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Title: Breakfast, Luncheon and Tea

Author: Marion Harland

Release date: September 12, 2015 [eBook #49944]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Emmy, Chris Curnow and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
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Breakfast, Luncheon and Tea.





Transcriber’s Note:

The book by the same author, referenced often in this text, Common Sense in the Household, may be found at Project Gutenberg, etext 48804, or, if supported by your device, by clicking here.


Familiartalk withthe Reader—Introductory1
Haste or Waste?98
What I know about Egg-beaters196
Whipped Cream203
Concerning Allowances294
Ripe Fruit308
Parting Words398
Practical—or Utopian?402



I should be indeed flattered could I believe that you hail with as much pleasure as I do the renewal of the “Common-Sense Talks,” to which I first invited you four years ago. For I have much to say to you in the same free-masonic, free-and-easy strain in which you indulged me then.

It is a wild March night. Winter and Summer, Spring-time and Autumn, the wind sings, or plains at my sitting-room window. To-night its shout is less fierce than jocund to my ear, for it says, between the castanet passages of hail and sleet, that neither friend nor bore will interrupt our conference. Shutters and curtains are closed; the room is still, bright, and warm, and we are no longer strangers.

The poorest man of my acquaintance counts his money by the million, has a superb mansion he calls “home,” a wife and beautiful children who call him “husband” and “father.” He has friends by the score, and admirers by the hundred, for human nature has not abated one jot in prudential sycophancy since the Psalmist summed up a volume of satirical truth in the pretended “aside”—“and men will praise thee when thou doest well unto thyself.” For all that, he of whom I write is a pauper, inasmuch as he makes[2] his boast that he never experienced the emotion of gratitude. He has worked his own way in the world, he is wont to say: has never had helping hand from mortal man or woman. It is a part of his religion to pay for all he gets, and never to ask a favor. Nevertheless, he confesses, with a complacent smirk that would be amusing were it not so pitiable an exhibition of his real beggary—“that he would like to know what it feels like to be grateful,—just for the sake of the novel sensation!”

Poor wretch! I am sorry I introduced him here and now. There is a savage growl in the wind; our snuggery is a trifle less pleasant since I began to talk of him. Although I only used him as a means of “leading up” to the expression of my own exceeding and abundant wealth of gratitude to you, dear Reader and Friend. If I had only time and strength enough to bear me through the full relation of the riches and happiness you have conferred upon me! There are letters in that desk over there between the windows that have caused me to look down with a sense of compassionate superiority upon Nathan Rothschild and the Duke of Brunswick. I am too modest (or miserly) to show them; but now and then, when threatened with a fit of self-depreciation, I come in here, lock the door, stop the keyhole, get them out and read them anew. For three days thereafter I walk on air. For the refrain of all is the same. “You have been a help to me!” And only He who knows the depths, sad and silent, or rich and glad, of the human heart can understand how much I wanted to help you. Verily, I have in this matter had my reward. Again, I say, I[3] am grateful. Had I “helped” you a hundred times as well as I have, I should still be your debtor.

May I read you somewhat copious extracts from a letter I received, the other day, from a wide-awake New England girl? Not only wide-awake, but refined, original and sprightly; a girl whom though I have never seen her face, I know to be a worker in life as well as a thinker. She says some things much better than I could have put them, and others as noteworthy, which I wish to answer,—or, try to answer—since I recognize in her a representative of a class, not very large, perhaps, but certainly one of the most respectable and honored of all those for whom I write the “Common-Sense Series.” I should like to give the letter in full, from the graphic touches with which she sketches herself, “sitting upon the kitchen-table, reading ‘Common Sense in the Household,’” one bright morning, when herself and sisters had taken possession of the kitchen to make preparation for “an old New England tea-party,” at which their only assistant was to be “a small maiden we keep to have the privilege of waiting upon, and doing our own work into the bargain; who, in waiting at table, was never known to pass anything on the right side, and has an invincible objection to learning how”—to the conclusion, over against which she has, like the frank woman she is, set her name and address in full.

But the modesty (or miserliness) aforesaid rises in sudden arms to forbid the reproduction at my hand of certain portions of the epistle, and it would be neither kind nor honorable to set down in prospective print her pictures of home life and dramatis personæ.[4] Steering clear, when possible, of these visible rocks and sunken reefs, I will indulge you and myself with a part of that which has added sensibly to my treasures—not debt—mind you! of gratitude.

“I want to tell you how much your compilation does for those poor mortals whom it rescues from the usual class of cook-books.”

A reef, you see, before we are out of harbor! We will skip two pages to get at one of the well-said things I spoke of just now.

“You speak of ‘company china’ and ‘company manners.’ I detest company anything! This longing for show and display is the curse and failing of Americans. I abhor the phrase ‘Anything will do for us.’ I do not believe that a person can be true clear through and without affectations who can put on her politeness with her company china any more than a real lady can deliberately put on stockings with holes in them. I seriously think that, so far from its being self-sacrifice to put up with the meanest every day, and hospitality to use the best for company, it is a positive damage to one’s sense of moral fitness. I knew a woman once who used to surprise me with the deceptions in which she unconsciously and needlessly indulged. This ceased to be a surprise when I saw her wear a twenty-dollar hat and a pair of unmended hose, and not seem to know that it was not quite the proper thing.”

Orthodox, you perceive, thus far, is our New England correspondent. Honest and outspoken in her hatred of shams and “dodges” of all kinds; quick to see analogies and deduce conclusions. Now comes the pith of the communication:—[5]

“I wish you could set me right on one point that often perplexes me. Is housekeeping worth while? I do not despise the necessary work. On the contrary, I hold that anything well done is worth doing. But with the materials this country affords, can housekeeping be well done? Is it worth while for a woman to neglect the talents she has, and can use to her own and her friends’ advantage, in order to have a perfectly appointed house? to wear herself out chasing around after servants and children that things may be always done well, and at the stated time? I have seen so many women of brains wear out and die in harness, trying to do their self-imposed duty; to see that the large establishments their husbands’ wealth, position and wishes place in their care shall be perfect in detail. And these women could have been so happy and enjoyed the life they threw away, if they had only known how not to keep house. While, on the other hand, with a small income and one servant the matter is so much worse. I should not mind if one could ever say ‘It is a well-finished thing!’ But you only finish one thing to begin over again, and so on, until you die and have nothing to show for your life’s work. It looks hopeless to me, I confess. I wish you would show me the wisdom—or the folly of it all.”

Now, I do not propose to show the folly of anything such as a girl that writes. She is a sincere inquirer after truth. When her letter came I tucked it under my inkstand, and said, “There is a text ready-written, and in clerkly hand, for my next ‘Familiar Talk!’” She is altogether too sensible and has too true a sense of humor to be offended when I tell her, as I[6] shall, that her lament over unfinished work reminded me comically of the story of the poor fellow who cut his throat, because, as he stated in his letter of explanation and farewell—“He was tired of buttoning and unbuttoning!” There is a deal that is specious in the threadbare adage set forth in dolesome rhyme:—

“Man’s work is from sun to sun,
But woman’s work is never done.”

Nothing in this world, or in all time, is finished. Or, if finished, it is not well with it. We hear this truth reiterated in every stroke of the artisan’s hammer, employed—from the day he enters upon his apprenticeship to that on which the withered hand can no longer, by reason of age, lift the ponderous emblem of his craft—in beating upon what looks to the observer of to-day like that which engaged him yesterday; which to the spectator of twenty to-morrows will seem the same as that which calls out the full strength of the brawny arm this hour. When he dies, who will care to chronicle the circumstance that he made, in the course of a long and busy life, forty thousand horseshoes, or assisted in the manufacture of one thousand engine-boilers? We learn the same lesson from the patient eyes of the teacher while drilling one generation after another in the details that are the tedious forging of the wards of the key of knowledge;—the rudiments of “the three R’s,” which, laugh or groan as we may, must be committed to memories more or less reluctant. They were never, I am sure, “learned by heart.” It is well, so far as they are concerned, that the old phrase has gone out of fashion. We read the like tale of ever-renewed endeavor in the bent[7] brows and whitening locks of brain-toilers, the world over. Nature were a false teacher were this otherwise. Birth, maturity, death; first, the blade then the ear, and, after the full corn in the ear, ripening and destruction for the good of man or beast, or decay in the earth that resurrection may come to the buried seed. Seed-time and harvest, summer and winter,—none of these are “finished things.” God hold our eyes from seeing many things that are!

A life, the major part of which is spent in sweeping, that the dust may re-settle; in washing, that clothes may be again worn and soiled; in cooking, that the food prepared may be consumed; in cleansing plates and dishes, to put back upon the table that they may return, in grease and stickiness, to the hardly-dried pan and towel, does seem to the superficial spectator, ignoble even for the wife of a struggling mechanic or ill-paid clerk. But I insist that the fault is not that Providence has made her a woman, but that Providence has made and kept her poor. Her husband at his bench, or, rounding his shoulders over his ledger, has as valid cause of complaint of never done work. Is there any reason why he should stand more patiently in his lot, waiting to see what God the Lord will do, than she?

But—“Is it worth while for a woman to neglect the talents she has, and can use to her own and her friends’ advantage, in order to have a perfectly-appointed house, etc.?”

Certain visions that stir me to reverential admiration, arise before me, at that query. I see Emily Bronté reading German while she kneads the batch of home-made[8] bread; Charlotte, laying down the pen upon an unfinished page of Shirley, to steal into the kitchen when poor blind Tabby’s back is turned, and bear off the potatoes the superannuated servant insists upon peeling every day, that the “dainty fingers” may extract the black “eyes” the faithful old creature cannot see. I see the Greek grammar fixed open in the rack above Elihu Burritt’s forge; and Sherman, reciting to himself by day over his lapstone and last, the lessons he learned at night after work-hours were over. I recollect that the biographer of the “marvellous boy” has written of him—“Twelve hours he was chained to the office; i.e., from eight in the morning until eight at night, the dinner-hour only excepted; and in the house he was confined to the kitchen; slept with the foot-boy, and was subjected to indignities of a like nature. Yet here it was, during this life of base humiliation, that Thomas Chatterton worked out the splendid creations of his imagination. In less than three years of the life of a poor attorney’s apprentice, fed in the kitchen and lodged with the foot-boy, did he here achieve an immortality such as the whole life of not one in millions is sufficient to create.”

Note here, too, that Chatterton died of a broken heart; was not driven to suicide by hard work.

Please be patient with me while I tell you of an incident that seems to me pretty, and comes in patly just at this point.

I have a friend—my heart bounds with prideful pleasure while I call her such!—who is the most scholarly woman, and also the best housekeeper I know. She is, moreover, one of the sweetest of our[9] native poets—one to whose genius and true womanhood even royalty has done grateful honor; a woman who ‘has used her’ every ‘talent to her own and her friends’ advantage’ in more ways than one. She had a call one day from a neighbor, an eminent professor, learned in dead and spoken tongues. In the passage of the conversation from trifles to weightier matters, it chanced that she differed in opinion from him upon two points. He refused to believe that potatoes could ever be made into a palatable sweet by any ingenuity of the culinary art, and he took exception to her rendering of a certain passage of Virgil. In the course of the afternoon he received from his fair neighbor a folded paper and a covered dish. Opening the former, he read a metrical translation of the disputed passage, so beautiful and striking he could no longer doubt that she had discovered the poet’s meaning more truly than had he. The dish contained a delicious potato custard.

A foolscap page of rhymed thanks went back with the empty pudding-dish. It was mere doggerel, for the pundit was no poet, and meant his note for nothing more than jingle and fun, but his tribute of admiration was sincere. I forget the form of its expression, except that the concluding lines ran somewhat thus:—

“From Virgil and potatoes, too,
You bring forth treasures rich and new.”

Am I harsh and unsympathetic when I say, that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, if a woman has genuine talent, she will find time to improve it even amid the clatter of household machinery? I could multiply instances by the thousand to prove this, did time permit.[10]

But what of the poor rich woman who throws away her life in the vain endeavor to bring servants and children “up to time?” Two things. First, she dies of worry, not of work—a distinction with a difference.

Second, if she possess one-half enough strength of mind and strength of purpose to have made herself mistress of a single art or science, or sufficient tact to sustain her as a successful leader in society, or the degree of administrative ability requisite to enable her to conduct rightly a public enterprise of any note, be it benevolent, literary, or social, she ought to be competent to the government of her household; to administer domestic affairs with such wise energy as should insure order and punctuality without self-immolation.

“If they have run with the footmen and they have wearied them, how shall they contend with horses?”

Let us look at this matter fairly, and without prejudice on either side. I should contradict other of my written and spoken opinions; stultify myself beyond the recovery of your respect or my own, were I to deny that more and wider avenues of occupation should be opened to woman than are now conceded as their right by the popular verdict. But not because the duties of the housewife are overburdensome or degrading. On the contrary, I would have forty trained cooks where there is now one; would make her who looketh diligently to the ways of her household worthy, as in Solomon’s day, of double honor. Of co-operative laundries I have much hope. I would have washing-day become a tradition of the past to be shuddered over by every emancipated family in the land. In “co-operative housekeeping,” in the sense in which it is generally[11] understood, I have scanty faith as a cure for the general untowardness of what my sprightly correspondent styles “the materials this country affords.” Somebody must get the dinners and somebody superintend the getting-up of these. I honestly believe that the best method of reforming American domestic service and American cookery is by making the mistress of every home proficient in the art and a capable instructress of others. I know—no one better—how women who have never cared to beautify their own tables, or to study elegant variety in their bills of fare, who have railed at soups as “slops,” and entrées as “trash,” talk, after the year’s travel in foreign lands their husband’s earnings and their own pinching have gained for them. How they groan over native cookery and the bondage of native mistresses, and tell how cheaply and luxuriously one can live in dear Paris.

“Will the time ever come,” they cry, “when we, too, can sit at ease in our frescoed saloons surrounded by no end of artificial flowers and mirrors, and order our meals from a restaurant?”

To which I, from the depths of my home-loving heart, reply, “Heaven forbid!”

Have you ever thought how large a share the kitchen and dining-room have in forming the distinctive characteristics of the home? It is no marvel that the man who has had his dinners from an eating-house all his life should lack a word to describe that which symbolizes to the Anglo-Saxon all that is dearest and most sacred on earth. I avow, without a tinge of shame, that I soon tire, then sicken of restaurant and hotel dainties. I like the genuine wholesomeness of home-fare.[12]

“Madame,” said a Frenchman whom I once met at an American watering-place, “one of my compatriots could produce one grand repast—one that should not want for the beautiful effects, with the contents of that pail—tub—bucket—of what the peoples here call the svill,” pointing to a mass of dinner débris set just without a side door.

“Monsieur,” I rejoined, with a grimace that matched his, “moi, je n’aime pas le svill!

He was right, without doubt, in the implication that very much is thrown away as refuse which could be reproduced upon the table to the satisfaction and advantage of host and guest. Perhaps my imagination was more to blame than he for my unlucky recollection of his countrywoman’s recommendation of a mayonnaise to a doubting guest:

“You need not fear to partake, madame. The fish has been preserved from putrefaction by a process of vinegar and charcoal!”

It is a substantial comfort to the Anglo-Saxon stomach for its owner to know what he is eating. Call it prejudice, if you like, but it may have something to do with making one “true clear through,” as my Yankee girl puts it.

“But such poetic repasts!” sighs my travelled acquaintance. “Such heavenly garnishes, and flowers everywhere, and the loveliest side-dishes, and everything so exquisitely served! When I think of them, I abominate our great, vulgar joints and stiff dinner-tables!”

Yet Mrs. Nouveau Riche dawdles all the forenoon over a piece of tasteless embroidery, and gives the afternoon to gossip; while Bridget or Dinah prepares[13] dinner, and serves it in accordance with her peculiar ideas of right and fitness.

“Train American servants?” she says, in a transport of contemptuous incredulity at my suggestion that here is good missionary ground, “I have had enough of that! Just as soon as I teach them the rudiments of decent cookery they carry off their knowledge to somebody else, trade for double wages from my neighbor upon what they have gained from me!”

“But,” I remark, argumentatively, “do you not see, my dear lady, that so surely as ‘ten times one is ten,’ if all your neighbors were, in like manner, to instruct the servants who come to them and desert, so soon as they are taught their trade, the great work of securing wholesome and palatable cookery and tasteful serving would soon be an accomplished fact in your community? and, by the natural spread of the leaven, the race of incompetent cooks and clumsy waiters would before long become extinct? Would it not be worth while for housekeepers to co-operate in the attempt to secure excellence in these departments instead of ‘getting along somehow’ with ‘the materials’—i. e., servants—‘this country affords?’ Why not compel the country—wrong-headed abstraction that it is!—to afford us what we want? Would not the demand, thus enforced and persisted in, create a supply?”

“Not in my day,” she retorts, illogically. “I don’t care to wear myself out for the benefit of posterity.”

I do not gainsay the latter remark. If she had any desire that the days to come should be better than these, she would see to it that her daughters are rendered comparatively independent of the ungrateful caprices[14] of the coming Celt or Teuton, or the ambitious vagaries of “the Nation’s Ward,” by a practical knowledge of housewifery. Perhaps she is deterred from undertaking their instruction by the forecast shadow of their desertion of the maternal abode for homes of their own.

The prettiest thing that has ever been said of the informal “talks” I had with you, my Reader, in former days, was the too-flattering remark of a Syracuse (N. Y.) editor, that they were “like a breath of fresh air blowing across the ‘heated term’ of the cook.”

I quote it, partly that I may thank the author, principally that I may borrow the illustration. The heavenly airs that really temper the torrid heats of the kitchen are loving thoughts of those for whom the house-mother makes the home. There is a wealth of meaning in the homely old saying about “putting one’s name in the pot.” It is one thing, I submit to the advocates of co-operative housekeeping, whether big John’s and little John’s and Mamie’s and Susie’s and Tommy’s meals are prepared according to the prescriptions of a salaried chef, in the mammoth boilers, steamers and bakers of an “establishment” along with the sustenance of fifty other families, or whether the tender mother, in her “order of the day,” remembers that while Papa likes smart, tingling dashes of cayenne, garlic, and curry, the baby-tongues of her brood would cry out at the same; that Mamie has an aversion to a dish much liked by her brothers and sisters; that Susie is delicate, and cannot digest the strong meat that is the gift of flesh and brains to the rest. So Papa gets his spiced ragoût under a tiny cover—hot-and-hot—and[15] the plainer “stew,” which was its base, nourishes the bairns. Mamie is not forced to fast while the rest feast, and by pale Susie’s plate is set the savory “surprise,” which is the visible expression of loving kindness, always wise and unforgetting.

You remember the legend that tells how Elizabeth of Hungary, having been forbidden by her lord to carry food to the poor, was met one day by him outside the castle walls, as she was bearing a lapful of meat and bread to her pensioners. Louis demanding sternly what she carried in her robe, she was obliged to show him the forbidden burden. “Whereupon,” says the chronicler, “the food was miraculously changed, for his eyes, to a lapful of roses, red-and-white, and, his mind disabused of suspicion, he graciously bade her pass on whithersoever she would.”

I have bethought me many times of the legend when I have seen upon very modest tables such proofs of thoughtful recollection of the peculiar tastes and needs of the flock to which the home caterer ministered as made my heart warm and eyes fill, and threw, to my imagination, chaplets lovelier than Elizabeth’s roses around the platter and bowl. This is the true poetry of serving, and the loving appreciation of it is the reward, rich and all-sufficient, of thought, care, and toil.

A few words more before we proceed, in due order, to business. This volume is not an amendment to “General Receipts, No. 1 of the Common-Sense Series.” Still less is it intended as a substitute for it. I have carefully avoided the repetition, in this volume, of a single receipt which appeared in that. This is designed to be the second story in the edifice of domestic economy, the[16] materials of which I have accumulated since the first was completed. As money makes money, and a snow-ball gathers snow, so receipts, new, valuable, and curious, flowed in upon me after “No. 1” was given to the world. Some of the earliest to reach me were so good that I began a fresh compilation by the time that book was fairly off the press.

Let me say here what you may find useful in your own researches and collections. My best ally in the classification and preservation of the materials for this undertaking has been the “The Household Treasury,” published by Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger, Philadelphia, and arranged by a lady of that city. It is a pretty volume of blank pages, a certain number of which are devoted to each department of cookery, beginning with soups, and running through the various kinds of sweets, pickles, etc. Each is introduced by a handsome vignette and appropriate motto, with a title at the top of every page. The paper is excellent and distinctly ruled. I wish I could put a copy into the hands of every housekeeper who believes in system of details, and development of her individual capabilities. It has so far simplified and lightened the task of preparing “Breakfast, Luncheon and Tea” for my public, that I cannot withhold this recommendation of it to others.

Yet if “General Receipts” was written con amore, its successor has been, in a still higher degree, a work of love and delight. There were times during the preparation of the trial volume when I could not feel quite sure of my audience. There has not been a moment, since I began that which I now offer for your acceptance, in the[17] which I have not been conscious of your full sympathy; have not tasted, in anticipation, your enjoyment of that which I have taken such pleasure in making ready.

Do not think me sentimental when I ask that the Maltese cross, marking, as in the former work, such receipts as I have tested and proved for myself to be reliable, may be to you, dear friend and sister, like the footprint of a fellow-traveler along the humble but honorable pathway of every-day and practical life, bringing comfort and encouragement, even in the “heated term.”



“Give me half-a-dozen eggs, a few spoonfuls of gravy and as much cream, with a spoonful of butter and a handful of bread crumbs, and I can get up a good breakfast or luncheon,” said a housekeeper to me once, in a modest boastfulness that became her well, in my eyes.

For I had sat often at her elegant, but frugal board, and I knew she spoke the truth.

“Elegant and frugal!” I shall have more hope of American housewives when they learn to have faith in this combination of adjectives. Nothing has moved me more strongly to the preparation of this work than the desire to convert them to the belief that the two are not incompatible or inharmonious. Under no head can practice in the endeavor to conform these, the one to the other, be more easily and successfully pursued than under that which begins this section.

Eggs at sixty cents per dozen (and they are seldom higher than this price) are the cheapest food for the breakfast or lunch-table of a private family. They are nutritious, popular, and never (if we except the cases of omelettes, thickened with uncooked flour, and fried eggs, drenched with fat) an unelegant or homely dish.[19]

Eggs Sur le Plat. Maltese cross

6 eggs.

1 table-spoonful of butter or nice dripping.

Pepper and salt to taste.

Melt the butter on a stone-china, or tin plate, or shallow baking-dish. Break the eggs carefully into this; dust lightly with pepper and salt, and put in a moderate oven until the whites are well “set.”

Serve in the dish in which they were baked.

Toasted Eggs.

Cover the bottom of an earthenware or stone-china dish with rounds of delicately toasted bread. Or, what is even better, with rounds of stale bread dipped in beaten egg and fried quickly in butter or nice dripping, to a golden-brown. Break an egg carefully upon each, and set the dish immediately in front of, and on a level with a glowing fire. Toast over this as many slices of fat corned pork or ham as there are eggs in the dish, holding the meat so that it will fry very quickly, and all the dripping fall upon the eggs. When these are well “set,” and a crust begins to form upon the top of each, they are done. Turn the dish several times while toasting the meat, that the eggs may be equally cooked.

Do not send the fried pork to table, but pepper the eggs lightly and remove with the toast, to the dish in which they are to go to the table, with a cake-turner or flat ladle, taking care not to break them.[20]

Baked Eggs. (No. 1.) Maltese cross

6 eggs.

4 tablespoonfuls good gravy—veal, beef or poultry. The latter is particularly nice.

1 handful bread-crumbs.

6 rounds buttered toast or fried bread.

Put the gravy into a shallow baking-dish. Break the eggs into this, pepper and salt them, and strew the bread-crumbs over them. Bake for five minutes in a quick oven. Take up the eggs carefully, one by one, and lay upon the toast which must be arranged on a hot, flat dish. Add a little cream, and, if you like, some very finely-chopped parsley and onion, to the gravy left in the baking-dish, and turn it into a saucepan. Boil up once quickly, and pour over the eggs.

Baked Eggs. (No. 2.) Maltese cross

6 eggs.

1 cup of chicken, game, or veal gravy.

1 teaspoonful mixed parsley and onion, chopped fine.

1 handful very fine bread-crumbs.

Pepper and salt to taste.

Pour enough gravy into a neat baking-dish to cover the bottom well, and mix with the rest the parsley and onion. Set the dish in the oven until the gravy begins to hiss and bubble, when break the eggs into it, so that they do not crowd one another. Strew bread-crumbs thickly over them, pepper and salt, and return to the oven for three minutes longer. Then pour the rest of the gravy, which should be hot, over the whole. More[21] bread-crumbs, as fine as dust, and bake until the eggs are “set.”

Send to table in the baking-dish.

This dish will be found very savory.

Fricasseed Eggs. Maltese cross

6 hard-boiled eggs. When cold, slice with a sharp knife, taking care not to break the yolk.

1 cup good broth, well seasoned with pepper, salt, parsley and a suspicion of onion.

Some rounds stale bread, fried to a light-brown in butter or nice dripping.

Put the broth on the fire in a saucepan with the seasoning and let it come to a boil. Rub the slices of egg with melted butter, then roll them in flour. Lay them gently in the gravy and let this become smoking hot upon the side of the range, but do not let it actually boil, lest the eggs should break. They should lie thus in the gravy for at least five minutes. Have ready, upon a platter, the fried bread. Lay the sliced egg evenly upon this, pour the gravy over all, and serve hot.

Egg Cutlets. Maltese cross

6 hard-boiled eggs.

1 raw egg well-beaten.

1 handful very fine, dry bread-crumbs.

Pepper and salt, and a little parsley minced fine.

3 table-spoonfuls butter or dripping.

1 cup broth, or drawn butter, in which a raw egg has been beaten.

Cut the boiled eggs when perfectly cold, into rather[22] thick slices with a sharp, thin knife; dip each slice into the beaten egg; roll in the bread-crumbs which should be seasoned with pepper, salt and minced parsley. Fry them to a light-brown in the butter or dripping, turning each piece as it is done on the under side. Do not let them lie in the frying-pan an instant after they are cooked. Drain free from fat before laying them on a hot dish. Pour the gravy, boiling hot, over the eggs, and send to table.

Stirred Eggs. Maltese cross

6 eggs.

3 table-spoonfuls of gravy—that made from poultry is best.

Enough fried toast, from which the crust has been pared, to cover the bottom of a flat dish.

A very little anchovy paste.

1 table-spoonful of butter.

Melt the butter in a frying-pan, and when hot, break into this the eggs. Stir in the gravy, pepper and salt to taste, and continue to stir very quickly, and well up from the bottom, for about two minutes, or until the whole is a soft, yellow mass. Have ready in a flat dish the fried toast, spread thinly with anchovy paste.

Heap the stirred egg upon this, and serve before it has time to harden.

Scalloped Eggs (Raw). Maltese cross

6 eggs.

4 or 5 table-spoonfuls of ground or minced ham.

A little chopped parsley.

A very little minced onion.[23]

2 great spoonfuls of cream, and 1 of melted butter.

Salt and pepper to taste.

½ cup of bread crumbs moistened with milk and a spoonful of melted butter.

Line the bottom of a small deep dish, well-buttered, with the soaked bread-crumbs; put upon these a layer of chopped ham, seasoned with the onion and parsley. Set these in the oven, closely covered, until they are smoking hot. Meanwhile, beat up the eggs to a stiff froth, season with pepper and salt, stir in the cream and a spoonful of melted butter, and pour evenly upon the layer of ham. Put the dish, uncovered, back into the oven, and bake five minutes, or until the eggs are “set.”

Scalloped Eggs (Hard-boiled). Maltese cross

6 eggs boiled, and when cold, cut into thin slices.

1 cupful fine bread-crumbs, well moistened with a little good gravy and a little milk or cream.

½ cup thick drawn butter, into which has been beaten the yolk of an egg.

1 small cupful minced ham, tongue, poultry, or cold halibut, salmon, or cod.

Pepper and salt to taste.

Put a layer of moistened crumbs in the bottom of a buttered baking-dish. On this lay the sliced eggs, each piece of which must have been dipped in the thick drawn butter. Sprinkle the ground meat over these, cover with another layer of bread-crumbs, and proceed in like manner, until the egg is all used up. Sift on the top a good layer of dry bread-crumbs. Cover the dish with an inverted plate, until the contents[24] are heated through, then remove the plate, and brown the top upon the upper grating of the oven.

Whirled Eggs.

6 eggs.

1 quart of boiling water.

Some thin slices of buttered toast.

Pepper and salt to taste.

A table-spoonful of butter.

Put the water, slightly salted, in a saucepan over the fire, and keep it at a fast boil. Stir with a wooden spoon or ladle in one direction until it whirls rapidly. Break the eggs, one at a time, into a cup, and drop each carefully into the centre, or vortex of the boiling whirlpool, which must be kept in rapid motion until the egg is a soft, round ball. Take it out carefully with a perforated spoon, and put it on a slice of buttered toast laid upon a hot dish. Put a bit of butter on the top. Set the dish in the oven to keep it warm, and proceed in the same way with each egg, having but one at a time in the saucepan. When all are done, dust lightly with salt and pepper, and send up hot.

Poached Eggs à la Bonne Femme. Maltese cross

6 eggs.

1 teaspoonful of vinegar.

½ cup nice veal or chicken broth.

Salt and pepper to taste.

½ cup butter or dripping.

Rounds of stale bread, and the beaten yolks of two raw eggs.

Prepare the bread first by cutting it into rather[25] large rounds, and, with a smaller cutter, marking an inner round on each, leaving a narrow rim or wall on the outside. Excavate this cautiously, not to break the bottom of the cup thus indicated, which should be three-quarters of an inch deep. Dip each round thus prepared in the beaten egg, and fry quickly to a yellow-brown in hot butter or dripping. Put in order upon a flat dish, and set in the open oven while you poach the eggs.

Pour about a quart of boiling water into a deep saucepan. Salt slightly, and add the vinegar. Break the eggs into a saucer, one at a time, and, when the water is at a hard boil, slide them singly into the saucepan. If the yolk be broken in putting it in, the effect of the dish is spoiled. When the whites begin to curdle around the edges, lessen the heat, and cook slowly until they are firm enough to bear removal. Take them out with a perforated skimmer, trim each dexterously into a neat round, and lay within the bread-cup described above. When all are in their places, pour over them the gravy, which should be well seasoned and boiling hot.

Eggs Poached with Mushrooms. Maltese cross

6 eggs.

1 tea-cupful of cold chicken or other fowl, minced fine.

2 table-spoonfuls of butter.

About a cupful of good gravy,—veal or poultry.

2 dozen mushrooms of fair size, sliced.

Some rounds of fried bread.

1 raw egg beaten light.[26]

Mince the cold meat very fine and work into it the butter, with the beaten egg. Season with pepper and salt, and stir it over the fire in a saucepan until it is smoking-hot. Poach the eggs as in preceding receipt, and trim off the ragged edges. The fried bread must be arranged upon a hot, flat dish, the mince of chicken on this, and the eggs upon the chicken. Have ready in another saucepan the sliced mushrooms and gravy. If you use the French champignons—canned—they should have simmered in the gravy fifteen minutes. If fresh ones, you should have parboiled them in clean water as long, before they are sliced into the gravy, and stewed ten minutes in it. The gravy must be savory, rich and rather highly seasoned. Pour it very hot upon the eggs.

If you will try this receipt, and that for “Eggs à la bonne femme” for yourself, your family and your guests will be grateful to you, and you to the writer.

Anchovy Toast with Eggs.

6 eggs.

1 cupful drawn butter—drawn in milk.

Some rounds of stale bread, toasted and buttered.

A little anchovy paste.

Pepper and salt to taste.

Spread the buttered toast thinly with anchovy paste, and with this cover the bottom of a flat dish. Heat the drawn butter to boiling in a tin vessel set in another of hot water, and stir into this the eggs beaten very light. Season to taste, and heat—stirring all the time—until they form a thick sauce, but do not let them boil. Pour over the toast, and send to table very hot.[27]

Forcemeat Eggs. Maltese cross

6 eggs boiled hard.

1 cupful minced chicken, veal, ham or tongue.

1 cupful of rich gravy.

½ cupful bread-crumbs.

2 tea-spoonfuls mixed parsley, onion, summer savory or sweet marjoram, chopped fine.

Juice of half a lemon.

1 raw egg beaten light.

While the eggs are boiling, make the forcemeat by mixing the minced meat, bread-crumbs, herbs, pepper and salt together, and working well into this the beaten raw egg. When the eggs are boiled hard, drop for a minute into cold water to loosen the shells. Break these away carefully. With a sharp knife divide each egg into halves; cut a piece of the white off at each end (that they may stand firmly when dished), and coat them thickly with the forcemeat. Brown them by setting them in a tin plate on the upper grating of a very hot oven, and heap neatly upon a hot dish. Pour the boiling gravy, in which a little lemon-juice has been squeezed at the last, over them.

A Hen’s Nest. Maltese cross

6 or 8 eggs boiled hard.

1 cup minced chicken, or other fowl, ham, tongue, or, if more convenient, any cold firm fish.

1 cup of drawn butter into which have been stirred two or three table-spoonfuls of good gravy and a tea-spoonful of chopped parsley.

When the eggs are quite cold and firm, cut the[28] whites from the yolks in long thin strips, or shavings, and set them aside to warm in a very gentle oven, buttering them, now and then, while you prepare the rest.

Pound the minced meat or fish very fine in a Wedgewood mortar, mixing in, as you go on, the yolks of the eggs, the parsley, and pepper and salt to taste. When all are reduced to a smooth paste, mould with your hands into small, egg-shaped balls. Heap in the centre of a dish, arrange the shred eggs around them, in imitation of a nest, and pour over all the hot sauce.

A simple and delightful relish.


For omelettes of various kinds, please see “Common Sense in the Household, No. 1,” page 259.



What to do with Cold Fish. Maltese cross

1 cup drawn butter with an egg beaten in.

2 hard-boiled eggs.

Mashed potato—(a cupful will do.)

1 cupful cold fish—cod, halibut or shad.

Roe of cod or shad, and 1 table-spoonful of butter.

1 teaspoonful minced parsley.

Pepper and salt to taste.

Dry the roe, previously well boiled. Mince the fish fine, and season. Work up the roe with butter and the yolks of the boiled eggs. Cut the white into thin rings. Put a layer of mashed potato at the bottom of a buttered deep dish—then, alternate layers of fish, drawn butter (with the rings of white embedded in this), roe,—more potato at top. Cover the dish and set in a moderate oven until it smokes and bubbles. Brown by removing the cover for a few minutes. Send to table in the baking-dish, and pass pickles with it.

Fried Roes of Cod or Shad. Maltese cross

2 or three roes. If large, cut them in two.

1 pint of boiling water.

1 table-spoonful of vinegar.[30]

Salt and pepper.

1 raw egg, well beaten.

½ cup fine bread-crumbs.

3 table-spoonfuls sweet lard, or dripping.

Wash the roes and dry with a soft, clean cloth. Have ready the boiling water in which should be put the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Boil the roes in this for ten minutes, then plunge at once into very cold water, slightly salted. Wipe dry again; when they have lain about two minutes in this, roll in the beaten egg, then the bread-crumbs, and fry to a fine brown in the fat.

Sauce for the above.

1 cup drawn butter, into which beat a teaspoonful of anchovy sauce, juice of half a lemon, and a pinch of cayenne pepper, with a little minced parsley. Boil up once, and send around in a gravy-boat.

Roes of Cod or Shad Stewed.

Wash the roes, and parboil in water with a little vinegar, pepper, and salt added. It should be at a hard boil when the roes go in. Boil five minutes, lay in very cold water for two, wipe, and transfer to a clean saucepan, with enough melted butter to half cover them. Set it in a vessel of boiling water, cover closely, and let it stew gently ten minutes. Should it boil too fast the roes will shrink and toughen. While they are stewing prepare the—


1 cup of boiling water.

2 teaspoonfuls corn-starch, or rice flour, mixed in cold water.[31]

1 table-spoonful of butter.

1 teaspoonful chopped parsley.

1 teaspoonful anchovy sauce, or good catsup.

Juice of half a lemon.

Beaten yolks of two eggs.

Salt and cayenne pepper.

Stir the corn-starch smoothly into the boiling water, and set it over the fire, stirring constantly until it thickens up well. Add pepper, salt, butter, and parsley; mix well together, put in the lemon-juice and catsup, lastly the roes, which should have been frequently turned in the melted butter. Set within a vessel of boiling water for about eight minutes, but do not let the roes and sauce boil fast. Take them up, lay on a flat, hot dish; add to the sauce the beaten yolks, stir fast and well over the fire for two minutes, pour over the roes, and serve.

Should the receipt for so simple a dish seem needlessly prolix, I beg the reader to remember that I have made it minute to save her time and trouble.

Scalloped Roes. Maltese cross

3 large roes.

1 cup of drawn butter and yolks of 3 hard-boiled eggs.

1 teaspoonful anchovy paste or essence.

1 teaspoonful of parsley.

Juice of half a lemon.

1 cup of bread-crumbs.

Salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

Boil the roes in water and vinegar, as directed in former receipts; lay in cold water five minutes, then[32] wipe perfectly dry. Break them up with the back of a silver spoon, or in a Wedgewood mortar, but not so fine as to crush the eggs. When ready, they should be a granulated heap. Set aside while you pound the hard-boiled eggs to a powder. Beat this into the drawn butter, then the parsley and other seasoning; lastly, mix in, more lightly, the roes. Strew the bottom of a buttered dish with bread-crumbs, put in the mixture, spread evenly, and cover with very fine crumbs. Stick bits of butter thickly over the top, cover and bake in a quick oven, until bubbling hot. Brown, uncovered, on the upper grating of the oven.

Fish-Balls. Maltese cross

2 cupfuls cold boiled cod—fresh or salted.

1 cupful mashed potato.

½ cup drawn butter, with an egg beaten in.

Season to taste.

Chop the fish when you have freed it of bones and skin. Work in the potato, and moisten with the drawn butter until it is soft enough to mould, and will yet keep in shape. Roll the balls in flour, and fry quickly to a golden-brown in lard, or clean dripping. Take from the fat so soon as they are done; lay in a cullender or sieve and shake gently, to free them from every drop of grease. Turn out for a moment on white paper to absorb any lingering drops, and send up on a hot dish.

A pretty way of serving them is to line the dish with clean, white paper, and edge this with a frill of colored tissue paper—green or pink. This makes ornamental that which is usually considered a homely dish.[33]

Stewed Eels à l’Allemande.

1 cup of boiling water.

1 cup rather weak vinegar.

1 small onion, chopped fine.

A pinch of cayenne pepper.

½ saltspoonful mace.

1 saltspoonful salt.

About 2 pounds of eels.

3 table-spoonfuls melted butter.

Chopped parsley to taste.

Make a liquor in which to boil the eels, of the vinegar, water, onion, pepper, salt and mace. Boil—closely covered—fifteen minutes, when strain and put in the eels, which should be cleaned carefully and cut into pieces less than a finger long. Boil gently nearly an hour. Take them up, drain dry, and put into a sauce made of melted butter and chopped parsley. Set the vessel containing them in another of hot water, and bring eels and sauce to the boiling point, then serve in a deep dish.

Eels Stewed à l’Americain. Maltese cross

3 pounds eels, skinned and cleaned, and all the fat removed from the inside.

1 young onion, chopped fine.

4 table-spoonfuls of butter.

Pepper and salt to taste, with chopped parsley.

Cut the eels in pieces about two inches in length; season, and lay in a saucepan containing the melted butter. Strew the onion and parsley over all, cover the saucepan (or tin pail, if more convenient) closely,[34] and set in a pot of cold water. Bring this gradually to a boil, then cook very gently for an hour and a half, or until the eels are tender. Turn out into a deep dish.

There is no more palatable preparation of eels than this, in the opinion of most of those who have eaten it.

Fricasseed Eels.

3 pounds fresh eels, skinned, cleaned, and cut into pieces about two inches long.

1 small onion, sliced.

Enough butter, or good dripping, to fry the eels.

1 cup good beef or veal gravy, from which the fat has been skimmed. Season with wine, catsup and lemon-juice.

Pepper and salt with minced parsley for seasoning.

A little flour.

Flour the eels and fry in the dripping, or butter, until brown. Take them out and set aside to cool while you fry the sliced onion in the same fat. Drain this, also the eels, from every drop of grease. When the eels are almost cold, lay them in the bottom of a tin pail or farina-kettle, sprinkle the onion, parsley and other seasoning over them. Add to your gravy a little anchovy sauce, or flavorous catsup; the juice of half a lemon, and a glass of brown sherry. Pour over the eels, cover closely, and set in a pot of warm water. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer, after the contents of the inner vessel are heated through, about twenty minutes. Too much, or hard cooking, will spoil them.

Serve upon a chafing-dish.[35]

Cutlets of Halibut, Cod or Salmon. Maltese cross

3 pounds fish, cut in slices three-quarters of an inch thick, from the body of the fish.

A handful of fine bread-crumbs, with which should be mixed pepper and salt with a little minced parsley.

1 egg beaten light.

Enough butter, lard or dripping to fry the cutlets.

Cut each slice of fish into strips as wide as your two fingers. Dry them with a clean cloth; rub lightly with salt and pepper; dip in the egg, then the bread-crumbs, and fry in enough fat to cover them well. Drain away every drop of fat, and lay upon hot white paper, lining a heated dish.

Cutlets of Cod, Halibut or Salmon à la reine.

Prepare the fish as in the last receipt until after frying it, when have ready the following sauce:

1 cup strong brown gravy—beef or veal.

1 teaspoonful anchovy sauce or mushroom catsup.

Pepper, salt, a pinch of parsley and a very little minced onion.

1 glass brown sherry and juice of half a lemon.

Thicken with browned flour.

Lay the fried cutlets evenly in a broad saucepan with a top, cover with the gravy and heat slowly all through, but do not let them boil. Take up the cutlets with care, and arrange upon a chafing-dish. Pour the gravy over them.

These are very nice, and well worth the additional trouble it may cost to prepare the sauce.[36]

Baked Cod or Halibut. Maltese cross

A piece of fish from the middle of the back, weighing four, five or six pounds.

A cupful of bread-crumbs, peppered and salted.

2 table-spoonfuls boiled salt pork, finely chopped.

A table-spoonful chopped parsley, sweet marjoram and thyme, with a mere suspicion of minced onion.

1 teaspoonful anchovy sauce, or Harvey’s, if you prefer it.

½ cupful drawn butter.

Juice of half a lemon.

1 beaten egg.

Lay the fish in very cold salt-and-water for two hours; wipe dry; make deep gashes in both sides at right angles with the back-bone and rub into these, as well as coat it all over with a force-meat made of the crumbs, pork, herbs, onion and seasoning, bound with raw egg. Lay in the baking-pan and pour over it the drawn butter (which should be quite thin), seasoned with the anchovy sauce, lemon-juice, pepper and a pinch of parsley. Bake in a moderate oven nearly an hour,—quite as long if the piece be large, basting frequently lest it should brown too fast. Add a little butter-and-water when the sauce thickens too much. When the fish is done, remove to a hot dish, and strain the gravy over it.

A few capers or chopped green pickles are a pleasant addition to the gravy.

Baked Salmon with Cream Sauce. Maltese cross

A middle cut of salmon.

4 table-spoonfuls of butter melted in hot water.[37]

Butter a sheet of foolscap paper on both sides, and wrap the fish up in it, pinning the ends securely together. Lay in the baking-pan, and pour six or seven spoonfuls of butter-and-water over it. Turn another pan over all, and steam in a moderate oven from three-quarters of an hour to an hour, lifting the cover, from time to time, to baste and assure yourself that the paper is not burning. Meanwhile, have ready in a saucepan a cup of cream, in which you would do well to dissolve a bit of soda a little larger than a pea. This is a wise precaution whenever cream is to be boiled. Heat this in a vessel placed within another of hot water; thicken with a heaping teaspoonful of corn starch, add a tablespoonful of butter, pepper and salt to taste, a liberal pinch of minced parsley, and when the fish is unwrapped and dished, pour half slowly over it, sending the rest to table in a boat. If you have no cream, use milk, and add a beaten egg to the thickening.

Salmon Steaks or Cutlets (fried).

Cut slices from the middle of the fish, an inch thick.

1 table-spoonful butter to each slice, for frying.

Beaten egg and fine cracker crumbs, powdered to dust, and peppered with cayenne.

Wipe the fish dry, and salt slightly. Dip in egg, then in cracker crumbs, fry very quickly in hot butter. Drain off every drop of grease, and serve upon a dish lined with hot, clean paper, fringed at the ends.

Sprinkle green parsley in bunches over it.

The French use the best salad-oil in this receipt, instead of butter.[38]

Salmon Steaks or Cutlets (broiled).

Three or four slices of salmon.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

½ cup drawn butter, thickened with browned flour, and seasoned with tomato catsup.

Pepper and salt to taste.

Rub the steaks with the butter, pepper and salt slightly. Broil upon a gridiron over a very clear fire, turning often, and rubbing each side with butter as it comes uppermost. When nicely browned, lay on a hot dish, and pour the sauce over them.

Salmon Cutlets en Papillote.

Dry and lay in melted butter ten minutes. Dust lightly with cayenne pepper, and wrap securely in well buttered or oiled white paper, stitching down the ends of each cover. Fry in nice dripping or sweet lard. They will be done in ten minutes, unless very thick. Have ready clean, hot papers, fringed at both ends. Clip the threads of the soiled ones when you have drained them free from fat, slip dexterously and quickly, lest they cool in the process, into the fresh covers, give the fringed ends a twist, and send up on a heated dish.

Salmon en papillote is also broiled by experts. If you attempt this, be careful that the paper is so well greased and the cutlets turned so often that it does not scorch. The least taste of burnt paper ruins the flavor of the fish, which it is the object of the cover to preserve.[39]

Salmon in a Mould. (Very good.) Maltese cross

1 can preserved salmon or an equal amount of cold, left from a company dish of roast or boiled.

4 eggs beaten light.

4 table-spoonfuls butter—melted, but not hot.

½ cup fine bread-crumbs.

Season with pepper, salt and minced parsley.

Chop the fish fine, then rub it in a Wedgewood mortar, or in a bowl with the back of a silver spoon, adding the butter until it is a smooth paste. Beat the bread-crumbs into the eggs and season before working all together. Put into a buttered pudding-mould, and boil or steam for an hour.

Sauce for the Above.

1 cupful milk heated to a boil, and thickened with a table-spoonful corn-starch.

The liquor from the canned salmon, or if you have none, double the quantity of butter.

1 great spoonful of butter.

1 raw egg.

1 teaspoonful anchovy, or mushroom, or tomato catsup.

1 pinch of mace and one of cayenne.

Put the egg in last and very carefully, boil one minute to cook it, and when the pudding is turned from the mould, pour over it. Cut in slices at table.

A nice supper-dish.

Stewed Salmon. Maltese cross

1 can preserved fresh salmon, or remains of roast or boiled.[40]

1 cup drawn butter.

2 eggs well beaten.

1 teaspoonful anchovy or Harvey’s sauce.

Cayenne and salt to taste.

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped fine.

Some capers or minced green pickles.

Stew the salmon in the can liquor, or a very little water, slightly salted, ten minutes. Have ready, in a larger saucepan, the drawn butter thickened with rice-flour or corn-starch. Season and stir in cautiously the beaten raw eggs, then the salmon. Let it come to a gentle boil, add the chopped eggs and pickles and turn into a covered deep dish.


Add the hard-boiled eggs and capers to the salmon, with a table-spoonful of butter, toss up lightly with a fork, pepper slightly, and heap in the centre of a hot flat dish, then pour the boiling sauce over all.

It is very appetizing served in either way.

Mayonnaise of Salmon.

If you use canned salmon, drain it very dry and pick into coarse flakes with a silver fork. If the remnants of roast or boiled fish, remove all bits of bone, skin and fat, and pick to pieces in the same way.

1 bunch of celery, or 2 heads of lettuce.

For Dressing.

1 cup boiling water.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch.

2 table-spoonfuls best salad-oil.

1 teaspoonful made mustard.[41]

½ cup vinegar.

1 small teaspoonful black pepper, or half as much cayenne.

1 teaspoonful salt.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

2 raw eggs—yolks only,—beaten light.

2 hard-boiled eggs, yolks only.

2 teaspoonfuls powdered sugar.

Wet the corn-starch with cold water and stir into the boiling water until it thickens well; add half of pepper, salt, sugar, and all the butter. Remove from the fire, and beat in the raw yolks while still scalding hot. Set aside to cool, while you cut the celery or lettuce into small pieces, tearing and bruising as little as may be. Mix this lightly with the fish in a deep bowl. Rub the boiled yolks to a powder, add the salt, sugar and pepper, then the oil, little by little, beating it in with a silver spoon; next, the mustard. When the thick egg sauce is quite cold, whip the other into it with an egg-beater, and when thoroughly incorporated, put in the vinegar. Mix half the dressing through the fish and celery, turn this into a salad-dish, mounding it in the centre, and pour the rest of the dressing over it.

Garnish with rings of boiled white-of-egg or whipped raw whites, heaped regularly on the surface, with a caper on top of each.

Do not be discouraged at the length of this receipt. It is easy and safe. Your taste may suggest some modification of the ingredients, but you will like it, in the main, well enough to try it more than once.[42]

Devilled Salmon. Maltese cross

½ pound smoked salmon, cut into strips half an inch wide and an inch long.

4 table-spoonfuls good beef gravy, seasoned with onion.

1 table-spoonful tomato or walnut catsup.

1 table-spoonful vinegar.

2 table-spoonfuls melted butter or best salad-oil.

1 teaspoonful made mustard.

Cayenne to taste.

Boil the salmon ten minutes in clear water. Have ready in a saucepan the gravy and seasoning, hot and closely covered, but do not let it boil. Lay the salmon for ten minutes more in the melted butter, turning it several times. Then put into the hot gravy, cover and simmer five minutes. Pile the fish upon a hot platter; pour the sauce over it, and serve with split Boston crackers, toasted and buttered.

Smoked Salmon (Broiled). Maltese cross

½ pound smoked salmon, cut into narrow strips.

2 table-spoonfuls butter.

Juice of half a lemon.

Cayenne pepper.

Parboil the salmon ten minutes; lay in cold water for the same length of time; wipe dry, and broil over a clear fire. Butter while hot, season with cayenne and lemon-juice, pile in a “log-cabin” square upon a hot plate, and send up with dry toast.[43]

Salt Cod an maître d’hôtel. Maltese cross

About a pound of cod which has been soaked over night, then boiled, picked into fine flakes.

1 cup milk.

2 table-spoonfuls butter.

Bunch of sweet herbs.

Juice of half a lemon.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch.

Pepper to taste.

Heat the milk to boiling, stir in the butter, then the corn-starch; stir until it thickens, when add the fish; pepper and cook slowly fifteen minutes. Turn out upon a dish, strew thickly with chopped green herbs—chiefly parsley; squeeze the lemon-juice over all and serve.

Mashed potato is an improvement to this dish.

Salt Cod with Egg Sauce. Maltese cross

1 pound salt cod, previously soaked, then boiled and allowed to cool, picked or chopped fine.

1 small cup milk or cream.

1 teaspoonful corn-starch or flour.

2 eggs beaten light.

2 table-spoonfuls of butter.

A little chopped parsley.

Half as much mashed potato as you have fish.

Pepper to taste.

Heat the milk, thicken with the corn starch; then the potato, rubbed very fine; next the butter, the eggs and parsley, lastly the fish. Stir and toss until smoking hot all through, when pour into a deep dish.[44]


Make a sauce of all the ingredients except the fish and potato. Mix these well together, with a little melted butter. Heat in a saucepan, stirring all the while; heap in the centre of a dish, and pour the sauce over all.

Salt Cod with Cheese.

1 pound boiled codfish, chopped fine.

1 cup drawn butter.

Pepper and parsley.

2 table-spoonfuls grated cheese.


Heat the butter to boiling, season and stir in the fish, then the cheese; put into a baking-dish; strew fine bread-crumbs on the top, and brown in the oven.

Salt Cod Scalloped.

Boiled cold cod, minced fine.

1 cup oyster liquor.

1 table-spoonful rice-flour or corn-starch.

3 table-spoonfuls butter.

Chopped parsley and pepper.

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped fine.

1 cup fine, dry bread-crumbs.

Boil the oyster liquor, thicken and stir in two tablespoonfuls of butter with seasoning. Let it cool. Put a handful of bread-crumbs on the bottom of a buttered baking-dish, cover these with the oyster sauce, next comes a layer of fish; one of chopped egg; then more sauce, and so on, leaving out the bread-crumbs until the dish is full, when put a thick layer, with bits of butter set closely in it. Bake covered until hot through, then brown.[45]

Fricasseed Lobster. Maltese cross

Meat of a good-sized lobster, boiled.

1 cup rich veal, or chicken broth—quite thick.

½ cup cream.

Juice of half a lemon.

1 table-spoonful of butter.

Pepper and salt to taste.

Cut the lobster-meat in pieces half an inch square; put with the gravy, pepper and salt, into a saucepan. Cover and stew gently for five minutes. Add the cream, and just as it is on the point of boiling, stir in the butter. When this is melted, take the saucepan from the fire, and stir in, very quickly, the lemon-juice.

Serve in a covered dish.

Boston crackers, split, delicately toasted, and buttered while hot, are a nice accompaniment to this fricassee.

Canned lobster may be used if you cannot procure fresh.

Lobster Rissoles. Maltese cross

1 large lobster—boiled.

2 table-spoonfuls of butter.

Yolks of 3 eggs.

Handful of bread-crumbs.

1 table-spoonful of anchovy sauce.

Cayenne, salt, and chopped parsley to liking.

Pick the meat from the boiled lobster, and pound it in a Wedgewood mortar with half the coral, seasoning with salt and cayenne pepper. When you have rubbed it to a smooth paste with the butter, add a table-spoonful[46] of anchovy sauce and the yolk of an egg, well beaten. Flour your hands well and make the mixture into egg-shaped balls. Roll these in beaten egg, then in bread-crumbs, and fry to a light brown in sweet lard, dripping, or butter.

For the Sauce.

The coral of the lobster rubbed smooth.

1 teaspoonful anchovy sauce.

4 table-spoonfuls melted butter.

1 table-spoonful of cream.

Have ready in a saucepan 4 table-spoonfuls of melted butter; the remainder of the coral of the lobster pounded fine, and stirred in carefully, and a teaspoonful of anchovy sauce. Let this heat almost to boiling; add the cream, and pour hot over the rissoles when you have arranged these upon a heated dish.

Garnish with parsley or cresses.

Lobster Cutlets Maltese cross

Are made precisely as is the paste for rissoles, except that enough flour is added to it to enable you to roll it out into a sheet about as thick as your finger. Cut this into strips about three inches in length and one in width. Fry these quickly and drain dry before arranging them in the dish.

Pour the sauce over them. If properly made and fried, they are light and palatable.

Lobster Croquettes. Maltese cross

1 fine lobster, well boiled, or a can of lobster.

2 eggs, well beaten.

2 table-spoonfuls of butter, melted, but not hot.[47]

½ cup bread-crumbs.

Season with salt and cayenne pepper.

Pound the lobster-meat, coral and all, in a Wedgewood mortar. Mix with this the bread-crumbs, then the seasoning and butter. Bind with the yolk of one egg. Flour your hands and make into oblong croquettes. Dip in beaten egg, then in bread-crumbs, and fry quickly to a light-brown in sweet lard or butter. Drain off fat, by laying upon a hot, clean paper, before dishing them.

Make a border of parsley close about them when you have piled them tastefully in the dish.

Lobster Pudding.

1 large lobster well boiled, or a can of preserved lobster.

½ cup fine bread-crumbs.

½ cup cream or rich milk.

Cayenne pepper and salt.

1 teaspoonful of Worcestershire or Harvey’s sauce.

¼ pound fat, salt pork, or corned ham, cut into very thin slices.

3 eggs.

Pound the meat and coral to a paste. Mix into this two eggs well beaten, the seasoning, the bread-crumbs, and one table-spoonful of cream. Stir all together until light. Line the pudding-mould with the sliced ham. Pour the mixture into this and fit on the top. Set into a pot or pan of boiling water, and boil steadily for one hour.

Sauce for Pudding.

½ cup drawn butter.

The remainder of the cream.[48]

A little chopped parsley.

1 teaspoonful anchovy sauce.

Heat almost to boiling; stir in a beaten egg, and so soon as this begins to thicken, take from the fire.

Turn the pudding out carefully upon a hot dish, and pour the sauce over it. Cut with a sharp thin knife.

Send around lemon cut into eighths, to be squeezed over each slice, should the guests wish to do so.

Curried Lobster.

1 large lobster, boiled.

1 large cup of strong veal or chicken broth.

1 shallot.

1 great spoonful of butter.

1 great spoonful chopped thyme and parsley.

Juice of 1 lemon.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch.

1 teaspoonful anchovy sauce.

1 table-spoonful curry-powder.

Pick the meat very fine and set aside in a cool place. Mince the onion, and put it with the chopped herbs, the butter and a table-spoonful of hot water, into a small covered saucepan. Set this over the fire until it begins to simmer, then add the broth. Boil all together for five minutes, strain as for soup, stir in the curry powder and corn-starch, and stew gently ten minutes longer, stirring often. Season as directed, and add the picked lobster. Let the saucepan stand in a pan of boiling water ten minutes, but do not let the contents of the inner vessel boil. Pour into a deep dish.[49]

Send around wafery slices of toast buttered while hot, and pieces of lemon to be added if necessary.

Devilled Lobster. Maltese cross

1 lobster, well boiled.

3 table-spoonfuls butter.

1 teaspoonful made mustard.

1 teaspoonful anchovy sauce.

1 wine glass of vinegar.

Cayenne pepper and salt.

2 hard-boiled eggs.

Pick the meat carefully from the shell, breaking it as little as may be. Rub the coral to a smooth paste with the back of a silver spoon. Chop the meat fine. Stir into this the butter, melted, but not hot, the yolks of the eggs, rubbed smooth with the coral, the pepper, mustard and salt, and put all together in a saucepan over the fire. Stir until it is smoking hot, then turn into the shell, which should be washed and heated.

Stewed Lobster.

1 large lobster, well boiled.

1 cup good gravy—veal is best.

1 blade of mace.

2 table-spoonfuls of melted butter.

Juice of half a lemon.

Cayenne and salt to liking.

1 glass sherry.

1 teaspoonful chopped parsley.

Cut the meat of the lobster into pieces an inch long and half as wide, keeping the coral until the last. Put the meat, with the broth and seasoning, into a saucepan[50] and heat gently, stirring frequently until it is near boiling. Then add the coral and butter (which should previously be well rubbed together) and the chopped parsley. When the mixture again nears the boiling point, add the wine and lemon-juice and turn into a deep dish.

Scalloped Lobster (No. 1).

1 boiled lobster.

4 table-spoonfuls of cream.

2 eggs well beaten.

½ cup bread-crumbs.

2 tablespoonfuls butter.

1 tea-spoonful anchovy sauce.

Season to taste with cayenne, salt and nutmeg.

Juice of half a lemon.

Rub the meat of the lobster, including the coral, a little at a time, in a Wedgewood mortar with the butter, until it is a soft paste. Put this into a saucepan with the seasoning, and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from the fire, and add the cream and lemon-juice, stirring in well. Fill the lobster shell with this mixture. Strew bread-crumbs over the top, and set on the upper grate of a quick oven until the crumbs begin to brown.

Send to table in the shell, laid upon a hot dish.

You can scallop crab in the same manner.

Scalloped Lobster (No. 2).


1 lobster, well boiled.

3 table-spoonfuls of butter.

1 teaspoonful of anchovy sauce.

½ cup of bread-crumbs.

½ cup of cream.

2 eggs well beaten.

Season with cayenne pepper and salt.

Cut the lobster carefully into halves with a sharp knife. Pick out the meat carefully, and set aside while you prepare the sauce. This is done by rubbing the coral and the soft green substance, known as the “pith,” together in a mortar or bowl, adding, a little at a time, a table-spoonful of butter. Put this on the fire in a covered saucepan, and stir until it is smoking hot. Then, beat in the anchovy sauce, pepper and salt before adding the cream. Heat quickly to a boil, lest the cream should curdle, put in the picked meat, and again stir up well from the sides and bottom until very hot. The eggs, whipped to a froth, should now go in. Remove the saucepan from the fire so soon as this is done.

Have the upper and lower halves of the shell ready buttered, strew bread-crumbs thickly in the bottom of each, moisten these with cream, and pour in the lobster mixture while still very hot. Put another layer of bread-crumbs, well moistened with the remainder of the cream, on the top. Stick bits of butter all over it, and brown on the upper grating of a hot oven.

In either of these preparations of scalloped lobster, should the canned lobster be used, or should you chance to break the shell in getting out the meat, you may bake the mixture prepared, as directed, in a pudding-dish or small paté pans.[52]


Are so near of kin to the lobster family that the same receipts may easily be used for both. Only, bear in mind that the lesser and tougher shell-fish needs more boiling than does the aristocratic lobster. If underdone, crabs are very unwholesome. Also, in consideration of the crab’s deficiency in the matter of the coral which lends lusciousness and color to lobster salads and stews, use more butter and cream in “getting him up” for the table.

Cayenne pepper is regarded by many as necessary in dishes of lobster or crab, because of its supposed efficacy in preventing the evil effects which might otherwise follow indulgence in these delicacies.

Soft Crabs.

For a receipt for preparing these, please see “Common Sense in the Household, No. 1,” page 71.

Turtle Fricassee. Maltese cross

3 pounds turtle steak.

1 large cup strong veal gravy.

4 hard-boiled eggs—the yolks only.

1 teaspoonful anchovy sauce.[53]

1 teaspoonful Harvey’s sauce.

Juice of half a lemon.

2 dozen mushrooms.

1 small onion, minced fine.

1 bunch sweet herbs, minced.

1 glass wine, and butter for frying.

Browned flour for thickening, with cayenne and salt.

Cut the steak in strips as wide and as long as three of your fingers; fry brown (when you have floured them) in butter. Take up; drain off the grease; put with the gravy, which should be ready heated, into a tin vessel with a close cover and set in a pot of hot water. It must not boil until you have put in the rest of the ingredients. Slice the onion and mushrooms, and fry in the same butter; add with the herbs and other seasoning to the meat in the pail, or inner saucepan. Cover and set to stew gently. To the butter left in the frying-pan, add three spoonfuls of browned flour (large ones) and stir to a smooth unctuous paste, without setting it on the range. Add the lemon-juice to this, and set aside until the turtle has simmered half an hour in the broth. Take up the meat, and arrange upon a covered hot-water dish; transfer the gravy to a saucepan, and boil hard five minutes uncovered. Put in the brown flour paste; stir up until it thickens well; add the wine and yolks of eggs, each cut in three pieces, and pour over the turtle.

Panned Oysters. Maltese cross

1 quart of oysters.

Rounds of thin toast, delicately browned.

Butter, salt and pepper.

Have ready several small pans of block tin, with upright sides. The ordinary “patty-pan” will do, if you can get nothing better, but it is well, if you are fond of oysters cooked in this way, to have the neat little tins made, at a moderate price, at a tinsmith’s. Cut stale bread in thin slices, then round—removing all the crust—of a size that will just fit in the bottoms of[54] your pans. Toast these quickly to a light-brown, butter and lay within your tins. Wet with a great spoonful of oyster liquid, then, with a silver fork, arrange upon the toast as many oysters as the pans will hold without heaping them up. Dust with pepper and salt, put a bit of butter on top and set the pans, when all are full, upon the floor of a quick oven. Cover with an inverted baking-pan to keep in steam and flavor, and cook until the oysters “ruffle.” Eight minutes in a brisk oven, should be enough. Send very hot to the table in the tins in which they were roasted.

Next to roasting in the shell, this mode of cooking oysters best preserves the native flavor of the bivalves.

Fricasseed Oysters. Maltese cross

1 pint good broth—veal or chicken—well strained.

1 slice of ham—corned is better than smoked.

3 pints oysters.

1 small onion.

2 table-spoonfuls of butter.

½ cup of milk.

1 table-spoonful of corn-starch.

1 egg beaten light.

A little chopped parsley and sweet marjoram.

Pepper to taste and juice of a lemon.

If the ham be raw, soak in boiling water for half an hour before cutting it into very small slices, and putting it into the saucepan with the broth, the oyster liquor, the onion minced very fine, the herbs and pepper. Let these simmer for fifteen minutes, and boil fast for five, then skim and put in the oysters. Boil[55] up once briskly, keeping the contents of the saucepan well stirred. Have ready the corn-starch, rubbed smoothly into the milk. Stir this in and heat carefully, using the spoon constantly until it boils and begins to thicken, when the butter should go in. So soon as this is melted take out the oysters with a skimmer; put into a hot covered dish, heat the broth again to a boil, remove the saucepan from the fire, and stir in cautiously the beaten egg. A better way is to cook the latter gradually by beating in with it a few tablespoonfuls of the scalding liquor, before putting the egg into the saucepan.

Turn the gravy over the oysters, and serve at once. Squeeze in the lemon-juice after the tureen is on the table, as it is apt to curdle the mixture if left to stand.

Send around cream crackers, and green pickles or olives with this savory dish.

Oysters Boiled in the Shell.


Large shell-oysters, washed very clean and scraped, but not opened.

Pot of boiling water over a hot fire.

Sauce of melted butter with chopped or powdered parsley.

A lemon, cut in half.

Put the oysters, one by one, quickly and carefully into the water, which must be kept at a hard boil all the time. In five minutes, turn off every drop of the water by inverting the pot over a cullender, dry the shells rapidly with a soft cloth and send to table upon a hot dish. Squeeze a few drops of lemon-juice upon each oyster, and put a little hot melted butter with pepper over it before eating it from the shell.

The epicurean oyster-lover may consider boiled oysters insipid, but they are liked by many.

Scalloped Oysters (No. 1). Maltese cross

Large, fine shell-oysters.


