Directions for making preserves
The preserving pan should be made of bell metal, flat at the bottom, very large in diameter, but not deep. It should have a cover to fit closely, and handles at the sides of the pan, for taking it off with ease when the syrup boils too fast. There should also be a large chafing-dish with long legs, for the convenience of moving it to any part of the room. The process is a tedious one; and if the superintendent be not comfortably situated, the preserves cannot be properly managed. A ladle the size of a saucer, pierced and having a long handle, will be necessary for taking up the fruit without syrup. When a chafing-dish cannot be procured, the best substitute is a brick stove, with a grating, to burn charcoal. The sugar should be the best double refined; but if the pure amber coloured sugar house syrup from the West Indies can be got, it is greatly superior; it never ferments, and the trouble is very much lessened by having ready made syrup, in which it is only necessary to boil the fruit till clear. All delicate fruit should be done gently, and not allowed to remain more than half an hour after it begins to stew, before it is laid on dishes to cool; it must be put into the syrup again for the same time; continue this until it is sufficiently transparent. The advantage of this method is that the preserves are less liable to boil to pieces, than when done all at one time. It is injudicious to put more in the pan at once, than can lie on the bottom without crowding. The pan must be made bright, and nothing permitted to cool in it, lest it should canker. Delicate preserves should be kept in small glasses or pots, that will not hold more than one or two pounds, for the admission of air injures them; put letter paper wet with brandy on the preserves, and cover the tops with many folds of soft paper, that will tie round closely; keep them in a dry place, and expose them constantly to the sun to check fermentation. Fruit for preserving should be in full perfection, but not too ripe.
Get the finest yellow cling-stones, pare them, and lay them in a bowl; have their weight of sugar pounded, and sprinkle it over them as they are put in; let them stand two or three hours, put them together with the sugar into the pan, add a little water, and let the peaches remain till thoroughly scalded; take them out with the ladle, draining off the syrup; should there not be enough to cover the peaches, add more Water, boil it and skim it, return the fruit, and do them gently till quite clear. Have some stones cracked, blanch the kernels, and preserve them with the peaches.
Pare the peaches, and cut them in as large slices as possible; have their weight in sugar, and preserve them as the others.
Get yellow soft peaches that are not quite ripe, pare and divide them, scrape the places where the stones lay with a tea-spoon, and follow the former directions.
Take the ripest soft peaches, (the yellow ones make the prettiest marmalade,) pare them, and take out the stones; put them in the pan with one pound of dry light coloured brown sugar to, two of peaches: when they are juicy, they do not require water: with a silver or wooden spoon, chop them with the sugar; continue to do this, and let them boil gently till they are a transparent pulp, that will be a jelly when cold. Puffs made of this marmalade are very delicious.
Slice them thin, and boil them till clear in a syrup made with half their weight of sugar; lay them on dishes in the sun, and turn them till dry; pack them in pots with powdered sugar sifted over each layer; should there be syrup left, continue the process with other peaches. They are very nice when done pure honey instead of sugar.
The small pears are better for preserving than large ones. Pare them, and make a syrup, with their weight of sugar, and a little water--leave the stem on, and stick a clove in the blossom end of each; stew them till perfectly transparent.
Boil the pears till soft--when cold, rub the pulp through a sieve, and boil it to a jelly, allowing one pound of sugar to two of pears.
Select the finest and most perfect quinces, lay them on shelves, but do not let them touch each other; keep them till they look yellow and have a fragrant smell; put as many in the preserving pan as can lie conveniently, cover them with water, and scald them well: then take out the cores, and put them in water; cover the pan and boil them some time; strain the water, add to it the weight of the quinces in pounded loaf sugar, dissolve and skim it, pare the quinces, put them in the pan, and should there not be syrup enough to cover them, add more water--stew them till quite transparent. They will be light coloured if kept covered during the process, and red if the cover be taken off. Fill the space the cores occupied with quince jelly, before they are put into the pots--and cover them with syrup.
Pick full ripe currants from the stem, and put them in a stone pot; then set it in an iron pot of water--take care that no water gets in: when the currants have yielded their juice, pour them into a jelly bag--let it run as long as it will without pressing, which must be reserved for the best jelly; you may then squeeze the bag to make inferior kind. To each pint of this juice, put one pound of loaf sugar powdered--boil it fifteen or twenty minutes--skim it clean, and put it in glasses; expose them daily to the sun to prevent fermentation.
