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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/787

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701
RECIPES FOR COOKING POULTRY

sauce poured over, and hand the remainder separately. Plainly-boiled green peas should accompany this dish.

Time.—About 1 hour. Average Cost, 3s. 9d. to 4s. 6d. Sufficient for 3 or 4 persons. Seasonable from March to August.

Duck Snares in the Lincolnshire Fens.—The following method was formerly practised in snaring wild ducks in the fens of Lincolnshire. The favourite haunts of the birds in the lakes to which they resorted were noticed, and a ditch was cut across the entrance to the most sequestered part of a haunt. This ditch of a circular shape narrowed gradually from its entrance to the further end which was usually 2 feet in width. On each side of the ditch the banks of the lake were kept clear of weeds and close herbage, to enable the ducks to rest upon them. Along the ditch poles were driven into the ground, close to the edge on each side, the top of the poles being bent across and secured together. The poles then bent forward at the entrance to the ditch, and formed an arch, the top of which was 10 feet distant from the surface of the water; the arch was made to decrease in height as the ditch decreased in width, so that the remote end was not more than 18 in. in height. The poles were placed about 6 ft. from each other, and connected with other poles laid lengthwise across the arch and fastened together. A net was thrown over all, and made fast to a reed fence at the entrance 9 or 10 yards up the ditch, and afterwards strongly pegged to the ground. At the end of the ditch furthest from the entrance was fixed a "tunnel" net, 4 yards in length of a circular form, and kept open by a number of hoops 18 in. in diameter, placed at a small distance from each other to keep it distended. On one side a number of reed fences, called "shootings," were constructed, for the purpose of screening the decoy-man from observation, and in such a manner that the fowl in the decoy might not be alarmed while he was driving those in the pipe. These "shootings," ten in number, were about 4 yards in length and 6 feet in height. From the end of the last shooting a person could not see the lake owing to the bend of the ditch, and there was then no further occasion for shelter. Except for these "shootings" the fowl that remained about the mouth of the ditch would have been alarmed if the person driving the ducks already under the net should have been exposed, and would become so shy as entirely to forsake the place.

1218.—DUCK WITH CARROTS. (Fr.Canard aux Carottes.)

Ingredients.—Remains of cold ducks, 3 or 4 large carrots, ½ a pint of Espagnole sauce (see Sauces, No. 244), 1 oz. of butter, sugar, salt and pepper.

Method.—Boil the carrots in a small quantity of water with a small piece of loaf sugar until tender, then rub them through a fine sieve, season to taste, add the butter, and re-heat. Cut the ducks into pieces convenient for serving, put them into the hot sauce, and let them simmer very gently for ½ an hour. Place the purée of carrots on a hot dish, arrange the pieces of duck neatly on the top, pour the sauce round, and serve.

Time.—About 1 hour. Average Cost, 9d., exclusive of the duck. Sufficient for 3 or 4 persons. Seasonable from August to March.

The Decoy-Man, Dog and Ducks.—The decoy-man on approaching the ditch, described above, took a piece of lighted peat or turf and held it near to his mouth, to prevent the ducks smelling him. A specially trained dog accompanied him. The man then walked very silently about half-way up the shootings, where a small piece of wood was thrust through the reed fence, making an aperture just large enough to enable him to see if any fowls were inside; if none were there he walked on to ascertain if the ducks were about the entrance to the ditch. If successful in his search the decoy-man stopped, made a motion to his dog, and gave him a piece of cheese to eat, when the sagacious animal went directly to a hole through the reed fence, and the birds immediately flew off the bank into the water. The dog returned along the bank between the reed fences, and came out to his master at another hole. The master then gave his canine assistant something more to encourage him; and the dog repeated his rounds until the birds were attracted by his motions, and followed him into the mouth of the ditch—this operation was called "working" the ducks. The man now retreated further back, "working" the dog at different holes until his prey were sufficiently under the net. The man next commanded the dog to lie down under the fence, and going himself forward to the ditch nearest to the lake, he took off his hat, and waved it between the shootings. All the birds that were under the net could then see him, but not those which were in the lake. The former flew forwards; and the man ran to the next shooting, and waved his hat, driving the birds along until they came into the tunnel net, into which they crept. When they were all in, the decoy-man gave the net a twist, thus preventing them from getting back. He then took the net off from the end of the ditch, and taking the ducks out, one by one, dislocated their necks.