Fine bread-crumbs, or rolled cracker.

Minced parsley, pepper and salt.


Open the shells, setting aside for use the deepest ones. Have ready some melted butter, not hot, seasoned with minced parsley and pepper. Roll each oyster in this, letting it drip as little as may be, and lay in the shells, which should be arranged in a baking-pan. Add to each a little lemon-juice, sift bread-crumbs over it, and bake in a quick oven until done.

Serve in the shells.

Scalloped Oysters (No. 2). Maltese cross

1 quart of oysters.

1 teacupful very dry bread-crumbs, or pounded cracker.

2 great spoonfuls butter.

½ cup of milk, or cream, if you can get it.

Pepper to taste.

A little salt.

Cover the bottom of a baking-dish (well buttered) with a layer of crumbs, and wet these with the cream, put on spoonful by spoonful. Pepper and salt, and strew with minute bits of butter. Next, put in the oysters, with a little of their liquor. Pepper them,[57] stick bits of butter in among them, and cover with dry crumbs until the oysters are entirely hidden. More pieces of butter, very small, and arranged thickly on top. Set in the oven, invert a plate over it to keep in the flavor, and bake until the juice bubbles up to the top. Remove the cover, and brown on the upper grating for two or three minutes—certainly not longer.

Send to table in the bake-dish.

This is a good intermediate course between fish and meat, and is always popular.

Broiled Oysters. Maltese cross

1 quart of the finest, firmest oysters you can procure.

½ cup very dry bread-crumbs, or pounded crackers, sifted almost as fine as flour.

Pepper to taste.

½ cup melted butter.

Dry the oysters by laying them on a clean cloth and covering them with another. Dip each in the melted butter, which should be peppered, roll over and over in the cracker-crumbs, and broil upon one of the wire gridirons, made for this purpose, over a clear fire. These wire “broilers” hold the oysters firmly, and can be safely turned when one side is done. Five or six minutes should cook them. Butter and pepper a hot dish, lay in the oysters, and serve immediately.

Devilled Oysters. Maltese cross


1 quart fine oysters.

Cayenne pepper.


Some melted butter.

1 egg, beaten light.

½ cup rolled cracker.

Wipe the oysters dry, and lay in a flat dish. Cover with a mixture of melted butter, cayenne pepper (or pepper-sauce), and lemon-juice. Let them lie in this for ten minutes, turning them frequently; roll in the crumbs, then in the beaten egg, again in the crumbs, and fry in mixed lard and butter, made very hot before the oysters are dropped in.

Oysters in Batter.

1 quart of oysters.

2 eggs, whipped light.

1 cup of milk.

Flour to make a good batter.

Pepper and salt.

Dry the oysters with a soft cloth, dip in the batter twice, turning each one dexterously, that it may be thickly coated, and fry in a mixture of butter and lard.

Stewed Oysters.

1 quart of oysters.

1 cup of milk.

Salt very slightly, and pepper to taste.

1 great spoonful butter.

Drain the liquor from the oysters into a saucepan and heat to a boil. At the same time, put on the milk to heat in another vessel set within a pot or pan of boiling water. When the liquor in the saucepan boils up, put in the oysters and stew until they begin to ruffle or crimp at the edges. Stir in the butter, and when this is quite dissolved, turn the stew into a tureen. Add[59] the milk immediately (which should be boiling hot), cover closely, and send to table. Send around pickles, or olives, and crackers with them. There is no danger, when oysters are stewed in this way, of the milk curdling.

Oyster Patés.

1 quart of oysters, minced fine with a sharp knife, with a thin blade,—not a “chopper.”

1 great spoonful butter “drawn” in a cupful of milk, or cream, if you can get it, and thicken with a teaspoonful of corn-starch or rice-flour, previously wet up with cold milk.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the liquor from the oysters, and chop them as directed. When the milk has been boiled and thickened, and the butter well incorporated with it, stir in the minced oysters, and stew about five minutes, stirring all the while. Have ready some shapes of nice pastry, baked, and fill with the mixture. Set in the oven about two minutes to heat them well, and send to table.


You can heat the chopped oysters in a very little of their own liquor before adding to the thickened milk. Unless you are sure that the latter is quite fresh, this is a prudent precaution.

Cream Oyster Pie.

Line a pie-plate with good puff paste; fill it with slices of stale bread, laid evenly within it; butter that part of the crust lining the rim of the dish, and cover with a top crust. Bake quickly in a brisk oven, and[60] while still hot, dexterously and carefully lift the upper crust. The buttered rim will cause it to separate easily from the lower. Have ready a mixture of minced oysters and thickened cream, prepared according to the foregoing receipt, and having taken out the stale bread (put there to keep the top crust in shape), fill the pie with the oyster cream. Replace the cover, set in the oven for two minutes, or until hot, and serve. This is a nice luncheon dish, and not amiss for supper.



He was a shrewd Cœlebs who restrained his loverly impatience to throw himself, in unconditional surrender, at the feet of his beloved, by the resolution to see her first at the breakfast-table. It is to be regretted that his admiring biographer has not recorded the result of the experiment. Let us hope, for the sake of preserving the “unities of the drama,” that Cecilia was “in good form” on the momentous occasion; not a thread ironed awry in bib or tucker; not a rebellious hair in her sleek locks. Cœlebs—Hannah More’s Cœlebs—and every other that I ever read or heard of, was a pragmatical prig; the complacent proprietor of a patent refrigerator, very commodious and in excellent repair, but which ought never, even by his conceited self, to have been mistaken for a heart.

Knowing you, my reader, as I do, I would not insult your good sense by intimating that the husband of your choice resembles him in any leading trait. Being a sensible (and avowedly a fallible) man, therefore, John does not expect you to appear at the breakfast-table in the flowing robes and elaborate laces that belong to the leisure hours of the day. If he does, he should don dress-coat and white cravat to keep you in countenance. He will not find fault with a neat[62] peignoir (if it be neat), or a plainly-trimmed dress, or a white apron before the same. He ought to look for, and to see a clean collar put on straight and fastened snugly at the throat, or a white ruffle and cuffs, or wrist-ruffles, to correspond, and hair in irreproachable order. I have seen women who called themselves ladies, who could never find time to give their hair what they called “a good combing,” until afternoon. And time and patience would fail me, and I fear the equanimity of your diaphragm as well, were I to attempt even a partial recapitulation of the many and disgustful varieties of morning toilettes, of which I have been the unwilling spectator. You should hear my John,—whose profession takes him into what the renowned Ann Gale styles the “buzzom of families,” at all sorts of unconventional hours,—dilate upon this theme. Not invalid attire. When the work of wearing the robe of flesh becomes a matter of pain and difficulty, he must be indeed hypercritical who notes the ill-fitting wrapper, or roughened hair.

“But the queens of the breakfast-table!” he says, with lifted eyebrows. “The grimy chrysalids of the afternoon butterflies! It is not a casual glimpse of Cinderella on sweeping-day, or during house-cleaning week, that I complain of; but my heart swells with sincerest pity for the husbands before whose eyes the play is enacted three hundred and sixty-five times every year; to whom the elf-locks and collarless neck, the greasy, lank, torn dressing-gown of dark calico appear as surely and regularly as the light of each new day.”

I do not say that you should bring to the breakfast-table a face like a May morning. I hate stereotyped[63] phrases and stereotyped smiles. But try to look as gracious as though a visitor sat between you and the gentleman at the foot of the board. It is not always easy to appear even moderately cheerful at breakfast-time. An eminent physician told me once, as the result of many years’ study and observation, that no woman should be up in the morning more than an hour before breaking her fast. My own experience has so far corroborated the wisdom of the advice that I always strive to impress upon my domestics, especially the not strong ones, the expediency of eating a slice of bread and drinking a cup of tea during the interval that must elapse between their rising-hour and the kitchen breakfast. I practise the like precaution against faintness and headache, in my own case, when I have to give my personal superintendence to the morning meal, or when it is later than usual. But with all precautionary measures, I believe “before breakfast” to be the most doleful hour of the twenty-four to a majority of our sex. In winter, the house is at a low temperature; dressing, a hurried and disagreeable business; the children are drowsy, lazy, and cross; John “doesn’t want to seem impatient, but would like to have breakfast on time, to-day, my dear, as I have an important engagement.” While the mother, who has slept with one ear quite open all night, and one eye half shut, because she fancied, at bed-time, that baby’s breathing was not quite natural, fights twenty battles with bodily discomfort and spiritual irritability before she takes her seat behind the coffee-urn, and draws her first long breath at the beginning of the “blessing,” that reminds her of the mercies, new every morning, which[64] are still hers. For all this, try womanfully to launch John upon the day’s voyage with a smile and word of cheer. Think twice before you tell him of the cook’s indolence and stupidity, and the housemaid’s petulance. In the hope that the nauseating pain in your head may yield to a “good cup of tea”—(bless it, with me, O my sisters, one and all!) it is as well to withhold the fact of its existence from him. If he will read the morning paper over his coffee, his cakes growing cold meanwhile, and thereby obliges the cook to bake twice as many as would be necessary for the meal were all to partake of it at the same time, restrain the censure that trembles on your tongue, and chat merrily with the children. A silent, hasty breakfast is one of the worst things imaginable for their digestion and tempers.

You would often rather have “a comfortable cry” in a corner than act thus, but persuade yourself bravely that nine-tenths of your miserable sensations are hysterical, and, therefore, ephemeral. If we women do not know what the “morning cloud” is, nobody does. Still, remember it “passeth away.”

If possible, let your eating-room be light and pleasant,—warm in winter, breezy in summer. Not only should the table be neat, orderly, and, so far as you can make it so, pretty, but guard against what I have mentally characterized, in some very grand salles-à-manger, as the “workshop look”—the look that says to all who enter—“This is the place where you must eat.” There are tall beaufets with loads of plate and glass, side-tables with reserves of implements for the labors of the hour and place; pictures of game, fish[65] and fruit;—more eating;—and if the walls are frescoed, more game, sheep and oxen, or, at the best, hunting, seem to reassure the consumers of to-day that there will be more creatures killed in season for to-morrow’s dinner. Therefore, eat, drink and be solemn while doing it, as befits the season and surroundings. There is nothing like having a single eye to business.

Do not fret yourself if your dining-room boasts neither paintings nor frescoes. Throw open all the shutters in the morning, and coax in every available ray of sunlight. Press the weather into service to adorn the repast. If fine, remark upon the blueness of the sky and the enjoyment of the outer world in the glory of the day. If stormy, make the best of home-cheer, and promise something attractive as an evening entertainment, should the weather continue wet, or snowy. A canary-bird in the sunniest window is a good thing to have in a breakfast-room if you like his shrill warbling. A pot of English ivy, brave and green, twisting over the face of the old clock, and festooning the windows, is a choice bit of brightness in the winter time. In summer, when flowers are cheap and plentiful, never set the table without them if you can get nothing more than a button-hole bouquet to lay on John’s napkin. Insist that the children shall make themselves tidy before coming to the table, whatever may be the meal, even if they will meet nobody except yourself there. Teach them early that it is a disgrace to themselves and to you to eat with unclean hands and faces. Inculcate, further, the propriety of introducing, while at table, topics that will interest and please all.[66] Let wrangling, fault-finding and recrimination be never so much as named among them. These are little things, but whatever detracts from the idea that the family repast is a tri-daily festival, and should be honored and enjoyed as such, is a wrong to those whose happiness it is your mission to guard and maintain. A wrong to health as to heart. Food swallowed in bitterness of spirit engenders dyspepsia and bile as surely as do acrid fruit and heavy bread. A sharp reprimand will take away sensitive Mamie’s appetite, and a frown between the eyes that, when serene, seem to John to mirror heaven itself, will beget in his bosom that indescribable sinking of heart we know as “goneness,” which is yet not physical faintness.

I have jotted down these hints under the heading of “Breakfast,” although most of them are applicable to all meals, because, as a rule, people bring less keenness of hunger to this than to any other. It is as if the longest fast that separates our stated time of eating from another were the hardest to break; as if we had got out of the habit of desiring and receiving food. It behooves us, then, as wise housewives, to make provision against mortifying rejection of our viands by various and artful devices to tempt the dull or coy appetite. Especially should we study to avoid sameness in our breakfast bills of fare; an easy thing to compass by a moderate exercise of foresight and ingenuity on the part of the housewife.

The American breakfast should be a pleasing medium between the heavy cold beef and game pie of the English and the—for our climate and “fast” habits of life—too light morning refreshment of the French.[67] That in order to accomplish these ends it is not necessary greatly to increase the market bills of the household, or the cares of the mistress, I have tried to prove in these pages, while I have not deemed it well to specify, in all cases, which are exclusively breakfast dishes. Very many of those I have described might appear with equal propriety at breakfast, at luncheon, at what is spoken of in provincial circles as “a hearty supper,” or as an entrée or side-dish at dinner.



No form of meat, entrée, or made dish is more popular, and, if rightly prepared, more elegant than the paté. It is susceptible of variations, many and pleasant, chiefly in the form of the crust and the nature of its contents. The celebrated patés de foie gras, imported from Strasbourg, are usually without the paste enclosure, and come to us in hermetically sealed jars.

Paté of Sweetbreads. Maltese cross

Make a good puff paste, basting two or three times with butter, and set in a cold place for at least half an hour. The best paté covers I have ever made were from paste kept over night in a cool dry safe, before it was rolled into a sheet for cutting. When the paste is crisp and firm, roll quickly, and cut into rounds about a quarter of an inch thick. Reserving one of these whole for the bottom crust of each paté, lay it in a floured baking-pan, cut the centre from two or three others, as you desire your paté to be shallow or deep, and lay these carefully, one after another, upon the whole one, leaving a neat round well, a little over an inch in diameter, in the middle. Bake in a quick oven, and when lightly browned, glaze by brushing each over with white of egg and returning to the oven for a[69] minute. Make ready as many sweetbreads as you need (two of fair size will make a good dish), previously prepared by boiling fifteen minutes in hot water, then made firm by plunging into very cold. Cut them into slices, season with pepper and salt, put into a covered saucepan with a great spoonful of butter and a very little water, and simmer gently until tender all through. Cut these in turn into very small squares, and mix with less than a cupful of white sauce. Return to the saucepan and heat almost to boiling, stirring carefully all the time. Fill the patés, arrange upon a hot dish, and send up at once.

White Sauce for the above.

1 small cupful of milk, heated to boiling in a custard-kettle, or tin pail set in hot water.

1 heaping teaspoonful corn-starch, wet with cold milk.

Salt and pepper to taste.

1 table-spoonful butter.

A little chopped parsley.

Stir the corn-starch into the boiling milk until it thickens well, then the butter and seasoning.

This mixture is useful in all similar preparations, but should be a little thicker for oysters than for meats.

Chicken Patés. Maltese cross

Line small paté-pans with good puff paste, let this get crisp in a cool place, and bake in a brisk oven. Stir minced chicken, well seasoned, into a good white sauce, heat through, fill the shells, set in the oven to brown very slightly, and serve.[70]


Thicken the gravy left from the roast chicken with browned flour, add to the minced meat the yolk of one or two hard-boiled eggs, mashed fine; stir all together in a saucepan until hot, and fill the paste-shells. This is a brown mixture, and if not over-cooked, is very savory.

The remains of cold fowls, of any kind of game, and of veal, can be served up acceptably in this way. The patés should be small, that each person at table may take a whole one. If preferred, the paste can be cut round, as before directed, and baked without the tins.

Patés of Fish.

The cold remains of baked or boiled salmon, fresh cod or halibut.

Some good white sauce, richer than if intended for meat.

About one-fourth as much mashed potato as you have fish.

Yolks of two or three hard-boiled eggs rubbed to a paste with a spoonful, or so, of butter. This paste should be smooth and light.

Pepper and salt to taste, and a little chopped parsley.

Shells of good puff paste, baked quickly to a delicate brown and glazed with beaten egg.

Rub the sauce gradually into the mashed potato until both are free from lumps. When mixed, beat together to a cream. Season and stir in the fish (which should be “picked” very fine) with a silver fork, heaping it as you stir, instead of beating the mixture down. Do this quickly and lightly, fill the shells, set in the oven to heat through, and when smoking-hot draw to[71] the oven door, and cover with the paste of egg and butter. A little cream may be added to this paste if it be not soft enough to spread easily. Shut the oven-door for two minutes, to heat the paste.

Serve the dish very hot, and send around sliced lemon with it, as some persons like to squeeze a few drops over the paté before eating.

Canned lobster and salmon are very good, thus prepared. Smoked salmon can be made palatable for this purpose by soaking over night, and boiling in two waters.

Swiss Patés.

Some slices of stale bread.

A little good dripping or very sweet lard mixed with the same quantity of butter.

Two or three eggs beaten light.

Very fine cracker-crumbs.

Minced fowl or veal mixed with white sauce, and well seasoned. Cut thick slices of stale bread—baker’s bread is best—into rounds with a cake-cutter. With a smaller cutter extract a piece from the middle of each round, taking care not to let the sharp tin go quite through the bread, but leaving enough in the cavity to serve as a bottom to the paté. Dip the hollowed piece of bread in the beaten egg, sift the pulverized cracker over it, and fry in the dripping, or lard and butter, to a delicate brown. Drain every drop of fat from it. Arrange upon a hot dish when all are done, heap up with the “mince,” and eat without delay.

Devilled crab or lobster is nice served in this style.

Bread patés are a convenience when the housekeeper[72] has not time to spare for pastry-making. You can, if you like, fry them without the egg or cracker; but most persons would esteem them too rich.

Stella Paté.

3 cups minced veal or lamb—either roast or boiled. If underdone, it is an advantage, and if lamb be used, every particle of fat must be left out.

1 can French mushrooms, or a pint of fresh ones.

4 hard-boiled eggs cut into slices, and a sliced onion.

4 table-spoonfuls melted butter, or a cupful strong veal, lamb or fowl gravy.

3 cups fine bread-crumbs soaked in a cup of milk.

2 raw eggs beaten light and mixed with the milk.

Fry the mushrooms brown in dripping, or butter, with the onion, then chop rather coarsely. Work the crumbs, milk and raw eggs into a thick, smooth batter, with which line the bottom and sides of a well-greased mould or baking dish. Within this put a layer of the minced meat, seasoned to taste, wet with gravy or a little melted butter, and lay sliced egg over it. Next should come a layer of mushrooms, then another of meat, and so on, repeating the order given above until all your materials are used up, or the mould is full. The upper layer should be of the soaked crumbs. Cover closely and bake in a moderate oven half an hour, or until the outer crust is well “set.” Then set the mould, still covered, in a baking-pan half full of boiling water. Keep in the oven, which should be hotter than at first, fifteen minutes longer. Pass a thin sharp knife around the inside of the mould to loosen the paté from the sides, and turn out with care upon a[73] hot flat dish. You should have a little brown gravy ready to pour over it.

If veal be the only meat used in preparing this dish, a layer of minced ham will improve the flavor.

If these directions be strictly followed, the entrée will be pleasing to both eye and palate.

Paté of beef and potato.

This is made according to the foregoing receipt, but substituting for the bread-crumb crust one of mashed potato beaten soft and smooth with a few spoonfuls of cream and raw egg. In place of mushrooms, put a layer of chopped potatoes (previously boiled), mixed with a boiled onion also chopped. Season with beef gravy, from which the fat has been skimmed.

Imitation paté de foie gras. Maltese cross

Livers of four or five fowls and as many gizzards.

3 table-spoonfuls melted butter.

A chopped onion.

1 table-spoonful Worcestershire, or other pungent sauce.

Salt and white pepper to taste.

A few truffles, if you can get them.

Boil the livers until quite done, drain and wipe dry, and when cold, rub them to a paste in a Wedgewood mortar. Let the butter and chopped onion simmer together very slowly at the side of the range for ten minutes. Strain them through thin muslin, pressing the bag hard to extract the full flavor of the onion, and work this well into the pounded liver. Turn into a larger vessel, and mix with it the rest of the seasoning,[74] working all together for a long while. Butter a small china or earthen-ware jar or cup, and press the mixture hard down within it, interspersing it with square bits of the boiled gizzards to represent truffles. Of course, the latter are preferable, but being scarce and expensive, they are not always to be had. If you have them, boil them and let them get cold before putting them into the paté. Cover all with melted butter and set in a cool, dry place. If well seasoned it will keep for a fortnight in winter, but should be kept closely covered.

This paté is a delicious relish, and is more easily attainable than would at first appear. The livers of a turkey and a pair of chickens or ducks will make a small one, and these can be saved from one poultry-day to another by boiling them in salt water, and keeping in a cool place. Or, one can often secure any number of giblets by previous application at the kitchen of a restaurant or hotel.


A fair imitation of the foregoing dish can be made from the liver of a young calf, with bits of the tongue for mock truffles.



These popular little roulettes, although comparatively new to the tables of most private families in America, hold their place well where they have been once introduced. Like the paté, their name is Legion as regards shape, nature and quality.

In a housewifely conversation with a lady a few months since, the word “croquette” chanced to escape me, and I was caught up eagerly.

“Now,” with an ingenuous blush, “do you know, I was offered some at a dinner-party the other day, and was completely nonplussed! I thought croquet was a game.”

“Croquette!” I interposed, making the most of the final t, and e.

“The gentleman who sat next me said ‘croquay,’ very plainly, I assure you. But never mind the name. What are they made of? Hominy?”

“Yes,” returned I. “Or rice, or potato, or lobster, crab, salmon, halibut, cod, chicken, turkey, duck, game, veal, lamb, or beef. In short, of all kinds of fish, flesh, fowl, and vegetable. The smaller varieties are familiarly known to readers of cookery-books as ‘olives’ of meat, poultry, or game; the larger as rissoles or croquettes, the largest as cannelons or mirotons.”[76]

“Good gracious!” uttered my overwhelmed friend. “Before I would bother my brain with such puzzling nonsense, I would set my family down to cold meat three times a day three days in a week!”

I believed she meant what she said. But not the less is it a “good” and a “gracious” thing for the housewife to conjure out of such unconsidered and unsightly trifles as the mutilated cold fowl from which half the breast and both legs are missing, or the few chops “left over,” or “that bone” of lamb or veal, or three square inches of cold fish, a pretty plat for breakfast or luncheon, of golden-brown croquettes, imbedded in parsley, or in a ruby setting of pickled beets, that shall quicken John’s flagging appetite, and call from the little ones the never stale plaudit, “Mamma can always get up something nice.”

“Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost,” is a text from which the thoughtful house-mother may preach to herself, as well as to her servants. That no opportunity of making home fairer, and even one hour of the day a little brighter, be lost or overlooked. That no possibility of proving her constant, active love for the least of her flock be passed by. These daily cares and hourly assiduities are the rivets in the chain that binds her best beloved ones unto The Family. Lacking them, the relation, instituted by law and continued by custom, has no stancher securities than habit and convenience—a hay-rope that will shrivel at the first touch of Passion, be rent by one resolute wrench of Expediency.

“A serious view to take of croquettes?” do I hear you say. Then hearken to something positive and practical.[77]

Unpalatable food is not wholesome. It may be medicinal. Nothing forced upon an unwilling appetite, and that does not gratify the palate, can impart that freshness of animal spirit and vigor which we call Life—spontaneous vitality. Indifferent fuel—green or sodden wood, or slaty coal—may keep a fire from going out. There is not begotten from these the leaping flame that gladdens, while it warms. And cold meat and bread, dried into sawdusty innutrition, should no more form the staple of John’s meals, even three times a week, than his grate be filled, on December nights, with coke-dust and mica.

Chicken Croquettes. Maltese cross

Minced chicken.

About one-quarter as much fine bread-crumbs as you have meat.

1 egg, beaten light, to each cupful of minced meat.

Gravy enough to moisten the crumbs and chicken. Or, if you have no gravy, a little drawn butter.

Pepper and salt, and chopped parsley to taste.

Yolks of two hard-boiled eggs, rubbed fine with the back of a silver spoon, added to the meat.

Mix up into a paste, with as little handling as may be. Nor must the paste be too wet to mould readily. Make, with floured hands, into rolls, or ovate balls, roll in flour until well coated, and fry, a few at a time, lest crowding should injure the shape, in nice dripping, or a mixture, half lard and half butter. As you take them out, lay in a hot cullender, that every drop of fat may be drained off. Serve in a heated dish, and garnish with cresses or parsley.[78]

Turkey, duck, and veal croquettes can be made in the same manner. They are even nicer if dipped in egg and cracker-crumbs before frying.

Beef Croquettes. Maltese cross

Minced cold roast or boiled beef.

One-quarter as much potato.

Gravy enough to moisten meat and potato, in which an onion has been stewed and strained out. Season also with catsup.

Pepper and salt to taste, and a pinch of marjoram.

Beaten egg to bind the whole, and one or two more beaten in a separate bowl.

Powdered cracker-crumbs.

Mash the potatoes, while hot, very smooth, or, if cold mashed potato be used, be careful that no lumps remain in it. Mix in the meat, gravy, and one raw egg, season, and form into the desired shape. Dip each croquette in beaten egg, then roll in the cracker-crumbs, and fry quickly to a light brown. Drain carefully, and lay upon a hot dish.

Venison or Mutton Croquettes.


Some slices of cold roast venison, or roast or boiled mutton—the lean only, if mutton be used—minced.

One-fifth as much stale bread, crumbed fine.

Some good gravy or drawn butter, thickened with browned flour.

Beaten egg for a liaison.

A pinch of mace, a very little grated lemon-peel, and chopped parsley to taste.

Some currant jelly, in the proportion of a small teaspoonful to each cup of gravy.

Stir the jelly well into the gravy, season and wet up with this the meat and crumbs, add the beaten egg, make into rolls, and flour these, or dip in egg and cracker-crumbs before frying.

A Nice Breakfast Dish

May be made of these by piling them in the centre of a flat dish, within a wall, about two inches high, of mashed potato, moulded to fit the inside of the dish, and browned in the oven. You had best use the platter of a chafing-dish for this purpose, or one of stone china. You can, if you like, brush the “wall” over with beaten egg before setting in the oven. Have ready some good, brown gravy, with a little currant jelly stirred into it; also, a small glass of claret. Thicken with browned flour, boil up once, and pour over the croquettes.


This is still nicer, if you add to the gravy some mushrooms, previously fried in butter, and chopped up. If you use these, you may, if you like, omit the potato wall, garnishing the pile instead, with triangles of fried bread.

Fish Croquettes.


Some cold fish—boiled, baked or fried—from which all fat, bones and skin have been removed, chopped fine.

One-third as much mashed potato, rubbed to a cream with a little melted butter.

A little white sauce, made of butter “drawn” in milk and thickened with corn-starch, and a beaten egg.

Chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and anchovy sauce, or walnut catsup, for seasoning.

Mix all well together, make into balls, which may be rolled in flour, or in beaten egg, and then cracker-crumbs before they are fried.

Send around sliced lemon with these, which are not good unless eaten hot.

These are, as will be seen, a modification of the well-known and time-honored “fish-ball,” but, if properly made, will be found much better.

Croquettes of Lobster or Crab. Maltese cross

Meat of one fine lobster, or six crabs well boiled.

2 eggs.

2 table-spoonfuls of butter.

½ cup fine bread-crumbs.

1 teaspoonful anchovy sauce.

Yolks of two eggs, boiled hard and rubbed to a powder, then beaten into the butter.

1 good teaspoonful lemon-juice.

Season well with salt and cayenne pepper; also, a pinch of mace and lemon-peel.

Yolks of two raw eggs, beaten very light.

Mince the meat, work in the butter—melted, but not hot; then the seasoning, the raw eggs, and lastly, the bread-crumbs. Make into oblong balls, and fry quickly in sweet lard, dripping, or half lard, half butter. Drain them of every drop of fat by rolling each, for an instant, very lightly upon a hot, clean cloth. Be sure your dish is well heated.[81]

These are very delicious, and should be accompanied by milk or cream crackers, with slices of lemon passed to such guests as would like the additional relish.

Croquettes of Game. Maltese cross

Remains of cold grouse, quail, etc.

Giblets of the same, or of poultry, boiled and cold.


One-fourth the quantity of fine bread-crumbs that you have of meat.

Season with pepper and salt.

Raw egg, beaten, for binding the mixture together, also some in a separate vessel for coating the croquettes.

Fine cracker-crumbs.

Mince the meat, and pound the giblets in a Wedgewood mortar, when you have removed skin and cartilage from the gizzards. Moisten with gravy as you pound, until all are smooth. Mix into this the raw egg and seasoning, then the meat, lastly the bread-crumbs. Mould, dip in egg, then in cracker-powder and fry in boiling fat. The dripping from roast poultry may be used for this purpose. Not that from beef or mutton, as it spoils the flavor of the game.

It is easy to reserve giblets for this dish by a little foresight, and in no other shape are they more useful.

Veal and Ham Croquettes.


Cold roast or stewed veal, the remnants of cutlets or chops, freed from bone, skin and gristle, and minced fine.

Half the quantity of cold boiled ham. A little fat on a slice, now and then, is an improvement.

Gravy or drawn butter thickened with browned flour to moisten the meat.

One-fourth as much fine bread-crumbs as you have meat.

Yolks of one or two eggs, boiled hard and powdered, then beaten into the gravy.

Season with chopped parsley and pepper. The ham usually supplies sufficient salt.

Beaten egg and powdered cracker.

Raw egg for the liaison.

Mix veal and ham well together; wet with the gravy and season before putting in the raw egg. Stir up well, but do not beat, and add the crumbs.

Boll in egg and cracker, and fry.

Mem. The fat in which croquettes are fried must be boiling, yet must not burn.

Try a bit of the mixture before risking the well-being of your whole dish.

Hominy Croquettes. Maltese cross

2 large cups of fine-grained hominy, boiled and cold.

2 eggs, well beaten.

2 table-spoonfuls melted butter.

Salt to taste.

Work the butter well into the hominy until the latter is smooth and soft, then the eggs, beating hard for two or three minutes with a wooden spoon, season, and make into balls or rolls with floured hands. Roll each in flour, and fry to a yellow-brown in sweet lard.[83]

Potato Croquettes. Maltese cross

2 cups mashed potato, cold and free from lumps.

2 eggs beaten to a froth.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

Salt and pepper to taste.

1 egg beaten in a separate vessel.

1 teacupful cracker-crumbs.

Mix as you do hominy croquettes, roll in egg and cracker, and fry in boiling lard. Take up as soon as they are done, and drain perfectly dry.

This is an excellent preparation of potato, and particularly acceptable at breakfast or luncheon.

Rice Croquettes. Maltese cross

2 cups cold boiled rice.

2 table-spoonfuls melted butter.

3 eggs, beaten light.

A little flour.

1 raw egg and half a cup of powdered cracker.

2 table-spoonfuls white sugar.

A large pinch of finely grated lemon-peel, and salt to taste.

Beat eggs and sugar together until light, and work the butter well into the rice. Next, stir up with this the beaten eggs. Season and make into croquettes of whatever shape you may fancy. They are pretty, moulded into the form of pears, with a clove blossom, end outward, at the large end, and the stalk of another projecting from the small, to represent the pear-stem. You may find it advisable to use a little flour in working the rice paste, but be careful not to get it too stiff,[84] in which event the croquette, of whatever composed, ceases to be a delicacy. Roll in flour, then in the beaten egg, lastly in the powdered cracker, and fry, a few at a time, in sweet lard or butter.

Rice croquettes are sometimes eaten, with powdered sugar sprinkled thickly over them, as a dessert, or sweet sauce is served with them. They are delicious when properly mixed and cooked.

Cannelon of Veal. Maltese cross

2 pounds of cold roast or stewed veal. The remains of a stewed and stuffed fillet are good for this purpose, especially if underdone.

1 pound cold boiled ham.

1 large cupful gravy. If you have none left over, make it of the refuse bits of the cold meat, such as fat, skin, etc.

1 small teaspoonful finely minced lemon-peel, the same of mace, and a table-spoonful chopped parsley.

Salt and pepper.

1 cupful bread-crumbs, dry and fine.

Yolks of 3 eggs beaten light, reserving the whites for glazing the cannelon when done.

Chop the meat very well, season it and stir in the beaten yolks; wet with half the gravy, and mix in the bread-crumbs. It should be just soft enough to handle without running into a shapeless mass. Flour your hands and make it into a roll about three times as long as it is broad. Flour the outside well and lay it in a greased baking-pan. Cover and set in the oven until[85] it is smoking hot, when remove the cover and brown quickly. Draw to the oven-door and brush over with white of egg, shut the door for one minute to set this, and transfer the cannelon, by the help of a cake-turner or a wooden paddle, to a hot dish. Lay three-cornered pieces of fried bread close about it, and pour a rich gravy over all.

You can make a really elegant dish of this by adding to the gravy a half-pint of sliced mushrooms, and stewing them in it until they are tender and savory, then pouring them over the rouleau of meat.

A savory and inexpensive dish, and a good entrée at a family dinner. Of course you can vary the size to suit the remnants of meat.

Cannelon of Beef

Is made precisely like one of veal, except that mashed potato is substituted for bread-crumbs, and an onion is stewed in the gravy before the latter is strained over the baked roll of meat.

Green pickles or olives are a palatable accompaniment to it.

A Pretty Breakfast Dish

May be made of croquettes of fish, lobster, fowl or meat in the shape of hen’s eggs, heaped upon a dish and surrounded by very thin strips of fried potato, arranged to look as much as possible like straw. If sauce is poured over the croquettes, be careful not to let it deluge the potato that forms the nest.



It is usually necessary to bespeak sweetbreads several days in advance, as they are both scarce and popular. But if your butcher be accommodating, and yourself a valued customer, there is seldom much difficulty in procuring enough to make a dish for a family of ordinary size.

Keep sweetbreads in a cold, dry place, and cook as soon as possible after getting them, as they soon spoil. Be careful, moreover, in cooking them, to see that they are thoroughly done.

Brown Fricassee of Sweetbreads. (No. 1.) Maltese cross

4 sweetbreads.

2 cups brown veal gravy, strong and well-seasoned.

4 table-spoonfuls of butter.

Pinch of mace, and twice as much cloves.

Browned flour for thickening.

1 teaspoonful chopped onion, stewed in, and then strained out of the gravy.

Wash the sweetbreads carefully in warm water, removing every bit of skin and gristle. Lay them in a saucepan, and cover with boiling water. Boil them ten minutes hard, turn off the hot water, and plunge them instantly into very cold, in which you have dissolved a little salt. Leave them in this about fifteen[87] minutes, or until they are cool, white and firm. Cut each crosswise into slices nearly half an inch thick. Have ready the butter in the frying-pan, and fry the slices, turning frequently, until they are a good brown, but do not dry them up. Drain off the fat through a cullender, lay the sliced sweetbreads within a saucepan, pour the hot brown gravy, already seasoned, over them, cover closely, and simmer, not boil, fifteen minutes longer.

Brown Fricassee. (No. 2.) Maltese cross

4 sweetbreads.

2 cups good brown gravy—veal is best. Spice with mace and cloves.

1 onion.

½ cup butter.

1 pint mushrooms.

Prepare the sweetbreads by boiling and blanching as in previous receipt. Slice the onion and mushrooms, and fry quickly to a fine brown in half the butter. Strain the fat from these, and return it to the frying-pan, adding the rest of the butter. When hissing hot, put in the sliced sweetbreads. Turn over and over in the fat for three minutes. Meanwhile, let the fried onions and mushrooms be stewing in the gravy. Pour this gravy, when the sweetbreads are ready, into a jar or tin pail with a closely-fitting top; set it in a pot of boiling water, taking care there is not enough to bubble over the top, put in the sliced sweetbreads, cover, and stew gently at the side of the range for twenty minutes—half an hour, should the sweetbreads be large. Arrange the slices symmetrically upon a[88] hot platter, pour the gravy over them, when you have added a thickening of browned flour, and serve.

There is no more palatable preparation of sweetbreads than this, especially if you add to the gravy a glass of brown sherry. Garnish with triangles of fried bread.

White Fricassee of Sweetbreads. Maltese cross

3 fine sweetbreads.

3 eggs.

4 table-spoonfuls of cream.

1 great spoonful of butter.

1 teaspoonful chopped parsley.

A good pinch of nutmeg.

1 cup strong veal or lamb broth—never mutton.

Wash the sweetbreads well. Soak them in very cold or ice-water, slightly salted, for half an hour. Blanch by plunging them for an instant into boiling water, after which lay for five minutes in ice-water. This process makes them white and firm. Put them into a covered saucepan with the broth, which must be well seasoned with pepper and salt, and, if you like, a very slight touch of onion. Sprinkle with nutmeg, cover closely, and stew steadily for an hour, if the sweetbreads are of a fair size, and you mean to serve them whole. If they have been sliced, three-quarters of an hour is sufficient.

Heat the cream in another saucepan until scalding hot, but not boiling. Take it from the fire, and stir carefully, a little at a time, into the beaten eggs. Just before the sweetbreads are taken from the fire, add this mixture slowly, stirring all the time. Leave it in the saucepan just long enough to cook the eggs, but[89] do not let it boil. Stir in the parsley at the same time. Turn out in a hot covered dish.

Larded Sweetbreads Stewed.

3 fine sweetbreads.

¼ pound fat salt pork, cut into long narrow strips.

1 cup good veal gravy.

1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.

1 table-spoonful of mushroom catsup.

Juice of half a lemon.

Parboil the sweetbreads for five minutes. The water should be boiling when they are put in. Plunge immediately into very cold salt water. Let them lie in this for five minutes, wipe them dry with a soft, clean cloth, and lay upon a cool dish until perfectly cold. Lard them closely with the strips of salt pork. Stew gently for twenty-five minutes in the gravy, which must be rich and thick. Add lemon-juice, catsup, cayenne, and, if needed, a little salt. Lay the sweetbreads in order on a flat dish, pour the gravy over them, and garnish with sliced lemon laid in the triangular spaces left between three-cornered bits of fried toast.

N.B. A pleasant addition to this dish, as to the brown fricassee of sweetbreads, is force-meat of chopped beef or veal very finely minced and worked to a paste with hard-boiled yolk of egg, a little crumbed bread, a spoonful or two of gravy or butter. Season very highly, work in the beaten yolk of a raw egg to bind the mixture, and make into oval balls a little larger than olives. Flour these, and lay on a floured plate, so as not to touch one another. Set in a quick oven until they are firm and hissing hot, garnish the dish with them[90] instead of the sliced lemon, and pour the hot gravy over them and the triangles of toast as well as the sweetbreads. An outer circle of parsley looks well with these.

Larded Sweetbread—Fried. Maltese cross

3 or 4 sweetbreads.

4 or 5 slices very fat salt pork.

A little pepper.

Parboil, blanch and lard, as in preceding receipt. Have ready a clean, hot frying-pan barely greased with a little butter. Put in the sweetbreads, and fry without other fat than that of the pork lardoons which should project half an inch on each side of the sweetbreads. Cook steadily, turning the sweetbreads frequently, until they are of a nice brown. Cut into one with a small sharp knife, to assure yourself that it is done. Remove to a hot, well-buttered dish, and garnish with sprigs of parsley, which have been crisped, but not burned, in a little boiling butter.

Broiled Sweetbreads. Maltese cross

Parboil and blanch, as already directed, by putting first into hot water, and keeping it at a fast boil for five minutes, then plunging into ice-cold, a little salted. When the sweetbreads have lain in this ten minutes, wipe them very dry, and with a sharp knife split each in half, lengthwise. Broil over a clear, hot fire, turning every minute as they begin to drip. Have ready upon a deep plate some melted butter, well salted and peppered, mixed with catsup or pungent sauce. When the sweetbreads are done to a fine[91] brown lay them in this, turning them over several times, and set, covered, in a warm oven.

Lay rounds of fried bread or toast within a chafing-dish, and a piece of sweetbread on each. Pour the rest of the hot butter, in which they have been lying, over them, and send to table.

Roasted Sweetbreads.

3 sweetbreads.

1 cup brown gravy—veal, if you can get it.

2 eggs, beaten light.

2 table-spoonfuls of butter, melted.

Large handful of bread-crumbs.

1 table-spoonful mushroom or tomato catsup.

1 small glass brown sherry.

A very little onion, minced fine, and stewed in the gravy.

Soak the sweetbreads in tepid water for half an hour; then boil in hot water ten minutes, plunging into very cold at the end of this time. Wipe perfectly dry, coat with the beaten egg, then with the bread-crumbs. Repeat this until they are thickly and closely covered. Lay upon a baking-pan, put the butter, a little at a time, over them, that it may soak into the crumbs; set in a moderate oven, turn another pan over them, and bake, covered, three-quarters of an hour, if of fair size, basting from time to time with the veal gravy. Dish them upon toast or fried bread, give the gravy a boil-up when you have added the catsup and wine, and strain it over the sweetbreads.[92]

Sweetbreads Sautés au Vin. Maltese cross

3 sweetbreads.

1 table-spoonful of butter.

1 table-spoonful chopped onion and parsley, mixed.

1 cup brown gravy—veal or fowl.

1 glass brown sherry or fresh champagne.

Salt and pepper to taste.

1 table-spoonful mushroom, or tomato catsup.

Parboil and blanch the sweetbreads, as usual; let them get perfectly cold; cut lengthwise into slices about a quarter of an inch thick. Have the butter hot in a frying-pan, and lay them in. Cook ten minutes, shaking, tossing and turning them all the while; then add the gravy, catsup, onion, parsley and other seasoning previously heated together. Shake all until they have stewed and bubbled at boiling-heat for five minutes, put in the wine, boil up once, and pour into a hot dish.[93]


Although less liked generally, are yet esteemed a bonne bouche by the epicure whose appetite has been educated by what is commonly styled “fancy” cookery. They are cheaper than sweetbreads, and less difficult to keep, if less delicate in flavor.

Fried Kidneys.

3 fine large kidneys—the fresher the better.

3 table-spoonfuls of butter.

½ cup of good brown gravy—veal, mutton or beef.

A teaspoonful of chopped parsley, and half as much minced onion.

Pepper and salt to taste.

Skin the kidneys, and cut crosswise into round slices a quarter of an inch thick. Roll them in flour. Have ready in a frying-pan the butter well seasoned with pepper, a little salt, the parsley and onion. When it begins to simmer over the fire, lay in evenly and carefully the slices of kidney. Fry gently for two minutes, turn, and let them fry as long on the other side, or until they are of a light brown. If cooked too much, or too fast, they become tough and tasteless. Remove instantly from the frying-pan with an egg-beater or perforated skimmer, and arrange in order on a hot dish. Add to the gravy in the pan, a few tablespoonfuls[94] of broth, thicken with browned flour, boil up once, and pour over the kidneys.


You can substitute for the butter in the pan three or four table-spoonfuls of chopped fat salt pork. Let it heat to hissing, put in the seasoning, stir up well and fry the kidneys with the bits of pork. Then, proceed according to the latter part of the foregoing receipt.

Toasted Kidneys.

3 kidneys skinned and split lengthwise, each into 3 pieces.

¼ pound of fat salt pork, cut into slices.

Pepper and salt.

Slices or rounds of toasted bread from which the crust has been pared.

Lay the kidneys upon a very hot plate (a tin one is best) in front of, and on a level with a clear brisk fire. Toast the pork upon a fork, slice by slice, holding it so that the gravy will drip upon the kidneys beneath. When the pork is done, lay it upon another hot plate, and set this in the place just occupied by the kidneys. Toast these in their turn, so that the gravy which falls from them shall drop upon the pork. Turn them frequently, and be careful not to lose a drop of the gravy from kidneys or pork. When the gravy ceases to flow the kidneys are done. Serve upon the toast on a hot dish; cut the pork into strips, and lay along the sides of the dish. Pour the gravy over kidneys and toast. This latter should either be fried previously in butter, or be well buttered if toasted in the usual way. Pepper[95] and salt just before sending to table, as salt hardens and toughens the kidneys.

Kidneys Stewed with Wine.

3 kidneys.

3 table-spoonfuls of butter.

1 onion, minced.

1 table-spoonful mushroom, or walnut catsup.

3 table-spoonfuls rich brown gravy.

1 glass of claret.

Pepper and salt to taste.

Cut the kidneys into round slices. Heat the butter to a boil in a frying-pan, stir in the chopped onion, then lay in the slices of kidney, and fry two minutes. Have in another vessel the gravy, catsup and wine, ready heated. Take up the kidneys, draining from them every drop of fat, and transfer to this gravy. Cover closely, stew gently for five minutes, or until tender, and serve directly.

Broiled Kidneys.

2 kidneys.

2 table-spoonfuls of melted butter.

Pepper and salt, and a little chopped parsley.

Skin the kidneys carefully, but do not slice or split them. Lay for ten minutes in warm (not hot) melted butter, rolling them over and over, that every part may be well basted. Broil on a gridiron over a clear fire, turning them every minute. They should be done in about twelve minutes, unless very large. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lay on a hot dish, with a bit of butter upon each. Cover and send up immediately.[96]

Stewed Kidneys.

3 kidneys.

3 table-spoonfuls melted butter.

Juice of half a lemon, and a pinch of grated lemon-peel.

A very little mace, and pepper and salt to taste.

1 teaspoonful chopped onion.

1 cup good brown gravy.

Cut each kidney lengthwise into three pieces; wash these well and wipe dry. Warm the butter in a frying-pan; put in the kidneys before this is really hot, with the seasoning and gravy. Simmer all together, closely covered, about ten minutes. Add the lemon-juice; take up the kidneys and lay upon a hot dish, with fried or toasted bread underneath. Thicken the gravy with browned flour, boil up once, pour over all, and serve.

Kidneys à la Brochette.

4 kidneys—those of medium size are preferable to large.

2 great spoonfuls of butter.

1 great spoonful chopped parsley, onion, and very fine bread-crumbs.

Juice of half a lemon.

Pepper and salt to taste.

Split the kidneys lengthwise, but not quite through, leaving enough meat and skin at one side to act as a sort of hinge. Rub them well inside with melted butter, and lay them open, as you would small birds, the back downward, upon a buttered gridiron, over a bright fire. They should be done in about eight minutes.[97] Turn often while broiling. Have ready the stuffing of crumbs, parsley, onion, and butter, well seasoned. Heat in a saucepan, stirring until smoking hot. Add the lemon-juice; dish the kidneys, put some of this mixture inside of each, close the two sides upon it, butter and pepper them, and serve.

A few bits of fat salt pork, minced very fine, gives a good flavor to the stuffing. The pork should have been previously cooked.



Ah! you forget my sedan-chair,” said Madame de Staël, when, at the height of her social and literary fame some one wondered how she found time for writing amid her many and engrossing engagements.

The sedan-chair was the fashionable conveyance for ladies, at that day, in their round of daily calls or evening festivities, and the brilliant Frenchwoman secured within its closed curtains the solitude and silence she needed for composition.

An American authoress who wrote much and with great care—never sending her brain-bantlings into the world en déshabille—replied to a similar question: “My happiest thoughts come to me while I am mixing cake. My most serious study-hours are those devoted apparently to darning the family stockings.”

I entered a street-car, not many days ago, and sat down beside a gentleman who did not lift his eyes from a book he was reading, or show, by any token, his consciousness of others’ presence. A side-glance at the volume told me it was Froude’s “History of England,” and I cheerfully forgave his inattention to myself. The conductor notified him when he reached his stopping-place, and, with a readiness that betrayed admirable mental training, he came out of the world through which the fascinating historian was leading him, pocketed[99] his book, recognized me with a pleasant word, and stepped to the pavement in front of his store, the thorough business man.

“That is an affected prig,” said a fellow-passenger, by the time the other had left the car. “He and I take this ride in company every morning and afternoon. It takes him half an hour to go from his house to his store; and, instead of amusing himself with his newspaper, as the rest of us do, he always has some heavy-looking book along—biography, or history, or a scientific treatise. He begins to read by the time he is seated, and never leaves off until he gets out. It is in wretched taste, such a show of pedantic industry.”

After this growl of disapprobation, the speaker buried himself anew in the advertising columns of the Herald, and I lapsed into a brown study, which had for its germ the query, “Is it, then, more respectable, even among men, to kill time than to save it?”

I knew the reader of Froude well. He was, as I have intimated, a successful and a busy merchant; and I had often marvelled at his familiarity with English belles-lettres, and graver literature, the study of which is usually given up to so-called professional men. That hour a day explained it all. The crowded street-car was his sedan-chair. I also knew his critic; had seen him placed at such a woful disadvantage in the society of educated men and women, that my heart ached and my cheeks burned in sympathy with his mortification; had heard him deplore the deficiencies of his early training, and that the exigencies of his business-cares now made self-improvement impracticable. He would have protested it to be an impossibility[100] that he could find a spare hour a day to devote to the neglected task; six hours a week—a whole day in a month, two weeks in a year. Yet a fortnight of newspaper-reading and idle gossip would be a sorry entry in his year-book. For this lazy murder of time cannot, by any stretch of conscience, be classed as healthful recreation, any more than can the one, two, three, ten hours a week during which Mrs. Neverthink sits with folded hands, discussing fashions and her neighbors’ frailties, the while her work is steadily doubling itself up, snowball-like, before the lever of each idle minute. All work and no play would make Mrs. Neverthink a dull and a diseased woman; but the fact is, she is not playing any more than she is working, as she sits, or stands to parley about trifles. She is only wasting time, making inevitable the haste. Oh! these “few words more,” with which the Neverthink tribe prolong the agony of their would-be-if-they-could industrious sisters, and heap up the burden of their own coming cares! The words which mean nothing, the driblets of a shallow, sluggish stream that meanders into anybody’s meadow, and spreads itself harmfully over the nearest pastures, instead of being directed into a straight, beneficent channel! “I haven’t a bit of system about me!” wails the worried creature, when the ponderous snow-ball has finally to be heaved out of the way by her own hands.

It would be a matter of curious interest could I recount how often I have heard this plaint from those of my own sex who are thus straining and suffering. From some it comes carelessly—a form of words they have fallen into the habit of repeating without much[101] thought of what they mean. With a majority (I wish I were not obliged to say it!) it is rather a boast than a lament. The notable housekeeper who would be ashamed to admit that she does not look narrowly after paper and twine, bits of cold meat and scraps of butter, does not calculate wisely concerning coal, candle-ends and crusts—confesses, without a blush, that she takes no thought of the gold-dust, known among us as minutes and seconds, sifting through her lax fingers. By and by, she is as truly impoverished as if she had thrown away the treasure in nuggets, and then comes the lament, not repentance. She is “run to death with work, but she doesn’t see how it is to be helped. All other housekeepers are the same. She never could economize time; has no genius for arranging her labors to advantage.”

The building of such an one is the heaping together of boulders with crevices between, through which the winds of disappointment whistle sharply. System,—by which we mean a sagacious and economical apportionment of the duty to the hour and the minute; an avoidance of needless waste of time; a courageous putting forth of the hand to the plough, instead of talking over the work to be done while the cool morning moments are flying,—“System,” then, is not a talent! I wish I could write this in terms so strong and striking as to command the attention, enforce the belief of those whom I would reach. It is not a talent. Still less is it genius. It is a duty! and she who shirks it does herself and others wrong. If you cannot order your household according to this rule, the fault is yours, and the misfortune theirs.[102]

“We are living too fast!” is the useless note of alarm sounded from press, and pulpit, and lecture-room; echoed in a thousand homes, in various accents of regret and dismay; most fearfully by the rattling clods upon the coffin-lid, that hides forever the careworn face of wife and mother, who has been trampled to death by the press of iron-footed cares. Is not this haste begotten by waste?

Is there any good reason why, in our homes—yours and mine, my toiling sister—and in those of our neighbors to the right and left of us, should not reign such method as prevails in our husbands’ places of business? Why, instead of meeting the morning with uplifted hands and the already desponding cry, “I have so much to do I cannot decide what to lay hold of first!” we should not behold our path already mapped out by our provident study over-night—its certain duties; its probable stumbling-blocks; recreation, devotion and rest—each in its proper place? Why we should not be ready, “heart within and God o’erhead,” to make the new day an event in our lives, a stepping-stone to higher usefulness to our kind and toward heaven? Why we should not bring to hindrance, as to duty, the resolute, hopeful purpose with which the miner bends over his pickaxe, the gardener over his spade, the book-keeper over his ledger? Why, in short, we should not magnify our office—make of housewifery, and child-tending, and sewing a profession—to be studied as diligently and pursued as steadily as are the avocations of the other sex?

I should not dare ask these questions, were I not already convinced, by years of patient examination of[103] the subject, that it is feasible for a clear-headed, conscientious woman to do all this, and more. Would not “dare,” because I know by what a storm of indignant protest the queries will be met, not only from those who pride themselves upon the amiable foible of “having no system,” but on the part of deep-hearted women who are really anxious to do their share of this world’s great work.

The pale-faced mother over the way will tell me of the clutch of baby-fingers upon her garments whenever she essays to move steadily onward, and how the pressure of the same holds her eyes waking through the night-watches; how the weight of baby-lips upon the breast saps strength and vitality together. Dear and precious cares she esteems these; but they leave little time or energy for anything else. The matron, whose younglings have outgrown childhood, is ready with her story of the toils and distractions of a family of merry girls who are “in society,” and inconsiderate, unpunctual “boys,” who look to “mother” to supply, for the present, the place of the coming wife to each of them. Martha, wedded and middle-aged, but childless, is overpowered by cares, “put upon her by everybody,” she relates, with an ever-renewed sense of injury wearing into her soul, “because it is believed that women without children have nothing to do.”

One and all, they are eloquent upon the subject of unforeseen vexations, the ever-hindering “happenings” that, like the knots tied in wire-grass across the path by mischievous fairies, are continually tripping them up.

“Moreover,” says Mrs. Practical, “there is little use[104] in attempting to be methodical and to save the scraps of time unless other people do. We are liable to have our precious hoard stolen at any moment. If my next-door neighbor persists in ‘dropping in’ whenever she feels lonely, or wants a receipt, or has a morsel of news she cannot keep, and cannot withdraw her unseasonable foot from my house under an hour at each visit, of what avail are my watchfulness and diligence?”

With her accustomed shrewdness, Mrs. Practical has put her finger upon the hardest knot of the tangle. Says that other model of sterling, every-day sense, Miss Betsy Trotwood, touching Mr. Micawber’s difficulties: “If he is going to be continually arrested, his friends have got to be continually bailing him out—that is all!”

The family of Neverthinks (“may their tribe decrease!”) act upon the reverse principle. If their acquaintances will be continually working themselves into line with the flying hours, they—the Neverthinks—must be zealous in pulling them to the rear. They are like an army of mice scampering through the tidy cupboards of Mesdames Practical and Notable. They claim, like Death, all seasons for their own. Against such there is no recognized law, and no redress except in the determined will and wise co-operation of their victims.

Dropping the fictitious personages, let us talk of this matter plainly, as face-to-face, dear reader! Why have women, as a class, such an imperfect conception of the value of time to themselves and to others? To Mrs. Trollope belongs, I believe, the credit of bringing[105] into general use a word which, if not elegant, is so expressive that I cannot do without it in this connection. Why do women dawdle away seconds and minutes and hours in playing at work, or affecting to play? A clever young girl was once showing me a set of chairs embroidered by herself. Knowing that she was her mother’s efficient aid in the cares entailed by a large family, I asked her how she had made the time for the achievement.

“O! I did it in the betweenities!” she returned, gayly. “Between prayers and breakfast; between the children’s lessons; between the spring and fall sewing; between morning and evening calls, and in a dozen other gaps. I had a piece of it always within reach, and every stitch taken was a gain of one.”

We all need play—recreation, wholesome and hearty diversion. I would guard this point carefully. God-willing, we will talk of it, more at length, some time, but to make the day’s work even and close, our life’s work rich and ample, we must look well after the “betweenities.”

Let me probe a little more deeply yet. Have not the prejudices and gallantries of generations had their effect upon the formation of feminine opinions on this head? begotten in many minds the impression that we are unjustly dealt with in being obliged to take up and carry forward as a life-long duty any business whatsoever? Is not the unspoken thought of such persons one of impatient disappointment at finding that earth is not a vast pleasure-ground and existence one long, bright holiday? If men will speak of and treat women as pretty playthings, they at least should not complain[106] when the dainty toy proves to be an unserviceable domestic machine. A man who acknowledges that he dislikes the business by which he earns his living is looked upon with instant distrust, as silly, indolent, or, at the best, unphilosophical. If his auditor has occasion to avail himself of the services of one of the craft to which the unwilling workman belongs, he will assuredly seek a man who would be likely to do himself and his employer more credit than can be given by his half-hearted labor. But housewives confess freely that they loathe housekeeping and all pertaining thereto. I speak that which I do know when I say that where you find one who works con amore in her profession, there are two who drudge on grumblingly, and consider themselves aggrieved because the morning brings labor and the evening care. The fault begins very far back.

“If girls knew when they were well off, they would never marry.”

“A butterfly before marriage—a grub afterward.”

“Let well enough alone.”

“She who weds may do well. She who remains single certainly does better.”

These are specimens of the choice maxims shouted from the reefs of matrimony to the pleasure-shallops gliding over the summer sea beyond the breakers. By the time the boy begins to walk and talk, the sagacious father studies his tastes and capacity in selecting a trade for him; puts him fairly in training for the same so soon as he is well embarked in his teens; sees for himself that his drill is thorough and his progress satisfactory. Of the lad’s sisters their mother will tell you, with tears in her eyes, that she “cannot bear to tie the[107] dear girls down to regular duties. Let them take their pleasure now, for when they marry, trouble and responsibility must come.”

Not seeing that to the unskilled apprentice the practice of his art must be cruelly hard; that her own loving hands are making tight the lashings of the load which the tender shoulders must bear until death cuts the sharp cords; that in her mistaken indulgence she is putting darkness for light, and light for darkness; bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.



Calf’s Liver à l’Anglaise. Maltese cross

2 pounds fresh liver.

¼ pound fat salt pork.

2 table-spoonfuls of butter.

1 small shallot, minced very fine.

1 teaspoonful chopped parsley.

Cut the liver into slices half an inch thick. Lay these smoothly in a saucepan in which the butter has already been melted, but not allowed to get hot. Chop the pork into very small bits, and spread upon the liver. Sprinkle over this the minced parsley and onion, and season to your fancy with salt and pepper. Cover the saucepan closely, and set it where it will heat so moderately that the juices will be drawn out without simmering. Care must be taken to observe this direction exactly, as both the tenderness and flavor of the liver are impaired by stewing. At the end of an hour and a half increase the heat gradually until the contents of the saucepan begin to bubble. Remove from the fire; arrange the liver neatly upon a hot chafing-dish, and keep this covered while you boil up and thicken with a little browned flour the gravy left in the saucepan. Pour over the liver and serve.

This process renders calf’s liver tender and juicy to a degree that would seem incredible to those who know[109] the much-abused edible only through the medium of the usual modes of cookery.

Try it, when you are at a loss for something new, yet not expensive.

Calf’s Liver au Domino.

2 pounds liver.

½ pound fat salt pork.

2 table-spoonfuls of butter.

Seasoning of pepper, parsley and onion.

Cut the liver in pieces less than half an inch thick, and rather more than an inch square. String these evenly upon a slender skewer (an old knitting-needle will do) alternately with bits of fat pork of the same shape and width. When the skewer is full, lay for ten minutes in the melted butter, season with pepper (the pork salting it sufficiently), minced onion, and parsley, then lay in a baking-pan, and cover with a tin plate or shallow pan. Cook slowly in a moderate oven until the pork begins to crisp. Remove to a hot dish, draw out the skewer carefully, so as to leave the liver in the form in which it was cooked; add a little hot water and butter to the gravy, thicken with browned flour, boil up once, and pour over the dominoes of pork and liver.

Ollapodrida of Lamb. (Good.)


The sweetbreads, liver, heart, kidneys, and brains of a lamb. (Your butcher can easily procure all with timely notice.)

Handful of bread-crumbs.

1 raw egg, beaten light.

One small, young onion, minced.

1 table-spoonful currant jelly.

Season with salt, pepper, and parsley.

1 cup good broth.

Parboil the sweetbreads for five minutes, then simmer for ten in the gravy. Take them up, and set aside to cool, while you boil the brains in the same broth. When both brains and sweetbreads are cold and firm, slice, dip in the egg, then the crumbs, and fry in good dripping or butter. After the brains are taken from the broth, put in the slices of heart, and stew very gently for at least half an hour. Let them cool, then fry with the minced liver in dripping seasoned with the onion, minced fine. Slice the kidneys, and having strained the useful broth from the liver, return it to the saucepan, and stew the kidneys in it for five minutes. Next, fry these for two minutes—no more—in butter.

Arrange all in a hot dish; add to the fat left in the frying-pan the broth, thicken with browned flour and the jelly, season to taste, and pour over the sweetbreads, etc.

You can make a larger stew—or fry—of calf’s sweetbreads, liver, heart, and brains, and by most people this would be relished more than the lamb ollapodrida.

It is a good plan to stew the various articles the day before you mean to eat them, and have them all cold to your hand, ready for frying.

Calf’s Liver sauté. Maltese cross


2 pounds calf’s liver, cut into slices half an inch thick.

2 small young onions, minced.

1 small glass of sherry.

1 table-spoonful mushroom or tomato catsup.

Salt, pepper, and parsley, with juice of a lemon.

Good dripping or butter for frying.

Slice the liver, when you have washed and soaked it well, and fry it, turning often, to a light-brown. Drain and lay in a hot chafing-dish. Mix with the dripping or butter the onions, seasoning, lemon-juice, and browned flour for thickening. Boil up, put in the catsup and wine, heat almost to boiling again, and pour over the liver.

Fricassee of Calf’s Liver. Maltese cross

2 pounds liver, cut into strips more than half an inch thick, and as long as your finger.

2 young onions, minced.

1 glass wine.

Pepper, salt and parsley.

Butter or dripping for frying.

½ cup good gravy.

Dredge the sliced liver with flour, and fry to a light-brown, quickly, and turning often. Mince the onions and parsley, and heat them in the gravy in a saucepan; put in the fried liver, let all stew together gently for ten minutes, when pour in the wine, and as soon as this is hot, serve—the liver piled neatly and the gravy poured over it.

Calf’s Liver à la mode. Maltese cross

1 fine liver, as fresh as you can get it.

½ pound fat salt pork, cut into lardoons.

3 table-spoonfuls of butter.

2 young onions.[112]

1 table-spoonful Worcestershire or Harvey’s sauce.

2 table-spoonfuls vinegar and a glass of wine.

½ teaspoonful cloves.

½ teaspoonful allspice.

½ teaspoonful mace.

1 table-spoonful sweet herbs, cut fine.

Pepper and salt to taste—very little of the latter, as the pork should salt it sufficiently.

Wash the liver in two waters and soak ten minutes in cold water, slightly salted. Wipe dry, make incisions in it about half an inch apart, and insert the lardoons, allowing them to project slightly on each side. Have ready in a frying-pan the sliced onion, butter, sweet herbs and spice. Put in the liver and fry to a good brown. Turn all into a saucepan, add the vinegar and just enough water to cover the liver. Cover closely, and simmer slowly an hour and a half. Take out the liver and lay on a hot dish, add the wine and sauce to the gravy, thicken with browned flour; let it boil up once, pour about the liver, and send up the surplus in a boat.

This is good cold as well as hot, cut in thin slices.

Ragoût of Calf’s Head, or Imitation Turtle. Maltese cross


Half of a cold boiled calf’s head.

1 cup good gravy.

4 hard-boiled eggs.

About a dozen force-meat balls made of minced veal with bread-crumbs and bound with beaten egg, then rolled in flour.

1 teaspoonful sweet herbs, chopped fine.

A very little minced onion.

Browned flour for thickening; pepper and salt for seasoning.

1 glass brown sherry.

Cut the meat of the calf’s head evenly into slices of uniform size. Heat the gravy almost to a boil, with the seasoning, herbs and onion. Put in the meat, simmer, closely covered, for fifteen minutes; add the force-meat balls, wine and the eggs sliced. Let all become smoking hot; take up the meat; pile neatly on a hot dish, lay the eggs on it; the force-meat balls at the base of the heap, and pour a cupful of gravy over all, sending up the rest in a boat.

This ragoût is very nice, and easily provided for by setting aside enough meat for it, on the day you have calf’s head soup, if the head be large.

It is also a cheap dish, as even a large head seldom costs more than a dollar, and half will make a good ragoût.

Ragoût of Calf’s Head and Mushrooms. Maltese cross

Half a cold boiled calf’s head, sliced and free from bones, also the tongue cut in round slices.

1 can French mushrooms (champignons).

1 onion sliced.

1 cup strong gravy—beef, veal, game or fowl.

Season with pepper, salt and sweet herbs.

Browned flour for thickening.

½ teaspoonful mixed allspice and mace.

Juice of a lemon.

1 glass wine—claret or sherry.

3 table-spoonfuls butter for frying, unless you have very nice dripping.

Drain the liquor from the mushrooms and slice them.[114] Fry the slices of meat five minutes in the hot butter or dripping. Take them out and put into a tin pail or inner compartment of a farina kettle. Pour warm, not boiling, water into the outer vessel, cover the inner and set over the fire while you fry the mushrooms, then, the onion, in the fat left in the frying-pan. Drain them and lay upon the meat in the inner sauce-pan. Have ready in another the broth, spiced and seasoned, and now pour this hot upon the meat and mushrooms. Cover closely and simmer for fifteen minutes. Strain off the gravy into a saucepan, thicken; let it boil up once; add wine and lemon-juice, and when it is again smoking hot, pour over the meat and mushrooms in a deep dish.

Some strips of fried toast are an acceptable addition to this ragoût. These should be laid on the heap of meat.

I have also varied it satisfactorily, by putting in sliced hard-boiled eggs. It is a good entrée at dinner, and a capital luncheon or breakfast-dish.

A Mould of Calf’s Head. Maltese cross

A cold boiled calf’s head freed from bones and cut into thin slices—or so much of it as you need for your mould.

6 hard-boiled eggs—also sliced.

Five or six slices of cold boiled ham—corned is better than smoked.

1 large cupful of the liquor in which the head was boiled, stewed down to a rich gravy and well seasoned with pepper, salt, mace and minced onion. Strain before using.

