Science in the Kitchen.
Mrs. E. E. Kellogg
Part 9 out of 17
In the process of churning; the membranes of casein which surround each
of the little globules constituting the cream are broken, and the fat of
which they are composed becomes a compact mass known as butter. The
watery looking residue containing casein, sugar of milk, mineral matter,
and a small proportion of fat, comprises the buttermilk.
Skim-milk, or milk from which the cream has been removed, and buttermilk
are analogous in chemical composition.
The composition of each, according to Dr. Edward Smith, is:--
Nitrogenous matter......................................... 4.0
Mineral matter............................................. 0.8
Skim-milk and buttermilk, when the butter is made from sweet cream and
taken fresh, are both excellent foods, although lacking the fat of new
Cream is more easily digested than butter, and since it contains other
elements besides fat, is likewise more nutritious. In cream the fat is
held in the form of an emulsion which allows it to mingle freely with
water. As previously stated, each atom of fat is surrounded with a film
of casein. The gastric juice has no more power to digest casein than it
has free fat, and the little particles of fat thus protected are carried
to the small intestines, where the pancreatic juice digests them, and on
their way they do not interfere with the stomach digestion of other
foods, as the presence of butter and other free fats may do.
It is because of its greater wholesomeness that in the directions for
the preparation of foods given in this work we have given preference to
the use of cream over that of butter and other free fats. The usual
objection to its use is its expense, and the difficulty of obtaining it
from city dealers. The law of supply and cost generally corresponds with
that of demand, and doubtless cream would prove no exception if its use
were more general.
Cream may be sterilized and preserved in a pure state for some time, the
same as milk.
Milk requires especial care to secure a good quality and quantity of
cream. Scrupulous cleanliness, good ventilation, and an unvarying
temperature are absolute essentials. The common custom of setting milk
in pans is objectionable, not only because of the dust and germs always
liable to fall into the milk, but also from the difficulty of keeping
milk thus set at the proper temperature for cream-rising. Every family
using milk in any quantity ought to have a set of creameries of large or
small capacity according to circumstances, in which the milk supply can
be kept in a pure, wholesome condition, and so arranged as to facilitate
the full rising of the cream if desired. A very simple and satisfactory
creamery, with space for ice around the milk, similar to that
represented in the accompanying cut, may be constructed by any tinman.
The plan of scalding milk to facilitate the rising of the cream is
excellent, as it not only secures a more speedy rising, but serves to
destroy the germs found in the milk, thus lessening its tendency to
sour. The best way to do this is to heat the milk in a double boiler, or
a dish set inside another containing hot water, to a temperature of 150
deg. to 165 deg.F. as indicated by wrinkles upon its surface. The milk
must not, however, be allowed to come to a boil. When scalded, it should
be cooled at once to a temperature of about 60 deg. F. and kept thus
during the rising of the cream.
Of all foods wholly composed of fat, good fresh butter is the most
wholesome. It should, however, be used unmelted and taken in a finely
divided state, and only in very moderate quantities. If exposed to great
heat, as on hot buttered toast, meats, rich pastry, etc., it is quite
indigestible. We do not recommend its use either for the table or for
cooking purposes when cream can be obtained, since butter is rarely
found in so pure a state that it is not undergoing more or less
decomposition, depending upon its age and the amount of casein retained
in the butter through the carelessness of the manufacturer.
Casein, on exposure to air in a moist state, rapidly changes into a
ferment, which, acting upon the fatty matter of the butter, produces
rancidity, rendering the butter more or less unwholesome. Poor, tainted,
or rancid butter should not be used as food in any form.
Good butter is pale yellow, uniform throughout the whole mass, and free
from rancid taste or odor. White lumps in it are due to the
incorporation of sour milk with the cream from which it was produced. A
watery, milk-like fluid exuding from the freshly cut surface of butter,
is evidence that insufficient care was taken to wash out all the
buttermilk, thus increasing its liability to spoil.
The flavor and color of butter vary considerably, according to the breed
and food of the animal from which the milk was obtained. An artificial
color is often given to butter by the use of a preparation of annatto.
Both salt and saltpeter are employed as preservatives for butter; a
large quantity of the former is often used to increase the weight of the
ARTIFICIAL BUTTER.--Various fraudulent preparations are sold as
butter. Oleomargarine, one of the commonest, is made from tallow or
beef-fat, cleaned and ground like sausage, and heated, to separate the
oil from the membranes. It is then known as "butter-oil," is salted,
cooled, pressed, and churned in milk, colored with annatto, and treated
the same as butter. Butterine, another artificial product, is prepared
by mixing butter-oil and a similar oil obtained from lard, then churning
them with milk.
An eminent analyst gives the following excellent way of distinguishing
genuine butter from oleomargarine:--"When true butter is heated over a
clear flame, it 'browns' and gives out a pleasant odor,--that of browned
butter. In heating there is more or less sputtering, caused by minute
particles of water retained in washing the butter. On the bottom of the
pan or vessel in which true butter is heated, a yellowish-brown crust is
formed, consisting of roasted or toasted casein. When oleomargarine is
heated under similar circumstances, it does not 'brown,' but becomes
darker by overheating, and when heated to dryness, gives off a grayish
steam, smelling of tallow. There is no 'sputtering' when it is being
heated, but it boils easily. If a pledget of cotton or a wick saturated
with oleomargarine be set on fire and allowed to burn a few moments
before being extinguished, it will give out fumes which are very
characteristic, smelling strongly of tallow, while true butter behaves
BUTTER IN ANCIENT TIMES.--Two kinds of butter seem to have been
known to the ancient Jews, one quite like that of the present day,
except that it was boiled after churning, so that it became in that warm
climate practically an oil; the other, a sort of curdled milk. The juice
of the Jerusalem artichoke was mixed with the milk, when it was churned
until a sort of curd was separated. The Oriental method of churning was
by putting the milk into a goat-skin and swinging and shaking the bag
until the butter came, as illustrated in the accompanying cut.
[Illustration: Oriental Butter-Making.]
An article still sold as butter in Athens is made by boiling the milk of
goats, allowing it to sour, and then churning in a goat-skin. The result
is a thick, white, foamy substance appearing more like cream than
BUTTER-MAKING.--The manufacture of good butter is dependent upon
good cows and the care given them, as well as most careful treatment of
the milk and cream. The milk to be used for butter making, as indeed for
all purposes, should be most carefully strained through a wire strainer
covered with three or four thicknesses of perfectly clean cheese cloth.
The following points given by an experienced dairyman will be found
worthy of consideration by all who have to do with the manufacture of
"Milk is almost as sensitive to atmospheric changes as mercury itself.
It is a question among many as to what depth milk should be set to get
the most cream. It does not make so much difference as to the depth as
it does the protection of the milk from acid or souring. As soon as the
milk begins to sour, the cream ceases to rise.
"With a clear, dry atmosphere the cream will rise clean in the milk; but
in that condition of the atmosphere which readily sours the milk, the
cream will not rise clean, but seems to hang in the milk, and this even
when the milk is protected by being set in water.
"The benefit of setting milk in cold water is that the water protects
the milk from becoming acid until the cream has time to rise. For cream
to rise readily on milk set in cold water, the atmosphere in the room
should be warmer than the water. As much cream will rise on milk set in
cold water in one hour as on milk not set in water in twenty-four hours.
The milk should be skimmed while sweet, and the cream thoroughly stirred
at each skimming.
"Cream skimmed from different milkings, if churned at the same time in
one churn, should be mixed eight to ten hours before churning; then the
cream will all come alike.
"The keeping qualities of butter depend principally upon two things:
First, the buttermilk must be all gotten out; and secondly, the grain of
the butter should be kept as perfect as possible. Butter should not be
allowed to be churned after it has fairly come, and should not be
gathered compactly in the churn in taking out, but the buttermilk should
be drained from the butter in the churn, through a hair sieve, letting
the butter remain in the churn. Then take water and turn it upon the
butter with sufficient force to pass through the butter, and in
sufficient quantity to rinse the buttermilk all out of the butter. With
this process of washing the butter the grain is not injured or mashed,
and is thus far kept perfect. And in working in the salt the ladle or
roll or worker, whatever it is, should never be allowed to slip on the
butter,--if it does, it will destroy the grain,--but it should go upon
the butter in a pressing or rolling motion."
Test the temperature of the cream with a thermometer, and churn it at
60 deg. in summer and 62 deg. in winter. If the butter is soft, it may be
hardened by pouring onto it while working a brine made by dissolving a
pint of salt in ten quarts of water. The salt used in the butter should
be carefully measured, three fourths of an ounce of salt to the pound
being the usual allowance.
Butter, like milk, absorbs odors readily, and should never be allowed to
remain in occupied rooms or any place exposed to strong or foul odors,
but be kept covered in a cold place.
Cheese is a product of milk prepared by separating the casein, with more
or less of the cream, according to the manner in which it has been
prepared, from the other ingredients of the milk. It is an article,
which, although possessing a large proportion, of nutritive material, is
very difficult of digestion, and the use of which is very questionable,
not only for this reason, but because it is very liable to contain a
poison called tyrotoxicon, capable of producing most violent and indeed
fatal results, according to the remarkable researches of Prof. Vaughan
of Michigan University. This poison is sometimes found in ice cream and
custards, cream-puffs, etc., made from stale milk or cream.
It is much better to use milk in its fresh, natural state than in any of
its products. Made into either butter or cheese, we lose some of its
essential elements, so that what is left is not a perfect food.
HOT MILK.--Milk is more easily digested when used hot. This is not
due to any marked chemical change in the milk, but to the stimulating
effect of heat upon the palate and stomach.
To prepare hot milk, heat it in a double boiler until a wrinkled skin
appears upon the surface. In the double boiler it may be kept at the
proper temperature for a long time without difficulty, and thus
prepared, it forms one of the most healthful of foods.
Milk, either cold or hot, should be taken a few sips only at a time, and
not be drank in copious draughts when used in connection with other
foods at mealtime. It will then coagulate in the stomach in small flakes
much more easily digested than the large mass resulting when a large
quantity is swallowed at a time.
DEVONSHIRE OR CLOTTED CREAM.--This is prepared as follows: Strain
the milk as it comes fresh from the cow into a deep pan which will fit
tightly over a kettle in which water can be boiled, and set away in a
cool well-ventilated place, where it should be allowed to remain
undisturbed from eight to twelve hours or longer. Then take the pan up
very carefully so as not to disturb the cream, place over a kettle of
water, heat to near the boiling point, or until a rim of bubbles half an
inch wide forms all around the dish of milk. It must not, however, be
allowed to boil, or the cream will be injured. Now lift the pan again
with equal care back to a cool place and allow it to stand from twelve
to twenty-four hours longer. The cream should be a compact mass of
considerable thickness, and may be divided with a knife into squares of
convenient size before skimming. It is delicious for use on fruit and
COTTAGE CHEESE.--This dish is usually prepared from milk which has
curdled from lack of proper care, or from long standing exposed to the
air, and which is thus in some degree decomposing. But the fact that the
casein of the milk is coagulated by the use of acids makes it possible
to prepare this dish in a more wholesome manner without waiting for
decomposition of the milk. Add to each four quarts of milk one cupful of
lemon juice; let it stand until coagulated, then heat slowly, but do not
boil, until the curd has entirely separated from the whey. Turn the
whole into a colander lined with a square of clean cheese cloth, and
drain off the whey. Add to the curd a little salt and cream, mix all
together with a spoon or the hands, and form into cakes or balls for the
table. The use of lemon gives a delicious flavor, which may be
intensified, if desired, by using a trifle of the grated yellow rind.