Prepare the quinces as before directed, take off the stems and blossoms, wash them clean, and cut them in slices without paring; fill the pan, and pour in water to cover them--stew them gently, putting in a little water occasionally till they are soft; then pour them into a jelly bag; let all the liquor run through without pressing it, which must be set aside for the best jelly; to each pint of this, put a pound of loaf sugar pounded, and boil it to a jelly. The bag may be squeezed for an inferior, but a very nice jelly.
Boil the quinces in water until soft, let them cool, and rub all the pulp through a sieve: put two pounds of it to one of sugar, pound a little cochineal, sift in through fine muslin, and mix it with the quince to give a colour; pick out the seeds, tie them in a muslin bag, and boil them with the marmalade: when it is a thick jelly, take out the seeds, and put it in pots.
The most beautiful cherries to preserve, are the carnation and common light red, with short stems; select the finest that are not too ripe; take an equal weight with the cherries of double refined sugar, make it into a syrup, and preserve them without stoning, and with the stems on; if they be done carefully, and the "Directions for preserving" closely attended to, the stems will not come off, and they will be so transparent that the stones may be seen.
Take out the stones with a quill over a deep dish, to save the juice that runs from them; put to the juice a pound of sugar for each pound of cherries, weighed after they are stoned; boil and skim the syrup, then put in the fruit, and stew till quite clear.
Stone them, and save the juice: weigh the cherries, and allow one pound of good brown sugar to three of the fruit; boil it with the juice, put the cherries in, stew them fifteen or twenty minutes, take them out, drain off the syrup, and lay the cherries in dishes to dry in the sun; keep the syrup to pour over a little at a time, as it dries on the cherries, which must be frequently turned over; when all the syrup is used, put the cherries away in pots, sprinkling a little powdered loaf sugar between the layers. They make excellent pies, puddings, and charlottes.
To each pound of ripe red or English raspberries, put one pound of loaf sugar--stir it frequently, and stew till it is a thick jelly.
Get the largest strawberries before they are too ripe; have the best loaf sugar, one pound to each of strawberries--stew them very gently, taking them out to cool frequently, that they may not be mashed; when they look clear, they are done enough.
Is made in the same manner as the raspberry, and is very fine to mix with cream for blanc mange, puffs, sweet-meat puddings, &c. &c.
Select young gooseberries, make a syrup with one pound of loaf sugar to each of fruit; stew them till quite clear and the syrup becomes thick, but do not let them be mashed. They are excellent made into tarts--do not cover the pan while they are stewing.
Take freshly gathered apricots not too ripe; to half their weight of loaf sugar, add as much water as will cover the fruit; boil and skim it: then put in the apricots, and let them remain five or six minutes: take them up without syrup, and lay them on dishes to cool; boil the syrup till reduced one half; when the apricots are cold, put them in bottles, and cover them with equal quantities of syrup and French brandy. If the apricots be cling-stones, they will require more scalding.
Get yellow soft peaches, perfectly free from defect and newly gathered, but not too ripe; place them in a pot, and cover them with cold weak lye; turn over those that float frequently, that the lye may act equally on them; at the end of an hour take them out, wipe them carefully with a soft cloth to get off the down and skin, and lay them in cold water; make a syrup as for the apricots, and proceed in the same manner, only scald the peaches more.
Get the short stemmed bright red cherries in bunches--make a syrup, with equal quantities of sugar and cherries; scald the cherries, but do not let the skins crack, which they will do if the fruit be too ripe.
Select those that are free from blemish--make a syrup with half their weight of sugar, and preserve them in the same manner directed for apricots--green gages. The large amber, and the blue plums, are also excellent, done in the same way.
Grate the yellow rind from two dozen fine fresh lemons, quarter them but leave them whole at the bottom; sprinkle salt on them, and put them in the sun every day until dry; then brush off the salt, put them in a pot with one ounce of nutmegs, and one of mace pounded; a large handful of horse radish scraped and dried two dozen cloves of garlic, and a pint of mustard seed; pour on one gallon of strong vinegar, tie the pot close, put a board on, and let it stand three months--strain it, and when perfectly clear, bottle it.
