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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/412

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354
HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

1 gill of white stock, ¼ of a gill of cream, the yolks of 3 eggs, 1 teaspoonful of lemon-juice, salt, nutmeg, white pepper, 10 small heart-shaped slices of fried bread.

Method.—Open the oysters, preserve the liquor, remove the beards, put the oysters in a stewpan with 1 oz. of butter and a little oyster liquor. Season with a pinch of salt, a grating of nutmeg, and a pinch of pepper. Stir over the fire for 2 minutes and strain. Melt the remaining 1½ ozs. of the butter in a stewpan, stir in the flour, cook slightly without browning and dilute with the liquor from the oysters, the remainder of the oyster liquor, and the stock. Stir until it boils, simmer for about 10 minutes, then add the cream, the yolks of the eggs, and the lemon-juice, and stir the mixture over the fire a few seconds longer to bind the yolks. Pass the sauce through a fine strainer or tammy-cloth, put it in a saucepan with the oysters, heat thoroughly, but on no account allow it to boil. Serve on a hot dish, garnished with croûtes of fried bread and a few sprigs of parsley.

Time.—About 15 minutes. Average Cost, 3s. 6d. Sufficient for 6 persons. Seasonable from September to April.

558.—OYSTERS, FRIED. (Fr.Huîtres frites.)

Ingredients.—1 dozen oysters, fritter batter, ½ a teaspoonful of finely-chopped parsley, ¼ of a saltspoonful of grated lemon rind, frying-fat.

Method.—Blanch the oysters in their own liquor, strain just before boiling point is reached, drain and dry them well. Make the batter as directed, and add the parsley and lemon-rind. Dip each oyster separately in the batter, fry in hot fat until crisp and lightly browned, then drain well and serve.

Time.—To fry, about 4 minutes. Average Cost, 2s. per dozen. Seasonable from September to April.

559.—OYSTER FRITTERS. (Fr.Beignets aux Huîtres.) (Another Method.)

Ingredients.—12 large oysters, 3 ozs. of flour, ¼ of a pint of tepid water, 1 tablespoonful of salad-oil or oiled butter, the whites of 2 eggs, salt, frying-fat.

Method.—Make a batter by stirring the water and salad-oil, gradually into the flour; when perfectly smooth add the salt, and lastly the stiffly whipped whites of eggs. Beard the oysters, dip them in the batter, and fry them in hot fat until they acquire a golden-brown colour.

Time.—½ an hour. Average Cost, 1s. 9d. to 2s. 3d. Sufficient for 6 persons. Seasonable from September to April.

The Oyster (Fr. huître).—This delicious mollusc is the type of the family Otsraeidae, the members of which are characterized by their inequivalve shells, i.e., one half or valve being larger than the other. The valves are connected with a bundle of strong nerves in the body of the oyster, and by their means the bivalve is able to hold its shells tightly together. The oyster is most prolific, its fertilized