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1 correction by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

INDIAN CORN.

(From a London Daily Paper.)

The importation of Indian corn, which is going on both in England and Ireland, will prove of little service in alleviating the wants of the poor, unless they be informed of the best methods of preparing it for food. This information it is now in our power to afford ; the following receipts having been kindly

forwarded to us from North America.

Indian corn when ground makes excellent gruel, prepared in the same way as oatmeal gruel, and what is called musk is the same thing as Lancashire oatmeal porridge ; but it is necessary in making this, that it be very well boiled. In summer it is eaten cold, and is very much liked. Treacle may be eaten with this. Indian meal is considered a great improvement either to white or brown bread ; about one-third of Indian meal should be mixed with wheaten flour; this is especially advantageous in case of the flour being damaged by wet.

Indian bread is excellent, and is made thus:-To a quart of sour milk, or butter- milk, as much corn meal should be added as will make it into a thick batter ; a little salt, and a teaspoonful of carbonate of soda dis- solved in water, acts upon the acid of the buttermilk, and the effervescence causes the bread to be light; a spoonful of coarse sugar is an improvement, as is also a little butter or melted lard. This must be baked in well greased tins, sufficiently large to allow the cakes to be about an inch thick ; they must be baked in a quick oven. They are best eaten hot, but are very good cold. Treacle is excellent with these. When sour milk cannot be procured, fresh milk may be sub- stituted, adding a table spoonful of vinegar; but the carbonate of soda must not be stirred in until just before putting into the oven. Another way of making this bread is to pour boiling sweet milk over the meal, and when cool, add three eggs and a little salt.

What is called Indian Slap-jack would be very available in those parts of Great Britain where girdle cakes and bread of that descrip- tion is used. They are very excellent, and are made thus :-Scald a quart of Indian meal; when lukewarm add a few-spoonfuls of wheaten flour, half a tea-cup full of yeast, and a little salt, and when sufficiently risen bake them_ on a well-greased bakestone. They are best eaten hot. Another way, and the most approved here, is to mix about half the meal into boiling milk and watei ; when cool, stir in the remainder of the meal so as to make a thick batter, mixing in two or three spoonfuls of flour, three eggs, and two tea-spoonfuls of salt.

To make Johnny Cakes.-Scald a quart of Indian meal with a sufficient quantity of water to make it into a thick batter ; stir in two or three spoonfuls of salt; mould it in the hand into small cakes, rubbing a good deal of flour in the hand to prevent them sticking. These cakes are fried in lard ; when browned on one side, turn the other. They take about 20 minutes in baking-. Eat them hot, with

treacle.

To Make Hoe Cakes.-Scald a quart of Indian meal with a pint of water, enough to make a thick batter; stir in two tea-spoonfuls of salt, and a small quantity of butler melted ; put it into a well-greased tin, and bake it

half an hour.

Hominy is made from the unground Indian corn. The husk is freed from the grain in a mill, and the grain in this stale resembles the finest tapioca. Boil it till soft in water. It is extremely good thus boiled and eaten in milk, and with the addition of a little sugar and spice, resembles English frumity. What is called Slut's Hominy is made by steeping the grains in weak ley, which loosens the husk, so that it is easily removed without the necessity of the mill.

Bannocks or Indian Cakes are made thus, and are fit for the most luxurious table:-Stir to a cream a pound of butter and a pound and a half of brown sugar; beat up six eggs and mix altogether; add a tea spoonful of cinnamon and the same of ginger ; stir in three pounds and a quarter of sifted Indian meal and a quarter of a pound wheaten flour. Bake in cups or small tin moulds, and eat when cold.

The Buffalo and the Wolf.-The Ame- rican buffalo, terrible in its aspect, is dan- gerous only when driven to extremity by the hunter, and it has an absolute terror of the wolf. The latter, conscious of the superior strength of the buffalo, and of its inability to attack it singly, forms a pack of twenty or more individuals, which, advancing on the herd of buffaloes in a crescent, drives it before them with unabated speed, till the weakest drop, or the herd, in an ecstacy of terror, leap over a precipice, and there perish. No circus can produce such a scene, and it is difficult to conceive the grandeur of it. Blood-thirsty and ravenous for their spoil, the wolves pursue with fiery speed, and with every nerve and passion strained to the ut- most tension, while the buffaloes, with their whole being absorbed with one feeling, fly with blinded terror, their eyes and nostrils inflamed with agony, breathless and panting, their tongues protruding, and their shaggy hides embossed with foam. The eye beholds the scene and without horror : nature is the prompter, and the boundless prairie the theatre.-E. P. Thompson's Note Book of a

Naturalist.

Cotton versus Linen.-The Banner of Ulster, a journal which takes considerable interest in military affairs, has the following explanatory remarks upon the recent order for substituting cotton shirts and worsted trousers for the linen and duck now in use : " We understand, from pretty good authority, that the Duke of Wellington had the opinion of a medical board connected with the service before he issued the order respecting the change from linen to'thick cotton shirts, and from white linen to grey worsted trousers, by the infantry regiments of the British army. It is well known that calico is much more absorbent in its nature than linen, con- sequently a ' thick cotton, shirt' will take up the. perspiration better than a linen one, without imparting the 'icy feel,' after the sudden transition from heat to cold, which the soldier is so frequently subject to from forced marches, skirmishing, and a variety of other causes. Besides, strong calico is much warmer than linen for winter wear,'and must, at the present time, he highly appreciated by the army, as flannel waistcoats or shirts have ~been discontinued by the infantry, agreeably

to general orders, for the last three years, except those serving in Canada. The soldier generally washes his trowsers himself, as he cannot afford from his scanty means to pay a washerwoman for doing so, in consequence of requiring a clean pair ' out of the fold,' and sometimes during uncertain weather, a couple of pairs daily. They are often, in the hurry of preparing for parades, and from numerous other causes incidental to a mili- tary life, put on in a damp state-not half dried, particularly the waistbands-hence colds, or rheumatisms of the worst type, are contracted. We have heard that, during the last autumn, five privates of a regiment serving in this country were in the hospital at the same time affected with lumbago, brought on by .wearing damp linen trousers.