COTTAGE CHEESE FROM BUTTERMILK.--Place a pail of fresh buttermilk
in a kettle of boiling water, taking care to have sufficient water to
come up even with the milk in the pail. Let the buttermilk remain until
it is heated throughout to about 140 deg., which can be determined by
keeping a thermometer in the milk and stirring it frequently. When it is
sufficiently heated, empty the curd into strong muslin bags and hang up
to drain for several hours. If properly scalded and drained, the curd
will be quite dry and may be seasoned and served the same as other
cottage cheese. If scalded too much, it will be watery.
COTTAGE CHEESE WITH SOUR MILK.--Take a pan of newly-loppered thick
sour milk, and place it over a kettle of boiling water until the whey
separates from the curd, breaking and cutting the curd as the milk
becomes warmed, so as to allow the whey to settle. The milk should be
well scalded, but not allowed to boil, as that will render the curd
tough and leathery. Have ready a clean piece of cheese cloth spread
inside a colander, dip the curd into it, and leave it to drain. If
preferred, the corners of the cloth may be tied with a string, thus
forming a bag in which the cheese may be hung up to drain. When well
drained, remove the dry curd to a dish, rub it fine with the hands, add
salt, and season with sweet cream, beating it well through the curd with
a silver fork. It may be shaped into balls with the hands or pressed in
large cups or bowls.
FRENCH BUTTER.--Fill a large, wide-mouthed glass bottle or jar
about half full of thick sweet cream. Cork tightly, and with one end of
the bottle in each hand shake it vigorously back and forth until the
butter has separated from the milk, which it will generally do in a few
minutes. Work out the buttermilk, make into small pats, and place on ice
until ready to serve. As a rule this butter is not washed or salted, as
it is intended for immediate use.
SHAKEN MILK.--Fit a conical tin cup closely over a glass of milk
and shake it vigorously until all of a foam, after which it should be
slowly sipped at once; or a glass of milk may be put into a quart fruit
can, the cover tightly screwed on, and then shaken back and forth until
the milk is foamy.
EMULSIFIED BUTTER.--Boil the butter with water for half an hour to
destroy any germs it may contain; use plenty of water and add the butter
to it while cold. When boiled, remove from the fire and allow it to
become nearly cold, when the butter will have risen to the top and may
be removed with a skimmer, or it may be separated from the water by
turning the whole after cooling into a clean strainer cloth placed
inside a colander. The butter may be pressed in the cloth if any water
still remains. If hardened, reheat just sufficient to soften, and add to
it, while still liquid, but cooled to about blood heat, the yolk of one
egg for each tablespoonful of butter, and stir until very thoroughly
Or, add to each tablespoonful of the liquid butter two level
tablespoonfuls of flour, rub together thoroughly, and cook until
thickened in a half cupful of boiling water. If cream is not obtainable
and butter must be used for seasoning, it is preferable to prepare it in
one of the above ways for the purpose, using the quantity given as an
equivalent of one cupful of thin cream. It will be evident, however,
that these preparations will not only season but thicken whatever they
are used in, and that additional liquid should be used on that account.
A little six-year-old boy went into the country visiting. About the
first thing he got was a bowl of bread and milk. He tasted it, and
then hesitated a moment, when his mother asked if he didn't like it;
to which he replied, smacking his lips, "Yes, ma'am. I was only
wishing that our milkman in town would keep a cow!"
When Horace Greeley was candidate for the presidency, he at one time
visited New Orleans, whose old creole residents gave him a dinner;
and to make it as fine an affair as possible, each of the many
guests was laid under contribution for some of the rarest wines in
his cellar. When dinner was announced, and the first course was
completed, the waiter appeared at Mr. Greeley's seat with a plate of
shrimp. "You can take them away," he said to the waiter, and then
added to the horrified French creole gentleman who presided, "I
never eat insects of any kind." Later on, soup was served, and at
the same time a glass of white wine was placed at Mr. Greeley's
right hand. He pushed it quietly away, but not unobserved by the
chief host. "Do you not drink wine?" he asked.
"No," answered Mr. Greeley; "I never drink any liquors."
"Is there anything you would like to drink with your soup?" the host
then asked, a little disappointed.
"If you've got it," answered Mr. Greeley, "and it isn't any trouble,
I'd like a glass of fresh buttermilk."
Said the host afterward in his broken English, "Ze idea of electing
to ze presidency a man vot drink buttermilk vis his soup!"
Old friendships are often destroyed by toasted cheese, and hard
salted meat has often led to suicide.--_Sydney Smith._
A German sitting beside a Spanish officer on board a Havana steamer,
was munching Limberger cheese with evident satisfaction when it
occurred to him that he ought to offer some to his neighbor, who
very coolly declined. "You think it unhealthful to eat that?"
inquired the German in polite astonishment. "_Unhealthful?_"
exclaimed the Hidalgo, with a withering look and a gasp for a more
adequate word; "No, sir: I think it an unnatural crime!"--_Oswald._
Good for Dyspepsia.--"Really, don't you think cheese is good for
dyspepsia?" said an advocate of the use of this common article of
food. "Why, my uncle had dyspepsia all his life, and he took a bit
of cheese at the close of every meal!"
Mattieu Williams tells us, "When common sense and true sentiment
supplant mere unreasoning prejudice, vegetables oils and vegetable
fats will largely supplant those of animal origin in every element
of our dietary."
As will be seen from the analysis given below, an egg is particularly
rich in nitrogenous elements. It is indeed one of the most highly
concentrated forms of nitrogenous food, about one third of its weight
being solid nutriment, and for this reason is often found serviceable in
cases of sickness where it is desirable to secure a large amount of
nourishment in small bulk.
Composition of the white of an ordinary hen's egg.
Nitrogenous matter..................... 20.4
Fatty matter........................... 10.0
Mineral matter......................... 1.6
Composition of the yolk.
Nitrogenous matter..................... 1.0
Fatty matter........................... 30.7
Mineral matter......................... 1.3
The white of egg is composed mainly of albumen in a dissolved state,
inclosed in layers of thin membrane. When beaten, the membranes are
broken, and the liberated albumen, owing to its viscous or glutinous
nature, entangles and retains a large amount of air, thus increasing to
several times its original bulk.
The yolk contains all the fatty matter, and this, with a modified form
of albumen called vitellin, forms a kind of yellow emulsion. It is
inclosed in a thin membrane, which separates it from the surrounding
The yolk, being lighter than the white, floats to that portion of the
egg which is uppermost, but is held in position by two membranous cords,
one from each end of the egg. The average weight of an egg is about two
ounces, of which ten per cent consists of shell, sixty of white, and
thirty of yolk.
HOW TO CHOOSE EGGS.--The quality of eggs varies considerably,
according to the food upon which the fowls are fed. Certain foods
communicate distinct flavors, and it is quite probable that eggs may be
rendered unwholesome through the use of filthy or improper food; hence
it is always best, when practicable, to ascertain respecting the diet
and care of the fowls before purchasing eggs.
On no account select eggs about the freshness of which there is any
reason to doubt. The use of stale eggs may result in serious
disturbances of the digestive organs.
An English gentleman who has investigated the subject quite thoroughly,
finds upon careful microscopical examination that stale eggs often
contain cells of a peculiar fungoid growth, which seems to have
developed from that portion of the egg which would have furnished
material for the flesh and bones of the chick had the process of
development been continued. Experiments with such eggs upon dogs produce
There are several ways of determining with tolerable accuracy respecting
the freshness of an egg. A common test is to place it between the eye
and a strong light. If fresh, the white will appear translucent, and the
outline of the yolk can be distinctly traced. By keeping, eggs become
cloudy, and when decidedly stale, a distinct, dark, cloud-like
appearance may be discerned opposite some portion of the shell. Another
test is to shake the egg gently at the ear; if a gurgle or thud is
heard, the egg is bad. Again, eggs may be tested by dropping into a
vessel containing a solution of salt and water, in the proportion of a
tablespoonful to a quart. Newly laid eggs will sink; if more than six
days old, they will float in the liquid; if bad, they will be so light
as to ride on the surface of the brine. The shell of a freshly laid egg
is almost full; but owing to the porous character of the shell, with age
and exposure to air a portion of the liquid substance of which the egg
is composed evaporates, and air accumulates in its place at one of the
extremities of the shell. Hence an egg loses in density from day to day,
and the longer the egg has been kept, the lighter it becomes, and the
higher it will rise in the liquid.
An egg that will float on the surface of the liquid is of too
questionable a character to be used without breaking, and is apt to be
unfit for use at all.
HOW TO KEEP EGGS.--To preserve the interior of an egg in its
natural state, it is necessary to seal the pores of the shell air-tight,
as the air which finds its way into the egg through the pores of the
shell causes gradual decomposition. Various methods are devised to
exclude the air and thus preserve the egg. A good way is to dip
perfectly fresh eggs into a thick solution of gum-arabic,--equal parts
of gum and water,--let the eggs dry and dip them again, taking care that
the shells are entirely covered with the solution each time. When dry,
wrap separately in paper and pack in a box of sawdust, bran, salt, or
powdered charcoal, and cover tightly to keep out the air.
There is a difference of opinion as to which end should be placed down
in packing; most authorities recommend the smaller end. However, an
experienced poultryman offers the following reasons for packing with the
larger end down: "The air-chamber is in the larger end, and if that is
placed down, the yolk will not break through and touch the shell and
thereby spoil. Another thing: if the air-chamber is down, the egg is not
so liable to shrink away."
It would be well for housekeepers to make the test by packing eggs from
the same lot each way and noting the result.
Melted wax or suet may be used to coat the shells. Eggs are sometimes
immersed and kept in a solution of lime water, a pound of lime to a
gallon of cold water, or simply packed in bran or salt, without a
previous coating of fat or gum. By any of these methods they will keep
for several weeks. Eggs, however, readily absorb flavors from
surrounding substances, and for that reason lime water or salt solution
are somewhat objectionable. Nothing of a disagreeable odor should be
placed near eggs.
Eggs for boiling may be preserved by placing in a deep pan, and pouring
scalding water over them. Let them stand half a minute, drain off the
water, and repeat the process two or three times. Wipe dry, and when
cool, pack in bran.
Eggs should be kept in a cool, not cold, place and handled carefully, as
rough treatment may cause the mingling of the yolk and white by
rupturing the membrane which separates them; then the egg will spoil
The time required for the digestion of a perfectly cooked egg varies
from three to four hours.
