantity of saleratus with a spoonful
of sugar, and it is even richer and better than at first.
To be prepared as you use it.
Take good lemons, roll them, then cut and squeeze
them into a pitcher. Add loaf sugar and cold water, till
it makes a pleasant drink. It should be sweet; it is sometimes
too acid to be agreeable. Send round in small glasses
with' handles, or in tumblers a little more than half
full. It is a favourite beverage for evening parties.
This is made in the same manner as lemonade.
8 - PAGE 123]
DIRECTIONS TO SERVANTS.
To clean Calico Furniture, when
taken down for the summer.
Shake off the loose dust, then
lightly brush with a small long-haired furniture-brush;
after which wipe it closely, with clean flannels, and
rub it with dry bread. If properly done, the curtains
will look nearly as well as at first; and, if the colour
be not light, they will not require washing for years.
Fold in large parcels, and
put carefully by.
While the furniture remains
up, it should be preserved from the sun and air as much
as possible, which injure delicate colours; and the
dust may be blown off with bellows.
By the above mode, curtains
may be kept clean, even to use with the linings newly
To clean Plate.
Boil an ounce of prepared hartshorn-powder
in a quart of water: while on the fire, put into it
as much plate as the vessel will hold let it boil a
little, then take it out, drain it over the saucepan,
and dry it before the fire. Put in more, and serve the
same, till you have done. Then put into the water some
clean linen rags, till all be soaked up. When dry, they
will serve to clean the plate, and are the very best
things to clean the brass locks and finger-plates of
doors. When the plate is quite dry, it must be rubbed
bright with leather. This is a very nice mode. In mans-
8 - PAGE 124]
there is a mixture of quicksilver, which is very injurious;
and, among other disadvantages, it makes silver so brittle,
that from a fall it will break.
To clean Looking-Glasses.
Remove the fly-stains and other soil by a damp
rag; then polish with woollen cloth and powder blue.
To preserve Gilding, and
It is not possible to prevent flies from staining
the gilding without covering it; before which blow off
the light dust, and pass a feather or clean brush over
it: then with strips of paper cover the frames of your
glasses, and not remove till the flies are gone.
Linen takes off the gilding,
and deadens its brightness; it should therefore never
be used for wiping it.
Some means should be used
to destroy the flies, as they injure furniture of every
kind, and the paper likewise. Bottles hung about with
sugar and vinegar, or beer, will attract them; or fly-water,
put into little shells placed about the room, but out
of the reach of children.
To clean Paint.
Never use a cloth, but take off the dust with
a little long-haired brush, after blowing off the loose
parts with the bellows. With care, paint will look well
for a length of time. When soiled, dip a sponge or a
bit of flannel into soda and water, wash it off quickly,
and dry immediately, or the strength of the soda will
eat off the colour.
8 - PAGE 125]
When wainscot requires scouring,
it should be done from the top downwards, and the soda
be prevented from running on the unclean part as much
as possible, or marks will be made which will appear after
the whole is finished. One person should dry with old
linen, as fast as the other has scoured off the dirt and
washed the soda off.
First blow off the dust with the bellows. Divide
a white loaf of eight days old into eight parts. Take
the crust into your hand, and, beginning at the top of
the paper, wipe it downwards in the lightest manner with
the crumb. Do not cross, nor go upwards. The dirt of the
paper and the crumbs will fall together. Observe, you
must not wipe above half a yard at a stroke, and, after
doing all the upper part, go round again, beginning a
little above where you left off. If you do not do it extremely
lightly, you will make the dirt adhere to the paper. It
will look like new if properly done.
To clean Paper-Hangings.
If greasy, it must be washed with warm beer; then
boil two quarts of strong beer, a bit of bees'wax as
large as a walnut, and a large spoonful of sugar: wet
it all over with a large brush, and, when dry, rub it
To give a Gloss to Fine Oak-Wainscot.
To give a Fine Colour to Mahogany.
