The feet are usually sent in from the butcher's ready to dress, but as a matter of economy ‡ or of convenience it is sometimes desirable to have them altogether prepared by the cook. Dip them into cold water, lay them into a deep pan, and sprinkle equally over them on both sides some rosin in fine powder; pour in as much boiling water as will cover them well, and let them remain for a minute or two untouched; then scrape the hair clean from them with the edge of a knife. When this is done, wash them very thoroughly both in hot and in cold water; divide them at the joint, split the claws, and take away the fat that is between them. Should the feet be large, put a gallon of cold water to the four, but from a pint to a quart less if they be of moderate size or small. Boil them gently down until the flesh has parted entirely from the bones, and the liquor is reduced nearly or quite half; strain, and let it stand until cold; remove every particle of fat from the top before it is used, and be careful not to take the sediment.
Calf's feet, (large) 4; water, 1 gallon: 6 to 7 hours.
Break up a quart of the stock, put it into a clean stewpan with the whites of five large or of six small eggs, two ounces of sugar, and the strained juice of a small lemon; place it over a gentle fire, and do not stir it after the scum begins to form; when it has boiled five or six minutes, if the liquid part be clear, turn it into a jelly-bag, and pass it through a second time should it not be perfectly transparent the first. To consumptive patients, and others requiring restoratives, but forbidden to take stimulants, the jelly thus prepared is often very acceptable, and may be taken with impunity, when it would be highly injurious made with wine. More white of egg is required to clarify it than when sugar and acid are used in large quantities, as both of these assist the process. For blamange omit the lemon-juice, and mix with the clarified stock an equal proportion of cream (for an invalid new milk), with the usual flavouring, and weight of sugar; or pour the boiling stock very gradually to some finely pounded almonds, and express it from them as directed for Quince Blamange, allowing from six to eight ounces to the pint.
* Half of one of the raw egg-yolks may be omitted, and a spoonful of rich cream used instead; the eggs can also be steamed until the insides are firm, by placing them with a little good gravy, or white sauce, in a stewpan, and simmering them gently front fifteen to twenty minutes.
† For fuller and better directions for this, see page 160, Chapter IX (Veal. How To Choose Veal).
‡ They are sold at a much lower price when not cleared from the hair.
Stock, 1 quart; whites of eggs, 5; sugar, 2 ozs.; juice, 1 small lemon: 5 to 8 minutes.