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some neighbouring oak, when suddenly commodious apartments spring up, and are ready for their future descendants. These finished abodes, called in common language, vegetable excrescences, or galls, are of much importance in the ingenious art
"Of painting words, and speaking to the eyes;" and nothing can be more dissimilar than their appearance. Some are globular, of a bright red colour, and smooth fleshy consistence, resembling beautiful fruits; others, beset with spires, or clothed with hair, may be compared to capsules; others, again, might be taken for flowers; others for little mushrooms; in short, they are of at least one hundred different forms, and of all sizes, from that of a pin's head to a large walnut. Yonder oak is richly varied with bright red galls, and the branches of the wild rose-tree beyond, with such
as are of a rich brown colour and fibrous texture.
"What large-winged insect is that flying in and out among the branches of the oak-is she the owner of the beautiful excrescence which shines in the sunbeams like molten gold-surely such a delicately tinted insect befits one of those fairy palaces?"
DEATH'S-HEAD HAWK-MOTH. That beautiful creature is the bee-tiger, or death'shead hawk-moth (Acherontia atropos), frequently seen during the present month. Men in old times regarded her with superstitious dread. "The ill-omened insect," said they, "bearing the impress of a death's-head upon her shoulders, is a messenger of ill; wherever she alights upon the sill of a window, sorrow is coming fast; or sickness will seize upon some member of the family." Thus they spoke; but the lover of insects now rejoices when this magnificent moth crosses his way. Her home is not, indeed, within yonder glittering oak ball, though well it might become her; she rather prefers to hide beneath the leaves of creeping plants, or under ground, by which means she is protected from the piercing rays of the sun, and the attacks of unfriendly ichneumonidæ.
Happy is the entomologist who finds the chrysalis of this superb creature when about to give forth its inhabitant. Let him hold it in his hand and wait patiently till the bee-tiger bursts into life, at which time the antennæ and limbs appear as if enveloped in a fine membrane resembling tissuepaper, which prevents them from adhering to each other; this will, however, drop off as they unfold,
and the wings, which appear at first scarcely larger than a finger-nail, will take about two hours in expanding. The insect, meanwhile, uniformly places herself in such a manner as to admits of their hanging down, by which means they become filled with air, and a peculiar fluid that serves to supple them.
One might almost fancy that insects of various characters and habits had their own peculiar likings with regard to colour. The Apis papa veris, or tapestry bee, of which there are several in the fields, hangs the walls of her ingeniously constructed cell with brilliant tapestry formed of poppy leaves. Move gently towards the nearest tuft, and you may see her at work. She has already cut out an oval portion with her small scissors, and having placed it between her legs, she is flying homeward. Would that we could follow without alarming you, and witness your method of proceeding, pretty insect! for, without doubt, no paper-hanger could surpass you in neatness and dexterity. This, however, we cannot do, but one who did not scruple to pry into your dwelling, told concerning you, that after straightening a wrinkled petal of some half expanded poppy, you cut off the superfluous parts, and nicely adapted your fragrant arras to the walls of your apartment, covering the floor with two or three carpets of the same material, and then depositing abundance of honey and pollen which you had carefully collected for the nourishment of your family.
We rather prefer the choosing of such bright colours for the hangings of your walls than the sober tints with which your cousin (A. centuncularis), pleases herself. Her favourite hue is green; and therefore she may be seen on the leaves of trees, especially of the rose, busily employed in cutting a triangular portion, and when this hangs by the last fibre, as if fearful lest its weight should bring her to the ground, she balances her little wings for flight, and the moment it becomes detached she flies off with her prize in triumph. Thus, without rule or compass, do these diminutive creatures divide the leaves or petals-which they select as hangings for their cells-into various portions, and appropriate them with the utmost exactness. "What other architects," as the au thors of An Introduction to Entomology have justly observed, "could carry impressed upon the tablets of their memory the entire idea of the edifices they were about to erect, and when destitute of square or plumb-line, cut out their materials in exact dimensions without making a single mistake? Yet this is what the industrious insects of whom we speak invariably perform."
