Method.—The mint for this purpose must be young and fresh. Pick the leaves from the stalks, and fill a bottle or jar with them. Cover with cold vinegar, cover closely, and let the mint infuse for 14 days. Then strain the liquor into small bottles, cork securely, and store for use.
Ingredients.—7 lbs. of flap mushrooms, ½ a lb. of salt. To 1 quart of mushroom liquor add ½ an oz. of allspice, ½ an oz. of ground ginger, ¼ of a teaspoonful of pounded mace, of a teaspoonful of cayenne.
Method.—Mushrooms intended for this purpose should be gathered on a dry day. otherwise the ketchup will not keep. Trim the tips of the stalks, but do not wash nor peel the mushrooms; simply rub any part not quite clean with a little salt. Place them in a large jar, sprinkling each layer liberally with salt. Let them remain for 3 days, stirring them at least 3 times daily. At the end of that time, cook them very gently either on the stove or in a cool oven, until the juice flows freely, then strain the mushrooms through a clean cloth, and drain well, but do not squeeze them.
Replace the liquor in the jar, add allspice, ginger, cayenne and mace as stated above, place the jar in a saucepan of boiling water, and cook very gently for 3 hours. Strain 2 or 3 times through fine muslin when quite cold, pour into small bottles, cork securely, and store for use.
How to Distinguish Mushrooms from Toadstools.—The cultivated mushroom, known as Agaricus campestris, may be distinguished from the poisonous kinds of fungi by its having pink or flesh-coloured gills, or under side, and by its having invariably an agreeable smell, which the toadstool has not. Mushrooms are like a small round button, both the stalk and head being white. As they grow larger they expand their heads by degrees into a flat form, the gills underneath being first of a pale flesh colour, but becoming, as they stand longer, dark-brown or blackish. Nearly all the poisonous kinds are brown, and have in general a rank and putrid smell. Edible mushrooms are found in closely fed pastures, but seldom grow in woods, where most of the poisonous sorts flourish.
Ingredients.— ½ a peck of large mushrooms, 2 onions, 12 cloves, ¼ of an oz. of pounded mace, 2 teaspoonfuls of white pepper.
Method.—Peel the mushrooms, wipe them perfectly free from grit, remove the black fur, and reject all those that are at all worm-eaten. Put them into a stewpan with the above ingredients, but without water; shake them over a clear fire until all the liquor is dried up, but be careful not to let them burn. Arrange them on tins, dry them in a slow oven, pound them to a fine powder, which put into small, dry bottles, and cork well. Seal the corks, and keep it in a dry place. In using this powder, add it to the gravy just before serving, when it will merely require to be boiled up.