Gather a peck of tomatos, pick out the stems, and wash them; put them on the fire without water, sprinkle on a few spoonsful of salt, let them boil steadily an hour, stirring them frequently; strain them through a colander, and then through a sieve; put the liquid on the fire with half a pint of chopped onions, half a quarter of an ounce of mace broke into small pieces; and if not sufficiently salt, add a little more--one table-spoonful of whole black pepper; boil all together until just enough to fill two bottles; cork it tight. Make it in August, in dry weather.
Gather full grown tomatos while quite green; take out the stems, and stew them till soft; rub them through a sieve, put the pulp on the fire seasoned highly with pepper, salt, and pounded cloves; add some garlic, and stew all together till thick: it keeps well, and is excellent for seasoning gravies, &c. &c.
Prepare it in the same manner, mix some loaf sugar with the pulp, and stew until it is a stiff jelly.
Take a bushel of full ripe tomatos, cut them in slices without skinning--sprinkle the bottom of a large tub with salt, strew in the tomatos, and over each layer of about two inches thick, sprinkle half a pint of salt, and three onions sliced without taking off the skins.
When the bushel of tomatos is thus prepared, let them remain for three days, then put them into a large iron pot, in which they must boil from early in the morning till night, constantly stirring to prevent their sticking and mashing them.
The next morning, pass the mixture through a sieve, pressing it to obtain all the liquor you can; and add to it one ounce of cloves, quarter of a pound of allspice, quarter of a pound of whole black pepper, and a small wine glass of Cayenne; let it boil slowly and constantly during the whole of the day--in the evening, put it into a suitable vessel to cool; and the day after, bottle and cork it well: place it in a cool situation during warm weather, and it will keep for many years, provided it has been boiled very slowly and sufficiently in the preparation. Should it ferment it must be boiled a second time.
Get one dozen pods of pepper when ripe, take out the stems, and cut them in two; put them in a kettle with three pints of vinegar, boil it away to one quart, and strain it through a sieve. A little of this is excellent in gravy of every kind, and gives a flavour greatly superior to black pepper; it is also very fine when added to each of the various catsups for fish sauce.
Take the flaps of the proper mushrooms from the stems--wash them, add some salt, and crush them; then boil them some time, strain them through a cloth, put them on the fire again with salt to your taste, a few cloves of garlic, and a quarter of an ounce of cloves pounded, to a peck of mushrooms; boil it till reduced to less than half the original quantity--bottle and cork it well.
Pick the tarragon nicely from the stem, let it lie in a dry place forty-eight hours; put it in a pitcher, and to one quart of the leaves put three pints of strong vinegar; cover it close, and let it stand a week--then strain it, and after standing in the pitcher till quite clear, bottle it, and cork it closely.
One ounce turmeric, one do. coriander seed, one do. cummin seed, one do. white ginger, one of nutmeg, one of mace, and one of Cayenne pepper; pound all together, and pass them through a line sieve; bottle and cork it well--one tea-spoonful is sufficient to season any made dish.
Gather them full grown, but quite young--take off the green rind, and slice them tolerably thick; put a layer in a deep dish, strew over it some chopped onion and salt; do this until they are all in; sprinkle salt on the top, let them stand six hours, put them in a colander--when all the liquor has run off, put them in a pot; strew a little cayenne pepper over each layer, and cover them with strong cold vinegar; when the pot is full, pour on some sweet oil, and tie it, up close; at the end of a fortnight, pour off the first vinegar, and put on fresh.
Gather the melons a size larger than a goose egg--put them in a pot, pour boiling salt and water made strong upon them, and cover them up; next day, cut a slit from the stem to the blossom end, and take out the seeds carefully--return them to the brine, and let them remain in it eight days; then put them in strong vinegar for a fortnight, wipe the insides with a soft cloth, stuff them and tie them, pack them in a pot with the slit uppermost; strew some of the stuffing over each layer, and keep them covered with the best vinegar.
Wash a pound of white race ginger very clean; pour boiling water on it, and let it stand twenty-four hours; slice it thin, and dry it; one pound of horse-radish scraped and dried, one pound of mustard seed washed and dried, one pound of chopped onion, one ounce of mace, one of nutmeg pounded fine, two ounces of turmeric, and a handful of whole black pepper; make these ingredients into a paste, with a quarter of a pound of mustard, and a large cup full of sweet oil; put a clove of garlic into each mango.
