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" And when the pie was opened,
"To lay before the King?" Dainty as the dish may have seemed to the uncivilized natives of the olden time, its daintiness is far surpassed by the refined delicacies of the present. Among the improvements which modern science has caused, and modern civilization has promoted, there is one subject on which the taste of the present day has been admirably displayed, and on which several of the first musicians have exerted their powers of execution.Something which fixes the attention of the painter on his pal-ate, and hushes for a time, the clamour of the demagogue. Something which all admire. In short, an Apple Pie. An Apple Pie! What music in the very name! It must have been this, the poet meant, by“
concord of sweet sounds." Delicious Pie! the very thoughts of thee, bring (in the delicate phraseology of Dr. Kitchener,) tears upon my lips."—But I must endeavour to moderate my enthusiasm, and discuss my subject with the importance it deserves.
Philosophers have agreed that the design manifested in the works of man, is the best proof of the superiority of reason over instinct. The pows erful Steam Engine does not display more manifest proofs of design, than a well compounded Apple Pie. Water, in a certain state, acting upon iron, constitutes the one. How superior is the composition of the other! I will, in pity to the ignorant, explain the long operations necessary to form an Apple Pie.- First, shall
Gentle Spring, etherial mildness come, wakening the respectable inhabitants of the orchard, from their winter naps, and decking with white, the upper part of their bodies. Sometimes only scattered particles of white appear like a snow-ball broken on the cap of a chimney sweeper. Sometimes the whiteness appears in patchesas a slovenly servant girl, surmounts a black stuff petticoat, with a dimity bedgown. Next, “child of the Sun, refulgent Summer comes.”
He comes attended by the sultry houurs, and soon, as if overcome with the heat, the trees throw off the aforesaid white bedgown, and display their arms—not covered, like those of the aforesaid servant girl, with unblushing redness; but with “gay green.”
- where the sight dwells
With growing strength, and ever new delight. Another season approaches, and we, now, see what Nature has been about for so long a period. She has been getting ready the apples for the Pie. Ripe, rosy cheeked apples, as ready to drop into the arms of their lover, as a boarding school girl, from a two-story window.
Nature does not, however, confine herself to the cultivation of one ingredient, however necessary.-" Her labours serve to second too some other use.”—While she has been preparing the apples for the Pie, she has not neglected the flour for the paste.--Winter, Spring, and Summer have succeeded each other, for its formation ; until at length, Autumn, “crowned with the sickle and the wheaten sheaf,” brings all their labours to perfection. While the reaping, the threshing, and the grinding of the wheat, are going on at home, Africa sends her tawney sons to raise the sugar, our merchant-men are busily employed in bringing it home, and our noblest ships are pursuing their “ foamy track," through the Indian ocean, to procure the cloves. The apples and the flour, are the productions of Europe; the cloves, the offspring of Asia; the sugar raised by the labour of Africa, from the soil of America. How wonderful! The four quarters of the “Great Globe itself,” must unite their labours to form an Apple Pie! How gratifying to the philantropist must be the consideration, that while he is enjoying the closest possible connexion with some charming Apple Pie, he is, at the same time, giving employment to thousands of his fellow creatures. If he who promotes the industry of a few individuals, does well,-how great a benefactor of the human race, is the devourer of an Apple Pie!!!
Having considered the materials of an Apple Pie, the next topic, naturally, is the manner in which those materials are compounded. Our grand-mothers gave this subject a proper degree of attention, and studied as an art, the composition of Pies. But alas! “ tempora mutantur." In plain English, the times are sadly changed. Many a young lady, now a days, can caricature Nature in her drawings, annoy us with her piano, or glide listlessly through a quadrille, who neglects the study of the Pie, and what is still worse, wishes to pass for a person of taste. Wonderful perversion of terms, when even the very phrase she employs, demonstrates the importance of that sense, to which the mouth is subservient, and which the Pie is formed to gratify! To such, I speak not. Falstaff says, “ Had I a thousand sons, I would teach them to abjure all their potations, and addict themselves to Sack.”—Had I a thousand daughters, I would teach them to abjure all such frivolities, and addict themselves to Pie. It is a study peculiarly becoming to young females—“Sweets to the sweet"-Oh! that the gentle sex may benefit by these lucubrations.
