Where a large piece is bought, more than can be conveniently placed in a cheese-stand, a buttered paper should be tied over the cut surfaces, the whole tied up in brown paper, and an earthenware pan inverted over it to keep off mice. Care must be taken that it, or any other strong-smelling food, is not placed in close proximity to milk or butter, as both these foods readily acquire a taint.
FRESH EGGS should be kept in a basket. If held up to the light, an egg if fresh should be clear, if thick it is stale. Eggs are cheapest in the late spring. They may be preserved for future use by rendering them air-tight to prevent decomposition. The simplest treatment is to coat them thoroughly with lard or butter, then pack them in jars of dry salt, narrow ends downwards. Tins of water glass (4 1/2d.) are easily procured, the contents are mixed with cooled boiled water and simply poured over the eggs, which are allowed to remain in this liquid until required for use.
Butter may be bought cheaply near the end of the summer. Into every pound should be worked 1/2 oz. of salt, 1/2 oz. of saltpetre, and 1/2 oz. of castor sugar. When these ingredients are thoroughly kneaded into the butter it should be pressed into a jar, and a piece of calico laid over it; then a layer of salt, another piece of calico, and finally the lid, which will prevent the admission of any air.
POTATOES may usually be purchased cheaply about the end of August; they should be kept heaped up in a dark cellar, covered with straw. Attention is necessary to remove any decaying ones and to break off sprouts. Artichokes, carrots, parsnips, and turnips are all stored in a similar manner.
APPLES should be laid on the floor or shelf, and not allowed to touch one another. They should be looked over constantly, and any decaying ones removed. Apples with rough skins, such as russets, keep best.
The heaviest apples are always the best. Choose those which on being pressed with the finger and thumb yield with a slight crackling noise.
PEARS may be laid separately on shelves or hung by their stalks.
LEMONS may be rolled in soft paper and laid on a shelf or suspended in a net. When the juice has been extracted, the peel may be chopped finely, dried, and tied down in pots to serve as a flavouring.
Fruit and vegetables should if possible be kept in a fruit-room, as the smell of apples and onions renders both unfit occupants for either a larder or storeroom. An unused attic may sometimes be reserved for this purpose. Where only small amounts of vegetables are purchased for immediate use, the new hygienic vegetable racks are useful; they take very little room, as they can be hung against a wall. They contain four bins, and cost from 11/6 to 16/6 according to size.