Let the tables be washed perfectly clean with vinegar,
having first taken out any ink-stains there
8 - PAGE 126]
may be with spirit of salt; but it must be used with
the greatest care, and only touch the part affected,
and be instanly washed off. Use the following liquid:
- Into a pint of cold-drawn linseed-oil, put four-pennyworth
of alkanet-root and two-pennyworth of rose-pink, in
an earthen vessel; let it remain all night; then stirring
well, rub some of it all over the tables with a linen
rag; when it has lain some time, rub it bright with
Eating-tables should be covered
with mat, oilcloth, or baize, to prevent staining,
and be instantly rubbed when the dishes are taken off,
while still warm.
To take Ink out of Mahogany.
Dilute half a tea-spoonful of
oil of vitriol with a large spoonful of water, and touch
the part with a feather; watch it, for if it stays too
long it will leave a white mark. It is therefore better
to rub it quick, and repeat if not quite removed.
Should be chosen that are painted on a fine cloth,
which is well covered with colour, and the flowers on
which do not rise much above the ground, as they wear
out first. The durability of the cloth will depend much
on these two particulars, but more especially on the
time it has been painted, and the goodness of the colours.
If they have not been allowed sufficient space for becoming
thoroughly hardened, a very little use will injure
8 - PAGE 127]
them; and, as they are very expensive articles, care
in preserving them is necessary. It answers to keep
them some time before they are used, either hung up
in a dry barn where they will have air, or laid down
in a spare room.
When taken up for the winter, they should
be rolled round a carpet-roller, and observe not to
crack the paint by turning the edges in too suddenly.
Old carpets answer extremely well, painted
and seasoned some months before laid down. If for passages,
the width must be directed when they are sent to the
manufactory, as they are cut before painting.
To clean Floor-Cloths.
Sweep, then wipe them with a flannel; and when
all dust and spots are removed, rub with a waxed flannel,
and then with a dry plain one; but use little wax, and
rub only enough with the latter to give a little smoothness,
or it may endanger falling.
Washing now and then with milk, after the
above sweeping and dry-rubbing them, gives as beautiful
a look, and they are less slippery.
To dust Carpets and Floors.
Sprinkle tea-leaves on them,
then sweep carefully.
The former should not be swept
frequently with a whisk-brush, as it wears them fast;
only once a week, and the other times with the leaves
and a hair-brush.
8 - PAGE 128]
To clean Carpets.
Take up the
carpet, let it be Well beaten, then laid down, and
brush on both sides With a hand-brush; turn it the
right side upwards, and scour it with ox-gall and
soap and water very clean, and dry it with linen cloths.
They lay it on grass, or' hang it up to dry.
To give to Boards a beautiful
After washing them very nicely
clean with soda and warm water and a brush, wash them
with a very large sponge and clean water. Both times
observe to leave no spot untouched; and clean straight
up and down, not crossing from board to board; then
dry with clean cloths, rubbed hard, up and down in the
The floors should not be often
wetted, but very thoroughly when done; and once a-week
dry-rubbed with hot sand and a heavy brush, the right
way of the boards.
The sides of stairs or passages
on which are car-pets or floor-cloth, should be washed
with sponge instead of linen or flannel, and the edges
will not be soiled. Different sponges should be kept
for the above two uses; and those and the brushes should
be well washed when done with.
To extract Oil from Boards
Make a strong ley of pearl-ashes
and soft water, and add as much unslaked lime as it
will take up; stir it together, and then let it settle
a few minutes; bottle it, and stop close; have ready
8 - PAGE 129]
some water to lower it as used, and scour the part
with it. If the liquor should lie long on the boards,
it will draw out the colour of them: therefore do it
with care and expedition.
To clean Stone Stairs and Halls.
Boil a pound of pipe-maker's clay with a
quart of water, a quart of small beer, and put in a
bit of stone-blue. Wash with this mixture, and, when
dry, rub the stones with flannel and a brush.
