The scaling and cleaning of fish are important first steps. In the city this may be done for you at the market, but sometimes on fishing expeditions when you are not a successful fisher you may make yourself useful by cleaning the fish. Clean the fish on a large piece of paper. Use a sharp strong knife, and rub off the scales from the tail to the head. To skin a fish well, you should first watch an expert. Cut through the skin of the back and abdomen, loosen it at the tail and pull it off. Remove the head, open the abdomen, and take out the entrails. Burn the paper on which the fish has been cleaned. Fish is boned by slitting the flesh down the back, and patiently separating the flesh from the side bones, and finally pulling out the spine and attached bones. The strong odor of fish clings to everything the fish touches. Wash the fish, the knife, and your own hands in cold water and salt. Always pour the water in which fish is washed or cooked down the sink at once, pour in some salt, and flush the trap with cold water. The utensils, and dishes in which fish is served, need very careful washing in several waters.

The connective tissue of fish softens and dissolves more readily than does that of meat. Fish varies in the dryness of the flesh, but there is no such thing as tough fish, and the texture of the muscles is about the same in all parts of the fish, although there is a difference in flavor in the dark and white flesh when these both occur. On account of this characteristic of the connective tissue the fish "falls apart " and our aim must be to prevent this.

Principles of cooking.

1. The protein is affected as in all other foods where it occurs.

2. The fat is melted.

3. Connective tissue quickly softened.

To avoid the breaking of the fish it may be wrapped in cloth for boiling, and the water should simmer only. The coating of small fish or slices of large fish with beaten egg and crumbs tends to hold it together. In all cases avoid overcooking. Fish is done when a fork easily pierces it and separates the flakes of flesh from the bone.