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Twenty-Five Cent Dinners for Families of Six
by Juliet Corson
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TWENTY-FIVE CENT DINNERS

FOR

FAMILIES OF SIX.

BY

JULIET CORSON,

Superintendent of the New York Cooking School.

AUTHOR OF "THE COOKING MANUAL," "OUR HOUSEHOLD COUNCIL," "THE BILL OF FARE, WITH ACCOMPANYING RECEIPTS AND ESTIMATED COST," "A TEXT-BOOK FOR COOKING SCHOOLS," "FIFTEEN-CENT DINNERS FOR WORKINGMEN'S FAMILIES," ETC.

THIRTEENTH EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED.

NEW YORK: ORANGE JUDD COMPANY, 245 BROADWAY, 1879. Copyright by JULIET CORSON, 1878. All Rights Reserved.



PREFACE

TO

THE REVISED AND ENLARGED EDITION.

During the time that this little book has been a candidate for public favor, it has attained a success far beyond the expectations of its most sanguine advocates; and in issuing this revised and enlarged edition the author returns her sincere thanks to both press and public, who have so substantially seconded her efforts for culinary reform.

In this edition an additional chapter has been devoted to the preparation of fruit for dessert, with special reference to the needs of American housewives. Most American ladies prepare fruit for table use either by canning it, or making it into rich and expensive preserves; while both of these methods are palatable, and available for winter use, the receipts given in the closing chapter will provide a welcome variety for serving fresh fruits at the table, and will tend to increase the healthy consumption of those abundant and excellent domestic productions, while they cannot fail to decrease the deplorable prevalence of that objectionable national compound, the pie.

Recent investigations concerning retail prices in different sections of the country confirm the author in the estimate of cost given in this work; in certain localities some of the articles quoted are more expensive, while others are cheaper; but the average is about equal.



PREFACE.

TO ECONOMICAL HOUSEWIVES:

The wide publicity which the press in different sections of the country has given to my offer to show workingpeople earning a dollar and a half, or less, per day, how to get a good dinner for fifteen cents, has brought me a great many letters from those who earn more, and can consequently afford a more extended diet.

In response to their requirements I have written this book, which I hope will be found servicable in that middle department of cookery it is designed to occupy, where we begin to look for more than the absolute necessaries of life; it is a practical guide to the economical, healthful, and palatable preparation of food, and will serve to show that it is possible to live well upon a very moderate income.

It is necessary to repeat in this book some of the directions given in the work on "FIFTEEN CENT DINNERS;" but I hope their reappearance will be pardoned on the ground of their usefulness, and also because the first book will fail to reach many for whom this one is intended.

The cheapest kinds of food are sometimes the most wholesome and strengthening; but in order to obtain all their best qualities we must know how to choose them for their freshness, goodness, and suitability to our needs. That done, we must know how to cook them, so as to make savory and nutritious meals instead of tasteless or sodden messes, the eating whereof sends the man to the liquor shop for consolation.

Good food, properly cooked, gives us good blood, sound bones, healthy brains, strong nerves, and firm flesh, to say nothing of good tempers and kind hearts. These are surely worth a little trouble to secure.

The first food of nearly all living creatures is milk, the only entire natural food; that is, the only food upon which health and strength can be sustained for any length of time, without using any other nourishment. For this reason it is the best food you can give the children if you must restrict their diet at all; and it is also a valuable addition to the food of grown persons. While this fact about milk is settled, it is generally acknowledged by people who study the subject that we thrive best on a variety. We get warmth and strength from fat meat, wheat, rye, barley, rice, milk, sugar, fruit, peas, beans, lentils, macaroni, and the roots of vegetables; we gain flesh from lean meat, unbolted flour, oatmeal, eggs, cheese, and green vegetables; and, if we want to think clearly, we must use fish, poultry, the different grains, and a good variety of fruit and vegetables.

The food most generally in use among the masses is just that which meets their requirements. No hungry man will spend money for what he knows will not satisfy his appetite, and a natural appetite may always be trusted. For that reason the receipts given in this book treat of the articles in common use, with the exception of lentils and macaroni, which are foods that I earnestly beg all to try. In meals made up of bacon, potatoes and bread, of corned beef and cabbage, and of pork and beans, there exists an equal and sufficient amount of nourishment; but if other dishes are added to these, the variety will result in better general health and contentment. If we were to live day after day on rice, bread, potatoes, or any one other article of food, we would not long be strong enough for any kind of work. In matters of diet variety is not only the spice of life, it is the necessity.

In estimating cost, I have naturally supposed that the family consists of father, mother, and children of different ages, and not of six adults; for them the quantities given would, of course, be insufficient. I allow a meat dinner every day; but in order to have this the meat itself must generally be used one day, with bread or vegetables, and the next day the breakfast must be the broth or juice of the meat, which, if prepared according to my directions, will afford equal nourishment.

I wish to call your attention to the following important fact. The hardy and thrifty working classes of France, the country where the most rigid economy in regard to food is practised, never use tea or coffee for breakfast, and seldom use milk. Their food and drink is BROTH. Not the broth from fresh meat, for they do not often eat that; but that which is made from vegetables, and perhaps a bit of bacon or salt pork.

If you will reflect on the reasons I give in the next chapter for boiling food, instead of roasting or baking it, you will learn two important lessons in economy, namely: that boiling saves at least one fourth the volume of food, and that the broth which is produced, when properly managed, always gives the foundation for another meal. You should always bear in mind that the object of cooking is to soften and disintegrate food, so that it can be easily masticated; and to expand it, so as to present a large surface to the action of the digestive organs. In this connection you must open your eyes to certain physiological facts if you want your food to agree with you. I shall not tell you more, and perhaps not so much, as you ought to know, and to teach your children.

In calculating the cost of the receipts I give you, I have used the retail prices asked in Washington market, and in ordinary grocery stores, at this season of the year; the average is about the same as that of past years, and probably will not change much; so that I believe I have not placed too low an estimate upon them.

At the first glance it may seem impossible to buy healthy meat at the prices I give, but you must remember that I speak of the good second quality of meat, and that the marketing must be done with economy, and in low-priced localities. It can be done, for I have done it myself. Go to packing houses, and provision stores, for meats; to German green-groceries for vegetables, and fruit; and to "speciality" stores, for butter, sugar, tea, et cetera.

In conclusion I only have to say that I hope my little book will be useful to every one who consults it.

JULIET CORSON.

New York Cooking School.



DAILY BILLS OF FARE FOR ONE WEEK.

{ Breakfast: Johnny Cake, 5; Cocoa, 6; Broiled } { Herring, 5. 16 } { } MONDAY { Dinner: Chicken Soup with Rice, 5; Fried } { Chicken and Potatoes, 35. 40 } 75 { } { Supper: Tea, 3; Broiled Kidneys, 10; Rice } { Bread, 6. 19 }

{ Breakfast: Pulled Bread, 3; Coffee, 6; Macaroni, } { Farmers' Style, 10. 19 } { } TUESDAY { Dinner: Broth and Brewis, 5; Stewed Beef } { with Norfolk Dumplings, 19. 24 } 62 { } { Supper: Tea, 3; Peas Pudding, 10; Bread, 6. 19 }

{ Breakfast: Biscuit, 6; Cocoa, 6; Codfish } { Steaks, 15. 27 } { } WEDNESDAY { Dinner: Spinach Soup, 15; Gammon Dumplings } { and Potatoes, 15. 30 } 76 { } { Supper: Tea, 3; Baked Beans, 10; Potato } { Bread, 6. 19 }

{ Breakfast: Breakfast Rolls, 6; Cocoa, 6; } { Stewed Pig's Kidneys, 10. 22 } { } THURSDAY { Dinner: Macaroni with White Sauce, 10; } { Brain and Liver Pudding, with potatoes, } { 18. 28 } 69 { } { Supper: Tea, 3; Rice, Japanese Style, 10; } { Bread, 6. 19 }

{ Breakfast: Indian Cakes, 5; Coffee, 6; Vegetable } { Porridge, 15. 26 } { } FRIDAY { Dinner: Thick Pea Soup, 6; Fish and Potato } { Pudding, 15. 21 } 66 { } { Supper: Tea, 3; Fried Beans, 10; Rice } { Bread, 6. 19 }

{ Breakfast: Biscuit, 6; Cocoa, 6; Rice, Milanaise } { Style, 10. 22 } { } SATURDAY { Dinner: Mutton Broth, with Barley, 3; Epigramme } { of Lamb, 16; Potatoes, 3. 22 } 58 { } { Supper: Tea, 3; Polenta, 5; Potato Bread, 6. 14}

{ Breakfast: Toast, 6; Fried Lentils, 10; } { Coffee, 6; Oatmeal Porridge, 8. 30 } { } SUNDAY { Dinner: Roast Fowl and Baked Potatoes, 38; } { Half-pay Pudding, 20. 58 } 1.19 { } { Supper: German Potatoes, 10; Cream Rice } { Pudding, 15; Bread, 6. 31 }

TOTAL. $5.25



CONTENTS

CHAPTER I.

Marketing. PAGE.

Composition and nutritive value of Meat, Blood, and Bones—How to choose Meat—Beef—Mutton—Lamb—Veal—Pork—Poultry—Game Birds—Fish—Vegetables—Fruit 10

CHAPTER II.

How to Cook, Season, and Measure.