What a world of wonders is comprised within the space of this solitary field! what an exquisite variety of the most lovely objects! innumerable plants of different kinds, and dissimilar inhabitants, some of them flying from one flower to another, others creeping or running on the ground through labyrinths infinitely varied in shape and beauty. Here and there a little wanderer seems to meet with a friend, or neighbour, for they stop in passing, and, without doubt, exchange some kindly words, or courteous taps, with their antennæ, which they mutually comprehend. Now a small beetle rustles by, richly adorned with black spots on the sparkling scarlet of his wings, and places himself beside his mate after ascending the nearest scabious. Yonder, upon a high tuft of millefoil yarrow, perches a little butterfly with
spread wings, who delights himself in the warm sunbeams, and unrolls his singularly coiled proboscis as if preparing for a noonday meal; and near at hand, a tiny insect runs at his utmost speed the eye may scarcely follow his rapid movements, or trace the brilliant colours in which he is invested; and yet, methinks, his wings are green and gold, mottled with silver spots; they present a beauteous contrast to the gossamer wings which that tiny creature who rests herself among the lesser bindweed is quivering in the gladness of her heart. Oh Nature, how wonderful are even the smallest of thy works, how exquisitely lovely! Thrice blessed are those who know how to appreciate the quiet enjoyments which are comprised within the narrow compass of a field or meadow!
When the sun is sinking towards the west in clouds of gold and silver, the animated beings who now occupy our attention will repose among the leaves or flowers of their guardian plants. Others will be then abroad, wheeling in airy circles, or dancing beside the streamlet, whose mellow voice is heard sounding through the dell. Companions of the evening star, and "weak-eyed bat," they form a concert of no small harmony: and the times of their coming forth seem as if regulated with unerring precision. Some few emerge from their leafy citadels with the last flush of parting day; others wait till the commencement of twilight; others again fly only in the night. northern cnephasia (C. Bellana), belongs to the second order of late flyers: this charming moth of exquisite form and hue is associated with Arthur's Seat, and the handsome Geranium san
guineum. The rocks on either side the road that ascend to that elevated spot from Holyrood House, are profusely embellished with the richlycoloured crane's-bill, among which the insect opens and closes her wings as if filled with delight. This species is probably, in the larva state, a lichen feeder: and even when becoming a denizen of the air, so closely resembles the colour of some extremely pretty lichens distributed among the rocks as to be very difficult to detect when desirous of concealment. The generic name signifies flying in the dark, as the creature may be often seen floating about in the evening.
Her life, therefore, is one of quiet enjoyment. No aphide quails at her approach; no insectmother runs trembling to hide her young among the leaves: she injures no one, but rather feeds contentedly upon the lichen that forms her homely fare, and makes cheerful many a solitary spot when she flits in the grey of evening athwart our paths.
THE HOUSEWIFE'S FRIEND.
FOOD FOR SEPTEMBER. Those Fish, Poultry, &c. distinguished by Italics are to be had in greater perfection. Meat.-Beef, mutton, pork, veal, buck-venison. Fish.-Barbel, brill, carp, cockles, cod, congereels, crabs, dace, eels, flounders, gurnets, haddocks, hake, herrings, lobsters, mullet, mussels, oysters, perch, pike, plaice, prawns, shrimps, soles, tench, thornback, turbot, whitings.
Poultry and Game. Chickens, ducks, fowls, green-geese, grouse, hares, larks, leverets, moor
Hessian.-Clean the root of a neat's tongue very nicely, and half an ox's head, with salt and water, and soak them afterwards in water only. Then stew them in five or six quarts of water till pretty tender, and let the soup stand until cold, then remove the fat and add a quart of whole, or a pint of split peas, six potatoes, six large onions, twelve carrots, six turnips, a faggot of herbs, and two heads of celery, all cut fine; season with pepper, salt, mace, and a little cayenne; simmer gently, without the meat, till the vegetables are done enough to pulp with the peas through a sieve; cut up some of the meat into small pieces, and place in a saucepan with the pulped soup, which should be pretty thick; simmer for five minutes, and then serve hot.