Line the bottom of a buttered mould with the slices[115] of egg also buttered on the outer side, that they may easily leave the mould.

Salt and pepper them, then fill the mould with alternate layers of sliced calf’s head, ham, sliced eggs, seasoning, etc., pouring in the gravy last. If you have no top for the mould, make a stiff paste of flour and water to close it in and preserve flavor and juices.

When done, set it, still covered, in a cool place. When cold and firm, slice for luncheon or tea.


You can chop both kinds of meat fine, also the eggs, and pack in successive layers within your mould.

A little lemon-juice and minced parsley, with a touch of catsup, will improve the gravy.

Calf’s Brains Fried.

The brains, well washed, and scalded in boiling water for two minutes, then laid in very cold.

2 eggs well beaten.

A little flour and butter.

Salt and pepper.

Beat the brains, when perfectly cold, into a paste; season, add the eggs and enough flour to make a good batter, with less than a teaspoonful of butter to prevent toughness. Have ready some good dripping in the frying-pan, and when it is hissing hot, drop in the batter in spoonfuls and fry.


You can fry on the griddle, like cakes.

They are very palatable either way when cooked quickly and freed of every clinging drop of grease.[116]

Calf’s Brains on Toast.

The brains.

3 eggs, beaten light.

Salt, pepper and parsley.

Six or eight rounds of fried bread.

2 table-spoonfuls butter.

Soak the brains fifteen minutes; free from skin and fibre; then drop them into boiling water in which you have put a little salt and a teaspoonful of vinegar. Boil hard for ten minutes, then throw the brains into ice-cold water. When well cooled break them up with a wooden or silver spoon; and stir into the beaten eggs with the seasoning. Have ready the butter in a hot frying-pan, pour in the mixture and stir rapidly for two minutes, or until it is a soft mass like stirred eggs. Lay the toast upon a hot dish and heap the brains upon it.

This dish is rendered yet more savory, if you will pour some good well-seasoned gravy over the mounds of brains and the toast.

Veal Cutlets (Stewed). Maltese cross

2 pounds veal cutlets, nicely trimmed.

1 small onion, sliced.

4 table-spoonfuls strained tomato sauce.

Enough butter or clear dripping to fry the cutlets.

Salt and pepper with a bunch of sweet herbs.

½ cup gravy.

Fry the cutlets to a light brown, but not crisp; take them out and put into a covered saucepan. Have ready the gravy in another, with the tomato sauce[117] stirred into it. Fry the onion in the fat from which you have taken the cutlets, and add with the fat to the gravy. Pour all over the cutlets and simmer, covered, twenty minutes.

Mock Pigeons. Maltese cross

3 or 4 fillets of veal.

Force-meat of bread-crumbs and minced pork, seasoned.

½ cup mushrooms and a little minced onion.

1 sweetbread.

A dozen oysters.

½ cup strong brown gravy.

1 glass of wine.

Take the bone, if there be any, out of the fillets (or cutlets, or steaks) of veal; spread each thickly with the force-meat, and roll up tightly, binding with packthread. Put into a baking-pan with enough cold water to half-cover them; turn another pan over them and bake from three-quarters of an hour to an hour in proportion to their size. Meanwhile, boil the sweetbread fifteen minutes, blanch in cold water; cut into dice, and put into a saucepan with the gravy, which let simmer on the hob. Cut the mushrooms into small pieces and fry with the onion in a little butter, then add to the heating gravy. In still another vessel, when the veal is nearly done, heat the oysters, also chopped fine, seasoning with salt and pepper. When the “pigeons” are tender throughout, uncover, baste generously with butter, and brown. Transfer to a hot flat dish; clip the packthread and gently withdraw it, not to injure the shape of the rolled meat. Let the gravy in which they were roasted come to a fast boil, thicken with browned[118] flour and pour into the saucepan containing the sauce, sweetbreads, etc. Boil up once, add the wine; take from the fire and put in the chopped oysters. Stir all together well in the saucepan, pour a dozen spoonfuls, or so, over the “pigeons,” taking up the thickest part; send the rest to table in a gravy tureen.

You can make a simpler sauce by leaving out the sweetbreads, etc., and seasoning the gravy in the baking-pan with tomato sauce.

These “pigeons” will make an attractive variety in the home bill of fare, and do well as the pièce de résistance of a family dinner.

A Veal Turnover. Maltese cross

Remains of roast veal—cold, minced fine, and seasoned.

2 or 3 eggs.

1 cup milk.

Flour to make a good batter—about 4 table-spoonfuls.

2 table-spoonfuls of butter.

Chopped parsley, pepper, and salt.

Heat the butter to a boil in the frying-pan. Mix the eggs, milk, flour, parsley, pepper, and salt into a batter, and pour it into the frying-pan. Lay in the middle, as soon as it begins to “form,” the minced meat. Fry rather slowly, taking care that the batter does not burn. When done on one side, fold the edges of the pancake over to the middle, enclosing the meat, and turn with a cake spatula. When both sides are of a delicate brown, put the cake “turner” under it, and slip over to a hot dish.

Send around a little gravy in a boat.[119]

Meat and Potato Puffs. Maltese cross

Slices of cold roast beef or mutton, and as many of corned ham.

2 eggs.

1 cup milk.

Enough potatoes and flour to make a good paste.

Pepper, salt, and mustard, or catsup.

Mash the potatoes, mix with them the eggs, well beaten, and whip up to a cream, adding the milk gradually. Add flour enough to enable you to roll it out into a sheet. Cut into squares, and in the centre of each lay a slice of beef or mutton, well seasoned with pepper and salt, and spread with made mustard or catsup. Lay on this a slice of ham of the same shape and size; fold the paste into a triangular “turnover,” printing the edges deeply with a jagging-iron, and fry in butter or beef-dripping to a nice brown. Take up so soon as they are done; lay on white paper for a moment to absorb the grease, and serve hot.

Scalloped Chicken. Maltese cross

Cold roast or boiled chicken—chiefly the white meat.

1 cup gravy.

1 table-spoonful butter, and 1 egg, well beaten.

1 cup of fine bread-crumbs.

Pepper and salt.

Rid the chicken of gristle and skin, and cut—not chop—into pieces less than half an inch long. Have ready the gravy, or some rich drawn butter, in a saucepan on the fire. Thicken it well, and stir in the chicken, boil up once, take it off, and add the beaten[120] egg. Cover the bottom of a buttered dish with fine bread-crumbs, pour in the mixture, and put another thick layer of crumbs on top, sticking bits of butter all over it. Bake to a delicate brown in a quick oven.


Instead of the gravy make a white sauce, as follows:

1 cup cream or rich milk.

2 table-spoonfuls butter and 1 beaten egg.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch, wet in cold milk.

Pepper, salt and parsley.

Heat the cream to a boil, stir in the corn-starch until it thickens; then the butter, seasoning and egg. Take at once from the fire, add the minced chicken, and proceed as already directed.

Turkey may be used instead of chicken; also veal.

Scalloped Beef (Very good). Maltese cross

Some minced beef or lean mutton.

1 young onion, minced.

½ cup gravy.

Some mashed potato.

1 table-spoonful of butter to a cup of potato.

1 table-spoonful of cream to the same.

Pepper and salt.

Catsup, if mutton be used; made mustard for beef.

1 beaten egg for each cupful of potato.

Mash the potato while hot, beating very light with the butter and cream—lastly, the egg. Too much attention cannot be paid to this part of the work. Fill a buttered baking-dish, or scallop shells with the minced meat, seasoned with onion, pepper, salt and[121] mustard or catsup, moisten with gravy, and cover with the mashed potato at least half an inch thick if your dish be large. Smooth this over and bake to a light brown. Just before you draw them from the oven glaze by putting a bit of butter on the top of each scallop.

Mince of Veal or Lamb. Maltese cross

1 cup gravy, well thickened.

The remains of cold roast meat—minced, but not very fine.

2 table-spoonfuls cream, or rich milk.

1 saltspoonful mace.

Pepper and salt to taste, with chopped parsley.

1 small onion.

1 table-spoonful butter.

3 eggs well whipped.

Heat the gravy to a boil, add the milk, butter, seasoning, onion, lastly the eggs, and so soon as these are stirred in, the minced meat, previously salted and peppered. Let it get smoking hot, but it must not boil. Heap in the middle of a dish, and enclose with a fence of fried potato or fried triangles of bread.

If well cooked and seasoned, this is a savory entrée.

White Fricassee of Rabbit. Maltese cross

1 young rabbit.

1 pint weak broth.[122]

¼ pound fat salt pork.

1 onion, sliced.

Chopped parsley, pepper and salt.

A very little mace.

1 cup of milk or cream.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch or rice flour.

1 table-spoonful butter.

Joint the rabbit neatly and cut the pork into strips. Put on the rabbit to boil (when it has lain in salt-and-water half an hour) in the broth, which should be cold. Put in the pork with it, and stew, closely covered, and very gently, an hour, or, until tender, before adding the onion, seasoning and parsley. When you do this, take out the pieces of rabbit, put in a covered dish to keep warm and boil down the gravy very fast, for fifteen minutes. Take out the pork, then strain the gravy through your soup-strainer. Let it stand five or six minutes in a cold place that the fat may rise. Skim this off; return the gravy to the saucepan, and when it is almost on the boil, stir in the cream or milk in which the corn-starch has been dissolved. Stir until it thickens, put in the butter, then the pieces of rabbit and the pork. All must simmer together five minutes, but not boil. When it is smoking hot, lay the rabbit neatly on a dish, pour over the gravy, garnish with parsley and sliced lemons and serve.

Brown Fricassee of Rabbit, orJugged Rabbit.” Maltese cross

1 young but full-grown rabbit, or hare.

½ pound fat salt pork, or ham.

1 cup good gravy.

Dripping or butter for frying.

1 onion, sliced.

Parsley, pepper, salt and browned flour.

1 glass of wine.

1 table-spoonful currant jelly.

Let the rabbit lie, after it is jointed, for half an hour[123] in cold salt-and-water. Wipe dry, and fry to a fine brown with the onion. Have ready a tin pail, or the inner vessel of a farina-kettle; put in the bottom a layer of fat salt pork, cut into thin strips; then, one of rabbit, seasoning well with pepper, but scantily with salt. Sprinkle the fried onion over the rabbit, and proceed in this order until your meat is used up. Cover the vessel, and set in another of warm water. Bring slowly to a boil, and let it stand where it will cook steadily, but not fast, for three-quarters of an hour, if the rabbit be large. Take out the meat, arrange it on a dish, add the jelly, beaten up with the browned flour, to the gravy, then the wine. Boil up quickly and pour over the rabbit.

Do not fail to give this a trial.

Curried Rabbit.

1 rabbit, jointed.

½ pound fat salt pork.

1 onion, sliced.

½ cup cream.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch.

Pepper, salt and parsley, and 2 eggs well beaten.

1 dessert spoonful good curry-powder.

Soak the jointed rabbit half an hour in cold salt-and-water, then put into a saucepan with the pork cut into strips, the onion and parsley, and stew steadily, not fast, in enough cold water to cover all, for an hour, or until the rabbit is tender. Take out the meat and lay on a covered chafing-dish to keep warm, while you boil the gravy five minutes longer. Let it stand a few minutes for the fat to rise, skim it and strain. Return[124] to the fire; let it almost boil, when put in the corn-starch. Stir to thickening, put in the curry-powder, the rabbit and pork, and let all stand covered, in a vessel of boiling water, fifteen minutes. Take up the meat, pile upon the chafing-dish; add to the gravy the cream and eggs, and stir one minute before pouring over the meat. All should stand, covered, in the hot-water chafing-dish about five minutes before going to table.

No arbitrary rule can be given as to the length of time it is necessary to cook game before it will be tender, since there are so many degrees of toughness in the best of that recommended by your reliable provision merchant as “just right.”

Hence, my oft-reiterated clause, “or, until tender.”

You can curry chicken in the same manner as rabbit.

Devilled Rabbit.

1 rabbit, jointed, as for fricassee.

3 table-spoonfuls butter.

A little cayenne, salt and mustard.

1 teaspoonful Worcestershire sauce, and 1 table-spoonful vinegar.

Parboil the rabbit, and let it get perfectly cold; then score to the bone, the gashes about half an inch apart. Melt together in a saucepan the butter and seasoning. Stir up well, and rub each piece of the rabbit with the mixture, working it into the gashes. Broil over a clear fire, turning as soon as they begin to drip. When they are brown lay on a hot dish, and pour melted butter over them. Let them lie in this, turning several times, for three or four minutes. Put[125] the rest of the mixture on them, if any be left, and serve.

Devilled Fowl.

Use only the legs and upper part of the wings of roasted or boiled fowls. Treat precisely as you do the rabbit in the foregoing receipt.

Salmi of Game. Maltese cross

An underdone roast duck, pheasant, or grouse.

1 great spoonful of butter.

2 onions, sliced and fried in butter.

1 large cup strong gravy.

Parsley, marjoram and savory.

Pepper and salt.

A pinch of cloves, and same of nutmeg.

Cut your game into neat joints and slices, taking all the skin off. Put refuse bits, fat, skin, etc., into a saucepan with the gravy, the fried onions, herbs, spice, pepper and salt. Boil gently one hour; let it cool until the fat rises, when skim it off and strain the gravy. Return it to the saucepan, and, when it heats, stir into it the butter and thicken with browned flour. Boil up sharply for five minutes and put in the pieces of duck. After this, the salmi must not boil. Neglect of this rule ruins most of the so-called salmis one sees upon private as well as upon hotel tables. Set the saucepan in a vessel of boiling water, and heat it through, letting it stand thus ten minutes. Arrange the meat upon a hot dish, and pour the gravy over it. Garnish with triangles of fried bread, and serve a piece to each guest with the salmi.[126]

Roast Rabbits. Maltese cross

A pair rabbits.

½ pound fat salt pork, cut into thin slices.

2 table-spoonfuls butter, and 1 glass of wine.

Bread-crumbs, chopped pork, parsley, grated lemon-peel, salt and pepper for the stuffing.

1 egg, beaten light, and 1 onion, sliced.

Skin and clean the rabbits (or hares), and lay in cold salt-and-water half an hour. Prepare the dressing as above directed, binding with the egg. Wipe the rabbits dry inside and out, stuff with the prepared mixture, and sew them up closely. Cover the backs of the rabbits with the sliced pork, binding it in place with packthread wound around and around the bodies. Lay them in the baking-pan, backs uppermost; pour into it about two cupfuls of cold water, cover closely, and steam for an hour, raising the upper pan now and then to pour a few spoonfuls of the boiling water about the rabbits over their backs, that the pork may not crisp; then remove the cover, clip the packthread, and take off the pork. Brown the rabbits, basting bountifully and frequently with butter. Chop the pork, and crisp in a frying-pan with the sliced onion. When the rabbits are done transfer to a hot dish; pour the gravy into a saucepan with the pork and onion. Boil up once, and strain before thickening with browned flour. Add the wine, give a final boil, and pour over and about the rabbits, sending up the surplus in a tureen.

Pigeons and grouse are very fine roasted in this way, also partridges.[127]

Braised Wild Duck or Grouse. Maltese cross

A pair of ducks or grouse.

1 onion, minced fine.

Bread-crumbs, pepper and salt, a pinch of sage, and a little chopped pork for stuffing.

4 table-spoonfuls of butter, or good dripping.

1 cup gravy.

Browned flour.

Prepare and stuff the fowls as for roasting. Have ready the butter or dripping hot in a large frying-pan, and fry first one fowl, then the other in this, turning as it browns below. Then lay them in a large sauce-pan and pour the gravy, previously heated, in with them. Cover closely and stew gently for an hour, or until the game is tender. Transfer the fowls to a hot dish and cover it, to keep in flavor and warmth while you strain the gravy. Let it cool a little to throw up the grease. Skim, thicken with browned flour, and boil up well for five minutes. Skim again, put back the duck into the gravy, and let all stand heating—not boiling—five minutes more, before dishing. Pour a few spoonfuls of gravy over the ducks on the dish; the rest into a tureen.

Send around green peas and currant jelly with them.

Roast Quails. Maltese cross

6 plump quails.

12 fine oysters.

3 table-spoonfuls butter.

Pepper and salt, and fried bread for serving.

Clean the quails and wash out very carefully with[128] cold water in which been dissolved a little soda. Cleanse finally with pure water and wipe dry, inside and out. Place within the body of each bird a couple of oysters or one very large one, sew it up and range all, side by side, in a baking-pan. Pour a very little boiling water over them to harden the outer skin and keep in the juices, and roast, covered, about half an hour. Then uncover and baste frequently with butter while they are browning. Serve upon rounds of fried bread, laid on a hot dish. Put a spoonful of gravy upon each, and send up the rest in a boat, when you have thickened and strained it.

If you like, you may add a glass of claret and a table-spoonful of currant jelly to the gravy after the quails are taken up.

Be careful to sew up small game with fine cotton that will not tear the meat when it is drawn out.

Fricasseed Chicken à l’Italienne (Fine).

Pair of chickens.

½ pound fat salt pork, cut into strips.

2 sprigs of parsley.

1 sprig thyme.

1 bay leaf.

A dozen mushrooms.

1 small onion.

1 clove.

1 table-spoonful of butter.

1 table-spoonful of salad oil.

2 glasses wine—white, or pale sherry.

Cut the chickens into joints; put them with the pork into a saucepan with a very little water, and stew,[129] covered, until tender. Remove the chicken to a hot-water chafing-dish and keep warm while you prepare the gravy. Turn the liquor in which the chickens were cooked into a frying-pan, thicken with browned flour; put into it the herbs, onion, clove and the mushrooms chopped very fine. Boil up sharply; add the butter and stew fast half an hour. Then add the wine and oil. Simmer a few minutes, and strain through a coarse cullender over the chicken.

I have understated the merits of this admirable fricassee by styling it “fine.” The dear friend upon whose table I first saw it, will, I am sure, earn the thanks of many other housewives, with my own, by giving the receipt.

Minced Chicken and Eggs. Maltese cross

Remains of roast or boiled chicken.

Stuffing of the same.

1 onion cut fine.

½ cup of cream.

1 table-spoonful flour or corn-starch.

Parsley, salt, and pepper.

6 or 8 eggs.

½ cup gravy, and handful of bread-crumbs.

Cut the meat of the fowls into small, neat squares. Put the bones, fat, and skin into a saucepan, with the onion and enough cold water to cover them, and stew gently for an hour or more. Strain, let it stand for a little while that the fat may rise, skim, and return to the saucepan. When hot to boiling, add the cream and thickening, with the seasoning. When it thickens, put in the chicken, after which it must not boil. Butter a[130] deep dish; cover the bottom with the stuffing of the fowls, crumbled or mashed up; wet with gravy; pour in the mince; strew fine, dry bread-crumbs over this, and break the eggs carefully upon the surface. More, and if possible, finer crumbs should cover these; put a bit of butter on each egg, pepper and salt, and bake in a quick oven until the top begins to bubble and smoke. The whites of the eggs should be well “set,” the yolks soft.

I can safely recommend this receipt. Few “pick-up” dishes are more popular with those for whom it is my duty and delight to cater.

A mince of veal can be made in the same way, in which case a little ham is an improvement, also two or three hard-boiled eggs, cut into dice, and mixed with the meat.

Quenelles. Maltese cross

Some cold, white meat of fowls or veal.

1 cup fine bread-crumbs.

3 table-spoonfuls cream or milk.

2 table-spoonfuls melted butter.

1 egg, well beaten.

1 cup well-flavored gravy.

Pepper and salt.

Chop the meat very fine. Wet the crumbs with milk, and drain as dry as you can. Work into this paste the meat and egg, seasoning well. Flour your hands, and make the mixture into round balls, rolling these in flour when formed. Have ready the gravy hot in a saucepan; drop in the quenelles, and boil fast five minutes. Take them up and pile upon a hot dish;[131] thicken the gravy with browned flour; boil up once and pour over them.


After making out the quenelles, roll them in beaten egg, then in cracker-crumbs, and fry in good dripping seasoned with onion. Dry every drop of grease from them by rolling them upon paper, and serve with the gravy poured over them.

These quenelles are nice served up with fricasseed sweetbreads, or as a garnish for them, or game.

Rechauffée of Veal and Ham.

Cold veal (if underdone all the better) and ham.

2 eggs, beaten light.

Handful of very fine bread-crumbs.

A little tart jelly.

Dripping or butter for frying.

Pepper, salt, and made mustard, or catsup.

Cut the veal and ham into rather thick slices of exactly the same size. Spread one side of a slice of veal with jelly, one side of the ham with mustard or thick catsup. Press these firmly together, that they may adhere closely, dip in the beaten egg, and roll in the bread (or cracker) crumbs, which should be seasoned with pepper and salt. Fry very quickly; dry off the grease by laying them on soft paper, and pile upon a dish.

Roulades of Beef.


Some slices of rare roast beef.

Some slices of boiled ham.

2 eggs, beaten light.

Butter or dripping for frying.

Pepper and mustard.

A little thick gravy.

Cut the beef into even, oblong slices, the ham rather thinner and smaller. Spread one side of the beef with mustard, and pepper the ham. Lay the ham upon the beef and roll up together as tightly as possible; roll in the egg, then the cracker, and pierce with a slender steel, tin or wooden skewer in such a manner as to keep the roll pinned together. Put several on each skewer, but do not let them touch one another. Fry brown; lay on a dish, and gently withdraw the skewers. Pour the gravy boiling hot over them.

Small roulades are a convenient and toothsome garnish for game and roast poultry.

Roulades of Mutton.

Can be made in the same way, but leaving out the ham, and spreading the inside of each slice with currant jelly.

Fried Chicken. Maltese cross

1 tender young chicken, cut into joints.

2 eggs, beaten light.

½ cup of cracker-crumbs.

Sweet lard, dripping, or the best salad-oil for frying.

Lay the chicken in salt-and-water fifteen minutes; wipe dry, pepper and salt, dip in the egg, then in the cracker-crumbs, and fry slowly in hot lard or dripping. Drain dry, pile on a hot dish, and lay sprigs of parsley over it.[133]

Chicken Fried Whole.

1 young, tender chicken, trussed as for roasting, but not stuffed.

Butter or very nice dripping for frying.

Clean the chicken, wash out well, and dry, inside and out. Put it in your steamer, or cover in a cullender over a pot of boiling water, keeping it at a fast boil for fifteen or twenty minutes. Have ready the boiling hot fat in a deep frying-pan, or cruller-kettle. It should half cover the chicken, when having floured it all over, you put it in. When one side is a light brown, turn it. When both are cooked, take up, put into a covered kettle or tin pail, and set in a pot of hot water, which keep at a slow boil, half an hour. If you like a delicate flavor of onion, put a few slices in the bottom of the kettle before the chicken goes in. Anoint the chicken plentifully, after laying it on a hot dish, with melted butter in which you have stirred pepper and chopped parsley.

This is a new and attractive manner of preparing chickens for the table. None but tender ones should be fried in any way.

“Smothered” Chicken. Maltese cross

2 tender chickens, roasting size, but not very large.

Pepper, salt and browned flour for gravy.

Clean and wash the chickens, and split down the back as for broiling. Lay flat in a baking-pan, dash a cupful of boiling water upon them; set in the oven, and invert another pan over them so as to cover tightly. Roast at a steady, but moderate heat, about[134] half an hour, then lift the cover and baste freely with butter and a little of the water in which the fowls are cooking. In ten minutes more, baste again with gravy from the baking-pan. In five more, with melted butter and abundantly, going all over the fowls, which should now begin to brown. Increase the heat, still keeping the chickens covered. A few minutes before dishing them, test with a fork to ascertain if they are tender. When done they should be of a mellow brown hue all over the upper part—a uniform and pleasing tint. Dish, salt and pepper them; thicken the gravy left in the pan with browned flour, adding a little water, if necessary, season with pepper, salt and parsley, and send up in a gravy boat.

The flavor of “smothered” chicken—so named by the Virginia housewife of the olden time—is peculiar, and to most palates delightful.

Smothered Chicken with Oysters. Maltese cross

1 fine, fat chicken.

1 pint of oysters, or enough to fill the chicken.

Dressing of chopped oysters, parsley and crumbs.

1 table-spoonful butter.

3 table-spoonfuls cream.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch.

Yolks of 3 hard-boiled eggs.

Pepper and salt to taste, with chopped parsley for sauce.

Clean the chicken, washing it out with two or three waters. Fill the “craw” with the prepared stuffing, tying up the neck very securely. Then, pack the main cavity of the body with oysters and sew up the[135] vent. Have ready a clean tin pail with a closely-fitting top. Put the fowl, neatly trussed, into it, cover and set in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, and cook slowly for more than an hour after the water in the outer vessel begins to boil. If the fowl be not young, it may be needful to keep it in two hours. Do not open the inner vessel in less than an hour. Having ascertained that the chicken is tender throughout, take it out and lay on a hot dish, covering immediately. Turn the gravy into a saucepan, thicken with the corn-starch, add the cream, parsley, seasoning and the boiled yolks chopped fine. Boil up once; pour a little over the chicken, and serve the rest in a sauce-boat.

Fondu of Chicken or other White Meat.

Some cold chicken, veal, or turkey minced fine.

1 cupful bread-crumbs—baker’s bread is best.

1 cupful boiling milk.

1 table-spoonful butter.

1 slice cold boiled ham—minced.

½ onion boiled in, and then strained out of the milk.

2 eggs, beaten very light.

A pinch of soda, dissolved in the milk.

Pepper and salt to taste.

Soak the crumbs in the boiling milk, stir in the batter, and beat very light. Let the mixture cool, while you mince the meat and whip the eggs. Stir in the meat first when the bread is nearly cold, season, and lastly put in the beaten eggs. Beat all up well and pour into a well-greased baking-dish. Set in a brisk[136] oven. When the fondu is a light, delicately-browned puff, send at once to table in the dish in which it was baked.

Galantine. Maltese cross

“A sort of glorified head-cheese—isn’t it?” said a blunt collegian at the height of his vacation-appetite, in passing his plate for a third reinforcement from the dish in front of his hostess.

The phrase always recurs to me, when I taste or see a galantine, for this was the foreign name of the spicy relish aptly characterized by the youth. If spicy and appetizing, it is also a convenient stand-by for the lunch or supper-table, since it keeps well and pleases most people, even those who do not affect “head-cheese” proper.

A rind of fat salt pork, about six inches wide and eight long.

A little sausage, some minced ham, and odds and ends of game and poultry, with giblets of all kinds, chopped up.

Salt, pepper, cloves, allspice, mace and cinnamon; sweet marjoram, savory, thyme, a little grated lemon-peel; a pinch of cayenne.

1 small onion, minced very fine.

1 cup rich gravy, thick and savory.

A little butter and bits of fat meat cut into dice.

A pint of weak broth, seasoned with pepper, salt and onion.

Cut from a piece of fat salt pork (the loin or sides) the rind in one piece, leaving on about a half-inch of fat. Soak in water over night to make it more pliable.[137] Spread, next day, upon a flat dish, and lay on it layers of sausage (or, if you have it, potted ham or tongue), game, poultry, giblets—minced meat of almost any kind, although these named are most savory—well seasoned with the condiments above enumerated, and sprinkled sparsely with onion. Moisten as you go on, with the rich broth; put in occasional bits of butter and fat meat, else it will be dry. Fold all up in the pork rind, joining the edges neatly.

About the roll wrap a stout cloth, fitting closely and sew it up on all sides. Bind, for further security, stout tape all about the bundle. Put the weak broth into a pot, and while it is still cold, drop the galantine into it, and boil slowly for five hours. The broth should cover it entirely all the time. Let it get perfectly cold in the liquor; then take it out, and without removing tape or cloth, put it under heavy weights between two plates, and do not touch it for twenty-four hours. At the end of that time, cut tape and threads, remove the cloth carefully, trim the ragged edges of the galantine, and send to table whole. Cut as it is asked for, with a keen knife, in smooth, thin slices.

Jellied Tongue. Maltese cross

1 large boiled tongue (cold).

2 ounces of gelatine dissolved in[138]

½ pint of water.

1 tea-cup of browned veal gravy.

1 pint of liquor in which the tongue was boiled.

1 table-spoonful sugar.

1 table-spoonful burnt sugar for coloring.

3 table-spoonfuls of vinegar.

1 pint boiling water.

Put together the gravy, liquor, sugar, vinegar and a table-spoonful of burnt sugar dissolved in cold water.

Add the dissolved gelatine and mix well—then the boiling water, and strain through flannel. Cut the tongue in slices as for the table. Let the jelly cool and begin to thicken. Wet a mould with cold water, put a little jelly in the bottom, then a layer of tongue, more jelly, and so on, until the mould is full. Cover and set in a cool place.

To turn it out, dip the mould in hot water for an instant, invert upon a dish, and garnish with celery-sprigs, and nasturtium-flowers. Cut with a thin, sharp knife, perpendicularly.

This is a handsome and delicious dish, and easily made.

Game or Poultry in Savory Jelly. Maltese cross

A knuckle of veal, weighing 2 pounds.

1 slice of lean ham.

1 shallot, minced.

Sprig of thyme and one of parsley.

6 pepper-corns (white), and one teaspoonful salt.

3 pints of cold water.

Boil all these together until the liquor is reduced to a pint, when strain without squeezing, and set to cool until next day. It should then be a firm jelly. Take off every particle of fat.[139]

1 package Coxe’s gelatine, soaked in

1 cup cold water for 3 hours.

1 table-spoonful sugar.

2 table-spoonfuls strained lemon-juice.

2 table-spoonfuls currant jelly, dissolved in cold water, and strained through a muslin cloth.

Nearly a quart of boiling water.

Pour the boiling water over the gelatine, stir swiftly for a moment; add the jellied “stock,” and when this is dissolved, the sugar, lemon-juice and coloring. Stir until all are mixed and melted together. Strain through a flannel bag until quite clear. Do not shake or squeeze the bag.

Have ready—4 or 5 hard-boiled eggs.

The remains of roast game, roast or boiled poultry, cut in neat thin slices, with no jagged edges, and salted slightly.

Wet a mould with cold water, and when the jelly begins to congeal, pour some in the bottom. Cut the whites of the eggs in pretty shapes—stars, flowers, leaves, with a keen penknife. If you have sufficient skill, carve the name or initials of some one whom you wish to honor. Unless you can do this, however, content yourself with smooth thin rings overlapping one another, like a chain, when they are arranged on the lowest stratum of jelly, which, by the way, should be a thin one, that your device may be visible. Pour in more jelly, and on this lay slices of meat, close together. More jelly, and proceed in this order until the mould is full, or all the meat used up.

Set in a cool place until next day, when turn out upon a flat dish.

An oblong or round mould, with smooth, upright sides, is best for this purpose.

There is no need for even a timid housekeeper to be appalled at the suggestion of attempting a task such[140] as is described above, or below. The very minuteness with which I have detailed the by-no-means difficult process should encourage, not daunt the tyro. “Nothing venture, nothing have,” is a telling motto, in this connection.

A Tongue Jellied Whole.

Make the jelly and stock as in preceding receipt, leaving out the currant jelly, and coloring with a little burnt sugar, dissolved in cold water. This gives an amber tinge to the jelly. Should it not be clear after first straining, run it through the bag—a clean one—again.

Trim a small tongue—boiled and perfectly cold—neatly, cutting away the root and paring it skilfully from tip to root with a sharp, thin-bladed knife. Wet an oblong mould (a baking-pan used for “brick” loaves of bread will do) with cold water, and put a thin layer of the congealing jelly in the bottom. Upon this lay the tongue, bearing in mind that what is the bottom now will be the top when the jelly is turned out. Encircle it with a linked chain made of rings of white of egg, or, if you prefer, let the rings barely touch one another, and fit in the centre of each a round of bright pickled beet. The effect of this is very pretty. Fill up the mould with jelly; cover and set in a cold place for twelve hours.

This is a beautiful show-piece for luncheon or supper, and when it has served the end of its creation in this respect, can easily be carved with a sharp knife and remain, even in partial ruin, a thing of beauty.



Presiding over an establishment like this makes sad havoc with the features, my dear Miss Pecksniffs,” said Mrs. Todgers. “The gravy alone is enough to add twenty years to one’s age. The anxiety of that one item, my dears, keeps the mind continually upon the stretch.”

Without following the worthy landlady further into the depths of her dissertation upon the fondness of commercial gentlemen for the “item,” I would answer a question addressed to me by a correspondent who “believes”—she is so kind as to inform me—“in Common Sense.”

“I notice that many of your made dishes are dependent for savoriness upon ‘a cup of good broth,’ or, ‘half a cup of strong gravy.’ Let me ask, in the spirit of sincere desire for useful information, where is the gravy or broth to come from?”

In return I plagiarize the words of a lady who accomplishes more with less noise and fretting than any other person I ever saw.

“I don’t see how you find time for it all!” exclaimed an admiring visitor.

“I make it, if I can get it in no other way,” was the rejoinder.

Never throw away so much as a teaspoonful of[142] gravy of any kind. Season it rather highly, and set it away in a cool place until it is wanted. For a while you will have some difficulty in impressing the importance of this rule upon your cook, especially if she is allowed to have all the “soap-fat” she can save as one of her “perquisites.” This is a ruinous leak in any household, whether the oleaginous “savings” be exchanged for soap (hard or soft), or for money. It is so easy to “let it go into the fat-crock,” and when the cook is to gain anything for herself by the laisser-aller the temptation is cruelly strong—even if she have a conscience. I have known the pile of unclean fat collected for the soap-man to be swelled not only by the bits of butter left upon the plates after meals, but by quarter and half-pounds abstracted bodily from butter tub or pot, and the abstraction never, in the phraseology of the “conveyer,” to be “scrupled.” “The wise convey it call!” said honest Pistol, and to no other ethical motto has heartier response been made by the comptrollers of culinary treasuries.

In a family of ordinary size nothing should find its way into the buckets of the unsavory caller at basement-door or back-gate. The drippings from most kinds of roast meat, if settled, strained and skimmed, and kept in a clean vessel, answer for many purposes quite as well as butter, and better than lard. Even that from mutton should be “tried out,” strained through muslin, slightly salted, and, if you choose, perfumed with rose-water, in which shape it is better than cold cream, or glycerine for chapped hands, and is a useful cerate for cuts, scratches, etc. The oil-cake should be removed from the top of all gravies before[143] they are used upon the table; for, be it understood, grease is not gravy.

How often I have wished, from the depths of a loathing stomach, that certain well-meaning housekeepers—at whose boards I have sat as guest or boarder—who fry beefsteak in lard, and send ham to table swimming in fat; upon the surface of whose soups float spheroids of oil that encase the spoon with blubber, and coat the lips and tongue of the eater with flaky scales—that these dear souls who believe in “old-fashioned cookery,” understood this simple law of digestive gravity!

A “rich gravy,” or “a strong broth,” is not of necessity, then, one surcharged with fat. Beef-tea—which is the very essence of the meat, and contains more nourishment in small bulk than any other liquid used in the sick-room—should be made of lean, but tender beef, and every particle of suet be removed from the cooled surface before it is re-heated for the patient’s use.

If you have no gravy ready when you wish to prepare ragoût, or other dish requiring this ingredient, “make it.” Crack up the bones from which you have cut the flesh, and put them into a saucepan with the refuse bits of meat, gristle, skin, etc.; cover with cold water, and stew very gently until you have extracted all the nourishment, and from two cups of liquid in the pot when the boiling commenced, you have one cup of tolerable gravy. A few minutes of thought and preparation in your kitchen after breakfast will enable you to have anything of this kind in season for a luncheon dish, or an entrée at the early dinner.[144] Foresight in these matters is to be forearmed. Teach your cook, furthermore, never to toss “that carcass” of fowl, or the ham, or mutton-bone, “with next to nothing upon it,” to the dogs, or into the scavenger’s barrel. It will not, by itself, make good soup, unless it be very much underdone, and even then the broth will not be equal to that made from raw meat or marrow bones. But, seasoned and thickened—adding sweet herbs and a dash of catsup to the flavoring—it will be useful as gravy in many ways; always remembering that it must be skimmed before it is used. It is also well worth your while to see for yourself, when the meat comes home from market, that it has been properly trimmed for the table. Much goes into the oven or upon the spit to be roasted, or upon the gridiron to be broiled, that is unfit to be eaten after it has been baked or grilled. All bits of tough skin—all gristly portions, soft bones, and the cartilage known as “whitleather” should be removed before cooking from roasts, chops, and steaks, when this can be done without injuring the shape of the meat. The place for these is the stew-pot. Cover them with cold water; put in no seasoning until they have simmered slowly for a long time in a close vessel, and the liquid is reduced to at most one-half of the original quantity; then season, boil up once hard, strain, and set aside until you want to try a receipt in which “a little good gravy” is a desideratum.

If you buy meat for gravy—which you need not do very often, if you (and your cook) are reasonably careful about “scraps,” cooked and raw—get the coarser pieces and marrow-bones pounded to bits. Cut up[145] the meat fine, also. You cannot, by never so long boiling; extract the strength so completely from a solid “chunk” of flesh as from the same quantity shred into strips or cut into dice. It should be reduced to rags for gravies and soups, and invariably put on in cold water. Fast boiling hardens the meat and injures the flavor of the gravy. For the first hour, it should barely simmer. After that, stew very slowly and steadily. The best gravy is like jelly when cold.

Are these details trivial to absurdity? If they seem so to you, pray bear with my over-carefulness when I tell you how ignorant I was of minute economies when I assumed the name, and, so far as I could, the duties of a housewife, and how many others I have seen and talked with who are as anxious as was I, to stop the deadly little drains from the domestic system, yet know not where to begin.



This subject has been treated of so fully—so exhaustively, I thought, then,—in No. 1 of the “Common Sense Series,”[A] that I have comparatively few receipts to set down here. I can, however, heartily endorse these as especially good of their kind. Indeed, the neatest compliment ever paid any receipt in my répertoire was when an epicure—not a gourmande—styled the oyster salad made in obedience to it, an “inspiration.”

Oyster Salad. Maltese cross

1 quart oysters, cut—not chopped—into small pieces.

1 bunch celery, cut—not chopped—into small pieces.

2 hard-boiled eggs.

2 raw eggs, well whipped.

1 great spoonful salad oil.

1 teaspoonful powdered sugar.

1 small spoonful salt.

1 small spoonful pepper.

1 small spoonful made mustard.

Half cup best cider vinegar.

Drain the liquor well from the oysters and cut them with a sharp knife into dice. Cut the celery, which [147]should be white and crisp, into pieces of corresponding size. Set them aside in separate vessels, in a cold place while you prepare the dressing. Beat the eggs light (with a “Dover” egg-beater, if you have one), mix in the sugar; then whip in gradually the oil until it is a light cream. Have ready, rubbed to a powder, the boiled yolks; add to them the salt, pepper, and lastly the mustard. Beat these into the oil and yolk, and then, two or three drops at a time, the vinegar, whipping the dressing briskly, but lightly for two or three minutes. It should, if properly managed, be like rich yellow cream—or custard.

With a silver fork toss up the oysters and celery together in a glass dish; pour half of the dressing over them; toss up—not stir it down—for a minute, and pour the rest on the top.

Lay a border of light-green celery tufts close within the edge of the bowl, with a cluster in the middle of the salad. Serve as soon as may be, after it is mixed. Meanwhile, keep on the ice.

Cabbage Salad. (Very good.) Maltese cross

1 small firm head of cabbage—chopped or sliced fine.

1 cup of sweet milk, boiling hot.

A little less than a cup of vinegar.

1 table-spoonful butter.

2 eggs, well beaten.

1 table-spoonful white sugar.

1 teaspoonful essence of celery.

Pepper and salt to taste.

Heat the milk and vinegar in separate vessels. When the vinegar boils, put in the butter, sugar and seasoning.[148] Boil up once and stir in the chopped cabbage. Heat to scalding, but do not let it actually boil. To the hot milk add the eggs; cook one minute after they begin to thicken. Turn the scalding cabbage into a deep bowl; pour the custard over it, stir in quickly, tossing up the mixture with a silver fork, until the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated; cover to keep in the strength of the vinegar, and set where it will cool suddenly.

Serve perfectly cold, and garnish with some slices of cold boiled eggs and cresses.

This will be found a vast improvement upon the old-fashioned “coldslaw,” however prepared, and is more wholesome.

Lobster Salad—without Oil. Maltese cross

1 fine lobster—boiled thoroughly, and carefully picked out. Cut into small pieces; put in a broad dish, and sprinkle with a teaspoonful of salt and one of pepper. Set aside in a cold place.

2 bunches of white crisp celery, also cut into small pieces. Toss up lightly with the lobster.


2 large table-spoonfuls of butter.

1½ large table-spoonfuls of flour or corn-starch.

1 pint boiling water.

Stir the flour, previously wet, into the boiling water; let it boil two minutes and add the butter. Boil one minute longer and set aside to cool. Meantime, mix well and smoothly.[149]

1 large table-spoonful of mustard.

1 teaspoonful of sugar—(powdered).

½ teaspoonful of salt.

1 table-spoonful boiling water.

1 small cup of vinegar.

Beat this up well, then add to the drawn butter—beat to a cream and pour over the lobster.

Garnish the dish with celery tops and hard-boiled eggs.

It gives me great pleasure to present this receipt to those who, from prejudice or taste, do not like the presence of salad oil in any dish. I have known many who would not knowingly partake of salad, fricassee, or ragoût, that had oil, in however small quantity, as one of its ingredients. And, unlike mince-pie, with the brandy left out, or pie-crust, minus shortening, this oil-less salad is really delicious. Especially if a couple of raw eggs, well whipped, be added to the drawn butter, when almost cold.

Chicken Salad. (Excellent.) Maltese cross

2 full-grown chickens, boiled tender, and cold.

3 bunches of celery.

2 cups boiling water.

2 table-spoonfuls corn-starch, wet with cold water.

1 great spoonful fat, skimmed from liquor in which the fowls were boiled.

2 table-spoonfuls oil.

1 cup of vinegar.[150]

2 teaspoonfuls made mustard.

3 raw eggs, whipped light.

3 hard-boiled eggs.

1 table-spoonful powdered sugar.

1 teaspoonful salt, or to taste.

1 teaspoonful pepper.

1 teaspoonful Worcestershire sauce.

Remove from the chicken every bit of fat and skin. Cut the best portions of the meat into dice with a sharp knife. Chopping is apt to make it ragged and uneven in appearance. Cut the celery in like manner, and set both aside in a cool place, when you have strewed a little salt over the chicken. To the boiling water add the corn-starch, and boil fast until it thickens well. Then stir in the chicken-essence, skimmed from the top of the cold liquor in which the fowls were boiled. If the pot is clean, it will be of a fine golden color. Take from the fire, and begin to whip into the sauce the beaten eggs. Continue this until the mixture is nearly cold. Rub the hard-boiled yolks to a fine powder in a Wedgewood mortar or earthenware bowl; add the mustard, sugar, pepper, and salt; the Worcestershire sauce; then, a few drops at a time, the oil, lastly, also gradually, the vinegar. Strain through a wire sieve, or coarse tartelane, rubbing through all that will pass the net. Put the chicken and celery together in a glass salad-dish, and wet up with half of the vinegar mixture. Be careful not to do more than moisten it well, tossing up lightly with a silver fork. Then beat the rest of the vinegar sauce into the thicker mixture, which should by this time be perfectly cold. Pour over the salad; ornament the centre of the dish with flower-cups made of the hollowed halves of the whites of boiled eggs, with celery-tufts for petals. Lay a chain of sliced whites nearer the edge of the bowl, with a tender-celery leaf in each link, and set in a very cold place until wanted.[151]

In obedience to this last injunction, I once left my salad on the shelf of a “very cold” pantry, until it was slightly frozen all through—a misadventure I did not suspect until it came to table. With a desperate attempt at facetiousness, I introduced the compound as a novelty—“a salade glacée”—and, to my relief and surprise, found in the accident a parallel to the “Irish blackguard” snuff story. The spoiled dish was pronounced by all far more delightful than the usual form of salad. I do not advise a repetition of the adventure on the part of any of my readers. Perhaps other guests might be less complaisant and flattering. It is hardly worth while to risk a cut glass dish on the chances of success.

Use the liquor in which the chickens were boiled for soup.

Cream Dressing for Salad.

1 cup sweet cream. It must be perfectly fresh.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch, or very fine flour.

Whites of two eggs, beaten stiff.

3 table-spoonfuls vinegar.

2 table-spoonfuls best salad-oil.

2 tea-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

1 teaspoonful (scant) of salt.

½ teaspoonful pepper.

1 teaspoonful made mustard.

Heat the cream in a farina-kettle almost to boiling; then stir in the flour, previously wet with cold milk. Boil for two minutes, stirring all the time; add the sugar, and take from the fire. When half cold beat in the whipped whites of egg with swift strokes, but not many. Set aside to cool. When quite cold, whip in the oil,[152] pepper, mustard and salt, and if your salad is ready, add the vinegar, and pour at once over it.

This dressing is especially nice for lettuce salad. If made for chickens, only the white meat should be used.

Golden Salad-dressing. Maltese cross

4 hard-boiled eggs.

3 table-spoonfuls of best salad oil.

4 table-spoonfuls vinegar.

Yolks of 2 eggs, well beaten.

1 teaspoonful powdered sugar.

1 teaspoonful essence of celery.

1 saltspoonful of salt.

1 saltspoonful pepper.

1 teaspoonful made mustard.

Rub the boiled yolks to a powder; add sugar, mustard, salt, pepper. Work up well with the oil; put in gradually. Beat hard; stir in the vinegar, and strain out all lumps, rubbing or squeezing the mixture to get the full strength. Put over the fire and heat almost to boiling. Take a spoonful at a time from the saucepan while still on the fire, and beat into the whipped raw yolks. When all the ingredients are mixed, return to the saucepan; simmer slowly for three minutes, stirring all the time. Do not let it boil, as it will be apt to curdle. Put in the celery-essence after withdrawing it from the range. Let it get perfectly cold; pile up lobster and lettuce—the first cut into dice, the latter pulled lightly apart—in a deep dish, and pour half the dressing over it. Give a few tosses with a silver fork; mound up neatly, and pour the rest of the sauce over all.

This dressing is very fine for a mayonnaise of fish.[153] In this case, add a teaspoonful of anchovy sauce after it comes from the fire.

Potato Salad Dressing. Maltese cross

2 large boiled potatoes.

1 teaspoonful powdered sugar.

1 table-spoonful oil.

1 saltspoonful made mustard.

1 saltspoonful salt, and same of pepper.

1 teaspoonful Harvey’s sauce.

1 egg, beaten light—white and yolk separate.

3 table-spoonfuls vinegar.

Boil the potatoes until mealy, drain every drop of water from them; let them dry on the range for an instant, and beat up (not mash) them with a fork, tossing them into lightness and dryness. When fine and dry, beat in the salt, oil, and egg; the yolk first, then the white, which should be a stiff froth. In another vessel have ready mixed the mustard, sauce, sugar, pepper, and vinegar. Add by degrees to the potato-mixture until it is like thick cream. If not perfectly smooth, rub through a coarse wire sieve or a bit of coarse lace, such as is used for mosquito netting.

This, also, is peculiarly nice with salmon, or halibut mayonnaise, although excellent with chicken or turkey salad.



Toasted Cheese. Maltese cross

½ pound cheese—dry—grated.

1 table-spoonful butter.

1 teaspoonful made mustard.

A pinch of cayenne pepper.

1 table-spoonful very fine, stale bread-crumbs—soaked in cream.

Rounds or slices of thin toast, from which the crust has been pared.

Rub the bottom of a heated frying-pan with a cut onion, then with butter. Put the cheese into it, stirring fast to prevent burning. When it has melted, put in the butter, the mustard, pepper; lastly the bread-crumbs, which have been previously soaked in cream, then pressed almost dry. Spread smoking hot upon the toast, and eat at once.

Cheese Toasted with Eggs. Maltese cross


½ pound good English cheese.

3 eggs, beaten light.

3 table-spoonfuls bread-crumbs, soaked in cream.

1 table-spoonful of mustard.

Salt and pepper to taste.

A little minced parsley.

Slices of delicate toast.

3 table-spoonfuls butter—melted, but not hot.

Beat the soaked crumb into the eggs; the butter; seasoning; lastly, the cheese. Beat very light; spread smoothly on the toast and brown quickly upon the upper grating of the oven. Be sure the bars are perfectly clean.

Cheese with Macaroni. Maltese cross

½ pound macaroni.

½ cup cream.

1½ table-spoonfuls butter.

Pepper, salt and parsley.

1 egg, beaten well, and 1 table-spoonful flour.

4 table-spoonfuls grated cheese, and a little crumbed bread.

Break the macaroni into inch lengths; boil in water slightly salted; drain perfectly dry in a cullender. Take out two table-spoonfuls of cream, and put the rest into a farina-kettle or saucepan, set within another of boiling water. When it is scalding hot, salt to taste; add half a table-spoonful of butter, then the macaroni, and heat together slowly. They should not boil. Meanwhile put the reserved cream into a small saucepan. Heat, stir in the table-spoonful of butter, pepper and parsley; the flour, wet with cold milk, the grated cheese, and when this is dissolved, the beaten egg. Pour the macaroni into a neat baking-dish, cover with the cheese mixture. Strew the top with very fine bread-crumbs, and brown quickly on the upper grating of a hot oven.

This is very good.[156]

Cheese Fingers.

Some good pie pastry, “left over” from pie-making.

3 or 4 table-spoonfuls best English cheese, dry and old—grated.

A little salt and pepper.

1 raw egg.

Roll the paste out thin; cut into strips about four inches long and less than half as wide. Strew each with grated cheese, season with pepper and salt, double the paste upon it lengthwise, pinch the edges, and when all are ready, bake in a quick oven. Wash over with beaten egg just before taking them up, and sift a little powdered cheese upon the top. Shut the oven-door an instant to glaze them well; pile log-cabin-wise upon a hot napkin in a warm dish, and eat at once, as they are not good cold.

This will make a savory side-relish for John’s luncheon on a hurried baking-day. Pastry is none the worse for standing a day or longer in a cold, dry place, and this uses up the “odds and ends” satisfactorily and economically.

Cheese Biscuits.

Some pie-paste.

Grated cheese.

1 beaten egg.

Pepper and salt.

Cayenne pepper, if you like.

Roll out the pastry thin; strew grated cheese, seasoned, over the whole sheet and roll it up tightly. Roll out again, even thinner than before; strew the rest of the[157] cheese; roll up and set in a cold place, half an hour, until crisp. Roll again into a sheet, cut into squares or triangles with a cake-cutter, or your jagging-iron; prick with a fork, and bake very quickly in a hot oven. Brush with beaten egg before taking up, and sift raspings of cheese over the top, shutting up in the oven for an instant to glaze the biscuits. Serve at once, on a hot napkin.

These are, it will be seen, a modification of the “fingers,” and will be preferred by some. Of course, to those who object to cooked cheese as indigestible, none of the combinations that smell so appetizing and taste so savory, will be a temptation. Cayenne is said to make these more wholesome.

Cheese fondu. Maltese cross (Delicious.)

1 cup bread-crumbs—very dry and fine.

2 scant cups of milk—rich and fresh, or it will curdle.

½ pound dry old cheese, grated.

3 eggs—whipped very light.

1 small table-spoonful melted butter.

Pepper and salt.

A pinch of soda, dissolved in hot water and stirred into the milk.

Soak the crumbs in the milk; beat into these the eggs, the butter, seasoning, lastly the cheese. Butter a neat baking-dish; pour the fondu into it, strew dry bread-crumbs on the top, and bake in a rather quick oven until delicately browned. Serve immediately in the baking-dish, as it soon falls.

The day on which this cheese-pudding first appeared on my table is marked with a “very good.” It is a[158] pretty, cheap and palatable entrée, such as you need never be ashamed to set before any guest, however fastidious.

Let me say, in this connection, in explanation not apology, for my running commentary upon receipts like the above, that it is made—the commentary, I mean, “with a purpose.” The unexpected guest is sometimes an embarrassment, sometimes a horror to the inexperienced housewife.

“I remembered the cold duck in the pantry with exceeding joy; summed up the contents of bread and cake box to a crumb, between the foot of the stairs and the front-door,” confessed one to me. “By the time I had said ‘How do you do?’ all around, and kissed the babies, I remembered, with a sick thrill, that the butter was low and the coffee out (we don’t drink it ourselves), and that the whole party of new-comers must, at that hour of the evening, be ravenously hungry.”

It is wise and provident to arm oneself against such occasions by practice in the manufacture of what may be called “surprise-dishes.” With a crust of cheese in the larder, half a loaf of dry bread, an egg, a few spoonfuls of milk and a bit of butter, one is tolerably armed against an unlooked-for and unseasonable arrival. Give the guest my fondu, with a good cup of coffee, or tea, or glass of ale; bread-and-butter, cut thin, and your brightest smile, and he will not complain, even inwardly, should the cold duck be wanting.

Cream Cheese. (No. 1.)


3 pints of cream, with a teaspoonful of salt put in after it sours.

An empty salt-box, and ¼ yard of very stout, coarse lace.

Knock top and bottom out of one of the small boxes used for holding table-salt, and cleanse the broad and the narrow rims remaining, thoroughly. When dry, fit over the bottom of the box itself a piece of new strong net lace, or mosquito-netting. Fasten it in place by pressing down over it the rim of the top. The net should be drawn tightly and smoothly. Tack both rim and net to the outside of the box with small tacks driven through the former, leaving the heads protruding, that they may be easily withdrawn. This is your cheese-press. If you can get a small wire sieve with coarse meshes, it will save you trouble. The cream should have been set aside until it thickens or “loppers,” in a solid curd. Inside of your mould lay a piece of clean white tarletane, fitted neatly to the sides and bottom, and projecting all around above the press. Pour in the cream, opening the flakes gently with a spoon to allow the whey to reach the bottom of the press, but do not stir it. Set the mould upon two slender sticks laid on a bowl, and let it drip two days. If the mould will not hold all the cream, add it during the first day, as the curd sinks. By the third day it will be a rich, smooth mass. If not quite firm, trim down the round board you took out of the top, cover the cheese with a thin cloth, and press the board firmly upon it. Lay a weight on this—not heavy enough to break the net—and leave for some hours longer. A saucer or small plate will do almost as well as the board. When the cheese is ready to eat, which will be when it is firm, remove the oil from the top by[160] laying a piece of blotting or tissue paper upon it, and lift from the mould by taking hold of the projecting edges of cloth. It will be found very nice. This is the famous English cream cheese.

Cream Cheese. (No. 2.) Maltese cross

Make cottage cheese as directed in “Common Sense in the Household,” page 268, or, what is easier, buy two or three “pats” of the same from some honest countrywoman in the market. To each little cheese allow a table-spoonful of melted butter, and three or four of good sweet cream, with a little salt and pepper. Work in the butter first with a silver spoon, and very thoroughly, then the cream, until all is light and smooth. Make into neat rolls, or shape into miniature cheeses upon a plate; print as you would butter, and set in a cold place half an hour. They should be eaten fresh.

Cheese Patés. Maltese cross

Rounds of bread, cut and fried as for Swiss patés.

5 table-spoonfuls grated cheese.

½ cup hot water.

2 eggs, yolks only.

Pepper and salt.

Handful bread-crumbs.

1 table-spoonful of butter.

Put the water on the fire, and, when it boils, stir in the butter and seasoning, the cheese, and, when this is melted, the eggs. Heat together one minute; put in the bread-crumbs and pour a good spoonful of the mixture into each of the cavities left in the rounds of fried[161] bread. Brown very quickly in the oven, and serve on a folded napkin.

Cheese Sandwiches. Maltese cross

¼ pound good English cheese—grated.

3 eggs, boiled hard—use the yolks only.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

Thin slices of buttered bread.

Pepper and salt.

Rub the yolks to a smooth paste with the butter, season, and work in the cheese. Spread the bread, and fold upon the mixture.


3 table-spoonfuls grated cheese.

2 eggs, beaten light.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

1 teaspoonful anchovy sauce.

Pepper—cayenne is best.

1 teaspoonful flour, wet with cream.

Rounds of lightly-toasted bread.

Beat the butter and seasoning in with the eggs; then the cheese; lastly the flour; working until the mixture is of creamy lightness. Spread thickly upon the bread, and brown quickly.

This is a Dutch compound, but eatable despite the odd name.

Cheese Pudding.


½ pound dry cheese, grated fine.

1 cup dry bread-crumbs.

4 eggs, well beaten.

1 cup minced meat—one-third ham—two-thirds fowl.

1 cup milk and one of good gravy—veal or fowl.

1 teaspoonful butter, and a pinch of soda in the milk.

Season with pepper and a very little salt.

Stir the milk into the beaten eggs, then the bread-crumbs, seasoning, meat, lastly, the cheese. Beat up well, but not too long, else the milk may, in spite of the soda, curdle.

Butter a mould; pour in the pudding, cover, and boil three-quarters of an hour steadily. Turn out upon a hot dish, and pour the gravy over it.



Potatoes à la Lyonnaise. Maltese cross

12 potatoes, parboiled, and when cold, sliced, or cut into dice.

1 onion, chopped.

Butter or dripping for frying.

Chopped parsley, pepper and salt.

Heat the butter in a frying-pan; put in the onion; fry one minute; then the potatoes. Stir briskly and fry slowly five minutes. There should be butter enough to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan; and they should not brown. Add the seasoning just before you take them up. Drain perfectly dry by shaking them to and fro in a heated cullender. Serve in a hot dish.

Stewed Potatoes. Maltese cross

12 fine potatoes.

1 egg, beaten light.

1 great spoonful of butter.

1 table-spoonful flour, wet with cold milk.

1 cup of milk.

Chopped parsley, salt and pepper.

Peel and lay the potatoes in cold water for half an hour. Then slice or cut into dice into more cold water, just enough to cover them. Boil gently in this until tender; but not until they are a paste. Drain off nearly[164] all the water; put pepper, salt, and the milk in with the potatoes left in the saucepan, and heat again to boiling before stirring in the flour. Cook two minutes, stirring up from the bottom to prevent scorching; add the egg, parsley and butter, and pour into a covered dish.

Fried Potatoes. Maltese cross

12 potatoes.

Butter or dripping for frying.

Salt to taste.

Peel the potatoes; cut from end to end in even strips, by first halving, then quartering each; cutting into eighths, and if the potato be large, into sixteenths. The more regular the shape and uniform the size the better the dish will look. Lay these in cold—ice-water if you have it—for at least half an hour; then upon a dry cloth, covering with another and patting the upper gently to dry each piece. The butter or dripping should be boiling hot. Fry the potatoes briskly, turning as the lower side is done to a yellow-brown. As you take them out of the fat—which should be done the instant they are of the right color—put into a hot cullender set over a plate in the open oven, and sprinkle with salt. Serve in a napkin laid within a hot dish and folded lightly over them. A dish-cover would make them “soggy,” whereas they should be crisp.

Scalloped Potatoes.


3 cups mashed potatoes.

3 table-spoonfuls cream.

2 table-spoonfuls butter.

Salt and pepper.

Yolks of four hard-boiled eggs.

1 raw egg, beaten well.

Handful dry, fine bread-crumbs.

Beat up the potatoes while hot, with the cream, butter and raw egg, seasoning well. Put a layer in the bottom of a buttered baking-dish; cover this with thin slices of yolk, salt and pepper; then another layer of potato, and so on, until all the materials are used up. The top layer should be potato. Strew bread-crumbs thickly over this. Bake covered until hot through, then brown quickly. Serve in the baking-dish.

Potatoes à l’Italienne. (Extremely nice.) Maltese cross

Enough mealy potatoes to make a good dish, boiled dry.

2 table-spoonfuls of cream.

1 table-spoonful of butter.

Salt and pepper.

2 eggs, yolks and whites beaten separately.

Whip up the potatoes, while hot, with a silver fork, instead of using the potato-beetle. This is, by the way, a much better method of mashing potato than that usually adopted. The potato is dried of all superfluous moisture, made whiter and lighter than by pounding. When it is fine and mealy, beat in the cream, the butter, salt, pepper, and whip up to a creamy heap before mixing in, with few dexterous strokes, the whites, which should be first whipped stiff. Pile irregularly upon a buttered pie-dish; brown quickly in the oven; slip carefully, with the help of a cake-turner, to a heated flat dish, and send up.[166]

Potatoes à la Duchesse. Maltese cross

When you cook potatoes à l’Italienne prepare more than will be needed for one day. Cut the remnants, when perfectly cold, into squares or rounds with a cake-cutter, wet in cold water. Grease the bottom of a baking-pan and set these in it in rows, but not touching one another, and bake quickly, brushing them all over, except, of course, on the bottom, with beaten egg when they begin to brown. Lay a napkin, folded, upon a hot dish, and range these regularly upon it.

They are very fine, and considered quite a fancy dish.

Potato Eggs. Maltese cross

2 cups cold (or hot) mashed potato.

¾ cup of cold ham, minced very fine.

2 eggs, beaten light.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

2 table-spoonfuls cream or rich milk.

Pepper and salt, and dripping for frying.

1 cup good gravy.

Work the butter into the potato, the cream, seasoning, and, when the mixture is free from lumps, the beaten eggs. Beat all up light before the ham goes in. Flour your hands; make this paste into egg-shaped balls; roll these in flour and fry in good dripping; turning them carefully, not to spoil the shape. Pile upon a flat dish, and pour some good gravy, hot, over them.

If you have nothing else of which gravy can be made, boil the ham-bone or a few slices of ham in a little[167] water; thicken with flour; add a little butter, parsley, pepper and a beaten egg; boil up until it thickens.

The above is a simple, but very good preparation of potato. You will not grudge the little additional time and trouble required to make pretty and palatable the remnants of ham and potato, that, served plain, would tempt no one except a very hungry man.

For many other ways of cooking this invaluable vegetable, for breakfast and luncheon, as well as for dinner, the reader is referred to the section—“Potatoes,” in “Common Sense in the Household,” page 210.



A young friend of mine who had not long been a wife and housekeeper, on returning from a morning drive, one day, was met at the door by the intelligence that her widower brother, who was a member of her family, had brought three gentlemen home with him to dinner. Her husband had not yet come in, and although not naturally nervous, she repaired forthwith, and in some trepidation, to the kitchen, to see for herself that the early dinner, which was then customary in the household, because more convenient for the master’s business, was in satisfactory progress.

The range was hot and the top empty; the tables clean and also empty; ditto the cook’s hands, while her terrified face had the hue of her whitest dish-towel.

“Don’t you think, ma’am,” was her salutation, “that the marketing has never come home at all, at all, and not a bit of meat, nor so much as a pertater in the house! Whatever will we do? and lashin’s of company in onexpected!”

The mistress was equally dismayed when a glance at the clock showed that it was past twelve. The market-house closed at noon; her residence was out of the region of butchers’ and green-grocers’ shops. It was evident that the plethoric hamper, she had seen filled by her usually careful provision merchant and left at[169] his stand in the market to be delivered at her door early in the forenoon, had miscarried, or been overlooked.

“Whatever shall we do?” The despairing cry rang through her like a knell; a cold trembling seized her limbs, and she dropped helplessly into a chair.

“Has nothing come, Mary? Not even the meat for soup?”

“Sorra a sup, ma’am.”

“Cannot you think of something that can be made quickly? You told me you were a good hand at getting up nice dishes at short notice!”

The Celt’s pose was tragic.

“An’ it was a thrue word I spake, whin I said it. But an angel couldn’t make something out of nothing, or it’s meself that would thry!”

Matters were too serious for the poor lady to suffer her to smile at the implied assumption of angelic relationship.

“Something must be done, nevertheless,” she uttered, desperately, and, with a woman’s instinct of leaning upon rugged masculine strength when deserted by feminine wit, she sought the billiard-room, whither the inconsiderate brother had conducted his visitors, happily unsuspicious as themselves of the poverty-stricken larder, or the qualms that were racking the secretary of the interior.

He showed an exasperatingly good-humored face at the door in answer to her knock.

“Come in!” he said blithely, and would have flung wide the door, but for the agonized gesture that beckoned him into the entry.[170]

In a whisper as agonized, she explained the situation. He reflected a moment.

“Any pie, or cake in the house? fruit, fresh or preserved?”

“Yes, all,” impatiently. “But it isn’t a question of dessert. There is literally nothing for dinner.”

“I understand! I have it! We’ll be fashionable for once. Set on sardines, cheese, pie, cake, claret and sauterne, and a dish or two of fruit. Make a royally strong cup of coffee to wind up with, and call it luncheon!

In fifteen minutes the guests were summoned to the dining-room, where the pretty hostess, in a becoming demi-toilette, welcomed them as the friends of her husband and brother, and presided over the collation from which not one of them perceived that anything was lacking, like a gracious little queen. A lisp of apology would have spoiled all, and she had tact enough to avoid the danger.

“That man is a Napoleon in small matters!” said I, when she told me the story. “If he never says another good thing, his—‘Call it luncheon,’ should win him lasting fame with all housekeepers who hearken to the tale of his masterly strategy.”

I have given the anecdote at length, that the reader may have the benefit of all the lessons it conveys.

First—Assure yourself, whenever it is practicable, that the materials for dinner are in the house several hours before the time for serving it arrives.

Secondly—It is a wise plan to keep sardines, canned salmon and lobster, cheese, and potted meats on hand always, with preserved fruits, and not to let the stores of cake and crackers run too low.[171]

Thirdly—There is scarcely an imaginable domestic disaster on an ordinary scale, that cannot be rectified, or, at least, modified into passableness by presence of mind and energetic action. “Call it luncheon,” is a capital motto in other and graver perplexities than the non-arrival of a day’s marketing, and where higher interests are concerned than the feasting or fasting of half a dozen people.



Fried Egg Plant. Maltese cross

1 fine egg-plant.

2 eggs.

½ cup milk.

A little salt.

Flour for thin batter, and lard, or dripping, for frying. Slice and pare the egg-plant, and lay in salt-and-water one hour. Wipe perfectly dry, make a batter as directed above, dip each piece in it, and fry to a fine brown. Drain dry, and serve on hot, flat dish.

