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

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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338                            SPICES AND CURRIES.
retain all their freshness and flavor. There will not be water enough in them to render them insipid. If preferred, a cold syrup could be used instead of pure water, but the peaches taste natural without any sweetening.
Spices.—To have them good, one must have them prepared at home. In ordinary cooking the following proportions are used: Put into a clean paper bag, of a light straw color, 1-4 oz. of bay leaf, 1-4 oz. of thyme, 1-8 oz. of rosemary, 1-8 oz. of marjoram; put the bag into a hot screen until the herbs are quite dry; mix in a mortar with 1-2 oz. nutmeg, 1-2 oz. of cloves, 1-4 oz. of whole peppers, 1-8 oz. of Cayenne pepper; pound the whole, and pass through a hair seive. Keep the mixed spices in a dry, well-corked bottle. These spices are used either alone or with salt added. The proportion for mixing with salt is 1 oz. of the mixture to 4 oz. of fine salt. In con­formity to these proportions, a good seasoning will be secured. It is very easy to perceive all the advantages of having such a mixture prepared, together with the definite instructions as to the proper quantity required for different seasonings. As an instance of the employment of the mixture in practice, I will at once mention that 1 oz. of the spiced salt just referred to, will be the quantity required to season 3 lbs. of force meat.
Concentrated Essence of Ginger.—Unbleached, well-bruised Jamaica ginger 4 oz., rectified spirits of wine 1 pt.; digest for two weeks, press and filter.
Spices for Seasoning—How to Prepare Them.—2 oz. each of cloves and white pepper grains, 1 oz. each of nutmeg, mace, sweet basil, marjoram and thyme, 1-2 oz. of bay leaves; the herbs should be dried in the shade, in a dry, airy place, the spices coarsely beaten, then place these ingredients between sheets of vellum paper, folded over them and tied up, so as to prevent the aroma of the ingredients from escaping; then place them in a stove, with a sheet of tin to keep them from burning, dry gradually and perfectly, then crumble them at once and run them through a sifter; put in a bottle and cork tightly.
Grilled Chicken with Sharp Sauce.—Prepare your chicken as for grill, oil it slightly over, season with pepper and salt, in propor­tion to size, then place it on a gridiron over rather a fierce fire; when nearly done, put by degrees 2 tablespoonfuls of Sultana sauce over it, losing none of it; when done, have on a dish 1 oz, of butter; pour over the butter another tablespoonful of sauce, mix well, and after turning the chicken two or three times, serve it up.