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

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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8o                                        TURTLES.
time, put in some parsley, thyme, celery, some pepper and 1-2 pint of beef gravy ; cover it up and let it stew over a gentle fire ; when it has a good flavor of the bacon strain off the gravy. A little of this is an improvement to all gravies.
Gravy for Fried Ham.—After frying the bacon slices, take them up and have some new milk or cream to stir in the grease while hot, or it is best to stir in 1 teaspoonful of dry flour before adding the milk with a small portion of black pepper and a pinch of salt. Pour this over the ham. Some like a little minced tops of green shallots added to the gravy.
Clear Gravy.—Slice beef thin ; broil a part of it over a a very clear, quick fire, just enough to give color to the gravy, but not to dress it; put that and the raw part into a very nicely tinned stew-pan with 2 onions, a clove or two, whole black peppers, berries of allspice, parsley, thyme and a small bit of sage ; cover it with hot water, give it one boil and skim it well two or three times ; cover it and simmer till quite strong.
The mud tortoise and terrapins lay a great many eggs. Their flesh is often eaten.
The river tortoise has a soft shell. Their flesh is much esteemed. They deposit from 50 to 60 eggs in one night on the shores of the Amazon. They dig with their paws a hole 3 feet deep in the sand to deposit their eggs, about 120 in number, cover them over with the sand, a second deposit, and so on, till the hole or pit is full, which contains 300 to 400 eggs, which takes 14 days. The turtle eggs are much esteemed for their richness and flavor. The soft flesh of the sea turtle is healthy and nourishing. The fat of many species, when fresh, is used as a substitute for oil or butter.
The green turtle is celebrated for the excellency of its fat, from which turtle soup is made, which is only of recent invention.
There are many other turtles whose flesh is tender, palatable and wholesome.
Sanderson's Receipt for Cooking Terrapins.—Put them into a pot of boiling water, let them remain until dead, take them up, re­move the outer skin and toe nails, wash the terrapins in warm wa­ter, boil in water enough to cover them till tender, adding salt to suit the taste; while boiling take off the shells, remove the sand bag and gall without breaking, add any juice that may run out while cutting up, but no water; salt and pepper to taste, 1-4 lb. of fresh butter to each terrapin ; rub into the butter a table-spoonful of flour for the thickening; put these into a stew pan