" Well, my dear, it is time they were shot, for they are getting very high."

The next point to be considered is the actual cooking. We will suppose the birds ready trussed. They should be wiped inside, but never washed.

All game requires a brisk fire, and plenty of basting. It is the custom among French cooks to fasten a thin slice of bacon over the breast, in order to prevent the bird being too dry. Indeed, they go so far as to send the bird to table with the bacon still on. In my opinion, this spoils the flavour of the bird altogether, giving it what may be termed a greasy taste. If bacon is fastened on at all, it should be taken off before the bird is taken down ; the breast should then be basted with a little butter, and frothed and browned before it is sent up.

With regard to the time that it takes to cook game, it is difficult to lay down any general rule. The time of course varies with the size of the birds. Young, small partridges want about twenty-five minutes; good-sized partridges as much as thirty-five minutes; small grouse will take a little over half an hour, and good-sized ones require three-quarters ; pheasants require from thirty-five minutes to an hour; or even more, according to the size.

The principal thing, however, for the cook to bear in mind is to adapt the time to the period of dinner when the game will be required. Herein lies the great secret of game being badly cooked. Have you not often at a large dinner-party had game completely dried up, the outside skin being quite hard? The reason of this, is that the game was ready for table about the period you were finishing your soup. The fact is, cooks, especially young and inexperienced, get nervous about time, forgetting that it is quite as bad to have things dried up as to have them underdone. It would be a good plan were the housekeeper to give the following directions to the cook :—Do not begin to cook the game until you send up the soup. Suppose the dinner to consist of soup, fish, entrees, and joint, followed by game, there is ample time to cook grouse, or even a small pheasant, by putting them down as soon as the soup is served. In any case tell the cook never to put down game until they know that dinner may be served. The late arrival of some important guest should never be the excuse of overcooked game. It would be far better to have a slight pause in the middle of the dinner than to have things spoilt. Besides, a pause after soup, fish, entries, and joint is never objectionable.

Another important point is the basting. Game should be basted directly it is put down. Ordinary dripping is quite good enough to commence with, but it will be found an improvement if during the last five minutes a little butter is used instead. Baste quickly with a little butter, and froth it at the same time, shaking a little fine dried flour over the breast out of a flour-dredger. When this is done, let the game be sent up immediately. Treat it, in fact, like a souffle, which everybody knows, or ought to know, requires a running-man for a waiter to be served properly.

In making bread sauce, it will be generally found that cooks make it a long time before dinner— in fact, putting in the bread-crumbs, so to speak, to soak in a saucepan, with an onion, in a little milk. The result often is that the milk all dries up, and the sauce gets burnt; a fresh lot has to be made in a hurry, and a sort of bread poultice is sent to table. There is, however, a good deal of difference between bread sauce and a bread poultice. The way to make the former is as follows :—Have ready some dry bread-crumbs, put these in some milk, or, still better, cream, and boil them, with an onion and a few peppercorns, for about ten minutes ; take out the onion, add a pinch of salt, and a little butter, keep stirring till the butter is dissolved and well mixed in; add, if you like, a suspicion of nutmeg, and the sauce is finished. Take care in taking out the onion that it does not break, as it is extremely disagreeable to have a piece of onion left in the sauce; it is apt to get into the mouth by mistake, and give notice of its presence by a crunch which is not at all pleasant.

With regard to gravy for game, what is required is that it should be good and strong, yet without any predominant flavour. For instance, some cooks like to add mushroom ketchup to gravy. This, when the gravy is intended for roast goose or fowl, would be unobjectionable, but should certainly be avoided when the gravy is intended for game. Again, the flavour of garlic should be guarded against. There is an old proverb which says, " It is a pity to spoil the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar." So, too, it is a pity to spoil a brace of grouse for the sake of a little gravy-beef, and recollect a little and good is better than plenty and poor. Equal quantities of good gravy-beef and knuckle of veal should be used; of course, less gravy-beef is necessary when extract of meat is used. The gravy may be thickened with a little brown thickening, but not too much. A very little arrowroot may be used, but the gravy for game should be by no means thick, yet at the same time it should look of a rich dark colour.

How To Make A Salmi Of Game

It is almost always the case that the game has been previously cooked. Take, therefore, any game-bones or trimmings that can be got, and place them, with a bay-leaf, to stew as long as possible in some gravy similar to what we have described, which is simply good strong stock made from gravy-beef, knuckle of veal stewed with an onion in which a few cloves have been stuck, a head of celery, a carrot and turnip, and a large handful of parsley, flavoured with pepper and salt, etc. After stewing all the game-bones, you can strain off the gravy from them and the bay-leaf j make the gravy a trifle thicker with a little more brown thickening; make this gravy hot in a stew-pan and then add the remains of the game, cut off as neatly as possible ; let it soak in the gravy, but do not let it boil; about a quarter of an hour before serving, add a wine-glassful of madeira, or good golden sherry. A pale dry sherry is not nearly so good for the purpose. It is really the addition of the wine that makes the gravy into the salmi sauce—just as in nearly all the French restaurants in London it will often be seen in the bill of fare, something with sauce Madere, which simply means some ordinary gravy to which has been added a spoonful of sherry.