Mock Fried Oysters. Maltese cross

1 bunch oyster-plant, or salsify.

2 eggs—well beaten.

½ cup milk.

Flour for thin batter, and lard or dripping for frying.

Pepper and salt.

Wash, scrape and grate the salsify, and stir into the batter, beating hard at the last. It should be about as thick as fritter batter. Season, and drop, by the spoonful, into the hot fat. Try a little, at first, to see if batter and fat are right. As fast as they are fried, throw into a hot cullender, set over a bowl in the oven. Send to table dry and hot.

They are delicious if eaten at once.[173]

Mock Stewed Oysters. Maltese cross

1 bunch oyster-plant.

4 table-spoonfuls butter.

A little flour or corn-starch.

Vinegar-and-water for boiling.

Pepper and salt.

½ cup milk.

Wash and scrape the oyster-plant very carefully; drop into weak vinegar-and-water, bring quickly to a boil, and cook ten minutes; turn off the vinegar-water; rinse the salsify in boiling water; throw this out, and cover with more from the tea-kettle. Stew gently ten minutes longer; add pepper and salt and two table-spoonfuls butter. Stew in this until tender.

Meanwhile, heat, in a farina-kettle, the milk, thicken, add the remaining butter, and keep hot until the salsify is done, when transfer it to this sauce. Pepper and salt; let all lie together in the inner kettle, the water in the outer at a slow boil, for five minutes. Pour into a covered dish.

Fritters of Canned Corn. Maltese cross

1 can sweet corn, drained in a cullender.

3 eggs—very light.

1 cup of milk.

Pepper and salt.

1 table-spoonful butter.

Flour for thin batter.

Dripping for frying.

A pinch of soda.

Beat up the batter well, stir in the corn and drop[174] the mixture in spoonfuls into the boiling fat. Drain off all the grease in a cullender.


You may fry on the griddle as you would cakes.

Devilled Tomatoes.

Fine, firm tomatoes—about a quart.

3 hard-boiled eggs—the yolks only.

3 table-spoonfuls melted butter.

3 table-spoonfuls vinegar.

2 raw eggs, whipped light.

1 teaspoonful powdered sugar.

1 saltspoonful salt.

1 teaspoonful made mustard.

A good pinch of cayenne pepper.

Pound the boiled yolks; rub in the butter and seasoning. Beat light, add the vinegar, and heat almost to a boil. Stir in the beaten egg until the mixture begins to thicken. Set in hot water while you cut the tomatoes in slices nearly half an inch thick. Broil over a clear fire upon a wire oyster-broiler. Lay on a hot chafing-dish, and pour the hot sauce over them.

Baked Tomatoes. Maltese cross


1 quart fine smooth tomatoes. The “Trophy,” if you can get them.

1 cup bread-crumbs.

1 small onion, minced fine.

1 teaspoonful white sugar.

1 table-spoonful butter—melted.

Cayenne and salt.

½ cup good broth.

Cut a piece from the top of each tomato. With a teaspoon take out the inside, leaving a hollow shell. Chop the pulp fine, mix with the crumbs, butter, sugar, pepper, salt and onion. Fill the cavities of the tomatoes with this stuffing; replace the tops; pack them in a baking-dish and fill the interstices with the stuffing. Pour the gravy also into these; set the dish covered in an oven, and bake half an hour, before uncovering, after which brown lightly, and send to table in the baking-dish.



Corn Cake. Maltese cross

3 eggs, whipped light, yolks and whites separately.

2 cups sour, or buttermilk.

3 table-spoonfuls melted butter.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in boiling water.

1 table-spoonful white sugar.

1 small teaspoonful of salt.

Corn-meal enough to make a rather thin batter. Bake in a shallow pan, or in small tins 30 minutes in a hot oven.

Adirondack Corn-Bread. Maltese cross

5 great spoonfuls Indian meal.

3 great spoonfuls wheat flour.

5 eggs, well-beaten—whites and yolks separately.

1 table-spoonful white sugar.

1 small teacupful melted butter.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 teaspoonfuls cream tartar, sifted into the flour.

1 pint milk, or enough to make batter about the consistency of pound-cake.

Melt, but do not heat the butter; add to the milk and beaten yolks; next, the soda; then, the meal, alternately with the whites; then, the sugar, lastly the flour, through which the cream tartar has been sifted,[177] stirring it lightly and swiftly. Bake in a broad, shallow pan, in a tolerably brisk oven,—or, if you prefer, in muffin-rings.

Loaf Corn-Bread. (Excellent.) Maltese cross

2 heaping cups white Indian meal.

1 heaping cup flour.

3 eggs—whites and yolks beaten separately.

2½ cups of milk.

1 large table-spoonful of butter—melted, but not hot.

1 large table-spoonful white sugar.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 teaspoonfuls cream-tartar, sifted with the flour, and added the last thing.

1 teaspoonful of salt.

Bake steadily, but not too fast, in a well-greased mould. Turn out, when done, upon a plate, and eat at once, cutting it into slices as you would cake.

After twelve years’ trial of this receipt, I have come to the conclusion that there is no better or more reliable rule for the manufacture of corn-bread. In all that time, there has hardly been a Sunday morning, winter or summer, when the family was at home, on which a loaf of this bread has not graced my breakfast-table, and unless when, through negligence, it has been slightly scorched or underdone, I have never known it to come short of excellence.

In cutting corn-bread, do not forget to hold the knife perpendicularly, that the spongy interior of the loaf may not be crushed into heaviness. Very good corn-bread is often ruined by neglect of this precaution.[178]

Corn-Meal Muffins. (Raised.) Maltese cross

3 cups white Indian meal.

3 table-spoonfuls yeast.

1 cup flour.

1 quart scalding milk.

3 eggs, beaten to a froth, yolks and whites apart.

1 table-spoonful white sugar.

1 table-spoonful lard.

1 table-spoonful butter.

1 teaspoonful salt.

Pour the milk boiling hot upon the meal; stir well and leave until nearly cold. Then beat in gradually the yeast, sugar and flour, and set in a moderately warm place. It should be light enough in five or six hours. Melt, without overheating, the butter and lard; stir into the batter, with the salt, lastly the beaten eggs. Beat all together three minutes; put in greased muffin-rings; let these rise on the hearth for a quarter of an hour, with a cloth thrown lightly over them. Bake about twenty minutes in a quick, steady oven, or until they are of a light golden-brown.

Send at once to table, and in eating them, break, not cut them open.

Corn-Meal Muffins. (Quick.) Maltese cross


2 cups Indian meal.

1 cup flour.

3 eggs, beaten very light.

3 cups milk.

2 table-spoonfuls melted butter.

1 table-spoonful white sugar.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 teaspoonfuls cream tartar, sifted with flour.

Mix quickly, beating all the ingredients well together; pour into greased muffin-rings, or, better still, into the small round or oval iron pans, now sold for baking corn-bread. Bake in a brisk oven, and send directly to table. All kinds of corn-bread are spoiled if allowed to cool before they are eaten.

Chrissie’s Corn-Bread.

1 cup white corn-meal.

1 cup flour.

½ cup white sugar.

1 cup cream and 1 egg, or 1 cup half-milk, half-cream, and 2 eggs.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 teaspoonfuls cream tartar, sifted in the flour.

1 saltspoonful salt.

Bake in two loaves, or several small tins.

Southern Batter-Bread or Egg-Bread. Maltese cross

2 cups white Indian meal.

1 cup cold boiled rice.

3 eggs, well beaten.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

2½ cups milk, or enough for soft batter.

1 teaspoonful of salt.

A pinch of soda.

Stir the beaten eggs into the milk; the meal, salt, butter, last of all the rice. Beat up well from the bottom for two or three minutes, and bake quickly in a round, shallow pan.[180]

Batter Bread. (No. 2.)

2 cups Indian meal.

3½ cups milk.

2 eggs, well beaten.

1 small cup stale, fine bread-crumbs.

1 teaspoonful salt.

1 table-spoonful melted lard.

½ teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water, and mixed with the milk.

1 teaspoonful cream tartar.

Soak the bread-crumbs in the milk, and rub to a smooth paste. Into this stir the beaten eggs, the lard, the salt, and finally the meal, into which the cream tartar has been sifted.

Bake in shallow pans in a hot oven.

Boiled Mush, to be Eaten with Milk.

1 quart boiling water.

2 cups Indian meal.

2 table-spoonfuls flour.

1 teaspoonful salt.

Wet up meal and flour in a little cold water. Stir them into the hot water, which should be actually boiling on the fire when they go in. Boil at least half an hour, slowly, stirring deeply every few minutes, and constantly toward the last. Send to table in a deep dish, but not covered, or the steam will render it clammy.

Eat in saucers, with cream or milk poured over it.[181]

Oatmeal Porridge (for breakfast).

1 quart boiling water.

2 scant cups best Scotch or Irish oatmeal, previously soaked over night in enough cold water to cover it well.

Salt to taste.

Stir the oatmeal into the water while boiling, and let it boil steadily, stirring up frequently from the bottom, for at least three-quarters of an hour. Send to table in an uncovered deep dish, to be eaten with cream, and, if you like, with powdered sugar.

This is a wholesome and pleasant article of food. If you give it a place upon your regular bill of fare, you would do well to provide yourself with a farina-kettle expressly for cooking it.

Oatmeal Gruel (For Invalids). Maltese cross

2 cups Irish or Scotch oatmeal.

2 quarts water.

1 teaspoonful salt.

Set the oatmeal to soak over night in half the water. In the morning strain through a coarse tartelane bag, pressing through all the farinaceous matter that will go. Add the rest of the water with the salt, and boil down until it begins to thicken perceptibly. Let it cool enough to become almost a jelly, and eat with powdered sugar and cream.

It is very good for others besides invalids.

Milk Porridge. (Very nice.) Maltese cross


2 cups best oatmeal.

2 cups water.

2 cups milk.

Soak the oatmeal over night in the water; strain in the morning, and boil the water half an hour. Put in the milk with a little salt, boil up well and serve. Eat warm, with or without powdered sugar.

Tea Rolls.

1 quart of flour.

2 eggs.

1 table-spoonful butter, melted.

2 great spoonfuls yeast.

Enough milk to work into a soft dough.

1 saltspoonful salt.

1 teaspoonful white sugar.

Rub the butter into the sifted flour. Beat the eggs well with a cup of milk, and work into the flour, adding more milk, if necessary, to make the dough of right consistency. Stir the sugar into the yeast, and work this into the dough with a wooden spoon, until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Do not knead it with the hands. Set to rise in a moderately warm place until very light. Make into rolls lightly and quickly, handling as little as possible. Set these in rows in your baking-pan, just close enough together to touch. Throw a cloth lightly over them, and set on the hearth for the second rising, until they begin to “plump,” which should be in about fifteen minutes.

Bake half an hour in a steady oven. They are best eaten hot.

French Rolls.


1 pint of milk.

2 eggs.

4 table-spoonfuls of yeast.

3 table-spoonfuls of butter.

1 teaspoonful of salt.

3 pints of flour, or enough to work into a soft dough.

1 table-spoonful of white sugar.

Warm the milk slightly, and add to it the beaten eggs and salt. Rub the butter into the flour quickly and lightly, until it is like yellow powder. Work into this gradually, with a wooden spoon, the milk and eggs, then the yeast. Knead well, and let it rise for three hours, or until the dough is light and begins to crack on top. Make into small rolls; let them stand on the hearth twenty minutes before baking in a quick oven. Just before taking them up, brush over with white of egg. Shut the oven door one minute to glaze them.

Plain light Rolls.

1 quart of flour.

1 heaping table-spoonful butter or lard.

3 large table-spoonfuls yeast.

1 cup of warm milk.

Salt to taste.

Rub the butter and flour together; add milk and yeast. Knead well; let it rise until light; make into rolls; let these stand in a warm place half an hour, and bake in a steady oven.

Rice Crumpets. Maltese cross


2 cups of milk.

4 table-spoonfuls yeast.

1 table-spoonful white sugar.

2 table-spoonfuls melted butter.

Nearly a cup of well-boiled rice.

4 cups flour, or enough to make good batter.

Salt to taste.

¼ teaspoonful of soda added just before baking.

Beat the ingredients well together; set to rise for six hours, or until very light. Put into muffin-tins (having stirred in the soda, dissolved in a little hot water), let them stand fifteen minutes, and bake quickly. Eat hot.

Hominy Crumpets

Are made as above, substituting boiled hominy (or samp) for the rice.

All-day Rolls.

1 quart flour.

1 cup scalded milk, not boiled.

2 table-spoonfuls yeast.

1 table-spoonful white sugar.

1 table-spoonful butter.

A very little salt.

Let the milk cool, mix with yeast, sugar, and one cup of flour. Put the rest of the flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle, pour in the mixture, and set aside in a moderately warm place until next day. In the morning melt the butter, and add to the sponge; work all together well, and let the dough rise six hours, at least. Make into oblong rolls; range them in baking-pan, at such a distance from one another that they will not run together, and let them rise three hours longer. Bake in a steady quick oven, glazing, when done, with white of egg.

I have never tried this receipt myself, but having[185] eaten the rolls made according to it, can cordially recommend it.

Unity Loaf. Maltese cross

1 quart flour.

1 pint milk.

1 tablespoonful butter, melted.

1 egg.

1 saltspoonful salt.

1 table-spoonful white sugar.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

1 dessertspoonful (equal to 2 teaspoonfuls) cream tartar, sifted in the flour.

Mix the beaten egg with the milk, then the butter, sugar, salt and soda; next, the flour. Beat well, and bake in buttered cake-mould. The oven should be quite hot, and very steady. Turn out, and cut in slices at table. Eat hot.

A simple, easy and excellent breakfast or tea-loaf.

Quick Loaf. Maltese cross

3 cups flour.

1 cup milk.

2 table-spoonfuls white sugar.

2 eggs, thoroughly beaten.

1 table-spoonful butter—a liberal one.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 teaspoonfuls cream tartar, sifted in flour.

1 saltspoonful salt.

Beat well, but quickly together, and bake in well-greased mould. One with a cylinder in the middle is best. Test with a straw to see when it is done; turn out upon a plate, and cut hot at table into slices.[186]

Excellent Muffins.

3 cups milk.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

2 eggs—beaten stiff.

3 table-spoonfuls good yeast.

1 table-spoonful white sugar.

1 teaspoonful salt, and ¼ teaspoonful soda.

Flour to make a pretty stiff batter.

Make all the ingredients except the eggs, into a sponge, and set to rise over night. Half an hour before breakfast, add the eggs and the soda (dissolved in hot water); beat all together hard; put into muffin-rings; let them stand on the hearth ten minutes, and bake about twenty in a brisk oven.

Brown Biscuit. Maltese cross

2 cups Graham flour.

1 cup white flour.

1 cup milk.

2 table-spoonfuls brown sugar.

4 table-spoonfuls home-made yeast, or half as much brewer’s.

1 great spoonful melted butter.

1 teaspoonful salt.

½ teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

Set a dough made of all the ingredients except the butter and soda, to rise over night. In the morning, add these; knead quickly, roll into a sheet half an inch thick, cut with a cake-cutter; range in the baking-pan. When it is full, set on the warm hearth ten minutes before baking.[187]

Minute Biscuit, (brown.) Maltese cross

2 cups Graham flour.

1 cup white flour.

2 table-spoonfuls mixed butter and lard.

1 table-spoonful light-brown sugar.

3 cups milk, or enough for soft dough.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 teaspoonfuls cream tartar, sifted in flour.

1 teaspoonful salt.

Chop the shortening into the flour; add sugar and salt, at last the milk in which the soda has been put. Roll out, with as little handling as may be, into a rather thick sheet. Cut into round cakes; prick with a fork, and bake immediately in a brisk oven.

These biscuits are very good and wholesome.

Graham Gems. (No. 1.)

1 quart water.

1 cup molasses.

1 yeast-cake, or 4 table-spoonfuls best yeast.

1 saltspoonful salt.

Flour to make thick batter.

When light, bake in hot “gem” pans, or iron muffin-rings, in a very quick oven.

Break open and eat hot.

Graham Gems. (No. 2.)


1 quart of milk.

4 eggs.

1 saltspoonful salt, and 2 table-spoonfuls melted butter.

Flour for tolerably thick batter, about the consistency of pound cake.

Stir the eggs until whites and yolks are mixed, but do not whip them. The milk should be blood-warm when these are put into it. Add the flour, handful by handful, and when of the right consistency, the melted butter. Beat long and hard.

Bake in greased iron pans—“gem” pans, as they are called—previously heated on the range. The oven can hardly be over-heated for any kind of “gems.”

Graham Gems. (No. 3.)

3 eggs, beaten very light.

3 cups of milk—blood-warm.

3 cups flour, or enough to make good batter.

1 table-spoonful white sugar.

1 saltspoonful salt.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

Rusk. (No. 1.)

1 quart flour.

3 cups milk, slightly warmed.

3 eggs—whites and yolks separate.

¾ cup of butter, rubbed with the sugar to a cream, and flavored with 1 saltspoonful nutmeg.

1 gill yeast.

Make a sponge of milk, yeast, and enough flour for rather thick batter. Let it rise over night. In the morning add the rest of the flour. The dough should be quite soft. Work in the eggs, butter and sugar. Knead well, and set to rise where it will not “take cold.” When light, mould into rolls. Set close together[189] in a baking-pan, and bake about twenty minutes. Glaze while hot with white of egg, in which has been stirred—not beaten, a little powdered sugar.

Susie’s Rusk. (No. 2.) Maltese cross

1 quart milk.

½ cup yeast.

Flour for thick batter.

Set a sponge with these ingredients. When it is very light, add,—

1 cup butter rubbed to a cream, with

2 cups powdered sugar.

3 eggs—well beaten.

Flour to make soft dough. Knead briskly, and set to rise for four hours. Then make into rolls, and let these stand an hour longer, or until light and “puffy,” before baking. Glaze, just before drawing them from the oven, with a little cream and sugar.

Rusk are best fresh.

Soda Biscuit without Milk. Maltese cross

1 quart of flour.

2 heaping table-spoonfuls butter, chopped up in the flour.

2 cups cold water.

2 teaspoonfuls cream tartar, sifted thoroughly with the flour.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in boiling water.

A little salt.

When flour, cream of tartar, salt and butter are well incorporated, stir the soda into the cold water, and mix the dough very quickly, handling as little as may be.[190] It should be just stiff enough to roll out. Stiff soda biscuits are always failures. Roll half an inch thick with a few rapid strokes, cut out, and bake at once in a quick oven.

Cream Toast. (Very nice.) Maltese cross

Slices of stale baker’s bread, from which the crust has been pared.

1 quart of milk.

3 table-spoonfuls of butter.

Whites of 3 eggs, beaten stiff.

Salt, and 2 table-spoonfuls best flour or corn-starch.

Boiling water.

Toast the bread to a golden brown. Burnt toast is detestable. Have on the range, or hearth, a shallow bowl or pudding-dish, more than half full of boiling water, in which a table-spoonful of butter has been melted. As each slice is toasted dip in this for a second, sprinkle lightly with salt, and lay in the deep heated dish in which it is to be served. Have ready, by the time all the bread is toasted, the milk scalding hot—but not boiled. Thicken this with the flour; let it simmer until cooked; put in the remaining butter, and when this is melted, the beaten whites of the eggs. Boil up once, and pour over the toast, lifting the lower slices one by one, that the creamy mixture may run in between them. Cover closely, and set in the oven two or three minutes before sending to table.

If you can get real cream, add only a teaspoonful of flour and the whites of two eggs, but the same quantity of butter used in this receipt.[191]


Sour Milk Cakes. (Good.) Maltese cross

1 quart sour, or “loppered” milk.

About 4 cups sifted flour.

2 teaspoonfuls soda, dissolved in boiling water.

3 table-spoonfuls molasses.

Salt to taste.

Mix the molasses with the milk. Put the flour into a deep bowl, mix the salt through it; make a hole in the middle, and pour in the milk, gradually stirring the flour down into it with a wooden spoon. The batter should not be too thick. When all the milk is in, beat until the mixture is free from lumps and very smooth. Add the soda-water, stir up fast and well, and bake immediately.

These cakes are simple, economical, wholesome, and extremely nice. “Loppered” milk, or “clabber,” is better than buttermilk. Try them!

Buttermilk Cakes.

3 cups buttermilk.

3 cups flour, or enough for good batter.

1 great spoonful melted butter.

1 table-spoonful brown sugar.

1 full teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

Salt to taste.

Mix as directed in last receipt, and bake at once.[192]

Grandma’s Cakes. Maltese cross

1 quart loppered milk—if half cream, all the better.

1 table-spoonful molasses—not syrup.

2 eggs, beaten light.

1 good teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

Salt to taste.

Flour for good batter. Begin with three even cups.

Stir the molasses into the milk, then the eggs and salt. Make a hole in the flour, and mix as you would “sour milk cakes” (the last receipt but one). Beat in the soda at the last.

Rice or Hominy Cakes. Maltese cross

1 quart milk.

2 cups soft-boiled rice or hominy.

3 eggs, beaten light.

1 great spoonful melted butter or lard.

1 table-spoonful white sugar.

About one large cup of prepared flour—just enough to hold the mixture together.

A little salt.

Work the butter into the rice, then the sugar and salt;—the eggs, beating up very hard; lastly the milk and flour, alternately, until the batter is free from lumps of dry flour.

These are wholesome and delicious, and not less so if the batter be made a little thicker, and baked in muffin-rings.

Corn-meal Flapjacks. Maltese cross


1 quart boiling milk.

2 cups Indian meal—white. That known as “corn-flour” is best.

1 scant cup flour.

1 table-spoonful butter.

1 table-spoonful brown sugar, or molasses.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in a little hot milk.

1 teaspoonful salt.

2 eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately.

Scald the meal over night with the hot milk. Put with this the butter and sugar. Cover and let it stand until morning. Add the yolks of the eggs, the salt and flour. If the batter has thickened up too much, thin with cold milk, before stirring in the soda. The whites should go in last, and be whipped in lightly.

These are the “cakes trimmed with lace” of which we read in Mrs. Whitney’s always charming—“We Girls.”

Rice Cakes. Maltese cross

1 cup raw rice.

1 quart milk.

3 eggs—very light.

¼ cup rice-flour.

1 table-spoonful sugar, and same of butter.

¼ teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

½ teaspoonful cream of tartar.

1 teaspoonful salt.

Soak the rice five or six hours (all night is not too long) in warm water enough to cover it. Then boil slowly in the same until it is very soft. While still warm—not hot, stir in the butter and sugar, the salt and milk. When cold, put in the eggs. Sift the cream of tartar into the rice-flour, and when you have beaten the soda into the batter, add these.[194]

These cakes should be so tender as almost to melt in the mouth.

Susie’s Flannel Cakes. (Without eggs.) Maltese cross

2 cups white Indian meal.

2 quarts milk.

½ cup yeast.

Flour for good batter.

Boiling water.

A little salt.

Scald the meal with a pint or so of boiling water. While still warm stir in the milk, and strain through a cullender; then, add the flour, lastly the yeast. Cover and let the batter stand until morning. Salt, and if at all sour stir in a little soda.

These cakes will make a pleasant variety with “buckwheats,” in the long winter season. They will be found very good—so good that one will hardly believe that they contain neither “shortening” nor eggs.

“You can put in an egg or two, if you wish,” says “Susie,” modestly, “but to my notion they are quite as nice without.”

And we, who have tested the “flannel” of her making, are content to “let well enough alone.”

Farina Griddle Cakes. Maltese cross


4 table-spoonfuls farina.

1 quart milk.

2 eggs, well beaten.

Enough prepared flour for good batter.

Boiling water.

Salt to taste.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

Scald the farina over night with a pint or more of boiling water, and let it stand until morning. Thin with the milk, beating it in gradually to avoid lumping. Next, the beaten eggs, the salt and butter. At last the flour stirred in with light, swift strokes. Do not get the batter too thick.

Bake at once.

If you have not prepared flour at hand, use family flour, with a teaspoonful of soda and two of cream tartar.

Graham Griddle Cakes. Maltese cross

1 cup Indian meal scalded with a pint of boiling water.

1 quart of milk.

½ cup yeast.

1 cup cold water.

1 cup white flour.

1 cup Graham flour.

1 great spoonful molasses.

1 great spoonful butter or lard.

½ teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

Salt to taste.

Scald and strain the meal over night; thin with the milk, and make into a sponge with the Graham flour, molasses and yeast. In the morning, add salt, white flour, soda and butter, and stir in enough cold water to make batter of the right consistency.

Graham and Indian cakes are far more wholesome in the spring of the year than any preparation of buckwheat.



In no department of nice cookery are the effects of lax or hasty manipulation more sadly and frequently apparent than in such dishes as are dependent for excellence upon the lightness and smoothness of beaten eggs. Unless yolks are whipped to a thick cream, and whites to a froth that will stand alone, the texture of cake will be coarse, and if the loaf be not heavy or streaked, there will be a crude flavor about it that will betray the fault at once to the initiated. The same is emphatically true with regard to muffins, waffles, and griddle-cakes. Mr. Greeley said, and aptly, of two publishers of note: “One will make a louder rattle with a hundred dollars than the other can with a thousand.” I have often recalled the remark in contrasting the tender, puffy products of one housewife’s skill with the dense, clammy cakes and crumpets of another, who used double the quantity of eggs and butter, and cream instead of milk.

“I think,” observed a friend, at whose house I was visiting, “there must be a mistake about the muffin receipt you gave me the other day. It calls for three eggs. My cook insists that five are none too many, yet hers, when made, do not look or taste like those I ate at your table.”[197]

In reply I craved permission to see the batter mixed by the critical cook. Entering the kitchen in company with the mistress, we found Chloe in the act of breaking the five eggs directly into the flour, milk, etc., already mixed in a large bowl. Half a dozen strokes of the wooden spoon she held would have completed the manufacture of the raw material. Eggs are inveterate tell-tales, and they had given no uncertain warning in this case, had the mistress been on the alert.

Some eggs cannot be frothed. The colored “mammys” used to tell me that they were “bewitched,” when, with every sweep of the wisp they were depressed and dwindled before my wondering eyes. I have learned since that, whether this non-inflative state be the result of undue warmth of the dish into which the eggs are broken, or staleness of the ovates themselves, it is a hopeless task to attempt rehabilitation. Their demoralization is complete and fatal. The wise housewife will give up her cake or dessert for that day, unless she is willing to throw the obdurate eggs away, cleanse the bowl, wiping it perfectly dry, and let it cool before attacking another batch.

Nor will whites froth to stiffness if a single drop of the yolk has found its way into them. Regardless, as a leader of the cod-fish aristocracy, of the claims of early associations upon memory and respect, they sullenly assert the impossibility of rising in the world if they are to be clogged by that which lay so close to them before the shells were broken. All the beating of the patent egg-whip in impatient fingers will not suffice to make them see reason. The fact that there is ten-fold[198] more nourishment and sweetness in one yolk than in a pint of their snowy nothingness; that it is, in truth, the life, without which an egg would be a nullity, has no more effect in changing their exclusive notions than have volumes of argument proving the solidity and vitality of the middle classes upon the gaseous brains of the bon ton. Humor their folly—for whites are useful, because ornamental, if rightly handled—by carefully taking out the offensive plebeian speck.

Our mothers whipped up yolks with a spoon, and the whites with a broad-bladed knife, or clean switches, peeled and dried. Miss Leslie’s “Complete Cookery” will tell you all about it. (And, by the way, if you doubt that fashions change in cookery as in all else, I commend to your perusal this ancient manual.) Then came a rush of patent egg-beaters, and a rush of purchasers as well, whose aching wrists and shoulders pleaded for relief from long hours of incessant “beating,” “whipping,” and “frothing.” There were wire spoons with wooden handles that broke off, and tin handles that turned the perspiring hand black; wire whirligigs that ran up and down upon a central shaft and spattered the eggs over the face and bust of the operator; cylindrical tin vessels with whirligigs fastened in the centre, almost as good fun for the children as a monkey on a stick, but which bound the housewife to place and circumstance, since her eggs, many or few, yolks and whites, must all be churned in that vessel—not an easy one to keep clean, on account of the fixture within it. There was altogether too much machinery for the end to be accomplished, and the white of a single egg was so hard to find in the bottom[199] of a quart pail! After a few trials, the cook tossed the “bothering thing” into a dark corner of the closet, and improvised a better beater out of two silver forks, held dexterously together. Then, our enterprising “general furnishing” merchant overwhelmed us with a double compound back (and forward) action machine that was “warranted to whip up a stiff méringue in a minute and a half.”

“I will not quite endorse that, ladies,” said the most important tradesman in a community of housekeepers and housekept. “But I will stake my reputation upon its doing this in two minutes.”

We all bought the prize. It looked cumbrous, and it was expensive, but time is money, and we remembered that a large snow-custard must be beaten ninety minutes with an ordinary egg-whip, and cake-frosting, thirty. We paid, each of us, our dollar and a half, and carried home the time-and-muscle-saver in a box of its own, so big that we chose back streets in preference to fashionable promenades, on our return. Trembling with exultation, we rushed into the kitchen to display the treasure.

“Yes, mem! What might it be, mem?”

“Why, Katey! an egg-beater! and the greatest convenience ever manufactured!”

“Ah! and what a silly was meself, mem, to be thinking it was a coffee-mill, when I saw you a-screwin’ it on to the table!”

We screwed it “on to the table,” at a corner, for there was not room for it to revolve at sides and ends. Katey held a bowl with eggs in it at just the right elevation below; and by turning a crank we moved a many-cogged[200] wheel which fitted into another wheel, which turned a whirligig at the bottom. Katey held the bowl steadily; we worked very fast at the windlass-handle, and in eight minutes the méringue was ready.

“Well done!” cried housewives, one and all. “Great is the Grand duplex back (and forward) action Invention, for the amelioration of weary-wristed womankind! To be sure, it takes two people to work it, unless one can hold the bowl firmly between the knees in just the right place, but it is undeniably a wonderful improvement.”

I, with the rest, cried, “wonderful!” even when the bowl tipped over on the kitchen-floor, with the yolks of ten eggs in it; when I broke the screw by giving it one turn too many, and was blandly assured by the artificer in metals, to whom I took it for repairs, that “them cast-iron articles can’t never be mended, ma’am, without it is by buying of a new one;” even when the cogs of the wheels became rheumatic, and hitched groaningly at every round. But when one day, in full flight through a seething heap of icing, the steel strips of the triple whirligig that did the whipping, suddenly caught, the one upon the other, and came to a dead lock; when, as I would have released them by an energetic revolution of the wheel, they tore one another out by the roots,—I arose in deadly calm; undid the screw, set the bowl on the table, straightened my cramped spine, and sent to the nearest tin-shop for a shilling whisk.

Four years ago, without prevision that one of the blessings of my life was coming upon me, I paid a visit to my “house-furnisher.” He had a new egg-beater for sale.[201]

Vanitas vanitatum!” said I, theatrically waving it from me, “I am cured!”

“It comes well recommended,” remarked he, quietly.

“But, as you say, so many of these things are humbugs! Will you oblige me by accepting this, giving it a fair trial, and letting me know just what it is? I will send it up with the rest of your articles.”

For three weeks—I blush to write it—THE DOVER hung untouched in my kitchen-closet, and I did daily penance for my sin of omission with the shilling whisk. At last I broke the latter, and with a slighting observation to the effect that “it might be better than none,” I took down my gift.

I beg you to believe that I am not in league with the patentee of my favorite. I do not know whether “Dover” stands for his name, that of the manufacturing company, or the place in which it was made. “Dover Egg-beater, Patented 1870,” is stamped upon the circumference of the iron wheel. I know nothing more of its antecedents. But if I could not get another I would not sell mine for fifty dollars—nor a hundred. Egg-whipping ceased to be a bugbear to me from the day of which I speak. Light, portable, rapid, easy, and comparatively noiseless, my pet implement works like a benevolent brownie. With it I turn out a méringue in five minutes without staying my song or talk; make the formidable “snow-custard” in less than half an hour, with no after tremulousness of nerve or tendon. In its operation it is impartial, yolks thickening smoothly under it as easily as whites heighten into a compact snow-drift, that can be cut into blocks with a knife. Winter and summer, it has served me with invariable[202] fidelity, and it is to all appearance, stanch as when it first passed into my reluctant hands. I hope the gentlemanly and benevolent donor will sell one thousand per annum for the remainder of his natural existence, and if length of days be a boon to be coveted, that the unknown patentee will live as many years as he has saved hours of labor to American housewives and cooks.



This enters so largely into the composition of many of our most elegant desserts, that the mode of preparing it deserves more than a passing mention. The impression in which I confess that I shared, for a long time, that a “whip” was a tedious, and sometimes well-nigh impossible performance, will soon be done away with if one becomes the possessor of a really good syllabub charm. That which I have used with great satisfaction for a couple of years is a very simple affair—a tin cylinder with a perforated bottom, and within it a dasher, similar to that of an ordinary churn, that plays through a hole in the top. It is best to churn the cream in a jar or pail, there being in these less waste from splashing. The churn is held about a quarter of an inch from the bottom, that the cream may pass freely below it. As the stiffened froth rises to the top of the cream, it should be removed to a wire sieve set over a dish. If you have no sieve, lay a piece of coarse lace or tarletane within a cullender, and put the “whip,” a few spoonfuls at a time, upon it. The cream that drips into the dish below should be returned to the pail and churned over. I regret that the name of the patentee appears nowhere upon the modest but excellent little machine that has supplied me with so many trifles and Charlotte Russes.[204]

The grand desideratum in making a “whip,” is to have real cream. It should also be perfectly sweet. The confectioner from whom I always procure mine advised me once to put the merest pinch of soda in the cream in warm weather, before beating it, a hint that has proved very useful to me. With this precaution, unless the cream be really on the verge of souring, you will never churn your “whip” to butter, of which lame and lamentable conclusion I had experience several times before I received the friendly suggestion.

Get good cream, then. It is better worth your while to pay half a dollar a quart for it than half the sum for the thinner, poorer liquid sold under the same name at the milk-stores. In the country, of course, the true article should be abundant, and in town, you can generally purchase small quantities at the confectioners. A pint well worked will yield enough “whip” for the dessert of a small family. It should be kept in a cold place until needed, and not kept long anywhere.

Whipped cream is a delightful addition to coffee. John will relish his after-dinner cup much better if you will mantle it with this snowy richness. Remember this when preparing your syllabub or trifle, and set aside a few spoonfuls before seasoning it.

Don’t be afraid of undertaking “fancy dishes.” Sally forth bravely into the region of delicate and difficult dainties, when you are considering family bills of fare, and you will not be dismayed when called to get up a handsome “company” entertainment. “Grandmother’s way” may suit Mesdames Dull and Bigott, but you, being accustomed to use your reasoning powers,[205] should remember that our estimable maternal progenitors knew as little of locomotives and magnetic telegraphs as of canned fruits and gelatine.

And, entre nous, I for one, and my John for two, are getting so tired of the inevitable pie! He read aloud to me the other day, with great gusto, a clever editorial from the Tribune, showing with much ingenuity and force, that the weakness for pie was a national vice. I wish I had room here to reprint it. Whenever I have been compelled since to eat a triangle of “family pie-crust,” my usually excellent digestion has played me false.

“Pie and soda-water! That is a woman’s idea of a comfortable luncheon on a hot day in the city,” said a gentleman to me. “At a bit of rare, tender steak, and a mealy potato they would turn up their fastidious noses. Such gross food is only fit for a man.”

The school-girl, rising from a barely-tasted breakfast during which she has been saying over to herself the chronological table, or French verb, learned the night before,—“doesn’t care to take any luncheon with her to-day. Certainly, no bread-and-butter—and sandwiches are hateful! If you insist, mamma, just give me a piece of pie—mince-pie, if you have it, with a slice of fruitcake and a little cheese. I may feel hungry enough at noon to nibble at them.”

Papa, running in at eleven o’clock, to announce that he has had a business telegram which obliges him to take the next train to Boston or Chicago, “has not time to think of food, unless you can give me a bit of pie to eat while you are packing my valise.” He jumps from the cars at five P.M. to snatch another “bit of pie” from[206] a station-restaurant, and swallows still a third, at midnight, bought from an itinerant vender of such comestibles, who swings himself on board when the “through Express” halts for wood and water. If his sick headache is not overpowering, he is adequate to the consumption of still a fourth leathery triangle when another stop is made at six A.M.

Pie is the pièce de résistance in rural desserts, at luncheon and at tea, and the mighty army mustered to meet the attacks of pic-nics and water-parties in the course of the year is enough to drive a dyspeptic to suicide, when he reads the sum total of the rough computation.

“I always calculate to bake a dozen of a Saturday,” says the farmer’s helpmate, resigned to cheerfulness in the narrative. “In haying and harvesting I make as many as thirty and forty every week. Nothing pleases our folks so much when they come in hot and tired, as a bit of pie—it don’t make much difference what kind—apple, berry, squash, or damson—so long as it is pie!

This is not exaggeration, and the same mania for the destructive sweet is as prevalent among the working-classes of the city. It is useless to preach to artisans and laborers of the indigestible qualities of such pastry as is made by their wives at home, and bought at cheap bakeries; to represent that baked apples, and in the season, ripe, fresh fruits of all kinds are more nutritious, and even cheaper, when the prices of flour, sugar, and “shortening” are reckoned up, to say nothing of the time spent in rolling out, basting and baking the tough skinned, and often sour-hearted favorites.[207]

Jellies are scorned as “having no substance into them;” blanc-mange is emphatically “flummery,” and whipped cream I have heard described scornfully as “sweetened nothing.”

Do not understand my strictures upon pie-olatry to mean indiscriminate condemnation of pastry. A really fine mince-pie is a toothsome delicacy, and the like quality of pumpkin-pie a luscious treat. Christmas would hardly be Christmas without the one, and I would have the other grace every Thanksgiving feast until the end of time. But surely there is an “out of season,” as well as “in.”

“Your Toxes and your Chickses may draw out my two front double teeth, Mrs. Richards,” said Susan Nipper, “but that’s no reason why I need offer ’em the whole set!”

And when I recall the square inches of hard and slack-baked dyspepsia I have masticated—and swallowed—at the bidding of civility, and a natural soft-heartedness that would not let me grieve or shame hospitable entertainers, I can say it almost as snappishly as she.

Give John, then, and above all, the children, a respite from the traditional, conventional and national pie, and an opportunity to compare its solid merits with the graces of more fanciful desserts. I can safely promise that the health of the family will not suffer from the change.



Jelly Oranges. Maltese cross

12 fine deep-colored oranges.

1 package Coxe’s gelatine, dissolved in one cup cold water.

3 cups white sugar.

Juice of the oranges, and grated rind of three.

2 cups boiling water.

¼ teaspoonful cinnamon.

Soak the gelatine three hours in the cup of cold water. Cut from the top of each orange a round piece, leaving a hole just large enough to admit the bowl of a small spoon, or the handle of a larger. The smaller the orifice, the better your dish will look. Clean out every bit of the pulp very carefully, so as not to tear the edges of the hole. Scrape the inner skin from the sides with your fore-finger, and when the oranges are emptied lay them in cold water, while you make the jelly. Strain the juice and grated peel through coarse, thin muslin over the sugar, squeezing rather hard to get the coloring matter. Stir this until it is a thick syrup, and add the spice. Pour the boiling water upon the soaked gelatine; stir over the fire until well dissolved; add the juice and sugar, stir all together, and strain through a flannel bag into a pitcher, not shaking or squeezing it, lest it should be cloudy. Wipe off the outside of the oranges, set them close together[209] in a dish, the open ends uppermost, and fill very full with the warm jelly, as it will shrink in cooling. Set away in a cold place where there is no dust. Next day, cut each in half with a sharp penknife, taking care to sever the skin all around before cutting into the jelly. If neatly divided, the rich amber jelly will be a fair counterfeit of the orange pulp. Pile in a glass dish, with green leaves around, as you would the real fruit.

This is a beautiful and delicious dish, and easily made.

Glacé Oranges.

Prepare precisely as in the preceding receipt, and after cutting the oranges in two, set them where they will freeze. In winter, a few hours out-of-doors will accomplish this. In summer pile them carefully within a freezer, and surround with ice and rock salt for six hours; draining off the water, and replenishing with ice and salt twice during the time.

These are very refreshing in hot weather.

Ribbon Jelly and Cream. Maltese cross


1 package Coxe’s gelatine, soaked in 2 cups of cold water.

2 cups white sugar.

1 pint boiling water.

Juice and half the grated rind of 1 lemon.

1 cup pale wine.

¼ teaspoonful cinnamon.

Enough prepared cochineal or bright cranberry, or other fruit syrup to color half the jelly.

1 pint rich sweet cream whipped stiff with two table-spoonfuls powdered sugar, and a little vanilla.

Soak the jelly four hours. Add to it the sugar and seasoning, including the lemon; pour in the boiling water, and stir until entirely dissolved. Strain through a flannel bag, after adding the wine. Do not touch it while it is dripping. Divide the jelly, and color half of it pink, as above directed. Wet a mould, with a cylinder through the centre, in cold water, and put in the jelly, yellow and pink, in alternate layers, letting each get pretty firm before putting in the next, until all is used up. When you are ready to use it, wrap a hot wet cloth about the mould for a moment, and invert upon a dish. Have the cream whipped before you do this, and fill the open place in the middle with it, heaping it up well.

You can vary the coloring by making white and yellow blanc-mange out of one-quarter of the gelatine after it is soaked. Instead of water, pour a large cup of boiling milk over this. When dissolved, sweeten and beat into half of it the yolk of an egg. Heat over the fire in a vessel of boiling water for five minutes to cook the egg, stirring all the time. A stripe of the white or yellow blanc-mange sets off the wider “ribbons” of pink and amber very tastefully. Or you may make the base of chocolate blanc-mange, by stirring a great spoonful of grated sweet chocolate into the gelatine and boiling milk.

Easter Eggs. (Very pretty.) Maltese cross


1 package Coxe’s gelatine, soaked four hours in one pint cold water.

2 heaping cups sugar.

3 large cups boiling milk.

2 table-spoonfuls grated chocolate—sweet, vanilla-flavored, if you can get it.

2 eggs, the yolks only.

A little prepared cochineal, or bright-red syrup.

Empty shells of 12 eggs, from which the contents have been drained through a hole in the small end.

Essence bitter-almond, grated lemon-peel, and rose-water for flavoring.

Put sugar and soaked gelatine into a bowl, and pour the boiling milk over them. Set over the fire in a farina-kettle, and stir until dissolved. Strain and divide into four parts. Leave one white; stir into another the beaten yolks; into a third the chocolate; into the fourth the pink or scarlet coloring. Season the chocolate with vanilla; the yellow with lemon; the white with rose-water, the red with bitter-almond. Heat the yellow over the fire long enough to cook the egg. Rinse out your egg-shells with cold water, and fill with the various mixtures, three shells of each. Set upright in a pan of meal or flour to keep them steady, and leave until next day. Then fill a glass bowl more than three-quarters full, with nice wine-jelly, broken into sparkling fragments. Break away the egg-shells, bit by bit, from the blanc-mange. If the insides of the shells have been properly rinsed and left wet, there will be no trouble about this. Pile the vari-colored “eggs” upon the bed of jelly, lay shred preserved orange-peel, or very finely shred candied citron about them, and surprise the children with them as an Easter-day dessert.[212]

It is well to make this the day on which you bake cake, as the contents of the egg-shells will not then be wasted. By emptying them carefully, you can keep the whites and yolks separate.

This dish, which I invented to please my own little ones on the blessed Easter-day, is always welcomed by them with such delight, that I cannot refrain from recommending its manufacture to other mothers. It is by no means difficult or expensive. If you can get green spinach, you can have yet another color by using the juice.

Turret Cream. Maltese cross

1 pint sweet, rich cream.

1 quart milk.

1 package Coxe’s gelatine.

1 heaping cup white sugar.

3 eggs, beaten light—whites and yolks separately.

½ pound crystallized fruit—cherries and peaches, or apricots.

Vanilla flavoring.

Juice of one lemon.

Soak the gelatine in a cup of the milk four hours. Scald the remainder of the milk, add the sugar; when this is dissolved, the soaked gelatine. Stir over the fire until almost boiling hot; strain and divide into two equal portions. Return one to the fire, and heat quickly. When it nears the boiling-point, stir in the beaten yolks. Let all cook together two minutes, and turn out into a bowl to cool. While it cools, churn the cream very stiff, and beat the whites of the eggs until they will stand alone. Divide the latter into two heaps.[213] As the yellow gelatine begins to “form,” whip one-half of the whites into it, a little at a time. To the white gelatine add the rest of the whites in the same manner, alternately with the whipped cream. Season the yellow with vanilla, the white with the lemon-juice beaten in at the last. Wet the inside of a tall, fluted mould with water, and arrange in the bottom, close to the outside of the mould, a row of crystallized cherries. Then put in a layer of the white mixture; on this the apricots or peaches cut into strips; a layer of the yellow, another border of cherries, and so on, until your materials are used up. When firm, which will be in a few hours, even in summer, if set on the ice, wrap a cloth wrung out in hot water about the mould, and invert upon a flat dish.

Eat with sweet cream, or, if you like, with brandied fruit.

This is a beautiful dessert, and a handsome centre-piece for a supper-table. It is also a safe one, even in the hands of a novice, if these directions be followed exactly. Bitter-almond may be substituted for the lemon.

Naples Sponge. Maltese cross


6 eggs. Use the yolks for custard.

1 quart of milk.

2 large cups sugar, and same quantity boiling water.

1 package gelatine soaked in 2 cups cold water.

Juice of a lemon and half the grated rind.

1 stale sponge-cake cut into smooth slices of uniform size.

2 glasses sherry.

Dissolve the soaked gelatine in the hot water. Add a cup of sugar and the lemon, and stir until the mixture is clear. Set aside in a shallow pan to cool. Meanwhile, make a custard of the milk, the yolks, and the other cup of sugar. Stir until it begins to thicken, when turn into a pitcher or pail, and put away until the “sponge” is ready for table. Whip the whites very stiff, and beat into them, a few spoonfuls at a time, the cooled gelatine. Spread the slices of cake, cut of a shape and size that will fit your mould, upon a flat dish, and wet them with the sherry. Rinse out a pudding or jelly mould with cold water, put a thick layer of the “sponge” in the bottom, pressing and smoothing it down, then one of cake, fitted in neatly; another of the sponge, proceeding in this order until all is used. The upper layer—the base when the sponge is turned out should be of cake.

Serve in a glass dish with some of the custard poured about the base, and send around more in a sauce-tureen or silver cream-pitcher.

Season the custard with vanilla.

An Almond Charlotte. Maltese cross


1 quart milk.

1 pint rich cream—whipped stiff.

Whites of 3 eggs.

1 great cup white sugar—powdered.

1 pound sweet almonds, blanched and cold.

Rose-water and essence of bitter almond for flavoring.

1 stale sponge-cake sliced.

Icing for top of cake.

1 package gelatine soaked in a cupful of the milk. Heat the rest of the milk to boiling; put in the sugar and soaked gelatine. Heat again before adding the almond paste. This should be ready, before you begin the Charlotte. Blanch the almonds by putting them into boiling water, skinning them, and letting them get cold and crisp. Pound in a mortar, dropping in rose-water, now and then, to prevent oiling. Stir this paste well into the hot milk; let it simmer with it two or three minutes; then strain through coarse muslin, squeezing hard to get out the strength. Flavor and set by until cold and a little stiff around the edges. Beat the whites of the eggs stiff and add the gelatine gradually—beating steadily—alternately with the whipped cream. Butter your mould, and line with slices of sponge-cake fitted closely together. Fill with the mixture, pressing it in firmly and evenly. In eight or ten hours, turn it out upon a dish, and ice as you would a cake, but on the top only. While the frosting is soft, ornament with fancy candies, laid on in any shape you may fancy.


You may simplify matters by reserving one large piece of cake—a slice cut the full width of the loaf; trimming it to fit the bottom of the mould, and only lining the sides of the latter. The Charlotte will turn out as well without the top (or bottom), and you can have it frosted and ornamented by the time you empty the mould. Lay it carefully on the top of the gelatine.[216]

Narcissus Blanc-Mange.

1 quart milk.

Less than a pint rich cream, whipped with a little powdered sugar.

1 package Cooper’s gelatine, soaked in 2 cups of cold water.

Yolks of 4 eggs, beaten light.

2 cups white sugar.

Vanilla and rose-water for flavoring.

Heat the milk scalding hot, stir in the gelatine and sugar. When all are dissolved, beat in the yolks, and heat until they are cooked. Two minutes, after the custard becomes scalding hot, should suffice. Turn out into a broad dish to cool. When it stiffens around the edges, transfer it, a few spoonfuls at a time, to a bowl, and whip vigorously with your egg-beater. Flavor with rose-water. It should be like a yellow sponge before you put it into the mould. This should be an open one, i.e., with a cylinder in the centre. Rinse with cold water, and fill with the blanc-mange. It is best made the day before it is to be used. After turning it out upon a dish, fill the hollowed centre with whipped cream, flavored with vanilla and heaped up as high as it will stand. Pile more whipped cream about the base.

This dessert is named for the pretty yellow and white flower which came, with the earliest days of Spring, to the old-fashioned gardens.

Tipsy Trifle. Maltese cross


1 quart milk.

5 eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately.

1 stale sponge-cake.

½ pound macaroons.

1 cup sugar.

Vanilla, or bitter-almond for flavoring.

1 cup sherry wine, and 1 cup jelly or jam.

Make a custard of the milk, sugar and yolks, adding the latter when the milk almost boils, and stirring constantly until it begins to thicken. Flavor when cold. Slice your cake, and line the bottom of a glass dish with it. Wet with the wine, and cover with jam or jelly. A layer of macaroons over this must also be wet with sherry. Another layer of cake, moistened with wine and spread with jam; more macaroons, and so on, until the dish is three-quarters full. Pour the cold custard over all; beat the whites of the eggs stiff with a few spoonfuls of bright jelly, and heap smoothly on top. Drop a bit of red jelly here and there upon it.

Strawberry Trifle. Maltese cross

This is made substantially as above—but the macaroons and wine are omitted, and the sponge-cake wet with sweet cream. Layers of ripe strawberries (cut in two, if the fruit is large), sprinkled with powdered sugar, are substituted for the jam; strawberry-juice, well sweetened, is whipped into the méringue on top, and this ornamented with ripe, scarlet berries.

This is very nice.

Créme du Thé. (Good.)


1 pint rich cream, whipped light.

½ package gelatine, soaked in 1 cup of milk.

1 large cup of strong mixed tea—the best quality.

1 cup white sugar.

Whites of 2 eggs.

Dissolve the soaked gelatine and sugar in the boiling tea, when you have strained the latter through fine muslin, and let it cool. Whip the cream and the whites of the eggs in separate vessels. When the gelatine is perfectly cold, beat it by degrees into the whites until it is a pretty firm froth. Then whip in the cream. Rinse a mould in cold water, fill it with the mixture, and set in a very cold place, or on ice, for eight or ten hours. Send around a pitcher of sweet cream with it.

Créme du Café.

Is made precisely as is the créme du thé, but substituting a large cup of strong black coffee for the tea. It is even more popular than the tea-cream.

It is a good plan to make both at the same time, one package of gelatine serving for all, and give your guests their choice of tea or coffee. If set to form in custard-cups and turned out upon a flat dish in alternate rows, they make a handsome show. The darker color of the coffee will distinguish it from the tea.

A small pitcher of sweet cream should accompany them.

Créme du Chocolat. Maltese cross


1 quart of milk.

1 pint of cream, whipped light.

½ package of gelatine, soaked in 1 cup of the milk.

2 eggs, yolks and whites beaten separately.

1 cup of sugar—powdered.

4 table-spoonfuls grated chocolate.

Vanilla to taste.

Scald the milk, and stir into it while still in the saucepan, the soaked gelatine and sugar. Heat up once, and when the gelatine is quite dissolved, strain. The chocolate should be wet up with cold water before it is put into the hot milk. Stir up thoroughly, return to the saucepan, and when smoking hot, add it gradually to the beaten yolks. Set back on the fire and boil very gently five minutes—not more, or the eggs may curdle. Turn into a broad pan to cool. Whip, when it begins to coagulate, gradually and thoroughly with the beaten whites, flavoring with vanilla. Lastly, beat in the whipped cream.

You can add this to your coffee and tea creams, and complete the assortment. Mould as you do them, but serve with brandied fruit, instead of cream. Most people are very fond of it.

Chocolate Blanc-Mange. Maltese cross

1 quart of milk.

½ package gelatine, dissolved in 1 cup cold water.

1 cup sugar.

3 great spoonfuls grated chocolate.

Vanilla to taste.

Heat the milk; stir in sugar and soaked gelatine. Strain; add chocolate; boil ten minutes, stirring all the time. When nearly cold, beat for five minutes—hard with your “Dover” egg-beater, or until it begins to stiffen. Flavor; whip up once, and put into a wet mould. It will be firm in six or eight hours.[220]

Chocolate Blanc-Mange and Cream.

Make the blanc-mange as directed in last receipt. Set it to form in a mould with a cylinder in centre. You can improvise one by stitching together a roll of stiff paper just the height of the pail or bowl in which you propose to mould your blanc-mange, and holding it firmly in the middle of this while you pour the mixture around it. The paper should be well buttered. Lay a book or other light weight on the cylinder to keep it erect. When the blanc-mange is turned out, slip out the paper, and fill the cavity with whipped cream, heaping some about the base. Specks of bright jelly enliven this dish if disposed tastefully upon the cream.

Chocolate Custards (baked).

1 quart of good milk.

6 eggs—yolks and whites separated.

1 cup sugar.

4 great spoonfuls grated chocolate.

Vanilla flavoring.

Scald the milk; stir in the chocolate and simmer two minutes, to dissolve, and incorporate it well with the milk. Beat up the yolks with the sugar and put into the hot mixture. Stir for one minute before seasoning and pouring into the cups, which should be set ready in a pan of boiling water. They should be half submerged, that the water may not bubble over the tops. Cook slowly about twenty minutes, or until the custards are firm. When cold, whip the whites of the eggs to a méringue with a very little[221] powdered sugar—(most méringues are too sweet) and pile some upon the top of each cup. Put a piece of red jelly on the méringue.

Chocolate Custards (boiled).

1 quart of milk.

6 eggs—whites and yolks separately beaten.

1 cup of sugar.

4 large spoonfuls grated chocolate.

Vanilla to taste—a teaspoonful to the pint is a good rule.

Scald the milk; stir in sugar and chocolate. Boil gently five minutes, and add the yolks. Cook five minutes more, or until it begins to thicken up well, stirring all the time. When nearly cold beat in the flavoring, and whisk all briskly for a minute before pouring into the custard cups. Whip up the whites with a little powdered sugar, or what is better, half a cup of currant or cranberry jelly, and heap upon the custards.

Rockwork. Maltese cross

1 quart of milk.

6 eggs.

1 cup powdered sugar.

Vanilla flavoring.

Sweeten the milk slightly and set it over the fire in a rather wide-mouthed saucepan. Beat the whites of the eggs to a very stiff froth with a table-spoonful or so of the sugar. When the milk boils, put in the froth, a table-spoonful at a time, turning each little heap as it is cooked on the lower side. Have only a few spoonfuls in at once, or they will run together.[222] Take out the cooked froth care fully with a skimmer and lay on a sieve. When all are done, set in a cool place, while you make a custard of the yolks beaten up with the sugar and the boiling milk. Stir until it begins to thicken, and pour out to cool. Flavor when cold; fill a glass bowl with the custard and pile the “rocks” on the surface.

A pretty variation of floating island. Serve with sponge-cake.

An Ambushed Trifle. Maltese cross

A round stale sponge-cake.

1 pint milk.

1 teaspoonful corn-starch.

1 cup sweet jelly or jam. Crab-apple jelly is very nice.

3 eggs beaten light.

A pinch of salt.

Vanilla, lemon, or bitter almond flavoring.

2 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

Cut the top from the cake in one piece and lay it aside. Scoop out the inside of the cake, leaving side walls and a bottom about an inch thick. Coat these well with the jelly. Scald the milk; beat the eggs with the sugar, and stir into this when it is almost boiling. Crumb the cake you have scooped out very finely, and beat into the hot custard. Return to the fire and cook, stirring all the while until thick and smooth, when add the corn-starch, previously wet with cold milk. Cook a minute longer and take from the fire. When nearly cold, flavor and fill the cake with it. Cover the inside of the lid you have laid aside with jelly, fit neatly into its place; brush the whole[223] cake with white of egg, sift powdered sugar thickly over it, and set in a cool, dry place until wanted.

A simple, delightful dessert.

Orange Trifle. Maltese cross

1 pint cream, whipped stiff.

3 eggs—yolks only.

1 cup of powdered sugar.

½ package Coxe’s gelatine, soaked in a cup of cold water.

Juice of 2 sweet oranges.

Grated rind of 1 orange.

1 cup boiling water.

Stir the soaked gelatine in the boiling water. Mix the juice, rind and sugar together, and pour the hot liquid over them. Should the gelatine not dissolve readily, set all over the fire and stir until clear. Strain, and stir in the beaten yolks. Heat quickly within a vessel of boiling water, stirring constantly lest the yolks should curdle. If they should, strain again through coarse flannel. Set aside until perfectly cold and slightly stiff, when whip in the frothed cream. Wet a mould, fill, and set it on ice.

Apple Trifle.


1 dozen tender pippins of fine flavor.

1 large cup of sugar, for custard—one—smaller—for apples.

1 scant quart rich milk.

4 eggs.

Juice and half the grated peel of 1 lemon.

1 pint of cream, whipped up with a little powdered sugar.

Slice the apples; put them in an earthenware or glass jar; cover lightly and set in a kettle of warm water. Bring to a boil, and cook gently until the apples are tender and clear. Beat to a pulp, sweeten with the smaller cup of sugar; add lemon-juice and rind, and put them into a glass dish. Make a custard of milk, sugar and eggs; boil until it thickens up well, and let it get perfectly cold. Cover the apple compote with it, spoonful by spoonful. The apple should be cold and stiff, or it may rise to the top of the custard. Lastly, pile the whipped cream over all.

Lemon Trifle. (Delicious.)

2 lemons—juice of both and grated rind of one.

1 cup sherry.

1 large cup of sugar.

1 pint cream well sweetened and whipped stiff.

A little nutmeg.

Strain the lemon-juice over the sugar and grated peel, and let them lie together two hours before adding the wine and nutmeg. Strain again and whip gradually into the frothed cream. Serve in jelly-glasses and send around cake with it. It should be eaten soon after it is made.

Queen of Trifles. Maltese cross

½ lb. “lady fingers,” or square sponge-cakes.

½ lb. macaroons.

½ lb. sweet almonds blanched.

½ lb. crystallized fruit, chopped fine.

1 cup sweet jelly or jam.

1 glass of brandy.[225]

1 glass of best sherry.


1 pint of cream, whipped.

1 pint of rich milk for custard.

4 eggs, whites and yolks separated.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch.

1 small cup sugar for custard.

A little powdered sugar for whipped cream.

Vanilla flavoring for custard.

Put sponge-cakes at the bottom of a large glass dish; wet with brandy, and cover thinly with jelly. Strew the minced fruits thickly upon this. Next come the macaroons. Wet with the wine and cover thickly with jelly. Set the dish in a cool place while you prepare the custard. This will give the cakes time to soak up the liquor.

Scald the milk; beat the yolks and sugar together and make a paste of the blanched almonds by pounding them in a Wedgewood mortar (or, in a stout bowl with a potato beetle), adding rose-water as you go on to prevent oiling. Stir this paste into the hot milk, and, a minute later, the yolks and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, for three minutes more, when put in the corn-starch, wet up with cold milk. Let all thicken well and smoothly; take from the fire, beat up to break possible lumps, and turn out to cool.

Whip the cream, and sweeten to taste. Whisk the whites of the eggs stiff and mix thoroughly with the whipped cream. When the custard is perfectly cold, cover the cakes in the glass dish with it, and heap the cream on top.

There is no better trifle than this.[226]

Apple Snow. (No. 1.) Maltese cross

6 fine pippins.

2 cups powdered sugar.

1 lemon—juice and half the grated peel.

1 pint of milk for custard.

4 eggs.

Make a good custard of the milk, one cup of sugar and the yolks. Bake the apples, cores, skins and all, in a covered dish with a little water in the bottom to prevent burning. The apples should be so tender that a straw will pierce them. Take off the skins and scrape out the pulp. Mix in the sugar and lemon. Whip the whites of the eggs light, and beat in the pulp by degrees until very white and firm. Put the custard, when cold, into the bottom of a glass bowl and pile the snow upon it.

Apple Snow. (No. 2.) Maltese cross

½ lb. macaroons.

1 cup good custard.

4 fine pippins (raw).

Whites of 4 eggs.

½ cup powdered sugar.

Put the macaroons in the bottom of a glass dish, and cover with the custard before you make the snow. Whisk the eggs and sugar to a méringue before paring the apples. Peel and grate each directly into the frothed egg and sugar, and whip in quickly before touching the next. The pulp will better preserve its color if thus coated before the air can affect it. It is well for one person to hold the egg-beater and work[227] in the apple while an assistant grates it. Pile upon the soaked macaroons and set on ice until wanted. It should be eaten soon after it is made.

Orange Snow.

4 large, sweet oranges. Juice of all and grated peel of one.

Juice and half the grated peel of 1 lemon.

1 package of gelatine, soaked in cup of cold water.

Whites of 4 eggs, whipped stiff.

1 cup—a large one—of powdered sugar.

1 pint boiling water.

Mix the juice and peel of the fruit with the soaked gelatine; add the sugar; stir all up well and let them alone for an hour. Then pour on the boiling water, and stir until clear. Strain through a coarse cloth, pressing and wringing it hard. When quite cold, whip into the frothed whites gradually, until thick and white. Put into a wet mould for eight hours.

Lemon Snow. Maltese cross

3 lemons—if large—4 if small. Grated peel of two.

4 eggs—the whites only—whipped to standing froth.

1 package of gelatine soaked in 1 cup cold water.

1 pint boiling water.

1 glass sherry or white wine—a large glass.

½ teaspoonful nutmeg.

2 cups powdered sugar.

Add to the soaked gelatine the juice of all the lemons, and peel of two, the sugar and spice, and let them stand together one hour. Then pour the boiling water over them. Stir until dissolved, and strain into[228] a wide bowl. When nearly cold, add the wine. When quite cold, begin to whip the mixture gradually into the frothed egg, and beat until thick, white and smooth. Wet a mould in cold water and set the snow aside in it until firm.

If you like, you can pour a rich custard about the base after dishing it.

Rice Snow.

5 table-spoonfuls rice flour.

1 quart of milk.

4 eggs—the whites only—whipped light.

1 large spoonful of butter.

1 cup powdered sugar.

A pinch of cinnamon and same of nutmeg.

Vanilla or other extract for flavoring.

A little salt.

Wet up the flour with cold water and add to the milk when the latter is scalding hot. Boil until it begins to thicken; put in the sugar and spice; simmer five minutes, stirring constantly, and turn into a bowl before beating in the butter. Let it get cold before flavoring it. Whip, a spoonful at a time, into the beaten eggs. Set to form in a wet mould.

Send sweet cream around with it.

This is delicate and wholesome fare for invalids. If you wish to have it especially nice, add half a pint of cream, whipped light and beaten in at the last.

Summer Snow. (Extremely fine.)

1 package Coxe’s gelatine, soaked in 1 cup cold water.[229]

2 cups powdered sugar.

Juice and peel of 1 lemon.

Half a pine-apple, cut in small pieces.

2 cups boiling water.

1 glass best brandy.

2 glasses best sherry or white wine.

A little nutmeg.

4 eggs—the whites only—whipped.

Mix into the soaked gelatine the sugar, lemon, pine-apple, and nutmeg. Let them stand together two hours, when you have bruised the fruit with the back of a silver or wooden spoon and stirred all thoroughly. Pour over them, at the end of that time, the boiling water, and stir until the gelatine is dissolved. Strain through coarse flannel, squeezing and wringing hard. When almost cold, put in the wine and brandy. Cover until quite cold. Whip in, by degrees, into the beaten whites. It ought to be whisked half an hour, even if you use the “Dover.” Bury in the ice to “form,” having wet the mould with cold water.

This is most refreshing and delicious.

Syllabub. Maltese cross

1 quart rich cream.

4 eggs—the whites only.

1 glass white wine.

2 small cups powdered sugar.

Flavor to taste.

Whip half the sugar into the cream—the rest with the eggs. Mix these and add wine and flavoring at the last.[230]

Velvet Cream. Maltese cross

1 pint best cream whipped very stiff.

½ package Coxe’s gelatine, soaked in 1 cup cold water.

3 glasses white wine.

Juice of 1 large lemon.

Bitter almond flavoring.

1 cup powdered sugar.

Put sugar, lemon, soaked gelatine and wine into a bowl, cover closely to keep in the flavor of the wine and let them stand together one hour. Stir up well, and set the bowl (or jar), still covered, into a saucepan of boiling water for fifteen minutes, or until the gelatine is dissolved and the mixture clear. Strain, and let it cool before flavoring. Beat gradually into the whipped cream. Wet a mould, fill and set directly upon the ice until wanted.

Macaroon Basket.

1 lb. macaroons—almond or cocoanut, or “kisses.”

1 large cup white sugar.

1 table-spoonful dry gum arabic.

½ cup of water—boiling.

Dissolve the gum arabic in the hot water thoroughly; then stir in the sugar. Boil gently until very thick. Set it, while using it, in a pan of boiling water to keep hot. Take a round tin pail (a fluted mould will not do so well), butter thickly on bottom and sides, dip the edges only of each macaroon in the hot candy and lay them in close rows on the bottom until it is covered. Let them get perfectly dry, and[231] be sure they adhere firmly to one another before you begin the lower row of the sides. Build up your wall, one row at a time, letting each harden before adding another. When the basket is done and firm, lift carefully from the mould; make a loop-handle at each end with four or five macaroons, stuck together; set on a flat dish and heap with whipped cream. Sprinkle comfits over the cream, or ornament with red jelly.

