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Partan Pie

Pick the meat out of the claws and body of a crab or lobster; clean the shell, and replace the meat, having seasoned it with salt, white pepper and nutmeg; add dabs of fresh butter and some bread crumbs, and half a glass of vinegar beat up and heated with a little made mustard. Brown under the grill. Salad oil can be used instead of butter and the vinegar can be omitted for those who dislike sharpness.

The Ochtertyre House Booke of Accomps (1737) sheds interesting light on the availability of fish in Scotland's great houses of the time. There seems indeed, judging by the recorded menus, to have been a fairly constant supply, doubtless through the useful offices of the cadgers. For example, we find barring' on the servants menus in the first three months of the year and in July and August, as well as many other fish, including haddock, cod, sparlings, sole, whiting, skate, flounders, turbot, mackerel and dabs. Shell-fish such as oysters, mussels, lobsters and crabs (partans) also figure on the menus, while an intriguing entry appearing from time to time is a pennyworth of dulse and tangle. " It must have proved a good half hour's bargaining with the cadger,' observes the writer of the Introduction to the book. "When my lady got 34 haddock, a cod, a string of whitings, and four partans for 1 shilling.".

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