The Book of Household Management, by Isabella Beeton

Chapter III.

Arrangement and Economy of the Kitchen.

62. “THE DISTRIBUTION OF A KITCHEN,” says Count Rumford, the celebrated philosopher and physician, who wrote so learnedly on all subjects connected with domestic economy and architecture, “must always depend so much on local circumstances, that general rules can hardly be given respecting it; the principles, however, on which this distribution ought, in all cases, to be made, are simple and easy to be understood,” and, in his estimation, these resolve themselves into symmetry of proportion in the building and convenience to the cook. The requisites of a good kitchen, however, demand something more special than is here pointed out. It must be remembered that it is the great laboratory of every household, and that much of the “weal or woe,” as far as regards bodily health, depends upon the nature of the preparations concocted within its walls. A good kitchen, therefore, should be erected with a view to the following particulars. 1. Convenience of distribution in its parts, with largeness of dimension. 2. Excellence of light, height of ceiling, and good ventilation. 3. Easiness of access, without passing through the house. 4. Sufficiently remote from the principal apartments of the house, that the members, visitors, or guests of the family, may not perceive the odour incident to cooking, or hear the noise of culinary operations. 5. Plenty of fuel and water, which, with the scullery, pantry, and storeroom, should be so near it, as to offer the smallest possible trouble in reaching them.

The kitchens of the Middle Ages, in England, are said to have been constructed after the fashion of those of the Romans. They were generally octagonal, with several fireplaces, but no chimneys; neither was there any wood admitted into the building. The accompanying cut, fig. 1, represents the turret which was erected on the top of the conical roof of the kitchen at Glastonbury Abbey, and which was perforated with holes to allow the smoke of the fire, as well as the steam from cooking, to escape. Some kitchens had funnels or vents below the eaves to let out the steam, which was sometimes considerable, as the Anglo–Saxons used their meat chiefly in a boiled state. From this circumstance, some of their large kitchens had four ranges, comprising a boiling-place for small boiled meats, and a boiling-house for the great boiler. In private houses the culinary arrangements were no doubt different; for Du Cange mentions a little kitchen with a chamber, even in a solarium, or upper floor.

63. THE SIMPLICITY OF THE PRIMITIVE AGES has frequently been an object of poetical admiration, and it delights the imagination to picture men living upon such fruits as spring spontaneously from the earth, and desiring no other beverages to slake their thirst, but such as fountains and rivers supply. Thus we are told, that the ancient inhabitants of Argos lived principally on pears; that the Arcadians revelled in acorns, and the Athenians in figs. This, of course, was in the golden age, before ploughing began, and when mankind enjoyed all kinds of plenty without having to earn their bread “by the sweat of their brow.” This delightful period, however, could not last for ever, and the earth became barren, and continued unfruitful till Ceres came and taught the art of sowing, with several other useful inventions. The first whom she taught to till the ground was Triptolemus, who communicated his instructions to his countrymen the Athenians. Thence the art was carried into Achaia, and thence into Arcadia. Barley was the first grain that was used, and the invention of bread-making is ascribed to Pan.

The use of fire, as an instrument of cookery, must have been coeval with this invention of bread, which, being the most necessary of all kinds of food, was frequently used in a sense so comprehensive as to include both meat and drink. It was, by the Greeks, baked under the ashes.

64. IN THE PRIMARY AGES it was deemed unlawful to eat flesh, and when mankind began to depart from their primitive habits, the flesh of swine was the first that was eaten. For several ages, it was pronounced unlawful to slaughter oxen, from an estimate of their great value in assisting men to cultivate the ground; nor was it usual to kill young animals, from a sentiment which considered it cruel to take away the life of those that had scarcely tasted the joys of existence.

At this period no cooks were kept, and we know from Homer that his ancient heroes prepared and dressed their victuals with their own hands. Ulysses, for example, we are told, like a modern charwoman, excelled at lighting a fire, whilst Achilles was an adept at turning a spit. Subsequently, heralds, employed in civil and military affairs, filled the office of cooks, and managed marriage feasts; but this, no doubt, was after mankind had advanced in the art of living, a step further than roasting, which, in all places, was the ancient manner of dressing meat.

