A Well-selected stock of these will always prove a convenient resource for giving colour and flavour to soups, gravies, and made dishes; but unless the consumption be considerable, they should not be over-abundantly provided, as few of them are improved by age, and many are altogether spoiled by long keeping, especially if they be not perfectly secured from the air by sound corking, or if stored where there is the slightest degree of damp. To prevent loss, they should be examined at short intervals, and at the first appearance of mould or fermentation, such as will bear the process should be reboiled, and put, when again quite cold, into clean bottles; a precaution often especially needful for mushroom catsup when it has been made in a wet season. This, with walnut catsup, Harvey's sauce, cavice, lemon-pickle, Chili, cucumber, and eschalot vinegar, will be all that is commonly needed for family use, but there is at the present day an extensive choice of these stores on sale, in London, and should there be a demand for them in America, they could easily be procured.
(for flavouring sweet dishes.) Fill any sized wide-necked bottle lightly with the very thin rinds of fresh lemons, and cover them with good brandy; let them remain three weeks, then strain off the spirit and keep it well corked for use: a few apricot-kernels blanched and infused with the lemon-rind will give an agreeable flavour.
Rasp on from two to four ounces of sugar the rinds of a couple of fine lemons, reduce the lumps to powder, and add it gradually to, and pound it with, an ounce of bitter almonds, blanched and wiped very dry. When these have been beaten to a fine paste, and the whole is well blended, press the mixture into a small pan, tie a paper over, and keep it for use. The proportions can be varied at pleasure, and the quantities increased: from a teaspoonful to three times as much can be mixed with the ingredients for a pudding. Cakes require more in proportion to their size.
Rinds large lemons, 2; sugar, 2 to 4 ozs.; bitter almonds, 1 oz.
Peel small, sound, freshly-gathered flaps, cut off the stems, and scrape out the fur entirely; then arrange the mushrooms singly on tins or dishes, and dry them as gradually as possible in a gentle oven. Put them, when they are done, into tin canisters, and store them where they will be secure from damp. French cooks give them a single boil in water, from which they then are well drained, and dried, as usual. When wanted for table, they should be put into cold gravy, slowly heated, and gently simmered, until they are tender.
When the mushrooms have been prepared with great nicety, and dried, as in the foregoing receipt, pound them to a very fine powder; sift it, and put it immediately into small and perfectly dry bottles; cork and seal them without delay, for if the powder be long exposed to the air, so as to imbibe any humidity, or if it be not well secured from it in the bottles, it will be likely to become putrid: much of that which is purchased, even at the best Italian warehouses, is found to be so, and, as it is sold at a very high price, it is a great economy, as well as a surer plan, to have it carefully prepared at home. It is an exceedingly useful store, and an elegant addition to many dishes and sauces. To insure its being good, the mushrooms should be gathered in dry weather and if any addition of spices be made to the powder (some persons mix with it a seasoning of mace and cayenne), they should be put into the oven for awhile before they are used: but even these precautions will not be sufficient, unless the powder be stored in a very dry place after it is bottled.