It is generally conceded that eggs lightly cooked are most readily
digested. What is generally termed a hard-boiled egg is not easily acted
upon by the digestive juices, and any other manner of cooking by which
the albumen becomes hardened and solid offers great resistance to
TO BEAT EGGS.--This may seem trivial, but no dish requiring eggs
can be prepared in perfection, unless they are properly beaten, even if
every other ingredient is the best. An egg-beater or an egg-whip is the
most convenient utensil for the purpose; but if either of these is not
to be had, a silver fork will do very well, and with this the beating
should be done in sharp, quick strokes, dipping the fork in and out in
rapid succession, while the egg should grow firmer and stiffer with
every stroke. When carelessly beaten, the result will be a coarse and
frothy instead of a thick and cream-like mass. Use a bowl in beating
eggs with an egg-beater, and a plate when a fork or egg-whip is
If the white and yolk are used separately, break the shells gently about
the middle, opening slowly so as to let the white fall into the dish,
while retaining the yolk in one half of the shell. If part of the white
remains, turn the yolk from the one half to the other till the white has
fallen. Beat the yolks until they change from their natural orange color
to a much lighter yellow. The whites should be beaten until firm and dry
enough not to fall from the bowl if turned upside down. The yolk should
always be beaten first, since, if the white is left to stand after being
beaten, a portion of the air, which its viscous nature allows it to
catch up, escapes and no amount of beating will render it so firm a
second time. Eggs which need to be washed before breaking should always
be wiped perfectly dry, that no water may become mingled with the egg,
as the water may dilute the albumen sufficiently to prevent the white
from becoming firm and stiff when beaten.
In cold weather, it is sometimes difficult to beat the whites as stiff
as desirable. Albumen is quite susceptible to temperature, and this
difficulty may be overcome by setting the dish in which the eggs are
beaten into warm water--not hot by any means--during the process of
beating. In very hot weather it is often advantageous to leave the eggs
in cold or ice water for a short time before beating. When a number of
eggs are to be used, always break each by itself into a saucer, so that
any chance stale egg may not spoil the whole. If the white or yolk of an
egg--is left over, it may be kept for a day or two if put in a cool
place, the yolk thoroughly beaten, the white unbeaten.
EGGS IN SHELL.--The usual method of preparing eggs for serving in
this way is to put them into boiling water, and boil or simmer until
they are considered sufficiently cooked. Albumen, of which the white of
the egg is composed, is easiest digested when simply coagulated. The
yolk, if cooked at all, is easiest digested when dry and mealy. Albumen
coagulates at 160 deg., and when the boiling point is reached, it becomes
hardened, tough, and leathery, and very difficult of digestion. If the
egg were all albumen, it might be easily and properly cooked by dropping
into boiling water, allowing it to remain for a few seconds, and
removing it, since the shell of the egg would prevent its becoming
sufficiently heated in so short a time as to become hardened; but the
time necessary to cook properly the white of the egg would be
insufficient for the heat to penetrate to and cook the yolk; and if it
is desirable to cook the yolk hard, the cooking process should be
carried on at a temperature below the boiling point, subjecting the egg
to a less degree of heat, but for a longer time. The most accurate
method is to put the eggs into water of a temperature of 160 deg., allowing
them to remain for twenty minutes and not permitting the temperature of
the water to go above 165 deg. Cooked in this way, the white will be of a
soft, jelly-like consistency throughout, while the yolks will be hard.
If it is desired to have the yolks dry and mealy, the temperature of the
water must be less, and the time of cooking lengthened. We have secured
the most perfect results with water at a temperature of 150 deg., and seven
hours' cooking. The temperature of the water can be easily tested by
keeping in it an ordinary thermometer, and if one possesses a kerosene
or gas stove, the heat can be easily regulated to maintain the required
Another method, although less sure, is to pour boiling water into a
saucepan, draw it to one side of the range where it will keep hot, but
not boil, put in the eggs, cover, and let stand for twenty minutes. If
by either method it is desired to have the yolk soft-cooked, lessen the
time to ten minutes or so, according to the hardness desired. Eggs are
best served as soon as done, as the white becomes more solid by being
kept in a hot shell.
It should be remarked that the time necessary to cook eggs in the shell
will vary somewhat with the firmness of the shell, the size of the eggs,
and the number cooked together.
EGGS IN SUNSHINE.--Take an earthen-ware dish which will stand heat
and also do to use in serving the eggs. Oil it and break therein as many
eggs as desired; sprinkle lightly with salt, and put into the oven for
two or more minutes till the eggs are set. Have ready some hot tomato
sauce prepared as for Tomato Toast; pour the sauce over them, and serve.
EGGS POACHED IN TOMATOES.--Take a pint of stewed tomatoes, cooked
until they are homogeneous or which have been rubbed through a colander;
season with salt if desired, and heat. When just beginning to boil, slip
in gently a half dozen eggs, the shells of which have been so carefully
broken that the yolks are intact. Keep the tomato just below the boiling
point until the eggs are cooked. Lift the whites carefully with a fork
as they cook, until they are firm, then prick them and let the yellow
mix with the tomato and the whites. The whole should be quite soft when
done, but showing the red of the tomatoes and the white and yellow of
the eggs quite distinctly. Serve on toast. If the flavor is agreeable, a
EGGS IN CREAM.--Put a half cupful or more of cream into a shallow
earthen dish, and place the dish in a kettle or pan of boiling water.
When the cream is hot, break in as many eggs as the bottom of the dish
will hold, and cook until well set, basting them occasionally over the
top with the hot cream. Or, put a spoonful or two of cream into
individual egg or vegetable dishes, break a fresh egg in each, and cook
in the oven or in a steamer over a kettle of boiling water until the
white of the egg is well set.
POACHED OR DROPPED EGGS.--Break each egg into a saucer by itself.
Have a shallow pan half filled with scalding, not boiling, water on the
stove. If desired, a little salt and a tablespoonful of lemon juice may
be added. Slip the eggs gently from the saucer upon the top of the
water, holding the edge of the saucer under water to prevent the eggs
from scattering; dip the water over them with a spoon and let them stand
five minutes, or until the yolk is covered with a film, and the white is
firm but not hardened; keep the water just below the boiling point. Take
out the eggs one by one on a skimmer, and serve in egg-saucers, or on
slices of nicely browned toast moistened with a little sweet cream, as
preferred. If one is especially particular to keep the shape of the
eggs, an egg poacher should be used, or a set of muffin-rings may be
laid in the bottom of the pan, and the eggs turned into the rings.
POACHED EGGS WITH CREAM SAUCE.--Poach eggs as in the foregoing, and
pour over them a sauce made according to direction on page 351.
QUICKLY PREPARED EGGS.--A good way to cook quickly a large number
of eggs, is to use a large-bottomed earthen dish, which will stand the
heat and in which the eggs may be served. Oil it well; break the
requisite number of eggs separately, and turn each carefully into the
dish; sprinkle lightly with salt; set the dish in the oven or in a
steamer over a kettle of boiling water for a few minutes until the eggs
are set, then serve.
SCRAMBLED EGGS.--Beat four eggs lightly, add a little salt if
desired, and half a cup of milk or cream. Have ready a hot, oiled
saucepan; turn the eggs in and cook quickly, stirring constantly until
firm, but soft.
STEAMED EGGS.--Break eggs into egg or vegetable dishes or
patty-pans, salt very lightly, and set in a steamer over a kettle of
boiling water until the whites are set and a film has formed over the
yolk. Serve the same as poached eggs, with or without toast.
WHIRLED EGGS.--Have a small kettle of water heated almost to
boiling, and with a wooden spoon, stir it rapidly round and round in the
same direction until a miniature whirlpool is produced. Have ready some
eggs broken in separate cups, and drop them carefully one at a time into
the whirling water, the stirring of which must be kept up until the egg
is a soft round ball. Remove with a skimmer, and serve on cream toast.
PLAIN OMELET.--Beat the yolks of three eggs to a cream and beat the
whites to a stiff froth. Add to the yolks three tablespoonfuls of milk
or cream, one tablespoonful of finely grated bread crumbs, and season
lightly with salt; lastly, fold, not stir, the whites lightly in. An
omelet pan is the best utensil for cooking, but if that is not to be
had, an earthen-ware pudding dish which will stand the heat is good; an
iron spider will do, but a larger omelet would need to be prepared. A
tin saucepan is apt to cook the omelet so rapidly as to burn it in
spots. Whatever the utensil used, it should be hot, the fire clear and
steady, and all in readiness by the time the eggs are beaten.
Oil the dish well and gently pour in the omelet mixture; cover, and
place the pan on the range where the heat will be continuous. Do not
stir, but carefully, as the egg sets, lift the omelet occasionally by
slipping a broad-bladed knife under it, or with a fork by dipping in
here and there. It should cook quickly, but not so quickly as to burn.
From three to five minutes will generally be ample time. When the middle
of the omelet is set, it may be put into a hot oven to dry the top. As
soon as the center is dry, it should be removed immediately, as it will
be hard and indigestible if overdone. To dish, loosen from the pan by
running a knife under it, lay a hot platter, bottom upward, over the
pan, and invert the latter so as to shake out the omelet gently, browned
side uppermost; or if preferred, double one part over the other before
dishing. Serve at once, or it will fall.
An omelet of three eggs is sufficient for two or three persons; if more
is desired, a second omelet of three eggs may be made. Larger ones are
not so light nor so easily prepared. The dish used should be reserved
for that purpose alone, and should be kept as smooth and dry as
possible. It is better to keep it clean by wiping with a coarse towel
than by washing; if the omelet comes from the pan perfectly whole and
leaving no fragments behind.
FOAM OMELET.--Prepare as above, leaving out the white of one egg,
which must be beaten to a stiff froth and spread over the top of the
omelet after it is well set. Let this white just heat through by the
time the omelet is done. Fold the omelet together, and dish. The whites
will burst out around the edges like a border of foam.
FANCY OMELETS.--Various fancy omelets may be made by adding other
ingredients and preparing the same as for plain omelets. Two or three
tablespoonfuls of orange juice instead of milk, with a little grated
rind for flavor and three tablespoonfuls of sugar, may be combined with
the eggs and called an orange omelet.
A little cold cauliflower or cooked asparagus chopped very fine and
mixed in when the omelet is ready for the pan, may be denominated a
SOFT OMELET.--Beat together thoroughly one quart of milk and six
eggs. Season with salt. Pour into a shallow earthen pudding dish, and
bake in the oven until well set.
The candidates for ancient athletic games were dieted on boiled
grain, with warm water, cheese, dried figs, but no meat.
An unpleasant reminder.--(Scene, Thanksgiving dinner, everybody
commenting on the immense size of the turkey.) An appalling silence
fell upon the crowd when Tommy cried out, "Mamma, is that the old
The eminent Prof. Wilder was reared a vegetarian, having passed his
earlier years without even knowing that flesh food was ever eaten by
human beings. When six years old, he saw on the table for the first
time, a roasted chicken, at which he gazed for some moments in great
bewilderment, when he seemed to make a discovery, and in his
astonishment burst out with the remark, "I'll bet that's a dead
A story is told of a minister who was spending the day in the
country, and was invited to dine. There was chicken for dinner, much
to the grief of a little boy of the household, who had lost his
favorite hen to provide for the feast. After dinner, prayer was
proposed, and while the preacher was praying, a poor little lonesome
chicken came running under the house, crying for its absent mother.
