Mind your duck is well cleaned, and wiped out with a clean cloth; for the stuffng, take an ounce of onion and half an ounce of green sage; clup them very fine, and mix them with two ounces of bread crumbs, a bit of butter about as big as a walnut, a very little black pepper and salt, and the yolk of an egg to bind it; mix these thoroughly together, and put into the duck. From half to three-quarters of an hour will be enough to roast it, according to the size; contrive to have the feet delicately crisp, as some people are very fond of them; - to do this nicely, you must have a sharp fire. Gravy sauce, and sage and onion sauce. To hash or stew ducks, the same as goose. If you think the raw onion will make too strong an impression upon the palate, parboil it. To insure ducks being tender, in moderate weather kill them a few days before you dress them.
The most delicate of these are larks, which are in high season in November and December. When cleaned and prepared for roasting, brush them with the yolk of an egg, and roll in bread crumbs; spit them on a lark-spit, and tie that, on a larger spit; ten or fifteen minutes at a quick fire will do them; baste them with fresh butter, and sprinkle them with bread crumbs till they are quite covered, while roasting. Sauce, grated bread fried in butter, which set to drain before the fire that it may harden; serve the crumbs under the larks when you dish them, and garnish them with slices of lemon. Wheatears are dressed in the same way.
Having carefully picked your birds, which should be very fat, draw them with the greatest care possible so as not to rob them of any fat, and truss them on a skewer, which you fasten to the spit, and cook them before a brisk fire; a very few minutes is requisite. In serving them, place them on buttered toast, and pour a small portion of gravy over them. Let them be hot. This is generally considered the best manner of serving reed birds, although many persons prefer them breaded and fried, or barbacued.
When they are very fat it is unnecessary to draw them. The season for this delicious bird is from the middle of September to the first or second week in October.
The art of making seasonings, or stuffings, principally consists in so proportioning the flavours as that none may predominate, or be tasted more than another. In stuffing, care must be taken to leave room for swelling; if not, it is apt to be hard and heavy.
Two-thirds onion, one-third green sage, chopped fine, bread crumbs equal in weight to the sage and onions; season with a little pepper and salt, and incorporate it well with the yolk of an egg or two, and a bit of butter. Some omit the bread crumbs, and some again do not like the onions, while others add to them a clove of garlic.
A large teacup full of grated bread, two ounces of butter, season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper; scald two small onions, chop fine, and about thirty leaves of young sage, and egg beat fine, and mix altogether, and sew it in the belly of the pis'.