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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/880

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HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

which should be highly seasoned and flavoured to counteract the insipidity which very often characterizes tinned foods. Birds, intended to be served cold should be taken out of the tin very carefully, well-dried and glazed. Breasts and wings of tinned birds are, as a rule, quite tender, but the legs are usually hard and tough, and should be converted into rissoles or croquettes and disposed of with as little delay as possible. Tinned foods of this description soon become unfit for use.

Tinned Fish.—Salmon, lobster, oysters, prawns, sardines, anchovies, herrings and red mullet are the chief varieties of tinned fish. A good brand of the two first-named, if well drained, may be used as a substitute for fresh fish in many fish entrees and salads, thus materially reducing their cost. Tinned oysters should not be served "au naturel," but they answer very well for soup, sauce and forcemeat. A good brand of prawns may be used for a curry.

Tinned and Bottled Soups.—Among the best may be mentioned: gravy, mock turtle, oxtail, tomato, turtle and other thick soups; the thin soups are less satisfactory. In an emergency tinned soups are invaluable, as they only require warming and a little additional flavouring and seasoning. Generally they may be diluted by rinsing out the tin or bottle with a small quantity of hot water.

Tinned or Bottled Vegetables are used extensively, and form an excellent substitute for fresh vegetables. To obtain satisfactory results, the method of warming should be adapted to the vegetable. A tin containing asparagus should be immersed in boiling water for about ten minutes and afterwards carefully opened, and its contents allowed to slide gently on to a drainer or a slice of toast. Peas, flageolets, lima beans and haricots verts should be well rinsed and afterwards immersed in cold water for a short time, well drained, and cooked for a few minutes in boiling water. Salt to taste should be added; a little fresh mint and a good pinch of sugar will greatly improve the flavour of peas. A little butter and a good seasoning of salt and pepper should be added to spinach, while tomatoes should be well drained, heated and seasoned to taste. Vegetables are also preserved in bottles.

Tinned and Bottled Fruits of all kinds should be emptied into a glass or porcelain dish several hours before being served, and, when possible, chilled in a refrigerator. Unsweetened bottled fruit will be found an excellent substitute for fresh fruit.

Other Methods of Preserving Meat.—There are, of course, other means of preserving meat than by tinning it. Much of the fresh meat is spoken of as "frozen" meat, and it is actually frozen as hard as a board directly it is killed, and in that state carried to the coast and put on board ships fitted with refrigerating chambers, where the air is maintained at a temperature just below freezing point, experience having shown that meat is better preserved by this