With a little care and practice any deft housewife can build this basket. A mould of stiff white paper, lightly stitched together and well buttered, has several advantages above one of tin. You can make it of any shape you like, and remove it without risk of breaking the basket, by clipping the threads that hold it together.

Jelly Custards.

1 quart milk.

6 eggs—whites and yolks.

1 cup sugar.

Flavoring to taste.

Some red and yellow jelly—raspberry is good for one, orange jelly for the other.

Make a custard of the eggs, milk and sugar; boil gently until it thickens well. Flavor when cold; fill your custard-glasses two-thirds full and heap up with the two kinds of jelly—the red upon some, the yellow on others.

Apple Jelly. (Nice.)


1 dozen well-flavored pippins.

2 cups powdered sugar.

Juice of 2 lemons—grated peel of one.

½ package Coxe’s gelatine soaked in 1 cup of cold water.

Pare, core and slice the apples, throwing each piece into cold water as it is cut, to preserve the color. Pack them in a glass or stoneware jar with just cold water enough to cover them; put on the top, loosely, that the steam may escape; set in a pot of warm water and bring to a boil. Cook until the apples are broken to pieces. Have ready in a bowl, the soaked gelatine, sugar, lemon-juice and peel. Strain the apple pulp scalding hot, over them; stir until the gelatine is dissolved; strain again—this time through a flannel bag, without shaking or squeezing it; wet a mould with cold water and set in a cold place until firm.

This is very nice formed in an open mould (one with a cylinder in the centre), and with the cavity filled and heaped with whipped cream or syllabub.

Peach Jelly.

Is made as you would apple, and with a few peach-kernels broken up and boiled with the fruit.

Strawberry Jelly. Maltese cross

1 quart strawberries.

1 large cup white sugar.

Juice of 1 lemon.

⅔ package Coxe’s gelatine soaked in 1 cup cold water.

1 pint boiling water.

Mash the strawberries to a pulp and strain them through coarse muslin. Mix the sugar and lemon-juice[233] with the soaked gelatine; stir up well and pour over them the boiling water. Stir until clear. Strain through flannel bag; add the strawberry juice; strain again, without shaking or pressing the bag; wet a mould with cylinder in centre, in cold water; fill it and set in ice to form.

Turn out upon a cold dish; fill with whipped cream, made quite sweet with powdered sugar, and served at once.

It is very fine.

Raspberry and Currant Jelly.

1 quart currants.

1 quart red or Antwerp raspberries.

2 cups white sugar.

1 package gelatine soaked in 1 cup cold water.

1 cup boiling water.

Whipped cream—made very sweet—for centre.

Crush the fruit in a stoneware jar with a wooden beetle, and strain out every drop of the juice that will come away. Stir the sugar and soaked gelatine together; pour the boiling water over them; when clear, strain into the fruit-juice. Strain again through flannel bag; wet an “open” mould; fill with the jelly, and bury in ice to form.

Turn out upon a very cold dish; fill the centre with the cream.

Lemon Jelly. Maltese cross


6 lemons—juice of all, and grated peel of two.

2 large cups sugar.

1 package Coxe’s gelatine, soaked in 2 cups cold water.

2 glasses pale sherry or white wine.

1 pint boiling water.

Stir sugar, lemon-juice, peel, and soaked gelatine together, and cover for an hour. Pour the boiling water over them; stir until the gelatine is quite melted; strain; add the wine; strain again through close flannel bag, and pour into a wet mould.

Orange Jelly. Maltese cross

6 large deep-colored oranges—juice of all.

Grated peel of one.

2 lemons, juice of both, and peel of one.

1 glass best brandy.

1 package gelatine, soaked in 2 cups of water.

1 pint boiling water.

2 cups sugar.

Make as you would lemon jelly.

In each of these receipts, should the fruit yield less than a large coffee-cup of juice, add more water, that the jelly may not be tough.

Tutti Frutti Jelly. (Very good.) Maltese cross

1 package Coxe’s gelatine, soaked in 2 cups water.

Juice and grated peel of 1 lemon.

1 fine orange, all the juice and half the peel.[235]

1 glass best brandy.

1 glass white wine.

3 cups boiling water.

½ lb. crystallized cherries.

½ lb. crystallized apricots, peaches, etc., cut into shreds.

½ lb. sweet almonds, blanched by being thrown into boiling water, and skinned. Throw into cold water so soon as blanched, until you are ready to use them.

2 cups white sugar.

Mix soaked gelatine, sugar, lemon and orange juice, and peel. Let them stand together one hour, then pour on boiling water. When the gelatine is melted, strain; add the liquor; strain again through double flannel, not touching the bag while it drips. When the jelly begins to congeal, pour some in the bottom of a wet, fluted mould. A rather tall one is best. Let this get tolerably firm, keeping the rest of the jelly, meanwhile, in a pan of warm—not boiling water—lest it should harden before you are ready for the next layer. Lay a row of bright-red glacé cherries on the jelly, close to the outside of the mould; within this ring a stratum of the other fruits neatly shred. More jelly, and, when it is firm enough to bear them, another ring of cherries, and, within this, a layer of the almonds cut into thin shavings. Jelly again, more fruit, and so on until the mould is full or your materials used up. If possible, have the outer ring of each fruit and almond layer of cherries. Set in ice to form. If frozen, the jelly and fruits will be all the better. I have sometimes left mine purposely where I knew it must freeze.

This is a beautiful centre-piece for a dessert or supper-table.

Wine Jelly. Maltese cross


1 package sparkling gelatine, soaked in 1 large cup of cold water.

2 cups white wine or pale sherry.

1 lemon—all the juice and half the peel.

½ teaspoonful bitter almond, or two peach-leaves.

2 cups white sugar.

1 pint boiling water.

Put soaked gelatine, lemon, sugar, and flavoring extract together, and cover for half an hour. Then pour on boiling water, stir and strain. After adding the wine, strain again through flannel bag. Wet a mould and set in a cold place until the next day.

Claret Jelly. Maltese cross

1 package Coxe’s gelatine, soaked in large cup water.

2 cups sugar.

2 cups fine claret.

1 pint boiling water.

1 lemon—the juice only.

A pinch of mace.

Make as you would other wine jelly.

It is most refreshing in summer.

Note upon Jellies.

It must be borne in mind that the consistency of jelly depends much upon the weather. In warm or damp, it is sometimes difficult to make it either clear or firm. I have tried to guard against failure in the use of any of the foregoing receipts by setting down the minimum quantity of liquid that can be used without making the jellies too stiff. If made in clear, cold weather, there will be no risk in having the “large cup of cold water,” in which the gelatine is soaked, one-third larger than if the jelly were undertaken on a[237] murky spring day. A little experience will teach you how to guard this point. Meanwhile, be assured that you need not fear splashing, weak jellies where you hoped for firmness and brilliancy, if you follow the directions written down in this department.



Rice Pudding with Fruit.

1 quart of new milk, or as fresh as you can get it.

1 cup raw rice.

4 eggs.

1 great spoonful of butter.

1 cup sugar, and same of fine bread-crumbs.

½ cup suet (powdered).

½ lb. raisins, seeded and chopped.

½ lb. currants, washed well and dried.

¼ lb. citron, minced fine.

Soak the rice over night, or for five hours, in a little warm water. Boil until tender in one pint of the milk. Simmer gently, and do not stir it. Set the saucepan in hot water, and cook in that way to avoid burning, shaking up the rice now and then. When done, beat in the butter. Butter a mould well, and cover the bottom with the bread-crumbs. Cover this with rice; wet with a raw custard made of the other pint of milk, the yolks of the eggs and the sugar. On this sprinkle suet; then a layer of the mixed fruit. More bread-crumbs, rice, custard, suet and fruit, until the dish is nearly full. The top layer should be crumbs. Bake for an hour in a moderate oven. When nearly done, draw to the door of the oven and cover with a méringue made of the whites of the eggs whisked stiff with a very little powdered sugar.[239]

Eat warm, with sweetened cream as sauce. But it is also very good cold, eaten with cream.

This, in my opinion, deserves the highest rank among rice puddings, which are, by the way, far more respectable as desserts than is usually believed. There are so many indifferent, and worse than indifferent ones made and eaten, that discredit has fallen upon the whole class. If properly made and cooked, they are not only wholesome, but palatable dainties.

Almond Rice Pudding.

1 quart of milk.

1 cup raw rice.

5 eggs.

1 cup sugar.

A little salt.

A little grated lemon-peel—about one teaspoonful.

½ pound sweet almonds, blanched.

Soak the rice in a very little water for four hours; put it into a farina-kettle; fill the outer kettle with hot water; pour a pint of milk over the rice, and simmer gently until it is tender, and each grain almost translucent. Beat the eggs and sugar together, add the other pint of milk, then the rice. Mix all well together, flavor with the lemon-peel (or two or three peach-leaves may be boiled with the rice, if you do not like the lemon). Boil in a buttered mould. An oval fluted one is prettiest if you have it—what is known as the musk-melon pattern. It should be cooked steadily about an hour—certainly not less. Dip the mould in cold water; let it stand uncovered an instant; turn out upon a flat dish and stick it all over with the almonds blanched, and cut into long shreds.[240]

Have ready some rich, sweet custard for sauce, or sweetened cream.

Southern Rice Pudding. Maltese cross

1 quart fresh, sweet milk.

1 cup raw rice.

2 table-spoonfuls butter.

1 cup sugar.

4 eggs, beaten light.

Grated lemon-peel—about one teaspoonful.

A pinch of cinnamon, and same of mace.

Soak the rice in a cup of the milk for two hours. Turn into a farina-kettle; add the rest of the milk, and simmer until the rice is tender. Rub the butter and sugar to a cream. Beat up the eggs, and whisk this into them until the mixture is very light. Let the rice cool a little while you are doing this. Stir all together, flavor, put into a buttered mould, and bake about three-quarters of an hour in a moderate oven. If baked too long the custard will separate into curds and whey.

Eat warm with sauce, or cold with sugar and cream.

Rice Méringue. Maltese cross

Make according to the above receipt, but when done, draw to the door of the oven, and cover with the following mixture:

Whites of four eggs, whisked stiff.

1 large table-spoonful powdered sugar.

Juice of 1 lemon.

Spread quickly and evenly. Close the oven and bake three minutes more, or until it is very delicately browned.[241]

Rosie’s Rice Custard. Maltese cross

1 quart of milk.

3 eggs, well beaten.

4 table-spoonfuls sugar.

1 scant table-spoonful butter.

A little salt.

1 small cup boiled rice.

Boil the rice, and while still warm, drain, and stir into the milk. Beat the eggs; rub butter and sugar together, and add to them. Mix all up well, and bake in buttered dish half an hour in a pretty quick oven.

Tapioca Custard Pudding. Maltese cross

1 cup tapioca, soaked over night in cold water enough to cover it.

1 quart of milk.

1 large cup powdered sugar.

5 eggs.

Half the grated peel of one lemon.

A very little salt.

Make a custard of the yolks, sugar and milk. Warm the milk slightly in a farina-kettle before mixing with the other ingredients. Beat this custard into the soaked tapioca; salt; whisk the whites of the eggs to a standing froth, stir in swiftly and lightly; set the pudding-dish (well buttered) into a pan of boiling water, and bake, covered, in a moderate oven until the custard is well “set.” Brown delicately by setting it for a minute on the upper grating of a quicker oven.

This may be eaten warm or cold, with or without sauce.[242]

English Tapioca Pudding. Maltese cross

1 cup tapioca.

3 pints fresh milk.

5 eggs.

2 table-spoonfuls butter.

1 cup sugar.

½ pound raisins, seeded and cut in half.

Half the grated peel of 1 lemon.

Soak the tapioca one hour in a pint of the milk; pour into a glass, or stone-ware jar; set in a pot of warm water and bring to a boil. When the tapioca is soft all through, turn out to cool somewhat, while you make the custard. Beat the eggs very light; rub butter and sugar together; mix all with the tapioca, the fruit last. Bake in buttered dish one hour.

Arrowroot Pudding. (Cold.)

3 even table-spoonfuls arrowroot.

2 table-spoonfuls of sugar.

1 table-spoonful of butter.

3 cups rich new milk.

¼ pound crystallized peaches, chopped fine.

Heat the milk scalding hot in a farina-kettle. Wet the arrowroot with cold milk, and stir into this. When it begins to thicken, add sugar and butter. Stir constantly for fifteen minutes. Turn out into a bowl, and when almost cold beat in the fruit. Wet a mould, put in the mixture, and set in a cold place until firm.

Eat with powdered sugar and cream.[243]

Arrowroot Pudding. (Hot.)

3 even table-spoonfuls arrowroot.

1 quart new milk.

1 table-spoonful butter.

4 table-spoonfuls sugar.

4 eggs, beaten light.

A little nutmeg.

Vanilla flavoring.

Scald the milk; wet the arrowroot with cold milk, and pour the hot gradually upon it, stirring all the time. Beat the eggs very light, rub butter and sugar together; mix with the eggs; whisk hard for a minute before pouring the milk in with them. Flavor; put into a buttered mould. The water should be nearly boiling when it goes in, and boil steadily for one hour. If you have a steamer, it is best cooked in that, the heat reaching all parts of the covered mould at the same time. Set in cold water a minute before turning it out. Eat with brandy or wine sauce.

Sago Pudding. Maltese cross

1 small cup of sago, soaked over night in cold water.

1 quart of milk.

5 eggs.

4 table-spoonfuls of sugar.

A pinch of cinnamon, and same of nutmeg.

1 table-spoonful of butter.

In the morning put the soaked sago into a farina-kettle, with one pint of milk; bring to a slow boil, and keep it on the fire until it is tender and clear, and has soaked up all the milk. Make a custard of the beaten[244] eggs, the milk, the butter and sugar rubbed together, the spice, and when the sago is nearly cold, beat it in. Bake in a buttered dish. It should be done in little over half an hour.

You can boil the same mixture, if desired, in a buttered mould. It will take more than an hour to cook.

Eat cold or hot. If warm, with sauce. If cold, with powdered sugar and cream. It is nice with a méringue on top.

Almond Corn-Starch Pudding. Maltese cross

1 quart of milk.

4 table-spoonfuls corn-starch.

1 table-spoonful of butter.

Yolks of five eggs, whites of two.

¼ pound sweet almonds—blanched.

Rose-water, and bitter almond.

¾ cup powdered sugar.

Scald the milk; wet the corn-starch to smooth paste with a little cold milk, and stir into the boiling milk. Cook until it begins to thicken well. Take from the fire and stir in the butter. Let it cool while you make the almond paste and the custard. The almonds should be blanched long enough beforehand to get perfectly cold before you pound them to a paste, a few at a time, in a bowl or Wedgewood mortar. Drop in rose-water, now and then, to prevent them from oiling. Make a custard of the yolks, the whites of two eggs, and the sugar. Beat this gradually and thoroughly into the corn-starch paste; flavor with bitter almond; finally stir in the almond paste. Bake in a buttered dish about[245] half an hour. When almost done cover with a méringue made of the whites reserved, and a very little powdered sugar. Eat warm—not hot, with cream and sugar. It is also good when it has been set on the ice until very cold. In winter it is easy to freeze it. It is then delicious, eaten with rich cream or custard.

Corn-Meal Fruit Pudding.

3 pints of milk.

1 heaping cup white Indian meal.

1 cup flour.

4 eggs, well beaten.

1 cup white sugar.

2 table-spoonfuls butter, melted.

½ pound raisins, seeded, and cut in two.

1 teaspoonful, heaping, of salt.

1 teaspoonful mixed cinnamon and mace.

1 teaspoonful soda, wet up with boiling water.

2 teaspoonfuls cream of tartar, sifted in the flour.

Scald a pint of the milk, and with it wet the meal. Stir it up well, and let it get almost, or quite cold. While cooling, beat in the flour wet with cold milk. Beat all up hard and long. Make a custard of the remaining milk, the eggs and sugar. Beat gradually into the cooled paste. When all are mixed into a light batter, put in the butter, spice, the fruit, dredged well with flour; last of all, the dissolved soda. Beat up hard and quickly, bringing your spoon up from the bottom of the dish, and full of batter at every stroke. Pour into a buttered dish, and bake in a tolerably quick, steady oven. It should be done in from half to[246] three-quarters of an hour, if the heat be just right. If it should brown too rapidly, cover with paper.

This is a very good pudding.

Corn-Meal Pudding without Eggs. Maltese cross

2 cups Indian meal.

1 cup flour.

2 table-spoonfuls sugar (or molasses).

3 cups sour milk—if thick, all the better.

1 great spoonful melted butter.

1 teaspoonful—a full one—of soda.

1 teaspoonful of salt.

½ teaspoonful cinnamon.

Put meal and flour together in a bowl, and mix them up well with the salt. Make a hole in the middle, and pour in the milk, stirring the meal, etc., down into it from the sides gradually. Beat until free from lumps. Put in butter, spice and sugar—the soda, dissolved in hot water, at the last. Beat up well for five minutes. Butter a tin mould with a cover; pour in the batter and boil steadily for an hour and a half.

Eat hot with sweet sauce.

Hasty Pudding. Maltese cross

1 heaping cup of Indian meal.

½ cup flour.

1 quart boiling water.

1 pint milk.

1 table-spoonful butter.

1 teaspoonful salt.

Wet up meal and flour with the milk and stir into the boiling water. Boil hard half an hour, stirring almost[247] constantly from the bottom. Put in salt and butter, and simmer ten minutes longer. Turn into a deep, uncovered dish, and eat with sugar and cream, or sugar and butter with nutmeg.

Our children like it.

Rice-Flour Hasty Pudding. Maltese cross

1 quart new milk.

3 table-spoonfuls rice-flour.

1 table-spoonful butter.

1 teaspoonful salt.

Scald the milk and stir into it the rice flour, wet up with cold milk. Boil steadily, stirring all the while, for half an hour. Add salt and butter; let the pudding stand in hot water three minutes after you have ceased to stir, and turn out into deep, open dish.

Eat with cream and sugar.

N. B. Always boil hasty puddings and custards in a farina-kettle, or a pail set within a pot of hot water. It is the only safe method.

Farina Pudding. Maltese cross

Make according to last receipt, but boil three-quarters of an hour, and, ten minutes before taking it up, stir into it two eggs beaten light and thinned with three table-spoonfuls of milk. Cook slowly, and stir all the time, after these go in. To a quart of milk, use at least four table-spoonfuls of farina.

A good dessert for children—and not to be despised by their elders.[248]

Susie’s Bread Pudding. Maltese cross

1 quart of milk.

4 eggs—the whites of 3 more for méringue.

2 cups very fine, dry bread-crumbs.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

1 teacupful sugar.

Juice and half the grated peel of 1 lemon.

Beat eggs, sugar and butter together. Soak the crumbs in the milk and mix all well, beating very hard and rapidly. Season, and bake in greased baking-dish. When almost done, cover with a méringue made of the whites of three eggs and a little powdered sugar.

Eat cold. It is very nice.

Fruit Bread Pudding. (Very Fine.) Maltese cross

1 quart of milk.

1 cup of sugar.

3 large cups very fine bread-crumbs.

½ cup suet—powdered.

½ pound raisins seeded and cut in two.

1 table-spoonful finely shred citron.

½ pound sultana raisins, washed well and dried.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 teaspoonfuls cream of tartar, stirred into the dry crumbs.

A little salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

3 eggs beaten light.

Soak the bread-crumbs in the milk; next, beat in the whipped eggs and sugar; the suet and spice. Whip the batter very light before the fruit—strictly[249] dredged with flour and well mixed—goes in. Put the soda in last. Beat three minutes steadily, before putting it into buttered mould. Boil two hours. Keep the water boiling hard all the time. Eat with brandy-sauce.

Bread and Raisin Pudding.

1 quart milk.

Enough slices of baker’s bread—stale—to fill your dish.

Butter to spread the bread.

4 eggs.

½ cup of sugar.

¾ pound of raisins, seeded and each cut into three pieces.

Butter the bread, each slice of which should be an inch thick, and entirely free from crust. Make a raw custard of eggs, sugar and milk. Butter a pudding-dish and put a layer of sliced bread at the bottom, fitted closely together and cut to fit the dish. Pour a little custard upon this, strew the cut raisins evenly over it; and lay in more buttered bread. Proceed in this order until the dish is full. The uppermost layer should be bread well buttered and soaked in the custard. Cover the dish closely, set in a baking pan nearly full of hot water, and bake an hour. When done, uncover, and brown lightly.


You can spread with a méringue, just before taking from the oven.

Eat hot, with sauce.[250]

Cherry Bread Pudding.

Is very good made as above, substituting nice dried cherries—without stones—for the raisins.

Both of these are more palatable than one would imagine from reading the receipts; are far more easily made, less expensive, and more digestible than the pie, “without which father wouldn’t think he could live.”

Willie’s Favorite. (Very good.)

1 loaf stale baker’s bread. French bread, if you can get it. It must be white and light.

½ cup suet, powdered.

¼ pound citron, chopped very fine.

½ pound sweet almonds blanched and shaved thin.

5 large pippins, pared, cored and chopped.

1 cup cream and same of milk.

A little salt, stirred into the cream.

1 cup of powdered sugar.

Cut the bread into slices an inch thick, and pare off the crust. Cover the bottom of a buttered mould (with plain sides) with these, trimming them to fit the mould and to lie closely together. Soak this layer with cream; spread with the suet, and this with the fruit chopped fine and mixed together. Sprinkle this well with sugar, and strew almond shavings over it. Fit on another stratum of bread; soaking this with milk; then suet, fruit, sugar, almonds, and another layer of bread wet with cream. The topmost layer must be bread, and very wet. Boil two hours.[251] Dip the mould in cold water, and turn out carefully upon a dish. Sift powdered sugar over it.

Eat hot with sweet sauce.

Steamed Bread Pudding. Maltese cross

1 pint milk.

2 cups fine bread-crumbs.

½ pound suet powdered.

½ pound sultana raisins, picked, washed and dried.

3 eggs.

1 dessert-spoonful corn-starch.

1 tablespoonful sugar.

A little salt.

½ pound macaroons or ratifias.

Make a custard of milk, eggs and sugar; heat almost to a boil and stir in the corn-starch wet with milk. Cook one minute; take from the fire and pour, a little at a time, over the bread-crumbs; beating into a rather thick batter. Butter a mould thickly; line it with the macaroons, and put, spoonful by spoonful, a layer of batter in the bottom. Cover this with suet, then raisins; sprinkle with sugar—put in more batter, and so on until the mould is nearly full. Fit on the top; put into the steamer over a pot of boiling water and steam, with the water at a hard boil, at least two hours. Dip the mould into cold water to make the pudding leave the sides; let it stand a moment, and turn out, with care, upon a hot dish.

Eat hot with wine sauce.

Custard Bread Pudding. (Boiled.) Maltese cross


2 cupfuls fine bread-crumbs—stale and dry.

1 quart of milk.

6 eggs—whites and yolks beaten separately.

1 table-spoonful rice flour.

1 teaspoonful salt, and ½ teaspoonful soda.

Flavor to taste.

Soak the bread-crumbs in the milk; put into a farina-kettle and heat almost to a boil. Stir in the rice-flour wet with cold milk; cook one minute; turn into a basin and beat hard several minutes. When almost cold, add the yolks of the eggs, the soda (dissolved in hot water) and the flavoring; finally, the whipped whites, mixing them in swiftly and thoroughly. Boil in a greased mould an hour and a half. Turn out, and eat hot with sweet sauce.

Macaroni and Almond Pudding.

½ pound best Italian macaroni, broken into inch lengths.

3 pints milk.

2 table-spoonfuls butter.

1 cup white sugar.

5 eggs.

½ pound sweet almonds, blanched and chopped.

Rose-water and bitter almond flavoring.

A little salt and nutmeg.

Simmer the macaroni half an hour in a pint of the milk.

Stir in the butter and salt. Cover the saucepan, and take from the fire, letting it stand covered while you make a custard of the rest of the milk, the eggs and sugar. Chop the almonds, adding rose-water to keep them from oiling. When the macaroni is nearly cold, put into the custard; stir up well, but break it as little[253] as possible; put in nutmeg, bitter-almond extract; lastly the almonds.

Bake in the dish in which it is to be served.

Plain Macaroni Pudding. Maltese cross

¼ pound macaroni, broken into pieces an inch long.

1 pint water.

1 table-spoonful butter.

1 large cup of milk.

2 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

Grated peel of half a lemon.

A little cinnamon and salt.

Boil the macaroni slowly in the water, in one vessel set within another of hot water, until it is tender and has soaked up the water. Add the butter and salt. Let it stand covered five minutes without removing it from the range; put in the rest of the ingredients. Stir frequently, taking care not to break the macaroni, and simmer, covered ten minutes longer before turning it out into a deep dish.

Eat hot with butter and sugar, or sugar and cream.

Essex Pudding.

2 cups fine bread-crumbs.

¾ cup powdered suet.[254]

2 table-spoonfuls sago, soaked over night in a little water.

5 eggs, beaten light.

1 cup of milk.

1 cup of sugar.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch, wet in cold milk.

About ½ pound whole raisins, “plumped” by laying them in boiling water two minutes.

A little salt.

Set the sago over the fire in a farina-kettle with enough water to cover it, and let it cook gently until tender and nearly dry. Make a custard of the eggs, milk and sugar; add the crumbs, beating into a thick batter; next the suet, corn-starch, sago and salt. Beat all up long and hard.

Butter a mould very thickly, and lay the raisins in the bottom and sides, in rings or stripes, or whatever pattern you may fancy. Fill the mould by spoonfuls—not to spoil your pattern—with the batter. Steam one hour and a half, or boil one hour.

Dip in cold water; let it stand one minute, and turn out upon a flat dish. The raisins should be imbedded in the pudding, but distinctly visible upon the surface.

Eat with jelly sauce.

Note.—For instructions about pudding-sauces, please see “Common Sense in the Household—General Receipts,” page 419.

Boiled Apple Pudding.

6 large juicy apples, pared, cored and chopped.

2 cups fine bread-crumbs.

1 cup powdered suet.

Juice of 1 lemon, and half the peel.

½ teaspoonful of salt.

1 teaspoonful of soda dissolved in hot water.

Mix all together with a wooden spoon, stirring until[255] the ingredients are well incorporated into a damp mass. Put into a buttered mould, and boil three hours.

Eat with a good, sweet sauce.

Baked Apple Pudding. Maltese cross

6 or 7 fine juicy apples, pared and sliced.

Slices of stale baker’s bread, buttered.

½ pound citron, shred thin.

Grated peel of half a lemon, and a little cinnamon.

1 cup light, brown sugar.

Cut the crust from the bread; butter it on both sides, and fit a layer in the bottom of a buttered mould. Lay sliced apple over this, sprinkle with citron; strew sugar and a little of the seasoning over all, and put the next layer of bread. The slices of bread should be not quite half an inch thick. Butter the uppermost layer very abundantly. Cover the mould or dish, and bake an hour and a half.

Turn out and eat with pudding-sauce.

Apple Batter Pudding. Maltese cross

6 or 8 fine juicy apples, pared and cored.

1 quart of milk.

10 table-spoonfuls of flour.

6 eggs, beaten very light.

1 table-spoonful butter—melted.

1 saltspoonful of salt.

½ teaspoonful soda.

1 teaspoonful cream of tartar.

Set the apples closely together in the baking-dish; put in enough cold water to half cover them, and bake, closely covered, until the edges are clear, but not until[256] they begin to break. Drain off the water, and let the fruit get cold before pouring over them a batter made of the ingredients enumerated above. Bake in a quick oven.

Serve in the baking-dish, and eat with sauce.

Peach Batter Pudding.

This is made in the same way, but if the peaches are fully ripe and soft, they need no previous cooking. The stones must be left in.

This is a delightful pudding.

Peach Léche Créma.

Some fine, ripe peaches pared, and cut in half, leaving out the stones.

3 eggs, and the whites of two more.

3 cups of milk.

½ cup powdered sugar.

2 table-spoonfuls corn-starch, or rice-flour. If you have neither, take 3 table-spoonfuls best family flour.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

Scald the milk; stir in the corn-starch wet with cold milk. Simmer, stirring carefully until it begins to thicken. Take from the fire and put in the butter. Beat the eggs light, and add when the corn-starch is lukewarm. Whip all until light and smooth. Put a thick substratum of peaches in the bottom of a buttered baking-dish; strew with the sugar and pour the créma gently over them. Bake in a pretty quick oven ten minutes. Then spread with a méringue made of the whites of five eggs, whisked stiff with a little powdered[257] sugar. Shut the oven-door for two minutes to harden this.

Eat warm with sauce, or cold with cream.

Ristori Puffs. Maltese cross

5 eggs.

The weight of the eggs in flour.

Half their weight in butter and in sugar.

Juice of 1 lemon, and half the grated peel.

½ teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

Rub the butter and sugar to a cream, whisking until it is very light. Beat the whites to a standing froth; the yolks thick and smooth. Strain the latter through a sieve into the butter and sugar; stir in well; add the lemon, the soda, and the flour alternately with the whites, beating up rapidly after these go in. Have ready small cups or muffin-rings, well-buttered; put the mixture into them, and bake at once. In less than half an hour they should rise high in the pans. Test with a clean straw to see if they are done; turn out upon a hot dish, and serve with jelly sauce.

These are almost sure to be a success if made with good prepared flour—Hecker’s, for example. In this case, use no soda.

Jam Puffs.

3 eggs.

Half a cup of sweet jam or jelly.

The weight of the eggs in Hecker’s prepared flour.

Half their weight in sugar and butter.

Beat the eggs stiff, whites and yolks separately.

Cream the butter and sugar, strain the yolks into the cream; beat well before putting in the whites. The[258] flour should go in last. Put the mixture in great spoonfuls upon your baking-tin. They should not touch, and must be as uniform in size as you can make them. Bake fifteen minutes in a quick oven. When cold, run a sharp knife around each, leaving about an inch uncut to serve as a hinge. Pull far enough open to put in a spoonful of jelly or jam; close, and sift white sugar over all when they are filled.

Cottage Puffs.

1 cup milk, and same of cream.

4 eggs beaten stiff, and the yolks strained.

1 table-spoonful butter, chopped into the flour.

A very little salt.

Enough prepared flour for thick batter.

Mix the beaten yolks with the milk and cream; then the salt and whites, lastly the flour. Bake in buttered iron pans, such as are used for “gems” and corn-bread. The oven should be quick. Turn out and eat with sweet sauce.

Lemon Puffs.

1 cup of prepared flour. Hecker’s always, if procurable.

½ cup powdered sugar.

1 table-spoonful butter.

3 eggs, beaten stiff. Strain the yolks.

A little salt, and grated peel of 1 lemon.

3 table-spoonfuls milk.

Mix, and bake in little pans as directed in previous receipt.[259]

Vanilla Cream Puffs. Maltese cross

1 cup boiling water.

2 table-spoonfuls butter.

1 cup prepared flour.

2 eggs—beaten well.

1 cup powdered sugar and }

Whites of 2 eggs, } for icing.

1 pint cream whipped with a little sugar.

Vanilla seasoning in cream.

Put the water over the fire with one table-spoonful of butter. Boil up, and work in the flour without removing from the fire. Stir until stiff, and work in the rest of the butter. Take from the range, turn out into a bowl and beat in the eggs. Put upon a greased baking-tin in table-spoonfuls, taking care not to let them touch. Bake quickly, but thoroughly. When done and cold, cut a round piece out of the bottom of each, introduce the handle of a teaspoon, and scrape out most of the inside. Fill the cavity with the whipped cream into which you have beaten two table-spoonfuls of icing; fit back the round piece taken from the bottom; set on a dish, and ice. Put into a quick oven one minute to dry.

Coffee Cream Puffs.

Make as above, but beat into the icing two table-spoonfuls of black coffee—as strong as can be made, and a little of this icing into the whipped cream.

Chocolate Cream Puffs.

Instead of coffee, season the cream and icing with 2 table-spoonfuls sweet chocolate, grated. That flavored[260] with vanilla is best. If you have not this, add a little vanilla extract.

Corn-Meal Puffs.

1 quart boiling milk.

2 scant cups white “corn flour.”

½ cup wheat flour.

1 scant cup powdered sugar.

A little salt.

4 eggs—beaten light.

1 table-spoonful butter.

½ teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in hot water.

1 teaspoonful cream of tartar, sifted into flour.

½ teaspoonful mixed cinnamon and nutmeg.

Boil the milk, and stir into it the meal, flour and salt. Boil fifteen minutes, stirring well up from the bottom. Put in the butter and beat hard in a bowl for three minutes. When cold, put in the eggs whipped light with the sugar, the seasoning and soda. Whip up very faithfully; bake in greased cups in a steady oven.

Turn out of cups and eat with pudding sauce, or with butter alone.

White Puffs (Very nice).

1 pint rich milk.

Whites of 4 eggs whipped stiff.

1 heaping cup prepared flour.

1 scant cup powdered sugar.

Grated peel of ½ lemon.

A little salt.

Whisk the eggs and sugar to a méringue, and add this alternately with the flour to the milk. (If you have cream, or half cream half milk, it is better.) Beat until the mixture is very light, and bake in buttered[261] cups or tins. Turn out, sift powdered sugar over them, and eat with lemon sauce.

These are delicate in texture and taste, and pleasing to the eye.

White Pudding. Maltese cross

3 cups of milk.

Whites of 6 eggs—whipped stiff.

1 cup powdered sugar.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

1 table-spoonful rose-water.

2 heaping cups prepared flour.

Whip the sugar into the stiffened whites; add butter and rose-water; then the flour, stirred in very lightly.

Bake in buttered mould in a rather quick oven. Eat with sweet sauce.

Rusk Pudding. Maltese cross

8 light, stale rusk.

A little more than 1 quart of milk.

5 eggs—whites and yolks beaten separately.

½ cup powdered sugar, ½ teaspoonful soda.

Flavor to taste, with lemon, vanilla or bitter almond.

Pare every bit of the crust from the rusk, wasting as little as possible. Crumb them fine into a bowl and pour a pint of milk boiling hot over them. Cover and let them stand until cold. Make a raw custard of the rest of the milk, the eggs and the sugar. Stir the soda, dissolved in hot water, into the soaked rusk, when they are cold, put in the custard. Pour the mixture into a buttered baking-dish—the same in[262] which it is to be served—and bake in a brisk oven. It should puff up very light.

Sift powdered sugar over the top and eat warm with sweet sauce. Cream sauce is particularly good with it.

This is a good way to use up stale buns, rusk, etc. But they must be really good at first, or the pudding will be a failure. Rusks soon dry out, and become comparatively tasteless. Never try to renew their youth by steaming them. You will only make them as sour and flat as a twice-told tale.

Fig Pudding.

½ pound best Naples figs, washed, dried and minced.

2 cups fine bread-crumbs.

3 eggs.

½ cup best suet, powdered.

2 scant cups of milk.

½ cup white sugar.

A little salt.

A pinch of soda, dissolved in hot water and stirred into the milk.

Soak the crumbs in the milk; stir in the eggs beaten light with the sugar, the salt, suet and figs. Beat three minutes; put in buttered mould and boil three hours.

Eat hot with wine sauce. It is very good.

Fig Custard Pudding.


1 pound best white figs.

1 quart of milk.

Yolks of 5 eggs, and whites of two.

½ package of gelatine, soaked in a little cold water.

1 cup made wine jelly—lukewarm.

4 table-spoonfuls sugar.

Flavor to taste.

Soak the figs for a few minutes in warm water to make them pliable. Split them in two, dip each piece in jelly, and line the inside of a buttered mould with them. Make a custard of the milk, yolks and sugar; boil until it begins to thicken well; take off the fire and let it cool. Meanwhile, beat the whites of two eggs to a stiff froth; melt the soaked gelatine in a very little hot water, by setting the vessel containing this in a saucepan of boiling water; stir until clear. Turn out to cool. When nearly cold, whip gradually into the whisked eggs. The mixture should be white and thick before you stir it into the custard. Whip all rapidly for a few minutes, and fill the fig-lined mould. Set on ice, or in a cold place to form.

Dip the mould in hot water, to loosen the pudding, and turn out upon a cold dish.


Besides lining the mould with figs, you may chop some very fine and mix in with the custard before moulding it.

This pudding is delicious if made with fresh, ripe figs.

Marrow Sponge Pudding.

2 cups fine sponge-cake crumbs—made from stale cake—the drier the better.

½ cup beef marrow, finely minced.

Juice of 1 lemon and half the grated peel.[264]

½ cup white sugar.

½ teaspoonful grated nutmeg.

½ pound fresh layer raisins, seeded and chopped.

¼ pound citron, minced.

1 cup milk.

4 eggs—beaten light—strain the yolks.

1 table-spoonful flour, and a little salt.

Mix the powdered marrow with the crumbs. Make a raw custard of milk, eggs, and sugar, and pour over the cake. Beat well; put in the flour, seasoning, lastly, the fruit very thickly dredged with flour. Stir hard before pouring into a greased mould. Boil three hours. Turn out and eat hot, with cabinet-pudding sauce.

Be sure that the water actually boils before you put in a pudding, and do not let it stop boiling for an instant until it is done. Replenish from the boiling tea-kettle.

Plain Sponge-Cake Pudding. Maltese cross

1 stale sponge-cake.

2 table-spoonfuls sugar.

4 eggs—beaten light.

2 cups of milk.

1 table-spoonful rice-flour or corn-starch wet up with cold milk.

Juice of 1 lemon and half the grated rind.

Slice the cake and lay some in the bottom of a buttered dish. Make a custard of the milk boiled for a minute with the corn-starch in it. Flavor to taste when you have added the eggs and sugar; pour over the cake; put another layer of slices; more custard, and so on, until the mould is full. Let it stand a few minutes, to soak up the custard; put the dish in the[265] oven—covered—and bake half an hour. Uncover a few minutes before you take from the oven and brown slightly.

Cocoanut Sponge pudding. Maltese cross

2 cups stale sponge-cake crumbs.

2 cups rich milk.

1 cup grated cocoanut.

Yolks of 2 eggs and whites of four.

1 cup of white sugar.

1 table-spoonful rose-water.

1 glass white wine.

Heat the milk to boiling; stir in the crumbed cake and beat into a soft batter. When nearly cold, add the beaten eggs, sugar, rose-water and cocoanut—the wine last. Bake in a buttered pudding-dish about three-quarters of an hour, or until it is firm in the centre and of a nice brown. Eat cold, with white sugar sifted over the top.

You can make an elegant dessert of this by spreading it with a méringue made of—

Whipped whites of 4 eggs.

2 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

½ cupful of grated cocoanut.

A little lemon-juice.

Whisk until stiff; cover the pudding and leave it in a quick oven two or three minutes to harden it.

Fruit Sponge-Cake Pudding (Boiled). Maltese cross


12 square sponge-cakes—stale.

1 pint milk, }

3 eggs—beaten light, } for the custard.

½ cup sugar, }

½ pound currants well washed and dried.

½ pound sweet almonds blanched and cut small.

¼ pound citron chopped.

Nearly a cup of sherry wine.

Soak the cakes in the wine. Butter a mould very thickly and strew it with currants, covering the inside entirely. Put a layer of cakes at the bottom; spread with the chopped citron and almonds; put on three or four spoonfuls of the raw custard, more cakes, fruit, custard, until the mould is full, or nearly. The pudding will swell a little. Fit on the cover, and boil one hour.

Eat cold or hot. If the latter, serve jelly-sauce with it. If cold, turn out of the mould the day after it is boiled, and sift powdered sugar over it. Pile a nice “whip” about the base.

Fruit Sponge-Cake Pudding (Baked).

2 cups sponge-cake crumbs—very dry.

2 cups boiling milk.

1 table-spoonful of butter.

½ cup of sugar.

2 table-spoonfuls flour—prepared flour is best.

½ pound currants, washed and dried.

Whites of 3 eggs—whipped stiff.

Bitter almond flavoring.

Soak the cake in the hot milk; leave it over the fire until it is a scalding batter; stir in the butter, sugar and flour—(the latter previously wet up with cold milk), and pour into a bowl to cool. When nearly cold, stir in the fruit, well dredged with flour, the flavoring, and whip up hard before adding the beaten[267] whites. Bake in a buttered mould from half to three-quarters of an hour. When done, take from the oven and let it cool. Just before sending to table, heap high with a méringue made of—

Whites of 3 eggs.

2 table-spoonfuls sugar.

½ pint cream, whipped stiff.

1 glass white wine.

This is a handsome and delightful dessert.

If eaten hot, serve cream sauce with it.

Orange Pudding.

2 oranges—juice of both and grated peel of one.

Juice of 1 lemon.

½ pound lady’s-fingers—stale and crumbed.

2 cups of milk.

4 eggs.

½ cupful sugar.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch, wet up with water.

1 table-spoonful butter—melted.

Soak the crumbs in the milk (raw), whip up light and add the eggs and sugar, already beaten to a cream with the batter. Next the corn-starch, and when your mould is buttered and water boiling hard, stir in the juice and peel of the fruit. Do this quickly, and plunge the mould directly into the hot water. Boil one hour; turn out and eat with very sweet brandy sauce.

Derry Pudding.


2 cups of milk.

4 table-spoonfuls of sugar.

1 heaping cup prepared flour.

Yolks of 4 eggs and whites of two.

2 oranges. The pulp chopped very fine. Half the grated peel of 1 orange.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

Beat eggs and sugar together; whip in the butter until all are a yellow cream. To this put the orange, and beat five minutes. Rub the flour smooth in the milk, added gradually, and stir up this with the other ingredients. Pour at once into a buttered mould, and boil one hour.

Eat hot with jelly sauce.

Boiled Lemon Pudding.

2 cups of dry bread-crumbs.

1 cup powdered beef-suet.

4 table-spoonfuls flour—prepared.

½ cup sugar.

1 large lemon. All the juice and half the peel.

4 eggs—whipped light.

1 cup of milk—a large one.

Soak the bread-crumbs in the milk; add the suet; beat eggs and sugar together and these well into the soaked bread. To these put the lemon, lastly the flour, beaten in with as few strokes as will suffice to mix up all into a thick batter. Boil three hours in a buttered mould.

Eat hot with wine sauce.

Wayne Pudding (Good).


2 full cups of prepared flour.

½ cup of butter.

1 cup of sugar—powdered.

½ pound Sultana raisins, washed and dried.

1 lemon—the juice and half the grated peel.

⅛ pound citron, cut into long strips—very thin.

5 eggs—whites and yolks beaten light separately.

Rub butter and sugar to a cream, and strain into this the beaten yolks. Whip up light with the lemon; then the flour, alternately with the stiff whites. The raisins should be dredged with flour and go in last. Butter a mould thickly, line it with the strips of citron; put in the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time; cover, and set in a pan of boiling water in the oven. Keep the water in the pan replenished from the boiling kettle, and bake steadily an hour and a half. Turn out upon hot plate.

Eat warm with brandy sauce. It is a delicious pudding. Leave room in mould for the pudding to swell.

Almond Sponge Pudding.

4 eggs—beaten very light.

The weight of the eggs in sugar and the weight of 5 eggs in prepared flour.

Half the weight of 4 in butter.

¼ pound sweet almonds blanched and pounded.

Extract of bitter almond.

A little rose-water.

Rub butter and sugar to a light cream; add the yolks and beat hard before putting in the whites alternately with the flour. The almonds, pounded to a paste with a little rose-water and bitter almond extract, should be put in last.

Boil in buttered mould; or set in a pan of water as directed in the last receipt. The mould should not be[270] much more than half full. Boil nearly an hour. Eat with lemon sauce—not very sweet.

This is nice baked as a cake.

Boston Lemon Pudding. Maltese cross

2 cups fine, dry bread-crumbs.

¾ cup of powdered sugar, and half as much butter.

2 lemons, all the juice, and half the grated peel.

2 table-spoonfuls prepared flour.

5 eggs, beaten light. The yolks must be strained.

Rub butter and sugar to a cream; add the beaten yolks and lemon; whip very light; put in handful by handful the bread-crumbs alternately with the stiffened whites, then the flour. Butter a mould, and put in the batter (always remembering to leave room for swelling), and boil two hours steadily.

If you have a pudding-mould with a cylinder in the centre, use it for this pudding. Turn out upon a hot dish, and fill the hole in the middle with the following mixture:

1 cup powdered sugar, }

3 table-spoonfuls butter, } rubbed to a cream.

Juice of one lemon.

Whipped white of 1 egg.

½ teaspoonful nutmeg.

Beat all well together.

If you have not an open mould, make this sauce, and pour half over the pudding, sending the rest in a boat to table.

Boston Orange Pudding.

Is made in the same way, substituting oranges for lemons in the pudding, but retaining the lemon in the sauce.[271]

Both of these are excellent desserts, and if the directions be strictly followed, are easy and safe to make. Either can be baked as well as boiled.

Lemon Pudding.

6 butter-crackers soaked in water, and crushed to pulp.

3 lemons. Half the grated peel.

1 cup of molasses.

A pinch of salt.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

Some good pie-crust for shells.

Chop the pulp of the lemons very fine; stir into the crushed crackers, with the butter and salt. Beat the molasses gradually into this with the grated peel. Fill open shells of pastry with the mixture, and bake.

Queen’s Pudding. Maltese cross

8 or 10 fine, juicy apples, pared and cored.

½ pound macaroons, pounded fine.

2 table-spoonfuls sugar.

½ teaspoonful cinnamon.

½ cup crab-apple, or other sweet firm jelly, like quince.

1 table-spoonful brandy.

1 pint of milk.

1 table-spoonful best flour or corn-starch.

Whites of 3 eggs.

A little salt.

Put the apples into a pudding-dish, well buttered; fill half full of water; cover closely and steam in a slow oven until so tender that a straw will pierce them. Let them stand until cold, covered. Then drain off[272] the water. Put into each apple a spoonful of jelly, and a few drops of brandy; sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Cover again and leave alone for ten minutes. Scald the milk, and stir in the macaroons, the salt, the flour, wet in a little cold milk. Boil all together one minute. Take from the fire; beat for a few minutes, and let it cool before whipping in the beaten whites. Pour over the apples, and bake half an hour in a moderate oven.

Eat hot with cream sauce.

Orange Custard Pudding. Maltese cross

1 quart milk.

5 eggs. The beaten yolks of all, the whites of two.

Grated peel of 1 orange.

4 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar for custard, and 2 spoonfuls for méringue.

Scald the milk, and pour carefully over the eggs which you have beaten light with the sugar. Boil one minute, season, and pour into a buttered pudding-dish. Set this in a pan of boiling water, and bake about half an hour, or until well “set.” Spread with a méringue made of the reserved whites. Return to oven to harden, but do not let it scorch.

Eat cold.

Rock Custard Pudding. Maltese cross


1 quart milk.

6 eggs.

1 cup powdered sugar for custard and méringue.

1 table-spoonful rice-flour, wet up with cold water.

A little salt.

Vanilla flavoring.

Boil the milk; beat up the yolks of the eggs with three-quarters of the sugar; cook in the milk until the mixture is smoking hot; stir in the rice-flour, salt, and boil just one minute. Pour into a buttered baking-dish, and bake in a pan of hot water until the custard is nearly, but not quite “set.” Have ready the whites beaten very stiff with the rest of the sugar, and flavored with vanilla. Without drawing the dish from the oven, drop this all over it in great spoonfuls, covering it as irregularly as possible. Do it quickly, lest the custard should cool and fall. Shut the oven-door for about five minutes more until the méringue is delicately browned and the custard firm.

Eat cold, with powdered sugar sifted over it.

A Plain Boiled Pudding. (No. 1.)

3 cupfuls of flour—full ones.

2 cupfuls of “loppered” milk or buttermilk. Sour cream is best of all if you can get it.

1 full teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in hot water.

A little salt.

½ cupful powdered suet.

Stir the sour milk gradually into the flour until it is free from lumps. Put in suet and salt; lastly beat in the soda-water thoroughly, but quickly.

Boil an hour and a half, or steam two hours.

Eat at once, hot, with hard sauce.

Plain Boiled Pudding. (No. 2.)


1 cup loppered milk or cream.

½ cup molasses.

½ cup butter, melted.

2½ cups flour.

2 even teaspoonfuls of soda, dissolved in hot water.

A little salt.

Mix molasses and butter together, and beat until very light. Stir in the cream or milk, and salt; make a hole in the flour, and pour in the mixture. Stir down the flour gradually until it is a smooth batter. Beat in the soda-water thoroughly, and boil at once in a buttered mould, leaving room to swell. It should be done in an hour and a half. Eat hot with a good sauce.

Jelly Puddings. Maltese cross

2 cups very fine stale biscuit or bread-crumbs.

1 cup rich milk—half cream, if you can get it.

5 eggs, beaten very light.

½ teaspoonful soda, stirred in boiling water.

1 cup sweet jelly, jam or marmalade.

Scald the milk and pour over the crumbs. Beat until half cold, and stir in the beaten yolks, then the whites, finally the soda. Fill large cups half full with the batter; set in a quick oven and bake half an hour.

When done, turn out quickly and dexterously; with a sharp knife make an incision in the side of each; pull partly open, and put a liberal spoonful of the conserve within. Close the slit by pinching the edges with your fingers.

Eat warm with sweetened cream.

Farmer’s Plum Pudding.

3 cups of flour.

1 cup of milk.[275]

½ cup powdered suet.

1 cup best molasses, slightly warmed.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

1 pound raisins, stoned and chopped.

1 teaspoonful mixed cinnamon and mace.

1 saltspoonful ginger.

1 teaspoonful of salt.

Beat suet and molasses to a cream; add the spice, the salt, and two-thirds of the milk; stir in the flour; beat hard; put in the rest of the milk, in which the soda must be stirred. Beat vigorously up from the bottom for a minute or so, and put in the fruit well dredged with flour. Boil in a buttered mould at least three hours.

Eat very hot with butter-and-sugar sauce.

Nursery Plum Pudding. Maltese cross

1 scant cup of raw rice.

1 table-spoonful rice-flour, wet up with milk.

3 pints rich milk.

2 table-spoonfuls butter.

4 table-spoonfuls sugar.

½ pound currants, washed and dried.

¼ pound raisins, stoned and cut in two.

3 well-beaten eggs.

Soak the rice two hours in just enough warm water to cover it; setting the vessel containing it in another of hot water on one side of the range. When all the water is soaked up, shake the rice well and add a pint of milk. Simmer gently, still in the saucepan of hot water until the rice is again dry and quite tender. Shake up anew, and add another pint of milk. So[276] soon as this is smoking hot, put in the fruit, well dredged with flour; cover the saucepan and simmer twenty minutes. Take from the fire and put with it the butter, the rice-flour and a custard made of the remaining pint of milk, the eggs and sugar. Add while the rice is still hot; stir up well and bake in a buttered pudding-dish three-quarters of an hour, or less, if your oven be brisk.

Eat warm or cold, with rich cream and sugar.

Cocoanut Pudding.

1 heaping cup finest bread-crumbs.

1 table-spoonful corn starch wet with cold water.

1 cocoanut, pared and grated.

½ cup butter.

1 cup powdered sugar.

2 cups milk.

6 eggs.

Nutmeg and rose-water to taste.

Soak the crumbs in the milk; rub the butter and sugar to a cream, and put with the beaten yolks. Beat up this mixture with the soaked crumbs; stir in the corn-starch; then the whisked whites, flavoring, and, at the last, the grated cocoanut. Beat hard one minute; pour into a buttered pudding-dish—the same in which it is to be served—and bake in a moderate oven three-quarters of an hour.

Eat very cold, with powdered sugar on top.

Impromptu Christmas Pudding. (Very fine.)


2 cups of best mince meat made for Christmas pies. Drain off all superfluous moisture. If the meat be rather too dry for pies, it will make the better pudding.

1½ cups prepared flour.

6 eggs—whites and yolks beaten separately.

Whip the eggs and stir the yolks into the mince-meat. Beat them in hard for two or three minutes until thoroughly incorporated. Put in the whites and the flour, alternately beating in each instalment before adding the next. Butter a large mould very well; put in the mixture, leaving room for the swelling of the pudding, and boil five hours steadily. If the boiling should intermit one minute, there will be a heavy streak in the pudding. Six hours’ boiling will do no harm.

Turn out upon a hot dish; pour brandy over it and light just as it goes into the dining-room. Eat with rich sauce. I know of no other pudding of equal excellence that can be made with so little trouble as this, and is as apt to “turn out well.”

If you have no mince-meat in the house, you can buy an admirable article, ready made, at any first-class grocery store. It is put up in neat wooden cans (which are stanch and useful for holding eggs, starch, etc., after the mince-meat is used up) and bears the stamp, “Atmore’s Celebrated Mince Meat.”

And what is noteworthy, it deserves to be “celebrated.” It has never been my good fortune to meet with any other made mince-meat that could compare with it.

Lemon Soufflé Pudding.


1 heaping cup of prepared flour.

2 cups of rich milk.

½ cup of butter.

Juice of 1 lemon and half the grated peel.

4 table-spoonfuls of sugar.

5 eggs—whites and yolks beaten separately and very light.

Chop the butter into the flour. Scald the milk and stir into it while still over the fire, the flour and butter. When it begins to thicken, add it, gradually, to the beaten yolks and sugar. Beat all up well and turn out to cool in a broad dish. It should be cold when you whip in the stiffened whites. Butter a mould; pour in the mixture, leaving abundance of room for the soufflé to earn its name—and steam one hour and a half, keeping the water under the steamer at a fast, hard boil.

When done, dip it into cold water for an instant, let it stand one minute, after you take it out of this, and turn out upon a hot dish.

Eat with brandy sauce.

Léche Créma Soufflé. Maltese cross

1 quart of milk.

3 table-spoonfuls corn-starch, wet with cold milk.

1 cup powdered sugar.

½ cup strawberry jam, or sweet fruit jelly.

6 eggs—beaten very light.

Flavoring to taste.

Boil the milk, and stir in the corn-starch. Stir one minute and pour into a bowl containing the yolks, the whites of two eggs and half the sugar. Whip up for two or three minutes and put into a nice baking-dish, buttered. Set in a pan of boiling water and bake half[279] an hour, or until firm. Just before withdrawing it from the oven, cover with jelly or jam, put on dexterously and quickly, and this, with a méringue made of the reserved whites and sugar. Shut the oven until the méringue is set and slightly colored.

Eat cold, with cream.

Cherry Soufflé Pudding.

1 cup prepared flour.

2 cups of milk.

5 eggs.

3 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

Bitter almond flavoring.

½ pound crystallized or glacé cherries.

A pinch of salt.

Scald the milk, and stir into it the flour, wet up with a cup of the milk. Boil one minute, stirring well up from the bottom of the farina-kettle; mix in the yolks beaten light with the sugar, flavor, and let it get perfectly cold. Then whip the whites until you can cut them with a knife, and beat, fast and hard, into the custard. Butter a mould thickly; strew with the cherries until the inside is pretty well covered; put in the mixture—leaving room for puffing—and boil for an hour and a half.

Dip into cold water; take it out and let it stand, after the lid is removed, a full minute, before turning it out.

Eat warm with wine, or lemon sauce.

Sponge-Cake Soufflé Pudding. Maltese cross


12 square (penny) sponge-cakes—stale.

5 eggs.

1 cup milk.

2 glasses sherry.

½ cup of powdered sugar.

Put the cakes in the bottom of a buttered pudding-dish; pour the wine over them, and cover while you make the custard. Heat the milk and pour over the yolks of the eggs, beaten and strained, and half the sugar. Return to the fire, and stir until quite thick. Pour this upon the soaked cakes, slowly, that they may not rise to the top; put in the oven, and when it is again very hot, spread above it the whites whisked stiff with the rest of the sugar.

Bake ten minutes, or until the méringue is lightly browned and firm. Serve in the baking-dish.

Eat cold. It will be found very nice.

Apple Soufflé Pudding. Maltese cross

6 or 7 fine juicy apples.

1 cup fine bread-crumbs.

4 eggs.

1 cup of sugar.

2 table-spoonfuls butter.

Nutmeg and a little grated lemon-peel.

Pare, core and slice the apples, and stew in a covered farina-kettle, without a drop of water, until they are tender. Mash to a smooth pulp, and, while hot, stir in butter and sugar. Let it get quite cold, and whip in, first the yolks of the eggs, then the whites—beaten very stiff—alternately with the bread-crumbs. Flavor, beat hard three minutes, until all the ingredients are reduced to a creamy batter, and bake in a buttered dish, in a moderate oven. It will take about an hour[281] to cook it properly. Keep it covered until ten minutes before you take it out. This will retain the juices and prevent the formation of a crust on the top.

Eat warm with “bee-hive sauce.”

Rice Soufflé Pudding. Maltese cross

½ cup raw rice.

1 pint of milk.

6 eggs.

4 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

1 table-spoonful butter.

Soak the rice in warm water enough to cover it well for two hours. Put it over the fire in the same water, and simmer in a farina-kettle until the rice is dry. Add the milk, shaking up the rice—not stirring it—and cook slowly, covered, until tender throughout. Stir in the butter, then the yolks of the eggs, beaten and strained, whatever flavoring you may desire, and when these have cooled somewhat, the whipped whites. Bake in a handsome pudding-dish, well buttered, half an hour.

Eat warm—not hot—or very cold.

Arrowroot Soufflé Pudding.

3 cups of milk.

5 eggs.

1 large table-spoonful butter.

3 table-spoonfuls sugar.

4 table-spoonfuls Bermuda arrowroot, wet up with cold milk.

Vanilla or other flavoring.

Heat the milk to a boil, and stir into this the arrow[282]root. Simmer, using your spoon freely all the time, until it thickens up well. Put in the butter; take from the fire and beat into it the yolks and sugar, previously whipped together. Stir hard and put in the whites, whisked very stiff, and the flavoring.

Butter a neat baking-dish; put in the mixture and bake half an hour.

Sift powdered sugar over it, and serve immediately.

A very Delicate Soufflé.

5 eggs—whites and yolks beaten separately.

2 table-spoonfuls of arrowroot wet up in 4 table-spoonfuls cold water.

4 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

Rose-water flavoring.

Beat the sugar into the whipped yolks, and into the whites, little by little, the dissolved arrowroot. Flavor and whisk all together. Butter a neat mould, pour in the mixture until half way to the top, and bake half an hour.

If quite firm, and if you have a steady hand, you may turn it out upon a hot dish. It then makes a handsome show. It is safer to leave it in the baking-dish. It must be served at once. It is very nice.

Batter Pudding. (Very nice.) Maltese cross

1 quart of milk.

16 table-spoonfuls of flour.

4 eggs beaten very light.

Salt to taste.

Stir until the batter is free from lumps, and bake in two buttered pie plates, or very shallow pudding-dishes.[283]

Apple and Batter Pudding. (Very good.) Maltese cross

1 pint of milk.

2 eggs, beaten light.

1 dessert-spoonful butter, rubbed in the flour.

¼ teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in hot water.

½ teaspoonful of cream of tartar, sifted in the flour.

A pinch of salt.

Flour enough for thin batter.

6 apples—well flavored and slightly tart.

Pare and core the apples and put them in a buttered pudding-dish. Pour the batter over them and bake three-quarters of an hour. Eat hot with hard sauce.


The baking-dish of “ye olden time” was never comely; often positively unsightly. Dainty housewives pinned napkins around them and wreathed them with flowers to make them less of an eyesore. In this day, the pudding-maker can combine the æsthetic and useful by using the enameled wares of Messrs. Lalange and Grosjean, 89 Beekman Street, New York. The pudding-dishes made by them are pretty in themselves, easily kept clean; do not crack or blacken under heat, and are set on the table in handsome stands of plated silver that completely conceal the baking-dish. A silver rim runs around the top and hides even the edge of the bowl. They can be had, with or without covers, and are invaluable for macaroni, scallops, and many other “baked meats.” Saucepans and kettles of every kind are made in the same ware by this firm.[284]


Not even so-called pastry is more ruthlessly murdered in the mixing and baking than that class of desserts the generic name of which stands at the head of this bake. Heavy, sour, sticky and oleaginous beyond civilized comparison, it is no marvel that the compound popularly known and eaten as “fritter” has become a doubtful dainty in the esteem of many, the object of positive loathing to some.

I do not recommend my fritters to dyspeptics and babies, nor as a standing dish to anybody. But that they can be made toothsome, spongy and harmless, as well as pleasant to those blessed with healthy appetites and unimpaired digestions, I hold firmly and intelligently.

Two or three conditions are requisite to this end. The fritters must be quickly made, thoroughly beaten, of right consistency,—and they must not lie in the fat the fraction of a minute after they are done. Take them up with a perforated spoon, or egg-beater, and lay on a hot sieve or cullender to drain before serving on the dish that is to take them to the table. Moreover, the fat must be hissing hot when the batter goes in if you would not have them grease-soaked to the very heart. Line the dish in which they are served with tissue-paper fringed at the ends, or a clean napkin to absorb any lingering drops of lard.

Bell Fritters. Maltese cross


2 cups of milk.

2 cups of prepared flour.

3 table-spoonfuls sugar.

4 eggs, very well beaten.

A little salt.

½ tea-spoonful of cinnamon.

Beat the sugar into the yolks; add the milk, salt and seasoning, the flour and whites alternately. Beat hard for three minutes.

Have ready plenty of lard in a deep frying-pan or Scotch kettle; make very hot; drop in the batter in table-spoonfuls, and fry to a good brown. Be careful not to scorch the lard, or the fritters will be ruined in taste and color.

Throw upon a warm sieve or cullender as fast as they are fried, and sift powdered sugar over them.

Eat hot with lemon sauce.

Rusk Fritters. Maltese cross

12 stale rusks.

5 eggs.

4 table-spoonfuls white sugar.

2 glasses best sherry.

Pare all the crust from the rusk, and cut each into two pieces if small—into three if large. The slices should be nearly an inch thick. Pour the wine over them; leave them in it two or three minutes, then lay on a sieve to drain. Beat the sugar into the yolks (which should first be whipped and strained), then the whites. Dip each slice into this mixture and fry in boiling lard to a light golden brown.

Drain well; sprinkle with powdered sugar mingled with cinnamon, and serve hot, with or without sauce.[286]

Light Fritters.

3 cups stale bread-crumbs.

1 quart of milk.

4 eggs.

Salt and nutmeg to taste.

3 table-spoonfuls prepared flour.

Scald the milk and pour it over the crumbs. Stir to a smooth, soft batter, add the yolks, whipped and strained, the seasoning, the flour—then, the whites whisked very stiff. Mix well, and fry, by the table-spoonful, in boiling lard. Drain; serve hot and eat with sweet sauce.

Currant Fritters. (Very nice.)

2 cups dry, fine bread-crumbs.

2 table-spoonfuls prepared flour.

2 cups of milk.

½ pound currants, washed and well dried.

5 eggs whipped very light, and the yolks strained.

½ cup powdered sugar.

1 table-spoonful butter.

½ teaspoonful mixed cinnamon and nutmeg.

Boil the milk and pour over the bread. Mix and put in the butter. Let it get cold. Beat in, next, the yolks and sugar, the seasoning, flour and stiff whites; finally, the currants dredged whitely with flour. The batter should be thick.

Drop in great spoonfuls into the hot lard and fry. Drain them and send hot to table.

Eat with a mixture of wine and powdered sugar.[287]

Lemon Fritters. Maltese cross

2 heaping cups of prepared flour.

5 eggs—beaten stiff. Strain the yolks.

½ cup cream.

Grated peel of half a lemon.

½ cup powdered sugar.

1 teaspoonful mingled nutmeg and cinnamon.

A little salt.

Beat up the whipped and strained yolks with the sugar; add the seasoning and cream; the whites, at last the flour, worked in quickly and lightly. It should be a soft paste, just stiff enough to roll out. Pass the rolling-pin once or twice over it until it is about three-quarters of an inch thick. Cut into small, circular cakes with a tumbler or cake-cutter; drop into the hot lard and fry. They ought to puff up like crullers. Drain on clean, hot paper. Eat warm with a sauce made of—

Juice of 2 lemons.

Grated peel of one.

1 cup of powdered sugar.

1 glass wine.

Whites of 2 eggs beaten stiff.

Apple Fritters.


8 or 10 fine pippins or greenings.

Juice of 1 lemon.

3 cups prepared flour.

6 eggs.

3 cups milk.

Some powdered sugar.

Cinnamon and nutmeg.

A little salt.

Pare and core the apples neatly, leaving a hole in the centre of each. Cut crosswise into slices half an inch thick. Spread these on a dish and sprinkle with lemon-juice and powdered sugar.

Beat the eggs light, straining the yolks, and add to the latter the milk and salt, the whites and the flour, by turns. Dip the slices of apple into the batter, turning them until they are thoroughly coated, and fry, a few at a time, in hot lard. Throw upon a warm sieve as fast as you take them out, and sift powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg over them.

These fritters require dexterous handling, but if properly made and cooked, are delicious.

Eat with wine sauce.

Rice Fritters. Maltese cross

2 cups of milk.

Nearly a cup raw rice.

3 table-spoonfuls sugar.

¼ pound raisins.

3 eggs.

1 table-spoonful butter.

1 table-spoonful flour.

Nutmeg and salt.

Soak the rice three hours in enough warm water to cover it well. At the end of this time, put it into a farina-kettle, set in an outer vessel of hot water, and simmer until dry. Add the milk and cook until it is all absorbed. Stir in the butter and take from the fire. Beat the eggs very light with the sugar, and when the[289] rice has cooled, stir these in with the flour and seasoning. Flour your hands well and make this into flat cakes. Place in the middle of each two or three raisins which have been “plumped” in boiling water. Roll the cake into a ball enclosing the raisins, flour well and fry in plenty of hot lard.

Serve on a napkin, with sugar and cinnamon sifted over them. Eat with sweetened cream, hot or cold.

Corn-Meal Fritters.

3 cups milk.

2 cups best Indian meal.

½ cup flour.

4 eggs.

½ teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

1 teaspoonful cream of tartar, sifted in flour.

1 table-spoonful sugar.