The little boy shouted, "Peepy! Peepy! I didn't kill your mother!
They killed her for that big preacher's dinner!" The "Amen" was said
This is the term usually applied to the flesh and various organs of such
animals, poultry, and game as are used for food. This class of foods
contains representatives of all nutritive elements, but is especially
characterized by as excess of albuminous matter. But in actual nutritive
value flesh foods do not exceed various other food materials. A
comparison of the food grains with beefsteak and other flesh foods,
shows, in fact, that a pound of grain is equivalent in food value to two
or three pounds of flesh.
At present time there is much question in the minds of many intelligent,
thinking people as to the propriety of using foods of this class, and
especially of their frequent use. Besides being in no way superior to
vegetable substances, they contain elements of an excrementitious
character, which cannot be utilized, and which serve only to clog and
impede the vital processes, rendering the blood gross, filling the body
with second-hand waste material which was working its way out of the
vital domain of the animal when slaughtered. To this waste matter,
consisting of unexpelled excretions, are added those produced by the
putrefactive processes which so quickly begin in flesh foods exposed to
air and warmth.
That flesh foods are stimulating has been shown by many observations and
Flesh foods are also specially liable to be diseased and to communicate
to the consumer the same disease. The prevalence of disease among
animals used for food is known to be very great, and their transmission
to man is no longer a matter of dispute. It has been abundantly proved
that such diseases as the parasitic, tuberculous, erysipelatous, and
foot and mouth diseases are most certainly communicable to man by
infected flesh. All stall and sty fed animals are more or less diseased.
Shut up in the dark, cut off from exercise, the whole fattening process
is one of progressive disease. No living creature could long retain good
health under such unnatural and unwholesome conditions. Add to this the
exhaustion and abuse of animals before slaughtering; the suffering
incident to long journeys in close cars, often without sufficient food
and water; and long drives over dusty roads under a burning sun to the
slaughter house, and it will be apparent to all thoughtful persons that
such influences are extremely liable to produce conditions of the system
that render the flesh unfit for food.
Thousands of animals are consumed each year which were slaughtered just
in time to save them from dying a natural death. It is a common thing
for cattle owners, as soon as an animal shows symptoms of decline, to
send it to the butcher at once; and when epidemics of cattle diseases
are prevalent, there can be no doubt that the meat markets are flooded
with diseased flesh.
There are few ways in which we can more effectually imperil our health
than in partaking freely of diseased animal food. This is no new theory.
The Jews have for ages recognized this danger, and their laws require
the most careful examination of all animals to be used as food, both
before and after slaughtering. Their sanitary regulations demand that
beast or fowl for food must be killed by bleeding through the jugular
vein, and not, according to custom, by striking on the head, or in some
violent way. Prior to the killing, the animal must be well rested and
its respiration normal; after death the most careful dissection and
examination of the various parts are made by a competent person, and no
flesh is allowed to be used for food which has not been inspected and
found to be perfectly sound and healthy. As a result, it is found in
many of our large cities that only about one in twenty of the animals
slaughtered is accepted as food for a Jew. The rejected animals are sold
to the general public, who are less scrupulous about the character of
their food, and who are in consequence more subject to disease and
shorter-lived than are Jews.
Trichinae, tapeworms, and various other parasites which infest the flesh
of animals, are so common that there is always more or less liability to
disease from these sources among consumers of flesh foods.
Meat is by no means necessary for the proper maintenance of life or
vigorous health, as is proved by the fact that at least "four tenths of
the human race," according to Virey, "subsist exclusively upon a
vegetable diet, and as many as seven tenths are practically
vegetarians." Some of the finest specimens of physical development and
mental vigor are to be found among those who use very little or no
animal food. Says St. Pierre, a noted French author, "The people living
upon vegetable foods are of all men the handsomest, the most vigorous,
the lease exposed to disease and passion; and they are those whose lives
The use of large quantities of animal food, however free from disease
germs, has a tendency to develop the animal propensities to a greater or
less degree, especially in the young, whose characters are unformed.
Among animals we find the carnivorous the most vicious and destructive,
while those which subsist upon vegetable foods are by nature gentle and
tractable. There is little doubt that this law holds good among men as
well as animals. If we study the character and lives of those who
subsist largely upon animal food, we are apt to find them impatient,
passionate, fiery in temper, and in other respects greatly under the
dominion of their lower natures.
There are many other objections to the use of this class of foods--so
many in fact that we believe the human race would be far healthier,
better, and happier if flesh foods were wholly discarded. If, however,
they are to be used at all, let them be used sparingly and prepared in
the simplest and least harmful manner. Let them be cooked and served in
their own juices, not soaked in butter or other oils, or disguised by
the free use of pepper, mustard, catsup, and other pungent sauces. Salt
also should be used only in the smallest possible quantities, as it
hardens the fiber, rendering it more difficult of digestion.
We can conceive of no possible stretch of hygienic laws which admits the
use of pork; so we shall give it and its products no consideration in
Such offal as calves' brains, sheep's kidneys, beef livers, and other
viscera, is not fit food for any one but a scavenger. The liver and
kidneys are depurating organs, and their use as food is not only
unwholesome but often exceedingly poisonous.
Meat pies, scallops, sauces, fricassees, _pates_, and other fancy dishes
composed of a mixture of animal foods, rich pastry, fats, strong
condiments, etc., are by no means to be recommended as hygienic, and
will receive no notice in these pages.
In comparative nutritive value, beef ranks first among the flesh foods.
Mutton, though less nutritive, is more easily digested than beef. This
is not appreciable to a healthy person, but one whose digestive powers
are weak will often find that mutton taxes the stomach less than beef.
Veal or lamb is neither so nutritious nor so easily digested as beef or
mutton. Flesh from different animals, and that from various parts of the
same animal, varies in flavor, composition, and digestibility. The mode
of life and the food of animals influence in a marked manner the quality
of the meat. Turnips give a distinctly recognizable flavor to mutton.
The same is true of many fragrant herbs found by cattle feeding in
THE SELECTION OF MEAT.--Good beef is of a reddish-brown color and
contains no clots of blood. A pale-pink color indicates that the animal
was diseased; a dark-purple color that the animal has suffered from some
acute febrile affection or was not slaughtered, but died with the blood
in its body.
Good beef is firm and elastic to the touch; when pressed with the
finger, no impression is left. It should be so dry upon the surface as
scarcely to moisten the fingers. Meat that is wet, sodden, and flabby
should not be eaten. Good beef is marbled with spots of white fat. The
suet should be dry and crumble easily. If the fat has the appearance of
wet parchment or is jelly-like, the beef is not good. Yellow fat is an
indication of old, lean animals.
Good beef has little or no odor. If any odor is perceptible, it is not
disagreeable. Diseased meat has a sickly odor, resembling the breath of
feverish persons. When such meat is roasted, it emits a strong,
offensive smell. The condition of a piece of beef may be ascertained by
dipping a knife in hot water, drying it, and passing it through the
meat. Apply to the nose on withdrawal, and if the meat is not good, a
disagreeable odor will be quite perceptible.
Good beef will not shrink greatly in cooking. In boiling or stewing, the
shrinkage is computed to be about one pound in four; in baking, one and
one fourth pounds in four. Beef of a close, firm fiber shrinks less than
meat of coarse fiber.
Good veal is slightly reddish or pink, and the fat should be white and
clear. Avoid veal without fat, as such is apt to be too young to be
Good mutton should be firm and compact, the flesh, fine-grained and
bright-red, with an accumulation of very hard and clear white fat along
the borders of the muscles.
Meat should not be kept until decomposition sets in, as by the
putrefaction of the albuminous elements certain organic poisons are
generated, and flesh partaken of in this condition is liable to result
in serious illness. Meat containing white specks is probably infested by
parasites and should not be used as food.
PRESERVATION OF MEAT.--The tendency of flesh foods to rapid
decomposition has led to the use of various antiseptic agents and other
methods for its preservation.
One of the most common methods is that of immersion in a brine made of a
solution of common salt to which a small portion of saltpeter has been
added. This abstracts the juice from the meat and also lessens the
tendency to putrefaction. Salt is used in various other ways for
preserving meat. It should be remarked, however, that cured and dried
meats are much more difficult to digest than fresh meat, and the nature
of the meat itself is so changed by the process as to render its
nutritive value much less.
Meat is sometimes packed in salt and afterward dried, either in the sun
or in a current of dry air. Both salting and smoking are sometimes
employed. By these means the juices are abstracted by the salt, and at
the same time the flesh is contracted and hardened by the action of
creosote and pyroligneous acid from the smoke.
What is termed "jerked" beef is prepared by drying in a current of warm
air at about 140 deg. This dried meat, when reduced to a powder and packed
in air-tight cans, may be preserved for a long time. When mixed with
fat, it forms the pemmican used by explorers in Arctic voyages.
Meat is also preserved by cooking and inclosing in air-tight cans after
the manner of canning fruit. This process is varied in a number of ways.
The application of cold has great influence in retarding decomposition,
and refrigeration and freezing are often employed for the preservation
of flesh foods.
All of these methods except the last are open to the objection that
while they preserve the meat, they greatly lessen its nutritive value.
It should also be understood that the decomposition of its flesh begins
almost the moment an animal dies, and continues at a slow rate even when
the flesh is kept at a low temperature. The poisons resulting from this
decomposition are often deadly, and are always detrimental to health.
THE PREPARATION AND COOKING OF MEAT.--Meat, when brought from the
market, should be at once removed from the paper in which it is wrapped,
as the paper will absorb the juices of the meat; and if the wrapping is
brown paper, the meat is liable to taste of it. Joints of meat should
not be hung with the cut surface down, as the juices will be wasted.
Meat kept in a refrigerator should not be placed directly on the ice,
but always upon plates or shelves, as the ice will freeze it or else
draw out its juices.
If meat is accidentally frozen, it should be thoroughly thawed in cold
water before cutting. Meat should not be cleaned by washing with water,
as that extracts the nutritive juices, but by thoroughly wiping the
outside with a damp cloth. The inside needs no cleaning.
Meat may be cooked by any of the different methods of cookery,--boiling,
steaming, stewing, roasting, broiling, baking, etc.,--according as the
object is to retain the nutriment wholly within the meat; to draw it all
out into the water, as in soups or broths; or to have it partly in the
water and partly in the meat, as in stews. Broiling is, however,
generally conceded to be the most wholesome method, but something will
necessarily depend upon the quality of the meat to be cooked.
Meat which has a tough, hard fiber will be made tenderest by slow,
continuous cooking, as stewing. Such pieces as contain a large amount of
gelatine--a peculiar substance found in the joints and gristly parts of
meat, and which hardens in a dry heat--are better stewed than roasted.
BOILING.--The same principles apply to the boiling of all kinds of
meats. The purpose to be attained by this method is to keep the
nutritive juices so far as possible intact within the meat;
consequently, the piece to be cooked should be left whole, so that only
a small amount of surface will be exposed to the action of the water.
