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

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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DIRECTIONS FOR CARVING FISH.                        57
the happiness of mankind, and here I will give an extract from Beeton's remarks on fish. " Among the Jews of old it was very little used, although it seems not to have been exactly interdicted, as Moses prohibited only the use of such as had neither scales nor fins. The Egyptians, however, made fish an article of diet, not­withstanding it was rejected by their priests. Egypt, however, is not a country favorable to the production of fish, though we read of the people when hungry eating it raw, and of epicures among them, having it dried."
Fish, and How Spread over the Country.—The spawn is put into balls of mud, which can be transported to any part of the country and put in pools or lakes, either large or small, but the small ones are the better. (This is a Chinese custom.) The fish are fed on a very singular vegetable- which grows on the surface of the water and multiplies during the night time with almost in­credible rapidity.
The larger fish consume in immense quantities a certain long coarse grass which grows wild in hot places or by the margins of ponds. This is thrown into the ponds, when the fish eat it at pleas­ure. Artificial ponds can be made almost anywhere in China.
In carving fish the following directions apply:
In Carving Salmon.—It is only necessary to take care to avoid breaking the flakes unnecessarily by attempting to divide them at right angles with the long axis of the fish. There is a great differ­ence in the flavor of the back or thick part, and the thin part.
A cod's head and shoulders is a most troublesome dish to, carve, because if well boiled it looks whole until touched, and then it crum­bles to pieces in the most trying way to the inexperienced carver. As in the salmon, so here, the thick and thin parts are not equally prized by all, and should be served according to choice, togeth­er with many other titbits about the head. Close to the back bone is the sound, the flavor of which is patronized by most peop'e, though not by all, as is the case with the liver also, each of whi h should be divided into portions suited to the size of the party anu their respective wishes on^he subject.
Soles are carved much in the same way as Salmon, when they are of any size, but small soles are completely divided into two or three pieces by the knife, which requires a slight twist in order to do this with ease; ladies with weak wrists have great difficulty in effecting this seemingly simple operation, but some strength will en­able any bungler to do it; yet a little knack will make up for the