Effect of different methods of cooking—Roasting or Baking—Broiling—Boiling and Stewing—Frying—Cooking Salt and Smoked Meats—Seasoning Food—Dried Celery and Parsley—Dried Herbs—Table Sauce—Celery Salt—Spice Salt—Lemon, Orange, and Vanilla Tinctures—Table for Measuring Food 16

CHAPTER III.

Beverages.

Tea—Coffee—Cocoa and Chocolate—Beer—Barley Water—Milk—Lime Water 20

CHAPTER IV.

Bread, Macaroni, and Rice.

Comparative price and nutritive value of different kinds of bread—Homemade Bread—Rice Bread—Potato Bread—Pulled Bread—Bread made with Baking Powder—Breakfast Rolls—Tea Biscuit—Nutritive value of Macaroni—Macaroni Farmers' Style—Macaroni with Broth—Macaroni with White Sauce—Macaroni with Cheese—Macaroni Milanaise Style—Macaroni with Tomato Sauce—Tomato Sauce—Rice—Rice Panada—Boiled Rice—Rice Milanaise Style—Rice Japanese Style 24

CHAPTER V.

Soup.

Nutritive value of Soup—General directions for making Soup—Scotch Broth without Meat—Pea Soup—Thick Pea Soup—Bean Soup—Lentil Soup—Onion Soup—Spinach Soup—Francatelli's Vegetable Soup—Vegetable Porridge—Rice Milk—Fish Soup—Fish Chowder—Mutton Broth—Veal Broth—White Broth—Cream Soup—Beef Broth—Norfolk Dumplings—Meat Brewis 31

CHAPTER VI.

Peas, Beans, Lentils, and Maize.

Value of Leguminous Vegetables for Hard Workers—Oatmeal and Peas—Peas-Pudding—Peas and Bacon—Baked Peas—Peas and Onions—Baked Beans—Stewed Beans—Fried Beans—Beans and Bacon—Boiled Lentils—Stewed Lentils—Fried Lentils—Indian Corn Meal—Polenta—Cheese Pudding—Hasty Pudding—Johnny Cake—Indian Cakes—Indian Bread—Boiled Indian Pudding—Baked Indian Pudding 38

CHAPTER VII.

Cheap Fish and Meat Dinners.

Nutritive value of Fish—Pickled Fish—London Fried Fish—Fish and Potato Pie—Fish Pudding—Fish and Potato Pudding—Codfish Steaks—Red Herrings with Potatoes—Cheap Meats—Sheeps' Head Stew—Oxtail Stew—Beef Pie—Baked Heart—Stewed Kidneys and Potatoes—Pig's Kidneys—Kidney Pudding—Gammon Dumpling—Bacon and Apple Roly-poly—Mutton and Onions—Pork and Onions—Veal and Rice—Irish Stew—Sheep's Haslet—Baked Pig's Head 43

CHAPTER VIII.

Sunday Dinners.

Economy of Combination Dishes—Roast Fowl—Forcemeat or Stuffing—Chicken Gravy—Fried Chicken—Frying Batter—Chicken Broth—New York Cooking School Fricassee—Suet Dumplings—Rabbit Curry—Rabbit Pie—Pickled Shad—Pork Pie—Pork Chops—Roast Pork and Apples—Stewed Sausage—German Potatoes—Brain and Liver Pudding—Broiled Kidneys—Tripe, Curry, and Rice—Liver Polenta—A la Mode Beef—Meat Patties—Boiled Mutton—Mutton rechauffee—Mutton Kromeskys—Plain Frying Batter—Epigramme of Lamb—Roast Veal—Forcemeat for Veal—Blanquette of Veal—Veal and Ham Patties 50

CHAPTER IX.

Cheap Puddings, Pies, and Cakes.

Comparative nutritive value of Puddings, Pies, and Cakes—Swiss Pudding—Cream Sauce—College Puddings—Cream Rice Pudding—Half-pay Pudding—Bread Pudding—Cup Custards—Fruit Dumpling—Apple Dumplings—Baked Apple Dumplings—Lemon Dumplings—Rice Croquettes—Fruit Tarts—Rice Cake—Rock Cakes—Caraway Cake—Soft Gingerbread—Sweet Biscuits 62

CHAPTER X.

Dessert Dishes.

Directions for making cheap and enjoyable delicacies from Fruit—Apple Black Caps—Apple Snow—Apple Cakes—Cherry Cheese—Candied Cherries—Currant Salad—Iced Currants—Compote of Damsons—Stuffed Dates—Stewed Figs—Compote of Gooseberries—Gooseberry Cheese—Gooseberry Fool—Grape Jelly—Green Gage Compote—Pine Apple Julep—Lemon Snow—Melon Compote—Orange Salad—Orange and Apple Compote—Peach Salad—Cold Compote of Pears—Stewed Prunelles—Quince Cakes—Quince Snow—Iced Raspberries—Raspberry Salad—Compote of Strawberries—Strawberry Drops—Compote of Mixed Fruits—Fruit Juice 67



CHAPTER I.

MARKETING.

The most perfect meats are taken from well-fed, full-grown animals, that have not been over-worked, under-fed, or hard-driven; the flesh is firm, tender, and well-flavored, and abounds in nutritious elements. On the other hand, the flesh of hard-worked or ill-fed creatures is tough, hard, and tasteless.

All animal flesh is composed of albumen, fibrin, and gelatin, in the proportion of about one fifth of its weight; the balance of its substance is made up of the juice, which consists of water, and those soluble salts and phosphates which are absolutely necessary for the maintenance of health. It is this juice which is extracted from beef in the process of making beef tea; and it is the lack of it in salted meats that makes them such an injurious diet when eaten for any length of time to the exclusion of other food.

The flesh of young animals is less nutritious, and less easily masticated than that of full grown animals, on account of its looser texture. Beef, which has firmer and larger fibres than mutton, is harder to digest on that account, but it contains an excess of strengthening elements that is not approached by any meat, save that of the leg of pork.

The tongues of various animals, the fibres of which are small and tender, are nutritious and digestible; the heart is nutritious because it is composed of solid flesh, but the density of its fibre interferes with its digestibility; the other internal organs are very nutritious, and very useful as food for vigorous persons on that account, and because they are cheap. The blood of animals abounds in nutritive elements; the possibility of its use as a general food has closely engaged the attention of European scientists; notably of the members of the University of Copenhagen, who recommend its use in the following forms, in which it is not only suitable for food, but also capable of preservation for an indefinite time. First, as sausages, puddings and cakes—being mixed with fat, meal, sugar, salt, and a few spices—to serve as a much cheaper substitute for meat, and intended especially for the use of the poor classes; and second, as blood-chocolate, more especially suitable to be used in hospitals, as well as otherwise in medical practice, in which latter form it has been recommended by Professor Panum, at a meeting of physicians at Copenhagen, and is now being employed in some of the hospitals of that city.

Bones consist largely of animal matter, and earthy substances which are invaluable in building up the frame of the body. In order to obtain all their goodness, we must crush them well before putting them into soups or stews.

Beef.—The flesh of the best quality of beef is of a bright red color, intersected with closely laid veins of yellowish fat; the kidney fat, or suet, is abundant, and there is a thick layer upon the back. The second quality has rather whitish fat, laid moderately thick upon the back, and about the kidneys; the flesh is close-grained, having but few streaks of fat running through it, and is of a pale red color, and covered with a rough, yellowish skin. Poor beef is dark red, gristly, and tough to the touch, with a scanty layer of soft, oily fat. Buy meat as cheap as you can, but be sure it is fresh; slow and long cooking will make tough meat tender, but tainted meat is only fit to throw away. Never use it. You would, by doing so, invite disease to enter the home where smiling health should reign. The best way to detect taint in any kind of meat is to run a sharp, thin-bladed knife close to the bone, and then smell it to see if the odor is sweet. Wipe the knife after you use it. A small, sharp wooden skewer will answer, but it must be scraped every time it is used, or the meat-juice remaining on it will become tainted, and it will be unfit for future use. If, when you are doubtful about a piece of meat, the butcher refuses to let you apply this test carefully enough to avoid injuring the meat, you will be safe in thinking he is afraid of the result.

Mutton.—Prime mutton is bright red, with plenty of hard, white fat. The flesh of the second quality is dark red and close grained, with very few threads of fat running through it; the fat is rather soft, and is laid thin on the back and kidneys, closely adhering to them. The poorest healthy quality has very pale flesh, and thin white fat, and the meat parts easily from the bone. Diseased mutton has decidedly yellow fat, and very soft flesh, of loose texture. Tainted mutton smells bad; test it as you would beef.

Lamb.—A carcass of lamb should weigh about twenty-five pounds before it is old enough to be wholesome and nourishing food; before it has reached that age it is watery and deficient in the elements of strength; at any age it is more suitable food for women and children than for healthy men. The finest kind has delicate rosy meat, and white, almost transparant fat. The flesh of the second quality is soft, and rather red compared with the pinkish-white meat of choice kinds; the fat is more scanty, and the general appearance coarser. The poorest lamb has yellow fat, and lean, flabby red meat, which keeps but a short time. Test the freshness of lamb by touching the kidney-fat; if it is soft and moist the meat is on the verge of spoiling; a bad smell indicates that it is already tainted; it is utterly unfit for use.

