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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/804

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1253.—PIGEONS, GRILLED. (Fr.Pigeons Grillés.)

Ingredients.—2 or 3 Bordeaux Pigeons salad-oil or oiled butter, salt and pepper.

Method.—Split the birds down the back, flatten them with a cutlet-bat, and skewer into shape. Brush over with oil or butter, season with salt and pepper, and grill over or in front of a clear fire from 15 to 20 minutes, turning frequently. Serve with tomato, piquante, brown, mushroom, or other suitable sauce.

Time.—From 15 to 20 minutes. Average Cost, 1s. to 1s. 6d. each, Sufficient, for 4 or 6 persons.

The Carrier Pigeon.—Of the various varieties of pigeons, the carrier, with the exception of the blue-rock pigeon, is probably the earliest known of these domestic birds. Carrier pigeons were used to convey to distant parts of Greece the names of the successful competitors in the Olympic games. During the Crusades, when Acre was besieged by King Richard I, his antagonist Saladin kept up a constant correspondence with the beleaguered garrison by means of carrier pigeons. The stratagem was, however, discovered when the crossbow of an English archer brought one of these feathered messengers to the ground, and Saladin's plans thus unexpectedly disclosed were frustrated.

1254.—PIGEONS, JUGGED. (Fr.Civet de Pigeon.)

Ingredients.—4 pigeons, veal forcemeat, 2 or 3 ozs. of butter, ½ a pint of strong beef stock, 1 oz. of flour, 1 finely-chopped onion, 1 glass of port or claret, salt and pepper.

Method.—Truss the pigeons as if for roasting, fry them in hot butter until well-browned, then place them in a stew-jar. Brown the onion in the butter, turn both into the stew-jar, add the stock, and a good seasoning of salt and pepper, and cover closely. Place the jar in a saucepan of boiling water, or, if more convenient, in the oven in a baking tin filled with water, and cook slowly for 2 hours. Knead the flour and 1 oz. of butter together, divide it into small pieces, and add these to the contents of the jar about ½ an hour before serving. Shape the forcemeat into small balls, egg-crumb them, fry them in hot butter or fat, and drain well. Add the wine 15 minutes before serving. Serve with the sauce poured over, and garnished with the fried forcemeat balls.

Time.—About 2½ hours. Average Cost, pigeons from 1s. to 1s. 6d. Sufficient, for 6 to 8 persons. Seasonable any time.

Tumbler Pigeons.—These pigeons are general favourites, and are found in most parts of the world. They derive their name from the inherited power they possess of turning somersaults in the air. The Tumbler pigeon is characterized by its full breast, smooth round head, thin neck, comparatively short beak, and unfeathered legs and feet. The flight and tail feathers are moderately long. The iris of a perfect bird should be a pearl-white. In the colour of its plumage and marking there is great variety. The Almond tumbler is one of the most beautiful of these birds. Highly-bred birds will attain a high elevation in the air, and there exhibit their peculiar powers. There are numerous varieties of Tumbler pigeons, as the Cumulet or Volant, Long-faced, Whiteside, Muffled, Beard, Baldhead, etc. There are also many varieties of foreign birds of this particular class, including the Bander, Magpie, Helmet and Stralsund Tumblers.

1255.—PIGEON PIE. (Fr.Pâté de Pigeons.)

Ingredients.—2 or 3 pigeons, 1 lb. of rump steak, ¼ of a lb. of ham or lean bacon, ¾ of a pint of good stock, 2 hard-boiled eggs, the yolk of 1 egg, puff paste, salt and pepper.