Put all the articles intended for the yellow pickle in a pot, and pour on them boiling salt and water--let them stand forty-eight hours, take advantage of a clear hot day, press the water from the articles, and lay them to dry in full sunshine, on a table covered with a thick soft cloth, with the corners pinned securely, that they may not blow up over the things--the cloth absorbs the moisture; and by turning them frequently on a dry place, they become white, and receive the colour of the turmeric more readily--one day of clear sunshine is enough to prepare them for the first vinegar. When dried, put them in a pot of plain cold vinegar, with a little turmeric in it--let them remain in it two weeks to draw off the water from them, and to make them plump--then put them in a clean pot, and pour on the vinegar, prepared by the following directions--this is the most economical and best way of keeping them--mix the turmeric very smoothly, before you add it to your pickles.
Put the articles you intend to pickle, in a pot--and cover them with boiling salt and water: put a thick cloth on the top, and then a plate that will fit it--let it stand till the next morning, then pour off the salt and water, boil it again, and cover them as before; do this until your pickles are a good green--then put them in plain cold vinegar, with some turmeric in it; and at the end of a fortnight, put them up, as you do the yellow pickle.
One pound of ginger sliced and dried, one of horse-radish scraped and dried, one of mustard seed washed and dried, one ounce long pepper, an ounce of mace, and one of nutmegs finely pounded; put all these ingredients in a pot, pour two gallons of strong vinegar on, and let it stand twelve months, stirring it very frequently. When this vinegar is used for the pickles, put two gallons more vinegar, with some mace and nutmegs, and keep it for another year. When the prepared vinegar is poured from the ingredients, do it very carefully, that it may be quite clear. Pickles keep much better when the vinegar is not boiled. Should the green pickles at any time lose their colour, it may be restored by adding a little more turmeric. All pickles are best, when one or two years old.
Get white onions that are not too large, cut the stem close to the root with a sharp knife, put them in a pot, pour on boiling salt and water to cover them, stop the pot closely, let them stand a fortnight, changing the salt and water every three days; they must be stirred daily, or those that float will become soft; at the end of this time, take off the skin and outer shell, put them in plain cold vinegar with a little turmeric. If the vinegar be not very pale, the onion will not be of a good colour.
Gather the berries when full grown but young, put them in a pot, pour boiling salt and water on, and let them stand three or four days; then drain off the water, and cover them with cold vinegar; add a few blades of mace, and whole grains of black pepper.
Cut them in nice bunches as soon as they are fully formed; they must be young and tender--pour boiling salt and water on them, cover with a thick cloth, and pewter plate, to keep in the steam; repeat this every day till they are a good green; then put them in cold vinegar, with mace and whole pepper; mix a little turmeric, with a small portion of oil, and stir it into the vinegar; it will make the pods of a more lively green. They are very pretty for garnishing meats.
The walnuts should be gathered when the nut is so young that you can run a pin into it easily; pour boiling salt and water on, and let them be covered with it nine days, changing it every third day--take them out, and put them on dishes in the air for a few minutes, taking care to turn them over; this will make them black much sooner--put them in a pot, strew over some whole pepper, cloves, a little garlic, mustard seed, and horse-radish scraped and dried; cover them with strong cold vinegar.
Gather the large bell pepper when quite young, leave the seeds in and the stem on, cut a slit in one side between the large veins, to let the water in; pour boiling salt and waler on, changing it every day for three weeks--you must keep them closely stopped; if at the end of this time, they be a good green, put them in pots, and cover them with cold vinegar and a little turmeric; those that are not sufficiently green, must be continued under the same process till they are so. Be careful not to cut through the large veins, as the heat will instantly diffuse itself through the pod.
Gather the walnuts as for pickling, and keep them in salt and water the same time; then pound them in a marble mortar--to every dozen walnuts, put a quart of vinegar; stir them well every day for a week, then put them in a bag, and press all the liquor through; to each quart, put a tea-spoonful of pounded cloves, and one of mace, with six cloves of garlic--boil it fifteen or twenty minutes, and bottle it.
Gather them while the shell is soft--green them with salt and water as before directed; when a good green, soak them in plain vinegar for a fortnight, and put them in the yellow pickle pot.
Pour boiling salt and water on, and cover them close--next day, take them out, dry them, and after standing in vinegar, put them with the yellow pickle.