Veal.—Prime veal is light flesh color, and has abundance of hard, white, semi-transparent fat. The flesh of the second quality is red in contrast to the pinkish-white color of the prime sort; and the fat is whiter, coarser-grained, and less abundant. The poorest kind has decidedly red flesh, and very little kidney-fat. The neck is the first part that taints, and it can easily be tested; the loin is just spoiling when the kidney-fat begins to grow soft and clammy.

Read this sentence about BOB-VEAL carefully, and be sure to remember it. It is the flesh of calves killed when two or three weeks old, or that of "deaconed calves," which are killed almost as soon as they are born, for the value of their skins. This practice cannot be too harshly condemned as a criminal waste of food; for a stock raiser, or farmer, who knows his business can feed his calves until they reach a healthy maturity, without seriously interfering with his supply of milk. The flesh of BOB-VEAL is a soft, flabby, sticky substance, of a ropy gelatinous nature; and, being the first flesh, unchanged by the health-giving action of air and food, it is devoid of the elements necessary to transform it into wholesome food. IT SHOULD NEVER BE EATEN.

Pork.—The best kind of pork is fresh and pinkish in color, and the fat is firm and white. The second quality has rather hard, red flesh, and yellowish fat. The poorest kind has dark, coarse grained meat, soft fat, and discoloured kidneys. The flesh of stale pork is moist and clammy, and its smell betrays its condition. Measly pork has little kernels in the fat, and is unhealthy and dangerous food. After testing, as you would beef, so as to see if it is fresh, and making sure that it is not measly, we have still to dread the presence of TRICHINA, a dangerous parasite present in the flesh of some hogs. The surest preventive of danger from this cause is thorough cooking, which destroys any germs that may exist in the meat. Cook your pork until it is crisp and brown, by a good, steady fire, or in boiling water, at least twenty minutes to each pound. Pork eaten in cold weather, or moderately in summer, alternately with other meats, is a palatable and nutritious food. It has a hard fibre, and needs to be thoroughly chewed in order to be perfectly digested; for that reason it should be sparingly used by the young and the very old. The least fat is found in the leg, which contains an excess of flesh-forming elements, and resembles lean beef in composition; the most fat is in the face and belly. When cured as bacon it readily takes on the anti-septic action of salt and smoke, and becomes a valuable adjunct to vegetable food, as well as a pleasant relish; and in this shape it is one of the most important articles in general use.

Poultry.—Both poultry and game are less nutritious than meat, but they are more digestible, and consequently are better food than meat for persons of weak digestive organs and sedentary habits. They are both excellent for persons who think or write much. Fresh poultry may be known by its full bright eyes, pliable feet, and soft moist skin; the best is plump, fat, and nearly white, and the grain of the flesh is fine. The feet and neck of a young fowl are large in proportion to its size, and the tip of the breast-bone is soft, and easily bent between the fingers; a young cock, has soft, loose spurs, and a long, full, bright red comb; old fowls have long, thin necks and feet, and the flesh on the legs and back has a purplish shade; chickens and fowls are always in season.

Turkeys are good when white and plump, have full breasts and smooth legs, generally black, with soft loose spurs; hen turkeys are smaller, fatter, and plumper, but of inferior flavor; full grown turkeys are the best for boiling, as they do not tear in dressing; old turkeys have long hairs, and the flesh is purplish where it shows under the skin on the legs and back. About March they deteriorate in quality.

Young ducks and geese are plump, with light, semi-transparent fat, soft breast-bone, tender flesh, leg joints which will break by the weight of the bird, fresh colored and brittle beaks, and windpipes that break when pressed between the thumb and forefinger. They are best in fall and winter.

Young pigeons have light red flesh upon the breast, and full, fresh colored legs; when the legs are thin, and the breast is very dark, the birds are old.

Game Birds.—Fine game birds are always heavy for their size; the flesh of the breast is firm and plump, and the skin clear; and if a few feathers be plucked from the inside of the leg and around the vent, the flesh of freshly killed birds will be fat and fresh colored; if it is dark, and discolored, the game has been hung a long time. The wings of good ducks, geese, pheasants, and woodcock are tender to the touch; the tips of the long wing feathers of partridges are pointed in young birds, and round in old ones. Quail, snipe, and small birds should have full, tender breasts.

Fish.—Fish is richer in flesh-forming elements than game, poultry, lamb or veal, but it contains less fat and gelatin. It is easily digested, and makes strong muscular flesh, but does not greatly increase the quantity of fat in the body. The red blooded and oily kinds, such as salmon, sturgeon, eels and herring, are much more nutritious than the white blooded varieties, such as cod, haddock, and flounders. The salting of rich, oily fish like herring, mackerel, salmon, and sturgeon, does not deprive it of its nutritive elements to the extent that is noticeable with cod; salt cod fish is almost entirely devoid of nutriment, while the first named oily varieties are valuable adjuncts to a vegetable diet.

Although fish contains more water and less solid nutriment than meat, it is generally useful from its abundance and cheapness; and certain kinds which are called red-blooded, are nearly as nourishing as meat: oily fish satisfies hunger as completely as meat; herring, especially, makes the people who eat it largely strong and sinewy. Sea fish are more nourishing than fresh water varieties.

Sea fish, and those which live in both salt and fresh water, such as salmon, shad, and smelts, are the finest flavored; the muddy taste of some fresh water species can be overcome by soaking them in cold water and salt for two hours or more before cooking; all kinds are best just before spawning, the flesh becoming poor and watery after that period. Fresh fish have firm flesh, rigid fins, bright, clear eyes, and ruddy gills. Oysters, clams, scallops, and mussels, should be eaten very fresh, as they soon lose their flavor after being removed from the shell.

Lobsters and crabs should be chosen by their brightness of color, lively movement, and great weight in proportion to their size; you ought always to buy them alive, and put them head first into a large pot of boiling water, containing a handful of salt; they will cook in about twenty minutes.

Vegetables.—In order to be healthy we must eat some fresh vegetables; they are cheap and nourishing, especially onions and cabbages. Peas, beans, and lentils, all of which are among the lowest priced of foods, are invaluable in the diet of a laboring man: he can get so much nourishment out of them that he hardly needs meat; and if they are cooked in the water that has been used for boiling meat, they make the healthiest kind of a meal.

All juicy vegetables should be very fresh and crisp; and if a little wilted, can be restored by being sprinkled with water and laid in a cool, dark place; all roots and tubers should be pared and laid in cold water an hour or more before using. Green vegetables are best just before they flower; and roots and tubers are prime from their ripening until they begin to sprout.

When it is possible buy your vegetables by the quantity, from the farmers, or market-gardeners, or at the market; you will save more than half. Potatoes now cost at Washington market from one to one dollar and a half a barrel; there are three bushels in a barrel, and thirty-two quarts in a bushel; now at the groceries you pay fifteen cents a half a peck, or four cents a quart; that makes your barrel of potatoes cost you three dollars and sixty-three cents, if you buy half a peck at a time; or three dollars and eighty-four cents if you buy by the quart. So you see if you could buy a barrel at once you could save more than one half of your money. It is worth while to try and save enough to do it.

Fruit.—Fresh fruit is a very important food, especially for children, as it keeps the blood pure, and the bowels regular. Next to grains and seeds, it contains the greatest amount of nutriment to a given quantity. Apples are more wholesome than any other fruit, and plentiful and cheap two-thirds of the time; they nourish, cool, and strengthen the body. In Europe laborers depend largely upon them for nourishment, and if they have plenty, they can do well without meat. They miss apples much more than potatoes, for they are much more substantial food.

All fruit should be bought ripe and sound; it is poor economy to buy imperfect or decayed kinds, as they are neither satisfactory nor healthy eating; while the mature, full flavored sorts are invaluable as food.

Preserved and dried fruits are luxuries to be indulged in only at festivals or holidays. Nuts are full of nutritious oil, but are generally hard to digest; they do not come under the head of the necessaries of life.



CHAPTER II.

HOW TO COOK, SEASON, AND MEASURE.

Before beginning to give you receipts, I wish to tell you about the effect of cooking food in different ways. We all want it cooked so that we can eat it easily, and get the most strength from it, without wasting any part of it. I will tell you some very good reasons for making soup and stew out of your meat instead of cooking it in any other way.

Roasting or Baking.—The first is the most extravagant way of cooking meat, as it wastes nearly one third of its substance in drippings and steam; the second also is very wasteful, unless the meat is surrounded with vegetables, or covered with a flour paste. When you do bake meat without a covering of paste, put it into a hot oven at the start, to crisp the outside and to keep in the valuable juices; you can moderate the heat of the oven as soon as the meat is brown, and let it finish cooking slowly by the heat of the steam which is constantly forming inside of it. It generally takes twenty minutes to bake each pound of meat.

Broiling.—This is another extravagant way of cooking meat, for a great deal of the fat runs into the fire, and some nourishment escapes up the chimney with the steam. If you must broil meat, have your fire hot and clear, and your gridiron perfectly clean; and, unless it has a ledge to hold the drippings, tip it towards the back of the fire, so that the fat will burn there, and not blacken the meat as it would if the gridiron were laid flat, and the fat could burn under the meat. Never stick a fork into broiled meat to turn it; and do not cut it to see if it is done; for if you do either you will let out the juice. Study the following table, and then remember how near the time given in it comes to cooking according to your taste. Fish will broil in from five to ten minutes; birds and poultry in from three to fifteen minutes; chops in from ten to fifteen minutes, and steak in from ten to twenty minutes.

