Mayonnaise

hellman's fixed

1. Hellman’s Delivery Truck, circa 1930’s 2. BEST FOODS Real Mayonnaise Jar, 1939 3. Mr. Richard Hellmann, 1920’s 4. HELLMANN’S Real Mayonnaise Jar, 1939 5.) Richard Hellmann’s staff and original delicatessen, 1912 6. BEST FOODS delivery vehicle 1920’s

When most of us think of mayonnaise, we think of Best Foods, or Hellmann’s (depending which side of the country you are on). Few people actually TRY to make mayonnaise, because it has the reputation of being difficult to make.  Mayonnaise is a popular sauce for pairing with a wide variety of foods, was used in many ways, and had abundant variations. Much of this variety has been lost because of the ease of opening a jar. We have become so imprinted on the Hellman/Best Foods standard flavor that we overlook the delight to be found in fresh, homemade mayo.

I suspect that the commercial mayonnaise makers were responsible for the unreasonable claims that it is finicky and difficult to make. There are still pervasive myths. Among the most outlandish: Mayonnaise cannot be made by a menstruating woman. (It will fail to emulsify.) Also, mayonnaise cannot be made on a warm summer’s day, during a thunderstorm or a rainstorm, or when the barometer is showing a winter storm approaching. Some recipes insist that all the ingredients must be very cold, whereas others caution that they should be at room temperature. The mystique that surrounds creating the emulsion known as mayonnaise is certainly interesting. It makes you wonder: If it is so difficult to make, how is it that factories are able to consistently churn out truckloads of mayonnaise every day. (Do they ban menstruating women? Shut down during thunderstorms and fluctuating barometric pressure?)

The truth is: Mayonnaise is not difficult to make. If the idea was mastered in the 1500s, without refrigeration, by cooks during war campaigns — mayonnaise just cannot be that difficult.

The thing about making mayonnaise is that it, like most other cooking, is anything but an exact science. The most important ingredient (aside from good eggs and bland oil) is patience. A homemade product will, predictably, not turn out exactly the same every time. That is the nature of homemade, and the variations are part of the charm. The thing to remember about homemade mayonnaise is that it has a quality that cannot be mass-produced. It is an affordable luxury.

The science behind it is simple. Mayonnaise is an emulsion, which is a mix of two immiscible ingredients. Immiscible means incapable of mixing without a third substance called an emulsifier. In the case of mayonnaise, it is oil with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar, which is mixed SLOWLY into egg yolks’ (lecithin in the eggs acts as an emulsifier).  A pinch of mustard powder or squeeze of prepared mustard (called for in most recipes) is an additional emulsifier.  The acid (lemon juice or vinegar) strengthens and lengthens the yolk’s proteins.

 

It is egg, and oil, with a little acid added (any kind of vinegar, lemon, or lime), plus a dash of salt. Mustard does help the emulsion hold together, so it is a good addition. Everything else is a suggestion. Keep this in mind when you read the following recipes. You can experiment with different kinds of mustards (grain, brown, dry powdered, prepared yellow) for different flavors. You can use different oils or oil mixtures. You can add various spices or other ingredients. The worst thing is to try to duplicate Hellman’s/Best Foods in flavor, texture, and color. It is nearly (if not completely) impossible to obtain the white color of commercially made mayonnaise. Yours will always be a richer, more interesting yellow. The flavor will be broader and the texture richer and creamier. The final product will often be thick. Add a tablespoon or more of cold water (or cream) to thin it.

The natural variation of homemade mayonnaise is due to the ingredients, the temperament of the cook, and the eggs. Eggs are not just eggs. They vary in seasonal quality—a spring egg is “wetter” than a late summer egg. A stored egg or an older refrigerated egg is thicker and dryer than a newly laid egg. An egg from a chicken fed on natural grasses is vastly different from an egg from a chicken raised on commercial pellets. A pastured chicken egg is different from a battery cage chicken egg. A freshly laid egg is different to work with than a commercial store-bought egg. Eggs from different strains of chickens probably have some minute differences, and eggs from different species have some very different characteristics. (A duck egg yolk and white are thicker than those of a chicken egg. A goose egg yolk is creamier than either a duck’s or a chicken’s.)

A freshly laid chicken egg is the easiest to work with for mayonnaise. But, unless you have chickens, this won’t be an option. Duck eggs make a very thick and rich mayonnaise, although you might need to add milk, cream, or water to thin it. Goose eggs make delicious mayonnaise, although some people find that it is too intensely egg-flavored.