Mock Turtle.-Take a calf's head, scald and wash it very clean, boil it for half an hour, then cut all the skin off by itself, and remove the tongue. Put a pint of veal stock (p. 86, vol. ii.), and the tongue into a saucepan with three large onions, half an ounce of cloves and mace, and sufficient nutmeg to flavour, beat fine in a mortar, add a faggot of sweet herbs and a little salt. Stew altogether, and when tender, remove the meat, cut into pieces about two inches square, and the tongue, (which must be skinned,) into pieces the same size. Strain off the liquor, put half a pound of fresh butter into the stew-pan, melt it, and add a quarter of a pound of flour, which must be kept stirring till smooth, then add the liquor, stirring it till all is in; if lumpy, it must be strained again through a sieve; season pretty well, add a pint of white wine, and some lemon-juice to flavour, and forcemeat, and egg-balls broiled, and stew gently for an hour. If too thick, add some veal stock be. fore stewing for the last time, and serve hot in the
Shin of Beef-Take a shin of beef weighing about six pounds, chop the bone in two or three places, and lay in a soup-kettle with half a pound of bacon at the bottom, cut in slices about half an inch thick; add two carrots, two turnips, a head of celery, two large onions, with a dozen peppercorns, the same of allspice, four cloves, a sprig of lemon thyme, winter savoury, and parsley. Cover the meat with cold water, set over a quick fire to boil, skim well, and let it stew gently for four hours; then remove the meat, strain off the soup, and take the fat off the surface when it is cold. Cut the meat into small pieces and put them into the soup; warm up, and serve hot in a tureen,
Brill, to fry.-Cut off the fins close to the sides of the fish, scrape off the slime, and dry them well; then egg them over, dip in bread crumbs, and fry a pale brown in plenty of dripping, or lard. Garnish with fried parsley, and serve them up with melted butter and soy, ketchup, or anchovy sauce. Some persons remove the dark skin from the one side.
Cockles, to pickle.-1. Boil the cockles with a little salt, remove from the shells, and save the liquor; then add about a third of vinegar to the liquor, and boil up with cayenne, white pepper, and a blade of mace; let this get cold, and then add to the cockles. 2. Prepare the same, only add three parts vinegar to one part liquor. (The first method is for present use, the second will keep a much longer time.)
Flounders as Water Souchy.-Prepare the same as perch and tench, p. 26, vol. ii.
Mussels, to pickle.-Prepare the same as cockles, given above.
Oyster Sausages.-Chop and pound some veal well in a mortar, then chop up an equal proportion of oysters, mix well and add some bread crumbs, and a little beef suet shred fine; moisten with some of the liquor of the oysters, season with pepper, salt, and a little mace, bind together with a well-beaten egg, form into sausages, or flat cakes, and fry a pale brown in good dripping. Oysters, scolloped. - Butter the bottoms of your scollop shells, then sprinkle with bread crumbs, and lay a sufficient number of bearded oysters to cover the bread, season with pepper and salt, and place some pieces of butter over them; place another layer of bread crumbs, oysters, and butter, until the shell is full, then cover the whole with bread crumbs, add a few pieces of butter on the top, and place in a Dutch-oven before the fire: when done, brown with a salamander, or a red-hot shovel held over the top, and serve in the scollop
Chicken Fricassee.-Half-boil a chicken in a little water, let it cool, then cut it up, and simmer in a gravy made of some of the water in which it was boiled, and the neck, head, feet, liver, and gizzard stewed well together. Add an onion, a faggot of herbs, pepper and salt, and thicken with butter rolled in flour added to the strained liquor, with a little nutmeg, then give it a boil, and add a pint of cream, stir over the fire, but do not let it boil. Put the hot chicken into a dish, pour the sauce over it, add some fried forcemeat balls, and garnish with slices of lemon.
Grouse, to pot.-Clean them nicely, and season with allspice, salt, mace, and white pepper, finely powdered. Rub each part well, then lay the breasts downwards in a pan, and pack the birds as close as possible. Put plenty of butter on them; then cover the pan with a coarse flour paste, and a paper over; tie it close, and bake. When cold, cut into proper pieces for helping; pack them close into a large potting-jar, press down, and cover with butter, then tie close.
Hare Collops.-Cut off all the flesh from an undressed hare, remove any tendons or skin, mince small, and season with salt, allspice, pepper, and a little mace. If agreeable to taste, shred a small onion fine, and add to the mince. Dust them well
with flour; and having browned some dripping in a frying pan, add the collops, and keep stirring until they become a light brown. Put the skin, bones, &c. into a saucepan with a little beef broth, and simmer well for half an hour, then strain into a saucepan, add the collops and a little port wine or claret to flavour, and simmer until done enough, taking care to remove any grease that may rise to the surface during the time the collops simmer. Serve hot in a dish, with carved sippets, and slices of lemon for a garnish.
