The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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40                                  A CHRISTMAS DINNER.
but no matter; it is just as good cold. If all these things are hot and well-served, your guests will be delightfully comfortable, and your first course will last along time, plain though your fare may be. When this course is over, all the dishes must be removed, the cloth brushed and the table laid with—at the top—a large, handsome Christmas plum pudding, with a tureen of nice wine sauce. At the bottom, two dishes of minced pies, one warmed over and one cold* on one side, a dish of fritters. In the center of the table set cheese, celery and salad, and the dinner will go delightfully till the cloth is removed and dessert comes in. This may be turned into a set of three courses by prefixing here soup, boiled turbot or salmon and two or three side dishes.
The cold venison will make hashed venison, steaks, venison cut­lets, minced venison, stewed venison, venison patties, and help to make a nice game pie. Lastly, the merest scraps of each of the foregoing viands will make the most delicious risoles.
The cold plum pudding may be warmed, but will be better served cold on a glass dish in neat pieces about the size of two fingers, or it may be broiled, fried, baked and treated in several ways here­after to be described. It will keep a long time in a dry, cold place.
The apple tarts and custards will give no trouble at all, being a great deal more dainty than when hot. The plain cold potatoes will make "pomme de terre a la maitre d'hote]/' and form"the body of the mayonaise or salad dressing, and the cold mashed are invalu­able for risoles or for serving with entrees.
Salads.—To use the cold smelts or cold fish of any kind, take the heads and tails off the fish, split thefti open, take out the bones and divide the flesh into small pieces or flakes; then take one large lettuce head or two small ones, about twenty raddishes, one head of endive, one small head of watercress, a handful of any small salad and four large slices of boiled beet-root, wash the green vege­tables in lukewarm salt water for half an hour. Take off the large outer leaves of the lettuce and the coarse stalks of the watercress; chop the whole into small pieces, adding the beet-root, and put them into a clean cloth to drain. When quite dry add the cold fish, arrange neatly on a dish or in a salad bowl and pour over it following salad dressing : Take two large potatoes or four small cold ones, beat them to a paste with a wooden spoon; add to them the yolks of four hard-boiled eggs, one tablespoonfulof mixed mustard,