A little about oil: Olive oil is the standard go-to for mayonnaise, but many olive oils are too flavorful and any undesirable traits, such as bitterness or an overbearing acid flavor, will be accentuated in the mayonnaise. In most cases, this detracts from or clashes with the flavors in the meal. It is better to find a neutral olive oil (such as a Spanish one) or use another type of bland, neutral oil such as safflower or sunflower oil. You can even try melted unsalted butter, it makes a very interesting mayonnaise, which is quite rich, and very unique.

(What causes me the most challenges is one of my own human foibles: impatience. Do not attempt to make mayonnaise if you are in a hurry. Mayonnaise cannot be rushed.)

Making an emulsion takes patience! By its very nature, an emulsion is something that does not want to blend. You have to coax the egg into accepting the oil and dribble the oil in slowly. I use an eyedropper and try not to add more than a few drops at a time. (I have never tried “pour in a thin stream” without awful results). I dribble the oil, drop by drop, at the start, and then move up to teaspoonfuls. I also give the yolk ample time to “rest.”  Stopping for a moment is handy. Stop and take a breath. This tip is good to remember if you begin to see the emulsification stalling and the mayonnaise just beginning to “break” (forming big, ugly curds that will not go back together again). You can settle the mixture down by pausing, adding a few drops of cold water, and just waiting a moment before continuing.

If you want a good workout, use a wire whisk and a large bowl that will allow the yolk to spread out into a very thin layer. It will give you a clear view of what is going on, and if any breaking starts, you can stop it quickly. (A deep, narrow bowl does not afford as much control.)

I’ve read that you can use a hand whisk, a rotary hand mixer, an electric hand mixer, a stick blender, an upright blender, or a food processor. However, I have used only a whisk or an electric hand mixer. It took me about three tries (one afternoon) before I managed to find a technique that worked for me. I have tried since then to use a blender and a food processor but always return to what I find easiest: the hand mixer and a big bowl with a flat bottom. But there is no one right way. Experiment, and find what works for you.

Expect a few mishaps before you get your technique down. The most common error, from my experience, is rushing it and adding the oil too fast. The point is to keep the egg yolk (or yolks) in motion while you add the oil, a drop at a time.

Basic Simple Mayo Recipe:

Mayonnaise

3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon wine vinegar or lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon prepared mustard
1½ cups olive oil, salad oil, or mixture

2 tablespoons boiling water

Beat egg yolks with salt, mustard, and vinegar or lemon juice. Add oil, a drop at a time, and keep beating. Dribble oil in, in short bursts, beating constantly to make sure egg mixture absorbs oil smoothly. Dribble, and then stop and beat. Dribble, stop, and beat. When 1/3 cup oil is mixed in, the chance of the whole sauce’s breaking is lessened, so you can add oil in larger amounts (such as a teaspoon at a time). Continue until all oil has been used. The end result will be very thick and creamy. Thin with a little boiling water or a mixture of hot water and more vinegar or lemon juice if mixture is too thick. Add seasoning after mayonnaise has been chilled, covered, for an hour. (If not covered, it may develop an unsightly “skin” on top.)

If you are at all fearful of the dreaded “salmonella” (which I will cover on a different post, and best avoided by buying the freshest eggs, from the most natural source you can find — like a farmer’s market with the actual chicken wrangler right there selling them, or, naturally, from chickens wandering your backyard) then here is a “cooked” mayo recipe:

Cooked Mayo

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon dry mustard

dash pepper

1 cup very light olive oil

In double boiler, over simmering water, stir egg yolks, lemon juice, water, mustard, and pepper until blended. Continue stirring constantly. Using a glass cooking thermometer, get temperature to 140 degrees and maintain that temperature for 3½ minutes. Remove from heat (take pan off hot water), and let sit for several minutes to cool. Pour into blender, cover, and blend at high speed. Add oil, drop by drop, slowly. Keep adding more oil while blender is going, until all oil is absorbed. Yolk will become very thick and smooth. Occasionally turn off blender to scrape down sides with rubber spatula. Remove mayonnaise from blender, and placed in covered container. Keep refrigerated.

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The History of Eggs Benedict

This is a rich breakfast dish, which brings to mind the relaxed dining in an expensive hotel restaurant (or ordered through room service).  It consists of two halves of a toasted English muffin, a slice of ham, a poached egg, smothered in Hollandaise sauce.  (Sadly, the closest many people have come to Eggs Benedict, is a MacDonald’s Egg McMuffin, which swaps out the Hollandaise for melted American Cheese.)