Boiling and Stewing.—Boiling food slowly, or stewing it gently, saves all its goodness. After the pot once boils you cannot make its contents cook any faster if you have fire enough under it to run a steam engine; so save your fuel, and add it to the fire, little by little, only enough at a time to keep the pot boiling. Remember, if you boil meat hard and fast it will be tough and tasteless, and most of its goodness will go up the chimney, or out of the window, with the steam. Boil the meat gently, and keep it covered close to save the steam; it will condense on the inside of the cover, and fall back in drops of moisture upon the meat.

The following table shows how much is wasted in the different ways of cooking we have just spoken of. Four pounds of beef waste in boiling or stewing, about one pound of substance, but you have it all in the broth if you have kept the pot covered tightly; in baking one pound and a quarter is almost entirely lost unless you have plenty of vegetables in the dripping pan to absorb and preserve it; in roasting before the fire you lose nearly one pound and a half. Do not think you save the waste in the shape of drippings; it is poor economy to buy fat at the price of meat merely for the pleasure of trying it out.

Frying.—This is a very good method of cooking fish, and of warming cold meat and vegetables. To fry well put into your frying pan enough fat to cover what you mean to fry, and let it get smoking hot, but do not burn it; then put in your food, and it will not soak fat, and will generally be done by the time it is nicely browned. To SAUTE, or HALF FRY any article, you should begin by putting in the pan enough fat to cover the bottom, and let it get smoking hot, but not burnt before you put in the food. This also is a good way to warm over meat, vegetables, oatmeal, or pudding.

A very good way to cook meat and vegetables together is to put them in an earthen jar, cover it tightly, and cement the cover on with flour paste; then bake for about four hours.

If you are going to use a piece of meat cold do not cut it until it cools, and it will be more juicy. If the meat is salt let it cool in its own pot liquor, for the same reason.

Salt and Smoked Meats.—These meats are best when they are put over the fire in cold water, brought gradually to a boil, and then set back from the fierce heat of the fire, so as to keep scalding hot WITHOUT BOILING; they take longer to cook this way, but they are tender and delicious, and very little fat is wasted.

Seasoning Food.—Many people have the idea that a finely flavored dish must cost a great deal; that is a mistake; if you have untainted meat, or sound vegetables, or even Indian meal, to begin with, you can make it delicious with proper seasoning. One reason why French cooking is so much nicer than any other is that it is seasoned with a great variety of herbs and spices; these cost very little; if you would buy a few cents' worth at a time you would soon have a good assortment. The best kinds are Sage, Thyme, Sweet Marjoram, Tarragon, Mint, Sweet Basil, Parsley, Bay-leaves, Cloves, Mace, Celery-seed, and onions. If you will plant the seed of any of the seven first mentioned in little boxes on your window sill, or in a sunny spot in the yard, you can generally raise all you need. Gather and dry them as follows: parsley and tarragon should be dried in June and July, just before flowering; mint in June and July; thyme, marjoram and savory in July and August; basil and sage in August and September; all herbs should be gathered in the sun-shine, and dried by artificial heat; their flavor is best preserved by keeping them in air-tight tin cans, or in tightly corked glass bottles.

Dried Celery and Parsley.—If you ever use celery, wash the leaves, stalks, roots and trimmings, and put them in a cool oven to dry thoroughly; then grate the root, and rub the leaves and stalks through a sieve, and put all into a tightly corked bottle, or tin can with close cover; this makes a most delicious seasoning for soups, stews, and stuffing. When you use parsley, save every bit of leaf, stalk or root you do not need, and treat them in the same way as the celery. Remember in using parsley that the root has even a stronger flavor than the leaves, and do not waste a bit.

Dried Herbs.—When you buy a bunch of dried herbs rub the leaves through a sieve, and bottle them tightly until you need them; tie the stalks together and save them until you want to make what the French call a bouquet, for a soup or stew. A bouquet of herbs is made by tying together a few sprigs of parsley, thyme and two bay-leaves. The bay-leaves, which have the flavor of laurel, can be bought at any German grocery, or drug-store, enough to last for a long time for five cents.

Table Sauce.—There is no reason why you should not sometimes have a nice relish for cold meat when you can make a pint of it for six cents, so I will give you a receipt for it. Get at Washington market at the herb stand, a bunch of TARRAGON; it will cost five cents in the summer, when it is green and strong, and not much more in the winter; put it in an earthen bowl, and pour on it one pint of scalding hot vinegar; cover it and let it stand until the next day; then strain it, and put it into a bottle which you must cork tight. Either put more hot vinegar on the tarragon, or dry it, and save it until you want to make more; you can make a gallon of sauce from one bunch, only every time you use it you must let it stand a day longer.

Celery Salt.—If you mix celery root, which has been dried and grated as above, with one fourth its quantity of salt, it makes a nice seasoning and keeps a long time.

Spice Salt.—You can make this very nicely by drying, powdering and mixing by repeated siftings the following ingredients: one quarter of an ounce each of powdered thyme, bay-leaf, and pepper; one eighth of an ounce each of marjoram and cayenne pepper; one half of an ounce each of powdered clove and nutmeg; to every four ounces of this powder add one ounce of salt, and keep the mixture in an air-tight vessel. One ounce of it added to three pounds of stuffing, or forcemeat of any kind, makes a delicious seasoning.

Lemon and Orange Tincture.—Never throw away lemon or orange peel; cut the yellow outside off carefully, and put it into a tightly corked bottle with enough alcohol to cover it. Let it stand until the alcohol is a bright yellow, then pour it off, bottle it tight, and use it for flavoring when you make rice pudding. Add lemon and alcohol as often as you have it, and you will always have a nice flavoring.

Vanilla Tincture.—Make this from a broken Vanilla Bean, just as you would make Lemon Tincture. When you make a plain rice pudding, and when you boil rice with sweetening, put a teaspoonful of either of these tinctures with it, and it will be very good.

Measuring.—Be careful about measuring. Do not think you can guess just right every time; you cannot do it. One day the dinner will be a great deal better than another, and you will wonder why; it will be because it is carefully seasoned and properly cooked. A good rule for seasoning soups and stews, is half an ounce, or a level tablespoonful of salt, and half a level teaspoonful of pepper to each quart of water; try it, if it is right you will know how much to use; if it is not right, alter it to suit your taste; but settle the point for once, and then you will know what to depend upon. The following table will give you some good hints about measuring; there are four teaspoonfuls in one tablespoon; two tablespoonfuls in one ounce; two ounces in one wineglassful; two wineglassfuls in one gill; two gills in one good sized cupful; two cupfuls in one pint; two pints in one quart. One quart of sifted flour, thrown into the measure, and shaken down, but not pressed, weighs one pound; one quart of Indian corn meal, shaken down in the measure weighs one pound and three ounces; one quart of fine sugar weighs one pound and a half.



CHAPTER III.

BEVERAGES.

In my little book on "FIFTEEN CENT DINNERS," I decidedly advocate the substitution of milk or milk and water as a drink at meal times, for tea and coffee, on the score of economy; because milk is a food, while the two former drinks are chiefly stimulants. They are pleasant because they warm and exhilarate, but they are luxuries because they give no strength; therefore their use is extravagant when we are pinched for healthy food. It is true that when we drink them we do not feel as hungry as we do without them. The sensation of hunger is nature's sure sign that the body needs a new supply of food because the last has been exhausted; the change of the nourishing qualities of food into strength is always going on as long as any remains in the system; the use of tea, coffee, and alcohol, hinders this change, and consequently we are less hungry when we use them than when we do without them. Tea and coffee are certainly important aids to the cheerfulness and comfort of home; and when the first stage of economy, where every penny must be counted, has passed, we do not know of any pleasanter accessory to a meal than a cup of good tea or coffee.

Tea.—The physiological action of very strong tea is marked; moderately used it excites the action of the skin, lungs, and nervous system, and soothes any undue action of the heart; used to excess, it causes indigestion, nervousness, and wakefulness. No doubt its effects are greatly modified by climate, for the Russians drink enormous quantities of very strong, fine tea. A recent war report gives the following account of its use in the army.

"The Russian soldiers are said to live and fight almost wholly upon tea. The Cossacks often carry it about in the shape of bricks, or rather tiles, which, before hardening, are soaked in sheep's blood and boiled in milk, with the addition of flour, butter and salt, so as to constitute a kind of soup. The passion of the Russian for this beverage is simply astonishing. In the depth of winter he will empty twenty cups in succession, at nearly boiling point, until he perspires at every pore, and then, in a state of excitement rush out, roll in the snow, get up and go on to the next similar place of entertainment. So with the army. With every group or circle of tents travels the invariable tea kettle, suspended from a tripod; and it would be in vain to think of computing how many times each soldier's pannikin is filled upon a halt. It is his first idea. Frequently he carries it cold in a copper case as a solace upon the march."

Dr. Edward Smith sums up the physiological action of tea as follows:

"1—A sense of wakefulness.

"2—Clearness of mind, and activity of thought and imagination.

"3—Increased disposition to make muscular exertion.

"4—Reaction, with a sense of exhaustion in the morning following the preceding efforts, and in proportion to them."

Coffee.—The action of coffee is so similar to that of tea that we need not consider it separately; it will be sufficient to remark that the chief points of difference are lessening the action of the skin, increasing the action of the heart, and, when used very strong, aiding digestion to some extent.

