These animals should be alive when purchased. If the large southern variety, the soft-shell or snapping turtles are used, cut off the head and let the turtle lie in cold water one-half hour or hang on a hook with neck down until blood stops dripping. Then wash and drop into boiling water and cook for ten minutes. Pour off the water and cover the turtle with cold water, letting it stand until cool enough to handle easily; then with a towel rub the nails and black skin from the legs.

Wash the turtle carefully, place it in a saucepan covered with boiling water and simmer until the flesh is tender. This will be when the joints of the legs can be broken with a slight pressure, and the shells separate easily. It will take from thirty to sixty minutes. It should be cooked until the skin is like jelly. Remove the turtle from the water, and after it has cooled a little, place it on its back with the head away from you, and loosen and remove the under shell.

The liver, gall bladder and sand bag will be found near the head end, the gall being attached to the left side of the liver. Take out the gall as you would that of a chicken, being careful not to break it. Remove the entrails and throw them away.

Take out the eggs, if there are any, remove the slight membrane and drop them into cold water. Cut all the meat very fine, saving any water that may collect in the shells. The turtle is now ready to use in a stew or in other ways.

If terrapin is used, wash and plunge it alive into boiling salted water, and cook for about ten minutes. Then plunge it into cold water, rub off the toe nails and dark skin, place it again in salted boiling water and cook until the legs are tender, from thirty to sixty minutes. Clean the terrapin according to directions for turtles, but instead of throwing away the small intestines, cut them in very small pieces and use them for food. Discard the thick, heavy part of the intestines.