The vessels for keeping pickles should be made of stone ware, straight from the bottom to the top, with stone covers to them; when the mouth is very wide, the pickles may be taken out without breaking them The motive for keeping all pickles in plain vinegar, previous to putting them in the prepared pot, is to draw off the water with which they are saturated, that they may not weaken the vinegar of the pot. Pickles keep much better when the vinegar is not boiled.
To three gallons of water, put three pounds of sugar, and four ounces of race ginger, washed in many waters to cleanse it; boil them together for one hour, and strain it through a sieve; when lukewarm, put it in a cask with three lemons cut in slices, and two gills of beer yeast; shake it well, and stop the cask very tight; let it stand a week to ferment; and if not clear enough to bottle, it must remain until it becomes so; it will be fit to drink in ten days after bottling.
A Necessary Refreshment at all Parties.
Boil two quarts of milk with a stick of cinnamon and let it stand to be quite cold, first taking out the cinnamon; blanch four ounces of the best sweet almonds, pound them in a marble mortar with a little rose-water; mix them well with the milk, sweeten it to your taste, and let it boil a few minutes only, lest the almonds should be oily; strain it through a very fine sieve till quite smooth, and free from the almonds, serve it up either cold or lukewarm, in glasses with handles.
Gather ripe morello cherries, pick them from the stalk, and put them in an earthen pot, which must be set into an iron pot of water; make the water boil, but take care that none of it gets into the cherries; when the juice is extracted, pour it into a bag made of tolerably thick cloth, which will permit the juice to pass, but not the pulp of your cherries; sweeten it to your taste, and when it becomes perfectly clear, bottle it--put a gill of brandy into each bottle, before you pour in the juice--cover the corks with rosin. It will keep all summer, in a dry cool place, and is delicious mixed with water.
Gather full ripe currants on a dry day, pick them from the stalks, and weigh them; then crush them with your hands, leaving none whole; for every two pounds of currants put one quart of water; stir all well together, and let it stand three hours, and strain the liquor through a sieve; then, for every three pounds of currants, put one pound of powdered loaf sugar; stir it till the sugar is dissolved, boil it, and keep skimming it, as long as any scum will rise; let it stand sixteen hours to cool, before you put it in the cask--stop it very close. If the quantity be twenty gallons, let it stand three weeks before you bottle it; if it be thirty gallons, it must remain a month; it should be perfectly clear when drawn off--put a lump of sugar in each bottle, cork it well, and keep it in a cool place, or it will turn sour. This is a pleasant and cheap wine--and if properly made, will keep good for many years. It makes an agreeable beverage for the sick, when mixed with water.
Get equal quantities of morello and common black cherries; fill your cask, and pour on (to a ten gallon cask) one gallon of boiling water; in two or three hours, fill it up with brandy--let it stand a week, then draw off all, and put another gallon of boiling water, and fill it again with brandy--at the end of the week, draw the whole off, empty the cask of the cherries, and pour in your brandy with water, to reduce the strength; first dissolving one pound of brown sugar in each gallon of your mixture. If the brandy be very strong, it will bear water enough to make the cask full.
Gather leaves from fragrant roses without bruising, fill a pitcher with them, and cover them with French brandy; next day, pour off the brandy, take out the leaves, and fill the pitcher with fresh ones, and return the brandy; do this till it is strongly impregnated, then bottle it; keep the pitcher closely covered during the process. It is better than distilled rose water for cakes, &c.
Gather ripe cling-stone peaches, wipe off the down, cut them to the stone in several places, and put them in a cask; when filled with peaches, pour on as much peach brandy as the cask will hold; let it stand six or eight weeks, then draw it off, put in water until reduced to the strength of wine; to each gallon of this, add one pound of good brown sugar--dissolve it, and pour the cordial into a cask just large enough to hold it--when perfectly clear, it is fit for use.
To each quart of ripe red raspberries, put one quart of best French brandy; let it remain about a week, then strain it through a sieve or bag, pressing out all the liquid; when you have got as much as you want, reduce the strength to your taste with water, and put a pound of powdered loaf sugar to each gallon--let it stand till refined. Strawberry cordial is made the same way. It destroys the flavour of these fruits to put them on the fire.
Put a quart of ripe red raspberries in a bowl; pour on them a quart of strong well flavoured vinegar--let them stand twenty-four hours, strain them through a bag, put this liquid on another quart, of fresh raspberries, which strain in the same manner--and then on a third quart: when this last is prepared, make it very sweet with pounded loaf sugar; refine and bottle it. It is a delicious beverage mixed with iced water.
