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one of fat, and pressed as closely as possible, in order that the pie may cut firm when cold. When the pie is quite full, the lid is put on, and wet round the edge to make it adhere to the top of the walls, on which it is laid, the two being pinched together, in order to unite them more thoroughly.

In Leicestershire, and some parts of Staffordshire, a layer of raisins is often put below the meat, and, in Northamptonshire, pork pies or pasties are made with the same kind of crust as I have described, but, instead of being raised, it is rolled out, and then cut into pieces of a proper size for the top and bottom, with a long piece of the necessary width for the sides. The bottom is cemented to the walls with egg, the two parts which are to adhere being pinched together; and the crust is filled with well-seasoned meat, put in layers of fat and lean as before ; the lid is then put on, and, after it has been made to adhere to the walls, it is washed over with a feather dipped

in white of egg

These pies are frequently baked in a tin, which is made so as only to support the walls, and is fastened on one side with a kind of skewer, which

may be drawn out, so as to allow the tin to be removed without breaking the crust. As, however, the sides sometimes look too pale, when the pie is baked in a tin, the pie may be put into the oven again for a few minutes after the tin is removed, in order that the walls may be properly browned.

All pork pies should be baked slowly, on account of the solid nature of the meat; and a hole is generally made in the middle of the lid to let out the steam. No water should be put into the pie when it is made; but, when it is baked, a little gravy made from the bones of the pork may be poured in through the hole in the lid. Pork pies are never cut till they are cold. Those persons who dislike lard may use butter instead of it for the crust; but it is not quite so good.

LETTER VI.

THE LARDER. SALTING MEAT, BACON, AND HAMS. THE

DAIRY. - MANAGEMENT OF MILK, MAKING AND KEEPING

BUTTER.

MAKING CHEESE OF VARIOUS KINDS. - ICE

HOUSE, ICE-CELLAR, AND ICE-COOLER.

I will now proceed to say a few words on the other servants' offices. The Larder in a country house is generally a square or oblong room near the kitchen, and sometimes sunk a step below it. It should be kept as cool as possible, and should be contrived to be on the north side of the house. Where practicable, there should be two windows, or rather openings in the walls, opposite each other, filled in with wire network instead of glass, to allow a free current of air through the room, and yet to exclude flies and other insects. The floor should be of brick, and furnished with a drain, so that it may be frequently washed with plenty of water, without much trouble. The walls should be whitewashed, and there should be fixed in them at intervals strong iron hooks or holdfasts, for the purpose of suspending uncooked meat. Other hooks should be fixed in the ceiling, for hung beef, tongues, hams, &c. When the larder is dry, there may be also bacon racks fixed to the ceiling; but, if the situation should be damp, these will be better in the kitchen. In some places a circular rack is hung in the centre with hooks round it for game; but in very large establishments there is a separate larder for game, as the smell, when it is high, gives an unpleasant flavour to the fresh meat kept near it. In the centre of the larder there should be a strong wooden table or chopping-block for cutting the meat upon; and close under the walls there is frequently a raised settlice or dais of brick, about two feet high, which serves to support earthen, slate, or wooden troughs for salting meat. In one of the deepest of these should be a kind of pickle or brine, in which anything that is to be salted for keeping may be put; and the other more shallow troughs may be employed for slightly salting meat that is soon to be used.

The pickle for the large brine trough is made by mixing four gallons of water with a pound or a pound and a half of coarse sugar, four ounces of saltpetre, and six pounds of common or bay salt. This mixture should be boiled in a large kettle, and the scum taken off as it rises. When no more scum appears,

the vessel should be taken from the fire, and the liquid suffered to stand till it is cold. Another pickle is made by adding to four gallons of water, fourteen pounds of common salt, eight pounds of bay salt, half a pound of saltpétre, and two ounces of sal prunella. Boil the whole together for half an hour, and take off the scum; when cold it is fit for use. The first kind is best for hung beef and tongues; and the latter for salt beef and pickled pork.

When the pickle is ready, the meat to be salted should be examined, and carefully wiped dry with a coarse cloth, any flyblows or bruised parts being removed. If tongues are to be salted, the roots should be cut off, and laid aside for soups; and then the tongues should be scraped and rubbed dry before putting them into the pickling-trough. The skin of the pork should be scraped and cleaned, and the fleshy part should be carefully examined, and wiped dry, any mass that there may be of congealed blood being removed. All the meat that is to be cured being properly prepared, it should be laid in the pickling-trough and the brine poured over it; and, if there are several pieces of meat, care should be taken to lay them so that the brine may touch every part, and completely cover the whole. Meat which has been preserved in the first pickle for ten weeks or more, if cooked without being hung up to dry, will be perfectly tender, and will eat as well as meat that has been only freshly and slightly salted.

It is said that meat may be kept in this pickle for twelve months, provided the pickle be boiled and skimmed about once in two months, and that

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