65. THE AGE OF ROASTING we may consider as that in which the use of the metals would be introduced as adjuncts to the culinary art; and amongst these, iron, the most useful of them all, would necessarily take a prominent place. This metal is easily oxidized, but to bring it to a state of fusibility, it requires a most intense heat. Of all the metals, it is the widest diffused and most abundant; and few stones or mineral bodies are without an admixture of it. It possesses the valuable property of being welded by hammering; and hence its adaptation to the numerous purposes of civilized life.

Metallic grains of iron have been found in strawberries, and a twelfth of the weight of the wood of dried oak is said to consist of this metal. Blood owes its colour of redness to the quantity of iron it contains, and rain and snow are seldom perfectly free from it. In the arts it is employed in three states — as cast iron, wrought iron, and steel. In each of these it largely enters into the domestic economy, and stoves, grates, and the general implements of cookery, are usually composed of it. In antiquity, its employment was, comparatively speaking, equally universal. The excavations made at Pompeii have proved this. The accompanying cuts present us with specimens of stoves, both ancient and modern. Fig. 2 is the remains of a kitchen stove found in the house of Pansa, at Pompeii, and would seem, in its perfect state, not to have been materially different from such as are in use at the present day. Fig. 3 is a self-acting, simple open range in modern use, and may be had of two qualities, ranging, according to their dimensions, from £3. 10s. and £3. 18s. respectively, up to £4. 10s. and £7. 5s. They are completely fitted up with oven, boiler, sliding cheek, wrought-iron bars, revolving shelves, and brass tap. Fig. 4, is called the Improved Leamington Kitchener, and is said to surpass any other range in use, for easy cooking by one fire. It has a hot plate, which is well calculated for an ironing-stove, and on which as many vessels as will stand upon it, may be kept boiling, without being either soiled or injured. Besides, it has a perfectly ventilated and spacious wrought-iron roaster, with movable shelves, draw-out stand, double dripping-pan, and meat-stand. The roaster can be converted into an oven by closing the valves, when bread and pastry can be baked in it in a superior manner. It also has a large iron boiler with brass tap and steam-pipe, round and square gridirons for chops and steaks, ash-pan, open fire for roasting, and a set of ornamental covings with plate-warmer attached. It took a first-class prize and medal in the Great Exhibition of 1851, and was also exhibited, with all the recent improvements, at the Dublin Exhibition in 1853. Fig. 5 is another kitchener, adapted for large families. It has on the one side, a large ventilated oven; and on the other, the fire and roaster. The hot plate is over all, and there is a back boiler, made of wrought iron, with brass tap and steam-pipe. In other respects it resembles Fig. 4, with which it possesses similar advantages of construction. Either maybe had at varying prices, according to size, from £5. 15s. up to £23. 10s. They are supplied by Messrs. Richard & John Slack 336, Strand, London.

66. FROM KITCHEN RANGES to the implements used in cookery is but a step. With these, every kitchen should be well supplied, otherwise the cook must not be expected to “perform her office” in a satisfactory manner. Of the culinary utensils of the ancients, our knowledge is very limited; but as the art of living, in every civilized country, is pretty much the same, the instruments for cooking must, in a great degree, bear a striking resemblance to each other. On referring to classical antiquities, we find mentioned, among household utensils, leather bags, baskets constructed of twigs, reeds, and rushes; boxes, basins, and bellows; bread-moulds, brooms, and brushes; caldrons, colanders, cisterns, and chafing-dishes; cheese-rasps, knives, and ovens of the Dutch kind; funnels and frying-pans; handmills, soup-ladles, milk-pails, and oil-jars; presses, scales, and sieves; spits of different sizes, but some of them large enough to roast an ox; spoons, fire-tongs, trays, trenchers, and drinking-vessels; with others for carrying food, preserving milk, and holding cheese. This enumeration, if it does nothing else, will, to some extent, indicate the state of the simpler kinds of mechanical arts among the ancients.