The dish is worth every bit the effort to make it. Too bad it’s history is so muddled with alternating stories all around the end of the 1800’s.

On December 19, 1942, in the column called “Talk of the Town” in The New Yorker Magazine one of the origin stories of eggs Benedict is offered.

5thAve_WaldorfAstoria_Interior_PalmGarden_1902

Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Interior Palm Garden 1902

The story, as published:

“Forty-eight years ago Lemuel Benedict came into the dining room of the old Waldorf for a late breakfast. He had a hangover & ordered buttered toast, crisp bacon, 2 poached eggs, & a hooker of hollandaise sauce, & then & there put together the dish that has, ever since, borne his name, Eggs Benedict.”  “ Oscar Tschirky, the famed maître d’hôtel, was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus but substituted ham for the bacon and a toasted English muffin for the toast.”   

The year that Lemuel Benedict cited would have been around 1894.

In 1896 – Fannie Merritt Farmer’s (1857-1915) revised, edited, and reissued Mary J. Lincoln’s cookbook called The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. In it is a recipe for Eggs à la Benedict. The recipe is as follows:

Eggs à la Benedict – Split and toast English muffins. Sauté circular pieces of cold boiled ham, place these over the halves of muffins, arrange on each a dropped egg, and pour around Hollandaise Sauce II , diluted with cream to make of such consistency to pour easily.”

In September, 1967, in an column in The New York Times Magazine, Craig Clairborne wrote about a letter he had received from an Edward P. Montgomery, regarding a recipe given to him by his mother, who had received it from her brother, a friend of the Commodore E.C. Benedict, a banker and yachtsman, who died in 1920, at the ripe age of 86 years old. Presuming that the Commodore was in his 30’s when the dish was created in his name, the year would have been around 1894.

Two months later, (November 1967)  in a letter to the editor published in the New York Times Magazine, Mable C. Butler of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts corrected Mr. Clairborne’s accounting of the origins of Eggs Benedict.   She claimed to be a relative of Mrs. Le Grand Benedict.  Mr. and Mrs. Benedict dined every Saturday at Delmonico’s.  She asked the maitre d’hotel if there were anything new to suggest. He asked her what sounded to her.  She suggested poached eggs on toasted English muffins, with a thin slice of ham, hollandaise sauce and a truffle on top.

To back this version up, Delmonico’s Chef Ranhofer published a recipe called Eggs a’ la Benedick (Eufa a’ la Benedick) in his The Epicurean cookbook called The Epicurean published in 1894.  His Eggs à la Benedick recipe:

“A round of cooked ham an eighth of an inch thick and of the same diameter as the muffins one each half. Heat in a moderate oven and put a poached egg on each toast. Cover the whole with Hollandaise sauce.”

The problem is, as with all food history, and all invention history, for that matter, great ideas are often considered by different people, at the same time.  It is possible that multiple people came up with the same idea at the same. It is possible that some version of this recipe was published in one of the many magazines or newspapers of the day.  Or, it is possible that some of these people were related, ran in the same circles (as they dined in expensive restaurants) and one, or several heard of the dish, and was curious to try it.  . It is also possible that Mr. and Mrs. Benedict had heard of the dish suggested by Lemuel Benedict (or visa versa).  Perhaps they were related?  Perhaps the combination was obvious given the food trends of the era was an obvious one.  Sometimes food combinations invent themselves.  After all, who really invented peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?  Obvious pairings are meant to be together.

Eggs Benedict for Two

4 fresh English muffins

8 pieces of thin sliced lean ham cut into rounds the size of the muffins

8 eggs

¾ of a cup of Hollandaise sauce

Lightly toast the muffins then spread them with butter. Grill the ham and place one piece on each muffin.  Poach the egg by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil, then reducing the heat to simmer.  Crack an egg into a soup ladle and gently lower the eggs, individually into the hot water.  Roll the eggs over to keep the whites close to the eggs. Cook to desired doneness (although, ideally, the egg yolk should still be somewhat runny).    Place the Canadian Bacon on the muffing, add the poached egg on top, and smother the whole thing with several tablespoons of Hollandaise sauce.  Serve

Fernand Point’s Fried Egg

Fernand-Point1

Fernand Point

Thomas Keller (an American chef, restaurateur of his landmark Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry) said that: “I believe Fernand Point is one of the last true gourmands of the 20th century. His ruminations are extraordinary and thought-provoking—he has been an inspiration for legions of chefs.”