Since cold water extracts albumen, of which the juices of the meat are
largely composed, while hot water coagulates it, meat to be boiled
should be plunged into boiling water sufficient to cover it and kept
there for five or ten minutes, by which time the albumen over the entire
surface will have become hardened, thus forming a coat through which
the juices cannot escape. Afterward the kettle, closely covered, may be
set aside where the water will retain a temperature of about 180 deg. A
small portion of albumen from the outer surface will escape into the
water in the form of scum, and should be removed.
Meat cooked in this way will require a longer time than when the water
is kept boiling furiously, but it is superior in every respect and more
digestible. Something depends upon the shape of the piece cooked, thin
pieces requiring less time than a thick, cubical cut; but approximately,
first allowing fifteen or twenty minutes for the heat to penetrate the
center of the meat, at which time the real process of cooking begins, it
will require from twelve to fifteen minutes for every pound cooked.
STEWING.--While the object in boiling is to preserve the juices
within the meat as much as possible, in stewing, the process is largely
reversed; the juices are to be partly extracted. Some of the juices
exist between the fibers, and some are found within the fibers. The
greater the surface exposed, the more easily these juices will be
extracted; hence meat for stewing should be cut into small pieces and
cooked in a small quantity of water. Since cold water extracts the
albuminous juices, while boiling water hardens them into a leathery
consistency, water used for stewing should be neither cold nor boiling,
but of a temperature which will barely coagulate the albumen and retain
it in the meat in as tender a condition as possible; _i.e.,_ about 134
deg. to 160 deg. To supply this temperature for the prolonged process of
cooking necessary in stewing, a double boiler of some form is quite
necessary. Put the pieces of meat to be stewed in the inner dish, add
hot water enough to cover, fill the outer boiler with hot water, and let
this outer water simmer very gently until the meat is perfectly tender.
The length of time required will be greater than when meat is stewed
directly in simmering water, but the result will be much more
satisfactory. The juices should be served with the meat.
STEAMING.--Meat is sometimes steamed over boiling water until it
is made very tender and afterward browned in the oven.
Another method of steaming, sometimes called smothering, is that of
cooking meat in a tightly covered jar in a moderate oven for an hour
(the moderate heat serves to draw out the juice of the meat), after
which the heat is increased, and the meat cooked in its own juices one
half hour for each pound.
ROASTING.--This method, which consists in placing meat upon a
revolving spit and cooking it before an open fire, is much less employed
now than formerly, when fireplaces were in general use. What is
ordinarily termed roasting is in reality cooking meat it in own juices
in a hot oven. In cooking meat by this method it is always desirable to
retain the juices entirely within the meat, which can be best
accomplished by first placing the clean-cut sides of the meat upon a
smoking-hot pan over a quick fire; press the meat close to the pan until
well scared and slightly browned, then turn over and sear the opposite
side in the same manner. This will form a coating of hardened albumen,
through which the interior juices cannot escape. Put at once into the
oven, arrange the fire so that the heat will be firm and steady but not
too intense, and cook undisturbed until tender.
Basting is not necessary if the roast is carefully seared and the oven
kept at proper temperature. When the heat of the oven is just right, the
meat will keep up a continuous gentle sputtering in the pan. If no
sputtering can be heard, the heat is insufficient. The heat is too great
when the drippings burn and smoke.
BROILING.--This is the method employed for cooking thin cuts of
meat in their own juices over glowing coals. When properly done, broiled
meat contains a larger amount of uncoagulated albumen than can be
secured by cooking in any other manner; hence it is the most wholesome.
For broiling, a bed of clear, glowing coals without flame is the first
essential. Coke, charcoal, or anthracite coal serves best for securing
In an ordinary stove, the coals should be nearly to the top of the
fire-box, that the meat may be held so as almost to touch the fire. No
utensil is better for ordinary purposes than a double wire broiler.
First, rub it well with a bit of suet, then put in the meat with the
thickest part in the center. Wrap a coarse towel around the hand to
protect it from the heat, hold the meat as near the fire as possible, so
as to sear one side instantly, slowly count ten, then turn and sear the
other side. Continue the process, alternating first one side and then
the other, slowly counting ten before each turning, until the meat is
sufficiently done. Successful broiling is largely dependent upon
frequent turning. The heat, while it at once sears the surface, starts
the flow of the juices, and although they cannot escape through the
hardened surface, if the meat were entirely cooked on one side before
turning, they would soon come to the top, and when it was turned over,
would drip into the fire. If the meat is seared on both sides, the
juices will be retained within, unless the broiling is too prolonged,
when they will ooze out and evaporate, leaving the meat dry and
leathery. Salt draws out the juices, and should not be added until the
meat is done. As long as meat retains its juices, it will spring up
instantly when pressed with a knife; when the juices have begun to
evaporate, it will cease to do this. Broiled meats should be served on
ECONOMY AND ADAPTABILITY IN SELECTION.--While the greatest care
should be exercised in the selection of beef as regards its soundness
and wholesomeness, it must likewise be selected with reference to
economy and adaptability for cooking purposes, pieces from different
portions of the animal being suitable for cooking only in certain ways.
Ox beef is said to be best. That beef is most juicy and tender which has
fine streaks of fat intermingled with the lean. Beef which is
coarse-grained and hard to cut is apt to be tough. An economical piece
of beef to purchase is the back of the rump. It is a long piece with
only a small portion of bone, and weighs about ten pounds. The thickest
portion may be cut into steaks, the thin, end with bone may be utilized
for soups and stews, while the remainder will furnish a good roast. Only
a small portion of choice tender lean meat is to be found in one animal,
and these are also the most expensive; but the tougher, cheaper parts,
if properly cooked, are nearly as nutritious.
BROILED BEEF.--Beef for broiling should be juicy and have a tender
fiber. Steaks cut from three parts of the beef are in request for this
purpose,--tenderloin, porterhouse, and round steak. The last-named is
the more common and economical, yet it is inferior in juice and
tenderness to the other two. Steak should be cut three fourths of an
inch or more in thickness. If it is of the right quality, do not pound
it; if very tough, beat with a steak-mallet or cut across it several
times on both sides with a sharp knife. Wipe, and remove any bone and
superfluous fat. Have the fire in readiness, the plates heating, then
proceed as directed on page 398.
COLD-MEAT STEW.--Cut pieces of cold roast beef into thick slices
and put into a stewpan with six or eight potatoes, a good-sized bunch of
celery cut into small pieces; and a small carrot cut in dice may be
added if the flavor is liked. Cover with hot water, and simmer for three
fourths of an hour. Thicken with a little browned flour.
PAN-BROILED STEAK.--In the absence of the necessary appliances for
broiling over coals, the following method may be employed. Heat a clean
skillet to blue heat, rub it with a bit of suet, just enough to keep the
meat from sticking, but leave no fat in the pan. Lay in the steak,
pressing it down to the pan, and sear quickly on one side; turn, and
without cutting into the meat, sear upon the other. Keep the skillet hot
but do not scorch; cook from five to ten minutes, turning frequently, so
as not to allow the juices to escape. Add no salt until done. Serve on
hot plates. This method is not frying, and requires the addition of no
water, butter, or stock.
PAN-BROILED STEAK NO.2.--Take a smooth pancake-griddle, or in lieu
of anything better, a clean stove-griddle may be used; heat very hot and
sear each side of the steak upon it. When well seared, lift the steak
into a hot granite-ware or sheet-iron pan, cover, and put into a hot
oven for two or three minutes, or until sufficiently cooked.
ROAST BEEF.--The sirloin and rib and rump pieces are the best cuts
for roasting. Wipe, trim, and skewer into shape. Sear the cut surfaces
and proceed as directed on page 397, cooking twenty minutes to the
pound if it is to be rare, less half an hour deducted on account of
soaring. The application of salt and water has a tendency to toughen the
meat and draw out its juices; so if it is desired to have the meat juicy
and tender, it is better to cook without basting. Unless the heat of the
oven is allowed to become too great, when meat is cooked after this
manner there will be a quantity of rich, jelly-like material in the pan,
which with the addition of a little water and flour may be made into a
SMOTHERED BEEF.--Portions from the round, middle, or face of the
rump are generally considered best for preparing this dish. Wipe with a
clean wet cloth, put into a smoking-hot skillet, and carefully sear all
cut surfaces. Put into a kettle, adding for a piece of beef weighing
about six pounds, one cup of hot water. Cover closely and cook at a
temperature just below boiling, until the meat is tender but not broken.
As the water boils away, enough more boiling water may be added to keep
the meat from burning. Another method of securing the same results is to
cut the beef into small pieces and put into a moderate oven inside a
tightly covered jar for an hour. Afterward increase the heat and cook
closely covered until the meat is tender. Thicken and season the juice,
and serve as a gravy.
VEGETABLES WITH STEWED BEEF.--Prepare the beef as directed for
Stewed Beef, and when nearly tender, add six or eight potatoes. Just
before serving, thicken the gravy with a little browned flour braided in
cold water, and add a cup of strained, stewed tomato and a teaspoonful
of chopped parsley.
STEWED BEEF.--The aitch-bone and pieces from the shin, the upper
part of the chuck-rib and neck of beef, are the parts most commonly used
for stewing. All meat for stews should be carefully dressed and free
from blood. Those portions which have bone and fat, as well as lean
beef, make much better-flavored stews than pieces which are wholly lean.
The bones, however, should not be crushed or splintered, but carefully
sawed or broken, and any small pieces removed before cooking. It is
generally considered that beef which has been previously browned makes a
much more savory stew, and it is quite customary first to brown the meat
by frying in hot fat. A much more wholesome method, and one which will
have the same effect as to flavor, is to add to the stew the remnants of
roasts or steak. It is well when selecting meat for a stew to procure a
portion, which, like the aitch-bone, has enough juicy meat upon it to
serve the first day as a roast for a small family. Cut the meat for a
stew into small pieces suitable for serving, add boiling water, and cook
as directed on page 396. Remove all pieces of bone and the fat before
serving. If the stew is made of part cooked and part uncooked meat, the
cooked meat should not be added until the stew is nearly done. The
liquor, if not of the proper consistency when the meat is tender, may be
thickened by adding a little flour braided in cold water, cooking these
after four or five minutes.
The strong flavor of mutton is said to be due to the oil from the wool,
which penetrates the skin, or is the result, through heedlessness or
ignorance of the butcher, in allowing the wool to come in contact with
the flesh. There is a quite perceptible difference in the flavor of
mutton from a sheep which had been for some time sheared of its woolly
coat and that from one having a heavy fleece.
The smallest proportion of both fat and bone to muscle is found in the
leg; consequently this is the most valuable portion for food, and is
likewise the most economical, being available for many savory dishes. On
account of the disagreeable adhesive qualities of its fat when cold,
mutton should always be served hot.
BOILED LEG OF MUTTON.--Wipe carefully, remove the fat, and put into
boiling water. Skim, and cook as directed on page 395, twelve minutes
for each pound.
BROILED CHOPS.--The best-flavored and most tender chops are those
from the loins. Remove carefully all the pink skin above the fat,
scraping it off if possible without cutting into the lean. Wipe with a
wet cloth, and broil in the same manner as beefsteak over hot coals or
in a hot skillet, turning frequently until done; five or eight minutes
will suffice to cook. Sprinkle salt on each side, drain on paper, and
POT-ROAST LAMB.--For this purpose a stone jar or pot is best,
although iron or granite-ware will do; wipe the meat well and gash with
a sharp knife. If crowded closely in the pot, all the better; cover with
a lid pressed down firmly with a weight to hold it if it does not fit
tightly. No water is needed, and no steam should be allowed to escape
during the cooking. Roast four or five hours in a moderate oven.