Cocoa and Chocolate.—Both these articles are made from the kernels of a tropical fruit, about the size of a cucumber, the fleshy part of which is sometimes used to produce a vinous liquor; they are produced from the seeds of the cocoa palm, and from a kind of ground nut. These kernels consist of gum, starch, and vegetable oil; and are marketed as cocoa shells, which are the husks of the kernel; cocoa nibs, which consist of the crushed nuts; and ground cocoa, which is the kernels ground fine.

Chocolate is the finely ground powder from the kernels, mixed to a stiff paste with sugar, and, sometimes, a little starch. It is very nutritious; when it is difficult to digest remove from its solution the oily cake which will collect upon the surface as it cools. It is so nutritious that a small cake of it, weighing about two ounces, will satisfy hunger; for that reason it is a good lunch for travellers.

Both cocoa and chocolate are very nutritious, and are free from the reactionary influences of tea and coffee. Let us count the cost of these beverages, and see which is the best for us.

One quart of weak tea can be made from three teaspoonfuls, or half an ounce, of tea, (which cost at least one cent;) we must have for general use a gill of milk, (at one cent,) and four teaspoonfuls or one ounce of sugar, (at one cent); thus if we use only the above quantities of milk and sugar, one quart of tea costs three cents; if we increase them it will cost more.

One quart of weak coffee can be made from one ounce, or two tablespoonfuls of coffee, (at a cost of two cents;) two tablespoonfuls or ounces of sugar, (two cents,) and a half a pint of milk, (two cents;) the total cost six cents.

One quart of cocoa can be made from two ounces, or eight tablespoonfuls of cocoa shells, (which cost two cents,) with half a pint of milk, and an ounce of sugar, (at four cents more;) we have a quart of good, nutritious drink at six cents. It is all the better if the shells are boiled gently two or three hours. Of course the nibs, or crushed cocoa, and chocolate, will both produce a correspondingly nutritious beverage.

Beer.—Very poor families sometimes spend every day for beer enough to buy them a good, wholesome meal, because they think it makes them strong. Beer, like all other liquors, is of no value whatever in making strength; it only nerves you up to spend all you can muster under the excitement it causes, and then leaves you weaker than before. What you need when you crave liquor is a good, warm meal. The best doctors say that a man cannot drink more than about a pint and a half of beer a day without injuring his health; and that healthy people, during youth and middle age, do not need it at all. Let it, and all other liquors alone entirely, and you will be better off in health and purse.

Beer for Nursing Women.—It is generally believed that women who drink malt liquor are able to nurse children to greater advantage than those who do not use it. The fact is that while the quantity of milk may be increased, its nourishing quality will be impaired. There may be more milk for the child, but it will be poor. The effect of all malt liquors is to promote the secretion of the fluids of the body, but not to enrich them. Do not drink beer for the sake of your child, but try milk, or milk and water instead, and see if after a fair trial you do not have plenty for the baby, and if it does not grow strong and fat. If milk does not agree with you, or you cannot afford it, use barley water; it will not only give you plenty of milk, but it will nourish you as well as the baby. You will get from it all the nourishment that you may fancy you get from malt liquor, with this advantage: in the barley water you will get all the nutriment of the grain unchanged, while in the form of beer the fermentation has destroyed part of it. The following is a good receipt:

Barley Water.—Thoroughly wash two ounces of pearl barley, (which costs less than two cents,) to remove any musty or bad flavor, put it over the fire in two quarts of cold water, and boil it until it is reduced to one quart; then strain it, cool it, and drink it whenever you are thirsty. A little sugar can be used without hurting the baby.

Milk.—I have already said that milk is the most perfect food; we will now see what it is made of, and how it nourishes the body; and then we can understand how necessary it is to have it pure. The elements of milk which strengthen the whole body are the solid parts that separate in the form of curd when it begins to turn sour; the whey contains the salts and phosphates which strengthen the brain, bones, and digestive organs; the cream is the part which makes us fat. When we remember that cheese is made from the curd of milk we can see why it is so valuable as food, and why a meal of black or brown bread and cheese will satisfy a hungry man.

Try to afford at least a quart of good milk every day. It can be bought in New York now for seven or eight cents a quart; and if the children have plenty of seconds bread, or oatmeal porridge, and a cup of milk, at meal times, they will be strong and rosy.

Skim-milk, butter-milk, and whey, are all excellent foods, and far better drinks than beer or whiskey. Make a plain pudding now and then, with skim-milk, adding an ounce of suet to restore its richness. If the milk has turned a little sour add lime water to it, in the proportion of four tablespoonfuls of the lime water to a quart. If the lime water is added before the milk begins to turn it will help keep it fresh. The following is a good receipt for making lime water:

Lime Water.—Slack four ounces of quick lime with a little water, and gradually add enough water to make a gallon in all; let it stand three hours, then bottle it in glass-stoppered bottles, putting a portion of the undissolved lime in each bottle; when you want to use some, pour off the clear fluid from the top.

Children should never have tea, coffee, or liquor; all these drinks hurt them; give them milk, or milk and water; or pure water, if you cannot afford milk. But you had better scant their clothes than their supply of milk. If you have to limit the supply of food, deny them something else, but give them plenty of bread and scalded milk, and you can keep them healthy.



CHAPTER IV.

BREAD, MACARONI, AND RICE.

Homemade bread is healthier, satisfies hunger better, and is cheaper than bakers' bread. Make bread yourself if you possibly can. Use "middlings" if you can possibly get them; they contain the best elements of wheat. "Household Flour" has similar qualities, but is sometimes made from inferior kinds of wheat. Both are darker and cheaper than fine white flour; and bread made from them takes longer to "rise" than that made from fine flour. Bakers' bread is generally made from poor flour mixed with a little of the better sort; or with a little alum, which added to the wheat grown in wet seasons, keeps the bread from being pasty and poor in taste.

The prices of bakers' bread upon the streets in the eastern and western parts of the city are as follows: ordinary white bread, five cent loaf weighs three quarters of a pound: six cent loaf weighs fourteen ounces: eight cent loaf weighs one pound and ten ounces; black bread, two eight cent loaves weigh, respectively, one pound eight, and one pound ten ounces; fine French bread, eight cent loaf weighs three quarters of a pound; in the French quarter a six cent loaf weighs one pound. We advise the purchase of new flour in preference to old, because, unless flour is cooled and dried before it is packed, the combined action of heat and dampness destroys its gluten, and turns it sour; gluten is the nutritive part of the flour, that which makes it absorb water, and yield more bread. If you do not have a good oven, your bread can be baked at the baker's for about a cent a loaf. When bread is made too light it is tasteless, and lacks nourishment, because the decay caused in the elements of the flour used to make it by the great quantity of yeast employed, destroys the most nutritious parts of it. A pint of milk in a batch of four loaves of bread gives you a pound more bread of better quality, and helps to make it moist. Scalded skim milk will go as far as fresh whole milk, and you can use the cream for some other dish. One pound of pea-meal, or ground split-peas, added to every fourteen pounds of flour used for bread increases its nourishment, and helps to satisfy hunger.

Keep your bread in a covered earthen jar; when it is too stale to eat, or make into bread broth, dry it in a cool oven, or over the top of the fire, roll it with a rolling-pin, sift it through a sieve, and save the finest crumbs to roll fish or chops in for frying, and the largest for puddings. If a whole loaf is stale put it into a tight tin can, and either steam it, or put it into a moderately warm oven for half an hour; it will then be as good as fresh bread to the taste, and a great deal more healthy.

A good allowance of bread each day is as follows: for a man two pounds, costing six cents; for boys and women one pound and a half, costing five cents; for children a pound each, costing three cents.

Homemade Bread.—Put seven pounds of flour into a deep pan, and make a hollow in the centre; into this put one quart of lukewarm water, one tablespoonful of salt, one teaspoonful of sugar, and half a gill of yeast; have ready three pints more of warm water, and use as much of it as is necessary to make a rather soft dough, mixing and kneading it well with both hands. When it is smooth and shining strew a little flour upon it, lay a large towel over it folded, and set it in a warm place by the fire for four or five hours to rise; then knead it again for fifteen minutes, cover it with the towel, and set it to rise once more; then divide it into two or four loaves, and bake it in a quick oven. This quantity of flour will make eight pounds of bread, and will require one hour's baking to two pounds of dough. It will cost about thirty cents, and will last about two days and a half for a family of six. In cold weather, the dough should be mixed in a warm room, and not allowed to cool while rising; if it does not rise well, set the pan containing it over a large vessel of boiling water; it is best to mix the bread at night, and let it rise till morning, in a warm and even temperature.

Rice Bread.—Simmer one pound of rice in three quarts of water until the rice is soft, and the water evaporated or absorbed; let it cool until it is only luke-warm; mix into it nearly four pounds of flour, two teaspoonfuls of salt, and four tablespoonfuls of yeast; knead it until it is smooth and shining, let it rise before the fire, make it up into loaves with the little flour reserved from the four pounds, and bake it thoroughly. It will cost about twenty-five cents, and make more than eight pounds of excellent bread.

Potato Bread.—Take good, mealy boiled potatoes, in the proportion of one-third of the quantity of flour you propose to use, pass them through a coarse sieve into the flour, using a wooden spoon and adding enough cold water to enable you to pass them through readily; use the proper quantity of yeast, salt, and water, and make up the bread in the usual way. It will cost about twenty-four cents if you use the above quantities, and give you eight pounds or more of good bread.

