In taking out the clams, save several dozen of the largest and finest shells, which must afterwards be washed clean, and wiped dry. Chop the clams fine, and mix with them some powdered mace and nutmeg. Butter the sides and bottom of a large, deep dish, and cover the bottom with a layer of grated bread-crumbs. Over this scatter some very small bits of the best fresh butter. Then put in a thick layer of the chopped clams. Next, another layer of grated bread-crumbs, and little bits of butter. Then, a layer of chopped clams, and proceed in this manner till the dish is full, finishing at the top with a layer of crumbs. Set the dish in the oven, and bake it about a quarter of an hour. Have ready the clam-shells and fill them with the baked mixture, either leaving them open, or covering each with another clam-shell. Place them on large dishes, and send them to table hot.
Oysters may be cooked in a similar manner; sending them to table in the dish in which they were baked. The meat of boiled crabs may also be minced, seasoned, and dressed this way, and sent to table in the back shells of the crabs.
Clams intended for soup will communicate to it a much finer flavour, if they are previously chopped small, and pounded in a mortar.