1 table-spoonful melted butter.

1 teaspoonful salt.

Beat and strain the yolks; add sugar, butter, milk and salt, the soda-water, and then stir in the Indian meal. Beat five minutes hard before adding the whites. The flour, containing the cream of tartar, should go in last. Again, beat up vigorously. The batter should be just thick enough to drop readily from the spoon. Put into boiling lard by the spoonful. One or two experiments as to the quantity to be dropped for one fritter will teach you to regulate size and shape.

Drain very well and serve at once. Eat with a sauce made of butter and sugar, seasoned with cinnamon.

Some persons like a suspicion of ginger mixed in the[290] fritters, or in the sauce. You can add or withhold it as you please.

Peach Fritters. (With Yeast.)

1 quart of flour.

1 cup of milk.

½ cup of yeast.

2 table-spoonfuls sugar.

4 eggs.

2 table-spoonfuls of butter.

A little salt.

Some fine, ripe freestone peaches, pared and stoned.

Sift the flour into a bowl; work in milk and yeast, and set it in a tolerably warm place to rise. This will take five or six hours. Then beat the eggs very light with sugar, butter and salt. Mix this with the risen dough, and beat with a stout wooden spoon until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Knead vigorously with your hands; pull off bits about the size of an egg; flatten each and put in the centre a peach, from which the stone has been taken through a slit in the side. Close the dough upon it, make into a round roll and set in order upon a floured pan for the second rising. The balls must not touch one another. They should be light in an hour. Have ready a large round-bottomed Scotch kettle or saucepan, with plenty of lard—boiling hot. Drop in your peach-pellets and fry more slowly than you would fritters made in the usual way. Drain on hot white paper; sift powdered sugar over them and eat hot with brandy sauce.

You can make these of canned peaches or apricots wiped dry from the syrup.[291]

Potato Fritters.

6 table-spoonfuls mashed potato—very fine.

½ cup good cream.

5 eggs—the yolks light and strained—the whites whisked very stiff.

2 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

2 table-spoonfuls prepared flour.

Juice of 1 lemon. Half the grated peel.

½ teaspoonful nutmeg.

Work the cream into the potato; beat up light and rub through a sieve, or very fine cullender. Add to this the beaten yolks and sugar. Whip to a creamy froth; put in the lemon, flour, nutmeg, and beat five minutes longer before the whites are stirred in. Have your lard ready and hot in the frying-pan. Drop in the batter by the spoonful and fry to a light brown. Drain on clean paper, and serve at once.

Eat with wine sauce.

Cream Fritters. (Very nice.)

1 cup cream.

5 eggs—the whites only.

2 full cups prepared flour.

1 saltspoonful nutmeg.

A pinch of salt.

Stir the whites into the cream in turn with the flour, put in nutmeg and salt, beat all up hard for two minutes. The batter should be rather thick. Fry in plenty of hot sweet lard, a spoonful of batter for each fritter. Drain and serve upon a hot, clean napkin.

Eat with jelly sauce. Pull, not cut them open.[292]

Roll Fritters, or Imitation Doughnuts. Maltese cross

8 small round rolls, stale and light.

1 cup rich milk.

2 table-spoonfuls sugar.

1 teaspoonful mixed nutmeg and cinnamon.

Beaten yolks of 3 eggs.

1 cupful powdered crackers.

Pare every bit of the crust from the rolls with a keen knife, and trim them into round balls. Sweeten the milk with the sugar, put in the spice; lay the rolls upon a soup-plate, and pour the milk over them. Turn them over and over, until they soak it all up. Drain for a few minutes on a sieve; dip in the beaten yolks, roll in the powdered cracker, and fry in plenty of lard.

Drain and serve hot with lemon-sauce.

They are very good.

Sponge-Cake Fritters.

6 or 8 square (penny) sponge-cakes.

1 cup cream, boiling hot, with a pinch of soda stirred in.

4 eggs, whipped light.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch, wet up in cold milk.

¼ pound currants, washed and dried.

Pound the cakes fine, and pour the cream over them. Stir in the corn-starch. Cover for half an hour, then beat until cold. Add the yolks—light and strained, the whipped whites, then the currants thickly dredged with flour. Beat all hard together. Drop in spoonfuls into the boiling lard; fry quickly; drain upon a warmed sieve, and send to table hot.[293]

The syrup of brandied fruit makes an excellent sauce for these.

Curd Fritters.

1 quart sweet milk.

2 glasses white wine.

1 teaspoonful liquid rennet.

5 eggs, whipped light.

4 table-spoonfuls prepared flour.

2 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

Nutmeg to taste.

Scald the milk, and pour in the wine and rennet. Take from the fire, cover, and let it stand until curd and whey are well separated. Drain off every drop of the latter, and dry the curd by laying for a few minutes upon a soft, clean cloth. Beat yolks and sugar together, whip in the curd until fully mixed; then the flour, nutmeg and whites. The batter should be smooth, and rather thick.

Have ready some butter in a small frying-pan; drop in the fritters a few at a time, and fry quickly. Drain upon a warm sieve, lay within a dish lined with white paper, or a clean napkin; sift powdered sugar over them, and eat with jelly sauce.

Odd as the receipt may seem in the reading, the fritters are most palatable. In the country, where milk is plenty, they may be made of cream—unless, as is too often the case, the good wife will save all the cream for butter.


(Confidential—with John.)

I do not like that word “allowance.” It savors too much of a stipend granted by a lordling to a serf; a government pension to a beneficiary; the dole of the rich to the poor. But since it has crept into general use as descriptive of that portion of the wife’s earnings which she is permitted to disburse more or less at her discretion, we must take it as we find it.

Marriage is to a woman one of two things—licensed, and therefore honorable beggary, or, a copartnership with her husband upon fair and distinctly specified terms. When I spoke of the wife’s earnings just now, it was not with reference to moneys accumulated by work or investments outside of the home which she occupies with you and your children. We will set aside, if you please, the legal and religious fiction that you have endowed her with all—or half your worldly goods, and put still further from our consideration the sounding oaths with which you protested in the days of your wooing, that you cared nothing for pelf and lucre—Cupid’s terms for stocks, bonds and mortgages, houses and lands—except that you might cast them at her feet. If you recollect such figures of speech at all, it is with a laugh, good-humored, or shame-faced, and the plea that everybody talks in the same way in like circumstances; that pledges thus given are in no wise to be[295] regarded as promissory notes. Hymen’s is a general court of bankruptcy so far as such obligations go. Your wife is a sensible woman, and never expected to take you at your word—at least, such hot and hasty words as those, in which you declared yourself to be the most abject of her slaves, and herself the empress of your universe, including the aforementioned stocks, mortgages, houses and lands, real and personal estate—all assets in esse and in posse.

Having cleared away, by a stroke of common sense, this gossamer, that like other cobwebs, is pretty while the dew of early morning impearls it, and only an annoyance afterward; particularly odious when it entangles itself about the lips and eyes of him who lately admired it—we will look at the question of the wife’s work and wages from a business point of view—pencil and paper in hand.

First, we will determine what should be the salary of a competent housekeeper; one who makes her employer’s interests her own; who rises up early and lies down late, and eats the bread of carefulness; who is not to be coaxed away by higher wages, and is never in danger of giving warning if her “feelings are hurt;” if the servants are insubordinate, or the master is given to fault-finding, and not always respectful to herself. It would be to your interest, were you a widower, you confess, to give this treasure two dollars a day—as women’s wages go. “And,” you add in a burst of manly confidence, “she would be cheap at that.” But we will put down her salary in round numbers, at $700 per annum.

Now comes the seamstress’ pay. Again, a “competent[296] person,” one who is ever in her place; whose work-hours number fourteen out of the twenty-four, if her services are required by you or the children; whose needle is always threaded, her eye ever vigilant; with whom slighting and botching are things unknown by practice; who takes pride in seeing each of the household trig and tidy; who “seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands;” who is an adept in fine needlework as in plain sewing, and not a novice in dress-making; who, perchance, can “manage” boys’ clothes as well as girls—who will do it, of a certainty, if you explain that you cannot afford tailors’ bills for urchins under ten years of age; finally, who possesses that most valuable of arts for a poor man’s wife,

“To gar auld claes look a’maist as weel as new.”

Shall we allow to this nonpareil the wages of an ordinary seamstress who “cannot undertake cutting and fitting,”—one dollar a day? Or, is she entitled to the pay of a dressmaker’s assistant—half a dollar more? I do not want to be hard with you. We will set her down for $450 a year. And, again, we conclude that you have made a good bargain.

Next, the nursery-governess, and perhaps the most important functionary in the household. She must, you stipulate, have charge of the children, by day and night; guard morals, health and manners, besides teaching the youngerlings the rudiments of reading and writing; must superintend the preparation of the elder ones’ lessons for school-recitations, and look to it that catechism and Bible-lesson are ready for Sabbath-school; that musical exercises are duly practised; that[297] home is made so attractive to the boys that they shall not be drawn thence by the questionable hilarity of engine-house and oyster-cellar. A lady she must be, else how would your girls be trained to modest and graceful behavior, and your friends be entertained as you deem is due to you and to them, in your house? A responsible, judicious person is indispensable to the comfort and health of you and yours; one who does not regard the care of a young baby as “too confining;” nor sleepless nights on account of it, a valid reason for “bettering herself;” nor a brisk succession of measles, mumps and chicken-pox cogent cause for informing you that she “didn’t engage for this sort of work, and would you be suiting yourself with a lady as has a stronger constitution—immediate, for her trunk is packed.”

Would a thousand dollars per annum provide you with such a hireling? I knew a wealthy man who offered just that sum for a nursery-governess during the protracted illness of his wife. She must be intelligent and ladylike, he stated, qualified to undertake the education of the three younger children. There were six in all, but there was a tutor for the boys. The governess’ bed-room adjoined that of the little girls, the door of which must stand open all night. The baby’s crib was to be by her bed, and a child, three years old, was also to share her chamber. She would be treated respectfully and kindly, and every enjoyment of the luxurious establishment, compatible with the proper discharge of the duties appointed, would be hers.

He could get no one to take the place.

This is simple fact, and it is pregnant with meaning.[298]

Nevertheless, what if we put down the wages of your nursery-governess at the same sum you are willing to give your housekeeper—$700? Oblige me by adding up the short row of figures under your hand.


This you will please consider as the amount of your wife’s salary, due from you for services rendered, exclusive of board and lodgings, which are always the portion of resident employees in your house. There is no charge for “extras,” you observe. We have said nothing about the bill for nursing you through that four weeks’ spell of inflammatory rheumatism last winter, or the longer siege of fever, three years ago, when this servant-of-all-work sat up with you fourteen weary nights, and would entrust the care of you to no one else. By her skillful ministrations, the miracle of her patience, love and prayers, you were rescued, say the doctors, from the close clutch of death. You cannot see the figures very distinctly while you think of it, but we agreed, at the outset, to keep feeling in the background.

You “have tried to be a kind, affectionate husband,” you say, in a very unbusiness-like way.

I believe you, and so does the blessed little woman whom I have shut out from this conference, lest her foolish fondness should spoil the effect of our matter-of-fact talk. I would have you and all husbands b[299]e just, no less than loving. Let us return to our figures. The estimate is for a man of moderate means and modest home, one of the middle class which is everywhere the bone and muscle of the community—the class that makes national character, the world over. If you are wealthy, and put the care of a large and elegant establishment upon your manager, the remuneration should be in proportion. For a fancy article you have to pay a fancy price. You misunderstand your wife and me, if you imagine that we would inaugurate in your household a debit and credit system and quarter-day settlements. She would be the first to shrink from such an interpretation of your mutual relations. I should, of all your friends and well-wishers, be the last to recommend it.

But I have studied this matter long and seriously, and I offer you as the result of my observation in various walks of life, and careful calculation of labor and expense, the bold assertion that every wife who performs her part, even tolerably well, in whatever rank of society, more than earns her living, and that this should be an acknowledged fact with both parties to the marriage contract. The idea of her dependence upon her husband is essentially false and mischievous, and should be done away with, at once and forever. It has crushed self-respect out of thousands of women; it has scourged thousands from the marriage-altar to the tomb, with a whip of scorpions; it has driven many to desperation and crime.

“Every dollar is a lash!” I once overheard a wife say, in bitter soliloquy, as her husband left her presence after placing in her hand the money for which[300] she had timidly asked him, to pay the weekly household bills.

Then, still supposing herself unseen, she threw the roll of bank-notes upon the floor and trampled it under foot, in a transport of impotent, and, to my way of thinking, righteous wrath.

“An exceptional case?” I beg your pardon! I wish it were. Her husband meant to be kind and affectionate as honestly as do you. When money was “easy,” he would give it to her freely and cheerfully, provided his mood was propitious at the time of her application. He had expended large sums in the purchase of jewelry and handsome clothing for her, and exulted in seeing her arrayed in them. He loved her truly, and was proud of her. His mistake was in ignoring the fact that he owed her anything in actual dollars and cents; that she worked for her livelihood as faithfully as did he, and that his debt to her was, in the highest degree, a “confidential” one. If put into the confessional, he would have admitted that he thought of himself as the only bread-winner of the family, and was, sometimes, tartly intolerant of the domestic demands upon his earnings. He made a yet grosser mistake in feeling and behaving as if the money deposited in her hands for the current expenses of the establishment, were a gift to her personally. This is a masculine blunder that poisons the happiness of more women than I like to think of, or you would be willing to believe. Be kindly-affectioned as you will, your wife cannot respect you thoroughly if she sees that you are habitually unreasonable and unjust. And it is neither just nor rational to speak and act as[301] if all the butter, flour, sugar, meat and sundries which she saves you the trouble of buying, and of which, nine times out of ten, she is the more judicious purchaser, were to be consumed by her, and her alone.

“You never thought of such a thing!” you protest betwixt laughter and vexation.

Then, do not act as if it were your settled conviction.

Set aside from your income what you adjudge to be a reasonable and liberal sum for the maintenance of your family in the style suitable for people of your means and position. Determine what purchases you will yourself make, and what shall be intrusted to your wife, and put the money needed for her proportion into her care as frankly as you take charge of your share. Try the experiment of talking to her as if she were a business partner. Let her understand what you can afford to do, and what you cannot. If in this explanation you can say, “we,” and “ours,” you will gain a decided moral advantage, although it may be at the cost of masculine prejudice and pride of power. Impress upon her mind that a certain sum, made over to her apart from the rest, is hers absolutely. Not a present from you, but her honest earnings, and that you would not be honest were you to withhold it. And do not ask her “if that will do?” any more than you would address the question to any other workwoman. (With what cordial detestation wives regard that brief query, which drops, like a sentence of the creed, from husbandly lips, I leave your spouse to tell you. Also, if she ever heard of a woman who answered anything but “yes.”)[302]

Advise her, for her own satisfaction, and because it is “business like,” to keep an account of her receipts and expenditures, but apprise her distinctly that you do not expect her to exhibit this to you, unless she should need your assistance or advice in balancing her books, or in some perplexed question of “profit and loss.” She will be ready to appreciate that the one sum deposited with her is a trust fund to be used to the best advantage for the general good, and the proud consciousness that she is the actual proprietor of the other, and irresponsible, save to her conscience, for the manner in which it is spent, will make her the more careful not to use it amiss. As to the housekeeping money—the weekly or monthly “allowance”—you may be very sure that you and the children will get the benefit of every cent. However economically she may handle her private store, the bulk of it will not be increased by surreptitious pinchings from the family supply of daily bread.

I have known women whose sole perquisites were what they could save from their not large allowances, who, in the absence of their husbands from home, would keep themselves and families of hungry, growing children,—with the consent and co-operation of the latter—upon the most meagre fare consistent with the bare satisfaction of the cravings of nature, that the few dollars thus spared might go toward the purchase of some coveted article of dress for one of the girls; a set of tools or books for a boy, or a piece of furniture desired by all. Which bit of economy (!) being reported to the paterfamilias when the dearly-bought thing was exhibited, was pronounced by him, his hand[303] complacently finding its way to the plethoric wallet in his pocket, to be worthy of his august approval. How many husbands have heard their wives remark how cheaply the family lived when “papa was away?” and how many have asked themselves seriously why and how this was done?

Other women, and more to be pitied, I am acquainted with, who make false entries in the account-books, which are showed weekly to their lords as explanatory of “the way the money goes.” It is easier and less likely “to make a fuss,” to record that seven pounds of butter have been bought and used, his lordship having helped in the consumption thereof, when by sharp management, five have sufficed; to write down “new shoes for Bobby, $4,00,” when, in reality, the cost of mending his old ones that they might last a month longer, was only $1,50,—than to confess to the practical critic who does not overlook a single item, that the money “made” by these expedients was spent, partly in paying up a yearly subscription to the Charitable Society; partly for an innocent luncheon during a day’s shopping in the city.

“Unjustifiable deception?” Have I pretended to excuse it? But I look back of the timid woman—the pauper, bedecked in silks, laces and gems,—for most men like to see their wives dressed as well as their neighbors—the moral coward, who has lied from the natural desire to handle a little money for herself without being cross-examined about it—and ask—“by what stress of humiliating tyranny was she brought to this?”

All women do not manage monetary affairs well,[304] you remind me, gently. Some are unprincipled in their extravagance, reckless of everything save their own whims and unconscionable desires. Must a man beggar himself and those dependent upon him, lest such an one should accuse him of parsimony? By yielding to demands he knows to be exorbitant, he proves himself to be weaker even than she.

I have said nowhere that a woman is the best judge of what her husband ought to appropriate from his gains or fortune for the support of his family. But he stands convicted of a grave error of judgment, if he has chosen from the whole world as the keeper of his honor and happiness, a woman whom he cannot trust to touch his purse-strings.

Let us be patient as well as reasonable. So long as a babe is kept in long clothes, and carried in arms, it will not learn to walk alone. The majority of women have been swathed in conventionalities and borne above the practicalities of business by mistaken tenderness or misapprehension of their powers, for so long, that, however quick may be their intuitions, time and practice are necessary to make them adepts in financiering. The best way to render them trustworthy is not by taking it for granted, and letting them see that you do, that they have sinister designs upon your pockets. They are not pirates by nature, nor are they, even with such schooling as many get from their legal proprietors, always on the alert to wheedle or extort a few dollars for their own sty and selfish ends. After all, is there not a spice of truth in the would-be satire of the old distich?

“What are wives made of—made of?
Everything good, if they’re but understood!


If you chance to be painfully conscious of the mental inferiority and warped conscience of your partner in the solemn dance of life; if there is more “worse” than “better” in the everyday wear of the matrimonial bond; if sloth and waste mark her administration of household affairs, instead of the industrious thrift you would recommend, and which you see others practise; if the rent in the bottom of the pouch carries off the money faster than you can drop it in, you are to be pitied almost as much as your bachelor neighbor, who sews on his own buttons, and depends upon boarding-houses for his daily food. Still, my friend, is there any reason why you should accept the consequences of this one mistake on your part, with less philosophy; bring to the bearing of it a smaller modicum of Christian resignation than you summon to support you under any other? Women have been as grievously misled by fancy or affection, before now, and have borne the burden of disappointment to the grave without murmur or reproach.

Then, there is always the chance that your wife is not “understood,” or that, well-meant as your attempts to “manage” her have been, you have not selected the most judicious methods of doing this. In this enlightened and liberal age, nobody, unless he be bigot or fool, habitually thinks and speaks of women as a lower order of intelligent beings. But even in your breast, my ill-mated friend, there may lurk a touch of the ancient leaven of uncharitableness, and in your treatment of her “whom the Lord hath given to be with you,” there may be a spice of arrogance, the exponent of which, were you Turk or Kaffir, would be brute force.[306]

“I do not object to your proposal, my love. You always have your own way in household affairs,” said a very “kind and affectionate” man to his wife, with the air of a potentate amiably relinquishing his sceptre for love’s sake.

“Will you tell me, my dear husband, why, if I conduct ‘household affairs’ wisely and pleasantly (and you have often acknowledged that I do!) I should not have my own way?” was the unexpected reply, uttered in perfect temper—no less sweetly for being an argument. “For twenty years I have made domestic economy a constant and practical study. Is it reasonable to suppose that, after all this expenditure of time and thought, I am not a better judge of ways and means in my profession than are you, whose life has been spent in other pursuits? For all your indulgent affection to me, as displayed in a thousand ways since our marriage-day, I love and thank you. But excuse me for saying that I am not grateful that you have, as you are rather fond of saying, ‘made it a point to give me my head’ in all pertaining to housekeeping. That you do this shows that you are just and honorable. It is no more a favor done to me than is my non-interference with your clerks and purchases, your shipments and warehouses, a matter for which you should thank me.”

The husband stroked his beard thoughtfully. He was a sensible man, and magnanimous enough to recognize the truth that his wife was a sensible woman.

“Upon my word,” he said, presently, with a frank laugh, “that is a view of the case I never took before. I believe you are right.”[307]

One more hint, which may be of service to those who are not so ready to acknowledge the superiority—in any case—of feminine reasoning, or to such as are not blessed with sensible consorts—the best friends of these ladies being judges.

“Drive him with an easy rein!” said my John in trusting me for the first time to manage his favorite horse. “His mouth is tender as a woman’s. You cannot deal with a thoroughbred as with a cold-blooded roadster.”

“What will happen if I hold him in hard?” inquired I, eyeing the pointed ears and arched neck with as much apprehension as admiration.

I commend the laconic answer to your consideration, as altogether pertinent to the subject we have been discussing.

“A rear-up, and a run backward, instead of forward!”



The sight of the fruit-dish or basket upon the breakfast table has become so common of late years that its absence, rather than its presence, in the season of ripe fruits would be remarked, and felt even painfully by some. It is fashionable, and therefore considered a wise sanitary measure, to eat oranges as a prelude to the regular business of the morning meal. Grapes are eaten so long as they can be conveniently obtained. It may be because my own taste and digestion revolt at the practice of forcing crude acids upon an empty, and often faint stomach, that I am disposed to doubt the healthfulness of the innovation upon the long-established rule that sets fruit always in the place of dessert. I have an actual antipathy to the pungent odor of raw orange-peel, and have been driven from the breakfast-table at a hotel more than once by the overpowering effect of the piles of yellow rind at my left, right, and opposite to me. A cluster of grapes taken before breakfast would put me, and others whom I know, hors de combat for the day with severe headache. In the consciousness of this, I can be courageous in declining the “first course” of an à la mode breakfast, and at my own table, withholding the fruit until the stomach has regained its normal tone under the judicious application of substantial viands. Then, it is[309] pleasant to linger over the vinous globes of crimson, purple, and pale-green; to dip ripe strawberries in powdered sugar with lazy gusto; to pare rosy rareripes and golden Bartletts while discussing the day’s news and plans, in the serene belief that the healthful, delicious juices are assimilating whatever incongruous elements have preceded them in the alimentary canal.

I write this, not to guide the practice of other households, but to enforce a remark I see an opportunity for bringing in here. Be a slavish follower of no custom whatsoever. It is sensible and expedient to act in uniformity with your neighbors when you can do so without moral or physical injury. Conformity to a foolish or hurtful fashion is always weak, if not positively wicked.

Serve your fruit, then, as the first or last course at your family breakfast as may seem right to yourself, but, by all means, have it whenever you can procure it comfortably and without much expense. In warm weather, you had better banish meat from the morning bill of fare, three days in the week, than have the children go without berries and other fresh fruits. Make a pretty glass dish, or silver or wicker basket of peaches, pears or plums, an institution of the summer breakfast. In autumn, you can have grapes until after frost; then, oranges and bananas if you desire. These, being expensive luxuries, are not absolutely enjoined by nature or common sense. Let the “basket of summer fruit,” however, be a comely and agreeable reality while solstitial suns beget bile, and miasma walks, a living, almost visible presence, through the land.

Fruits, each in its season, are the cheapest, most[310] elegant and wholesome dessert you can offer your family or friends, at luncheon or tea. Pastry and plum-pudding should be prohibited by law, from the beginning of June until the end of September. And in winter, a dish of apples and oranges flanked by one of boiled chestnuts, and another of picked walnut or hickory-nut kernels, will often please John and the bairns better than the rich dessert that cost you a hot hour over the kitchen-range, when Bridget was called away to a cousin’s funeral, or Daphne was laid up with “a misery in her head.”

Among the creams, jellies and “forms” of a state-dinner dessert, fruit is indispensable, and the arrangement and preparation of the choicer varieties is a matter for the taste and skill of the mistress, or her refined daughters, as are the floral decorations of the feast.

Frosted Peaches.

12 large rich peaches—freestones.

Whites of three eggs, whisked to a standing froth.

2 table-spoonfuls water.

1 cup powdered sugar.

Put water and beaten whites together; dip in each peach when you have rubbed off the fur with a clean cloth, and then roll in powdered sugar. Set up carefully, on the stem end, upon a sheet of white paper, laid on a waiter in a sunny window. When half dry, roll again in the sugar. Expose to the sun and breeze until perfectly dry, then, put in a cool, dry place until you are ready to arrange them in the glass dish for table.

Garnish with green leaves.[311]

Frosted and Glacé Oranges.

6 sweet, large oranges.
Whites of two eggs, whisked stiff —for frosting.
1 table-spoonful water,
1 cup powdered sugar.
1 cup sugar, —for glazing.
1 ounce gum arabic,
2 table-spoonfuls hot water,

Pare the oranges, squeezing them as little as you can, remove every particle of the inner white skin, and divide them into lobes, taking care not to break the skin. Take half of the sugar meant for frosting, and stir it up with a few drops of liquid cochineal. Spread on a dish in the sun to dry, and if it lump, roll or pound again to powder. Put the white sugar in another dish. Add the water to the stiffened whites; dip in one-third of the orange lobes and roll in the white sugar; another third, first in the eggs and water, then in the red sugar. Lay them upon a sheet of paper to dry.

Put the gum arabic and hot water together over the fire, and when the gum is melted, add the cup of sugar. Stir until it is a clear, thick glue. Set in a pan of hot water and dip the remaining pieces of orange in it. Lay a stick lengthwise on a flat dish, and lean the lobes against it on both sides, to dry.

Heap red, white, and yellow together in a glass dish, and garnish with leaves—orange or lemon leaves if you can get them.

This is a delicate, but not difficult, bit of work, and the effect is very pretty.[312]

Tropical Snow. Maltese cross

10 sweet oranges.

1 grated cocoanut.

2 glasses pale sherry.

1 cup powdered sugar.

6 red bananas.

Peel the oranges; divide into lobes and cut these across three times, making small pieces, from which the seeds must be taken. Put a layer of these in the bottom of a glass bowl, and pour a little wine over them. Strew thickly with white sugar. The cocoanut should have been pared and thrown into cold water before it was grated. Spread some of it over the sugared oranges; cut the bananas into very thin round slices, and put a layer of the fruit close together, all over the cocoanut. More oranges, wine, sugar and cocoanut, and when the dish is full, heap high with the cocoanut. Sprinkle sugar on this, and ornament with rings of sliced banana. Eat very soon, or the oranges will grow tough in the wine.

Oranges cut up in the way I have described are more easily managed with a spoon, and less juice is wasted, than when they are sliced in the usual manner.

This is a handsome and delightful dessert.

Cocoanut Frost on Custard. Maltese cross


2 cups rich milk.

½ pound sweet almonds, blanched and pounded.

4 eggs, beaten light.

½ cup powdered sugar.


1 cocoanut, pared, thrown into cold water and grated.

Scald the milk and sweeten. Stir into it the almonds pounded to a paste, with a little rose-water. Boil three minutes, and pour gradually upon the beaten eggs, stirring all the time. Return to the fire and boil until well thickened. When cold turn into a glass bowl, and heap high with the grated cocoanut. Sift a little powdered sugar over all.

Stewed Apples. Maltese cross

Core the fruit without paring it, and put it into a glass or stoneware jar, with a cover. Set in a pot of cold water and bring to a slow boil. Leave it at the back of the range for seven or eight hours, boiling gently all the time. Let the apples get perfectly cold before you open the jar.

Eat with plenty of sugar and cream.

Only sweet apples are good cooked in this manner, and they are very good.

Baked Pears. Maltese cross

Cut ripe pears in half, without peeling or removing the stems. Pack in layers in a stoneware or glass jar. Strew a little sugar over each layer. Put a small cupful of water in the bottom of the jar to prevent burning; fit on a close cover, and set in a moderate oven. Bake three hours, and let the jar stand unopened in the oven all night.

Apples and Jelly. Maltese cross

Fill a baking-dish with pippins, or other tender juicy apples, pared and cored, but not sliced. Make a syrup[314] of one cup of water, and half as much sugar; stir until the sugar is dissolved, and pour over the apples. Cover closely, and bake slowly until tender. Draw from the oven, and let the apples cool without uncovering. Pour off the syrup, and fill the hollowed centres with some bright fruit jelly.

Boil down the syrup fast, until quite thick, and, just before sending the apples to table, stir into it some rich cream sweetened very abundantly. Pass with the apples.

Boiled Chestnuts.

Put into warm (not hot) water, slightly salted, bring to a boil, and cook fast fifteen minutes. Turn off the water through a cullender; stir a good piece of butter into the hot chestnuts, tossing them over and over until they are glossy and dry.

Serve upon a hot napkin in a deep dish.

Walnuts and Hickory Nuts.

Crack and pick from the shells; sprinkle salt lightly over them, and serve mixed in the same dish.

Black walnuts are much more wholesome when eaten with salt. Indeed, they are not wholesome at all without it.


Wipe watermelons clean when they are taken from the ice. They should lie on, or in ice, for at least four hours before they are eaten. Carve at table by slicing off each end, then cutting the middle in sharp, long points, letting the knife go half way through the melon[315] at every stroke. Pull the halves apart, and you will have a dentated crown.

Wash nutmeg and muskmelons; wipe dry; cut in two, scrape out the seeds, and put a lump of ice in each half.

Eat with sugar, or with mixed pepper and salt.



Nellie’s Cup Cake. Maltese cross

5 cups of flour.

5 eggs, whites and yolks separated—the latter strained.

1 cup of butter, }

3 cups of sugar, } well creamed together.

1 cup of sweet milk.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 teaspoonfuls of cream tartar, sifted with flour.

1 teaspoonful of vanilla.

If prepared flour be used in this or any other cake, there is no need of soda and cream of tartar.

Hecker’s flour I have found invaluable in cake-making. Indeed, I have never achieved anything short of triumphant success when I have used it.

Carolina Cake (without Eggs.) Maltese cross

1 coffee-cup of sugar—powdered.

2 large table-spoonfuls butter, rubbed into the sugar.

1½ cups of flour.

½ cup sweet cream.

½ teaspoonful of soda.

Bake quickly in small tins, and eat while fresh and warm.

White Cake. Maltese cross


1 cup of butter, }

2 cups of sugar, } rubbed to a light cream.

1 cup of sweet milk.

6 eggs, the whites only—beaten stiff.

½ teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in boiling water.

1 teaspoonful of cream tartar, sifted with flour.

4 cups of flour, or enough for tolerably thick batter.

Juice of 1 lemon, and half the grated peel.

Chocolate Cake. Maltese cross

2 cups of sugar.

4 table-spoonfuls butter, rubbed in with the sugar.

4 eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately.

1 cup sweet milk.

3 heaping cups of flour.

1 teaspoonful of cream tartar, sifted into flour.

½ teaspoonful soda, melted in hot water.

Bake in jelly cake tins.


Whites of two eggs, beaten to a froth.

1 cup of powdered sugar.

¼ pound grated chocolate, wet in 1 table-spoonful cream.

1 teaspoonful vanilla.

Beat the sugar into the whipped whites; then the chocolate. Whisk all together hard for three minutes before adding the vanilla. Let the cake get quite cold before you spread it. Reserve a little of the mixture for the top, and beat more sugar into this to form a firm icing.

Apple Cake. Maltese cross


2 cups powdered sugar.

3 cups of flour.

½ cup corn-starch, wet up with a little milk.

½ cup of butter, rubbed to light cream with sugar.

½ cup sweet milk.

1 teaspoonful cream of tartar, sifted with flour.

½ teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

6 eggs, the whites only, whipped very stiff.

Add the milk to the creamed butter and sugar; the soda-water, corn-starch, then the flour and whites alternately. Bake in jelly cake tins.


3 tart, well-flavored apples, grated.

1 egg, beaten light.

1 cup of sugar.

1 lemon, grated peel and juice.

Beat sugar and egg up with the lemon. Pare the apples and grate them directly into this mixture, letting an assistant stir it the while. The color will be better preserved by this method. Put into a farina-kettle, with boiling water in the outer vessel, and stir until it comes to a boil. Let it cool before putting it between the cakes.

It is best eaten fresh.

Orange Cake.


3 table-spoonfuls butter.

2 cups of sugar.

Yolks of 5 eggs, whites of three, beaten separately—the yolks strained through a sieve after they are whipped.

1 cup of cold water.

3 full cups of flour—enough for good batter.

1 large orange, the juice, and half the grated peel.

½ teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

1 teaspoonful cream of tartar, sifted in flour.

Cream the butter and sugar; add the eggs; heat in the orange, the water, soda, and stir in the flour quickly.

Bake in jelly cake tins.


Whites of two eggs, whisked stiff.

1 cup powdered sugar.

Juice, and half the peel of an orange.

Whip very light, and spread between the cakes when cold.

Reserve a little, and whip more sugar into it for frosting on top layer.

Charlotte Polonaise Cake. (Very fine.) Maltese cross

2 cups powdered sugar.

½ cup of butter.

4 eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately.

1 small cup of cream, or rich milk.

3 cups of prepared flour.

Bake as for jelly cake.


6 eggs, whipped very light.

2 table-spoonfuls flour.[320]

3 cups of cream—scalding hot.

6 table-spoonfuls grated chocolate.

6 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

½ pound sweet almonds, blanched and pounded.

¼ pound chopped citron.

¼ pound apricots, peaches, or other crystallized fruit.

½ pound macaroons.

Beat the yolks of the eggs very light. Stir into the cream the flour which has been previously wet with a little cold milk.

Add very carefully the beaten yolks, and keep the mixture at a slow boil, stirring all the time, for five minutes. Take from the fire and divide the custard into three equal portions. Put the grated chocolate, with the macaroons, finely crumbled (or pounded), with one table-spoonful of sugar, into one pan of the mixture, stirring and beating well. Boil five minutes, stirring constantly; take from the fire, whip with your egg-beater five minutes more, and set aside to cool.

Pound the blanched almonds—a few at a time—in a Wedgewood mortar, adding, now and then, a few drops of rose-water. Chop the citron very fine and mix with the almonds, adding three table-spoonfuls of sugar. Stir into the second portion of custard; heat to a slow boil; take it off and set by to cool.

Chop the crystallized fruit very small, and put with the third cupful of custard. Heat to a boil; pour out and let it cool.

Season the chocolate custard with vanilla; the almond and citron with bitter almond. The fruit will require no other flavoring. When quite cold, lay out four cakes made according to receipt given here, or bake at the same time a white cake in jelly-cake tins, and alternate with that. This will give you two good loaves. Put the chocolate filling between the first and second cakes; next, the almond and citron; the fruit custard next to the top. There will be enough for both loaves.[321]

Ice the tops with lemon icing, made of the whites of the eggs whisked very stiff with powdered sugar, and flavored with lemon-juice.

Lest the reader should, at a casual glance through this receipt, be appalled at the length and the number of ingredients, let me say that I have made the “polonaise” frequently at the cost of little more time and trouble than is required for an ordinary cream or chocolate cake. I would rather make three such, than one loaf of rich fruit-cake.

A Charlotte Cachée Cake.

1 thick loaf of sponge, or other plain cake.

2 kinds of jelly—tart and sweet.

Whisked whites of 5 eggs.

1 heaping cup powdered sugar—or enough to make stiff icing.

Juice of 1 lemon whipped into the icing.

Cut the cake horizontally into five or six slices of uniform width. Spread each slice with jelly—first the tart, then the sweet, and fit them into their former places. Ice thickly all over, so as to leave no sign of the slices; set in a slow oven for a few minutes to harden; then, in a sunny window.

This is an easy way of making a showy cake out of a plain one.

Fanny’s Cake. Maltese cross


1 pound powdered sugar.

1 pound flour—Hecker’s “prepared.”

¼ pound butter rubbed to a cream with the sugar.

8 eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately.

1 coffee-cupful sweet almonds—blanched.

Extract of bitter almond and rose-water.

Blanch the almonds in boiling water. Strip off the skins and spread them upon a dry cloth until perfectly cold and crisp. Pound in a Wedgewood mortar, adding rose-water as you go on, and, at the last, half a teaspoonful bitter almond extract.

Stir the creamed butter and sugar and yolks together until very light; add to this the flour, handful by handful; then the almond paste, alternately with the whites. Beat vigorously up from the bottom, two or three minutes.

Bake in small tins, well buttered. When cold, turn them out and cover tops and sides with—

Almond Icing.

Whites of 3 eggs, whisked to a standing froth.

¾ pound of powdered sugar.

½ pound of sweet almonds blanched and pounded to a paste. When beaten fine and smooth, work gradually into the icing. Flavor with lemon-juice and rose-water.

This frosting is delicious. Dry in the open air when this is practicable.

Mother’s Cup Cake.


1 cup of butter, }

2 cups of sugar, } creamed together.

3 cups of flour.

4 eggs beaten light—the yolks strained.

1 cup sweet milk—a small one.

1 teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 teaspoonfuls cream of tartar sifted into the flour.

Nutmeg and vanilla flavoring.

Bake in a loaf, or as jelly-cake.

Raisin Cake.

1 pound powdered sugar.

1 pound flour.

½ pound butter rubbed to light cream with sugar.

1 cup sweet milk.

5 eggs, whites and yolks whipped separately, and the latter strained.

1 pound raisins, stoned, cut in half, dredged with flour, and put into the cake just before it goes into the oven.

1 teaspoonful mixed cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.

½ teaspoonful of soda dissolved in hot water.

1 teaspoonful cream of tartar, sifted in the flour.

Beat very hard after it is mixed, and bake in small loaves, in a steady oven.

Neapolitan Cake. Maltese cross (Yellow, pink, white and brown.)


2 cups powdered sugar.

1 cup butter stirred to light cream with sugar.

5 eggs—beaten well, yolks and whites separately.

½ cupful sweet milk.

3 cups prepared flour.

A little nutmeg.

Pink and White.


1 pound sugar—powdered.

1 pound prepared flour.

½ pound butter creamed with sugar.

10 eggs—the whites only—whisked stiff.

Divide this batter into two equal portions. Leave one white, and color the other with a very little prepared cochineal. Use it cautiously, as a few drops too much will ruin the color.


3 eggs beaten light.

1 cup powdered sugar.

¼ cup of butter creamed with sugar.

2 table-spoonfuls cream.

1 heaping cup prepared flour.

2 table-spoonfuls vanilla chocolate grated and rubbed smooth in the cream, before it is beaten into the cake.

Bake all in jelly-cake tins. The above quantity should make one dozen cakes—three of each color. Of course, half as much will suffice for an ordinary family baking. But it is convenient to prepare it wholesale in this manner for a large supper, for a charity bazaar entertainment, or a church “sociable.”


1st.2 cups sweet milk.
 2 table-spoonfuls corn-starch, wet with milk.
 2 eggs.
 2 small cups powdered sugar.

Heat the milk, stir in the sugar and corn-starch; boil five minutes and put in the eggs. Stir steadily until quite thick. Divide this custard into two parts. Stir into one 2 table-spoonfuls of chocolate (grated) and a teaspoonful of vanilla; into the other bitter almond.[325]

2d.Whites of three eggs, whisked stiff.
 1 cup of powdered sugar—heaping.
 Juice, and half the grated peel of 1 lemon.

Whip up well. Lay the brown cake as the foundation of the pile; spread with the yellow custard. Put the pink, coated with chocolate, next, and the white frosting between the third and fourth cakes—i.e. the white and yellow. You can vary the order as your fancy dictates. Cover the top with powdered sugar, or ice it.

This cake looks very handsome cut into slices and mixed with plain, in baskets or salvers. You can hardly do better than to undertake it, if you have promised a liberal contribution to any of the objects above named.

Orleans Cake.

1 liberal pound best flour, dried and sifted.

1 pound powdered sugar.

¾ pound butter, rubbed to a cream with the sugar.

6 eggs beaten light, and the yolks strained.

1 cup cream.

1 glass best brandy.

1 teaspoonful mixed mace and cinnamon.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 teaspoonfuls cream of tartar sifted with flour.

Add the strained yolks to the creamed butter and sugar; to this, the cream and soda—then, in alternate supplies, the whites and flour; finally, spice and brandy. Beat up hard for three minutes, and bake in two square loaves. The oven should not be too quick, but steady. Cover with paper if the cake shows signs of[326] crustiness on the top before it has risen to the proper height. It should bake one hour.

Cover with lemon frosting when it is cool.

It is a good cake, and keeps well.

Morris Cake. Maltese cross

2 cups powdered sugar.

1 cup butter, creamed with the sugar.

4 cups flour.

5 eggs beaten light, the yolks strained.

1 rather large cup sour cream, or loppered milk.

½ grated nutmeg.

1 teaspoonful vanilla.

1 teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in hot water.

Stir beaten yolks, butter, and sugar together, and beat very light. Put in nutmeg and vanilla, the sour cream, half the flour, the soda-water, and the rest of the flour. Beat with steady strokes five minutes, bringing up batter from the bottom of the bowl at every sweep of the wooden spoon. In this way you drive the air into the cells of the egg-batter, instead of out of them. This is a knack in the cake-maker’s art that is too little understood and practised.

Remember, then, that the motion should always be upward, and the spoon always come up full.

Bake in two loaves, or several smaller ones. The oven should not be too quick.

Mont Blanc Cake. Maltese cross


2 even cups of powdered sugar.

¾ cup butter, creamed with sugar.

Whites of 5 eggs, very stiff.

1 cup of milk.

3 cups of flour, or enough for good batter.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar, sifted in flour.

Vanilla flavoring.

Bake in jelly-cake tins.


Whites of three eggs, whisked stiff.

1 heaping cup powdered sugar.

1 cocoanut, pared and grated.

Mix all lightly together, taking care not to bruise the cocoanut, and when the cakes are perfectly cold, spread between, and upon them.

Cream Rose Cake. (Very pretty.) Maltese cross

Whites of 10 eggs, beaten to standing froth.

1 cup butter, creamed with sugar.

3 cups powdered sugar.

1 small cup of sweet cream.

Nearly 5 cups prepared flour.

Vanilla flavoring, and liquid cochineal.

Stir the cream (into which it is safe to put a pinch of soda) into the butter and sugar. Beat five minutes with “the Dover,” until the mixture is like whipped cream. Flavor with vanilla, and put in by turns the whites and the flour. Color a fine pink with cochineal. Bake in four jelly-cake tins. When cold, spread with,



1½ cocoanuts, pared and grated.

Whites of 4 eggs, whisked stiff.

1½ cups powdered sugar.

2 teaspoonfuls best rose-water.

Instead of cochineal, you can use strawberry or currant juice in their season, making allowance for the thinning of your batter, by adding a little more flour. Cochineal is much better, however, since it takes but a few drops to color the whole cake. Any druggist will prepare it for you as he does for the confectioners, as a liquid. Or, he will powder it, and you can add to a pinch of the grayish crimson-dust a very little water; strain it, and stir in, drop by drop, until you get the right tint. It is without taste or odor, and is perfectly harmless.

Heap the cake after it is filled, with the white mixture, beating more sugar into that portion intended for the frosting.

Sultana Cake.

4 cups flour.

1 cup of butter.

3 cups powdered sugar.

8 eggs, beaten light. Strain the yolks.

1 cup cream, or rich milk.

1 pound sultana (seedless) raisins, dredged thickly.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 smaller teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar.

½ grated nutmeg, and ½ teaspoonful of cinnamon.

Cream the butter and sugar. Sift the cream of tartar with the flour. Dredge the raisins with flour when you have picked them over with great care, washed and dried them.

Mix the beaten yolks with the creamed butter and sugar; then, the spice and brandy. Beat three minutes, and stir in the cream or milk lightly with the[329] soda-water. Put in, first a handful of one, then a spoonful of the other, the flour and whipped whites. At last, beat in the fruit.

Bake in two large loaves, or four smaller ones. My own preference is for small loaves of cake. They are safer in baking, and can be cut more economically, especially where the family is not large. It is better to cut up the whole of a small cake for one meal, than to halve or quarter a large one, since the outer slices must be dry at the next cutting, and are wasted, to say nothing of the effect of the air upon the whole of the exposed interior.

The Sultana must be baked slowly and carefully, and like all fruit-cakes, longer than a plain one. Ice thickly. It will keep very well.

My Lady’s Cake. Maltese cross

2 cups powdered sugar.

½ cup butter, creamed with the sugar.

Whites of 5 eggs, whisked stiff.

1 cup of milk.

3 full cups of prepared flour.

Flavor with vanilla.

Bake in jelly-cake tins.


1 cup sweet cream, whipped stiff.

3 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

½ cup grated cocoanut, stirred in lightly at the last.

1 teaspoonful rose-water.

A very delicate and delicious cake, but must be eaten very soon after it is made, since the cream will[330] be sour or stale after twenty-four hours. It is best on the day in which it is made.

Cocoanut and Almond Cake. Maltese cross

2½ cups powdered sugar.

1 cup of butter.

4 full cups prepared flour.

Whites of 7 eggs, whisked stiff.

1 small cup of milk, with a mere pinch of soda.

1 grated cocoanut.

½ teaspoonful nutmeg.

Juice and half the grated peel of 1 lemon.

Cream butter and sugar; stir in lemon and nutmeg. Mix well, add the milk, the whites and flour alternately. Lastly, stir in the grated cocoanut swiftly and lightly.

Bake in four jelly-cake tins.


1 pound sweet almonds.

Whites of 4 eggs, whisked stiff.

1 heaping cup powdered sugar.

2 teaspoonfuls rose-water.

Blanch the almonds. Let them get cold and dry. Then pound in a Wedgewood mortar, adding rose-water, as you go on. Save about two dozen to shred for the top. Stir the paste into the icing after it is made; spread between the cooled cakes. Make that for the top a trifle thicker, and lay it on heavily. When it has stiffened somewhat, stick the shred almonds closely over it. Set in the oven to harden, but do not let it scorch.

You will like this cake.[331]

Cocoanut Sponge Cake.

5 eggs, whites and yolks separated.

1 cup powdered sugar.

1 full cup prepared flour.

Juice and half the grated peel of 1 lemon.

A little salt.

½ grated nutmeg.

1 cocoanut, pared and grated.

Stir together sugar, and the whipped and strained yolks. To this put the lemon, salt and nutmeg. Beat in the flour and whites by turns, then the grated cocoanut.

Bake in square, shallow tins, or in one large card. It should be done in half an hour, for the oven must be quick, yet steady.

It is best eaten fresh.

Richer Cocoanut Cake. Maltese cross

1 pound powdered sugar.

1 pound flour, dried and sifted.

½ pound butter, rubbed to cream with sugar.

1 cup of fresh milk.

1 lemon, the juice and half the grated peel.

5 eggs, yolks and whites beaten separately.

1 grated cocoanut.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 smaller teaspoonfuls cream of tartar, sifted in the flour.

Bake in two square, shallow pans.

Ice, when cold, with lemon icing.[332]

Coffee Cake.

5 cups flour, dried and sifted.

1 cup of butter.

2 cups of sugar.

1 cup of molasses.

1 cup made black coffee—the very best quality.

½ pound raisins, seeded and minced.

½ pound currants, washed and dried.

¼ pound citron, chopped fine.

3 eggs, beaten very light.

½ teaspoonful cinnamon.

½ teaspoonful mace.

¼ teaspoonful cloves.

1 teaspoonful—a full one—of saleratus.

Cream the butter and sugar, warm the molasses slightly, and beat these, with the spices, hard, five minutes, until the mixture is very light. Next, put in the yolks, the coffee, and when these are well mixed, the flour, in turn with the whipped whites. Next, the saleratus, dissolved in hot water, and the fruit, all mixed together and dredged well with flour. Beat up very thoroughly, and bake in two loaves, or in small round tins.

The flavor of this cake is peculiar, but to most palates very pleasant. Wrap in a thick cloth as soon as it is cold enough to put away without danger of “sweating,” and shut within your cake box, as it soon loses the aroma of the coffee if exposed to the air.[333]

Molasses Fruit Cake.

1½ pound flour.

1 pound powdered sugar.

1 cup of molasses.

1 cup sour cream.

5 eggs, beaten very light.

1 pound of raisins, seeded and cut into thirds.

1 teaspoonful cinnamon and cloves.

½ grated nutmeg.

½ teaspoonful ginger.

¾ pound butter.

1 full teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

Cream butter and sugar; warm the molasses slightly and beat into this with spices and cream. Add the yolks of the eggs, stir in the flour and the whites alternately, the soda-water, then the fruit, well dredged with flour. Beat all together vigorously for at least three minutes before putting into well-buttered tins to be baked.

It will require long and careful baking, the molasses rendering it liable to burn.

Unity Cake. Maltese cross

1 egg.

1 cup of powdered sugar.

1 cup of cream (with a pinch of soda stirred in).

1 pint of prepared flour.

1 table-spoonful butter.

1 saltspoonful nutmeg.

1 teaspoonful vanilla.

Rub the butter and sugar together; add the beaten[334] egg, the cream and nutmeg. Whip all for five minutes with the “Dover,” stir in the vanilla, and then very lightly, the flour.

Bake at once.

It is a nice cake if eaten while fresh.

Brown Cake.

4 cups flour.

1 cup butter.

1 cup molasses.

1 cup best brown sugar.

6 eggs, beaten very light.

1 table-spoonful ginger.

1 table-spoonful mixed cloves and cinnamon.

1 pound sultana raisins, washed, picked over and dried.

1 teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

Warm the molasses, butter and sugar slightly, and whip with an egg-beater to a cream. Beat in the yolks, the spices, the whites, flour, soda-water, and lastly the fruit, dredged with flour.

Beat hard for two or three minutes, and bake in two loaves or in small round tins.

The oven must be moderate and steady.

Myrtle’s Cake. Maltese cross


5 eggs, beaten light, and the yolks strained.

3 cups of powdered sugar.

1 cup of butter creamed with the sugar.

1 cup sweet milk.

4 cups of prepared flour.

Juice of 1 lemon and half the grated peel.

A little nutmeg.

Bake in two loaves. It is a very good cup cake, safe and easy. Cover with lemon frosting.

Risen Seed Cake.

1 pound of flour.

½ pound of butter.

¾ pound powdered sugar.

½ cup good yeast.

4 table-spoonfuls cream.


A pinch of soda, dissolved in hot water.

2 table-spoonfuls carraway seed.

¼ pound of citron shred very small.

Mix flour, cream, half the butter (melted) and the yeast together; work up very well and set to rise for six hours. When very light, work in the rest of the butter rubbed to a cream with the sugar, the soda-water, and when these ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, the seed and citron. Let it rise three-quarters of an hour longer—until it almost fills the pans—and bake steadily half an hour if you have put it in small pans, an hour, if it is in large loaves. This is a German cake.

Citron Cake.


6 eggs, beaten light and the yolks strained.

2 cups of sugar.

¾ cup of butter.

2½ cups prepared flour, or enough to make pound-cake batter. With some brands you may need 3 cups.

½ pound citron cut in thin shreds.

Juice of an orange and 1 teaspoonful grated peel.

Cream butter and sugar; add the yolks, the whites and flour by turns, the orange, and lastly, the citron, dredged with flour. Beat all up hard, and bake in two loaves.

Rich Almond Cake. Maltese cross

4 cups prepared flour.

2 cups powdered sugar.

1 cup of butter.

10 eggs, whipped light, the yolks strained.

½ pound sweet almonds, blanched and pounded.

1 table-spoonful orange-flower water.


Beat butter and sugar ten minutes until they are like whipped cream; add the strained yolks, the whites and flour alternately with one another, then the almond paste in which the orange-flower water has been mixed as it was pounded, and the nutmeg. Beat well and bake as “snow balls,” in small round, rather deep pans, with straight sides. They will require some time to bake. Cover with almond icing.

A Charlotte à la Parisienne. Maltese cross

1 large stale sponge-cake.

1 cup rich sweet custard.

1 cup sweet cream, whipped.

2 table-spoonfuls rose-water.

½ grated cocoanut.

½ pound sweet almonds, blanched and pounded.

Whites of 4 eggs, whipped stiff.

3 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

Cut the cake in horizontal slices the whole breadth[337] of the loaf. They should be about half an inch thick. Divide the whipped eggs into two portions; into one stir the cocoanut with half the sugar; into the other the almond paste with the rest of the sugar. Spread the slices with these mixtures,—half with the cocoanut, half with almond, and replace them in their original form, laying aside the top-crust for a lid. Press all the sliced cake firmly together, that the slices may not slip, and with a sharp knife cut a deep cup out of the centre down to the bottom slice, which must be left entire. Take out the rounds you have cut, leaving walls an inch thick, and soak the part removed in a bowl with the custard. Rub it to a smooth batter, and whip it into the frothed cream. The rose-water in the almond paste will flavor it sufficiently. When it is a stiff rich cream, fill the cavity of the cake with it, put on the lid, and ice with the following:

Whites of 3 eggs.

1 heaping cup of powdered sugar.

Juice of 1 lemon.

Beat stiff and cover the sides and top of the cake. Set in a very cold place until needed.

This is a delicious and elegant Charlotte.

Jeanie’s Fruit Cake.

6 eggs.

1 cup of butter.[338]

2½ cups of powdered sugar.

5 cups of flour.

2 cups of sour cream.

½ pound raisins, seeded and chopped.

¼ pound citron, shred finely.

1 heaping teaspoonful of soda.

1 teaspoonful mixed nutmeg and cinnamon.

Cream butter and sugar, beat in the yolks; the cream and spices, whip together for a minute, stir in the flour and whites, the soda, dissolved in hot water, and, very quickly, the fruit dredged with flour. Stir up hard and bake immediately.

This will make two good-sized loaves.

Pompton Cake. Maltese cross

2 cups powdered sugar.

3 cups prepared flour.

1 cup rich, sweet cream.

A little salt.

3 eggs whipped very light.

Vanilla and nutmeg flavoring.

Beat the eggs very light—the whites until they will stand alone, the yolks until they are thick and smooth. Put yolks and sugar together; whip up well; add the cream, the flour, whites and flavoring, stirring briskly and lightly; fill your “snow-ball” pans or cups and bake at once, in a quick oven.

This cake may be made of sour cream, if a teaspoonful of soda be added. In this case, the prepared flour must not be used.

May’s Cake.

3 cups flour, full ones.

3 eggs.[339]

½ cup of milk.

2 cups of sugar.

½ cup of butter.

½ cup of cream.

½ teaspoonful soda dissolved in hot water.

1 teaspoonful cream of tartar, sifted in flour.

Nutmeg, and a pinch of grated lemon-peel.

Bake in one loaf.

Fred’s Favorite. Maltese cross

3 eggs—whites and yolks beaten separately.

1 cup of sugar.

2 cups of flour.

½ cup rich milk—cream is better.

½ teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

1 teaspoonful cream of tartar sifted in flour.

Extract of bitter almond.

Bake in jelly-cake tins and when cold, spread with the following.


Whites of 4 eggs, whipped stiff.

Heaping cup of powdered sugar.

2 table-spoonfuls crab-apple jelly, beaten into the méringue after it is stiff.

Reserve enough of the frosting before you add the jelly, to cover the top.

Corn-Starch Cup Cake.

5 eggs.

1 cup of butter.

2 cups of sugar.

1 cup sweet milk.

1 cup corn-starch.

2 cups prepared flour.

Vanilla flavoring.

Bake at once in small loaves, and eat while fresh.[340] All corn-starch cakes become dry and insipid after twenty-four hours.

“One, two, three” Cup Cake. Maltese cross

1 cup powdered sugar.

2 cups prepared flour.

3 eggs well beaten.

1 table-spoonful butter.

½ cup milk.

A little vanilla.

Bake in jelly-cake tins, and spread with méringue or jelly.

Snow-Drift Cake.

2 cups powdered sugar.

1 heaping cup prepared flour.

10 eggs—the whites only, whipped stiff.

Juice of 1 lemon and half the grated peel.

A little salt.

Whip the eggs stiff, beat in the sugar, lemon, salt, and finally the flour. Stir in very lightly and quickly and bake at once in two loaves, or in square cards.

It is a beautiful and delicious cake when fresh. It is very nice, baked as jelly-cake and spread with this:


Whites of 3 eggs.

1 heaping cup of powdered sugar.

Juice of 1 orange and half the peel.

Juice of ½ lemon.

Whip to a good méringue and put between the layers, adding more sugar for the frosting on the top.[341]

Newark Cake.

1 cup of butter.

2 cups of sugar.

4 even cups prepared flour.

1 cup of good milk.

6 eggs, beaten very light.

Nutmeg and bitter almond flavoring.

If you have not the prepared flour, put in a teaspoonful of soda and two of cream of tartar.

Wine Cake.

3½ cupfuls prepared flour.

½ cup of butter.

4 eggs—beaten light.

½ cupful cream (with a pinch of soda in it).

½ glass sherry wine.


2 full cups of powdered sugar.

Cream butter and sugar; beat in the yolks and wine until very light, add the cream; beat two minutes and stir in very quickly, the whites and flour.

Bake in one loaf.

Fruit and Nut Cake. Maltese cross

4 cups of flour.

2 cups of sugar.

1 cup of butter.[342]

6 eggs—whites and yolks separated.

1 cup cold water.

1 coffee cupful of hickory-nut kernels, free from shells and very sweet and dry.

½ pound raisins, seeded, chopped and dredged with flour.

1 teaspoonful of soda dissolved in hot water.

2 teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar, sifted in the flour.

1 teaspoonful mixed nutmeg and cinnamon.

Rub butter and sugar together to a smooth cream; put in the yolks, then the water, spice, soda; next the whites and flour. The fruit and nuts, stirred together and dredged, should go in last. Mix thoroughly and bake in two loaves.

Unity Gingerbread. Maltese cross

1 cup of butter.

1 cup sugar.

1 cup molasses—the very best.

1 cup “loppered” milk or buttermilk.

1 quart flour.

1 table-spoonful ginger.

1 teaspoonful mixed cloves and mace.

1 teaspoonful cinnamon.

1 cup raisins, seeded and cut in two.

1 half-pound eggs—beaten light.

1 heaping teaspoonful of soda dissolved in hot water.

Put butter, molasses and sugar together; warm slightly and whip with an egg-beater, until light and creamy. Add the eggs, milk, spices; flour, soda-water. Beat hard for a minute, then put in the fruit, well dredged with flour. Bake in two loaves, or cards. For the sake of “preserving the unities” “1 half pound of eggs” is introduced into this unique receipt. It is safe, however, if you do not care to take the trouble of[343] weighing them, to allow four (or five, if they are small,) to the half-pound.

Richmond Gingerbread. Maltese cross

1 cup of sugar.

1 cup of molasses.

1 cup of butter.

1 cup of sweet milk.

4 cups of flour.

4 eggs.

1 table-spoonful mixed ginger and mace.

1 teaspoonful soda—a small one—dissolved in the milk.

Beat sugar, molasses, butter and spice together to a cream; add the whipped yolks, the milk, and, very quickly, the whites and flour.

Bake in one loaf, or in cups.

Eggless Gingerbread. Maltese cross

1 cup of sugar.

1 cup of best molasses.

½ cup of butter.

1 cup of sour cream.

1 table-spoonful ginger.

1 teaspoonful cinnamon.

1 heaping teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in hot water.

Nearly 4 cups of flour.

Mix, and bake quickly, adding the soda-water last, and beating hard for two minutes after it goes in.

Sugar Gingerbread. Maltese cross

1 cup butter.

2 cups of sugar.[344]

4 eggs, beaten very light.

1 cup of sour cream.

4½ cups of flour.

Juice of 1 lemon, and half the grated peel.

1 teaspoonful of cinnamon.

½ grated nutmeg.

1 table-spoonful ginger.

1 teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in hot water.

Bake in two loaves. It is very nice, and will keep several days if wrapped in a thick cloth.

Half-Cup Gingerbread.

½ cup of sugar.

½ cup of butter.

½ cup of best molasses.

½ cup of sour milk.

½ pound of eggs.

½ pound of flour, or enough for good batter.

½ coffee-cup of raisins, seeded and halved.

½ table-spoonful ginger.

½ teaspoonful cinnamon.

½ dessert-spoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

Cream butter, sugar, molasses and spices. Beat thoroughly before adding yolks and milk. Put in flour and whites alternately, then the soda-water. Mix well, and stir in the fruit dredged with flour.

Bake in one card or loaf.

Currant Cake. Maltese cross


1 cup of butter.

2 cups of powdered sugar, creamed with butter.

½ cup of sweet milk.

4 eggs.

3 cups of prepared flour.

½ grated nutmeg.

½ pound currants, washed, dried and dredged.

Put the fruit in last. Bake in cups or small pans. They are very nice for luncheon or tea—very convenient for Sabbath-school suppers and picnics.

Cocoanut Cakes. (Small.)

1 grated cocoanut.

1 cup powdered sugar.

3 eggs—the whites only, whipped stiff.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch, wet in the milk of the cocoanut.

Rose-water flavoring.

Whip the sugar into the stiffened whites; then the corn-starch, the cocoanut and rose-water last. Beat up well, and drop by the spoonful upon buttered paper.

Bake half an hour.

Rose Drop Cakes. (Cocoanut.)

Mix as directed in last receipt, coloring the méringue before you put in the cocoanut, with liquid cochineal. Add cautiously until you get the right tint.

Variegated Cakes.


1 cup of powdered sugar.

½ cup of butter, creamed with the sugar.

½ cup of milk.

4 eggs—the whites only, whipped light.

2½ cups of prepared flour.

Bitter-almond flavoring.

Spinach-juice and cochineal.

Cream butter and sugar, add the milk, flavoring the whites and flour. Divide the batter into three parts. Bruise and pound a few leaves of spinach in a thin muslin bag, until you can express the juice. Put a few drops of this into one portion of the batter, color another with cochineal, leaving the third white. Put a little of each into small round pans or cups, giving a slight stir to each color as you add the next. This will vein the cakes prettily. Put the white between the pink and green, that the tints may show better.

If you can get pistachio-nuts to pound up for the green, the cakes will be much nicer.

Ice on sides and top.


1 cup of butter.

2 cups of sugar.

Whites of 5 eggs.

1 small cup of milk.

3 full cups of prepared flour.

Flavor with vanilla and nutmeg.

Bake in small, round tins. Those in the shape of fluted shells are very pretty.

Rich Drop Cakes.


1 pound of flour.

1 pound of powdered sugar.

¾ pound of butter.

½ pound of currants, washed and dried.

4 eggs, beaten very light.

Juice of 1 lemon, and half the grated peel.

½ teaspoonful of soda, wet up with hot water.

Dredge the currants, and put them in last of all. Drop the mixture by the spoonful, upon buttered paper, taking care that they are not so close together as to touch in baking.

Kellogg Cookies.

1 cup of butter.

2 cups powdered sugar, creamed with the butter.

3 table-spoonfuls sour cream.

4 eggs, beaten very light.

5 cups of flour.

1 teaspoonful—an even one—of soda.

1 teaspoonful of nutmeg.

A handful of currants, washed and dried.

Mix all except the fruit, into a dough just stiff enough to roll out. The sheet should be about a quarter of an inch thick. Cut round, and bake quickly. When about half done open the oven-door; strew a few currants upon each cookey, and close the door again immediately, lest the cakes should get chilled.

Bertie’s Cookies. Maltese cross

1 large cup of sugar.

½ cup of butter.

1 cup sweet milk.

3 eggs, beaten light.

4 cups prepared flour, or enough to enable you to roll out the dough.

Nutmeg and cinnamon.

Cream butter, spice and sugar; add the yolks, then the milk; whites and flour alternately; roll into a thin[348] sheet with as few strokes as possible; cut into fancy shapes with tin-cutters, and bake quickly.

Seed Cookies.

1 cup of butter.

2½ cups powdered sugar.

4 eggs.

4 cups of flour, or enough for soft dough.

2 ounces carraway-seeds, scattered through the flour while dry.

Rub butter and sugar to a cream; add the yolks, and mix up well. Put in flour and whites in turns; roll out thin and cut into round cakes.

Montrose Cookies. Maltese cross

1 pound of flour.

½ pound of butter.

½ pound of powdered sugar.

1 teaspoonful mixed spices—cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace, and a few raisins.

3 eggs, well beaten.

Juice of 1 lemon, and half the grated peel.

Roll out rather thin, and cut into round or oval cakes. Sprinkle a little white sugar over the top; lay a whole raisin in the centre of each, and bake quickly until crisp.

Aunt Molly’s Cookies.


1 cup of butter.

2 cups powdered sugar.

4 eggs.

4 cups of prepared flour, or enough for soft dough.

2 table-spoonfuls of cream.

Nutmeg and mace.

Roll into a thin sheet, and cut into small cakes. Bake in a quick oven until crisp and of a delicate brown. Brush them over while hot with a soft bit of rag dipped in sugar and water, pretty thick.

Lemon Macaroons.

1 pound of powdered sugar.

4 eggs, whipped very light and long.

Juice of 3 lemons, and peel of one.

1 heaping cup of prepared flour.

½ teaspoonful nutmeg.

Butter your hands lightly; take up small lumps of the mixture; make into balls about as large as a walnut, and lay them upon a sheet of buttered paper—more than two inches apart. Bake in a brisk oven.

Lemon Cookies.

1 pound of flour, or enough for stiff dough.

¼ pound of butter.

1 pound of powdered sugar.

Juice of 2 lemons, grated peel of one.

3 eggs, whipped very light.

Stir butter, sugar, lemon-juice and peel to a light cream. Beat at least five minutes before adding the yolks of the eggs. Whip them in thoroughly, put in the whites, lastly the flour. Roll out about an eighth of an inch in thickness, and cut into round cakes. Bake quickly.[350]

Keep in a dry place in a tin box, but do not wrap them up, as they are apt to become soft.

