(Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book, 1884)
— Fish bake through more evenly, brown better, and are more easily served, if placed upright in the pan instead of on one side. Fish that are broad and short, like shad, may be kept in place by propping with stale bread or pared potatoes. But all others that are narrow in proportion to the length may be skewered or tied into the shape of a letter S ; run a threaded trussing-needle through the head, middle of the body and tail; then draw the string tight, and fasten the ends. Fish thus prepared will keep their shape after baking.
Have an iron sheet with rings at the ends for handles, and just large enough to fit into the dripping-pan. Rub the sheet well with salt pork, and put pieces of pork under the fish to keep it from sticking. This sheet will enable you to lift the fish from the pan and place it on the platter without breaking. If you have no sheet, put two broad strips of cotton cloth across the pan, before laying in the fish. When done, lift out on the cloth. Do not put water in the pan, unless you wish to steam instead of bake the fish. Put two or three slices of fat salt pork over and near the fish, and when the flour has browned, baste often with the pork fat. Bake till brown, and baste often.