Hare, to roast-a new way.-Skin it, and soak in plenty of cold water for two hours, then lay it in vinegar for two hours, and afterwards wash it well in cold water. Put the stuffing into the paunch, sew it up, and truss; then put down before a clear fire, and baste well with ale for a quarter of an hour, then with milk for half an hour, and afterwards with butter. Notch the neck in two or three places with a knife. Dredge well with flour, baste to a nice froth; serve with plain gravy in the dish, and currant jelly separate, or poivrade sauce.
Partridge Pie.-Pick, singe, and clean four partridges, cut off the legs at the knee, season with pepper, salt, thyme, chopped parsley, and two mushrooms of moderate size chopped fine. Put the partridges at the bottom of the dish, and lay over them some veal steak and ham, cut into pieces about two inches square; add half a pint of good veal broth (vol. ii. p. 142), cover with a good puff paste in the usual way, brush over with egg, and bake for an hour. The general way of laying the meat at the bottom of the dish is wrong, because by the method given above, the partridges receive the flavour of the meat, which is in a measure prevented by adopting the old method. In some pies-pigeons for instance-some of the meat should be placed at the bottom as well as the top.
Teal, to roast.-Dress the same as wild ducks (p. 87, vol. ii.); but it is well, unless ordered otherwise, to dress one well and the other rather less, as some epicures prefer wild-fowl underdone, as it is said to be finer flavoured. Epicures eat wild-fowl without sauce, but a good brown gravy, flavoured with shalot, cayenne, salt, and port or claret, is usually served hot over the birds.
Artichokes, to boil.-Strip off the coarse outer leaves, cut off the stalks, and steep and wash them freely in cold water; put them in the pot tops downwards, and keep up to the boil for two of three hours, taking care to keep them below the water, by floating a plate over them. If the water evaporates too quickly, add boiling water from time to time, as required. Remove the plate, take out one of the vegetables, try a leaf, and if it draws out easily, it is done; if not, return again to the pot, and keep up the boil until done. Drain them, place, tops uppermost, in a vegetable dish, and serve with melted butter in a sauce-boat.
Carrots, Flemish way.--Prepare (after boiling) in the form of dice, balls, stars, crescents, &c., and stew with chopped parsley, young onions, salt and pepper, in plain melted butter, or good brown gravy.
Mushrooms, grilled.-Procure some sound large fresh-gathered flaps, peel them, score the under part, put into an earthen dish, baste well with melted butter, and strew with pepper and salt. After they have remained thus prepared for an hour and a half, broil on both sides over a clear
fire, and serve with a lump of butter rubbed over it stand for an hour, then roll it out thin, cut into the top, and a dust of pepper, or with melted but-lozenge shapes, prick with a fork, and bake in a ter, and the juice of a lemon poured over them. quick oven. Mushrooms à la Maintenon.-Prepare the same as the last, but cook in an oven. and serve with a sauce prepared from the stalks and trimmings combined with a little good beef gravy, well seasoned, and strained.
Beef Hams.-Prepare, trim, and shape a leg of beef like a ham, then put on a dish, and baste with the following pickle morning and evening for a month, then remove from the pickle, drain, roll in bran, and smoke it. Cover with a piece of canvas, give it a coat of lime-wash, and hang in a dry place until wanted:
For a piece of meat weighing fourteen pounds, mix a pound of salt, the same of coarse brown sugar, an ounce of saltpetre, the same of bay salt, half an ounce of coarse black pepper, and three ounces of treacle, adding sufficient beer to form into a thick pickle.
Cheshire Pork Pie.-Take the skin off a loin of pork, and cut the loin into steaks, season with salt, pepper, and dried sage. Make a good crust, line the dish with it, and put in a layer of pork, then a layer of sliced pippins dipped in sugar, then another layer of pork, and add half a pint of white wine; put some pieces of butter on the top, cover in the pie and bake in a moderate oven.