In so far as regards the shape and construction of many of the kitchen utensils enumerated above, they bore a great resemblance to our own. This will be seen by the accompanying cuts. Fig. 6 is an ancient stock-pot in bronze, which seems to have been made to hang over the fire, and was found in the buried city of Pompeii. Fig. 7 is one of modern make, and may be obtained either of copper or wrought iron, tinned inside. Fig. 8 is another of antiquity, with a large ladle and colander, with holes attached. It is taken from the column of Trajan. The modern ones can be obtained at all prices, according to size, from 13s. 6d. up to £1. 1s.

67. IN THE MANUFACTURE OF THESE UTENSILS, bronze metal seems to have been much in favour with the ancients. It was chosen not only for their domestic vessels, but it was also much used for their public sculptures and medals. It is a compound, composed of from six to twelve parts of tin to one hundred of copper. It gives its name to figures and all pieces of sculpture made of it. Brass was another favourite metal, which is composed of copper and zinc. It is more fusible than copper, and not so apt to tarnish. In a pure state it is not malleable, unless when hot, and after it has been melted twice it will not bear the hammer. To render it capable of being wrought, it requires 7 lb. of lead to be put to 1 cwt. of its own material.

The Corinthian brass of antiquity was a mixture of silver, gold, and copper. A fine kind of brass, supposed to be made by the cementation of copper plates with calamine, is, in Germany, hammered out into leaves, and is called Dutch metal in this country. It is employed in the same way as gold leaf. Brass is much used for watchworks, as well as for wire.

68. The braziers, ladles, stewpans, saucepans, gridirons, and colanders of antiquity might generally pass for those of the English manufacture of the present day, in so far as shape is concerned. In proof of this we have placed together the following similar articles of ancient and modern pattern, in order that the reader may, at a single view, see wherein any difference that is between them, consists.

Figs. 9 and 10 are flat sauce or sauté pans, the ancient one being fluted in the handle, and having at the end a ram’s head. Figs. 11 and 12 are colanders, the handle of the ancient one being adorned, in the original, with carved representations of a cornucopia, a satyr, a goat, pigs, and other animals. Any display of taste in the adornment of such utensils, might seem to be useless; but when we remember how much more natural it is for us all to be careful of the beautiful and costly, than of the plain and cheap, it may even become a question in the economy of a kitchen, whether it would not, in the long run, be cheaper to have articles which displayed some tasteful ingenuity in their manufacture, than such as are so perfectly plain as to have no attractions whatever beyond their mere suitableness to the purposes for which they are made. Figs. 13 and 14 are saucepans, the ancient one being of bronze, originally copied from the cabinet of M. l’Abbé Charlet, and engraved in the Antiquities of Montfaucon. Figs. 15 and 17 are gridirons, and 16 and 18 dripping-pans. In all these utensils the resemblance between such as were in use 2,000 years ago, and those in use at the present day, is strikingly manifest.

69. SOME OF THE ANCIENT UTENSILS represented in the above cuts, are copied from those found amid the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii. These Roman cities were, in the first century, buried beneath the lava of an eruption of Vesuvius, and continued to be lost to the world till the beginning of the last century, when a peasant, in digging for a well, gradually discovered a small temple with some statues. Little notice, however, was taken of this circumstance till 1736, when the king of Naples, desiring to erect a palace at Portici, caused extensive excavations to be made, when the city of Herculaneum was slowly unfolded to view. Pompeii was discovered about 1750, and being easier cleared from the lava in which it had so long been entombed, disclosed itself as it existed immediately before the catastrophe which overwhelmed it, nearly two thousand years ago. It presented, to the modern world, the perfect picture of the form and structure of an ancient Roman city. The interior of its habitations, shops, baths, theatres, and temples, were all disclosed, with many of the implements used by the workmen in their various trades, and the materials on which they were employed, when the doomed city was covered with the lavian stream.

70. AMONGST THE MOST ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS of the kitchen are scales or weighing-machines for family use. These are found to have existed among the ancients, and must, at a very early age, have been both publicly and privately employed for the regulation of quantities. The modern English weights were adjusted by the 27th chapter of Magna Charta, or the great charter forced, by the barons, from King John at Runnymede, in Surrey. Therein it is declared that the weights, all over England, shall be the same, although for different commodities there were two different kinds, Troy and Avoirdupois. The origin of both is taken from a grain of wheat gathered in the middle of an ear. The standard of measures was originally kept at Winchester, and by a law of King Edgar was ordained to be observed throughout the kingdom.