Carraway Cookies. Maltese cross

½ pound of butter, —rubbed to a cream.
½ pound of sugar,
3 eggs, beaten long and light.
1 ounce carraway seeds, sifted through the flour.
Flour to roll out pretty stiff.

Roll into a thin sheet; cut out with a cake-cutter; prick with a sharp fork, and bake in a moderate oven.

Small Almond Cakes.

1 pound of powdered sugar.

6 eggs, beaten very light.

½ pound of almonds, blanched and pounded.

½ pound of prepared flour.

Rose-water, mixed with the almond-paste.

Whip up the whites of the eggs to a méringue with half the sugar; stir in the almond-paste. Beat the yolks ten minutes with the remainder of the sugar. Mix all together, and add the flour lightly and rapidly.

Bake in well-buttered paté-pans, or other small tins, very quickly. Turn out as soon as done upon a baking-pan, bottom uppermost, that these may dry out.

Cream Cakes. Maltese cross (Pretty and good.)


Some good puff-paste.

Whites of 2 eggs, ½ cup sweet jelly.

1 cup of cream, whipped to a froth.

3 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

Vanilla, or other flavoring.

Roll out the paste as for pies; cut into squares five inches across. Have ready greased muffin-rings three inches in diameter; lay one in the centre of each square; turn up the four corners upon it, so as to make a cup of the paste, and bake in a quick oven. When almost done, open the oven-door, pull out the muffin-rings with care, brush the paste cups inside and out with beaten white of egg; sift powdered sugar over them, and brown. This operation must be performed quickly and dexterously, that the paste may not cool. Let them get cold after they are taken from the oven, line with the jelly and fill with the whipped cream sweetened and flavored.

Custard Cakes. Maltese cross

Some good puff-paste.

Some balls of white, clean tissue-paper.

3 or 4 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

2 eggs.

2 cups—more or less, of rich custard.

Roll out the paste very thin; spread it thickly with beaten yolk of egg, and strew powdered sugar over this. Fold up tightly; flatten with the rolling-pin, and roll out as for a pie-crust. Line paté-pans well greased with this; put a ball of soft paper within each to keep up the top crust; put this on, lightly buttering the inner edge, and bake quickly until nicely browned. When almost cold, turn out of the tins, lift the top crusts, take out the papers and cover the tops with icing made of the whites of the eggs and powdered sugar. Sift more sugar over this, and set in the oven a minute or two to harden. Just before sending them[352] to table fill with custard; replace the frosted covers, and serve.

They are very good. It is well to thicken the custard with a little corn-starch.

Queen Cakes. Maltese cross

1 cup of butter.

2 cups of sugar.

3½ cups of flour.

½ cup of cream.

4 eggs.

½ pound of currants.

¼ pound sweet almonds, blanched and pounded.

½ teaspoonful soda, dissolved in hot water.

1 teaspoonful of cream of tartar, sifted in flour.

Rose-water, worked into almond-paste.

Beat butter and sugar to a cream, add the yolks and almond-paste. Whip all together for five minutes before putting in the cream, the soda-water, whites and flour alternately; finally the fruit dredged with flour. Stir thoroughly, and bake in small tins well buttered.

They should be done in from twenty to thirty minutes. Ice them with lemon frosting on the tops only.

Small Citron Cakes.


6 eggs.

½ pound of butter.

½ pound sugar, creamed with the butter.

¾ pound of prepared flour.

1 glass best brandy.

¼ pound citron, shred fine.

Nutmeg to taste.

Beat the creamed butter and sugar up with the yolks; add the brandy, and whip hard five minutes; then the flour, whites, and the citron shred fine and dredged with flour. Bake in small tins very quickly. They keep well.

Seed Wafers.

½ pound of sugar.

¼ pound of butter, creamed with the sugar.

4 eggs, beaten very light.

Enough flour for soft dough.

1 ounce carraway-seeds, mixed with the dry flour.

Mix well; roll into a very thin paste. Cut into round cakes, brush each over with the white of an egg, sift powdered sugar upon it, and bake in a brisk oven about ten minutes, or until crisp. Do not take them from the baking-tins until nearly cold, as they are apt to break while hot.

Ginger Cookies. Maltese cross

1 cup of butter.

2 cups of sugar, creamed with the butter.

¼ cup of milk, with a pinch of soda in it.

2 eggs.

1 table-spoonful ginger.

½ grated nutmeg.

½ teaspoonful of cinnamon.

Flour for stiff dough.

Roll very thin; cut into round cakes, and bake quickly until crisp.

They will keep a long time.[354]

Ginger Snaps. (Large quantity.)

1 pound of butter.

2 pounds of flour.

1½ pounds of sugar.

6 eggs, beaten very light.

1 great spoonful of ginger.

1 teaspoonful mixed cloves and cinnamon.

Roll as thin as wafer-dough. Cut into small, round cakes, and bake crisp. Let them get cool before putting them away, or they may soften.

Fried Jumbles.

2 eggs.

1 cup of sugar, }

4 table-spoonfuls of butter, } rubbed to a cream.

1 cup of milk.

1 teaspoonful of soda.

2 teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar.

4 cups of flour, or enough for soft dough.

Season to taste with nutmeg.

Roll into a sheet nearly an inch thick. Cut into shapes, and fry in boiling lard, as you would crullers. Drain off every drop of fat; sift powdered sugar over the cakes while hot, and eat fresh.

Genuine Scotch Short Bread. (Very fine.)

2 pounds flour.

1 pound best butter.

Scant ½ pound of sugar.

Wash all particles of salt from the butter. Rub this and the sugar together to a cream, as for loaf cake.[355] The flour should be dry and slightly warm. Mix this into the creamed butter and sugar gently and gradually with the hand, until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. The longer it is kneaded the better it will be. Lay it on a pasteboard, and press into sheets nearly half an inch thick with the hand, as rolling has a tendency to toughen it. Cut into such shapes as you may desire—into oblong, or square cards; prick or stamp a pattern on top (I have seen the Scotch thistle pricked upon it) and bake in a moderate oven until it is crisp, and of a fine yellow brown.

It delights me to be able to make public this receipt, for the excellent housewife and friend, from whom I have procured it, is a native of the “land o’ cakes,” and, as I can testify from repeated and satisfactory proofs thereof, makes the most delicious “short bread” that was ever eaten in this country—quite another thing from the rank, unctuous compound vended under that name by professional bakers and confectioners.



The evening meal, call it by whatever name we may, is apt to be the most social one of the three which are the rule in this land. The pressure of the business allotted to the hours of daylight is over. The memory and the conversation of each one who comes to the feast, are richer by the history of another day. It is sometimes hard to “make talk” for the breakfast table. The talk of the six o’clock P.M. dinner, or supper, or tea, makes itself. I frankly own that, however much may be said in favor, on hygienic grounds, of early meals for the nursery, the mid-day dinner for adults has always worn for me a grim, and certainly an unpoetical aspect. The “nooning” should, for the worker with muscles, nerves, or brains, be a light repast and easily digested, followed by real physical rest. He is weary when he comes to it; he eats in haste, his mind intent upon the afternoon’s work, and he may not tarry when it is dispatched, having already “lost” an hour in discussing (or bolting) soup, salad, fish, meat and dessert. The weight of undigested food seems, during the succeeding hours of business or study, to shift its position and clog and heat the brain.

“I will not preach to roast-beef and plum-pudding!” said America’s greatest preacher, in refusing to hold a Sabbath afternoon service.[357]

People quoted the bon mot approvingly. Few had common sense enough to apply it to week-day occupations. If men and women would rest, after an early dinner on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as long and absolutely as they do on Sabbath afternoons, there would be less money made, perhaps, but fewer stomachs destroyed, and fewer intellects overstrained.

This, however, as Paul candidly remarks touching certain of his deliverances—“I say of mine own judgment.” And, after all, I should be the sorriest of the sorry to see the tea-table swept out of American households. While I write, there come stealing back to me recollections that tempt me to draw my pen through some lines I have just set down. Late dinners and late suppers used to be the fashion, seldom altered—in Southern homes. In summer, the latter were always eaten by artificial light. In winter, lamps were brought in with the dessert, at dinner-time. I was almost grown before I was introduced to what the valued correspondent who gave us the text for the first “Familiar Talk” in this volume calls, “a real old New England tea-table.” During one delicious vacation I learned, and reveled in knowing, what this meant. Black tea with cream, (I have never relished it without, since that idyllic summer) rounds of brown bread, light, sweet, and fresh; hot short-cake in piles that were very high when we sat down, and very low when we arose; a big glass bowl of raspberries and currants that were growing in the garden under the back windows an hour before; a basket of frosted cake; a plate of pink ham, balanced by one of shaved, not chipped[358] beef—and sage cheese! I had never eaten it before. I have never tasted it anywhere else than in that wide, cool tea-room, the level sun-rays flickering through the grape-vines shading the west side of the house, and through the open casements opposite, a view of Boston bay—all purple and rose and gold, dotted with hundreds of white sails. This was what we had, when, in that Old New England farm-house, Polly, the faithful—who had startled me, for a time, by saying, “proper glad,” and “sweet pretty;” who “hadn’t ought” to do this, and “should admire” to do that—Polly, whom nobody thought of calling a servant, but was a “help” in every conceivable sense of the word—had “put the kettle on and we all had tea!”

I do not like to think it possible that in that beloved homestead they may have kept up with the times so far as to have dinner at six o’clock, and tea—never!

It is a pleasant practice, in many families, where the late dinner is convenient, and, for many reasons, preferred during the rest of the week, to have a “comfortable tea” on Sabbath evening. The servants are thus released the earlier for their evening’s devotions or recreations; the housewife has an opportunity of indulging the father, who is seldom at home at luncheon-time, with dainty wonders of her skill that are not en règle at dinner, and the children have a taste of old-fashioned home-life, the memory of which will be carried by them as long and fondly into their after-lives as I have borne the taste and fragrance of Cousin Melissa’s sage cheese. We do not say “Cousin,” nowadays in polite society, nor christen our children Melissa. You will find elsewhere in this book that I[359] have directed you, as preliminary to frosting fruit for dessert—peaches, apricots and nectarines—first to rub off the down (which makes the softness of the blush) with a rough cloth.

It may be a weakness, but I, for one, like to remember while admiring the pretty conceit of the glacé peach, how it looked before it was rubbed bright, and sugar-coated.



Tea à la Russe.

Slice fresh, juicy lemons; pare them carefully, lay a piece in the bottom of each cup; sprinkle with white sugar and pour the tea, very hot and strong, over them.


Send around the sliced lemon with the cups of tea, that each person may squeeze in the juice to please himself. Some leave the peel on, and profess to like the bitter flavor which it imparts to the beverage. The truth is, the taste for this (now) fashionable refreshment is so completely an acquired liking, that you had best leave to your guests the matter of “peel on” or “peel off.” There are those whom not even fashion can reconcile to the peculiar “smack” of lemon-rind after it has been subjected to the action of a boiling liquid.

Tea à la Russe is generally, if not invariably drunk without cream, and is plentifully sweetened. It is very popular at the “high teas” and “kettle-drums,” so much in vogue at this time,—tea being to women, say the cynics, a species of mild intoxicant, of which they are not to be defrauded by evening dinners and their sequitur of black coffee. Others, who cleave to ancient customs, and distrust innovations of all kinds, will have it that the popularity of these feminine carousals has its root in remorseful hankering after the[361] almost obsolete “family tea.” “Since there must be fashionable follies,” growl these critics, “this is as harmless as any that can be devised, and is, assuredly, less disastrous to purse and health than an evening crush and supper.”

For once, we say “Amen” to the croakers. The “kettle-drum” is objectionable in nothing except its absurd name, and marks a promising era in the history of American party-giving.

Cold Tea.

Mixed tea is better cold than either black or green alone. Set it aside after breakfast, for luncheon or for tea, straining it into a perfectly clean and sweet bottle, and burying it in the ice. When ready to use it, you must fill a goblet three-quarters of the way to the top with the clear tea; sweeten it more lavishly than you would hot, and fill up the glass with cracked ice. It is a delicious beverage in summer. Drink without cream.

Iced Tea à la Russe.

To each goblet of cold tea (without cream), add the juice of half a lemon. Fill up with pounded ice, and sweeten well. A glass of champagne added to this makes what is called Russian punch.

Tea Milk-punch.


1 egg beaten very light.

1 small glass new milk.

1 cup very hot tea.

Sugar to taste.

Beat a teaspoonful or so of sugar with the egg; stir in the milk and then the hot tea, beating all up well together, and sweetening to taste. This is a palatable mixture, and is valuable for invalids who suffer much from weakness, or the peculiar sensation known as a “cold stomach.”

A “Cozy” for a Teapot.

This is not an article of diet, yet an accessory to good tea-making and enjoyable tea-drinking that deserves to be better known in America. It is a wadded cover or bag made of crotcheted worsted, or of silk, velvet or cashmere, stitched or embroidered as the maker may fancy, with a stout ribbon-elastic drawn loosely in the bottom. This is put over the teapot so soon as the tea is poured into it, and will keep the contents of the pot warm for an hour or more. Those who have known the discomfort, amounting to actual nausea, produced by taking a draught of lukewarm tea into an empty or weary stomach; or whose guests or families are apt to keep them waiting for their appearance at table until the “cheering” (if hot) “beverage” lowers in temperature and quality so grievously that it must be remanded to the kitchen, and an order for fresh issued—will at once appreciate the importance of this simple contrivance for keeping up the heat of our “mild intoxicant” and keeping the temper of the priestess at the tea-tray down.

Coffee with Whipped Cream.

For six cups of coffee, of fair size, you will need about one cup of sweet cream, whipped light with a[363] little sugar. Put into each cup the desired amount of sugar, and about a table-spoonful of boiling milk. Pour the coffee over these, and lay upon the surface of the hot liquid a large spoonful of the frothed cream. Give a gentle stir to each cup before sending them around. This is known to some as méringued coffee, and is an elegant French preparation of the popular drink.

Frothed Café au Lait.

1 quart strong, clear coffee, strained through muslin.

1 Scant quart boiling milk.

Whites of 3 eggs, beaten stiff.

1 table-spoonful powdered sugar, whipped with the eggs.

Your coffee urn must be scalded clean, and while it is hot, pour in the coffee and milk alternately, stirring gently. Cover; wrap a thick cloth about the urn for five minutes, before it goes to table. Have ready in a cream-pitcher the whipped and sweetened whites. Put a large spoonful upon each cup of coffee as you pour it out, heaping it slightly in the centre.

Frothed Chocolate. (Very good.)

1 cup of boiling water.

3 pints of fresh milk.

3 table-spoonfuls Baker’s chocolate, grated.

5 eggs, the whites only, beaten light.

2 table-spoonfuls of sugar, powdered for froth.

Sweeten the chocolate to taste.

Heat the milk to scalding. Wet up the chocolate with the boiling water and when the milk is hot, stir this into it. Simmer gently ten minutes, stirring frequently.[364] Boil up briskly once, take from the fire, sweeten to taste, taking care not to make it too sweet, and stir in the whites of two eggs, whipped stiff, without sugar. Pour into the chocolate pot or pitcher, which should be well heated. Have ready in a cream pitcher, the remaining whites whipped up with the powdered sugar. Cover the surface of each cup with the sweetened méringue, before distributing to the guests.

If you like, you can substitute scented chocolate for Baker’s.

Chocolate or cocoa is a favorite luncheon beverage, and many ladies, especially those who have spent much time abroad, have adopted the French habit of breakfasting upon rolls and a cup of chocolate.

Milled Chocolate.

3 heaping table-spoonfuls of grated chocolate.

1 quart of milk.

Wet the chocolate with boiling water. Scald the milk and stir in the chocolate-paste. Simmer ten minutes; then, if you have no regular “muller,” put your syllabub-churn into the boiling liquid and churn steadily, without taking from the fire, until it is a yeasty froth. Pour into a chocolate-pitcher, and serve at once.

This is esteemed a great delicacy by chocolate lovers, and is easily made.

Soyer’s Café au Lait.


1 cup best coffee, freshly roasted, but unground.

2 cups of boiling water.

1 quart boiling milk.

Put the coffee into a clean, dry kettle or tin pail; fit on a close top and set in a saucepan of boiling water. Shake it every few moments, without opening it, until you judge that the coffee-grains must be heated through. If, on lifting the cover, you find that the contents of the inner vessel are very hot and smoking, pour over them the boiling water directly from the tea-kettle. Cover the inner vessel closely and set on the side of the range, where it will keep very hot without boiling for twenty minutes. Then, add the boiling milk, let all stand together for five minutes more, and strain through thin muslin into the coffee-urn. Use loaf-sugar in sweetening.

The flavor of this is said to be very fine.

White Lemonade.

3 lemons.

3 cups loaf sugar.

2 glasses white wine.

2 quarts fresh milk, boiling hot.

Wash the lemons, grate all the peel from one into a bowl; add the sugar, and squeeze the juice of the three over these. After two hours add the wine, and then, quickly, the boiling milk. Strain through a flannel jelly-bag. Cool and set in the ice until wanted.

Claret Cup.


1 (quart) bottle of claret.

1 (pint) bottle of champagne.

½ pint best sherry.

2 lemons, sliced.

¼ pound loaf sugar dissolved in 1 cup cold water.

Let the sugar, water and sliced lemon steep together half an hour before adding to the rest of the ingredients. Shake all well together in a very large pitcher twenty or thirty times, and make thick with pounded ice, when you are ready to use it.

There is no better receipt for the famous “claret cup” than this.

Very Fine Porteree.

1 pint bottle best porter.

2 glasses pale sherry.

1 lemon peeled and sliced.

½ pint ice-water.

6 or 8 lumps of loaf sugar.

½ grated nutmeg.

Pounded ice.

This mixture has been used satisfactorily by invalids, for whom the pure porter was too heavy, causing biliousness and heartburn.

Ginger Cordial.

2 table-spoonfuls ground ginger, fresh and strong.

1 lb. loaf sugar.

½ pint best whiskey.

1 quart red currants.

Juice of 1 lemon.

Crush the currants in a stone vessel with a wooden beetle, and strain them through a clean, coarse cloth, over the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved; add the lemon, the whiskey, and the ginger. Put it into a demijohn or a stone jug, and set upon the cellar-floor for a week, shaking up vigorously every day. At the end[367] of that time, strain through a cloth and bottle. Seal and wire the corks, and lay the bottles on their sides in a cool, dry place.

An excellent summer drink is made by putting two table-spoonfuls of this mixture into a goblet of iced water. It is far safer for quenching the thirst, when one is overheated, than plain ice-water or lemonade.

Milk-Punch. (Hot.)

1 quart milk, warm from the cow.

2 glasses best sherry wine.

4 table-spoonfuls powdered sugar.

4 eggs, the yolks only, beaten light.

Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Bring the milk to the boiling point. Beat up the yolks and sugar together; add the wine; pour into a pitcher, and mix with it, stirring all the time, the boiling milk. Pour from one vessel to another six times, spice, and serve as soon as it can be swallowed without scalding the throat.

This is said to be an admirable remedy for a bad cold if taken in the first stages, just before going to bed at night.

Mulled Ale.

3 eggs, the yolks only.

A pint of good ale.

2 table-spoonfuls loaf sugar.

A pinch of ginger, and same of nutmeg.

Heat the ale scalding hot, but do not let it quite boil. Take from the fire and stir in the eggs beaten with the sugar, and the spice. Pour from pitcher to pitcher, five or six times, until it froths, and drink hot.[368]

Mulled Wine.

2 eggs, beaten very light with the sugar.

1 table-spoonful white sugar.

2 full glasses white wine.

½ cup boiling water.

A little nutmeg.

Heat the water, add the wine; cover closely and bring almost to a boil. Pour this carefully over the beaten egg and sugar; set in a vessel of boiling water and stir constantly until it begins to thicken. Pour into a silver goblet, grate the nutmeg on the top, and let the invalid drink it as hot as it can be swallowed without suffering.

A Summer Drink. (Very good.)

2 lbs. Catawba grapes.

3 table-spoonfuls loaf sugar.

1 cup of cold water.

Squeeze the grapes hard in a coarse cloth, when you have picked them from the stems. Wring out every drop of juice; add the sugar, and when this is dissolved, the water, surround with ice until very cold; put a lump of ice into a pitcher, pour the mixture upon it, and drink at once.

You can add more sugar if you like, or if the grapes are not quite ripe.

Rum Milk-Punch.


1 cup milk, warm from the cow.

1 table-spoonful of best rum.

1 egg, whipped light with a little sugar.

A little nutmeg.

Pour the rum upon the egg-and-sugar; stir for a moment and add the milk; strain and drink.

It is a useful stimulant for consumptives, and should be taken before breakfast.

Clear Punch.

½ cup ice-water.

1 glass white wine (or very good whiskey).

White of 1 egg whipped stiff with the sugar.

1 table-spoonful of loaf sugar.

A sprig of mint.

Pounded ice.

Mix well together and give to the patient, ice-cold.

Currant and Raspberry Shrub.

4 quarts ripe currants.

3 quarts red raspberries.

4 lbs. loaf sugar.

1 quart best brandy.

Pound the fruit in a stone jar, or wide-mouthed crock, with a wooden beetle. Squeeze out every drop of the juice; put this into a porcelain, enamel, or very clean bell-metal kettle, and boil hard ten minutes. Bring to the boil quickly, as slow heating and boiling has a tendency to darken all acid syrups. Put in the sugar at the end of the ten minutes, and boil up once to throw the scum to the top. Take it off; skim, let it get perfectly cold, skim off all remaining impurities, add the brandy and shake hard for five minutes. Bottle; seal the corks, and lay the bottles on their sides in dry sawdust.

Put up in this way, “shrub” will keep several years,[370] and be the better for age. It is a refreshing and slightly medicinal drink, when mixed with iced water.

Strawberry Shrub.

4 quarts of ripe strawberries.

The juice of 4 lemons.

4 lbs. of loaf sugar.

1 pint best brandy, or colorless whiskey.

Mash the berries and squeeze them through a bag. Add the strained lemon-juice; bring quickly to a fast boil, and after it has boiled five minutes, put in the sugar and cook five minutes more. Skim as it cools, and, when quite cold, add the brandy. Be sure that your bottles are perfectly clean. Rinse them out with soda-and-water; then, with boiling water. The corks must be new. Soak them in cold water; drive into the bottles; cut off even with the top; seal with bees-wax and rosin, melted in equal quantities, and lay the bottles on their sides in dry sawdust.

Strawberries, preserved in any way, do not keep so well as some other fruits. Hence, more care must be taken in putting them up.

Lemon Shrub.

Juice of 6 lemons, and grated peel of two.

Grated peel of 1 orange.

3 lbs. loaf sugar.

3 pints of cold water.

3 pints of brandy or white whiskey.

Steep the grated peel in the brandy for two days. Boil the sugar-and-water to a thick syrup, and when it is cool, strain into it the lemon-juice and the liquor.[371] Shake up well for five minutes, and bottle. Seal the bottles and lay them on their sides.


Grated peel and the juice of 4 fine oranges.

1 lb. of rock-candy.

1 cup of cold water.

1 teaspoonful cinnamon.

½ teaspoonful nutmeg.

A pinch of cloves.

1 pint very fine brandy.

Break the candy to pieces in a mortar, or, by pounding it in a cloth, cover with cold water and heat to a boil, by which time the candy should be entirely dissolved. Add the orange-juice, boil up once and take from the fire. When cold, skim, put in the spices, peel, and brandy; put it into a stone jug, and let it stand for a fortnight in a cool place. Shake every day, and at the end of that time strain through flannel, and bottle.

This is an excellent flavoring for pudding sauces, custards, trifles, etc. For tipsy Charlottes and like desserts, it is far superior to brandy or wine.



½ pound sweet almonds.

Juice of 3 lemons, and grated peel of one.

2 pounds loaf sugar.

3 teaspoonfuls extract of bitter-almonds.

2 table-spoonfuls clear honey.

1 pint best brandy.

1 table-spoonful orange-flower water.

Blanch and pound the almonds, mixing the orange-flower water with them to prevent oiling. Add the sugar and brandy, and let these ingredients lie together for two days, shaking the jug frequently. Put in the lemon, honey and flavoring; shake hard, and leave in the jug a week longer, shaking it every day.

Strain through very fine muslin, bottle and seal.

The flavor of this is delicious in custards, etc. As a beverage, it must be mixed with ice-water.

Rose Syrup.

1½ pound of fresh rose-leaves.

2 pounds loaf sugar.

Whites of 2 eggs, whipped light.

1 pint best brandy.

1 quart cold water.

Boil the sugar and water to a clear syrup, beat in the whites of the eggs, and, when it has boiled up again well, take from the fire. Skim as it cools, and when a little more than blood-warm, pour it over half a pound of fresh rose-leaves. Cover it closely, and let it alone for twenty-four hours. Strain, and put in the second supply of leaves. On the third day put in the last half pound, and on the fourth, strain through a muslin bag. Add the brandy; strain again through a double linen bag, shake well and bottle.

This liqueur is delightful as a beverage, mixed with iced water, and invaluable where rose-flavor is desired for custards, creams or icing.

In the height of the rose-season, the requisite quantity of leaves may easily be procured. The receipt is nearly fifty years old.[373]

Orange Cream.

12 large, very sweet oranges.

2 pounds loaf sugar.

1 quart milk, warm from the cow.

1 quart best French brandy.

Grate the peel from three of the oranges, and reserve for use in preparing the liqueur. Peel the rest, and use the juice only. Pour this with the brandy over the sugar and grated rind; put into a stone jug, and let it stand three days, shaking twice a day.

Then boil the milk, which must be new, and pour hot over the mixture, stirring it in well. Cover closely. When it is quite cold, strain through a flannel bag. Put in clean, sweet bottles, seal the corks, and lay the bottles on their sides in sawdust.

It will keep well, but will be fit for drinking in a week. Mix with iced water as a beverage. It is a fine flavoring liqueur for trifles, etc.

Vanilla Liqueur.

4 fresh vanilla beans.

4 pounds loaf sugar.

1 quart cold water.

1 pint best brandy, or white whiskey.

Split the beans and cut into inch lengths. Put them to soak in the brandy for three days. Boil the sugar and water until it is a thick, clear syrup. Skim well, and strain the vanilla brandy into it. Shake, and pour into small bottles.

I have called this a liqueur, but it is so highly flavored as to be unfit for drinking, except as it is used[374] in small quantities in effervescing beverages. But it imparts an exquisite flavor to creams, whips, cakes, etc., that cannot be obtained from the distilled extracts.

The receipt was given to me as a modern prize by an expert in cookery, but in reading it over there floated to me a delicious breath from a certain storeroom, the treasures of which to my childish imagination rivalled those of the “island of delights,” where the streams were curaçoa and capillaire, and the rocks loaf sugar. Led by this wandering zephyr of early association, I did not cease my rummaging until I unearthed the same receipt from an old cookery-book bequeathed to me by my mother.




The peel of 6 lemons.

1 quart white whiskey or brandy.

Cut the rind into thin shreds; half fill three or four wide-mouthed bottles with it, and pour the spirits upon it. Cork tightly, and shake now and then for the first month. This will keep for years, and be better for age. It has this advantage over the distilled extract sold in the stores—country-stores especially, lemon extract being especially liable to spoil if kept for a few months, and tasting, when a little old, unfortunately like spirits of turpentine.


Prepare as you would lemon-peel. Put into small bottles. It is said to be an excellent stomachic taken in the proportion of a teaspoonful to a glass of iced water, and slightly sweetened.

It is very nice for flavoring the icing of orange cake.


2 vanilla beans.

½ pint white whiskey.

Split the bean, and clip with your scissors into bits, scraping out the seeds which possess the finest flavoring qualities. Put the seed and husks into the[376] bottom of a small bottle; fill up with the spirits, and cork tightly. Shake it often for a few weeks, after which it will be fit for use—and never spoil.

Bitter Almond.

½ pound of bitter almonds.

1 pint white whiskey.

Blanch the almonds, and shred (not pound them), using for this purpose a sharp knife that will not bruise the kernels. Put them into a wide-mouthed bottle; pour in the spirits, cork tightly; shake every other day for a fortnight. It will then be fit for use. Strain it as you have occasion to use it, through a bit of cloth held over the mouth of the bottle.

I introduce these directions for the domestic manufacture of such extracts as are most used in cooking:, chiefly, but not altogether for the benefit of country readers. The land—town and country—is so deluged now with makers and peddlers of “flavoring extracts,” that some, of necessity, must be indifferent in quality, if not hurtful. I have purchased from a respectable druggist in a large city, rose-water that smelled like ditch-water, and tasted worse; essence of lemon that could not be distinguished by the sense of taste or smell from varnish; and vanilla that was like nothing I had ever tasted or smelled before—least of all like heliotrope, new-mown hay, or vanilla-bean.

The answer to my complaint in each of these cases was the same. “I cannot understand it, madam. The extract is of Our Own Make, and there is no better in the American market!”[377]

In country stores the risk of getting a poor article is of course much greater. To this day, I recall with a creep of the flesh that drives a cold moisture to the surface, the unspoken (at the moment) agony with which I detected something wrong, and very far wrong in some nice-looking custards, the manufacture of which I had myself superintended, and that formed the staple of the dessert, to which I set down a couple of unexpected guests. As the first spoonful touched my tongue, I looked at John, and John looked (pityingly) at me! By mutual consent, we began to press the fruit upon our friends, and I hastened the entrance of the coffee-tray.

After dinner, we snatched a few words from one another, aside.

“The cook’s carelessness!” said he. “She got hold of the liniment-bottle by mistake.”

“It was a fresh bottle of ‘pure vanilla!’” answered I solemnly. “I saw her draw the cork!”

It was after this experience that I was assured there was “no better article in the American market.”



Apple Marmalade. Maltese cross

2 or 3 dozen tart, juicy apples, pared, cored and sliced.

A little cold water.

¾ pound of sugar to every pint of juice.

Juice of 2 lemons.

Stew the apples until tender, in just enough cold water to cover them. Drain off the juice through a cullender, and put into a porcelain or enamel kettle; stirring into it three-quarters of a pound of sugar for every pint of the liquid. Boil until it begins to jelly; strain the lemon-juice into it; put in the apples and stew pretty fast, stirring almost constantly, until the compote is thick and smooth. (If the apples are not soft all through, you had better rub them through the cullender before adding them to the boiling syrup.)

Put up the marmalade in small jars or cups, and paste paper covers over them as you would jelly, having first fitted a round of tissue-paper, dipped in brandy, upon the surface of the marmalade. Keep cool and dry.

The simple precaution of covering jellies, jams, and marmalade with brandied tissue-paper, will save the housekeeper much annoyance and inconvenience by protecting the conserve from mould. Should the fungus[379] form inside the upper cover, the inner will effectually shield the precious sweet. I have seen the space left by the shrinking of the cooled jelly between it and the metallic, or paper cover of the glass, or jar, completely filled with blue-gray mould—a miniature forest that might appear well under the microscope, but was hideous to housewifely eyes. Yet, when the tissue-paper was carefully removed, the jelly was seen to be bright, firm, and unharmed in flavor as in appearance.

Pear and Quince Marmalade. Maltese cross

2 dozen juicy pears.

10 fine, ripe quinces.

Juice of 3 lemons.

¾ pound of sugar to every pound of fruit after it is ready for cooking.

A little cold water.

Pare and core the fruit, and throw it into cold water while you stew parings and cores in a little water to make the syrup. When they have boiled to pieces strain off the liquid; when cold, put in the sliced fruit and bring to a fast boil. It should be thick and smooth before the sugar and lemon-juice go in. Cook steadily an hour longer, working with a wooden spoon to a rich jelly. When done, put into small jars while warm, but do not cover until cold.

Orange Marmalade. Maltese cross

18 sweet, ripe oranges.

6 pounds best white sugar.

Grate the peel from four oranges, and reserve it for the marmalade. The rinds of the rest will not be[380] needed. Pare the fruit carefully, removing the inner white skin as well as the yellow. Slice the orange; remove the seeds; put the fruit and grated peel in a porcelain or enamel saucepan (if the latter, those made by Lalange and Grosjean are the best), and boil steadily until the pulp is reduced to a smooth mass. Take from the fire and rub quickly through a clean, bright cullender, as the color is easily injured. Stir in the sugar, return to the fire, and boil fast, stirring constantly half an hour, or until thick. Put while warm into small jars, but do not cover until cold.

This is a handsome and delicious sweetmeat.

Dundee Orange Marmalade.

12 fine, ripe oranges.

4 pounds white sugar—the best.

3 lemons—all the juice, and the rind of one lemon.

Cut the peel of four oranges into small dice, and the rind of one lemon. Stew them in clear water until tender. Slice and seed the oranges; put them into a preserving-kettle with the juice of the lemons and cook until all are boiled down to a smooth pulp. Rub this through a cullender; return to the saucepan with the sugar, and keep at a fast boil until quite thick. Stir in the “dice” from which the water has been drained; boil two minutes longer and pour into small jars. Cover with brandied tissue-paper when quite cold, pressed close to the surface of the marmalade, then, with metal or stout paper tops.

All marmalade should be stirred constantly after the sugar goes in.

Use loaf, or granulated sugar for making marmalade—not[381] powdered. The crystals are said to make it more sparkling.

Candied Cherries.

2 quarts large, ripe, red cherries, stoned carefully.

2 lbs. loaf sugar.

1 cup water.

Make a syrup of the sugar and water and boil until it is thick enough to “pull,” as for candy. Remove to the side of the range, and stir until it shows signs of granulation. It is well to stir frequently while it is cooking, to secure this end. When there are grains, or crystals on the spoon, drop in the cherries, a few at a time. Let each supply lie in the boiling syrup two minutes, when remove to a sieve set over a dish. Shake gently but long, then turn the cherries out upon a cool, broad dish, and dry in a sunny window.

Glacé Cherries.

Make as above, but do not let the syrup granulate. It should not be stirred at all, but when it “ropes,” pour it over the cherries, which should be spread out upon a large, flat dish. When the syrup is almost cold, take these out, one by one, with a teaspoon, and spread upon a dish to dry in the open air.

If nicely managed, these are nearly as good as those put up by professional confectioners. Keep in a dry, cool place.

Candied Lemon-Peel.


12 fresh, thick-skinned lemons.

4 lbs. loaf sugar.

A little powdered alum.

3 cups clear water.

Cut the peel from the lemons in long, thin strips, and lay in strong salt and water all night. Wash them in three waters next morning, and boil them until tender in soft water. They should be almost translucent, but not so soft as to break. Dissolve a little alum—about half a teaspoonful, when powdered—in enough cold water to cover the peel, and let it lie in it for two hours. By this time the syrup should be ready. Stir the sugar into three cups of water, add the strained juice of three lemons and boil it until it “ropes” from the end of the spoon. Put the lemon-peels into this, simmer gently half an hour; take them out and spread upon a sieve. Shake, not hard, but often, tossing up the peels now and then, until they are almost dry. Sift granulated sugar over them and lay out upon a table spread with a clean cloth. Admit the air freely, and, when perfectly dry, pack in a glass jar.

Maple Syrup. Maltese cross

6 lbs. maple sugar—pure.

6 large coffee-cups of water.

Break the sugar to pieces with a stone or hammer; cover with the water—cold—and let it stand until it is nearly, or quite melted. Put over the fire and bring to a gentle boil, leaving the kettle uncovered. Boil, without stirring, until it is a pretty thick syrup.

If possible, buy maple sugar direct from the “sugar camps,” or their vicinity, and in large blocks. The pretty scolloped cakes offered by peanut venders at treble the price of the genuine article, are largely adulterated with other substances.[383]


Instead of expending my own time in covering a couple of sheets of paper with receipts touching this invaluable berry, I would direct the reader’s attention to the very admirable and comprehensive circular issued by Messrs. C. G. and E. W. Crane, as an accompaniment to their “First Premium Star Brand Cranberries,” raised in Ocean County, New Jersey. I have never seen finer, or tasted more delicious berries than those sent out with their stamp upon the crates, and I consider that I am doing my fellow-housekeepers a substantial service by this unqualified commendation of the same. The berries are larger, firmer and of richer flavor than those one is accustomed to see in the markets (and to buy, knowing no better), and certainly delivered in a more sightly and wholesome condition.

The receipts go with them, and are clear, safe, and excellent.

The plantations on which the “Star Berries” are grown are in Cassville, Ocean County, New Jersey.

Peanut Candy. (Very nice.)

1 scant pint of molasses.

4 quarts of peanuts, measured before they are shelled.

2 table-spoonfuls of vanilla.

1 teaspoonful of soda.

Boil the molasses until it hardens in cold water, when dropped from the spoon. Stir in the vanilla—then the soda, dry. Lastly, the shelled peanuts. Turn out into shallow pans well buttered, and press it down smooth with a wooden spoon.[384]

I can heartily recommend the candy made according to this receipt as being unrivalled of its kind.

The molasses should be good in quality, and the peanuts freshly roasted.

Dotty Dimple’s Vinegar Candy. Maltese cross

3 cups white sugar.

1½ cups clear vinegar.

Stir the sugar into the vinegar until thoroughly dissolved; heat to a gentle boil and stew, uncovered, until it ropes from the tip of the spoon. Turn out upon broad dishes, well buttered, and cool. So soon as you are able to handle it without burning your fingers, begin to pull it, using only the tips of your fingers. It can be “pulled” beautifully white and porous.

Those who have read Sophie May’s delightful “Little Prudy,” and “Dotty Dimple” series, will remember the famous “vinegar candy.”

Lemon-Cream Candy. Maltese cross

6 pounds best white sugar.

Strained juice of 2 lemons.

Grated peel of 1 lemon.

1 teaspoonful of soda.

3 cups clear water.

Steep the grated peel of the lemon in the juice for an hour; strain, squeezing the cloth hard to get out all the strength. Pour the water over the sugar, and, when nearly dissolved, set it over the fire and bring to a boil. Stew steadily until it hardens in cold water; stir in the[385] lemon; boil one minute; add the dry soda, stirring in well; and, instantly, turn out upon broad, shallow dishes. Pull, as soon as you can handle it, into long white ropes, and cut into lengths when brittle.

Vanilla cream candy is made in the same way, with the substitution of vanilla flavoring for the lemon-juice and peel.

These home-made candies furnish pleasant diversions for the children on winter evening and rainy days, and are far more wholesome than those sold in the shops.

Chocolate Caramels.

1 cup rich, sweet cream.

1 cup brown sugar.

1 cup white sugar.

7 table-spoonfuls vanilla chocolate.

1 table-spoonful corn-starch, stirred into the cream.

1 table-spoonful of butter.

Vanilla flavoring.

Soda, the size of a pea, stirred into cream.

Boil all the ingredients except the chocolate and vanilla extract, half an hour, stirring to prevent burning. Reserve half of the cream and wet up the chocolate in it, adding a very little water if necessary. Draw the saucepan to the side of the range, and stir this in well; put back on the fire and boil ten minutes longer, quite fast, stirring constantly. When it makes a hard glossy coat on the spoon, it is done. Add the vanilla after taking it from the range. Turn into shallow dishes well buttered. When cold enough to retain the impression of the knife, cut into squares.[386]

Marbled Cream Candy. (Good.)

4 cups white sugar.

1 cup rich sweet cream.

1 cup water.

1 table-spoonful of butter.

1 table-spoonful vinegar.

Bit of soda the size of a pea, stirred in cream.

Vanilla extract.

3 table-spoonfuls of chocolate—grated.

Boil all the ingredients except half the cream, the chocolate and vanilla, together very fast until it is a thick, ropy syrup. Heat in a separate saucepan the reserved cream, into which you must have rubbed the grated chocolate. Let it stew until quite thick, and when the candy is done, add a cupful of it to this, stirring in well.

Turn the uncolored syrup out upon broad dishes, and pour upon it, here and there, great spoonfuls of the chocolate mixture. Pull as soon as you can handle it with comfort, and with the tips of your fingers only. If deftly manipulated, it will be streaked with white and brown.

Chocolate Cream Drops.

1 cake vanilla chocolate.

3 cups of powdered sugar.

1 cup soft water.

2 table-spoonfuls corn-starch or arrowroot.

1 table-spoonful butter.

2 teaspoonfuls vanilla.

Wash from the butter every grain of salt. Stir the[387] sugar and water together; mix in the corn-starch, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to induce granulation. Boil about ten minutes, when add the butter. Take from the fire and beat as you would eggs, until it begins to look like granulated cream. Put in the vanilla; butter your hands well, make the cream into balls about the size of a large marble, and lay upon a greased dish.

Meanwhile, the chocolate should have been melted by putting it (grated fine) into a tin pail or saucepan and plunging it into another of boiling water. When it is a black syrup, add about two table-spoonfuls of powdered sugar to it, beat smooth, turn out upon a hot dish, and roll the cream-balls in it until sufficiently coated. Lay upon a cold dish to dry, taking care that they do not touch one another.

Sugar Candy. Maltese cross

6 cups of white sugar.

½ cup of butter.

2 table-spoonfuls of vinegar.

½ teaspoonful of soda.

1 cup cold water.

Vanilla flavoring.

Pour water and vinegar upon the sugar, and let them stand, without stirring, until the sugar is melted. Set over the fire and boil fast until it “ropes.” Put in the butter; boil hard two minutes longer, add the dry soda, stir it in and take at once from the fire. Flavor when it ceases to effervesce.

Turn out upon greased dishes, and pull with the tips of your fingers until white.



For Sudden Hoarseness. Maltese cross

Roast a lemon in the oven, turning now and then, that all sides may be equally cooked. It should not crack, or burst, but be soft all through. Just before going to bed take the lemon (which should be very hot), cut a piece from the top, and fill it with as much white sugar as it will hold.

“Chock-full—do you mean?” asked an old gentleman to whom I recommended the palatable remedy.

“If that is very full—pressed down, and running over—I mean chock-full!” I replied.

Eat all the sugar, filling the lemon with more, as you find it becoming acid.

This simple remedy induces gentle perspiration, besides acting favorably upon the clogged membranes of the throat. I have known it to prove wonderfully efficacious in removing severe attacks of hoarseness.


And far less pleasant prescription, is a teaspoonful of vinegar made thick with common salt. Having myself been, in earlier years, more than once the grateful victim of its severely benevolent agency, I cannot but endorse the dose.

But—try the lemon first.[389]

For Sore Throat. Maltese cross

1 drachm chlorate of potassa dissolved in 1 cupful of hot water.

Let it cool; take a table-spoonful three times a day, and gargle with the same, every hour.

Before retiring at night, rub the outside of the throat, especially the soft portions opposite the tonsils, with a little cold water, made so thick with common salt that the crystals will scratch the skin smartly. Do this faithfully until there is a fair degree of external irritation; then, bind a bit of flannel about the throat.

Free use of cracked or pounded ice is also admirable for sore throat of every kind. The patient should hold bits of ice in his mouth and let them slowly dissolve.

Desperate cases of ulcerated sore throat are sometimes relieved by the constant use of this and the chlorate of potassa gargle.

For a Cough.

Eat slowly, three or four times a day, six lumps of sugar, saturated with the very best whiskey you can get.

Having tested this “old woman’s prescription” for myself, and found in it the messenger of healing to a cough of several months’ standing which had set physicians and cod-liver oil at defiance, I write it down here without scruples or doubt.

For Cholera Symptoms, Maltese cross

Summer complaint, or any of the numerous forms of diseased bowels—pin a bandage of red flannel as[390] tightly about the abdomen as is consistent with comfort, having first heated it well at the fire or register. The application is inexpressibly soothing to the racked and inflamed intestines, and will, sometimes, combined with perfect quiet on the part of the patient, and judicious diet, cure even dysentery without medicine. Persons who have chronic maladies of this class should wear the red flannel bandage constantly.

For years, this has been my invariable treatment of the disorders which are, particularly in the summer, the torment of children and terror of mothers, and the results have been most gratifying. I keep in what may be called my “accident drawer,” red flannel, divided into bandages of various lengths, and to these is recourse had in slight, and even violent cases, instead of to drugs. If the patient is suffering intense pain, steep a flannel pad large enough to cover the affected part, in hot spirits (you may add a little laudanum in severe cases) and bind upon the abdomen with the flannel bandage, renewing whenever the sufferer feels that it is growing cold.

Above all things else, keep the patient quiet in bed, if possible, but in a recumbent position—and the feet warm with flannel or bottles of hot water. These are always preferable to bricks, or hot boards for warming the extremities, being clean, safe and good preservers of heat.

The diet should be light and nourishing, avoiding liquids and acids as much as possible. Let the patient quench his thirst by holding small bits of ice in his mouth, or, if he must drink, let him have mucilaginous beverages, such as gum-arabic water. The burning[391] thirst consequent upon these diseases may be measurably allayed by eating, very slowly, dry gum arabic, which has, likewise, curative qualities.

Mustard Plasters. Maltese cross

It should be more generally known that a few drops of sweet oil, or lard, rubbed lightly over the surface of a mustard plaster, will prevent it from blistering the skin. The patient may fearlessly wear it all night, if he can bear the burning better than the pain it has relieved temporarily, and be none the worse for the application. This, I know, to be infallible, and those who have felt the torture of a mustard-blister, should rejoice to become acquainted with this easy and sure preventive.

A mustard plaster is an excellent remedy for severe and obstinate nausea. It must be applied, hot, to the pit of the stomach. In less serious cases, flannel, dipped in hot camphor, wrung out and applied, still smoking, will often succeed. A drop of camphor in a single teaspoonful of water, given every twenty minutes, for an hour or so, is also a good palliative of nausea.

For Nausea. Maltese cross

But the specific for nausea, from whatever cause, is Hosford’s Acid Phosphate, a by no means unpleasant medicine. Put twenty drops into a goblet of ice-water; add a little sugar, and let the patient sip it, a teaspoonful, at a time, every ten or fifteen minutes. Or, where more active measures are required, give a drop in a teaspoonful of water, every five minutes for an[392] hour. At the same time use the mustard plaster as above directed.

My reader, to whatever “school” she may belong, would not frown at what may seem to her like unlawful dabbling in the mysteries of medicine, had she stood with me beside the bed of a woman who had not been able, for three days and nights, to retain a particle of nourishment upon her stomach; who was pronounced by physicians to be actually dying of nausea—and seen her relieved of all dangerous symptoms, within the hour, by the harmless palliative I have named.

Inter nos, sister mine, in the matter of drugs I am heterodox, choosing, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, to trust dear old, Mother Nature, and skillful, intelligent nursing. But to become a good nurse one should possess some knowledge of Materia Medica, especially in the matter of what are known as “simples.”

For Chapped Hands and Lips. Maltese cross

First, wash the hands with Indian, or oatmeal and water, and wipe them perfectly dry. Then—do this just before retiring for the night—rub the chapped members well with melted—not hot-mutton-tallow, “tried out” pur et simple, or beaten up, while warm, with a little rose-water. Lubricate thoroughly; draw a pair of old kid gloves—never black ones—upon your hands, and do not remove them until morning. A single application will usually effect a cure, but should it fail, repeat the treatment for two or three nights.[393]

For Sore Eyes. Maltese cross

Beat up half a teaspoonful of powdered alum to a curd with the white of an egg; spread upon soft linen, and lay on the inflamed lid. It is a soothing, and often potent remedy.

Strong tea, black, green, or mixed, strained and cold, is an excellent eye-wash. At night, lay cold tea-leaves within a soft linen bag, squeeze almost dry, and bind over the eye.

For a stye, many physicians advise the sufferer to take internally brewer’s yeast, a table-spoonful at a dose. It is sometimes singularly successful, being a good purifier of the blood.

Mixture for Cleaning Black Cloth, or Worsted Dresses.

Equal quantities of strong black tea and alcohol.

Fine scented soap.

Dip a sponge in boiling water, squeeze as dry as you can, and rub while hot, upon the sweet soap. Wet with the mixture of tea and alcohol, and sponge the worsted material to be cleaned, freely. Bub the spots hard, washing out the sponge frequently in hot water, then squeezing it. Finally, sponge off the whole surface of the cloth quickly with the mixture, wiping always in one direction if you are cleansing broadcloth.

Iron, while very damp, on the wrong side.

Cleansing Cream.


1 ounce pure glycerine.

1 ounce ether.

1 ounce spirits of wine.

¼ pound best Castile soap.

¼ pound ammonia.

The soap must be scraped fine, the rest of the materials worked into it.

To use it, wet a soft flannel cloth with it; rub grease and dirt-spots upon worsted garments or black silk, until the cloth is well impregnated with the cream. Then sponge off with clean hot water, and rub dry with a clean cloth.

To Clean Marble. Maltese cross

The pumice soap made by the Indexical Soap Manufacturing Co., Boston, Mass., is the best preparation I have ever used for removing dirt and stains from marble. I have even extracted ink-spots with it. Wet a soft flannel cloth, rub on the soap, then on the stain, and wash the whole surface of mantel or slab with the same, to take off dust, grease, etc. Wash off with fair water, and rub dry. The polish of the marble is rather improved than injured by the process. The same soap is invaluable in a family for removing ink, fruit-stains, and even paint from the hands. The makers of the pumice soap, Robinson & Co., are also the manufacturers of the “silver soap,” for cleaning plate which has nearly superseded all plate-powders, whiting, etc., formerly used for this purpose.

Pumpkin Flour. Maltese cross

I remind myself, comically, while jotting down these items of domestic practicalities, of the lucky chicken of the brood, who, not content with having secured her tit-bit of crumb, seed, or worm, noisily calls the attention[395] of all her sisters to the fact. I never secure even a small prize in the housewifely line, but I am seized with the desire to spread the knowledge of the same.

About three months ago, my very courteous and intelligent grocer (I think sometimes, that nobody else was ever blessed with such merchants of almost every article needed for family use, as those with whom I deal) handed me, for inspection, a small box of what looked like yellow tooth-powder, and smelled like vanilla and orris-root. It was pumpkin flour, he explained—the genuine pumpkin, desiccated by the “Alden process,” and ground very fine. I took it home for the sake of the goodly smell, and because it looked “nice.”

The pies made from it were delicious beyond all my former experience in Thanksgiving desserts—a soft, smooth, luscious custard, procured without cost of stewing, straining, etc. And the flavor of them upon the tongue fully justified the promise of the odor that had bewitched me. It is seldom in a lifetime that one finds a thing which looks “nice,” smells nicer, and tastes nicest of all. If you, dearest and patientest of readers, who never quarrel with my digressions, and hearken indulgently to my rhodomontades, doubt now whether I am in very earnest, try my pumpkin flour, and bear witness with me to its excellence.[B]

Another Treasure.

Those who are fond of Julienne soups, and would oftener please themselves and their families by making [396]or ordering them, were not the work of preparing the vegetables properly, tedious, and so often a failure, should not hesitate to purchase freely the packages of shred and dried vegetables now put up expressly for Julienne soups, and sold in nearly all first-class groceries. They are imported from France, but are not at all expensive. Full directions for their use accompany them.

Seymour Pudding.

½ cup of molasses.

½ cup of milk.

½ cup of raisins, seeded, and cut in half.

½ cup of currants.

½ cup of suet, powdered.

½ teaspoonful of soda.

1 egg.

1½ cups of Graham flour.

Spice, and salt to taste.

Boil, or steam for 2½ hours.

Strawberry Shortcake.

1 cup of powdered sugar.

1 table-spoonful of butter, rubbed into the sugar.

3 eggs.

1 cup prepared flour—a heaping cup.

2 table-spoonfuls of cream.

Bake in three jelly-cake tins.

When quite cold, lay between the cakes nearly a quart of fresh, ripe strawberries. Sprinkle each layer lightly with powdered sugar, and strew the same thickly over the uppermost cake. Eat while fresh.[397]

Welsh Rarebit.

½ pound of English cheese.

3 eggs, well beaten.

1 scant cup of fine bread-crumbs.

3 table-spoonfuls of butter, melted.

2 teaspoonfuls of made mustard.

1 saltspoonful of salt.

Mix all well together, and beat to a smooth paste. Have ready some slices of toasted bread, from which the crust has been pared; spread them thickly with the mixture, and set them upon the upper grating of the oven until they are slightly browned. Serve at once.



Only a few, lest the patience I have already had occasion—and more than once—to praise, should fail at the last pages. And if, in my desire to be brief, I seem abrupt, you will understand that it is not because I do not enjoy talking with, and at you.

Be honest with me! Have you ever, in studying these two volumes which I have tried to make as little dry as the subject would admit, whispered, or thought something that implied a likeness between the author and the anonymous gentleman, in whose garden—

“The wild brier,
The thorn and the thistle grew higher and higher?”

I used to know Watts from title-page to “finis.” I have taken pains to forget the creaking numbers of his pious machinery of late years. But wasn’t the aforesaid personage the one who “talked of eating and drinking?” Have you ever said, ’twixt amusement and impatience, “This woman thinks all women born to be cooks, and nothing more?” As I look at the matter of every-day and necessary duty—the routine of common life—“common” meaning anything but vulgar—there are certain things which must be learned, whether one have a natural bias for them or no. All men and women who would maintain a respectable[399] position in this enlightened land at this day, must learn how to read and write; must possess a fair knowledge of the multiplication-table, have a tolerably correct impression as to what hemisphere and zone they live in, whether in a kingdom or republic; must be able to describe the shape of the earth, and to tell who is the President of the United States. Next to these, in my opinion, stands the necessity that every woman should know how to use her needle deftly, and have a practical acquaintance with the leading principles of cookery. The acquisition of these homely accomplishments can never, in any circumstances, harm her. The probability is, that she cannot perform her part aright as spinster, wife, mother, or mistress without them.

I have a lovely child waiting for me on the “thither shore,” whose many playful and earnest sayings are still quoted by us in our family talks, quite as often with smiles as with tears. Hers was a sunny life. We knew that should the Father prolong her earthly existence into womanhood, the power of making her happiness would be no longer ours. But while our children were children, to us belonged the precious prerogative of flooding their hearts with delight, making of home a haven of joy and peace they would never forget, whatever the coming years might bring. Our darling, then, was a happy, healthy child, and symmetrical in mind as body—learning readily, and usually with ease, the simple lessons suited to her years. Yet at nine years of age, she said to me one night before going to bed:

“Mamma, when I remember as I lay my head on the pillow, every night, that I have to say the 9 column[400] of the multiplication-table to-morrow, I could almost wish that I could die in my sleep, and the morning never come!”

With my heart aching in the great pity I could ill-express to one so young, I took her in my arms and told her of the need she would have, in after-life, of the knowledge gained so hardly; how, setting aside the actual utility of the multiplication-table, she would be better, wiser, stronger, always for the discipline of the study.

She lived to laugh at the recollection of the fearful bug-bear. Do I recall the incident with the least shade of remorse that I did not yield to my compassion and her pleading eyes, and remit, for good and all, the dreaded exercise? On the contrary, I am thankful the strength was given me to teach her how to battle and to conquer. And—I say it in no irreverent spirit of speculation—I have faith to believe that in the richer, deeper life beyond, she still, in some way or sense, reaps the good of that which she won by resolute labor, and by the victory over her faint-heartedness.

I have thought of the little circumstance, a hundred times, when women have bemoaned themselves, in my hearing, over the hardship of being compelled to “understand something about housekeeping.”

Since the “understanding” is a need, and patent even to their unwilling eyes, what say Common Sense and Duty?

My dear, I would not breathe it if there were a man within possible hearing—but are you not sometimes ashamed that women are content to know and to do so little in this world?[401]

“So are many men!” True, but that is the look-out of masculine philanthropists—not ours. How many ladies in your circle of acquaintances are willing—much less eager to do anything, except the positive and well-defined work laid upon them by custom and society? How many enter into the full meaning, and have any just appreciation of the beauty of the duties especially appointed to them, of the glory and solemnity of maternity, the high honor of being the custodians of others’ happiness so long as life shall last; God’s deputies upon earth in the work of training immortal souls; of forming the characters and lives that shall outlive the sun?

How many—to descend to a very plain and practical question—could, if bereft of fortune to-morrow or next week, or next year, earn a living for themselves, to say nothing of their children?

I talked out this last-named question on paper, a few months ago; threw arguments and conclusions into a form which I hoped would prove more attractive to the general reader, than a didactic essay. The last favor I shall ask of you before closing this volume, is that you will read my unpretending story through, and answer to yourself, if not to me and the public, the question put in the title.




I am going to think this matter out to a practical issue, if it takes me all night!” said Mrs. Hiller, positively. “It may be that I am rowing against wind and tide, as you say, but I will hold to the oars until I am hopelessly swamped, or reach land!”

Her husband laughed. Not sneeringly; but as good-natured men always do laugh when women talk of finding their way out of a labyrinth by means of the clue of argument.

“You will accomplish no more than your conventions and women’s rights books”—

“Don’t call them mine!” protested the wife.

“I speak of the sex at large, my love. No more, then, than women’s rights books and conventions have achieved. All their battle for the equality of the sexes; the liberation of women from the necessity of marriage as a means of livelihood; for more avenues of remunerative labor, and the acknowledgment of the dignity of the same—now that the smoke has cleared away, and combatants and spectators can look about them—is seen to have resulted in nothing, or next to nothing. You have encouraged a few more women to paint poor pictures, and spoil blocks and plates in attempts to practise engraving; put some at bookkeepers’ desks where they are half paid; crowded the[403] board-rooms of our public schools with applicants at the rate of a hundred for each vacancy; induced a similar rush upon telegraph offices, and every other place where ‘light, lady-like labor’ can be procured; brought down, rather than raised the salaries in each of these departments of industry—and made marriage more than ever the summum bonum of every thinking workwoman—the shining gate that is to give her liberation from ill-requited toil.”

“Philip! how you exaggerate!”

“Not in the least, my dear, sanguine wife! Who puts on her rose-colored spectacles whenever the subject of ‘woman’s emancipation’ is brought forward. I have studied this matter as closely as you have; hopefully, for a while, but, of late, with the fast-growing conviction that Nature and Society yoked are too strong a team for you to pull against. Combat the assertion as you will,—it is natural for a woman to look forward to matrimony as her happiest destiny; to desire, and to bring it about by every means which seems to her consistent with modesty and self-respect. And to this conclusion Society holds her by the refusal to receive into the ‘best circles’ her who earns her living by her own labor. Mrs. Million treads the charmed arena by virtue of her husband’s wealth. But, when Mrs. Sangpur is envious of her dear friend’s latest turn-out in equipage, dress, or furniture, she recurs, tauntingly, to the time when Mrs. Million was a work-girl in Miss Fitwell’s establishment, and shrugs her patrician shoulders over ‘new people.’ As Miss Fitwell’s assistant, forewoman, and successor, Miss Bias—now Mrs. Million—were she rich, refined, beautiful,[404] could yet never hope for a card even to one of Mrs. Sangpur’s mass parties.”

“But there are distinctions of social degree, Philip, which must be maintained. You don’t bring your bootmaker home to dine with Judge Wright, or Honorable Senator Rider.”

“I am not a reformer, my love. When my bootmaker fits himself for the society of those you name, he will be welcomed by them, and his early history referred to as an honor, not disgrace. The annals of Court and Congress will tell you this. To return to the original question; I insist there is a want of practicalness—I won’t say of common sense—in your reform, as heretofore conducted; that no one woman in five thousand, especially in what are called the higher walks of life, is able to support herself, or would be allowed by popular sentiment to do so, were she able. There is a screw loose somewhere, and very loose at that. I, for one, am never rid of the rattle. Maybe, because I am the father of three daughters. If I had sons, I should be condemned by the entire community; stand convicted at the bar of my own conscience, if I had not trained each of them to some trade or profession. As it is, the case stands thus: I may live long enough to accumulate a fair competency for each of my girls, a sum, the interest of which will support her comfortably; for she, being a woman, will never increase the bulk of the principal. My more reasonable hope is to see her married to an energetic business man, or one who has inherited a fortune and knows how to take care of it. This accomplished, parental responsibility is supposed to end, so far as provision for the life[405] that now is, goes. If her husband should fail, or die a poor man—the Lord help her and her children—if I cannot!”

He was not talking flippantly now. As he knocked the ashes from the tip of his cigar into the grate, his face was grave to sorrowfulness.

“Our girls have been carefully educated,” said Mrs. Hiller, a little hurt at the turn the dialogue had taken. “In this country a thorough education is a fortune. They could set up a school.”

“To compete with a thousand others conducted by those who have been trained expressly for this profession; whom constant practice has made au fait to the ever-changing modes of instruction and fashionable text-books. Why, I, whose Latin salutatory was praised as a model of classic composition, and who read Horace, Sallust, and Livy in the original almost every day, cannot understand more than half the quotations spouted in the court-house and at lawyers’ dinners, by youngsters who have learned the ‘continental method’ of pronunciation. I cannot even parse English, for the very parts of speech are disguised under new names. A noun-substantive is something else, an article is a pronoun, and, what with adjuncts, subjects, and modifiers, I stand abashed in the presence of a ten-year-old in the primary department of a public school. Our girls might go out as daily governesses at a dollar a day, or run their chances of getting music scholars away from professionals by offering lessons at half price. They are good, intelligent, and industrious. I don’t deny their ability to make a bare living, if forced to do it. I don’t believe they could do more. When[406] the rainy day comes, He who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, must be their helper. Let us hope that day will never dawn. And by way of additional provision against it, I must leave you for an hour or two, to keep an engagement with a client. Don’t let the memory of our talk depress you. We won’t cross the bridge before we come to it. Here is ‘Old Kensington’ to amuse you. You know, darling, that I would work brains and fingers to nothing rather than have you and the lassies want for so much as the ‘latest thing’ in neck ribbons. And so would any man who is worthy of the name.”

“I know you would.”

The elderly love-couple gazed into each other’s eyes, exchanged a good-bye kiss as fondly as at their partings twenty-three years before.

“I could ask no fairer destiny for my daughters than has been mine,” murmured the mother, resettling herself in her luxurious chair before the sea-coal fire, and putting out her hand for the book the thoughtful kindness of her husband had provided for her evening’s entertainment. “But to every prize, there are so many blanks! It is worse for a woman to sell herself for a home and a livelihood than for her to fight, hand-to-hand with poverty, all her life. If girls would only believe this. I mean that mine shall!

She did not open the book yet. Unrest and dissatisfaction were in the face that studied the seething, glowing pile in the grate.

“There are the Payne girls, for instance!” she said, presently, with increasing discomfort.

The book lay, still shut, in her lap. She folded her[407] hands upon it; lay back in the chair, and did not move again in an hour. She was “thinking it out;” pulling: hard on the oar in the teeth of head-wind and fog.

She was haunted by the Payne girls. Their father, a popular physician, had lived handsomely; worked hard; been exemplary in his home, his profession, in church, and in city. He sent his five daughters to the best schools, and fitted them by culture and dress to make a creditable appearance in the world—the only world they cared for—a round of visits, parties and show-places for marriageable young people of both sexes. They were nice girls, said complaisant Everybody. Not beautiful, or gifted, but sprightly, well-bred and amiable—the very material out of which to make good wives and mothers. Two did marry before the sad day on which their father was brought home in an apoplectic fit, from which he never rallied. They married for love, but not imprudently. Their husbands were merchants with fair prospects, steady, enterprising, moral young men, who were yet not quite disposed to be burdened with the care of a maiden sister-in-law-and-a-half apiece in addition to the support of their families proper. That somebody would have to “look after the unmarried daughters” was soon bruited about. There were two boys—five and ten years old—to be educated; the widow to be provided for, and, when the estate was settled up, nothing except a life-insurance of eighteen thousand dollars was left with which to compass all this. Tenderhearted Everybody was sorry for the fatherless boys; sorrier for the widow, who had loved her husband very truly; sorriest for “the Payne girls.” Before their[408] mourning was rusty, appreciative Everybody began to nudge Everybody Else slyly, when in company with the Payne girls, to call attention to the fact, daily more and more palpable, that the sisters three were anxious to get married. Not more anxious, if the secrets of feminine hearts had been revealed, than were dozens of others in their set, but they had not the art to dissemble their eagerness. Nobody stayed his, or her laugh at them by considering that, since they had deliberately, conscientiously, and humanely determined to relieve their mother from the crushing weight of their dependence, and saw no other way of doing this than by selling themselves in the licensed and respectable shambles of matrimony, they should have been commended for doing with all their might whatsoever their hands found to do. They angled earnestly, but with a zeal so little according to knowledge that the most bull-headed gudgeon in the preserved waters of bachelor and widowerdom scorned to be imposed upon by the bait. They borrowed the finery of their better-off sisters; made their own and their mother’s over and over again; went every where and tried every phase of fascination, “from grave to gay, from lively to severe,” until their eager, ceaseless smiles wore wrinkles about lips and eyes that ill-natured Everybody called crows-feet, and the tales of their fawnings, toadyisms, and manœuvres were stale in the ears of greedy Everybody—yet were still, at thirty-six, thirty-eight, and forty years of age, the Payne girls, “whose brothers were now able to do something for them.” What more suitable than that these fine young fellows—one of whom had chosen his father’s profession, while the other had gone into partnership with his[409] brother-in-law, should bind pillions upon their backs whereon their sisters could ride in reputable indolence, behind the wives they had wedded and had a right to cherish?

“It was a pity,” considerate Everybody now began to whisper, “that they should be thus hampered; but what else could be done?”

Mrs. Hiller’s fresh-colored, matronly face might well be grave, as she recounted these things to herself, had the history of the Payne girls been an isolated case.

“But they are a type of so many!” she said, sadly. “Society is encrusted with such, like barnacles sticking to a ship. There is Lewis Carter, one of the ablest young lawyers at the bar, Philip says. He and Annie Morton have been in love with one another ever since he was twenty-one, and she nineteen, ten years ago. It is eight since his father died, and left him in charge of his mother and three sisters, only one of whom is younger than himself. They have not married, and, until they do, he cannot. Annie may wait for him until they are both fifty years old and upward—maybe all their lives—for the older the sisters grow, the more dependent they will become. They make a pleasant home for him, people say; manage his money judiciously, and fairly worship their benefactor. Yet he must compare them, mentally, to leeches, when he reflects how youth and hope are ebbing out of his heart and Annie’s. No doubt leeches are sincerely attached to what they feed upon. What right have they to expect a support from him, more than he from them? They are strong and well, and as much money[410] was spent upon their education as upon his. Housekeepers, forsooth! Does it take four women to keep one man’s house?”

