[Old Scottish Recipes Contents]
THE number of pans and other utensils used in cooking, and the bad consequences resulting from the want of attention to cleanliness in this department, must be the only apology for again insisting upon a strict attention and care in keeping every utensil bright and clean. The tables, dressers, and shelves, should likewise be often scoured and well washed; in short, every article used in cookery, should not only be thoroughly cleaned and dried before using, but immediately after, and set aside perfectly clean and dry.
Nor ought any thing be suffered to remain in pans, pots, or saucepans, as it not only imbibes a bad taste, but, from the poisonous nature of all metallic substances, must be attend ed with dangerous consequences to health, in proportion to the length of time it remains in them.
The tinning of copper and metal utensils very soon wears off; this should be carefully looked after, and occasionally repaired. Greasy substances, if left in copper, or brass pans, become very soon green, which shows the necessity of attention to cleanliness. Tin utensils, if allowed to remain wet, or set past without being perfectly dry, soon corrode and break out in holes.
Vegetables very soon turn sour, and have the effect of corroding any metallic substance, and in that manner become poisonous. Glazed earthen ware, from the quantity of lead and other noxious minerals of which they are composed, are equally dangerous, especially when used to hold acids.
All kinds of meat, in summer, ought to be purchased early in the morning, and carried to a safe place, where flies cannot enter; the parts which the flies touch almost immediately spoil. If you suspect any part to be flyblown, cut out the piece, and wash and dry the part all round it. In foggy weather meat of all kinds becomes clammy, and very soon spoils. To prevent which, immediately on returning from market wipe it very carefully with a soft linen cloth, and wrap it in another dry soft linen, laying it in folds between the parts where moist is most apt to gather. If hung in an airy, cold place, and the cloth shifted daily, the meat will keep good a considerable time. After the meat has been cut in proper pieces, examine carefully if it is any where flyblown, especially under the flat of the sirloin. All these places ought to be well rubbed with a dry cloth, or salt, particularly the chine bone. The kernels, and the pipe that runs along the bone in loins, should be taken out, as they are most liable to spoil.
Meat intended to be eaten cold, whether roasted or boiled, should be overdone, more especially in hot weather, because the gravy, or juice, causes it to turn sour.
Meat or vegetables that are frosted, should be laid in cold water two or three hours before using. Further observations will be found under the heads of Roasting, Boiling, &c.