Fig. 19 is an ancient pair of common scales, with two basins and a movable weight, which is made in the form of a head, covered with the pileus, because Mercury had the weights and measures under his superintendence. It is engraved on a stone in the gallery of Florence. Fig. 20 represents a modern weighing-machine, of great convenience, and generally in use in those establishments where a great deal of cooking is carried on.

71. ACCOMPANYING THE SCALES, or weighing-machines, there should be spice-boxes, and sugar and biscuit-canisters of either white or japanned tin. The covers of these should fit tightly, in order to exclude the air, and if necessary, be lettered in front, to distinguish them. The white metal of which they are usually composed, loses its colour when exposed to the air, but undergoes no further change. It enters largely into the composition of culinary utensils, many of them being entirely composed of tinned sheet-iron; the inside of copper and iron vessels also, being usually what is called tinned. This art consists of covering any metal with a thin coating of tin; and it requires the metal to be covered, to be perfectly clean and free from rust, and also that the tin, itself, be purely metallic, and entirely cleared from all ashes or refuse. Copper boilers, saucepans, and other kitchen utensils, are tinned after they are manufactured, by being first made hot and the tin rubbed on with resin. In this process, nothing ought to be used but pure grain-tin. Lead, however, is sometimes mixed with that metal, not only to make it lie more easily, but to adulterate it — a pernicious practice, which in every article connected with the cooking and preparation of food, cannot be too severely reprobated. — The following list, supplied by Messrs. Richard & John Slack, 336, Strand, will show the articles required for the kitchen of a family in the middle class of life, although it does not contain all the things that may be deemed necessary for some families, and may contain more than are required for others. As Messrs. Slack themselves, however, publish a useful illustrated catalogue, which may be had at their establishment gratis, and which it will be found advantageous to consult by those about to furnish, it supersedes the necessity of our enlarging that which we give:—

s. d.
1 Tea-kettle 6 6
1 Toasting-fork 1 0
1 Bread-grater 1 0
1 Pair of Brass Candlesticks 3 6
1 Teapot and Tray 6 6
1 Bottle-jack 9 6
6 Spoons 1 6
2 Candlesticks 2 6
1 Candle-box 1 4
6 Knives and Forks 5 3
2 Sets of Skewers 1 0
1 Meat-chopper 1 9
1 Cinder-sifter 1 3
1 Coffee-pot 2 3
1 Colander 1 6
3 Block-tin Saucepans 5 9
5 Iron Saucepans 12 0
1 Ditto and Steamer 6 6
1 Large Boiling-pot 10 0
4 Iron Stewpans 8 9
1 Dripping-pan and Stand 6 6
1 Dustpan 1 0
1 Fish and Egg-slice 1 9
2 Fish-kettles 10 0
1 Flour-box 1 0
3 Flat-irons 3 6
2 Frying-pans 4 0
1 Gridiron 2 0
1 Mustard-pot 1 0
1 Salt-cellar 0 8
1 Pepper-box 0 6
1 Pair of Bellows 2 0
3 Jelly-moulds 8 0
1 Plate-basket 5 6
1 Cheese-toaster 1 10
1 Coal-shovel 2 6
1 Wood Meat-screen 30 0
The Set £8 11 1

