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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/86

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58
HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

an ornament to the kitchen when kept beautifully clean, as they should be; but this entails considerable labour, a point to be considered where few servants are kept. Copper utensils should be frequently examined and re-tinned as soon as the linings begin to show signs of wear. One of the objections to the use of copper for culinary purposes is its liability to become coated with verdigris, or copper-rust, under careless or unskilful hands—verdigris being a poison imparting its deadly properties to any food cooked in a vessel that is tainted with it.

Boiler or Boiling Pot.—In large families this utensil comes into almost daily requisition. It is used for boiling large joints, hams, puddings, etc., and is usually made of iron. Boilers may be had in cast iron, tinned inside, to hold from 3 gallons to 7 gallons, at from 4s. 9d. to 10s., according to size; in wrought iron, with bright cover, to hold from 4 gallons to 12 gallons, from 12s. to 26s.

The Digester.—This utensil is a kind of stock-pot, made of iron, having a lid which fits closely into a groove at the top of it. No steam escapes, therefore, by the lid; and it is only through the valve at the top of the cover that the superfluous steam passes off. It is a very valuable utensil, inasmuch as by using it a larger quantity of wholesome and nourishing food may be obtained at much cheaper rates than is possible without it, and when bones are boiled in it its action will extract every nutritive particle from them, leaving nothing but the inorganic part of the bones. This utensil, when in use, should not be placed over a fierce fire, as that would injure the quality of the preparation; for whatever is cooked must be done by a slow and gradual process, the liquid being just kept at the simmering point. These digesters are made in all sizes, and may be obtained to hold from 4 quarts to 16 quarts. The prices of digesters vary according to capacity, namely, to hold 4 quarts, 3s. 9d.; 6 quarts, 5s.; 8 quarts, 6s.; 10 quarts, 7s.; 12 quarts, 8s.; and 16 quarts, 10s. 6d.

The Stock-pot.—This article is used in the preparation of stock, which forms the foundation of soups, gravies, etc. Stock-pots are made in copper, wrought steel or iron. Copper stock-pots to hold 8 quarts, fitted with tap and strainer, are supplied in a good quality for about 42s. 6d. The price of a stock-pot, of corresponding capacity, in wrought steel would be 20s. 9d. with tap and strainer, and 12s. 3d. without these conveniences. They may also be obtained in wrought iron and earthenware, the latter being specially suited to small households, because a smaller amount of heat is required to keep the contents at simmering point and the stock-pot need not be emptied every day. The tap and strainer add about 30 per cent, to the cost of a stock-pot, but the advantage of being able to draw off the stock from the bottom, leaving the fat and the bones, vegetables and other solids behind, is well worth the additional outlay.

The Braising Pan.—This vessel is employed in a culinary process,