Staffordshire Beef Steaks.-Beat them a little with a rolling-pin, then flour and season with salt and pepper, and fry a light brown with sliced onions. Lay the steaks in a stewpan, pour over them as much boiling water as will serve for sauce, and stew gently for half an hour, then add mushroom or walnut ketchup to flavour, and serve as
Tripe, soused.-1. Boil the tripe, and put it into salt and water, which must be changed every day until the tripe is used; then remove, dip in batter made of flour and eggs, and fry a light brown.2. Boil in salt and water with an onion shred fine, and a little parsley; serve both with melted butter in a sauce-boat.
Tripe stuffed and roasted.-Make a good stuffing (vol. iii. p. 28), lay it on the slices of tripe, roll them up so as to have the stuffing between the folds, tie each tightly round with a piece of string the same as a fillet of veal, and attach to a spit. Roast a light brown, baste with dripping, and serve with a good brown gravy.-This is considered to be the most delicious method of dressing tripe, and is generally used in the midland counties of England.
Derby Short-Cakes.-Rub half a pound of butter down into a pound of flour, and mix one egg, a quarter of a pound of sifted sugar, and as much milk as will make a paste. Roll this out thin, and cut out the cakes with any fancy shapes, or the top of a wine-glass; place on tin plates, strew over with sugar, or cover the top of each with icing, and bake for ten minutes.
Marathon Biscuits, for wine.-Rub three ounces of butter down into a pound of dry sifted fine flour, add a pinch of salt, and sugar to taste; then make into a dough with warm good milk and a table-spoonful of yeast. Knead it up quickly, let
Northumberland Pudding-Make a hasty pud. ding with a pint of milk and flour, put it into a basin, and let it stand until the next day; then mash it with a spoon, and add a quarter of a pound of clarified butter, as many currants picked and washed, sugar and brandy to flavour, and two ounces of candied lemon-peel cut fine. Pour into buttered tea-cups, bake in a moderate oven, and turn out on a dish. Serve with wine sauce over
Nottingham Pudding.-Peel six large apples, and remove the core in such a manner as to leave the fruit whole, then fill up the centre with sugar, place the fruit in a pie dish, and pour over a nice light batter, such as is used for pudding. Bake
in a moderate oven for an hour.
Oxford Dumplings.-Mix together two ounces of grated bread, four ounces of currants washed and picked, the same of shred suet, a table-spoonful of sifted sugar, a little powdered allspice, and plenty of grated lemon peel. Add two eggs and a little milk; then divide the whole into five dumplings, and fry them a light brown. Serve with
Asses' Milk, artificial.-1. Dissolve two ounces of sugar of milk in a pint of skimmed cows' milk. 2. Mix two table-spoonfuls of boiling water, two of milk, and an egg well beaten; sweeten with pounded sugar-candy. This may be partaken of two or three times during the day.
Brandy Mixture.-Mix a gill of brandy, and the same quantity of cinnamon water, with the yolks of two eggs, half an ounce of powdered white sugar, and two drops of oil of cinnamon. This is a valuable restorative in cases of extreme
exhaustion, given at intervals of ten to fifteen minutes, in doses of from one to three tablespoonfuls.
Chicken Broth.-Boil a chicken in a quart of water till about three parts cooked, or about a quarter of an hour; remove the skin and the rump, and put it into the water it was boiled in, with a slice of onion, ten white peppercorns, and a blade of mace; then simmer until it has a good sweet almonds with a tea-spoonful of water till of flavour. Beat a quarter of an ounce of blanched a good consistence and fine, add this paste to the broth, simmer for a minute, then remove, strain, When quite cold, reand set aside to get cold. move the fat, and warm the broth again; season with salt, and serve in a broth basin, with toast dice on a plate.
Diet Bread.-Take nine eggs, their weight in sifted sugar, and half their weight in flour. Beat the eggs well, and mix all well together, then grate in the rind of a lemon. Well flour a hoop, put in the bread, and bake in a quick oven.
Flour Pudding.-Take four ounces of flour, an ounce of sugar, three quarters of a pint of milk, one egg, and six grains of ginger. Mix well, and boil.
Sago Gruel.-Macerate an ounce (or a tablespoonful) of sago in a pint of water on the hob for two hours, then boil for a quarter of an hour, taking care to stir it well; sweeten with sugar, and add lemon-juice, nutineg, or ginger, and white wine if allowed.
My first's a treasure rarely to be found,
Whatever object you pursue,