In order to avoid adulteration by glycerine or other foreign constituents, it is safer to buy the honeycomb. The combs can be kept for months in a closely covered earthenware jar, with a cloth inside the cover to ensure total exclusion of air.
To prevent them losing their crispness and becoming limp and flabby, these should be kept in an air-tight tin. Valencia almonds are used for cooking. Bitter almonds should be used very sparingly, as they contain prussic acid. Jordan or dessert almonds vary from 2/- to 3/- per lb.
It is not advisable to buy large quantities of these, except in the late autumn, when the new fruits come in. Sultanas, raisins, and currants should be stoned, washed, picked over, and dried thoroughly and put into jars; this ensures their perfect dryness when required for cooking purposes. Muscatel raisins for dessert run from about 1/- per lb.; Valencias, for cooking, from 5d. per lb. These prices vary with the abundance or otherwise of the crop. Figs and prunes also vary much in price and quality. Figs should be carefully looked over, as they are apt to contain maggots.
All dried fruit should be kept air-tight, as otherwise it may become damp and mouldy.
These should be tied into bunches and hung in the sun and wind to dry; after which the leaves should be rubbed to a fine powder and stored in carefully labelled glass bottles. If the weather is unfavourable, they may be dried near a fire, but the first method ensures a more perfect flavour.
These, being very apt to lose their essential flavour, should never be bought in large quantities; they should be kept in air-tight tins.
Of these there are two varieties - the wild and the cultivated; the wild are of a paler colour and greater length.
Of this there are also two growths; the true is a golden shade, transparent and horny; the wild is a dark-red colour, deficient in taste and smell.
Of this there are many kinds, such as distilled wine, sugar, malt, and wood vinegar. White wine vinegar is the best, and costs about 3/6 per gallon; good English vinegar may be had from 2/6 to 2/9; strong pickling vinegar 2/-, and ordinary vinegar from 1/- per gallon.
This should be suspended either out of doors in a cool shady place, or in a draught in a cool larder. It should be turned out daily, and the shelves wiped with a damp cloth; and weekly it should be thoroughly scrubbed, rinsed, and allowed to become dry before the food is replaced. Raw meat should be hung up; but if this is not practicable, it should be turned and put on a clean plate daily. It is not advisable for the same safe to contain both fish and meat at the same time; if unavoidable, place them as far from each other as possible. The safe must be carefully closed, and if by any chance the perforated zinc or wire should become torn it must be mended at once, to guard against the admission of dust, flies, or possibly the paw of a predatory cat.