This, we believe, was officially reported to the authorities at the Horse Guards."

Cultivation of Cotton in Cape Colony. ' -We are happy to see that the culture of cotton is attracting attention at Port Natal. The Cape of Good Hope and Port Nattit Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, after noticing the wool-growing at the Cape, uses the following language:-"By the annexa- tion of Natal, which possesses all the ad advantages of a tropical climate, another branch of colonial industry is opened up, promising to be at least as important as thaï of which we have been treating, viz., cotton. It has been with great satisfaction that we have occasionally adverted to the spirited exertions of the planters." The writer then mentions the state of the English markets, and adds-"This state of things in Great Britain is highly satisfactory, and we trust will induce our planters to bestir themselves in the culture of this useful plant ; for they may depend on every encouragement being given to them in England in proportion as free labour in Africa is extended. Great as the success of our wool growers has been, -and bright as their prospects still are, we hope to see the cotton planters, by dint of continued exertion and patronage, ere long also enjoying equal prosperity from the growth of this article; and we do not see where is the impediment thereto, considering that the demand for both is of so highly promising a nature."

The Ten Hours Factory Bill.-Lord

Ashley's bill for limiting the time of labour

for children in manufactories to ten hours a day, and rescuing some further portion of their youth for the purposes of education and moral training, is once more before Parlia- ment-with new arguments in its favour, and improved prospects of success. The acci- dents by which it has been, from time to time, postponed, have afforded the oppor- tunity for making a voluntary trial of its provisions, to some earnest and benevolent men among the part}- more directly in- terested ; and while the moral results are such as to bring practical reinforcement to the higher pleadings in the cause, the objec- tions which were supposed to answer them have been found to give way in the testing. The coming opening of the corn markets of the world, together with the other tariff modifications of the minister, supply a variety of incidents which make the present moment one when measures like this may be adopted with least chance of detriment to the em- ployer and largest benefit to the employed. Unhappily, Sir James Graham is still opposed to the bill ; und Lord Ashley, who seems subject to too many casualties to be a safe hand for the sustaining of a great moral measure, has once more slipped from under it, after he had fairly carried it in and de- posited it before the house. But it has been at once picked up by Mr. Fielden, one of the benevolent experimentalists to whom we have alluded-; and both as a practical man, and one of those injured by the bill, if injury there were to be, it is probable that his earnestness and information may advan- tageously replace the more impassioned ap- peals of Lord Ashley. The moral bearings of the question there is no disputing ; that part of the case Lord Ashley has left com- plete. The financial and commercial con- siderations are better in Mr. Fielden's hands ; and we venture to hope that the question will not suffer by the change of advocates. By the way, to us, who are fond of marking the moral signs of the time, and know how important and expressive are the elemental changes which are indicated by the direction of a straw, it does not seem out of place or idle to mention that the ordinary holiday kept by the House of Commons on the 30th of January, vras not asked for, this year, in the name of the royal martyr who has so long ruled it from his grave. The deter- mination of certain members to lift up their testimony against this antiquated piece of political assertion was shrewdly defeated by a disclaimer of any appeal to the authority impugned ; and, after his apotheosis of cen- turies, the Martyr of the Calendar may be said to have been what is technically called "dropped," in the House of Commons. Athenoum, Feb. 14.

A Borneon Village.-We were received in one of the circular halls of the Dyaks, the interior hung round with hundreds of human heads, most of them dried, with the skin and hair on ; and to give them, if possible, a more ghastly appearance, small shells were inserted where the eyes once were, and tufts of dried grass protrude from the ears. But my eye soon grew accustomed to the sight, and, by the time dinner was ready (I think I may say we), thought no more about them than if they had been as many cocoa nuts. Of course the natives crowded around us, and I noticed that with these simple people it was much the same as with the more civi- lized, and that curiosity was stronger in the gentler sex, and again that the young men came in more gorgeously dressed-wearing necklaces, armlets, earrings, bracelets, be- sides jackets of various coloured silks, and other vanities-than the older and wiser chiefs, who encumbered themselves with no more dress than what decency required, and were moreover treated with the greatest re- spect. We strolled about from house to house, without creating the slightest alarm : in all we were welcomed, and invited to squat ourselves on the mais with the family. We were fortunate in visiting these Dyaks during one of their grand festivals, and in the even- ing dancing, singing, and drinking, were going on in the various parts of the village. In one house there was a grand fête in which the women danced with the men. The dress of the women was simple and curious-a light jacket, open in front, and a short petti- coat, not coming below the knees, fitting close, was hung round with jingling bits of brass, which kept making music wherever they went. The movement was like other native dances, graceful but monotonous. There were four men, two of them bearing human skulls, and two the fresh heads of pigs; the women bore wax-lights or yellow rice on brass dishes. They danced in a line, moving backwards and- forwards, and carrying the heads and dishes in both hands. At times the women knelt down in a group, with the men leaning over them. The necklaces of the women were chiefly of teeth-bears' the most common, human the most prized. Expedition to Borneo.

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