72. AS NOT ONLY HEALTH BUT LIFE may be said to depend on the cleanliness of culinary utensils, great attention must be paid to their condition generally, but more especially to that of the saucepans, stewpans, and boilers. Inside they should be kept perfectly clean, and where an open fire is used, the outside as clean as possible. With a Leamington range, saucepans, stewpans, &c., can be kept entirely free from smoke and soot on the outside, which is an immense saving of labour to the cook or scullery-maid. Care should be taken that the lids fit tight and close, so that soups or gravies may not be suffered to waste by evaporation. They should be made to keep the steam in and the smoke out, and should always be bright on the upper rim, where they do not immediately come in contact with the fire. Soup-pots and kettles should be washed immediately After being used, and dried before the fire, and they should be kept in a dry place, in order that they may escape the deteriorating influence of rust, and, thereby, be destroyed. Copper utensils should never be used in the kitchen unless tinned, and the utmost care should be taken, not to let the tin be rubbed off. If by chance this should occur, have it replaced before the vessel is again brought into use. Neither soup nor gravy should, at any time, be suffered to remain in them longer than is absolutely necessary, as any fat or acid that is in them, may affect the metal, so as to impregnate with poison what is intended to be eaten. Stone and earthenware vessels should be provided for soups and gravies not intended for immediate use, and, also, plenty of common dishes for the larder, that the table-set may not be used for such purposes. It is the nature of vegetables soon to turn sour, when they are apt to corrode glazed red-ware, and even metals, and frequently, thereby, to become impregnated with poisonous particles. The vinegar also in pickles, by its acidity, does the same. Consideration, therefore, should be given to these facts, and great care also taken that all sieves, jelly-bags, and tapes for collared articles, be well scalded and kept dry, or they will impart an unpleasant flavour when next used. To all these directions the cook should pay great attention, nor should they, by any means, be neglected by the mistress of the household, who ought to remember that cleanliness in the kitchen gives health and happiness to home, whilst economy will immeasurably assist in preserving them.

73. WITHOUT FUEL, A KITCHEN might be pronounced to be of little use; therefore, to discover and invent materials for supplying us with the means of domestic heat and comfort, has exercised the ingenuity of man. Those now known have been divided into five classes; the first comprehending the fluid inflammable bodies; the second, peat or turf; the third, charcoal of wood; the fourth, pit-coal charred; and the fifth, wood or pit-coal in a crude state, with the capacity of yielding a copious and bright flame. The first may be said seldom to be employed for the purposes of cookery; but peat, especially amongst rural populations, has, in all ages, been regarded as an excellent fuel. It is one of the most important productions of an alluvial soil, and belongs to the vegetable rather than the mineral kingdom. It may be described as composed of wet, spongy black earth, held together by decayed vegetables. Formerly it covered extensive tracts in England, but has greatly disappeared before the genius of agricultural improvement. Charcoal is a kind of artificial coal, used principally where a strong and clear fire is desired. It is a black, brittle, insoluble, inodorous, tasteless substance, and, when newly-made, possesses the remarkable property of absorbing certain quantities of the different gases. Its dust, when used as a polishing powder, gives great brilliancy to metals. It consists of wood half-burned, and is manufactured by cutting pieces of timber into nearly the same size, then disposing them in heaps, and covering them with earth, so as to prevent communication with the air, except when necessary to make them burn. When they have been sufficiently charred, the fire is extinguished by stopping the vents through which the air is admitted. Of coal there are various species; as, pit, culm, slate, cannel, Kilkenny, sulphurous, bovey, jet, &c. These have all their specific differences, and are employed for various purposes; but are all, more or less, used as fuel.

The use of coal for burning purposes was not known to the Romans. In Britain it was discovered about fifty years before the birth of Christ, in Lancashire, not tar from where Manchester now stands; but for ages after its discovery, so long as forests abounded, wood continued to be the fuel used for firing. The first public notice of coal is in the reign of Henry III., who, in 1272, granted a charter to the town of Newcastle, permitting the inhabitants to dig for coal. It took some centuries more, however, to bring it into common use, as this did not take place till about the first quarter of the seventeenth century, in the time of Charles I. A few years after the Restoration, we find that about 200,000 chaldrons were consumed in London. Although several countries possess mines of coal, the quality of their mineral is, in general, greatly inferior to that of Great Britain, where it is found mostly in undulating districts abounding with valleys, and interspersed with plains of considerable extent. It lies usually between the strata of other substances, and rarely in an horizontal position, but with a dip or inclination to one side. Our cut, Fig. 21, represents a section of coal as it is found in the stratum.

74. TO BE ACQUAINTED WITH THE PERIODS when things are in season, is one of the most essential pieces of knowledge which enter into the “Art of Cookery.” We have, therefore, compiled the following list, which will serve to show for every month in the year the

Times when Things are in Season.

January.

FISH. — Barbel, brill, carp, cod, crabs, crayfish, dace, eels, flounders, haddocks, herrings, lampreys, lobsters, mussels, oysters, perch, pike, plaice, prawns, shrimps, skate, smelts, soles, sprats, sturgeon, tench, thornback, turbot, whitings.