Pick the mint early in the morning while the dew is on it, and be careful not to bruise it; pour some water over it, and drain it--put two handsful into a pitcher, with a quart of French brandy, cover it, and let it stand till next day; take the mint carefully out, and put in as much more, which must be taken out next day--do this the third time: then put three quarts of water to the brandy, and one pound of loaf sugar powdered; mix it well together--and when perfectly clear, bottle it.
Mix your mead in the proportion of thirty-six ounces of honey to four quarts of warm water; when the honey is completely held in solution, pour it into a cask. When fermented, and become perfectly clear, bottle and cork it well. If properly prepared, it is a pleasant and wholesome drink; and in summer particularly grateful, on account of the large quantity of carbonic acid gas which it contains. Its goodness, however, depends greatly on the time of bottling, and other circumstances, which can only be acquired by practice.
Dissolve two scruples flowers of Benzoin, in one quart of good rum.
Cut six fresh lemons in thin slices, put them into a quart and a half of milk, boil it until the whey is very clear, then pass it through a sieve; put to this whey, one and a half quarts of French brandy, and three pounds of powdered loaf sugar; stir it till the sugar is dissolved--let it stand to refine, and bottle it; pare some of the yellow rind of the lemons very thin, and put a little in each bottle.
Pour two gallons of boiling water on two pounds brown sugar, one and a half ounce of cream of tartar, and the same of pounded ginger; stir them well, and put it in a small cask; when milk warm, put in half a pint of good yeast, shake the cask well, and stop it close--in twenty-four hours it will be fit to bottle--cork it very well, and in ten days it will sparkle like Champaigne--one or two lemons cut in slices and put in, will improve it much. For economy, you may use molasses instead of sugar--one quart in place of two pounds. This is a wholesome and delicious beverage in warm weather.
Boil a handful of hops, and twice as much of the chippings of sassafras root, in ten gallons of water; strain it, and pour in, while hot, one gallon of molasses, two spoonsful of the essence of spruce, two spoonsful of powdered ginger, and one of pounded allspice; put it in a cask--when sufficiently cold, add half a pint of good yeast; stir it well, stop it close, and when fermented and clear, bottle and cork it tight.
Put five quarts of hops, and five of wheat bran, into fifteen gallons of water; boil it three or four hours, strain it, and pour it into a cask with one head taken out; put in five quarts of molasses, stir it till well mixed, throw a cloth over the barrel; when moderately warm, add a quart of good yeast, which must be stirred in; then stop it close with a cloth and board. When it has fermented and become quite clear, bottle it--the corks should be soaked in boiling water an hour or two, and the bottles perfectly clean, and well drained.
Get lemons quite free from blemish, squeeze them, and strain the juice; to each pint of it, put a pound of good loaf sugar pounded; stir it frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved, cover the pitcher closely, and let it stand till the dregs have subsided, and the syrup is transparent; have bottles perfectly clean and dry, put a wine glass full of French brandy into each bottle, fill it with syrup, cork it, and dip the neck into melted rosin or pitch; keep them in a cool dry cellar--do not put it on the fire--it will destroy the fine flavour of the juice.
Pour water on the peels of the lemons, let them soak till you can scrape all the white pulp off, then boil the peel till soft; preserve them with half their weight of sugar, and keep them for mince pies, cakes, &c. They are a very good substitute for citron.
To one measure of sugar, put seven measures of water moderately warm; dissolve it completely--put it into a cask, stir in yeast in the proportion of a pint to eight gallons: stop it close, and keep it in a warm place till sufficiently sour.
To one quart of clear honey, put eight quarts of warm water, mix it well together: when it has passed through the acetous fermentation, a white vinegar will be formed, in many respects better than the ordinary vinegar.
Boil two pounds of sugar with four quarts of vinegar, down to a syrup, and bottle it. This makes an excellent beverage when mixed with water, either with or without the addition of brandy. It is nearly equal a flavour to the syrup of lime juice, when made with superior vinegar.
Put a portion of acetate of potash, (sal diureticus,) into a smelling bottle; mix gradually with it half its weight of sulphuric acid, and add a few drops of oil of lavender.
