Pick the spinach leaf by leaf from the stems, and wash it in abundance of spring water, changing it several times; then shake it in a dry cloth held by the four corners, or drain it on a large sieve. Throw it into sufficient well-salted boiling water to allow it to float freely, and keep it pressed down with a skimmer that it may be equally done. When quite young it will be tender in from eight to ten minutes, but to ascertain if it be so, take a leaf and squeeze it between the fingers. If to be dressed in the French mode, drain, and then throw it directly into plenty of fresh water, and when it is cool form it into balls and press the moisture thoroughly from it with the hands. Next, chop it extremely fine upon a clean trencher; put two ounces (for a large dish) of butter into a stewpan or bright thick saucepan, lay the spinach on it, and keep it stirred over a gentle fire for ten minutes, or until it appears dry; dredge in a spoonful of flour, and turn the spinach as it is added; pour to it gradually, a few spoonsful of very rich veal gravy, or, if preferred, of good boiling cream (with the last of these a dessertspoonful or more of pounded sugar may be added for a second-course dish, when the true French mode of dressing the vegetable is liked.) Stew the whole briskly until the liquid is entirely absorbed; dish, and serve the spinach very hot, with small, pale fried sippets round it, or with leaves of puff paste fresh from the oven, or well dried after having been fried. For ornament, the sippets may be fancifully shaped with a tin cutter. A proper seasoning of salt must not be omitted in this, or any other preparation of the spinach.