The only book attributed to Fernand Point was  ” Ma Gastronomie”.  (It was  published after his death, in France, in 1968.) It’s not quite a cookbook, in a normal sense, but a collection of recollections about dishes, and a the essence of the recipe.  A reprint of the 1974 English edition was printed by Rookery Press in 2008 with an introduction by Thomas Keller,

Chef Point, known to his peers as le roi (the king), believed in using the best ingredients possible: regional ingredients, in season, quality-grown. His culinary philosophy was simple: The easiest dishes are often the most difficult. An often-told story is how he would always invite visiting chefs to show off their skill by cooking a simple fried egg. They would, inevitably, fry the egg too fast, in too hot a pan, and he would insult them and show them his way. His way was slow, careful cooking with plenty of butter.

In fact, his favorite saying was “Du beurre! Donnez-moi du beurre! Toujours du beurre!” (Translated: “Butter! Give me butter! Always butter!)

Chef Point’s Fried Egg Recipe

Place a lump of fresh butter in a pan, and let it melt just enough for it to spread and never until it is browned. Open a very fresh egg onto a small plate or saucer, and slide it carefully into the pan. Cook on heat so low that the white barely turns creamy and the yolk becomes hot but remains liquid. In a separate saucepan, melt another lump of fresh butter, remove the egg onto a lightly heated serving plate; salt and pepper it; and then very gently pour the fresh, warm butter over it.

Columbia Cookbook (1902) More Recipes

Omelet Soufflee

Whites of six eggs, yolks of three eggs, juice of half a lemon, three tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar. First grease a quart baking dish with butter, and then see that the oven is hot. Now beat the whites to a very stiff broth, beat the yolks, add them to the whites, then the sugar and juice of a lemon; stir carefully, and quickly heap into the baking dish; dredge with powdered sugar and put into the oven. Bake fifteen minutes or until a golden brown, and serve immediately. It may also be baked in paper cases.

Rum Omelet

Put a small quantity of lard into the pan; let it simmer a few minutes and remove it; wipe the pan dry with a towel and put in a little fresh lard in which the omelet may be fried. Care should be taken that the lard does not burn, which would spoil the color of the omelet. Break three eggs separately, put them into a bowl, and wisk them thoroughly with a fork. The longer they are beaten the lighter will the omelet be. Beat up a teaspoonful of milk with the eggs, and continue to beat until the last moment before pouring into the pan, which should be over a hot fire. As soon as the omelet sets, remove the pan from the hottest part of the fire. Slip a knife under it to prevent sticking to the pan. When the centre is almost firm slant the pan, work the omelet in shape to fold it easily and neatly, and when slightly browned hold a platter against the edge of the pan and deftly turn it out on to the hot dish. Dust a liberal quantity of powdered sugar over it and singe the sugar into neat stripes with a hot iron rod, heated in the coals; pour a glassful of warm Jamacia rum around it, and when it is placed on the table set fire to the rum. With a tablespoon dash the burning rum over the omelet, put out the fire and serve. Salt mixed with the eggs prevents them from rising, and then it is so used the omelet will look flabby, yet without salt it will taste insipid. Add a little salt to it just before folding it and turning out on the dish.

Smoked beef with Eggs

Cut some smoked beef in thin shavings or chips, put them into a frying pan, and nearly fill it with hot water; set it on the fire and let it boil up once, then pour it off; add to the beef a good bit of lard, twice the size of an egg, for a half pound of the beef, shake a little pepper over it, and let it fry for a few minutes over a quick fire; then break two or three more eggs into it, stir them together until the eggs are done and then turn it onto a dish. Or, after frying the beef with a little wheat flour dredged over, fry eggs, and serve with it the same as ham.

Ham and Eggs

Fry the eggs in a little every nice salted lard; drain off every drop of grease and lay them upon a hot dish with neat slices of fried ham around the edges., half the size of the slice as the first, carved from the ham. Trim off the rough edges of the eggs, and cut the ham evenly in oblong pieces before dishing. Garnish with parsley.

Egg Nogg

Beat the yolks of twelve eggs very light, stir in as much white sugar as they will dissolve, pour in gradually one glassful of brandy to cook the eggs, one glassful of old whiskey (or two glassfuls of sherry wine), one grated nutmeg, and three pints of rich milk. Beat the whites to a froth and stir in last.