MEAT. — Beef, house lamb, mutton, pork, veal, venison.

POULTRY. — Capons, fowls, tame pigeons, pullets, rabbits, turkeys.

GAME. — Grouse, hares, partridges, pheasants, snipe, wild-fowl, woodcock.

VEGETABLES. — Beetroot, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, celery, chervil, cresses, cucumbers (forced), endive, lettuces, parsnips, potatoes, savoys, spinach, turnips — various herbs.

FRUIT. — Apples, grapes, medlars, nuts, oranges, pears, walnuts, crystallized preserves (foreign), dried fruits, such as almonds and raisins; French and Spanish plums; prunes, figs, dates.

February.

FISH. — Barbel, brill, carp, cod may be bought, but is not so good as in January, crabs, crayfish, dace, eels, flounders, haddocks, herrings, lampreys, lobsters, mussels, oysters, perch, pike, plaice, prawns, shrimps, skate, smelts, soles, sprats, sturgeon, tench, thornback, turbot, whiting.

MEAT. — Beef, house lamb, mutton, pork, veal.

POULTRY. — Capons, chickens, ducklings, tame and wild pigeons, pullets with eggs, turkeys, wild-fowl, though now not in full season.

GAME. — Grouse, hares, partridges, pheasants, snipes, woodcock.

VEGETABLES. — Beetroot, broccoli (purple and white), Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, celery, chervil, cresses, cucumbers (forced), endive, kidney-beans, lettuces, parsnips, potatoes, savoys, spinach, turnips — various herbs.

FRUIT. — Apples (golden and Dutch pippins), grapes, medlars, nuts, oranges, pears (Bon Chrétien), walnuts, dried fruits (foreign), such as almonds and raisins; French and Spanish plums; prunes, figs, dates, crystallized preserves.

March.

FISH. — Barbel, brill, carp, crabs, crayfish, dace, eels, flounders, haddocks, herrings, lampreys, lobsters, mussels, oysters, perch, pike, plaice, prawns, shrimps, skate, smelts, soles, sprats, sturgeon, tench, thornback, turbot, whiting.

MEAT. — Beef, house lamb, mutton, pork, veal.

POULTRY. — Capons, chickens, ducklings, tame and wild pigeons, pullets with eggs, turkeys, wild-fowl, though now not in full season.

GAME. — Grouse, hares, partridges, pheasants, snipes, woodcock.

VEGETABLES. — Beetroot, broccoli (purple and white), Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, celery, chervil, cresses, cucumbers (forced), endive, kidney-beans, lettuces, parsnips, potatoes, savoys, sea-kale, spinach, turnips — various herbs.

FRUIT. — Apples (golden and Dutch pippins), grapes, medlars, nuts, oranges, pears (Bon Chrétien), walnuts, dried fruits (foreign), such as almonds and raisins; French and Spanish plums; prunes, figs, dates, crystallized preserves.

April.

FISH. — Brill, carp, cockles, crabs, dory, flounders, ling, lobsters, red and gray mullet, mussels, oysters, perch, prawns, salmon (but rather scarce and expensive), shad, shrimps, skate, smelts, soles, tench, turbot, whitings.

MEAT. — Beef, lamb, mutton, veal.

POULTRY. — Chickens, ducklings, fowls, leverets, pigeons, pullets, rabbits.

GAME. — Hares.

VEGETABLES. — Broccoli, celery, lettuces, young onions, parsnips, radishes, small salad, sea-kale, spinach, sprouts — various herbs.

FRUIT. — Apples, nuts, pears, forced cherries, &e. for tarts, rhubarb, dried fruits, crystallized preserves.

May.

FISH. — Carp, chub, crabs, crayfish, dory, herrings, lobsters, mackerel, red and gray mullet, prawns, salmon, shad, smelts, soles, trout, turbot.

MEAT. — Beef, lamb, mutton, veal.

POULTRY. — Chickens, ducklings, fowls, green geese, leverets, pullets, rabbits.

VEGETABLES. — Asparagus, beans, early cabbages, carrots, cauliflowers, creases, cucumbers, lettuces, pease, early potatoes, salads, sea-kale — various herbs.