ROAST MUTTON.--The best pieces for this purpose are those obtained
from the shoulder, and saddle, loin, and haunches. Wipe carefully, sear
the cut surfaces, and proceed as directed for roasting beef. Cook slowly
without basting, and unless desired rare, allow twenty-five or thirty
minutes to the pound. A leg of mutton requires a longer time to roast
than a shoulder. When sufficiently roasted, remove from the pan and
drain off all the grease.
STEWED MUTTON.--Pieces from the neck and shoulder are most suitable
for this purpose. Prepare the meat, and stew as directed for beef,
although less time is usually required.
STEWED MUTTON CHOP.--Wipe, trim off the fat, and remove the bone
from two or three pounds of chops. Put into the inner dish of a double
boiler with just enough hot water to cover; add a minced stalk of
celery, a carrot, and a white turnip cut in dice; cover, and cook until
the chops are tender. Sliced potato may be added if liked, when the meat
is nearly done. Remove the grease and thicken the liquor with a little
browned flour braided with thin cream.
STEWED MUTTON CHOP NO. 2.--Prepare the chops as in the preceding.
Place a layer of meat in a deep baking dish, and then a layer of sliced
potato, sprinkled with a little minced celery. Add two or more layers of
meat, alternating with layers of potatoes. Cover with boiling water and
bake closely covered in a very moderate oven two and a half hours.
VEAL AND LAMB.--Both veal and lamb should be thoroughly cooked;
otherwise they are not wholesome. They may be prepared for the tale in
the same way as beef or mutton, but will require longer time for
POULTRY AND GAME.
Poultry and game differ from other animal foods in the relative quantity
of fat and the quality of their juices. The fat of birds is laid up
underneath the skin and in various internal parts of the body, while but
a small proportion is mingled with the fibers or the juices of the
flesh. The flesh of the chicken, turkey, and guinea-fowl is more
delicately flavored, more tender and easy to digest, than that of geese
and ducks. Chickens broiled require three hours for digestion; when
boiled or roasted, four hours are needed.
The flesh of poultry is less stimulating than beef, and is thus
considered better adapted for invalids. The flesh of wild fowl contains
less fat than that of poultry; it is also tender and easy of digestion.
Different birds and different parts of the same bird, vary considerably
in color and taste. The breed, food, and method of fattening, influence
the quality of this class of foods. Fowls poorly fed and allowed wide
range are far from cleanly in their habits of eating; in fact, they are
largely scavengers, and through the food they pick up, often become
infested with internal parasites, and affected with tuberculosis and
other diseases which are liable to be communicated to those who eat
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE SELECTION OF POULTRY AND GAME.--The first care
in the selection of poultry should be its freedom from disease. Birds
deprived of exercise, shut up in close cages, and regularly stuffed with
as much corn or soft food as they can swallow, may possess the requisite
fatness, but it is of a most unwholesome character. When any living
creature ceases to exercise, its excretory organs cease to perform their
functions thoroughly, and its body becomes saturated with retained
A stall-fed fowl may be recognized by the color of its fat, which is
pale white, and lies in thick folds beneath the skin along the lower
half of the backbone. The entire surface of the body presents a more
greasy, uninviting appearance than that of fowls permitted to live under
Never purchase fowls which have been sent to the market undrawn. All
animals intended for use as food should be dressed as quickly as
possible after killing. Putrefactive changes begin very soon after
death, and the liver and other viscera, owing to their soft texture and
to the quantity of venous blood they retain, advance rapidly in
decomposition. When a fowl or animal is killed, even if the large
arteries at the throat are cut, a large quantity of blood remains in and
around the intestines, owing to the fact that only through the
capillaries of the liver can the blood in the portal system find its way
into the large vessels which convey it to the heart, and which at death
are cut off from the general circulation at both ends by a capillary
system. This leaves the blood-vessels belonging to the portal
circulation distended with venous blood, which putrefies very quickly,
forming a virulent poison. The contents of the intestines of all
creatures are always in a more or less advanced state of putrescence,
ready to undergo rapid decomposition as soon as the preservative action
of the intestinal fluids ceases. It will readily be seen, then, that
the flesh of an undrawn fowl must be to a greater or less degree
permeated with the poisonous gases and other products of putrefaction,
and is certainly quite unfit for food.
Young fowls have soft, yellow feet, a smooth, moist skin, easily torn
with a pin, wings which will spring easily, and a breastbone which will
yield to pressure. Pinfeathers are an indication of a young bird; older
fowls are apt to have sharp scales, long hairs, long, thin necks, and
flesh with a purplish tinge.
Poultry should be entirely free from disagreeable odors. Methods are
employed for sweetening fowls which have been kept too long in market,
but if they need such attention, bury them decently rather than cook
them for the table.
Turkeys should have clear, full eyes, and soft, loose spurs. The legs of
young birds are smooth and black; those of older ones, rough and
Geese and ducks, when freshly killed, have supple feet. If young, the
windpipe and beak can be easily broken by pressure of the thumb and
forefinger. Young birds also have soft, white fat, tender skin, yellow
feet, and legs free from hairs.
The legs of young pigeons are flesh-colored. When in good condition, the
breast should be full and plump, and if young, it is of a light reddish
color. Old pigeons have dark flesh; squabs always have pinfeathers.
Partridges, when young, have dark bills and yellow legs.
The breast of all birds should be full and plump. Birds which are
diseased always fall away on the breast, and the bone feels sharp and
TO DRESS POULTRY AND BIRDS.--First strip off the feathers a few at
a time, with a quick, jerking motion toward the tail. Remove pinfeathers
with a knife.
Fowls should be picked, if possible, while the body retains some warmth,
as scalding is apt to spoil the skin and parboil the flesh. When all the
feathers but the soft down have been removed, a little hot water may be
poured on, when the down can be easily rubbed off with the palm of the
hand. Wipe dry, and singe the hairs off by holding the bird by the legs
over the flame of a candle, a gas-jet, or a few drops of alcohol poured
on a plate and lighted. To dress a bird successfully, one should have
some knowledge of its anatomy, and it is well for the amateur first to
dress one for some dish in which it is not to be cooked whole, when the
bird may be opened, and the position of its internal organs studied.
Remove the head, slip the skin back from the neck, and cut it off close
to the body, take out the windpipe and pull out the crop from the end of
the neck. Make an incision through the skin a little below the
leg-joint, bend the leg at this point and break off the bone. If care
has been taken to cut only through the skin, the tendons of the leg may
now be easily removed with the fingers.
If the bird is to be cut up, remove the legs and wings at the joints.
Then beginning near the vent, cut the membrane down between the
breastbone and tail to the backbone on each side, and separate just
below the ribs. The internal organs can now been seen and easily
removed, and the body of the bird divided at its joints.
If desired to keep the fowl whole, after removing the windpipe and crop,
loosen the heart, liver, and lungs by introducing the forefinger at the
neck; cut off the oil-sack, make a slit horizontally under the tail,
insert the first and middle fingers, and after separating the membranes
which lie close to the body, press them along within the body until the
heart and liver can be felt. The gall bladder lies directly under the
left lobe of the liver, and if the fingers are kept up, and all
adhesions loosened before an effort is made to draw the organs out,
there will be little danger of breaking it. Remove everything which can
be taken out, then hold the, fowl under the faucet and cleanse
TO TRUSS A FOWL OR BIRD.--Twist the tips of the wings back under
the shoulder and bend the legs as far up toward the breast as possible,
securing them in that position by putting a skewer through one thigh
into the body and out through the opposite thigh. Then bring the legs
down and fasten close to the vent.
TO STUFF A FOWL.--Begin at the neck, stuff the breast full, draw
the neck skin together, double it over on the back and fasten with a
darning needle threaded with fine twine. Put the remainder of the
stuffing into the body at the other opening.
BIRDS BAKED IN SWEET POTATOES.--Small birds, of which the breast is
the only suitable portion for eating, may be baked in the following
manner: Cut a sweet potato lengthwise; make a cavity in each half. Place
the breast of the bird therein; fit, and tie together carefully; bake
until the potato is soft. Serve in the potato.
BOILED FOWL.--After cleaning and dividing the fowl, put into
boiling water, and proceed as directed on page 395.
BROILED BIRDS.--Pluck and wipe clean with a damp cloth. Split down
the middle of the back, and carefully draw the bird. Proceed as directed
BROILED FOWL.--A young bird well dressed and singed is best for
this purpose. Split down the middle of the back, wipe clean with a damp
cloth, twist the top of the wings from the second joint; spread out
flat, and with a rolling pin break the projecting breastbone so that the
bird will lie flat upon the broiler. When ready to cook, place it skin
uppermost and sear the under side by pressing it on a hot pan; then
broil the same as beefsteak over glowing coals.
CORN AND CHICKEN.--Clean and divide a chicken in joints. Stew in
milk or part milk and water until nearly tender; then add the grains and
juice from a dozen ears of corn. Cook slowly until the corn is done;
season lightly with salt, and serve with dry toast.
PIGEONS, QUAILS, AND PARTRIDGES may be half baked, then cooked as
directed for Smothered Chicken until tender.
ROAST CHICKEN.--Dress carefully, singe, wash, and wipe dry. Put
into a pan of the proper size, add a cup of boiling water, and cook very
slowly for the first half hour, then increase the heat, baste
frequently, turn occasionally so that no portion will brown too fast.
Cook from one to two hours according to size and age of the bird. It is
usually considered essential to stuff a fowl for roasting, but a
dressing compounded of melted fat and crumbs seasoned with herbs and
strong condiments is not to be recommended.
If a dressing is considered necessary, it may be made of a quart of
crumbs of rather stale whole-wheat bread, moistened with cream, to which
add a small handful of powdered and sifted sage leaves which have been
dried in the oven until crisp. Add salt as desired, a well-beaten egg,
and a little chopped celery.
ROAST TURKEY.--Pluck, singe, and dress the turkey; wash thoroughly
and wipe with a dry cloth. If dressing is to be used, stuff the body
full, sew up, and truss. Place in a dripping-pan, add a pint of boiling
water, and put in an oven so moderate that the turkey will not brown for
the first hour; afterward the heat may be somewhat increased, but at no
time should the oven be very hot. After the bird becomes brown, baste it
occasionally with the water in the pan, dredging lightly with flour.
Cook until the legs will separate from the body; three or four hours
will be necessary for a small turkey. One half hour to the pound is the
usual rule. When tender, remove the stuffing and serve it hot, placing
the turkey on a large hot platter to be carved. It may be garnished with
parsley or celery leaves and served with cranberry sauce.
Ducks and geese may be prepared and roasted in the same manner, but less
time will suffice for cooking, about one and one third hours for ducks
of ordinary size, and about three hours for a young goose.
