Always select perfect fruit; cook in porcelain, never in metal. In making catsup, instead of boiling, some sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and let them stand over night, then strain and add spices, etc, and a little sugar. Bottle in glass or stone, and never use tin cans; keep in a cool, dry, dark place. If, on opening, there is a leathery mold on top, carefully remove every particle of it, and the catsup will not be injured. To prevent this molding, some do not fill the bottles quite to the top with catsup, but fill up with hot vinegar. If there are white specks of mold all through the catsup it is spoiled. If, on opening and using a part, there is danger that the rest may sour, scald, and, if too thick, add vinegar. Sauces should always be made with great care in a pan set in hot water, having the sauce pan clean if a delicate flavor is desired, especially if the sauce is drawn butter. Butter and those sauces containing eggs should never boil. Wooden spoons must be used for stirring. An excellent thickening for soups, sauces and gravies is prepared as follows: Bring butter just to the boiling point in a small stew-pan, dredge in flour, stirring together until well cooked. This, when not cooked brown, is "White Roux," and when browned, "Brown Roux." Thin this with a part of the soup, sauce or gravy, and add it to the whole, stirring thoroughly. The flour may be browned before using if intended for brown gravies or sauces. Melted butter may be used in place of oil in all recipes where the latter is named.
Mint, when used in recipes, usually means "spearmint" or "green mint," though pennyroyal and peppermint are of the same family. The young leaves of from one to six inches in length are the parts used. It grows on any good garden soil, but comes forward earlier in a warm, sunny spot. It is propagated by cuttings or dividing the roots of old plants in the spring, is very prolific, and ought to find a place in every garden. Those who have conservatories should keep a root in pots, to use with spring lamb before the leaves would appear in the open air. Mint leaves for drying should be cut from the stalks just before the plant blossoms, and spread out thinly in some dry, shady place, where they can dry slowly. When dry, put up in paper bags and keep in a dry place until wanted.