To blacken the fronts of Stone Chimney-Pieces.
Mix oil-varnish with lamp-black,
and a little spirit of turpentine to thin it to the
consistence of paint. Wash the stone with soap and water
very clean; then sponge it with clear water; and when
perfectly dry, brush it over twice with this colour,
letting it dry between the times. It looks extremely
well, The lamp-black must be sifted first.
To take Stains out of Marble.
Mix unslaked lime in finest
powder with the stronger soap-Icy, pretty thick, and
instantly, with a painter's brush, lay it on the whole
of the marble. In two months' time, wash it off perfectly
clean; then have ready a fine thick lather of soft soap,
boiled in soft water; dip a brush in it, and scour the
marble with powder, not as common cleaning. This will,
by very good rubbing, give a beautiful polish. Clear
off the soap, and finish with a smooth hard brush till
the end be effected.
8 - PAGE 130]
To take Iron-Stains out of Marble.
An equal quantity of fresh
spirit of vitriol and lemon-juice being mixed in a bottle,
shake it well; wet the spots, and in a few minutes rub
with soft linen till they disappear.
To preserve Irons from Rust.
Melt fresh mutton-suet, smear
over the iron with it while hot; then dust it well with
unslaked lime, pounded and tied up in a muslin. Irons
so prepared will keep many months. Use no oil for them
at any time, except seal oil, there being water in all
Fire-irons should be kept
wrapped in baize, in a dry place, when not used.
Beat into three pounds of unsalted
hog's-lard two drachms of camphor, sliced thin, till it
is dissolved; then take as much black-lead as will make
it of the colour of broken steel. Dip a rag into it, and
rub it thick on the stove, &c., and the steel will
never rust, even if wet. When it is to be used, the grease
must be washed off with hot water, and the steel be dried
Cover time steel with sweet oil
well rubbed on it, and, in forty-eight hours, use unslaked lime finely powdered, to rub
until all the rust disappears.
To take Rust out of Steel.
To clean the Back of the Grate, the Inner Hearth,and
the Fronts of Cast-Iron Stoves.
Boil about a quarter of a pound
of the best
8 - PAGE 131]
black-lead with a pint of small beer and a bit of soap
the size of a walnut. When that is melted, dip a painter's
brush, and wet the grate, having first brushed off all
the soot and dust; then take a hard brush and rub it till
of a beautiful brightness.
Another way to clean Cast-Iron and Black Hearths.
black-lead and whites of eggs well beaten together:
dip a painter's brush, and wet all over; then rub it
bright with a hard brush.
To take theBlack of the
bright bars of Polished Stoves in a few minute.
them well with some of the following mixture on a bit
of broad-cloth: when the dirt is removed, wipe them
clean, and polish glass (not sand) paper.
Mixture.-Boil slowly one pound of soft soap
in two quarts of water to one. Of this jelly take three
or four spoonsful, and mix to a consistence with emery.
To clean Tin Coversand Patent
Get the finest whiting, which is only sold in
large cakes, the small being mixed with sand; mix a
little of it powdered with the least drop of
sweet oil, and rub well, and wipe clean; then dust some
dry whitening in a muslin bag over, and rub bright with
dry leather. The last is to prevent rust, which the
cook must be careful to
8 - PAGE 132]
guard against by wiping dry, and putting by the fire when
they come from the parlour; for if but once hung up without,
the steam will rust the inside.
Rub a bit of soap on the hinges.
To prevent the Creaking of a Door.
To two large spoonsful of fine
flour, put as much pounded rosin as will lie on a shilling;
mix with as much strong beer as will make it of a due
consistence, and boil half an hour. Let it be cold before
it is used.
A strong Paste for Paper.
Fine Blacking for Shoes.
Take four ounces of ivory-black,
three ounces of the coarsest sugar, a table-spoonful
of sweet oil, and a pint of small beer; mix them gradually,
: ARMOUR AND RAMSAY.