A stuffing of mashed potato seasoned with onion, sage, and salt is
considered preferable for a goose. Equal parts of bread crumbs and
chopped apples moistened in a little cream are also used for this
SMOTHERED CHICKEN.--Cut two chickens into joints and put in a
closely covered kettle with a pint of boiling water. Heat very slowly to
boiling, skim, keep covered, and simmer until tender and the water
evaporated; add salt, turn the pieces, and brown them in their own
STEAMED CHICKEN.--Prepare the chicken as for roasting, steam until
nearly tender, dredge with flour and a little salt; put into a
dripping-pan and brown in the oven. Other birds and fowls may be
prepared in the same way.
STEWED CHICKEN.--Divide a chicken into pieces suitable for serving,
and stew as directed for beef on page 400. Old fowls left whole and
stewed in this manner for a long time and afterward roasted, are much
better than when prepared in any other way. If a gravy is desired,
prepare as for stewed beef. Other poultry may be stewed likewise.
Fish is a less stimulating article of food than other meats. Edible fish
are generally divided into two classes, those of white flesh and those
more or less red. The red-fleshed fish, of which the salmon is a
representative, have their fat distributed throughout the muscular
tissues, while in white fish the fat is stored up in the liver; hence
the latter class is much easier of digestion, and being less
stimulating, is to be recommended as more wholesome. Different kinds of
fish have different nutritive values. Their flavor and wholesomeness are
greatly influenced by the nature of their food and the condition of the
water in which they are caught; those obtained in deep water with strong
currents are considered superior to those found in shallow water. Fish
are sometimes poisonous, owing no doubt to the food they eat.
Like all animal foods, fish are subject to parasites, some of which take
up their abode in the human body when fish infected with them are eaten.
An eminent scientist connected with the Smithsonian Institution,
contributed an article to _Forest and Stream_ a few years ago, in which
he stated that in the salmon no less than sixteen kinds of parasitic
worms have been discovered, and undoubtedly many others remain unknown;
four species were tapeworms, and four, roundworms. The yellow perch is
known to be infested with twenty-three species of parasitic worms.
The pike carries with him at least twenty kinds, while many other
varieties of fish are equally infested.
Fish have been highly lauded as a food particularly suited to the
development of the brain and nervous system. This no doubt has arisen
from the fact that fish contain a considerable amount of phosphorus.
Phosphorus is also present in the human brain, and for this reason it
has been supposed that fish must be excellent nutriment for the brain;
but the truth is, there is no such thing as any special brain or nerve
food. What is good to build up one part of the body is good for the
whole of it; a really good food contains the elements to nourish every
organ of the body.
Salted fish, like salted meat, is deprived of most of its nutriment
during the curing process, and being rendered much more difficult of
digestion, possesses very little value as a food.
SHELL-FISH (OYSTERS, CLAMS, SCALLOPS, LOBSTERS, CRABS,
ETC.)--Although considered a luxury by epicures, shellfish are not
possessed of a high nutritive value. The whole class are scavengers by
nature and according to recent researches it appears that they are not
altogether safe articles of diet. Many cases of severe and extensive
sickness have been traced to the use of clams and oysters.
Investigations made to ascertain the cause show the poisonous part of
the mussel to be the liver. Rabbits and other small animals inoculated
with the poison died in one or two minutes. Not all mussels are thus
poisonous, but inasmuch as there is an abundance of wholesome food, it
would certainly seem the part of wisdom to discard shellfish altogether.
HOW TO SELECT AND PREPARE FISH.--The flesh of good, fresh fish is
firm and hard, and will respond at once to pressure with the fingers. If
the flesh feels soft and flabby, the fish is not fresh. The eyes should
be full and bright and the gills of a clear red color.
Fish should be cleaned as soon as possible after being caught. To do
this, lay the fish upon a board, and holding it by the tail, scrape off
the scales with a dull knife held nearly flat, working from the tail
toward the head. Scrape slowly, and rinse the knife frequently in cold
water. Cut off the head and fins, make an opening from the gills halfway
down the lower part of the body, scrape out the entrails and every
particle of blood. Remove the white part that lies along the backbone,
then thoroughly rinse and wipe dry.
Keep in a cool place until ready to cook, but do not place directly on
ice, as that will have a tendency to soften the flesh. Fresh fish should
never be allowed to soak in water. If salt fish is to be used, it should
be freshened by placing it skin-side up in cold water, and soaking for
several hours, changing the water frequently.
Frozen fish should be placed in cold water to thaw, and when thawed,
should be cooked immediately.
Fish is cooked by nearly all methods, but retains more nourishment when
broiled or baked. It should be thoroughly cooked, being both
indigestible and unpalatable when underdone.
Boiled fish is usually dependent for flavor upon some kind of rich sauce
so incompatible with healthy digestion that we do not recommend this
BAKED FISH.--Select a perfectly fresh, properly dressed fish. Rinse
thoroughly and wipe dry. Fold it together and place in a dripping pan
with a cup of boiling water. Cook slowly and steadily until tender. A
fish weighing three or four pounds will require at least two hours. If
desired, the fish may be lightly dredged with flour, toward the last, as
it begins to brown.
BROILED FISH.--Thoroughly clean the fish, and if small, split down
the back. Fish of larger size should be cut into inch slices. Use a
double wire broiler well oiled with a bit of suet. Lay the fish, with
its thickest part next the center of the broiler, skin uppermost, and
broil over a bed of clear coals until the flesh-side is of an even
brown. The time required will vary, according to the size of the fish,
from five to twenty minutes; then turn and brown on the other side. If
the fish be very thick, when both sides are browned, put the broiler in
the oven over a dripping pan and cook until done.
Soups made from meat require first the preparation of a special material
called _stock_, a liquid foundation upon which to begin the soup.
Beef, veal, mutton, and poultry are all made into stock in the same
manner, so that general rules for its preparation will be sufficient for
all meat soups.
The principal constituents of meat and bones, the material from which
stock is compounded, are fiber, albuminous elements, gelatinous
substances, and flavoring matters. The albuminous elements are found
only in the flesh. The gelatinous substance found in bones, skin, and
tendons, is almost devoid of nutriment. In selecting material for stock,
therefore, it is well to remember that the larger the proportion of lean
meat used, the more nutritious will be the soup.
But little else than gelatine is obtained from the bones, and although
serviceable in giving consistency, a soup made principally from bones is
not valuable as a food. The amount of bone used for soup should never
exceed the flesh material in weight. The bones, trimmings, and remnants
of steaks, chops, and roasts may be advantageously utilized for soups.
Bits of roast meat and roast gravies are especially serviceable
material, since they are rich in the flavoring elements of meat. It
should be remembered, however, that these flavoring matters are chiefly
excrementitious or waste substances, derived from the venous blood of
The greatest care must be observed to keep the scraps perfectly sweet
and fresh until needed, as stale meat is exceedingly unwholesome. If the
scraps are mostly cooked meats and bones, a small portion of raw, lean
meat should be used with them; it need not be of the choicest quality;
tough, coarse meat, when fresh and good, can be advantageously used for
If fresh material is to be procured, select for beef soups a piece from
the shin or lower round; the same choice of pieces may be made of veal;
of mutton, pieces from the forequarter and neck are best.
In preparing meat for soup, if it is soiled, scrub the outside
thoroughly with a clean cloth wet in cold water, or cut away the soiled
portion. Break the bones into as small pieces as convenient; cut the
meat into inch dice, remove the marrow from the bones, and put it aside.
If added to the stock, it will make it greasy.
Having selected proper material and prepared it for use, the next step
is to extract the juices. To do this put it into cold water, bring very
gradually to the boiling point,--an hour is not too long for
this,--then cook slowly but continuously. In the observation of these
simple measures lies the secret of success in stock-making.
The albuminous elements of the meat, which are similar in character to
the white of an egg, are readily dissolved in cold or tepid water, but
boiling water coagulates them. If the meat is put into boiling water,
the albumen coagulates, or hardens, forming a sort of crust on the
outside of the meat, which prevents the inner juices from escaping; on
the contrary, if the meat is put to cook in cold water, and is gradually
raised to the boiling point, the soaking and simmering will easily
extract and dissolve the juices.
Salt likewise hinders the extraction of the meat juices, and should not
be added to stock during its preparation.
The best utensil for use in the preparation of stock is a soup digester.
This is a porcelain-lined kettle, resting on standards, with a cover
fitting closely into a groove, so that no steam can escape except
through a valve in the top of the cover. In this the meat can be placed
and allowed to cook for hours without burning. An ordinary granite-ware
kettle with tightly fitting cover set on a stove ring or brick, answers
quite well. It should, however, be kept entirely for this purpose. A
double boiler is also suitable.
The correct proportion of water is to be used is about one quart to each
pound of meat and bones, though this will vary somewhat with the
material and the length of time required for cooking. The scum which is
thrown to the surface of the water during the cooking process is
composed of blood and other impurities, and should be removed as rapidly
as it rises. If allowed to remain after the water reaches the boiling
point, it will become incorporated into the stock and injure it in
flavor and wholesomeness.
If the meat and bones are well cut and broken, the juices ought to be
all extracted, with proper cooking, in three or four hours. Longer
cooking will render the stock thicker and more gelatinous but not more
nutritious, and too long cooking will detract from its flavor. As soon
as the meat will fall from the bones, the stock should be removed from
the pot and strained at once.
A good way to strain stock is to place a colander over an earthen crock
or jar (the colander should fit inside the jar), with a cloth strainer
within the colander. Then dip the contents of the stock kettle into the
colander, and leave it there to drain for fifteen or twenty minutes. Do
not squeeze the cloth, and when well drained, throw the scraps away.
[Illustration: Arrangement for Straining Stock.]
French cooks, with their propensity for economy, sometimes select a good
quality of beef, cook it so as to retain a portion of the juices in the
meat, and make it serve both for preparing the soup and for boiled beef
on the bill of fare. The meat is not cut up, but is heated quickly and
removed as soon as tender, so that only part of the juices are
Set the stock where it will become cold. The more rapidly it cools, the
more delicate will be its flavor, and the better it will keep. The fat
will rise to the surface, and can be easily removed when desired. If the
quantity of fat in the material used was considerable, a solid cake will
cover the top. This fat, by excluding the air, helps keep the stock
sweet, and should not be removed until the stock is needed.
If only a portion is to be used at one time, the remainder with the fat
should be reheated and cooled, that a new crust may be formed. In
winter, stock may be kept several days, if care is thus taken to reheat
it. In summer, unless kept in a very cold place, it will spoil in a few
Soup should never be greasy, and hence, before using the stock, every
particle of the fat should be removed. To accomplish this, loosen the
cake of fat from the dish with a knife, and if solid, it will sometimes
come off whole; if soft, remove all that is possible without cutting
into the stock, and afterwards wipe the top of the jellied stock with a
cloth wrung out of very hot water, which will readily absorb any
lingering portion of fat. If the stock is not jellied, skim off all the
fat possible, and then turn the stock through a napkin wrung out of ice
water. This will harden the grease, which will adhere to the napkin. It
is always better to prepare stock long enough before it is needed to
allow it to become perfectly cold; if, however, it is necessary to use
the stock very soon after it is prepared, the fat may be quickly
hardened by turning the stock into a dripping pan or some other shallow
dish, and placing it on ice in a cool place; if there is no time for
this, strain several times through a napkin wrung out of ice-cold water,
removing the particles of fat each time and wringing the cloth anew
before straining again. A little cold water poured into hot stock will
also cause the grease to rise so that it can be easily skimmed off; but
this method weakens the stock.
