Nightlights are merely short pieces of stearic acid, or stearine, with a fine wick enclosed in a thin roll of paper or wood shaving. They are burnt in a little glass or china stand holding water to prevent the envelope igniting. They are sold at 6d. the box. A good supply should be kept in the storeroom, and a box at a time should be given to the housemaid.
Into a clean fryipg-pan put a quarter of a pound of brown sugar. Place this over a slow fire, then gradually heat it until the sugar boils and the steam bubbles disappear, and are followed by others from which issue little puffs of white smoke. When these appear all over the surface the caramel, as the sugar is then called, is in its best condition. Remove it from the fire, and add a pint of lime water.* This will dissolve all the true colouring. Strain it through muslin, and preserve it in a bottle for use. The more sugar used the darker will be the colouring.
For a beautiful red, boil fifteen grains of cochineal, finely powdered, with one and a half drachm of cream of tartar, in half a pint of water, slowly for half an hour, adding a piece of alum the size of a pea; or sliced beet-root and some liquor poured over it, may be used. For white, use almonds finely powdered, with a little water, or use cream. For yellow, yolks of eggs, or a very small piece of saffron steeped in the liquor and squeezed. The juice of boiled spinach or beet-leaves may be used for green. Chocolate or strong coffee may be used for brown.
Boil and mash three mealy potatoes; mix them with three ounces of sugar, three ounces of flour, a little grated nutmeg, a small piece of butter, and two well beaten eggs. Make them into cakes; fry a nice brown, and serve them on a table napkin. (See also Article on "Potatoes.")
Cut the peel of six lemons in long thin shreds; cut the same quantity of angelica in shreds; put half a pound of loaf sugar, one ounce of gum Arabic, and two tablespoonfuls of water into a basin; stir it till it is dissolved, then set it over a slow fire, stirring it till it is of the consistence of melted glue. Take a basin, butter it or slightly oil it inside, then lay the shreds of angelica and lemon peel in the form of a bird's nest inside it; stick them with the glue. Make some good isinglass jelly, colour it with spinach juice; take a basin about two sizes smaller than the first used, butter or oil the outside of it; pour a little jelly over the bottom of the nest; stand the second basin in the first, and fill up the space between the two basins with the liquid jelly; let it get cold - ice it; turn it out carefully, and stand the nest on the remainder of the jelly which must have been poured flat over a glass dish, and let get cold. Make eggs of blancmange and place in the nest, or beat the whites of eggs to a thick froth, and form them into eggs for it, flavouring with vanilla; but the blancmange eggs are best, and the moulds easily procured.
Time, nearly an hour to beat the eggs - twenty minutes more altogether.
One quart of milk; six eggs; vanilla flavouring; sugar to taste.
Set the milk in a stewpan on the fire to boil; break the whites of six eggs into one basin, and the yolks into another; beat up the eggs to a high stiff froth, and as soon as the milk boils lay large flakes of the egg whip on the milk; let them boil for a few minutes; repeat the operation with the remainder of the froth until all has been set, then pile it high in the centre of a glass dish; make a custard of the yolks of the eggs, flavoured with vanilla, and pour it round the snowy pyramid. It will maintain its place for many hours.
After having boiled the lobster, split it from head to tail, take out the uneatable part called the "lady," lay it open, put pieces of butter over the meat, sprinkle it with pepper, and set the shells on a gridiron over bright coals until nicely heated through. Serve in the shells.