Take lavender, rosemary, sage, wormwood, rue, and mint, of each a large handful; put them in a pot of earthen ware, pour on them four quarts of very strong vinegar, cover the pot closely, and put a board on the top; keep it in the hottest sun two weeks, then strain and bottle it, putting in each bottle a clove of garlic. When it has settled in the bottle and become clear, pour it off gently; do this until you get it all free from sediment. The proper time to make it is when the herbs are in full vigour, in June. This vinegar is very refreshing in crowded rooms, in the apartments of the sick; and is peculiarly grateful, when sprinkled about the house in damp weather.
Put a pint of highly rectified spirits of wine, to one ounce of essential oil of lavender, and two drachms of ambergris; shake them well together, and keep it closely stopped.
One pint spirits of wine, one ounce oil of rosemary, and two drachms essence of ambergris.
Take a pound of castile, or any other nice old soap; scrape it in small pieces, and put it on the fire with a little water--stir it till it becomes a smooth paste, pour it into a bowl, and when cold, add some lavender water, or essence of any kind--beat it with a silver spoon until well mixed, thicken it with corn meal, and keep it in small pots closely covered--for the admission of air will soon make the soap hard.
Three quarts spirits of wine, six drachms oil of lavender, one drachm oil of rosemary, three drachms essence of lemon, ten drops oil of cinnamon--mix them together very well.
Get nice sweet lard that has no salt in it--put in any agreeable perfume, beat it to a cream, and put it in small pots.
Put on the fire any quantity of lye you choose that is strong enough to bear an egg--to each gallon, add three quarters of a pound of clean grease: boil it very fast, and stir it frequently--a few hours will suffice to make it good soap. When you find by cooling a little on a plate that it is a thick jelly, and no grease appears, put in salt in the proportion of one pint to three gallons--let it boil a few minutes, and pour it in tubs to cool--(should the soap be thin, add a little water to that in the plate, stir it well, and by that means ascertain how much water is necessary for the whole quantity; very strong lye will require water to thicken it, after the incorporation is complete; this must be done before the salt is added.) Next day, cut out the soap, melt it, and cool it again; this takes out all the lye, and keeps the soap from shrinking when dried. A strict conformity to these rules, will banish the lunar bugbear, which has so long annoyed soap makers. Should cracknels be used, there must be one pound to each gallon. Kitchen grease should be clarified in a quantity of water, or the salt will prevent its incorporating with the lye. Soft soap is made in the same manner, only omitting the salt. It may also be made by putting the lye and grease together in exact proportions, and placing it under the influence of a hot sun for eight or ten days, stirring it well four or five times a day.
Wash a peck of good wheat, and pick it very clean; put it in a tub, and cover it with water; it must be kept in the sun, and the water changed every day, or it will smell very offensively. When the wheat becomes quite soft, it must be well rubbed in the hands, and the husks thrown into another tub; let this white substance settle, then pour off the water, put on fresh, stir it up well, and let it subside; do this every day till the water comes off clear--then pour it off; collect the starch in a bag, tie it up tight, and set it in the sun a few days; then open it, and dry the starch on dishes.
Gather them on a dry day, just before they begin to blossom; brush off the dust, cut them in small branches, and dry them quickly in a moderate oven; pick off the leaves when dry, pound and sift them--bottle them immediately, and cork them closely. They must be kept in a dry place.
Dissolve two tea-spoonsful of alum in a quart of moderately strong lye--stir in a gill of soft soap, and skim off the dross. Wash the silver clean in hot water, let it remain covered with this mixture for ten or fifteen minutes, turning it over frequently; then wash it in hot soap suds, and rub it well with a dry cloth.
A quarter of a pound of ivory black, two ounces of sugar candy, a quarter of an ounce of gum tragacanth; pound them all very fine, boil a bottle of porter, and stir the ingredients in while boiling hot.
Wash them in warm water, and wipe them till quite dry; then touch them lightly over, without smearing the handles, with rotten stone made wet; let it dry on them, and then rub with a clean cloth until they are bright. With this mode of cleaning, one set of knives and forks will serve a family twenty years; they will require the frequent use of a steel to keep them with a keen edge--but must never be put into very hot water, lest the handles be injured.
1. Shote being a Provincial term, and not a legitimate English Word, Mrs. R. has taken the liberty of spelling it in a way that conveys the sound of the pronunciation more clearly than shoat, the usual manner of spelling it.
***END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE VIRGINIA HOUSEWIFE***
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