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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/224

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180
HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

fish is preferred by every epicure and true connoisseur), and also when the turtle is entirely done, to have as many tureens as you mean to serve each time. You cannot put the whole in a large vessel, for various reasons: first, it will be long in cooling; secondly, when you take some out, it will break all the rest into rags. If you warm it in a bain-marie (a vessel immersed in another outer vessel of water), the turtle will always retain the same taste; but if you boil it often it becomes strong, and loses its delicacy of flavour.

The Cost of Turtle Soup.—This is the most expensive soup brought to table. It is sold by the quart—one guinea being the standard price for that quantity. The price of live turtle ranges from 8d. to 2s. per lb., according to supply and demand. When live turtle is dear, many cooks use the tinned turtle, which is killed when caught, and preserved by being put into hermetically-sealed canisters, and so sent over to England. The cost of a tin, containing 2 quarts, or 4 lb., is about £1, and for a small one, containing the green fat, 3s. 6d. From these about 6 quarts of good soup may be made. Sun-dried turtle is also sold, and answers very well. It requires to be soaked as well as stewed for a long time, and put into good stock.

The Green Turtle (Fr.: Tortue) is the best known of the various species of turtles, from the fact that its flesh furnishes the materials for the rich soup so highly prized as a table delicacy. The fat of its upper and lower shields is considered the richest and most delicate part. The green turtle is an inhabitant of the warm seas of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and is common at the Antilles and round the coast of Ascension Island. It attains the dimensions of five to seven feet, and often weighs about 700 pounds. The eggs of the green turtle are esteemed a delicacy. Turtles are amphibious and feed upon marine plants. The turtle as an article of luxury is popularly associated with the Lord Mayors' banquets.

95.—VEGETABLE SOUP (Fr.Potage aux Légumes.)

Ingredients.—2 carrots, 1 turnip, 1 onion, 1 leek, 2 strips of celery, 1 dessertspoonful of finely chopped parsley, 2 ozs. of butter, 1½ ozs. of flour, 1 pint of boiling water, 1 pint of milk, salt and pepper.

Method.—Prepare the vegetables and cut them into strips about the size of a short and rather thick match. Melt the butter in a stewpan, and fry the vegetables very slowly until the butter is absorbed, then add the water, ¾ of the milk, salt and pepper, and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender (5 to 10 minutes). Mix the flour and the rest of the milk smoothly together, pour the mixture into the saucepan, stir and cook for a few minutes, then serve.

Time.—To prepare the vegetables, 20 to 30 minutes. To make the soup, 25 to 30 minutes. Cost, about 5d. Seasonable at any time. Sufficient for 4 persons.

96.—VEGETABLE SOUP (THICK). (Fr.Potage aux Légumes, Liè.)

Ingredients.—1 quart of water, 1 pint of milk, 1 onion, 1 carrot, ½ a turnip, 4 tablespoonfuls of lentils, 2 tablespoonfuls of pearl-barley