Pulled Bread.—Take from the oven an ordinary loaf of bread when it is about half baked, and with the fingers, while it is yet hot, pull it apart in egg-sized pieces of irregular shape; throw them upon tins, and bake them in a slow oven to a rich brown color. This bread is excellent to eat with cheese or wine. An ordinary sized loaf, costing about three cents makes a large panful.

Bread made with Baking Powder.—Where bread is made with baking powder the following rules should be closely observed: if any shortening be used, it should be rubbed into the flour before it is wet; cold water or sweet milk should always be used to wet it, and the dough should be kneaded immediately, and only long enough to thoroughly mix it and form it in the desired shape; it should then be placed in a well-heated oven and baked quickly—otherwise the carbonic acid gas will escape before the expanded cells are fixed in the bread, and thus the lightness of the loaf will be impaired.

Breakfast Rolls.—Mix well by sifting together half a pound of flour, (cost two cents,) a heaping teaspoonful of baking powder, a level teaspoonful of salt, and a heaping teaspoonful of sugar, (cost one cent;) rub into a little of the above one ounce of lard, (cost one cent,) mix it with the rest of the flour, and quickly wet it up with enough cold milk to enable you to roll it out about half an inch thick, (cost two cents;) cut out the dough with a tin shape or with a sharp knife, in the form of diamonds, lightly wet the top with water, and double them half over. Put them upon a tin, buttered and warmed, and bake them in a hot oven. This receipt will cost about six cents, and will make about nine good sized rolls.

Tea Biscuit.—Mix as above, using the same proportions, and cutting out with a biscuit-cutter; when they are baked, wash them over with cold milk, and return them to the oven for a moment to dry. The cost is the same.

Macaroni.—This is a paste made from the purest wheat flour and water; it is generally known as a rather luxurious dish among the wealthy; but it should become one of the chief foods of the people, for it contains more gluten, or the nutritious portion of wheat, than bread. It is one of the most wholesome and economical of foods, and can be varied so as to give a succession of palatable dishes at a very small cost. The imported macaroni can be bought at Italian stores for about fifteen cents a pound; and that quantity when boiled yields nearly four times its bulk, if it has been manufactured for any length of time. Good macaroni is yellow or brownish in color; white sorts are always poor. It should never be soaked or washed before boiling, or put into cold or lukewarm water; wipe it carefully, break it in whatever lengths you want it, and put it into boiling water, to every quart of which half a tablespoonful of salt is added; you can boil an onion with it if you like the flavor; as soon as it is tender enough to yield easily when pressed between the fingers, drain it in a colander, saving its liquor for the next day's broth, and lay it in cold water until you want to use it. When more macaroni has been boiled than is used it can be kept perfectly good by laying it in fresh water, which must be changed every day. After boiling the macaroni as above, you can use it according to any of the following directions. Half a pound of uncooked macaroni will make a large dishful.

Macaroni, Farmers' Style.—Boil half a pound of macaroni as above, and while you are draining it from the cold water, stir together over the fire one ounce each of butter and flour, and as soon as they bubble gradually pour into the sauce they make, a pint of boiling water, beating it with a fork or egg whip until it is smooth; season it with a level teaspoonful of salt and a level saltspoonful of pepper, and put the macaroni in it to heat; then cut an onion in small shreds, and brown it over the fire in a very little fat; when both are done dish the macaroni, and pour the onion out of the frying pan upon it. It is excellent; and ten cents will cover the cost of all of it.

Macaroni with Broth.—Put half a pound of macaroni, boiled as above and washed in cold water, over the fire with any kind of broth, or one pint of cold gravy and water; season it to taste with pepper and salt, and let it heat slowly for an hour, or less if you are in a hurry; then lay it on a flat dish, strew over it a few bread crumbs, which you will almost always have on hand if you save all the bits I speak of in the article on BREAD; then set the dish in the oven, or in front of the fire to brown. It will cost less than ten cents, and be delicious and very hearty.

Macaroni with White Sauce.—Warm half a pound of macaroni, boiled and washed in cold water, as above, in the following sauce, and use it as soon as it is hot. Stir together over the fire one ounce each of butter and flour, pouring in one pint of boiling water and milk, as soon as the butter and flour are mixed; season it with salt and pepper to taste, and put the macaroni into it. This dish costs less than ten cents, and is very good and wholesome.

Macaroni with Cheese.—Boil half a pound of macaroni, as above, put into a pudding dish in layers with quarter of a pound of cheese, (cost four cents,) grated and mixed between the layers; season it with pepper and salt to taste; put a very little butter and some bread crumbs over it, and brown it in the oven. It will make just as hearty and strengthening a meal as meat, and will cost about twelve cents.

Macaroni Milanaise Style.—Have ready some sauce, made according to the receipt for Tomato Sauce given below, or use some fresh tomatoes passed through a sieve with a wooden spoon, and highly seasoned, and two ounces of grated cheese; put half a pound of imported Italian macaroni, (cost eight cents,) in three quarts of boiling water, with two tablespoonfuls of salt, one saltspoonful of pepper, and a teaspoonful of butter, (cost one cent;) boil rapidly for about twenty minutes, then drain it in a colander, run plenty of cold water from the faucet through it, and lay it in a pan of cold water until you are ready to use it. Put into a sauce-pan one gill of tomato sauce, (cost two cents,) one ounce of butter, (cost two cents,) and one gill of any meat gravy free from fat, and stir until they are smoothly blended: put a half inch layer of macaroni on the bottom of a dish, moisten it with four tablespoonfuls of the sauce, sprinkle over it half an ounce of the grated cheese; make three other layers like this, using all the macaroni, cheese, and sauce, and brown the macaroni in a hot oven for about five minutes; serve it hot. It will cost about thirteen cents.

Macaroni with Tomato Sauce.—Boil half a pound of macaroni as already directed, and lay it in cold water. Make a tomato sauce as follows, and dress the macaroni with it, using only enough to moisten it, and sprinkling the top with an ounce of grated cheese, (cost one cent;) serve it hot.

Tomato Sauce.—Boil together for one hour quarter of a can of tomatoes, or six large fresh ones, (cost five cents,) one gill of broth of any kind, one sprig of thyme, one sprig of parsley, three whole cloves, three peppercorns, and half an ounce of onion sliced; (cost two cents;) rub them through a sieve with a wooden spoon, and set the sauce to keep hot; mix together over the fire one ounce of butter, and half an ounce of flour, (cost two cents,) and when smooth incorporate with the tomato sauce. The cost of the tomato sauce will be about ten cents, and of the entire dish about eighteen cents. If you do not wish to use all the tomato sauce, and you do not need to, save it to use with fried chops of any kind.

Rice.—Rice is largely composed of starch, and for that reason is less nutritious than flour, oatmeal, Indian meal, or macaroni; but it is a wholesome and economical food when used with a little meat broth, drippings, or molasses. It is a very safe food for children, especially if used with a little molasses. The following is an excellent supper dish.

Rice Panada.—Boil half a pound of rice, (which costs five cents,) quarter of a pound of suet, (at two cents,) with one tablespoonful of salt, and one of sugar, (cost one cent,) fast in boiling water for fifteen minutes; meantime mix half a pound of flour, (cost two cents,) gradually with one quart of water, and one gill of molasses, (cost two cents;) stir this into the boiling rice, and boil it for about five minutes; this makes a nice supper of over five pounds of good, nutritious food for twelve cents.

Boiled Rice.—Another good dish of rice for supper can be made as follows. Wash half a pound of rice (cost five cents,) throw it into one quart of boiling water, containing two teaspoonfuls of salt, and boil it fast ten minutes; drain it in a colander, saving the water to use with broth next day; meantime just grease the pot with sweet drippings, put the rice back in it, cover it, and set it on a brick on the top of the stove, or in a cool oven, and let it stand ten minutes to swell; be careful not to burn it. The addition of a very little butter, sugar, molasses, nutmeg, lemon juice, or salt and pepper, will give it different flavors; so that you can vary the taste, and have it often without getting tired of it, and it need never cost you over seven cents.

Rice, Milanaise Style.—Fry one ounce of butter, (cost two cents,) light brown; put into it half a pound of rice, (cost five cents,) well picked over, but not washed, and one ounce of onion, chopped fine; stir and brown for about five minutes, then add a pint of gravy from meat, season with a level teaspoonful of salt, quarter that quantity of pepper, and as much cayenne as you can take on the point of a very small pen-knife blade; the onion and seasoning will cost less than two cents; stew gently for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, and serve as soon as the rice is tender. This makes a palatable dish for about ten cents.

Rice, Japanese Style.—Put half a pound of well washed rice into a double kettle, with one pint of milk or water, one heaping teaspoonful of salt, and quarter of a medium sized nutmeg grated; boil it until tender, about forty minutes; if it seems very dry add a little more liquid, taking care not to have it sloppy when it is cooked. When milk is used it may be served with milk and sugar as a breakfast or tea dish; when water takes the place of milk, the addition of an ounce of butter, and half a saltspoonful of pepper makes a nice dinner dish of it.



CHAPTER V.

SOUP.

The value of soup as food cannot be overestimated.