Stock may be prepared from one kind of meat only, or from two or more
different kinds mixed together. Chicken stock is generally conceded to
be better if a small portion of beef is combined with the fowl. Beef and
veal are largely used together; but mutton on account of its strong
flavor is better used alone.
Stock, when prepared from a single kind of meat, is termed simple stock
or broth. When prepared from two or more kinds of flesh cooked together,
or when stock prepared separately from different kinds of meat are mixed
together, the result is termed compound stock or double broth. With
either of these stocks as a foundation, an innumerable variety of soups
may be prepared, either by serving them as plain broth or by the
addition of some of the various grains and vegetables, the distinctive
name of each soup being given it according to its principal solid
TO CLARIFY SOUP STOCK.--Having removed all the fat from the stock,
add to it before reheating, the shell of an egg, and the whole of one
egg well beaten, with a little cold water, for every three pints of
soup. Place the soup over the fire and stir it constantly to keep the
egg from setting until it is hot. Simmer for fifteen minutes, removing
the scum as it rises, and strain through a flannel cloth or napkin laid
in a colander. It is also a good plan to place a fine wire strainer on
the napkin to catch the shells and scum. Do not squeeze the cloth or
stir the liquid with a spoon to hasten the straining process. If the
cloth is clogged so that the stock does not run through well, carefully
change it in the colander so that the liquid will run down upon a clean
portion. When strained, it may be reheated, seasoned, and served as
ASPARAGUS SOUP.--This soup is prepared in every way like the one on
page 276, except that while stock made from veal is used instead of
milk. Green pea soup, celery soup, green corn soup, and green bean soup
may be prepared according to the recipes already given for these soups
by substituting for milk the same quantity of the stock of veal or
BARLEY, RICE, SAGO, OR TAPIOCA SOUP.--Any kind of stock may be used
in making these soups, though chicken and mutton stock are generally
considered preferable. Prepare the grains, the sago, or the tapioca, by
steaming or boiling till well cooked, and add to the stock, which should
be at boiling temperature. Season and serve.
CARAMEL FOR COLORING SOUP BROWN.--Melt a half pint of sugar and one
tablespoonful of water in a saucepan over the fire; stir constantly
until it is of a dark brown color; then add a half pint of boiling
water, simmer ten minutes, strain, and put into an air-tight can or
bottle. When needed, mix such a quantity with the soup as will give the
desired degree of color.
JULIENNE SOUP.--Take an equal proportion of carrot, parsnip,
turnip, celery, and string beans, cut into thin pieces of inch lengths,
sufficient to make one pint. Simmer the vegetables gently in a small
quantity of water until tender, but not long enough to destroy their
shape. Heat a quart of clear stock to boiling, add vegetables, salt to
taste, and serve.
Other vegetables, as peas, asparagus, etc. may be used in the season.
Sometimes the vegetables are cut into dice or fancy shapes with a
vegetable cutter. It makes little difference about the shape, so that
the pieces are small and uniform in size. Such vegetables as potatoes,
carrots, or turnips, when used for soups, are easiest cut, after paring
in the usual manner, by taking the vegetable in the left hand, holding
it on the table or board between thumb and finger, and with the right
hand cutting downward in even slices not over one third of an inch wide,
to within a quarter of an inch of the bottom. Turn the vegetable and
repeat the process, cutting across the first slices. Again lay the
vegetable on its side, and make a third series of cuts, which will
divide it into cubes. If several kinds of vegetables are used, those
which require a longer time for cooking should be cut into smaller
TOMATO SOUP.--Into two quarts of boiling beef stock stir a
teaspoonful of cornstarch well braided with a little cold water, and a
pint of strained, stewed tomatoes. Boil a few minutes, and serve. A
teaspoonful of sugar may also be added, if desired.
WHITE SOUP.--White soups are made from veal or chicken stock,
seasoned with cream, flavored with onion or celery, and thickened with
cornstarch or flour.
VERMICELLI OR MACARONI SOUPS.--Drop into boiling water and cook the
macaroni about one hour, the vermicelli ten minutes. Drain well, dash
cold water through them to separate the pieces, which are apt to stick
together, and add to boiling stock (beef and veal are preferable) in the
proportion of a pint of cooked macaroni or vermicelli to a quart of
soup. Salt to taste and serve.
PUREE WITH CHICKEN.--Take a quart of chicken stock from which the
fat has been removed. Add a stalk or two of celery cut into
finger-lengths, and a slice of onion, and put to boil. Beat together the
mashed yolk of two hard boiled eggs, and a half cup of sweet cream. Chop
the white meat of the chicken until fine as meal and beat with the egg
mixture. Add slowly a cup and a half of hot milk. Remove the celery and
onion from the hot stock, and stir all together. Boil up, salt to taste,
and serve. If too thick, a little more stock or milk can be added.
TAPIOCA CREAM SOUP.--Soak two tablespoonfuls of tapioca over night.
Heat a quart of stock prepared from the white meat of chicken, to
boiling, in a saucepan. Then stir the tapioca in gradually. Move the
saucepan to the side of the range where it will simmer till the tapioca
is transparent. Have ready in a large dish a mixture prepared by beating
together very thoroughly the yolks of three eggs and four tablespoonfuls
of sweet cream. When the tapioca is clear, remove the stock from the
range and pour it very gradually onto the egg mixture, stirring briskly
all the time, so that the egg will not curdle. Season with salt if
desired. The soup may be returned to the stove and warmed before serving
if necessary, but it must not be boiled or allowed to stand a long time.
Animal food is one of the greatest means by which the pure sentiment
of the race is depressed.--_Alcott._
An English medical author says, "It is no doubt true that the
constant use of animal food disqualifies the mind for literary
application. We can scarcely imagine a philosopher living on horse
flesh like a Tartar, or on buffalo meat like an Indian; and it is a
fact that these tribes appear incapable of civilization until they
acquire the habit of using a less stimulating diet, and begin to
cultivate the fruits of the earth for their own use. The difference,
in the success of Christian missions, between such people and those
whose chief sustenance is farinaceous food, is very striking and
worthy of especial notice. In the East, and in Polynesia, literature
and Christian doctrines are seized upon with avidity. But in vain
were the most earnest labors of the best men to introduce reading
and writing among the American Indians until they had first been
taught to grow corn and to eat bread."
An American gentleman traveling in the East met a Brahmin priest,
who refused to shake hands with him for fear of pollution. The
reason he assigned was that Americans eat hogs. Said the priest,
"Why, I have heard that in America they put hogs' flesh in barrels
and eat it after it has been dead six months! Horrible!"
Pork is by no means a favorite food in Scotland. King James is said
to have abhorred pork almost as much as he did tobacco. He said, "If
I were to give a banquet to the devil, I would provide a loin of
pork and a poll of ling, with a pipe of tobacco for digestion!"
The Hindu would as soon think of becoming a cannibal as of eating
swine's flesh. It is stated that the Indian mutiny so frightful in
its results originated in a fear among the Sepoys that they would be
forced to eat pork. A lady in India had an amusing experience which
illustrates the Hindu sentiment on the subject of pig. Arriving late
at a grand dinner, she and her husband saw the first course being
carried in as they went down the hall. A row of khitmutgars was
drawn up, waiting to follow the dish into the dining-room, and serve
their respective employers; as a dish of ham was carried by, each
man gravely and deliberately spat upon it! Needless to say, Mrs. B.
and her lord waited for the second course.
Both the ancient Syrians and Egyptians abstained from flesh-eating
out of dread and abhorrence, and when the latter would represent any
thing as odious or disagreeable by hieroglyphics, they painted a
Yes, Agassiz does recommend authors to eat fish because the
phosphorus in it makes brains. So far you are correct. But I cannot
help you to a decision about the amount you need to eat--at least
with certainty. If the specimen composition you send is about your
fair usual average, I should judge that perhaps a couple of whales
would be all you want for the present; not the largest kind, but
simply good, middling-sized whales!--_Mark Twain's Letter to a Young
FOOD FOR THE SICK
[Illustration: Food for the Sick]
There is no branch of the culinary art which requires more skill than
that of preparing food for the sick and feeble. The purpose of food at
all times is to supply material for repairing--the waste which is
constantly be chosen with reference to its nutritive value. But during
illness and convalescence, when the waste is often much greater and the
vital powers less active, it is of the utmost importance that the food
should be of such a character as will supply the proper nutrition. Nor
is this all; an article of food may contain all the elements of
nutrition in such proportions as to render it a wholesome food for those
in health, and not be a proper food for the sick, for the reason that
its conversion into blood and tissue lays too great a tax upon the
digestive organs. Food for the sick should be palatable, nutritious and
easily assimilated. To discriminate as to what food will supply these
requisites, one must possess some knowledge of dietetics and physiology,
as well as of the nature of the illness with which the patient is
suffering; and such a knowledge ought to be part of the education of
every woman, no matter to what class of society she belongs.
There are no special dishes suitable alike for all cases. Hot buttered
toast, tea, rich jellies, and other dainties so commonly served to the
sick, are usually the very worst articles of diet of which they could
partake. As a general rule, elaborate dishes are not suitable.
Well-cooked gruel, a nicely broiled steak, a glass of milk, or some
refreshing drink often serve far better than foods which combine a
greater variety of ingredients, and require more extensive preparation.
The simplest foods are always the best, because the most readily
Scrupulous neatness and care in all the minute particulars of the
cooking and serving of food for invalids, will add much to its
palatableness. The clean napkin on the tray, the bright silver, and
dainty china plate, with perhaps a sprig of leaves and flowers beside
it, thinly sliced bread, toast or cracker, and the light cup partly
filled with hot gruel, are far more appetizing to the invalid than
coarse ware, thickly cut bread, and an overflowing cup of gruel, though
the cooking may be just as perfect. Anything that suggests excess or
weight fatigues the sick. The appearance of milk served in a bowl, water
in a mug, beef-tea in a saucer, though seemingly a trivial thing, is
often sufficient to remove all desire for food.
So far as practicable, the wants of the patient should be anticipated,
and the meal served, a surprise. The capricious appetite of an invalid
may sometimes be coaxed by arranging his simple food upon a tray so
planned that in the napery and service-ware used, some one particular
color predominates, and if this color be selected to accord or harmonize
as far as possible with the food allowed, the _tout ensemble_ presents a
pleasing fancy, which will tempt the eye, and through its influence, the
appetite of the patient. For example: an invalid whose dietary must
consist of fruit and grains, might be served to a "purple" dinner, with
bill of fare including a fresh, cool bunch of purple grapes, a glass of
unfermented grape juice, a saucer of blackberry mush, a plate of nicely
toasted wafers, Graham puffs or zwieback, with stewed prunes, or a
slice of prune toast served on dishes decorated with purple. Tie the
napkin with a bow of purple ribbon, and place a bunch of purple pansies
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