In buying dried tongues, choose those that are thick and plump, and that have the smoothest skins. They are the most likely to be young and tender.

A smoked tongue should soak in cold water at least all night. One that is very hard and dry will require twenty-four hours' soaking. When you boil it put it into a pot full, of cold water. Set it over a slow fire that it may heat gradually for an hour before it comes to a boil. Then keep it simmering from three and a half to four hours, according to its size and age. Probe it with a fork, and do not take it up till it is tender throughout. Send it to table with mashed potato laid round it, and garnish with parsley. Do not split it in half when you dish it, as is the practice with some cooks. Cutting it lengthways spoils the flavour, and renders it comparatively insipid.

If you wish to serve up the tongue very handsomely, rub it with yolk of egg after you take it from the pot, and strew over it orated bread crumbs; baste it with butter, and set it before the fire till it becomes of a light brown. Cover the root (which is always an unsightly object) with thick sprigs of doable parsley; and (instead of mashed potato) lay slices of currant jelly all round the tongue.