Put the raisins in a dish, and pour boiling water over them. Let stand until the seeds will slip, then pour the water off, take each raisin in the fingers, and force the seeds altogether at the stem end, and remove them. Dry same as currants.
Put the currants in a colander, set it in a pan of water, and wash them, letting sand and stems pass into the water. Use as many different waters as seem necessary to clean them. When clean, put on a cloth, and dry in the air, stirring occasionally.
Peel the onion, cut in pieces, and use a lemon squeezer or a potato ricer to extract the juice. When using onion for sauces, etc., first peel the onion, then cut a slice from the end, and scrape with a kitchen knife, or score the onion both ways half way down, making the dice about one-eighth of an inch, and cut in thin slices with a sharp knife. Always put onion in vinegar when it must stand a short time in making salads. Never use an onion that has lain after cutting. Onions absorb odors readily, and are not wholesome after cut surfaces are exposed to the air.
Measure the flour, add an equal amount of cold water, and stir until smooth; then add more water, until it is thin as griddle cake batter. Now add carefully a little of the liquid to be thickened, and when very thin, pour slowly into the boiling liquid, stirring rapidly, and pouring slowly. In making a boiled custard, pour the boiling milk over the beaten eggs in the same way to prevent lumping.
Never open a lobster until ready to use it. First remove the large claws, then take off small claws. If you wish to use the shells, make an incision where the tail joins the body, turn the lobster breast up, place the thumb on the back and break the lobster, then cut along each side (inside the tail) and remove the meat, then break or cut along center of the meat on the upper side and remove vein, which may be red or green, very light or very dark. Now take out meat from body by running the fingers under and pulling up and removing, leaving the stomach or lady in the shell. Pull off the spongy fingers and take out the meat. If the shells are to be used trim and scrub and cut body shell in center. Spongy fingers are the lungs.
Free the mutton fat from all objectionable parts, and put to soak in enough cold water to cover. Let stand twenty-four hours and change the water once. Pour off the water in which the mutton fat has soaked and add one cup of liquid (half milk and half water) for each pound of mutton fat, and cook until the liquid is evaporated, then strain out the clear fat and cool. This fat may be used for ginger snaps and ginger cake.
Plunge head first into boiling salted water, and cook rapidly for twenty minutes, if the lobster is large; otherwise, a shorter time. A small lobster will cook in eight minutes. Too long cooking makes the meat tough.