FRUIT. — Apples, green apricots, cherries, currants for tarts, gooseberries, melons, pears, rhubarb, strawberries.

June.

FISH. — Carp, crayfish, herrings, lobsters, mackerel, mullet, pike, prawns, salmon, soles, tench, trout, turbot.

MEAT. — Beef, lamb, mutton, veal, buck venison.

POULTRY. — Chickens, ducklings, fowls, green geese, leverets, plovers, pullets, rabbits, turkey poults, wheatears.

VEGETABLES. — Artichokes, asparagus, beans, cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, lettuces, onions, parsnips, pease, potatoes, radishes, small salads, sea-kale, spinach — various herbs.

FRUIT. — Apricots, cherries, currants, gooseberries, melons, nectarines, peaches, pears, pineapples, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries.

July.

FISH. — Carp, crayfish, dory, flounders, haddocks, herrings, lobsters, mackerel, mullet, pike, plaice, prawns, salmon, shrimps, soles, sturgeon, tench, thornback.

MEAT. — Beef, lamb, mutton, veal, buck venison.

POULTRY. — Chickens, ducklings, fowls, green geese, leverets, plovers, pullets, rabbits, turkey poults, wheatears, wild ducks (called flappers).

VEGETABLES. — Artichokes, asparagus, beans, cabbages, carrots, cauliflowers, celery, cresses, endive, lettuces, mushrooms, onions, pease, radishes, small salading, sea-kale, sprouts, turnips, vegetable marrow — various herbs.

FRUIT. — Apricots, cherries, currants, figs, gooseberries, melons, nectarines, pears, pineapples, plums, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts in high season, and pickled.

August.

FISH. — Brill, carp, chub, crayfish, crabs, dory, eels, flounders, grigs, herrings, lobsters, mullet, pike, prawns, salmon, shrimps, skate, soles, sturgeon, thornback, trout, turbot.

MEAT. — Beef, lamb, mutton, veal, buck venison.

POULTRY. — Chickens, ducklings, fowls, green geese, pigeons, plovers, pullets, rabbits, turkey poults, wheatears, wild ducks.

GAME. — Leverets, grouse, blackcock.

VEGETABLES. — Artichokes, asparagus, beans, carrots, cabbages, cauliflowers, celery, cresses, endive, lettuces, mushrooms, onions, pease, potatoes, radishes, sea-bale, small salading, sprouts, turnips, various kitchen herbs, vegetable marrows.

FRUIT. — Currants, figs, filberts, gooseberries, grapes, melons, mulberries, nectarines, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, raspberries, walnuts.

September.

FISH. — Brill, carp, cod, eels, flounders, lobsters, mullet, oysters, plaice, prawns, skate, soles, turbot, whiting, whitebait.

MEAT. — Beef, lamb, mutton, pork, veal.

POULTRY. — Chickens, ducks, fowls, geese, larks, pigeons, pullets, rabbits, teal, turkeys.

GAME. — Blackcock, buck venison, grouse, hares, partridges, pheasants.

VEGETABLES. — Artichokes, asparagus, beans, cabbage sprouts, carrots, celery, lettuces, mushrooms, onions, pease, potatoes, salading, sea-kale, sprouts, tomatoes, turnips, vegetable marrows — various herbs.

FRUIT. — Bullaces, damsons, figs, filberts, grapes, melons, morella-cherries, mulberries, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, quinces, walnuts.

October.

FISH. — Barbel, brill, cod, crabs, eels, flounders, gudgeons, haddocks, lobsters, mullet, oysters, plaice, prawns, skate, soles, tench, turbot, whiting.

MEAT. — Beef, mutton, pork, veal, venison.

POULTRY. — Chickens, fowls, geese, larks, pigeons, pullets, rabbits, teal, turkeys, widgeons, wild ducks.

GAME. — Blackcock, grouse, hares, partridges, pheasants, snipes, woodcocks, doe venison.

VEGETABLES. — Artichokes, beets, cabbages, cauliflowers, carrots, celery, lettuces, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, sprouts, tomatoes, turnips, vegetable marrows — various herbs.