Egg Sauce

Three hard boiled eggs, a good teacupful of drawn butter, a little salt. Chop the yolks only of the eggs very fine, and beat into the hot drawn butter, salting to sates.  This is used for boiled fowls and boiled fish. For the former, you can add some minced parsley; for the latter chopped pickles, caper, or nasturtium seed. For boiled beef, a small shallot minced fine.

 

 

Columbia Cookbook (1902) More Recipes

More Recipes from the Columbia Cookbook:

Deviled Eggs

Twelve eggs, one large teaspoonful of French mustard, two heaping tablespoonfuls of cold-boiled ham or tongue, one tablespoonful of olive oil, salt and cayenne to taste. Cover the eggs with warm water and boil fifteen minutes, then throw them into cold water for half and hour; this prevents the whites from turning dark. Remove the shells, and cut the eggs in halves lengthwise. Take out the yolks carefully without breaking the whites. Rub the yolks into a smooth paste with the mustard, oil, and then add the ham or tongue finely chopped, the salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Fill the hollowed whites with this mixture, and serve on a bed of water-cress or salad.

For picnics or garden parties, put the two corresponding halves together and press them closely. Cut white tissue paper into pieces six inches square, fringe the opposite sides, roll one egg in each paper, twist the fringed ends the same as the candied secrets. Serve on a napkin, in a pretty little basket, garnish with smilax or myrtle.

Breaded Eggs

Boil the eggs hard, and cut in round thick slices,; pepper and salt; dip each in a beaten raw egg, and then in fine bread crumbs or powdered cracker, and fry in butter hissing hot. Drain off every drop of crease and serve on a hot dish for breakfast.

Eggs on Toast

Put a good lump of butter into the frying pan. When it is hot, stir in four or five well beaten eggs, with pepper, salt, and a little parsley. Stir and toss for three minutes. Have ready to your hand some slices of buttered toast (cut round with a tin cake cutter before they are toasted; spread thickly with ground or minced tongue, chicken or ham. Heap the stirred egg upon these in mounts, and set in a hot dish garnished with parsley and pickled beets.

Eggs, Newport Style

Take one pint of bread crumbs and soak in one point of milk. Beat eight eggs very light and stir with the soaked crumbs, beating five minutes. Have ready a sauce pan in which are two tablespoonfuls of butter, thoroughly hot, but not scorching; pour in the mixture, season with pepper and salt, as the mass is opened and stirred in with the “scrambling,” which should be done quickly with the point of the knife, for three minutes, or until thoroughly hot. Serve on a hot platter with squares of buttered toast.

Plain Omelet (Fine)

To make an omelet, beat the yolks lightly (twelve beats is said to be the magic number), as too much beating makes them thin and destroys the appearance of the omelet, then add the milk, the salt, pepper, and the flour if any is used, and lastly the whites beaten to a stiff froth. Have the skillet as hot as it can be without scorching the butter; put in a tablespoonful of butter, and pour in the omelet, which should at once begin to bubble and rise in flakes. Slip under it a thin broad bladed knife and every now and then raise it up to prevent burning. As soon as the under-side is hard enough to hold together and the eggs begin to ‘set,” fold over, shake the skillet so as to entirely free the omelet, carefully slide it on a hot platter, and serve at once. It should be cooked in from three to five minutes.

Bread Omelet

Three eggs, one quarter teaspoonful of salt, one dash of black pepper, one half cup of bread crumbs, one half cup of milk, piece of butter the size of a walnut. Beat the eggs separately. Add to the yolks. Add to the yolks the milk, salt, pepper, and the bread crumbs. Now stir into this carefully the beaten whites; mix very lightly. Put the batter ina very smooth frying pan; as soon as hot turn in the mixture gently, and set it over a clear fire, being very careful not to burn; shake occasionally to see that the omelet does not stick, the same as plain omelet.  Now stand your frying pan in the oven for a moment to set the middle of the omelet. When done, toss it over on a warm platter to bring the brown side of the omelet uppermost; or it may be folded in half and then turned out in the center of the platter. Serve immediately or it will fall.

Omelet with Ham, Tongue, or Chicken

Make precisely as above; but when it is done, scatter thickly over the surface some minced ham, tongue, or seasoned chicken, slip our broad knife under one side of the omelet and double in half, enclosing the meat. Then upset the frying pan upon a hot dish.