Mrs. Glass's directions to dress a hare, commence with, “first catch a hare.” My first precept in Pie-making is,-collect your materials. This is not easily done, for it is absolutely necessary they should be of the choicest kind. You choose a necklace with care. Your admirers overlook the ornament, in contemplating where it reposes. You should be doubly careful in choosing the ingredients of a Pie. From it, attention cannot be diverted. Each person forms his opinion of its merits, and, if he finds it “curtailed of its fair proportions,” transfers his dislike to the unfortunate maker of it. Here therefore, you “have need all circumspection." Should any lady not wish to undertake a task so replete with difficulty, without receiving more minute instructions, let her but call on my daughters, and they will elucidate my theory, by their practice.
There is a philosophical enquiry connected with this part of the subject, which it would be improper to pass over. Why does all the syrup in the Pie collect under the cup?' “ The why, is plain as way to parish church. When the heat of the oven acts upon the bottom of the dish, in which the Apples are deposited, it gradually communicates, through them, to the air. above. The air enclosed in the cup, comes into direct contact with the bottom of the dish, and the edges of the cup receive a considerable degree of warmth, from the same source.
From both these causes, the air in the cup soon becomes heated, expands, and forces itself out under
the edges. Hence, so great a degree of raréfaction is produced, that the interior of the cup may be regarded as a vacuum. The other air undergoes less change, both because it does not come into direct contact with the heated bottom of the dish, and because it keeps up some imperfect communication with the external air, by the edges of the dish and the pores of the paste. While the syrup forme, it is forced by the superincumbent air, to that part where there is least pressure, that is, into the cup. While the syrup enters, it must raise slightly the edges of the cup, but as it is a heavier Auid than air, the air still remains excluded, and thc cup fills
Of the composition of the paste, I shall say nothing. In a town which boasts of a Linden, I must pause, untill this topic" is touched by some hand less unworthy than mine.” The experience he has had, and the excellence he has consequently acquired, shall make me, without regret, yield the laurels to him. “He won them nobly--may he wear them long.
As the eye passes instantaneous judgment on every object, the appearance of the Pie is no small importance. Some are perfectly plain in their covering. Others embellished with a frost work, which surpasses in attraction the beauty of a hoar frost on the windows of a bedchamber. The former reminds me of some charming girl in a morning undress. The latter of the same lady, armed for ball-room conquest. The one seems to disregard admiration. The other to demand universal homage as her right Each have their admirers, and I shall be generous enough to allow them to retain their respective merits. I pass on, “to metal more attractive.”. How I do reverence an Apple Pie! With what dignity it advances to the post of honor at the supper table! How conscious it seems of its own importance, remaining apart from the common tribe of puffs and pastry! It has been said, “ if women be but youing and fair, they have the gift to know it.” Now țhe Apple Pie may well say with Shylock, “ If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that also." —Hence the undisturbed serenity with which it bears the glances of a longing circle of admirers. How different from the trembling bashfulness of the jelly! How like to some reigning star in the dress circle of a theatre! But alas !
All that's fair must fade,
But to be lost when sueetest. The moment in which its charms are most attractive, is the very moment in which they are destroyed for ever. Frailty thy name is Pię."-But
“ Hence loathed melancholy." Far different are the ideas of him, who, armed with a knife and fork, and supported by a massive silver spoon, advances to the attack. What delight sparkles in his eyes. What animation beams on his countenance! He applies the point of the knife to the paste, mit resists his entrance-his ar. dour encreases his strength is applied -- and his purpose is effected. Thus in my youthful days, I have seen a blooming milkmaid resist a kiss at first, to enhance the value of the dozen she gave afterwards. But suppose a puncture mode. Now is the time for a well-bred man to evince his
• The Confectioner of Belfast.
politeness. Let him not, as Hotspur says, "come cranking in, and cut me here a huge half-moon, a monstrous cantle out."- No, let him direct the knife from the point of incision, which should be the centre of the paste, towards his right shoulder, and urge it forward until it encounters the dish. Then let him return to the same place, and aim the next cut towards his left shoulder, taking care that those two cuts are of equal length, or as a mathematician would express it, that they form the two sides of an isosceles triangle. Let him now place the knife at one of the angles of the base, and draw it horizontally towards the opposite angle.--Remove the triangle thus formed. All is dark within. “No light, but rather dark. ness visible.” Let the carver raise the cup, and all is overflowed with a most delicious liquid. If the Pie be hot,-its “breath is balm," and its
ocean spreads,” not over “ coral rocks and amber beds,” but over sweets, to which the nectar of the Gods was but as wormwood.-" Their’s was a fiction, bat this is reality.”—Its fragrance is however, too blissful to last—“'l'is odour fled, as soon as shed.” Never can I forget the delicious sensation my first-carved-pie produced. Its perfume is still fresh in my imagination.
