Put a layer of cold roast beef or other bits of meat, chopped very fine, in bottom of dish, and season with pepper and salt, then a layer of powdered crackers, with bits of butter and a little milk, and thus place alternate layers until dish is full; wet well with gravy or broth, or a little warm water; spread over all a thick layer of crackers which have been seasoned with salt and mixed with milk and a beaten egg or two; stick bits of butter thickly over it, cover with a tin pan, and bake half to three-quarters of an hour; remove cover ten minutes before serving, and brown. Make moister if of veal. Or, another way of making the pie is to cover any bits or bones, rejected in chopping, with nearly a pint of cold water, and let them simmer for an hour or more; strain and add a chopped onion, three tablespoons Chili-sauce, a level table-spoon of salt, and the chopped meat; let simmer a few minutes, thicken with a table-spoon of flour mixed in water, let boil once, take off and let cool; put a layer of this in a pudding-dish, then a layer of sliced hard-boiled eggs and a few slices from cold boiled potatoes, then the rest of the meat, then eggs, etc.; cover with pie-crust or a baking-powder crust, make an opening in the center, and bake forty minutes.
To Stuff a Ham, wash and scrape the skin till very white, cut out a piece from thick part (use for frying), leaving the skin on the ham as far as possible, as it makes a casing for the stuffing; put in a boiler and steam for three hours; take out and score in thin slices all around the skin; fill the space cut out with a stuffing made of bread-crumbs, same as for poultry, only not quite so rich, seasoned rather highly with pepper and sage; wrap around a strip of cotton cloth to keep in place, and bake in the stove one and a half hours, turning so as to brown all sides nicely. The last half hour sift lightly with powdered sugar and cinnamon. (Some peel off the skin after steaming, stuff and roast as before.) What remains after once serving is delicious sliced down cold. The first we ever ate was at a thanksgiving dinner, cooked in a Southern kitchen, by an old-fashioned fire-place, in an iron bake-oven, and the savory flavor lingers still in our memory. Nicely cured boiled ham is a never-failing source of supply, from which quite a variety of dishes may be prepared.
Grated Ham is one of the nicest relishes for supper or lunch, or for sandwiches. Cut a good-sized piece from the thickest portion of a boiled ham, trim off the fat, grate the lean part, and put in the center of a platter; slice some tiny slips of the fat and place around the edge, together with some tender hearts of lettuce-heads, and serve for supper or lunch.
To economize the scraps left from boiled ham, chop fine, add some of the fat also chopped, and put in a baking-plate, first a layer of bread-crumbs, then a layer of mixed fat and lean, then another layer of crumbs, and so on till all is used, putting a few bits of fat over the top; pour over it a little water, or a dressing of some kind, and set in oven till a nice brown. This is delicious for breakfast, or for a "picked up dinner," after having made a soup from the bone, well cracked and simmered for three hours with a few sliced potatoes and rice, or dried corn and beans which have first been soaked and parboiled. In boiling hams, always select an old ham; for broiling, one recently cured. After boiling and skinning a ham, sprinkle well with sugar and brown in oven.
The Care of Fat and Drippings is as necessary in any family as the care of last year's garden seeds or the " Family Record." Especially when much meat is used, there is a constant accumulation of trimmings of fat, drippings from meats, etc., which should be tried out once in two or three days in summer - in winter once a week will do. The fat which rises after boiling beef, pork, and poultry, is used for shortening or frying. Cut up in small pieces, put in skillet, cover, try out slowly, stir occasionally, and skim well; add the cakes of fat saved from the top of meat liquor, slice a raw potato and cook in it to clarify it (some add a pinch of soda), strain all the clear part into a tin can or stone jar, or pour over drippings a quart of boiling water and strain through muslin or a fine sieve, let cool, take out the cake which forms on the top, scrape the refuse from the bottom, pour again into a skillet and heat until all the water is out, then pour into a jar, and you will find it very nice to use either alone or with butter and lard in frying potatoes, doughnuts, etc. The leaf fat of mutton should always be tried out by itself, and used for chapped bonds and such purposes. The fat which is not nice enough for any of the above uses, should be tried out and placed in a jar, kettle, or soft wood cask of strong lye, to which all soap grease should be consigned. Remember that the fat from boiling ham or from boiling meats with vegetables is never fit for cooking purposes, but should be thrown into the soap grease. After skinning and trimming the boiled ham, the fat which remains may be tried out and used for drippings, and is as sweet as butter. Observe never to use for this soap grease lean meat or raw fat. Keep a stick with which to stir occasionally, and it will need but little boiling to make the best of soft soap.
Mother has many other valuable ideas on how to stop the numberless little "leaks," which keep many a family in want, while a little care and economy in these minor details would insure a fair competency; but she thinks it better to have the ideas she has already given thoroughly digested before clogging them with others. She says a neat clean home, a tidy table, and well cooked palatable meals, are safeguards against the evils of the alehouse, the liquor saloon, and the gambling-table. So that we may, with our frying-pans and soup-kettles, wage a mighty war against intemperance, for seldom is a well-fed man a drunkard; and thus our attempts at palatable and economical cooking may "kill two birds with one stone."