In times of scarcity and distress, when the question has arisen of how to feed the largest number of persons upon the least quantity of food, the aliment chosen has always been soup. There are two reasons for this: first, by the addition of water to the ingredients used we secure the aid of this important agent in distributing nutrition equally throughout the blood, to await final absorption; and, second, we gain that sense of repletion so necessary to the satisfaction of hunger—the fact being acknowledged that the sensation we call hunger is often allayed by the presence of even innutritious substances in the stomach.

Good soup is literally the juice of any ingredient from which it is made—the extract of the meat, grains, or vegetables composing it. The most economical of soups, eaten with bread, will satisfy the hunger of the hardest worker. The absolute nutritive value of soup depends, of course, upon its ingredients; and these can easily be chosen in reference to the maintenance of health. For instance, the pot-liquor in which meat has been boiled needs only the addition of a few dumplings or cereals, and seasoning, to form a perfect nutriment. That produced from skin and bones can be made equally palatable and nutritious by boiling with it a few vegetables and sweet herbs, and some rice, barley, or oatmeal. Even the gelatinous residue produced by long-continued boiling, without the presence of any foreign matter, is a useful emollient application to the inflamed mucous surfaces in some diseases, while it affords at the same time the degree of distention necessary to prevent flatulency.

The time required to make the most palatable and nutritious soup is short. Lean meat should be chopped fine, placed in cold water, in the proportion of a pint to each pound, slowly heated, and thoroughly skimmed. Five minutes' boiling will extract from the meat every particle of its nutriment and flavor. The liquor can then be strained off, seasoned, and eaten with bread, biscuit, or vegetables. Peas or beans boiled and added to the soup make it the most perfect food for sustaining health and strength. It is the pure juice of the meat and contains all its savory and life-giving principles.

If your family is large, it will be well for you to keep a clean saucepan, or pot on the back of the stove to receive all the clean scraps of meat, bones, and remains of poultry and game, which are found in every kitchen; but vegetables should not be put into it, as they are apt to sour. The proper proportions for soup are one pound of meat and bone to one and a half quarts of cold water; the meat and bones to be well chopped and broken up, and put over the fire in cold water, being brought slowly to a boil, and carefully skimmed as often as any scum rises; and being maintained at a steady boiling point from two to six hours, as time permits; one hour before the stock is done, add to it one carrot and one turnip pared, one onion stuck with three cloves, and a bouquet of sweet herbs.

When soup is to be boiled six hours you must allow two quarts of water to every pound of meat, and you must see that the pot boils slowly and regularly, and is well skimmed. When you want to keep soup from one meal to another, or over night, you must pour it into an earthen pot, or bowl, because it will turn by being allowed to remain in the metal pot.

I shall give you first some receipts for making soups without meat, and then some of the cheapest meat soups I have tried. The first is very cheap and nutritious, and should be served at meals where no meat is to be used; bread, and a cheap pudding, will be sufficient to use with it.

Scotch Broth without Meat.—Steep four ounces of pearl barley, (cost three cents,) over night in cold water, and wash it well in fresh water; cut in dice half an inch square, six ounces of yellow turnip, six ounces of carrot, four ounces of onion, two ounces of celery, or use in its place quarter of a saltspoonful of celery seed, (cost of all about one cent,) put all these into two and a half quarts of boiling water, season with a teaspoonful of salt, quarter of a saltspoonful of pepper, and as much cayenne as you can take up on the point of a very small pen-knife blade, (cost one cent;) boil slowly for two hours; then stir in quarter of a pound of oatmeal, (cost two cents,) mixed to a smooth batter with cold water, see if seasoning be correct, add two or three grates of nutmeg, and boil half an hour. Meantime, cut two slices of bread, (cost one cent,) in half inch dice, fry light brown in hot fat, (cost two cents,) and lay the bits in the soup tureen; when the soup is ready pour it over them, and serve. This soup, which costs only about ten cents, is palatable as well as economical.

Pea Soup.—Use half a pint, or seven ounces of dried peas, (cost three cents,) for every two quarts of soup you want. Put them in three quarts of cold water, after washing them well; bring them slowly to a boil; add a bone, or bit of ham, if you have it to spare, one turnip, and one carrot peeled, one onion stuck with three cloves, (cost three cents,) and simmer three hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning; then pass the soup through a sieve with the aid of a potato-masher, and if it shows any sign of settling stir into it one tablespoonful each of butter and flour mixed together dry, (cost two cents;) this will prevent settling; meantime fry some dice of stale bread, about two slices, cut half an inch square, in hot fat, drain them on a sieve, and put them in the bottom of the soup tureen in which the pea soup is served; or cut some bits of very hard stale bread, or dry toast, to use instead of the fried bread. By the time the soup is done it will have boiled down to two quarts, and will be very thick and good. This receipt will cost you about ten cents.

Thick Pea Soup.—Fry one sliced onion, (cost half a cent,) in one ounce of suet or drippings, (cost half a cent,) using an iron pot to fry it in; as soon as it is brown, put into the same pot, three quarts of cold water, one pint, or fourteen ounces of well washed peas, (cost five cents,) and boil as above; this quantity of peas does not need any crusts in the soup; it will be thick enough; but bread may be eaten with it, if you want it. This soup costs six cents.

Bean Soup.—For this, use the receipt for pea soup, using beans instead of peas; the cost will be about the same.

Lentil Soup.—For two quarts of soup half a pint of yellow lentils, (cost five cents,) washed, and put to boil in three pints of cold water, with one cents' worth of soup greens, and boiled gently until the lentils are soft enough to break between the fingers; every half hour a gill of cold water should be added, and the lentils again raised to a boiling point, until they are done; they should then be passed through a sieve with a wooden spoon, using enough of the liquor to make them pass easy, and mixed with the rest of the soup; it should be seasoned with salt and pepper, and is then ready to simmer for half an hour, and serve hot, with dice of fried bread half an inch square, like those used for pea soup, or with bits of stale bread. A plentiful dinner of lentil soup and bread costs only about ten cents.

Onion Soup.—Chop half a quart of onions, (cost three cents,) fry them brown, in a large saucepan, with two ounces of drippings, stirring until they are well browned, but not burned; then stir in half a pound, or a little less, of oatmeal, (cost three cents,) add three quarts of water, and season to taste with pepper and salt; (the drippings and seasoning cost one cent;) while the soup is boiling, which must be for about twenty minutes, with occasional stirring, toast a third of a six cent loaf of bread, cut it in half inch bits, lay it in the soup tureen; and, when the soup is ready pour it on the toast. The soup will cost about ten cents, and is extremely nourishing.

Spinach Soup.—Put one quart of spinach, (cost five cents,) to boil in a large pot, full of boiling water, well salted with two tablespoonfuls of salt; cover until it boils up once; then remove the cover, and with a wooden spoon press the spinach under water as fast as it rises to the surface; boil it steadily only until it is tender; then drain it; run plenty of cold water from the faucet over it, while it is still in the colander; drain it again, chop it fine, and pass it through a kitchen sieve with the aid of a wooden spoon; boil one quart of milk, (cost eight cents,) and one quart of water; add the spinach to it, thicken it by stirring in two tablespoonfuls of corn starch dissolved in cold milk; season it with one teaspoonful of salt, quarter of a saltspoonful of white pepper, and the same of nutmeg; (cost of seasoning one cent,) and serve it as soon as it boils up. It costs only fifteen cents, and is delicious.

Soup can be made from any green vegetable or herb in the same way.

Vegetable Soup.—The following is the receipt given by the celebrated FRANCATELLI for a cheap vegetable soup: Put six quarts of water to boil in a large pot with quarter of a pound of suet, or two ounces of drippings, (cost about two cents,) season it with a level tablespoonful of salt, half a teaspoonful of pepper, and a few sprigs of parsley and dried herbs, (cost of seasoning one cent;) while it is boiling prepare about ten cents' worth of cabbage, turnips, beans, or any cheap vegetables in season; throw them into the boiling soup, and when they have boiled up thoroughly, set the pot at the side of the fire, where it will simmer, for about two hours. Then take up some of the vegetables without breaking, and use them with any gravy you may have on hand, or with quarter of a pound of bacon, (cost four cents,) sliced and fried, for the bulk of the meal; the soup after being seasoned to taste can be eaten with bread, at the beginning of the meal, the whole of which can be provided for about twenty cents.

Vegetable Porridge.—Pare and slice thin ten cents' worth of carrots, turnips, onions, and parsnips, and put them into three quarts of water, with a few sprigs of parsley and dried herbs; season them with half a tablespoonful of salt, and quarter of a teaspoonful of pepper, and let them boil till very soft, two hours or more; then rub them all through a colander, return the porridge to the pot, and set it over the fire to heat, stirring it to prevent burning. Use it with bread; it will cost about fifteen cents for enough for a hearty meal.

Rice Milk.—Put half a pound of well-washed rice into two quarts of boiling water, with two ounces of sweet drippings, a teaspoonful of salt, and a bit of cinnamon, or lemon peel, and let all boil gently about an hour; then add one quart of milk, and stir the rice for about ten minutes. A little sugar or molasses may be added if you want it sweet. It makes an excellent breakfast or supper dish, and costs about fifteen cents.

