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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/808

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HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

until boiling. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, season to taste, add a pinch of nutmeg, put in the slices of turkey, and let them become quite hot without boiling. Mix the cream and yolk of egg together, add them to the contents of the stewpan, stir gently for about 5 minutes, then serve.

Time.—To re-heat the turkey, about 20 minutes. Average Cost, 6d. to 8d., exclusive of the turkey. Sufficient for 1 dish.

The Turkey (Fr. dindon).—This is one of the gallinaceous birds, the principal genera of which are the pheasants, turkeys, peacocks, bustards, pintatoes and grouse. They live chiefly on the ground scraping the earth with their feet, and feeding on seeds and grain which, previous to digestion, are macerated in their crops. They usually associate in families consisting of one male and several females. Turkeys are especially partial to the seeds of nettles. The common turkey is a native of North America, and it was introduced into England during the reign of Henry VIII. According to Tusser's Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, it began about the year 1585 to form a dish at the rural Christmas feast.

"Beefe, mutton, and pork, shred pies of the best,
Pig, veal, goose and capon, and turkey well drest:
Cheese, apples and nuts, jolly carols to hear,
As then in the country is counted good cheer."

The turkey is one of the most difficult birds to rear, and its flesh is much esteemed.

1264.—TURKEY, BOILED. (Fr.Dinde Bouilli.)

Ingredients.—1 turkey, sausage meat (1 to 2 lbs., according to size of turkey), forcemeat balls (see Forcemeats); a small head of celery, 1 pint of celery sauce (see Sauces No. 184), stock or water, 2 onions, 2 carrots, 1 small turnip, a bouquet-garni (parsley, thyme, bay-leaf), 6 white peppercorns, salt.

Method.—Prepare and truss the turkey for boiling, stuff the crop with sausage meat, wrap the bird in a well-buttered paper, and put it into a pan containing as much boiling stock or water as will cover it. When the liquor boils, add the onions, carrots, and turnip cut into large pieces, the bouquet-garni, peppercorns, and salt to taste, put on the cover and cook gently from 1½ to 2¼ hours, according to size. Meanwhile, make the forcemeat balls, and fry them in a little hot fat or butter. Cut the celery into neat pieces, and boil in well-seasoned stock or water until tender. When the turkey is sufficiently cooked, remove the trussing skewers and strings, place on a hot dish, pour the sauce over, and garnish with groups of celery, dice, and forcemeat balls. If preferred, Béchamel sauce may be substituted for the celery sauce; in any case the quantity provided should be proportionate to the size of the bird. Boiled ham or tongue usually accompanies boiled turkey.

Time.—From 2 to 2½ hours. Average Cost, 6s. to 20s., according to size of turkey and season. Seasonable, from September to March. In best condition in December and January.

The Disposition of the Turkey.—The turkey among its own flock is both fierce and quarrelsome, but among other birds is usually both weak and cowardly. The domestic cock will often keep a flock of turkeys at a distance and they will rarely attack him except in an united body, when the cock is crushed rather by the superior weight of his antagonists than by their prowess. The female is less ferocious in her disposition than the male, and when leading forth her young, to which she is very affectionate, to collect their food, gives them if attacked but slight protection, warning them of their danger rather than offering to protect her threatened brood.