Omelet au Naturel

Break eight or ten eggs into a basin; add a small teaspoonful of salt and a little pepper, with a tablespoonful of cold water, beat the whole well with a spoon or wisk. In the meantime put some fresh sweet putter into an omelet pan, and when it is nearly hot put in an omelet; whilst it is frying with a skimmer spoon, raise the edges from the pan, that it may be properly done. When the eggs are set, and one side is a fine brown, double it half over, and serve hot. These omelets should be quite thin in the pan; the butter required for each will be about the size of a small egg.

Spanish Omelet

Six eggs, one medium sized tomato, one small onion, one dash of black pepper, three tablespoonfuls of milk, five mushrooms, one quarter pound of bacon, one quarter teaspoonful of salt.

Cut the bacon into very small pieces and fry it until brown; then add to it the tomato, onion, and mushroom chopped fine; stir and cook for fifteen minutes. Break the eggs in a bowl, and give them twelve vigorous beats with a fork; add them to the salt and pepper. Now put a piece of butter the size of a walnut into a smooth frying pan, turn it around so as to grease the bottom and sides. When the butter is hot, pour in the eggs and shake over a quick fire until they are set. Now quickly pour the mixture from the other frying pan over the omelet, fold it over at once, and turn it out in the centre of a heated platter, and serve immediately.

Rice Omelet

Take a cupful of cold boiled rice, turn over it a cupful of warm milk, add a tablespoonful of butter melted, a level teaspoonful of salt, a dash of pepper, mix well, then add three well beaten eggs. Put a tablespoonful of butter in a hot frying pan and when it begins to boil pour in the omelet and set the pan in a hot oven.  As soon as it is cooked through, fold it double, turn it out on a hot dish, and serve at once. Very good.

Savory Omelet

This is made like a plain omelet with the addition of one taplespoon of chopped parsley. A little grated onion may be used also if you like it.

Tomato Omelet

Peel a couple of tomatoes, which split into four pieces; remove the seeds, and cut them into small dice; then fry them with a little butter until nearly done, adding salt and pepper. Beat the eggs and mix the tomatoes with them, and make the omelet as usual. Or stew a few tomatoes in the usual way and spread over before folding.

Potato Omelet

Two boiled potatoes, chopped fine. Put a tablespoonful of butter in a frying pan, and, when very hot, add the potatoes. Shake over the fire until a nice brown; then sprinkle with chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Stand them where they will keep warm until you make a plain omelet. When the omelet is partly set, spread over the potatoes, roll, and serve.

Green Corn Omelet

Boil one dozen ears of sweet corn, cut from the cob. Beat together five eggs; mix with the corn and season with pepper and salt; make into small cakes. Dip into the beaten yolk of an egg, and then into bread crumbs; add a teaspoonful of flour to the bread crumbs and season them with a little salt and pepper. Fry brown

Jelly Omelet

Make a plain omelet, and just before folding together, spread with some kind of jelly. Turn out on a warm platter. Dust it with powdered sugar.

Oyster Omelet

Allow for every six large oysters, or twelve small ones, one egg; remove the hard part and mince the rst very fine; take the yolks of eight eggs, and the whites of fou, beat until very light; then mix in the oysters, season and beat all up thoroughly; put into a skillet one gill of butter, let it melt; when the butter boils, skim it and turn in the omelet; stir until it stiffens, fry light brown; when the under side is brown, turn onto a hot platter; if wanted the upper side brown, hold a red hot shovel over it.

Mushroom Omelet

Clean a cupful of large button mushrooms, canned ones may be used; cut them into bits. Put into a stew pan and ounce of butter, and let it melt; add the mushrooms, a teaspoonful of salt, half a teaspoonful of pepper, and a half a cupful of cream or milk. Stir ina teaspoonful of flour, dissolved in a little milk or water to thicken, if needed. Boil ten minutes, and set aside until the omelet is ready.

Make a plain omelet the usual way, and just before doubling it, turn the mushrooms over the centre, and serve hot.

Cheese Omelet

Beat up three eggs, and add to them a tablespoonful of milk and a tablespoonful of grated cheese; add a little more cheese before folding; turn it out on a hot dish; grate a little cheese over it before serving

French Omelet

One quart of milk, one pint of bread crumbs, five eggs, one tablespoonful of flour, one onion chopped fine, chopped parsley, season with pepper and salt; have butter melted in a spider; when the omelet is brown, turn it over; double when served.

Asparagus, Cauliflower, and Onion Omelet

Cook the vegetables as if for the table; place them in the centre of the omelet just before folding.

Bengal Omelet

Take half a dozen fresh eggs, beat the whites and the yolks well together, chop half a dozen yong onions fine, mix all together and fry after the form of a pancake