Still it lingering haunts the greenest spot on memory's waste. Let no person envy the carver. Look at him one moment after the first spoonful of apples is removed. Examine him narrowly, and you will perceive, amid the affected hilarity with which he does the honours' of the table, that his apparently hospitable enquiries are merely “ lip-honourbreath, which the poor wretch would fain deny, but dare not." "Read the expression of his eyes, and observe the tears on his lips, and you will be convinced there is some "perilous stuff which weighs upon the heart.” Why does fris joy vanish, like “morning's winged dream?” Why does he so soon become, like “patience on a monument, smiling at grief?” The stomach becomes at that moment the seat of thought. He
towards the daintjes he is obliged to distribute, and “discontent sits heavy on his heart.”
It is said “where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise,” and none wil} confess themselves so ignorant as not to know how to eat an Apple Pie. Yet, by how few is the proper method understood! Observe the childhe loads the apples with sugar, shovels them with every possible exertion into his mouth, and then attacks the paste. “ Men are but children of a larger growth.” The Pie should be made, as all in my house are, so as not to require at table any addition of sugar. Let some rich cream be poured over the quantity on the plate.- Do not hash all together into one heterogeneous massyet take care at the same time, that every spoonful contains apples, syrup, cream, and paste. By thus judiciously intermixing the several ingredients, you will increase wonderfully your own enjoyment, and give to the unintiated, the best proof of your refinement. As the cream may vie in colour with the fair necks of many who encircle it, and the fragrance of the Pie, emulate their sweet breathings, I hope all my young lovely friends will treasure up these instructions, and place them in their bosom's core.” Yea, “in their heart of hearts."
The love which I bear to Pies is no sudden whim-no transient affection-- It was planted with my childhood - It grew with my growth, and my constancy may show, that
"The heart that has truly loved, never forgets.".
Yet this passion caused the greatest misfortune my schoolboy recollections display. 'My grand-papa gave me a Pie—a diminutive Pie indeed—but then it was the first I could call mine. I was enchanted with its beauties, and when I returned to my boarding school, placed it on the highest shelf of my cupboard, with the same care that might be lavished on an idol. I thought of it, going to bed.-1 dreamt of it during the night.—My fancy presented it in a thousand alluring forms.- regaled my eyes with it, the moment I awoke. That very evening, ) resolved to enjoy it. My imagination feasted on it, during the tedious hours of school.–At length the bell rung, and I few on wings of rapture, to my hidden treasure. How shall I describe the horror which froze my “young blood.”—The Pie was gone! I was struck powerless.—Then became," like Niobe, all tears.”—I was not apt to give way to misfortune.—My top was stolen, I bore the loss with patience. My ball was lost, and I repined not. My marbles disppeared, and I was unmoved." But, there, where I had treasured up my heart.”
“I could not but remember such things were, and are most dear to me." As the lover is uawilling to cease from the praises of his mistress, but dwells both on the pleasures and the sorrows she has excited; so I still love to linger upon thoughts of thee, Oh Pie! You ravish with delight, the smell, the touch, the taste, and the sight, and even the work of thy destruction, causes sounds, which are gratifying to the ear of taste ! What other object can delight the five senses at one moment?—can please the child and the man, the clown and the sage? But the bell rings, and I am to have an Apple Pie at dinner.
THE STEAM BOAT.
I tell the Steam Boat; for to say I sing
Is nonsense, having scarcely any voice;
Two lines to rhyme, conceits he may rejoice
Lies not like a profession, in our choice.
But tho' I can't attempt the eagle's flight,
Nor soar into the regions of sublime;
Can never hope to elevate, yet I'm
If poesy I can't-I'll give you rhyme-