Said a maid to me once: "Indeed, mem, I niver see sich another as yersel' for cookin' wild things and innards!"
The "wild things" to which she referred were quail, woodcock and hare, while the "innards" of which she spoke with such scorn were sweetbreads, kidneys and brains. I may remark, en passant, that the lower classes seldom like viands most prized by the epicure, and the cooking of them, to be done properly, must be performed by the mistress - not the maid - unless the latter be an accomplished cook.
Wash a pair of sweetbreads, throw them in boiling salted water, and cook for ten minutes. Drain, and lay in iced water until thoroughly cold. This process is called "blanching" the sweetbreads, and should be done as soon as the perishable dainties are brought home from the butcher's. Wipe them dry, rub with butter, and broil them over a clear fire. Watch them that they do not scorch. When done, put them on a hot dish, pour a little melted butter over them, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and serve.
Blanch and split each sweetbread in half, lengthwise. Dip in beaten egg, roll in cracker crumbs, and set in a cold place for this coating to harden. At the end of an hour, fry in deep cotto-lene or other fat brought slowly to a fast boil.
Blanch the sweetbreads and cut them in half, lengthwise. Grease a small gridiron, lay the split sweetbreads on this, and broil over a clear fire, turning frequently and watching carefully lest they scorch. When done, lay on rounds of crustless toast, rub thoroughly with butter, salt and pepper to taste, and cover with minced mushrooms fried in butter.
Parboil, blanch and mince enough sweetbreads to make two cupfuls. Put into a saucepan with a little white stock and bring to a boil. Thicken with a white roux, and when smooth stir in gradually two beaten egg yolks; then turn the mixture upon a dish to cool and stiffen. Form with floured hands into cutlets, and fry in deep, boiling cottolene or other fat.
Blanch and cut two pairs of sweetbreads into neat dice. Cook together in a saucepan two tablespoonfuls, each, of butter and flour, and pour upon them a pint of cream. Stir to a smooth sauce, add the sweetbreads and cook, stirring steadily until very hot. Season with salt, pepper, and a teaspoonful of minced parsley.