Fish Soup.—Make this soup from any rich, glutinous fish, such as cod's head, halibut neck, flounders, skate, or any cheap fish which is in season, and which you can buy for five or six cents a pound. Chop one or two onions, fry them in a pot with two ounces of drippings, till light brown; season with a level tablespoonful of salt, half a teaspoonful of pepper, and a teaspoonful of sweet herbs of any kind, then add two quarts of hot water, and let all boil for ten minutes; meantime mix quarter of a pound of oatmeal with one pint of cold water, and wash and cut in two-inch pieces about two pounds of fish; when the soup has boiled ten minutes, put the fish into it, and carefully stir in the oatmeal; let it boil twenty minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning; it will then be ready to use. The seasoning, drippings, and oatmeal, will cost about five cents, and the fish ten more; with the addition of bread and potatoes, say five cents' worth of either, it makes an excellent meal, costing about twenty cents.

Fish Chowder.—Fry together in the bottom of a saucepan four ounces of salt pork and two onions sliced; when brown season with a teaspoonful of sweet herbs, and a very little salt and pepper; meantime peel and slice half a dozen medium-sized potatoes, and lay them in cold water; and cut in small slices two pounds of any fish which costs about five cents per pound; when the onions and pork are brown, put the potatoes and fish upon them in layers, seasoning with a level tablespoonful of salt, and half a teaspoonful of pepper; pour over all cold water enough to cover the ingredients, and let them cook twenty minutes after they begin to boil; soak half a pound of sea-biscuit in cold water, and when the chowder is nearly done lay them on it, and pour over them half a pint of milk; in five minutes the chowder will be ready to use. The onions, pork, and seasoning will cost five cents; the potatoes, crackers and milk five more; and the fish ten cents; total for two quarts of good chowder twenty cents.

Mutton Broth.—Put two pounds of a jointed neck of mutton, (cost twelve cents,) in two and a half quarts of cold water, and let it boil slowly; skim it carefully, season it with a level tablespoonful of salt, half a teaspoonful of pepper, and the same of sweet herbs; then add one quart of yellow turnips, peeled and quartered, (cost three cents,) and four ounces of well washed pearl barley, (cost two cents,) and boil about an hour longer, or until the turnips and barley are tender. Take up the meat on a platter, lay the turnips around it, and pour the broth and barley into a soup tureen. The broth, meat and vegetables will cost seventeen cents, and will make a good dinner with the addition of bread; or you can use the mutton and turnips for one meal, and keep the broth and barley for another.

Veal Broth.—Make this as you would the mutton broth, using a knuckle of veal, (which costs ten cents,) instead of the neck of mutton, and a quarter of a pound of rice, (which costs two or three cents,) instead of barley; omit the turnips. You will have a good, nutritious, broth for about thirteen cents.

White Broth.—Cut two pounds of the neck of veal, (cost twelve cents,) in cutlets, and put it in a sauce pan with two ounces of salt pork, (cost two cents,) a level tablespoonful of salt, half a teaspoonful of pepper, one onion chopped, six whole cloves, and half a pint of water; (the seasoning will cost about one cent;) boil these ingredients for ten minutes, stirring often enough to prevent burning, then add two and a half quarts of hot water, and skim the broth thoroughly as soon as it boils up; let it simmer for half an hour, when take up the meat, reserving it for stew, strain the broth, let it boil up again, and then put into it a quarter of a pound of macaroni, (cost four cents,) and boil it for half an hour longer. While it is boiling put the meat with half a quart of peeled and quartered potatoes, (cost two cents,) a teaspoonful of salt, and a pint of boiling water into a sauce pan and let them cook as long as the macaroni. Serve the stew by itself, and the broth and macaroni in a soup tureen. With bread these two dishes make a good dinner, at a cost of about twenty-five cents. You can sometimes use rice or dumplings instead of macaroni.

Cream Soup.—Proceed as for white broth, using the meat for a stew, skimming all the fat off the broth, and then adding to it two tablespoonfuls of flour mixed smooth with half a pint of milk; when the milk and flour are mixed smooth pour into them a gill of the boiling broth, and then add them to the soup; see if the seasoning is right, and boil it ten minutes, stirring it to prevent burning; during this time toast a few slices of stale bread, cut them in dice, and put them in the soup tureen; when the soup is ready pour it over the toast, take up the stew on another dish, and serve both together. They make a good dinner for about twenty-five cents.

Beef Broth.—Put two pounds of lean beef from the neck, (cost twelve cents,) in two and a half quarts of cold water to boil; skim as soon as it boils, and add a level tablespoonful of salt, half a teaspoonful of pepper, quarter of a nutmeg grated, a few sweet herbs, and half a dozen cloves; (cost of seasoning two cents;) boil gently for one hour. At the end of quarter of an hour make as follows some

Norfolk Dumplings.—Mix by sifting together one pound of flour, one teaspoonful of salt, and two of baking-powder, (cost three cents;) make into a soft dough with one egg, half a pint of milk and a very little water, (cost four cents,) and drop them by the tablespoonful in the soup; be careful that the pot does not stop boiling, or the dumplings will be heavy.

At the end of three quarters of an hour stir together over the fire in a large sauce-pan one ounce each of butter and flour, (cost two cents,) and when they are nicely browned, gradually add, and mix with an egg-whip or large fork, a pint of the boiling soup. Take up the meat and dumplings on the same dish, strain the soup into the sauce you have just made, and mix it thoroughly; put a little of it over the meat and dumplings, and serve the rest in the soup tureen; it is very nice with small dice of toast in it.

Both dishes make an excellent dinner, at a cost of about twenty-five cents, including bread.

Meat Brewis.—This palatable dish is made by putting the thick upper or under crust of a stale loaf of bread into the pot when any meat or soup is boiling, and letting it remain about five minutes to thoroughly absorb the broth; it should then be taken out as whole as possible, and eaten at once. It is satisfactory, nutritious and economical; enough for a hearty meal costing not more than five cents.



CHAPTER VI.

PEAS, BEANS, LENTILS, AND MAIZE.

Before giving you receipts for cooking peas, beans, and lentils, I want to show you how important they are as foods. I have already spoken of the heat and flesh forming properties of food as the test of its usefulness; try to understand that a laboring man needs twelve ounces and a half of heat food, and half an ounce of flesh-food every day to keep him healthy. One pound, or one and a quarter pints of dried peas, beans, or lentils, contains nearly six ounces of heat food, and half an ounce of flesh food; that is, nearly as much heat-food, and more than twice as much flesh food as wheat. A little fat, salt meat, or suet, cooked with them, to bring up their amount of heat-food to the right point, makes either of them the best and most strengthening food a workingman can have. The only objection to their frequent use is the fact that their skins are sometimes hard to digest; but if you make them into soup, or pudding, rubbing them through a sieve after they are partly cooked, you will be safe from any danger.

Oatmeal and Peas.—Cut quarter of a pound of fat pork or bacon, (cost four cents,) into pieces half an inch square; put it in the bottom of a pot with two sliced onions, (cost one cent,) and fry ten minutes without burning; season with two teaspoonfuls of salt, one of sugar, and one saltspoonful of pepper; (cost of seasoning one cent;) then add three quarts of cold water, and one pint of peas, (cost five cents,) and boil the whole gently until the peas become quite soft; then stir in enough oatmeal to thicken, about a quarter of a pound, (cost two cents or less;) simmer for twenty minutes, and then eat hot. It is the healthiest kind of a meal, and costs thirteen cents, or less.

Peas-Pudding.—Soak one pint of dried peas, (cost five cents,) in cold water over night; tie them loosely in a clean cloth, and boil them about two hours in pot-liquor or water, putting them into it cold and bringing them gradually to a boil; drain them, pass them through a sieve with a wooden spoon, season them with a level tablespoonful of salt, half a saltspoonful of pepper, one ounce of butter, and one egg, (all of which will cost five cents,) mix, tie in a clean cloth, and boil half an hour longer; then turn it from the cloth on a dish, and serve hot. This receipt makes a good large pudding for ten cents; or you can leave out the egg and it will cost less.

Peas and Bacon.—Put one pound of bacon, (cost twelve cents,) to boil in two and a half quarts of cold water, with one pint of dried peas, (cost five cents;) when the peas are soft, drain them, press them through a sieve, lay them neatly on a flat dish, place the bacon on them, and set them in the oven to brown. Meantime strain any water which may remain after boiling them, and thicken it over the fire with Indian meal, in the proportion of four or five tablespoonfuls to each pint, so as to make it thick enough to cut and fry when cold; boil it about one hour, and then cool it.

As soon as the peas and bacon are brown, serve them with boiled potatoes or bread, (about five cents' worth of either;) they make a good dinner, and with the hasty pudding, cost only about twenty-five cents.

Baked Peas.—Proceed as directed for peas-pudding, only instead of putting the peas again in the cloth put them in a pudding-dish, and brown them in the oven. A large dish costs only ten cents.

Peas and Onions.—Proceed as directed for peas pudding, omitting the egg, and substituting for it an onion chopped and fried in an ounce of drippings; bake as in the previous receipt. The cost will be about ten cents, and the dish is exceedingly nutritious.

Baked Beans.—Put one pint of dried beans, (cost six cents,) and quarter of a pound of salt pork, (cost four cents,) into two quarts of cold water; bring them to a boil, and boil them slowly for about twenty minutes; then put the beans, with about a teacupful of the water they were boiled in, into an open jar, season them with salt and pepper to taste, and one tablespoonful of molasses, (cost of seasoning one cent,) lay the pork on the top, and bake two hours, or longer. The dish will cost about ten cents, and is palatable and nutritious. The liquor in which the beans were boiled should be saved, and used the next morning as broth, with seasoning and a little fried or toasted bread in it.

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