FRUIT. — Apples, black and white bullaces, damsons, figs, filberts, grapes, pears, quinces, walnuts.

November.

FISH. — Brill, carp, cod, crabs, eels, gudgeons, haddocks, oysters, pike, soles, tench, turbot, whiting.

MEAT. — Beef, mutton, veal, doe venison.

POULTRY. — Chickens, fowls, geese, larks, pigeons, pullets, rabbits, teal, turkeys, widgeons, wild duck.

GAME. — Hares, partridges, pheasants, snipes, woodcocks.

VEGETABLES. — Beetroot, cabbages, carrots, celery, lettuces, late cucumbers, onions, potatoes, salading, spinach, sprouts — various herbs.

FRUIT. — Apples, bullaces, chestnuts, filberts, grapes, pears, walnuts.

December.

FISH. — Barbel, brill, carp, cod, crabs, eels, dace, gudgeons, haddocks, herrings, lobsters, oysters, porch, pike, shrimps, skate, sprats, soles, tench, thornback, turbot, whiting.

MEAT. — Beef, house lamb, mutton, pork, venison.

POULTRY. — Capons, chickens, fowls, geese, pigeons, pullets, rabbits, teal, turkeys, widgeons, wild ducks.

GAME. — Hares, partridges, pheasants, snipes, woodcocks.

VEGETABLES. — Broccoli, cabbages, carrots, celery, leeks, onions, potatoes, parsnips, Scotch kale, turnips, winter spinach.

FRUIT. — Apples, chestnuts, filberts, grapes, medlars, oranges, pears, walnuts, dried fruits, such as almonds and raisins, figs, dates, &c. — crystallized preserves.

75. WHEN FUEL AND FOOD ARE PROCURED, the next consideration is, how the latter may be best preserved, with a view to its being suitably dressed. More waste is often occasioned by the want of judgment, or of necessary care in this particular, than by any other cause. In the absence of proper places for keeping provisions, a hanging safe, suspended in an airy situation, is the best substitute. A well-ventilated larder, dry and shady, is better for meat and poultry, which require to be kept for some time; and the utmost skill in the culinary art will not compensate for the want of proper attention to this particular. Though it is advisable that annual food should be hung up in the open air till its fibres have lost some degree of their toughness, yet, if it is kept till it loses its natural sweetness, its flavour has become deteriorated, and, as a wholesome comestible, it has lost many of its qualities conducive to health. As soon, therefore, as the slightest trace of putrescence is detected, it has reached its highest degree of tenderness, and should be dressed immediately. During the sultry summer months, it is difficult to procure meat that is not either tough or tainted. It should, therefore, be well examined when it comes in, and if flies have touched it, the part must be cut off, and the remainder well washed. In very cold weather, meat and vegetables touched by the frost, should be brought into the kitchen early in the morning, and soaked in cold water. In loins of meat, the long pipe that runs by the bone should be taken out, as it is apt to taint; as also the kernels of beef. Rumps and edgebones of beef, when bruised, should not be purchased. All these things ought to enter into the consideration of every household manager, and great care should be taken that nothing is thrown away, or suffered to be wasted in the kitchen, which might, by proper management, be turned to a good account. The shank-bones of mutton, so little esteemed in general, give richness to soups or gravies, if well soaked and brushed before they are added to the boiling. They are also particularly nourishing for sick persons. Roast-beef bones, or shank-bones of ham, make excellent stock for pea-soup. — When the whites of eggs are used for jelly, confectionary, or other purposes, a pudding or a custard should be made, that the yolks may be used. All things likely to be wanted should be in readiness: sugars of different sorts; currants washed, picked, and perfectly dry; spices pounded, and kept in very small bottles closely corked, or in canisters, as we have already directed (72). Not more of these should be purchased at a time than are likely to be used in the course of a month. Much waste is always prevented by keeping every article in the place best suited to it. Vegetables keep best on a stone floor, if the air be excluded; meat, in a cold dry place; as also salt, sugar, sweet-meats, candles, dried meats, and hams. Rice, and all sorts of seed for puddings, should be closely covered to preserve them from insects; but even this will not prevent them from being affected by these destroyers, if they are long and carelessly kept.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/beeton/isabella/household/chapter3.html

Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31