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<pb n="1029" id="epic447.jpg"/>CONFECTIONERY (Confiserie).(3614). CENTER PIECES--PYRAMIDS (Pi&egrave;ces Mont&eacute;es).<p>Table ornaments called pyramids are used for replacing the cold pieces in thethird service for French dinners. They are placed on the table at the beginningand at the dessert for a Russian dinner. The principal object is to flatter theeye of the guests by their regularity, their smoothness and their finish. To attain this end it is necessary that the subjects be chosen according to the circumstances in which the dinner is offered. Special care must be taken that they be faultlessly executed. The pieces can be selected from a number of designs, such as: Swiss cottages, temples, pavilions, towers, pagodas, mosques, fortresses, hermitages, belvederes, cabins, cascades, houses, fountains, ruins, rotundas or tents; then there are lyres, harps, helmets, boats, cornucopias, vases, baskets, hampers, beehives, trophies both military and musical, fine arts, agriculture, navigation, commerce, science, etc. A very prolific branch almost entirely overlooked is a figure representing some well-known character. Then come animals, trees and flowers, which offer an infinite number of beautiful subjects. Few workmen are capable of making these different styles ofpieces, their talent being limited, for their use is confined to a very small number of houses. Therefore it would be most useful if the workman engaged in making these pieces confine himself solely to figures, as this art is certain tobecome fashionable in the near future. Authors of the best works on cooking andpastry only casually mention these ornamental pieces. The workman while executing them must give his entire attention and talent, for the persons beforewhom they are generally placed are accustomed to works of art. In case he findsit impossible to produce a perfect figure, then he had better devote himself to other kinds of work in which perfection need not be so scrupulously followed; for, after all, these pieces only serve to decorate one dinner, and consequentlyare very rarely preserved. Still, whatever style of work he may see fit to undertake, let him endeavor to excel and attain the pinnacle of perfection. A well-executed idea has more merit than a well-finished, but badly conceived one.The quantity of figures and subjects to select from are numerous. First, we have mythology; what a fertile theme--here a Cupid on a shell drawn by swans; Neptune among the tritons and Na&iuml;ads; Bacchus; the Centaurs; the Muses; scenes from Iliad and Odyssey! How delightfully ingenuous would be a group representing Venus teaching Cupid the art of dancing; the young one in the act and the mother directing his steps; Apollo playing the flute and Jupiter benignly watching the scene, surrounded by other gods and goddesses. Then we have the history of the flood: Noah standing at the door of the Ark contemplating the ingress of all the animals into it. We can choose from the customs of different ancient and modern nations: The Normandy peasants dancing opposite to each other; a Tyrolian descending a rock carrying on his back the carcass of a chamois; an American Indian dressed in war garb burying the tomahawk; or a Tartar on horseback. Then there are scenes in ordinary life. Wecan also choose from animated nature; birds, animals, the fox ready to attack aninnocent rabbit, fish, swans on a lake surrounded by their families, birds pecking their young, and many other interesting subjects too numerous to mention.</p>(3615). CENTER PIECES; EXPLANATION OF VARIOUS FIGURES (Pi&egrave;ces Mont&eacute;es; Explication des Diff&eacute;rents Sujets).<p>These figures as far as the letter I can be used for all pyramids, either of cooked, poured or spun sugar or of gum paste; adjust four to six pieces equallydistant, and fasten them together; fill the intersections with arabesques, as inG and H, and surmount the whole with an ornament or bunch of flowers made of websugar, the same as shown on piece K. On the projections of piece K, LLL rings of poured sugar can be placed, filling the centers with iced fruits; in the empty spaces can also be ranged sticks of poured sugar covered with fruits or small cakes, bonbons, almond paste, etc. The figures F and A show the effect that can be produced by using simpler methods. A is merely decorated with smallarabesques, shown in I, in half their natural size;<pb n="1030" id="epic448.jpg"/>{illustrations}FIG. 729 I, F.{illustration}FIG. 728{illustrations}FIG. 729 H, G.{illustrations}FIG. 729 B, C, K, A, D, E, M.{illustration}FIG. 730{illustration}FIG. 729 J.{illustration}FIG. 731<pb n="1031" id="epic1045.jpg"/>on F small sticks are fastened one to the other. Fig. 728 is made of nougat; the frog to be of green pistachio nougat molded in a varnished and oiled plastermold; the rushes are green and brown. Fig. 730 represents a cactus on a two-shelved socle made of Parisian nougat; the flower pot is of nougat containing chopped almonds and chocolate; the plant is of green pistachio nougat to imitatethe cactus. The lighthouse (Fig. 731) is of gum paste; the chimney on top of the house, from whence arises the smoke, is imitated in wadding; the branches ofthe tree of very fine wire covered with finely cut paper to represent the leaves, and the trunk to be of gum paste or fine wire covered with silk. The staircase and the boat are of gum paste; the boat lies on a piece of looking glass. The J and M are meant for forming socles for raising the low pieces, such as the frog, etc. J is made in three pieces that can be used independently, so as to make the socle either higher or lower.</p>(3616). CENTER PIECES OF COOKED SUGAR (Pi&egrave;ces Mont&eacute;es en Sucre Cuit).<p>For cooked sugar see Elementary Methods (No. 171). It is always necessary tohave sugar cooked in advance so that each time some is wanted it will not have to be prepared, especially when only a little is to be used at a time. Have some sugar cooked to "large crack" (No. 171); when it reaches three hundred and thirty degrees add to it the juice of a quarter of a lemon and leave cook to three hundred and fifty degrees, then pour it hastily on a thick marblesufficiently large to allow it to cool, then detach and set it away in hermetically closed tin boxes. To make web or spun sugar, first melt it slowly in a small copper pan, a little at a time, being careful it does not change color. This sugar is used for


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