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1. Choice of Articles of Food.

—Nothing is more important in the affairs of housekeeping than the choice of wholesome food. We have been amused by a conundrum which is as follows:— "A man went to market and bought two fish. When he reached home he found they were the same as when he had bought them; yet there were three.' How was this?" The answer is—"He bought two mackarel, and one smelt!" Those who envy him his bargain need not care about the following rules; but to others they will be valuable :—

2. MACKAKELmust beperfectlyfresh, or it is a very indifferent fish; it will neither bear carriage, nor being kept many hours out of the water. The firmness of the flesh, and the clearness of the eyes, must be the criterion of fresh mackerel, as they are of all other fish.

3. Turbot, and all flat white fish, are rigid and firm when fresh; the under side should be of a rich cream colour. When out of season, or too long kept, this becomes a bluish white, and the flesh soft and flaccid. A clear, bright eye in fish is also a mark of being fresh and good.

_ 4. Cod is known to be fresh by the rigidity of the muscles (or flesh); the redness of the gills, and clearness of the eyes. Crimping much improves this fish.

5. Salmon.—The flavour and excellence of this fish depends upon its freshness, and the shortness of time since it

was caught; for no method can completely preserve the delicate flavour it has when just taken out of the water. A great deal of what is brought to London has been packed in ice, and comes from the Scotch and Irish rivers, and, though perfectly fresh, is not quite equal to Thames salmon.

6. Herrings should be eaten when very fresh ; and, like mackerel, will not remain good many hours after they are caught. But they are very excellent, especially for breakfast relishes, either salted, split, dried, and peppered, or pickled.

7. Fresh-water Fish. — The remarks as to firmness and clear fresh eyes apply to this variety of fish, of which there are carp, tench, pike, perch, &c.

8. Lobsters, recently caught, have always some remains of muscular action in the claws, which may be excited by pressing the eyes with the finger; when this cannot be produced, the lobster must have been too long kept. When boiled, the tail preserves its elasticity it fresh, but loses it as soon as it becomes stale. The heaviest lobsters are the best; when light they are watery and poor. Hen lobsters may generally be known by the spawn, or by the breadth of the "flap."

9. Crabs And Crayfish must be chosen by observations similar to those given above in the choice of lobsters. Crabs have an agreeable smell when fresh. D

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