She was rowing very hard now, and the fog was denser than ever.

“There is Mr. Sibthorpe, with his four girls and three boys, and a salary, as bank-teller, of two thousand dollars a year. The daughters all ‘took’ French and music lessons at school. One of them is ‘passionately fond’ of worsted work; another does decalcomanie flower-pots and box-covers for fairs, and all crochet in various stitches, and one is great upon tatting. They ‘help about house,’ as our grandmothers used to say, all four of them; do contrive, with the aid of their mother and a strapping Irish girl, to keep the housework tolerably in hand, and ‘have in’ a dressmaker and seamstress, spring and fall, to give them a fresh start. They don’t read a book through once a year; they have no connected plans about anything, except to appear as well as girls whose fathers are worth ten times as much as is theirs—and to get married! They murder time by inches while waiting for the four coming men; mince it into worthlessness with their pitiful fal-lals of fancy work and the fine arts (save the mark!). Evelyn told me, the other day, that the sprig of wax hyacinths she showed me—a stiff, tasteless spike, that smelled of oil and turpentine—‘occupied’ her for ten hours! What will become of them when their pale, overworked father dies? It is frightful to think of a vessel thus freighted and cumbered being tied to safety by such a worn, frayed cord as that one man’s life.”[411]

A dash of sleety rain against the window interrupted her.

“Philip said there would be a storm before morning. I wonder if he took his umbrella? He never thinks of himself. I am sorry he had to go out at all with such a cold.”

“One man’s life!” What flung the words back at her? What had she and her petted daughters between them and comparative—maybe absolute—poverty, save the life of this man, who, with a heavy cold on his lungs, had gone out into the fierce March night? Who would dare prophesy that his dream of amassing a competency for his children would be fulfilled? Why should she be vexing her soul with speculations about the Payne, and the Carter, and the Sibthorpe girls, when other women, as wise and far-sighted as she, were perhaps asking aloud, in friendly or impertinent gossip over their respective firesides, what would become of the “poor Hillers,” in the event of their father’s death.

She felt very much as if her barque had, like Robinson Crusoe’s ship,

“with a shock,
Struck plump on a rock!”

What were her daughters good for, if the question should arise how to keep the wolf from their own door? There was Philip’s life-insurance (everybody insured his life nowadays) of fifteen thousand dollars, secured to herself; and this house in which they lived, the lowest valuation of which was twenty thousand—and something—she wasn’t sure how much besides. That is, she supposed something would be left when all outstanding[412] accounts were paid. Say, however, that they would have thirty-five thousand clear. At six per cent. interest, this would bring, she estimated, after a pause, an income of twenty-one hundred dollars per annum. Provided she sold the house! That was a pang, even in imagination. Out of this sum must come rent, fuel, clothes, and a thousand etceteras for a family of four grown people, whose present income was, at the least, ten thousand a year.

“Good Heavens!” The rosy face blanched even under the ruddy rays of the sea-coal fire. “Say, then, that we were worth fifty thousand dollars, free of incumbrance. That would be only three thousand a year; and, as Philip says, we could do nothing to increase the principal. Why we would have to be economical, if we had double that sum. And few men’s estates yield more. How do widows and orphans who have been reared in luxury, live, when the strong staff is broken? I seem never to have understood until this instant what helpless wretches women are; how most helpless of all classes are those who know themselves, and who have always been known as ladies, born and bred. Is there a remedy, a preventive for this? Is it impracticable to throw out an anchor to windward? What was the origin of this insane, wicked, cruel prejudice against independent thought and vigorous work on the part of women, that fills every rank of life with miserable wives, and mothers who ought never to be entrusted with the care of children? Does He, who can make even wickedness the instrument of His purposes, permit this to flourish rank in Christian lands, that the world may be lawfully populated?”[413]

In the boat again, and in very deep, murky waters, but tugging at the oar with all the energy of her practical, common-sensible character.

“Philip says teaching does not pay any longer; nor painting, nor music, nor fine sewing. What does?”

Through the smooth, oily heart of the big lump of coal on the top of the mass in the grate, placed there carefully by Mr. Hiller’s tongs before he went out, ran a concealed layer of slate, not wider than a man’s finger, nor thicker than a plate of mica. But when the fire touched it, it cracked, and the big, justly-balanced lump exploded with force that sent the fragments helter-skelter in every direction.

Mrs. Hiller jumped up with a little scream, and shook her dress violently, inspected every flounce, lest the flutings might harbor a live coal or spark.

“All safe, fortunately,” she congratulated herself, after brushing off rug and fender, and pushing her chair a few paces further from the hearth. “It is a real calamity to scorch a dress in this day, when one pays so much for having it made. Our bills are absolutely shameful. Whoever loses money, or fails to make it, the milliners and dressmakers ought to be fat and flourishing. Their profits must be enormous, yet all of them—the competent and obliging ones—are overrun with work. Madame Champe, for example, gives herself the airs of a queen dispensing favors, when she consents to undertake a dress for me.”

At that instant, with that tart speech, Mrs. Hiller reached land and beached her boat.

The three girls did not return home from the party to which they had gone until twelve o’clock. The rain[414] had not touched them in the close coach their father always hired for them on such occasions. Tossing off their wrappings as they ran, they trooped into their mother’s sitting-room, adjoining her chamber, where she awaited them.

“With such a superlugious home-sy fire! bright and warm as her own heart,” chattered Blanche, the youngest, rushing forward to throw herself on the rug at her mother’s knee. “And a heavenly cup of tea! I enter now into the full comprehension of the reason why it is called the celestial herb,” sniffing the air. “There never was, there never will be, there never could be, such another mamma.”

“You are right there!” cried the others, kissing her less noisily, but as fondly, as did the madcap of the flock.

Any mother might be proud of the trio, clustered about her, sipping the tea they declared to be more delicious than all the delicacies of the supper table; talking as fast as their nimble tongues could move of what they had done, and seen, and heard, since she had superintended their toilets, four hours before. That the understanding between her and them was perfect, hearty, and joyous, was plain.

Emma, the eldest, was twenty-one, tall, shapely, with a complexion and gait that bespoke healthy nervous organization, a sound mind and judgment. Her excellent sense and happy temper made her a safe counsellor, as well as agreeable companion, for her more volatile sisters. She dressed tastefully, as did they all; moved with composed grace through a systematic round of daily duties; was her father’s pride, the[415] mother’s helper, and not a whit less popular in her circle than if she had been both wit and beauty, whereas she was neither.

Imogen was far handsomer, a decided blonde, while Emma had gray eyes and dark hair. The second daughter liked to set off her fairness by all justifiable and lady-like appliances of art and fashion, and knew how to do it. She was never florid or conspicuous in appearance, yet never en déshabille in the simplest attire. Her clothes became a part of her so soon as she put them on. A few touches of her deft fingers brought fitness out of disorder; added the nameless, inestimable air we term “style,” for the want of a fitter word, to whatever she touched or wore. A very busy bee she was in her way, with a mania for renovating her own paraphernalia and that of everybody else who would allow her the privilege; giving to the parlors, which were her especial charge, a new aspect every day by the variety of her elegant devices.

Blanche—eighteen and just “out,” was petite in figure, with light, fluffy hair, dancing blue eyes and small white teeth that somehow made more arch her merry smile. She was the pet and the mischief-maker of the household, affectionate and frolicsome, with innumerable tricksy, yet dainty ways that belonged only to herself; quick of wit and fearless of tongue, and facile in hand as Imogen, her room-mate and confederate in all her schemes of pleasure or work.

“Emma lays the foundation; Imogen builds thereupon. Mine is the ornamental department—the glossing over and decking, after the scaffold is down,” she had once said.[416]

The mother recalled it, now, watching them as with unsealed eyes, and was confirmed in the resolutions which were the fruit of her evening’s musings.

“Away to bed, magpies!” she said, at length, “I won’t hear a word more! You are warmed and refreshed now. And unless you go soon, you will not be down in season to recount your adventures and conquests to papa at breakfast. He considers himself an ill-used person when he has to go off without getting the evening’s report. Moreover, I want you to have your brains steady and clear, for I must have a long business talk with you to-morrow forenoon.”

“Business! that sounds portentous,” said Imogen, in affected consternation.

“It sounds entrancing!” commented Blanche. “It savoreth of new dresses, and, perchance, jewelry—peradventure, though that is a bold flight of fancy, of a trip across the sea next summer.”

“Nothing has gone wrong, I hope, mother?” queried Emma.

“Nothing at all, my dear Lady Thoughtful,” was the smiling reply.

“Dear Lady Owl, you mean!” cried saucy Blanche, and she went off singing:—

“And what says the old gray owl?
To who? To who?”

“Happy children!” Mrs. Hiller heaved a confidential sigh to the fire that had shone on the young faces a moment ago. “Will what I have to tell them make them less happy or gay? Is mine, after all, the needless croak of the owl instead of a wise warning?”[417]

The thought pierced her again, next day, when they met in her boudoir, eager and curious, their eyes and cheeks unmarred by the moderate dissipation of the preceding night. But she stood fast to her purpose; unfolded her scheme in bulk and detail, with the assured tone of one who had considered the cost to the last farthing. She was not accounted an eccentric woman by her acquaintances, but her proposal was novel, and, to her listeners, startling. Their days of school-study were over, she reminded them. It was time that upon the foundation of general information thus laid should be erected the superstructure of a profession.

“A specialty, if you prefer the word,” she said; “since I earnestly hope you will not be called upon to practice it for a livelihood. While papa’s strength and health last, he finds no more delightful use for his earnings than to purchase comfort and luxury for us. Were he to die, or to be unfortunate in business, or become incurably diseased—and such things are of almost daily occurrence—our style of living would be at once and entirely altered. You would be driven to the study of small, minute economies and false appearances, such as must rasp and narrow the souls of those who resort to them; to escape these by a marriage of convenience, or the lucky accident of a love-match, or to engage, in earnest, in some business that would, thanks to your previous training, continue to you the elegancies, with the decencies of life.”

This was the preamble to an abstract of the conversation with her husband, the troubled reverie and calculations that succeeded it.

“Of artists in music and painting, there are, perhaps,[418] twenty in this city,” she observed. “Of pretenders and drudges in these arts, there are more than a thousand. Since not one of you has developed any decided talent for such pursuits, or for literature, and, since teaching for a living has become but another name for bondage and starvation, my plan is this: You, Emma, shall learn bookkeeping; Imogen, dressmaking; Blanche, millinery. Don’t look horrified! I shall not expose you to the uncongenial associations or unwholesome atmosphere of the crowded shop or work-room. All that affection and money can do to make the term of your novitiate pleasant shall be done. You shall fit up the old nursery as your academy of the useful arts, if you choose to call it by so dignified a name. I shall engage competent instructors for you and pay well for the lessons. But there must be no play-work, no superficial, amateur performance on either side. When your trades are learned, I shall expect you to keep yourselves in practice, and up with the latest improvements and fashions by practice in domestic manufactures. Milliners’ and dressmakers’ bills shall be among the things that were. Emma shall have charge of the housekeeping accounts and papa’s books. He will pay her as he would any other skilful accountant, and what you, Imogen and Blanche, shall adjudge to be a reasonable price for every dress and bonnet made for yourselves, your sister, or for me.”

The, for once, dumb trio found simultaneous voice at this.

“Mamma! would that be right? Would it not be an imposition?”

“It is his own proposal. We talked it all over last[419] night after he came home, and again this morning. I need not tell you that he is the best, most indulgent father that ever loved and spoiled three loving daughters. I had some difficulty in persuading him to let me try the experiment. The tears stood in his dear eyes, while he debated the pros and cons of the case.

“‘My bonnie bairns!’ he said. ‘If I could, I would be their shield always. They should never dream of privation; never ink or prick their pretty fingers except for amusement, if I were sure of ten years more of life and prosperity.’”

She stopped to steady her voice.

Imogen was crying outright; Emma’s gray eyes were cloudy. Blanche broke forth, half-laughing, half-sobbing:—

“The angelic old papa! isn’t he a born seraph? I would peddle rags with a lean mule, and a string of bells across the cart, to save him an hour’s anxiety. I wish he would wear French hats—all flowers and moonshine! And have four every season. Would not I furnish them for nothing, kisses thrown into the bargain?”

The others had to laugh at the vision of papa’s six feet of stature, broad shoulders, strong features, and iron-gray hair crowned with a fancy hat of the prevailing mode. Mrs. Hiller went on:—

“‘But,’ he added, ‘I will not, while I can take care of them, derive one cent’s profit from their work. There is no surer way of learning how to take care of money than having money to manage. I will furnish each of the pusses with a bank-book. She shall make out quarterly bills against you, or me; deposit her gains in[420] her own name, and invest as she will. Her earnings may thus be the nest-egg of a neat little fortune. I can’t imagine—I won’t believe that they will ever become mercenary. But I am sick of the limpness and insipidity and general know-nothingness of the women with whom I have business dealings. ‘My dear husband never suffered me to be annoyed by these matters,’ says the widow, her handkerchief to her eyes. And—‘If my poor papa had foreseen this day, it would have embittered his life!’ sobs the interesting spinster of forty-seven, who ‘hasn’t an idea how to make out a checque,’ and really doesn’t know the difference between real and personal estate!”

“The Payne girls!” uttered Imogen and Blanche, in wicked glee. “Mamma, you ‘did’ Arethusa to the life.”

She resumed more seriously. “Something papa heard last night caused us to lay this subject especially to heart. Doctor Jaynes says there is no doubt that Mr. Sibthorpe is threatened with softening of the brain. He has been doing extra work this winter—bookkeeping and copying in the evenings, at home, as he could pick up such jobs, to eke out his salary, and it has been too much for him. Nothing but absolute rest and freedom from care can save him. Doctor Jaynes told him so plainly, and he answered, with tears, that it was out of the question—he must die in harness. It was natural that the news should interest and sadden us.”

“He has a very helpless family,” remarked Emma, compassionately.

“Because so many of them—all who are grown up—are girls!” cried Blanche, impetuously. “That tells[421] the whole story. And such a pitiful, disgraceful, humiliating one it is! I could be ashamed of being a woman. Mrs. Sibthorpe—indeed a majority of American mothers of the genteeler sort, ought to turn pagans, and drown their baby-girls as soon as they are born. That would be better than turning them loose—great, overgrown babies, forever whining, with their fingers in their mouths, over their feebleness, and timidity, and sentimental ignorance—upon a grinning, or groaning public!”

“But how strange that we have never taken this subject into serious consideration before,” said sensible Emma. “That other people do not, is certain. Mother, you won’t mind if I ask you a question or two?”

“My precious child! as many as you like. I wish you to state every objection frankly. You are of age, you know. I could not compel you to adopt my suggestion, if I were disposed to do so. Nor will I coerce the judgment of one of you three. We must go into this enterprise heartily and all together, or not at all.”

“Will not our action excite much talk when it is known, give rise to unpleasant surmises, and subject us to many impertinent inquiries?”

“Undoubtedly it will. We may as well prepare ourselves for this. And the same kind guardians of their neighbors’ behavior and general interests would buzz and sting yet more industriously were one of us to sicken with small-pox, or the house to burn down to-morrow. Or, if papa were to go off in a rapid consumption, they would bewail the number of girls in our family as loudly and as delightedly as they will soon be gossiping about poor, distraught Mr. Sibthorpe,[422] and his quartette of what Blanche calls overgrown babies; would dole out to us such charity of word and deed as falls to the share of the Payne girls. My darlings, if I could tell you how I long to see you independent of such changes in fortune and fair-weather friends! each of you armed in herself to meet reverses and to defy them, with God’s help and blessing upon those who are trying to help themselves!”

Whatever error the tender mother may have made in her calculations of what was to be risked, gained, and lost by the bold step she purposed, she had not overrated the amount and quality of gossip caused by the practical operation of her scheme. Stories, having “Mrs. Hiller’s queer whim” for a starting-point, increased and multiplied, and flew over the town like thistle-down in a windy September day. The mother was a tyrant; the daughters were peculiar and strong-minded. The parents refused to maintain their offspring because they were not sons, and had informed them of their intention to bequeath every dollar of their property to a Boys’ Orphan Asylum. The offspring disdained to be fed and clothed by the hated parents. Mr. Hiller was insolvent; Mrs. Hiller was insane; both were misers. The sisters were engaged to be married to missionaries, and were bent upon engrafting the multifarious iniquities of the modern and Christian woman’s garb upon the scantily-clothed trunk of Ashantee, or Papuyan, or Root-digger fashions.

At first our heroines were annoyed, then diverted. In less than three months they ceased to think of the babble at all, in their growing interest in their active, varied home-life.[423]

Just a year from the March night on which Mrs. Hiller had used so many nautical figures in her speech and reverie, two cards were brought up to the “academy of useful arts,” as the fair students therein persisted in calling a large room at the back of the house. It was airy and sunny, and, to-day, was full of life and enjoyment, for mother and daughters were gathered there, and the chirping was like that of a happily-crowded robin’s nest.

“The ladies say, do let ’em run right up, without ceremony,” reported the servant.

“‘Arethusa Payne,’ and ‘Marietta Sibthorpe,’” read Blanche from the cards. “Ask them to walk up to the work-room, Jane. Mind that you say ‘the work-room.’” As the amused girl left the chamber, the young lady continued: “An Inspection Committee! Let them come! Won’t I make them open their eyes, though?”

“I had no idea you were engaged with a dressmaker. I am afraid we intrude,” simpered Miss Payne, tiptoeing, like a cautious hen, between Blanche’s work-stand, piled with bonnet frames and linings, and Imogen’s, down which flowed a river of silken flounces, half gathered at the top; noting likewise, by turning her sharp face to the right, then the left, as she stepped (still like an inquisitive Partlet), that Emma’s tall desk, with a ledger open upon it, was in a corner.

Mrs. Hiller was ripping up a black silk dress; Emma was pulling a velvet hat to pieces.

“Only practising our trades a little in furbishing up things; giving a spring-ish look to hats and gowns,” rejoined Blanche, with saucy politeness. “One gets so sick of winter clothes!”[424]

“Dear me, how convenient! What a source of amusement it must be to have that sort of knack!” said Miss Sibthorpe, self-compassionately. “It is a genuine talent, isn’t it now? downright genius! And can you actually make a hat, Blanche! I couldn’t put a bit of ribbon on mine to save my life!”

“But we are professionals,” put in Imogen. “You have no idea how we have worked to acquire the artistic touch. We had Miss Tiptop’s forewoman with us at the country cottage we rented last summer, all the ‘dull season,’ on purpose to teach me dressmaking, besides the lessons I had had in town. Blanche ran down to the city every week for an all-day lesson.”

“But how very odd!” ejaculated Arethusa.

“That people should pay such exorbitant milliners’ bills all their lives, when they could learn the business with one-fourth the labor and in one-tenth of the time music requires?” Blanche said, in wilful misunderstanding, setting her head on one side, and holding her unfinished hat off at arm’s length to examine the effect. “It is queer, as you say. I’ll be generous, girls. I’ll give you instructions, if you wish—take you as my apprentices. I should enjoy it hugely.”

Both laughed shrilly and affectedly, to disguise the offence her proposal gave them.

“I haven’t the least taste for such employment,” said Arethusa.

“You are very kind, but my social engagements are so numerous!” pleaded Marietta. “Honestly, what do you do it for? You can’t really like it! It seems so—so—very peculiar! such a queer whim, you know!”

“That is just what everybody says—such a queer[425] whim! You get so much talked about, you know,” subjoined Arethusa. “And it is so excessively disagreeable to be talked about! I couldn’t stand it.”

“But you do not understand,” pursued Blanche, solemnly, “that you might make a living by it. Why, we three expect to be a rich firm in the course of time; to buy up bank stock and railway shares, and speculate in real estate, and all that. Emma is a capital book-keeper. Papa says she could command a salary of a thousand dollars a year already. Then, think of the luxury of having a new dress, or, what is the same thing, one that is made over to look like new, at every party; and as many hats a season as you want, for what it would cost to buy one at Madame Lavigne’s. And finally, you see, one respects herself so thoroughly and deliciously for being able to fill up a real place—a worker’s place—in the world. Most women remind me of marbles that have rolled somehow into holes. Sometimes it is a fit. But as often as not the marble is round, and the hole is square!”


All aboard!”

As the cars glided out of the lighted depot into the darker streets, leading to the utter gloom of the open country, two gentlemen settled themselves into their seats with audible sighs of satisfaction.

“Homeward bound!” said the elder, a man of fifty,[426] hale in figure and face, although his hair was almost white.

“For which let us be thankful!” responded his companion, heartily. “This has been a long week to me, although a busy one—longer than a fortnight would have been at home.”

“You may blame the twin babies for that,” said the other, smiling indulgently at his impatience.

Bless them for it, you mean—the boys and their mother. A man may well be impatient to get back to such treasures as are mine.”

He was a fine-looking fellow, manly in every gesture and tone, six-and-twenty years old, the son-in-law of the gentleman beside him, and had been for a year his law-partner.

“You are right. Emma is a good girl—a noble woman; her mother’s own daughter for sense, discretion, and warmth of heart. There is nothing frivolous or shallow about her. Let me see—the boys are almost three months old, are they not?”

“Just three months to-morrow. It is marvellous what strength the thought of them puts into my heart and arm. The cunning little rascals! Emma writes that they grow every day. She is sure they will recognize me on my return. I suppose you experienced papas, who have outlived the novelty of this sort of thing, amuse yourselves vastly at our expense; but it pleases me to believe what she says. They are very bright, healthy in mind and body, as the children of such a mother should be. They and I are blest beyond comparison in having her for the angel in our house. Should it please God to spare our lives”—[427]

The sentence rested on the shocked air, incomplete, never to be finished. One terrific jar!—a crashing and splintering, and reeling, an awful sense of falling down, down, through utter darkness, over and over, then a blow that ended everything—surprise, consternation, fearful questioning—in blank, black silence.

When the débris of the telescoped cars was cleared away, the two men were found lying, as they had sat, side by side. The younger was dead. The elder moved and groaned as he was lifted from the wreck. Papers upon their persons established their identity beyond a doubt.

Early next morning a telegram was brought into a pretty dressing-room, where the sunshine, peering through the vine-leaves about the window, made dancing shadows on the floor, laughed, and leaped, and flashed in reflection from the water in a China bath, set in the middle of the chamber. In this splashed and crowed two baby-boys, one held by the mother, the other by the grandmother, and between these knelt two younger women—all four in delighted worship of the tiny cherubs. There was a breathless hush as the youngest of the party sprang up to seize the envelope, and tore it open.

Collision!” said the missive. “Frederick Corwin killed instantly. Philip Hiller badly injured. Both will be sent on in next train.

In this ghastly shape came disaster to the long-exempt household. Life and the world had dealt so benignly and bountifully with them heretofore, that they had insensibly learned to look upon their possession of health, love, and happiness as assured for years and years to come. Emma’s marriage had removed her from them[428] but a couple of blocks, and all concurred in the opinion that this was a charming variety upon their former estate.

“How did we ever get along without Fred’s and Emma’s house to run into? It is as good as having two homes,” the girls often said among themselves.

When the twins came—bouncing, healthy boys—the excitement and joy in one house equalled that in the other. It seemed now, indeed, that they could ask nothing more of Heaven; that the brimming cup of bliss was mantled all over with rose-leaves. And when “Papa and Fred” were obliged to be absent from their homes for a week, in attendance upon the doings of a court a hundred miles away, Emma and her babes were transferred with much ceremony and rejoicing to her mother’s care; given up to the petting and admiration of the doating aunties without reservation, beyond Fred’s earnest entreaty that they would not kiss the boys away to skeletons before he returned, and a threat to have them protected by copper sheathing from the fate of St. Peter’s brazen toe.

Dear Fred! the merry, handsome, stalwart brother; their only one,—who was never to jest with them again; never again to hold wife and babes in his embrace. Imogen and Blanche mourned for him only less passionately than did she who had proudly and gladly borne his name. Poor wife! she was denied the satisfaction of hearing that her name had been the last in his thoughts and speech; that the loyal heart had never beat more lovingly for her than in its latest throbbings; for weeks passed before Mr. Hiller could speak at all, and then the disjointed utterances of the palsied tongue told nothing beyond the terrible[429] fact that the brain had sustained serious, it might be irreparable, damage. A paralytic cripple he would remain until the day of his death, although this half-life might be prolonged for years, pronounced the best medical authorities in the land, summoned without regard to distance or expense, by the agonized wife.

Stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted, the four women sat them down together in the mother’s room, a month after the double bereavement, and took mournful but deliberate counsel together. Their affairs were not at a desperate pass, as they already knew. There was the house in which they lived, free of mortgage, which would bring at least thirty thousand dollars in the market; ten thousand dollars in bank stocks and other securities—solid, paying investments, and five thousand dollars’ worth of real estate—chiefly unimproved lots in a growing part of the city, that might be very valuable in time, if they could be held and the taxes paid. Fred had invested four thousand dollars in the latter kind of property, and his life was insured for ten thousand more. If Emma were to sell everything—furniture, lots and all—she would have just seventeen thousand dollars with which to support herself, to rear and educate her boys. By living upon the interest of the life-insurance fund, and paying taxes on the real-estate for some years, she might double the little fortune bequeathed to her, without reserve, by her husband’s will.

“I shall not touch a cent of it, if I can help it,” she said, in sad decision. “It shall be the father’s provision for his sons. They will need it all, in order to educate themselves as he would have wished. For the[430] present I shall work for them and myself. You foresaw this years ago, mother. I thank God, and thank you, that you prepared us to meet it!”

“Amen!” said her sisters fervently. “Dark as is the day—so much darker than we ever dreamed it would be,” added Imogen, tearfully, yet trying to smile, “we have much to be thankful for. We are strong; we know how to work; and there are papa and the babies, darling Fred’s sons, to work for.”

“Papa and the babies!” Even the fond wife did not resent the classification. The hale gentleman whose half-century of honest, temperate life had not bowed his head or dimmed his eye; the sage, shrewd man of business, than whom none were more respected by his fellow-citizens, was a tremulous, timid child, who wept if his meals were delayed one minute, or his wife, his faithful, tender nurse, were out of his sight for an hour.

“Utterly incapable of attending to the simplest matters connected with his business!” cried open-eyed Everybody, hovering, harpy-like, about the human wreck. “Why, he couldn’t count one hundred to save his life. Of course, they will get a certificate of lunacy from the court, and sell the house, lots, and whatever they can realize anything upon; put all they have together, and live as prudently as possible. The girls ought to marry before long. They are pretty and popular, in spite of their little eccentricities. It isn’t to be expected that they will make brilliant matches now, of course; but they must bring down their ambition to a reasonable level. Beggars mustn’t be choosers. It is unfortunate that poor[431] Mrs. Corwin has those two children. But they may not live. Twins are more likely to die than other babies. And, if they should be taken, she’ll be likely to pick up another husband. Her little property would be a consideration to some men.”

Even the true friends of the sorely-tried family wished sincerely and aloud that “each of the dear girls had a husband to take care of her;” recommended them warmly to the compassionate and favorable notice of their bachelor acquaintances, and devised pious plans of matchmaking for their relief from the inconveniences of their altered circumstances.

“The worst part of it all was that poor Emma was encumbered with the children, who would be more and more expensive every year, and that poor, dear Mr. Hiller would be a helpless imbecile all his life. And what a mistake in them to refuse to treat him as such, and have him examined by a commission who would give his family the right to dispose of his property!”

If the Ruler of the intellects and lives of men had hearkened to these benevolent economists, the crippled man and the brace of “unfortunate” infants would have been taken speedily and comfortably out of this present evil world.

“Thank heaven for the babies!” uttered Blanche, throwing her arms about Emma’s waist. “You darling sister! I bless you for them every hour. What should we have done through all these last fearful weeks without them—and you? Touch their weeny teenty patrimony! Indeed you shall not! And more than that, we’ll make it a big one by the time they are ready to enter college.”[432]

The mother, as chief counsellor, had her plan ready for their consideration. The house—a large double one—was still to be occupied by them. The front parlor was to be used for the millinery department, and put entirely under Blanche’s care. In the back, Imogen would hold sway; and a smaller apartment in the rear of the hall should be the fitting and trying-on chamber. The library across the hall, adjoining the dining-room, was to be the family parlor. In every other part of the house things were to remain unchanged.

“Who deserves to live more comfortably and luxuriously, to rest in soft chairs and sleep upon elastic mattresses, to have generous food served elegantly to tempt the appetite and strengthen the body, than she who purchases all these with her own toil?” said the strange logician whose daughters were too used to her “queer notions” to be startled by them. “I do not say that you will make money fast, or at once. I do contend that, saving rent, bookkeeper’s and saleswoman’s wages, as you will do, you ought to be able to clear your business and personal expenses the first year—if nothing more.”

“If the customers come,” suggested Emma.

Mrs. Hiller nodded confidently. “They will come! In the beginning, out of curiosity and the love of novelty. It will depend upon your skill whether they continue their custom.”

All previous sensations respecting the Hillers—their odd fancies and daring talk and levelling theories; Emma’s marriage and the birth of her twins; the tragical death of her husband and Mr. Hiller’s deplorable condition—faded into the realms of forgottenness before[433] that excited by the appearance in all the leading papers, the following month, of an advertisement to the effect that the “Misses Hiller would open on Tuesday, the 15th instant, at their father’s residence on Lofty Avenue, a first-class millinery and dressmaking establishment, and pledged themselves to use their best efforts to give satisfaction to their customers.”

The sudden intrusion of a bee-moth into a well-regulated, honey-lined hive might create such commotion among the inhabitants thereof as prevailed in the “best circles” of the city when the Incredible was, at length, developed by means of printer’s ink and paper, into the Certain. The Hiller philosophy had wrought its legitimate fruits, said the wise ones. Such sympathy with the lower classes, and familiarity with their modes of thought and personal history, amounting to fanatical imitation of their language and habits and mercenary views of life; such bold scoffing at the ethics and usages of SOCIETY (this in capitals half an inch long, if you please, Mr. Printer!) could have but one sequel, and that a catastrophe.

“Be it so!” enunciated resigned Everybody, in the calm of sinless despair. “Since the Hiller girls prefer to sink to the level of mere working women; to fly in the face of Providence that would, if they were more reasonable and less sentimental, endow them with property to the amount of at least fifty thousand dollars—sixty thousand, if poor Mrs. Corwin’s be included, with the certain prospect of fifteen thousand more at poor Mr. Hiller’s death—if they prefer, instead of taking the goods thus offered them and living like ladies in the sphere to which they were born, faithful[434] to the principles that control refined SOCIETY—to delve and plan and accumulate, let them be recognized forthwith as laborers—nothing more, and nothing less! We, the loyal leaguers of SOCIETY, true to the traditions of our class and age, cannot more effectually and dignifiedly exclude them from our sacred circle than by patronizing and paying them as dressmakers and milliners. They have exquisite taste. That we, being candid even where our enemies are concerned, will admit. They have also, tact and energy, and association with US in the past has given them just ideas of our style and needs. While we do not budge an inch from our belief and precept that they should have starved genteelly; lived on bread and tea, dyed and turned and otherwise rejuvenated their friends’ cast-off dresses; shivered over pinched-in grates in winter and sponged upon obliging acquaintances in summer—sooner than thus degrade themselves and betray their caste for the sake of pampering their flesh with the delicacies of the markets, and their pride by indulging in purple and fine linen, in damask and cut-glass, in Brussels and satin—we”—concluded breathless Everybody, “accept the situation as they have set it before us.”

“But it is suicidal!” actually sobbed the well-wishers of the recalcitrant trio. “They will never marry well now!

“Tuesday the 15th inst.” arrived—sharp but clear November weather, and the desecrated Hiller mansion wore its most cheerful aspect. In the back parlor the decks had been cleared for action, as Imogen phrased it, by removing the piano, a large sofa, and an inlaid[435] stand or two. Imogen’s sewing machine and chair were by the side window. Before the embayed recess at the end of the room was a long, rather narrow table of singular construction, the plan being her own. The top was covered with enamelled leather, with morocco pouches at each corner, rather larger than the pockets of a billiard-table, and deep drawers underneath. A tape-measure and a case of scissors lay upon this. The pictures on the walls; the carpets; the rich hangings of the windows; the lounging-chairs set invitingly about, the easel, with its collection of fine engravings in one corner, a chiffonier loaded with attractive articles of virtu, and a few fresh, attractive books—even the stand of flowers in the bay-window were the same that had so often challenged the admiration of Mrs. Hiller’s guests, as giving her parlors “such an air of home-like elegance.”

In Blanche’s realm there had been more and material alterations. In the niches on each side of the mantel were tall, shallow cases, with sliding glass doors. These were made of black walnut, and bright silver-plated knobs and pegs set in the back. Beneath the doors were drawers with handles of the same metal. An attractive array of bonnets and hats hung in one case; of caps, and headdresses and wreaths, bouquets, sprays of flowers in the other, these last apparently springing from a box filled with moss set in the bottom. Opposite the mock conservatory was a show-case, being a walnut table handsomely carved, with a glass box on top containing ribbons arranged with a nice regard to harmony and contrasts of colors and shades. This also had drawers beneath with silver knobs. At one of the[436] front windows stood Blanche’s chair and wicker-work stand. Hanging-baskets of living flowers swung between the curtains; a mocking-bird’s cage in the arch dividing the rooms.

Emma was walking slowly up and down the length of the two apartments, ready to retire, at the approach of customers, to her desk in the fitting-room. Her sisters had insisted upon her right to seclude herself from general observation.

“We don’t mind being made a show of! In fact, we rather like it!” the irrepressible Blanche was saying. “But they sha’n’t come to stare at, and whisper about you, Queenie!”

Her eyes sparkled; her cheeks were red as the French poppies in the glass case near by. Every crimp in her blonde hair seemed to stir in the breeze of excitement that swept and swayed her merry spirit. She flitted about from Imogen’s dominion to her own, altering, admiring, exclaiming, like a restless humming-bird.

“I am sorry for you, too,” she ran on, “for I anticipate great fun during the next few weeks. All the calls to-day that are not prompted by curiosity, more or less ill-natured, will be of condolence. Don’t I know how our dear friends will pull out eye-glass and handkerchief in the same tug. ‘You poor, dear girls!’ Mrs. Smith will sniff. (No matter what happens to you, whether you lose a front tooth, or your fortune, or your life, your best wishers will call you ‘poor dear!‘) ‘Now do you think—honestly, now, you know—that it was really necessary for Philip Hiller’s daughters to take this unprecedented step?’”[437]

“Miss Allfriend will kiss us all around, and drop a tear on each of our noses, with—‘My dear children! it makes my heart bleed! And how does mamma stand it?’ And Mrs. Williams will trot in, eye-glass up—‘Bless me! bless me! I thought I should drop when I read it in the papers! Such a shock! You can’t really conceive! Bromide and red lavender all night, my dears! I assure you!’”

“Hold your saucy tongue!” laughed Imogen, in spite of herself, and even Emma smiled at the spirited mimicry.

Blanche rattled away faster than ever. “I am going to be prim and proper when they begin to come! One and all will criticise our appointments as ‘shockingly extravagant;’ declare that ‘the like was never seen before in store or work-room—quite out of keeping, you know!’ and prophesy swift ruin if we keep on as we have begun. And we won’t hint that we paid for everything, our very own selves, with the money papa has forced upon us for the work we have done in the last four years. It’s none of their business! nor that we have some left, to repair losses, should we have any!”

“Dear papa! all we can do won’t bring back health and reason to him!” sighed Emma. “Or life to”—

Her eyes filled suddenly, and she would have hastened from the room, but Imogen caught her in her arms.

“For their sakes—those who loved and believed in us—and for the babies; we will acquit ourselves bravely, sister. There are times when work that we must do—systematic and sustained effort for others, is God’s best cure for soul-morbidness. I know!”[438]

The others exchanged a silent look over the bright head bowed on Emma’s shoulder—a glance of blended pity and indignation. Then, Blanche pulled back the glass door of her flower-case with needless rattle, and busied herself with a pendant of glossy ivy.

“Another year I will devise some such plan as this for showing off my feathers—something like an aviary—see if I don’t!”

Not one of the three ever referred, in so many words, to the fact that handsome, accomplished Harding Walford had not entered the house in more than a month; that his visits had slackened perceptibly in frequency and length since it became generally known that Mr. Hiller would never recover. He had been Imogen’s most devoted attendant for almost a year. Her family had not doubted what would be her answer to the declaration they saw was pending. The world reported that he had broken a positive engagement, and ran no risk in so doing, since she had neither father nor brother to defend her rights. But there was not, on this account, meted out to him a formidable share of censure. He was “the best judge of his own affairs.” He was not rich. Had he been, he might still, with reason, hesitate to take a step that would entail upon him such a weight of responsibility as would a connection with the no longer prosperous Hillers, even had not Imogen’s eccentric conduct of late, in banding with her sisters “to undermine the distinctions of SOCIETY,” been ample excuse for his defection. He was wise in his generation, and the applause showered upon him who doeth good unto himself, was his due. SOCIETY always pays this sort of debt.[439]

Only—Imogen had believed in him; and the shivering of her trust beyond the hope of repair, was very hard to bear. So much more cruel than the thought of being the target of gossip’s shafts, that the latter rattled unheeded against her armor of proud rectitude that day, and ever afterward. Desertion had stung its worst when the man she loved had looked for the last time, with love-full eyes, into hers.

Customers did come; singly, in twos and threes, and, a little past midday, when they had discussed the Hillers’ affairs comfortably over their luncheon-tables, in droves. They gathered in the spacious rooms, as Mrs. Hiller had predicted, not so much to buy or order, as to criticise and wonder. The most comic part of the exhibition to fun-loving, dauntless Blanche was that so many were disconcerted at finding that they were not singular in their curiosity and the resolve to gratify it. Hardly second to this was the ludicrous uncertainty on the part of most of the visitors as to the proper line of conduct to be pursued in greeting the gentlewomen so abruptly transformed into trades-people whom they were here to scrutinize. That the cordial yet respectful familiarity of equals was not to be thought of, now, was the dominant impression with the majority. Yet few were so indurated in worldliness, or so barefaced in the display of it as to attempt to treat their late social compeers exactly as they would “quite common persons.” The result was a combination of stiffness and patronage totally at variance with the carriage of well-bred ease, flavored with hauteur, they adjudged to be “the thing in the circumstances.”[440]

The proprietors of the elegant apartments were mistresses of themselves and the position from the beginning. With a single eye to business, they adroitly evaded all allusion to the novelty of the scene; received the compliments to their establishments and their wares with smiling composure; showed the stock and took orders with professional dexterity, and entirely ignored glances and veiled hints of commiseration.

“Have you no assistants?” queried more than one.

“At present, none,” Imogen returned, quietly. “Should our business require it, we shall procure help, keeping everything, of course, under our own personal supervision.”

“It is not an untried field to us, you know,” subjoined Blanche, in her blithest tone. “Much practice has taught us swiftness and the artistic sleight of hand that distinguishes the work of the modiste from that of the amateur.”

The rooms were quite full when a plain but handsome carriage stopped at the door. A lady alighted with her arms full of bundles, followed by two slender girls of eighteen and twenty, each with a parcel, although the footman stood idly by, holding the door.

“Just like her!” murmured a spectator inside the front window, peeping through the lace curtains. “She prides herself on her want of what she calls false shame, and on being able to wait on herself.”

A hum ran from the tattler through the little assembly. Blanche, who was showing a box of feathers to a customer, feigned not to hear it; dared not to steal a look at her sister, although she longed to know how she comported[441] herself in view of the approaching ordeal. She was the only one present whose eyes were not directed instantly toward the young dressmaker as she advanced a few steps to meet the new arrivals. Foremost in the group was the mistress of the carriage, a stately figure, richly attired, who wore her own gray hair folded smoothly above a pair of black brows and searching, usually severe eyes. They softened and shone at sight of the form in deep mourning, awaiting her pleasure, perhaps reading through the guise of lady-like self-possession the secret trouble that fluttered heart and pulse, while the trained features served the resolute will faithfully.

“My dear child!” she said, impulsively, holding fast to her parcels, but bending to kiss the cheek which flushed high under the salute.

Her daughters pressed forward to bestow caresses as affectionate upon “dear Imogen,” the family having recently returned from abroad. Their mother allowed them no time for inquiries or condolence.

“I am very, very glad to see you looking so well and bright!” she pursued, in a breezy, cheerful tone, neither shrill nor loud, but one that could make itself heard whenever and by whomsoever she willed. “I didn’t mean that my first call should be one of business, but I suppose you wouldn’t admit me upon any other plea, in business hours. But there’s the great Huntley wedding, week after next, you know, and the girls haven’t enough finery to warrant their appearance there—just from Paris, too! So we have come to cast ourselves upon your generosity and beg you, for the sake of old times and present friendship, to make us[442] presentable. Unless you are too severely taxed already by the importunate friends of whom I see so many present. How is the dear father to-day? You must let me see him and mamma before I leave—and Emma and the babies! You mustn’t exclude us from the other parts of the house because you have taken to practicalities in sober, serious earnest. We would rebel outright, and en masse—after having been welcomed, during so many years, to the pleasantest home in the city!”

Imogen had led the way into the other parlor while the lady talked, and was now undoing the wrappings of the three silk dresses, and opening boxes of rare, fine lace on the long table. Her back was to the groups of attentive listeners to the foregoing monologue, and the keen eyes beside her saw her fingers shake, the long, brown lashes fall quickly to hide the unshed tears.

“You are very good!” said a gentle, grateful voice. “But I felt sure you would be!”

“My love!” A strong and not small hand—ungloved—a superb diamond solitaire, in itself a fortune, flashing on it as the guard to a worn wedding-ring—covered the chill, uncertain fingers, busy with paper and twine. Imogen felt the warmth and thrill of the pressure to her very heart. “If you ever dare to say another word like that, I’ll never forgive you! Trimmings, style, everything—we leave to you, Imogen, my dear!” she continued, aloud. “If you can make my girls half as distingué as you are yourself in full dress, or home-dress either, for that matter, I shall be satisfied. I always told you you were a genius in your profession—creative,[443] not merely imitative genius. It was a shame that you did not give others the benefit of it before now. It is refreshing to one who has cultivated any taste for the æsthetic, to look about your rooms. I have lively hopes that dress may be understood and studied as one of the fine arts among us in time. You will be known in this generation and region, at least, as a benefactress. We go into another room to be measured, did you say?”

She swept her daughters before her into the fitting-room, and a buzz and rustle succeeded the silence her entrance had caused.

In Blanche’s hearing no one could comment openly upon what had passed. But there were significant whispers and wondering looks, and by the time the gossips reached the street, much and prolonged discussion with regard to this episode in the history of “opening day.”

For the eccentric old lady who could afford to defy the dictate of SOCIETY, and exercised her right, was Mrs. Horatio Harding, whose own veins were full of old, rich Dutch blood, and whose husband was a merchant prince, and Mr. Harding Walford was her nephew-in-law. If she had set her mind upon making the Hiller girls the fashion, she had carried her point triumphantly. With a sort of insolent grace, perhaps, at which people grumbled while they obeyed her, but she had had her way, as usual. Mrs. Horatio Harding had “opinions,” and it was not always safe or pleasant to oppose her.

“You may not know that you have done us a great service—one for which we can never pay you aright,”[444] said Imogen to her at the close of “the season’s” work. “But you have! That we have succeeded beyond our most sanguine expectations is due, in a large measure, to the foothold you gave us that first day. If other women who have as much influence would use it to free, not enslave, their sex; to overcome, instead of strengthening the prejudices that bear so hardly upon us already, what a change would be wrought in homes where the few strive and toil, and the many are served!”

The strong white hand with the glittering solitaire, was raised threateningly.

“What did I tell you? I will not be praised for doing a simple act of justice, especially when my heart, as well as my conscience, moved me to it. And you, my sweet child, may not know that you have had a narrow escape from marrying a man who has proved himself no more worthy to mate with you than am I with one of the holy men of old—those of whom the world was not worthy. But you have. That is all I shall ever say on the subject. But I think the more for my reserve when with you. And Harding Walford knows that I do. I am not reticent in his hearing. Don’t attempt to defend him! He has lost you, and that ought to be punishment enough for one who is capable of appreciating you. Not that he ever was.”

“I don’t want him to be punished, dear Mrs. Harding,” replied Imogen, gently. “He only swam with the tide.”

“Precisely! and to deserve such a wife as you would make, a man ought to be strong of soul and right of purpose. Don’t talk to me about moral cowards! I think I was born hating them!”[445]

Two years later, this steady friend dropped in to see the sisters on a gloomy afternoon in February. The light from the front windows made long, clean cuts in the clinging yellow fog without, across the rimy pavement to the carriage, with its liveried coachman and fine horses. Passers-by, on their way to humble homes, lifted eyelids beaded with the icy damp, and thought how lucky were the dwellers in the stately house; how much-to-be envied the guest who rode in state above the mire of the common ways. Those who recognized the liveries, and knew whose was the dwelling, pondered, more or less wonderingly, upon the incongruity of the unabated intimacy, and speculated, perhaps, upon the probabilities that the Harding pride would have revolted at a matrimonial alliance between a scion of their house and one of the “reduced” family, for all Mrs. Horatio’s show of friendship. It was a lucky thing, decided eight out of ten of those who considered the matter, that young Walford had not committed himself irrevocably before the “misfortune” that showed him how near he was to the edge of the abyss. He had made a desirable match last fall, and was now travelling in Europe with his heiress bride.

Little cared guest or hostesses what the outside world thought or believed respecting their intercourse. Emma’s boys were building block houses on the back parlor floor. The three sisters were gathered about the centre-table in the other room, talking in low voices over their work. Mrs. Harding stopped in the doorway on seeing their grave faces, and that they were making black crêpe bonnets.[446]

“A mourning order!” she said, in her unceremonious way. “Anybody that I know?”

“Not an order exactly,” explained Imogen, when they had welcomed her. “But poor Mr. Sibthorpe has gone at last, and Blanche proposed that we should spare the widow and three unmarried daughters the expense of bonnets and veils; so we are making them and the widow’s caps out of work hours. We do our charity work at such odd times you know—and together.

“You are the Blessed Three Sisters—that everybody knows!” uttered the visitor. “I don’t believe I could set a stitch for that tribe of lazy locusts! Amelia, the married one, is no better. Her husband failed awhile ago, as you may remember, and she is too proud to help him in the small haberdasher’s shop he has lately set up; sits at home like a—I won’t say lady—but an idiotic automaton—”

“Who ever heard of an intellectual one?” laughed Blanche.

“No pertness, miss! I don’t pick my terms when I am excited. She sits in the small parlor over the store, as I was saying, and curries favor with wealthy and charitable ladies by cutting sponge and velvet into monkey and black-and-tan terrier pen-wipers for fancy fairs. What are the Sibthorpe’s going to do, now that the man they murdered among them is dead?”

“His life was insured”—began Emma.

“Humph!” interrupted Mrs. Harding. “You needn’t proceed. They will eat the insurance up to the last dollar, and by that time the boys will be big enough to divide the women among them; to carry[447] them bodily—their expenses, that is—as we see ants running about with egg sacs bigger than themselves on their shoulders. I know the old, hideous story by heart. Drop the subject.”

“Let me give you a piece of news that will entertain you better,” said Blanche, merrily. “One of the Payne girls—Sophia, the youngest—is going to marry a widower with eight children—all at home.”

“Serves her right! But I am sorry for the children. Go on!”

“The happy man is a Mr. Gregorias, of Spanish extraction. He is small and withered, and reported to be rich as cream. So Arethusa says. The wedding dress is to be of white satin, with point lace veil and flounces—the gift of the groom.”

“Have you undertaken the trousseau?” queried Mrs. Harding, fixing her keen gaze upon Imogen.

“No,” she answered, coloring as she smiled. “I have declined making any engagements for the spring. I am going abroad for a year in May, and Blanche does not want a stranger here in my place.”

“Markham Burke is the man, then! My love! I congratulate you with all my heart. I have been on thorns all winter about you and the noble fellow. I was afraid you had some Quixotic notions that would stand in the way of his happiness and yours.”

“No; why should I have?” rejoined the fiancée, speaking quietly and sensibly. “We are not vowed to our trades, or to celibacy. Markham says there is no need that he, with his ample means, should let me keep up my business. Whatever I have made, he insists upon settling upon me. He would have had me divide[448] it all between Blanche and Emma, but they would not allow it.”

“I should hope not!” cried Blanche, energetically. “Two women who can take care of themselves!’”

“Blanche will enlarge her department,” continued Imogen, “now that I will leave her room. You should hear her plans of making a temple of art—not of fashion alone—in these two parlors. It will be very beautiful. She can afford to indulge her taste in these respects. She is making money.”

“Means to be a nabob-ess before she dies—or marries,” interjected the youngest sister.

“You are a mercenary witch,” said Mrs. Harding. “Emma, Mr. Harding says your lots are rising in value fast, and the price of land in that quarter of the city is sure to increase with tenfold rapidity during the next dozen years. He would not advise you to close with the offer made you last week, unless you need the money.”

“Thank you and him!” replied the young widow. “I am not anxious to sell. Let it grow for the boys. It belongs to them. The rest of us are provided for. Even for mamma there is enough and to spare. We have never been tempted by the various straits of poverty and shabby gentility to wish for our father’s death, that we might profit by his life-insurance policy. Feeble as he is, his cheerfulness, his patience and affection for us all, make his a very bright presence in our home. It is a priceless comfort to us all that he is not compelled, when he needs them most, to relinquish the home and luxuries he toiled so long and bravely to obtain for us.”[449]

“You can’t imagine what pride and delight he takes in the boys!” exclaimed Blanche. “We really hope he may live to see them grown.”

“It is the story of the old storks and their young, to the life,” said Mrs. Harding to her husband that night. “I used to think it a fable. I believe now that it is true, out and out!”



A hen’s nest27
Eggs baked (No. 1)20
(No. 2)20
Egg cutlets21
Eggs forcemeat27
poached à la Bonne Femme24
poached with mushrooms25
scalloped (hard-boiled)23
sur le plat19
with anchovy toast26
Entrées and Relishes of Fish29
Cold fish—what to do with29
Cod or halibut—baked36
(salt) au maître d’hôtel43
with cheese44
with egg sauce43
Cutlets of halibut, cod or salmon35
Cutlets of halibut, cod or salmon à la reine35
Eels stewed à l’Allemande33
à l’Americain33
Roes of cod or shad (fried)29
Sauce for the above30
Roes of cod or shad (stewed)30
Roes scalloped31
Salmon, baked with cream sauce36
cutlets en papillote38
in a mould39
Sauce for the above39
Salmon, mayonnaise of40
Dressing for above40
Salmon, smoked (broiled)42
steaks, or cutlets (fried)37
steaks, or cutlets (broiled)38
[452]Lobster, curried48
Sauce for the above47
Lobster rissoles45
Sauce for the above46
Lobster scalloped (No. 1)50
(No. 2)50
Oysters, boiled in the shell55
in batter58
scalloped (No. 1)56
(No. 2)56
Oyster Patés59
pie (cream)59
Turtle fricassee52
Patés, chicken69
of fish70
Paté of beef and potato73
de foie gras (imitation)73
of sweetbreads68
White sauce for the above69
Croquettes, beef78
of lobster or crab80
veal and ham81
venison or mutton78
Cannelon of veal84
A pretty breakfast dish85
Sweetbreads, brown, fricassee of (No. 1)86
brown, fricassee of (No. 2)87
white, fricassee of88
larded (fried)90
sautés au vin92
Kidneys, à la brochette96
with wine95
Calf’s brains, fried115
on toast116
head, a mould of114
ragoût, or imitation turtle112
ragoût of, and mushrooms113
liver, à l’Anglaise108
à la mode111
au domino109
fricassee of111
Chickens, fried132
with oysters134
or other white meat, fondu of135
and eggs minced129
fricassee à l’Italienne128
Fowl, devilled125
Game or poultry in savory jelly138
Jellied tongue137
Meat and potato puffs119
Mince of veal or lamb121
Mock pigeons117
Ollapodrida of lamb109
Rabbit, brown fricassee of122
white fricassee of121
Rechauffée of veal and ham131
Roast quails127
Roulade of beef131
Salmi of game125
Scalloped chicken119
Veal cutlets116
Wild duck or grouse braised127
Salad, cabbage147
lobster, without oil148
cream dressing for151
dressing, golden152
Cheese biscuits156
with macaroni155
with eggs154
Cream Cheese (No. 1)158
(No. 2)160
Potatoes à la Duchesse166
à l’Italienne165
Potato eggs166
Baked tomatoes174
Fritters of canned corn173
Fried egg plant172
Mock fried oysters172
Batter or egg-bread, southern179
bread (No. 2)180
Boiled mush, to be eaten with milk180
Brown biscuit186
Corn-bread, Adirondack176
meal muffins (raised)178
Cream toast140
Crumpets, hominy189
Crumpets, rice183
Excellent muffins186
Graham gems (No. 1)187
(No. 2)187
(No. 3)188
Milk porridge181
Minute biscuit (brown)187
Oatmeal biscuit (for breakfast)181
gruel (for invalids)181
Rolls, French182
plain, light183
all day184
Quick loaf185
Rusk (No. 1)188
Susie’s (No. 2)189
Soda biscuit, without milk189
Unity loaf185
Cakes, buttermilk191
Corn-meal flapjacks192
Cakes, farina griddle194
Graham, griddle195
rice or hominy192
sour milk191
Susie’s flannel194
Fancy Dishes for Dessert208
An almond Charlotte214
[455] 15
Chocolate blanc-mange219
and cream220
custards (baked)220
Créme du café218
Easter eggs210
Glacé oranges209
Jelly, apple231
raspberry and currant233
Jellies, note upon236
Macaroon basket230
Naples sponge213
Narcissus blanc-mange216
Ribbon jelly and cream209
Snow, apple (No. 1)226
(No. 2)226
Trifle, an ambushed222
Trifles, queen of224
Turret cream212
Tutti frutti jelly234
Velvet cream230
Puffs, chocolate259
coffee cream259
vanilla cream259
Pudding, almond corn-starch244
apple batter255
and batter283
arrowroot (cold)242
baked apple255
boiled apple254
Boston lemon270
bread and raisins249
corn-meal fruit245
cherry bread250
[456]custard bread251
cherry soufflé279
corn-meal without eggs246
English tapioca242
farmer’s plum274
fruit bread248
sponge cake (boiled)265
sponge cake (baked)266
impromptu Christmas276
macaroni and almond252
marrow sponge263
nursery plum275
orange custard272
peach batter256
plain boiled (No. 1)273
(No. 2)273
plain macaroni253
plain sponge-cake264
rice-flour, hasty247
rice with fruit238
rock custard272
rice soufflé281
southern rice240
sponge-cake soufflé279
Susie’s bread248
tapioca custard241
Willie’s favorite250
Jelly puddings274
A very delicate soufflé282
Léche créma soufflé278
Peach léche créma256
Rice méringue240
Rosie’s rice custard241
Fritters, apple287
peach (with yeast)290
roll, or imitation doughnuts292
(Confidential—with John.)
[457]RIPE FRUIT308
Apples and jelly313
Baked pears313
Boiled chestnuts314
Cocoanut frost on custard312
Frosted peaches310
Frosted and glacé oranges311
Stewed apples313
Tropical snow312
Walnuts and hickory nuts314
Cake, apple317
a Charlotte à la Parisienne336
a Charlotte cachée321
Carolina, without eggs316
Charlotte polonaise319
cocoanut and almond330
cocoanut sponge331
cream rose327
corn-starch cup339
Fred’s favorite339
fruit and nut341
Jeanie’s fruit337
mother’s cup322
Mont Blanc326
molasses fruit333
my lady’s329
Neapolitan (yellow, pink, white, and brown)323
pink and white323
Nellie’s cup316
“One, Two, Three” cup340
risen seed335
rich almond336
snow drift340
Cakes, almond—small350
rich drop346
rose drop345
snow drops346
Cookies, Bertie’s347
Aunt Molly’s348
Lemon macaroons349
Fried jumbles354
Seed wafers353
Almond icing322
Genuine Scotch short-bread354
Gingerbread, eggless343
A cozy for a teapot362
A summer drink362
Coffee with whipped cream368
Café au lait, frothed363
Chocolate, frothed363
Claret cup365
Ginger cordial366
Mulled ale367
Orange cream373
Porteree, very fine366
Punch, milk (hot)367
rum milk368
Rose syrup372
Shrub, currant and raspberry369
Tea à la Russe360
milk punch361
Vanilla liqueur373
White lemonade365
Bitter almond376
Candy, peanut383
Dotty Dimple’s vinegar384
lemon cream384
marbled cream386
Candied lemon peel381
Cherries, canned381
Chocolate caramels385
[459]cream drops386
Maple syrup382
Marmalade, apple378
Dundee orange380
pear and quince379
Another treasure395
Cleansing cream393
For cholera symptoms389
a cough389
chapped hands and lips392
sore eyes393
For sudden hoarseness388
Mixture for cleaning black cloth, or worsted dresses393
Mustard plasters391
Parting words398
Pumpkin flour394
Seymour Pudding396
Strawberry short-cake396
To clean marble394
Welsh rarebit397
Part II425


“The very best, the most sensible, the most practical, the most honest book on this matter of getting up good dinners, and living in a decent, Christian way, that has yet found its way in our household.”—Watchman and Reflector.

decorative line
New Edition. One volume, 12mo, cloth,        Price, $1.75

Kitchen Edition, in Oil-Cloth Covers, at same price.

This edition is printed from new electrotype plates and bound in a new pattern cloth binding, and also in the favorite “Kitchen Edition” style.

The popularity of this book has increased steadily for the last ten years, and the sale has reached the extraordinary number of

Over 100,000 Copies.

Many housekeepers will gladly welcome their old friend in a new dress, and renew their copies worn by constant use; or, as the author herself expresses it, “I hope my fellow-workers will find their old kitchen companion in fresh dress, yet more serviceable than before, and that their daughters may, at the close of a second decade, demand new stereotype plates for still another and like this a progressive edition.”

With the new edition of “Common Sense,” the Publishers will issue, in uniform style:

One volume, 12mo, 720 pp., cloth, or “Kitchen Edition,” without colored plates         $1.75.

One volume, 12mo. Cloth, or “Kitchen Edition,”           $1.75.

Note.The Dinner Year Book, with six colored plates, illustrating twenty-eight subjects, handsomely bound in cloth, will be continued in print at the regular price, $2.25.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent, post-paid, upon receipt of price, by

743 and 745 Broadway, New York


One Volume, 8vo, Richly Bound in Illuminated Cloth, with numerous Illustrations and Five Colored Plates from designs by Samuel Colman, Rosina Emmet, George Gibson, and others.
Price, $2.00.

Mrs. Harrison’s book combines a discussion of the principles of design and decoration, practical chapters on embroidery, painting on silk and china, etc., with most helpful hints as to the domestic manufacture of many objects of use and beauty in house-furnishing, and also suggestions for the arrangement and decoration of rooms in the details of screens, portieres, the mantel-piece, etc.


“A volume quite the most comprehensive of its kind ever published.”—The Art Interchange.

“It is, indeed, the most comprehensive and practical guide to the amateur decorative arts that has yet appeared.”—Art Amateur.

“The work supplies a current need of the day, which nothing else has met.”—Boston Traveller.

“Unquestionably one of the very best of its class that we have.”—N. Y. Evening Post.

“Mrs. Harrison has grouped together in her book about as much useful information as it is possible to get together in the same number of pages.”—Baltimore Gazette.

“Mrs. Harrison’s book is one of the very few books on household art which can be unreservedly commended.”—The World.

“Mrs. Harrison’s suggestions are within the reach of the most limited means.”—The Critic.

“Full of suggestions, descriptions, and illustrations, of the kind that fascinate all those whose chief joy is in making home beautiful and happy.”—N. Y. Observer.

“Everything important that relates to the furnishing and ornamentation of houses will be found in this work, which is rich in important information, and noticeable for its good taste, sound judgment, and practical wisdom.”—Boston Saturday Eve. Gazette.

“Mrs. Harrison seems to have included in her work instructions for every æsthetic emergency that can arise in a household.”—Providence Journal.


For sale by all booksellers, or sent, post-paid, upon receipt of price, by

743 and 745 Broadway, New York


“One of the ablest of recent American novels, and indeed of all recent works of fiction.”—London Spectator.

Author of “The Hoosier Schoolmaster,” “Circuit Rider,” Etc.

One volume, 12mo, cloth, with Twelve full-page Illustrations
from original designs by Mr. Walter Shirlaw.
Price,          .         .         . $1.50.


“‘Roxy’ may be accepted as the latest example of a purely American novel, and to say the least, one of the very best.”—New York Tribune.

“In this novel Mr. Eggleston’s powers appear at their best and amplest, and he has accomplished the by no means easy task of excelling himself.”—Boston Journal.

“There can be no doubt whatever that ‘Roxy’ is the best product of Dr. Eggleston’s activity in the field of fiction.”—New York Eve. Post.

“As a pure, but vigorous American romance, Mr. Eggleston’s new work is better even than his ‘Hoosier Schoolmaster’ and ‘Circuit Rider.’”—Phila. Eve. Bulletin.

“It strengthens the author’s position as a writer who has brought new life and a decided manliness into our native fiction.”—Boston Courier.

“‘Roxy,’ a story whose purport and power are much deeper than the author has before reached.”—Springfield Republican.

“The story is powerfully told, and if Mr. Eggleston had written nothing else, ‘Roxy’ would place him in a foremost position among American authors.”—N. Y. Commercial Advertiser.

“Its pictures of Western life are vivid, and throughout betray the hand of a master in literature and fiction.”—Episcopal Register.

“As a faithful picture of American life, it ranks far above any novel published in the United States during the past twenty years.”—Brooklyn Times.

“We advise our readers to buy and read ‘Roxy.’ They will find the plot deeply interesting, and will gather from it not only transient pleasure, but permanent good.”—Louisville Post.

“The story of ‘Roxy’ is Dr. Eggleston’s best work. It attains a higher merit than his other works in epic purpose as well as a dramatic form.”—The Methodist.

“Buy the book and read it, as it is well worth the time spent to do it.”—Washington Chronicle.


The above book for sale by all booksellers, or will be sent, post or express charges paid, upon receipt of the price by the publishers,

743 and 745 Broadway, New York


To those who love a pure diction, a healthful tone, and thought that leads up to the higher and better aims, that gives brighter color to some of the hard, dull phases of life, that awakens the mind to renewed activity, and makes one mentally better, the prose and poetical works of Dr. Holland will prove an ever new, ever welcome source from which to draw.”—New Haven Palladium.

Complete Writings of Dr. J. G. Holland
Each one vol., 16mo, (sold separately,) Price, $1.25.

Messrs. Charles Scribner’s Sons have now completed the issue of a New Edition of Dr. Holland’s Writings, printed from new plates, in a very attractive style, in artistic binding, and at a greatly reduced price.

It is believed that the aggregate sale of Dr. Holland’s Books, amounting as it does to half a million volumes, exceeds the circulation of the writings of any other American author. There is not a single book of his which has not had an unquestionable success, and most of them have been in such constant and increasing demand that the plates were actually worn out.

EVERY-DAY TOPICS, First Series,                   
          EVERY-DAY TOPICS, Second Series. A New Volume.



16 Volumes, in a Box, per set,           $20.00.
Complete Poetical Writings of Dr. J. G. Holland.
With Illustrations by Reinhart, Griswold, and Mary Hallock Foote, and Portrait by Wyatt Eaton. Printed from New Stereotyped Plates, Prepared expressly for this Edition.

One Volume, 8vo. Extra Cloth,           $5.00.

Dr. Holland will always find a congenial audience in the homes of culture and refinement. He does not affect the play of the darker and fiercer passions, but delights in the sweet images that cluster around the domestic hearth. He cherishes a strong fellow-feeling with the pure and tranquil life in the modest social circles of the American people, and has thus won his way to the companionship of many friendly hearts.”—N. Y. Tribune.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent post-paid upon receipt of price by
743 and 745 Broadway, New York


[A] See Page 200.

[B] Prepared at the Alden Fruit Factory, Colon, Michigan.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired. Varied hyphenation retained which will be most obvious in table-spoonfuls and tea-spoonfuls.

Four instances of “pâté” were changed to “paté” to match the 22 other instances.

Page 14, “ragout” changed to “ragoût”

Page 92, “ouce” changed to “once” (wine, boil up once)

Page 114, “juce” changed to “juice” (wine and lemon-juice)

Page 118, “resistance” changed to “résistance” (well as the pièce de résistance)

Page 143, “beafsteak” changed to “beefsteak” (fry beefsteak in lard)

Page 164, “stiring” changed to “stirring” (Cook two minutes, stirring)

Page 179, “alwed” changed to “allowed” (if allowed to cool)

Page 201, “browine” changed to “brownie” (a benevolent brownie)

Page 213, “beautifnl” changed to “beautiful” (is a beautiful dessert)

Page 217, “meringue” changed to “méringue” to match rest of usage (into the méringue on)

Page 236, “mininum” changed to “minimum” (the minimum quantity of)

Page 244, word “milk” added to text (into the boiling milk)

Page 285, Bell Fritters was missing the actual second ingredient on list though the measurement was there. As flour is mentioned in the directions, it is assumed that the measurement referred to that and it was added to the text (2 cups of prepared flour)

Page 299, “bo” changed to “be” (you and all husbands be)

Page 306, “magnaminous” changed to “magnanimous” (and magnanimous enough)

Page 344, “I” changed to “1” for Sugar Gingerbread (1 teaspoonful of soda)

Page 345, number “1” added to the first ingredient of “grated cocoanut” for (Cocoanut Cakes.)

Page 451, “Entrèes” changed to “Entrées” (Entrées and Relishes)

Page 456, “meringue” changed to “méringue” (Rice méringue)