WOMAN'S INSTITUTE LIBRARY OF COOKERY
POULTRY AND GAME
FISH AND SHELL FISH
WOMAN'S INSTITUTE OF DOMESTIC ARTS AND SCIENCES, Inc.
This volume, which is the third of the Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, includes soups and the high-protein foods, meat, poultry, game, and fish. It therefore contains information that is of interest to every housewife, for these foods occupy an important place in the majority of meals.
In her study of Soup, she will come to a thorough appreciation of the place that soup occupies in the meal, its chief purposes, and its economic value. All the different kinds of soups are classified and discussed, recipes for making them, as well as the stocks used in their preparation, receiving the necessary attention. The correct serving of soup is not overlooked; nor are the accompaniments and garnishes so often required to make the soup course of the meal an attractive one.
In Meat, Parts 1 and 2, are described the various cuts of the different kinds of meat—beef, veal, lamb, mutton, and pork—and the part of the animal from which they are obtained, the way in which to judge a good piece of meat by its appearance, and what to do with it from the time it is purchased until all of it is used. All the methods applicable to the cooking of meats are emphasized in this section. Supplementing the text are numerous illustrations showing the ways in which meat cuts are obtained. Besides, many of them are so reproduced that actual cuts of meat may be readily recognized. Equipped with this knowledge, the housewife need give no concern to the selection, care, and cooking of every variety of meat.
In Poultry and Game, the selection and preparation of all kinds of poultry receive attention. While such food is somewhat of a luxury in a great many homes, it helps to relieve the monotony of the usual protein foods, and it often supplies just what is desired for special occasions. Familiarity with poultry and game is a decided asset to any housewife, and success with their cooking and serving is assured through a study of this text, for every step in their preparation is clearly explained and illustrated.
In Fish and Shell Fish, the other high-protein food is treated in full as to its composition, food value, purchase, care, and preparation. Such interesting processes as the boning, skinning, and filleting of fish are not only carefully explained but clearly illustrated. In addition to recipes for fresh, salt, smoked, and canned fish are given directions for the preparation of all edible shell fish and recipes for the various stuffings and sauces served with fish.
Too much cannot be said about the importance of the subjects covered in this volume and the necessity for a thorough understanding of them on the part of every housewife. Indeed, a mastery of them will mean for her an acquaintance with the main part of the meal, and when she knows how to prepare these foods, the other dishes will prove a simple matter.
SOUP Value of Soup Classification of Soups Uses and Varieties of Soup Stock The Stock Pot Principal Ingredients in Soup Processes Involved in Making Stock Serving Soup Recipes for Soup and Soup Accompaniments Stocks and Clear Soups Heavy Thick Soups Cream Soups Purees Chowders Soup Accompaniments and Garnishes
MEAT Value of Meat as Food Structure and Composition of Meat Purchase and Care of Meat Purposes of Cooking Meat Methods of Cooking Meat Time Required for Cooking Meat Beef—General Characteristics Cuts of Beef Steaks and Their Preparation Roasts and Their Preparation Preparation of Stews and Corned Beef Beef Organs and Their Preparation Making Gravy Trying Out Suet and Other Fats Preparation of Left-Over Beef Veal Cuts of Veal and Their Uses Veal Cuts and Their Preparation Veal Organs and Their Preparation Preparation of Left-Over Veal Mutton and Lamb—Comparison Cuts of Mutton and Lamb Preparation of Roasts, Chops, and Stews Preparation of Left-Over Lamb and Mutton Pork Cuts of Pork Fresh Pork and Its Preparation Cured Pork and Its Preparation Preparation of Left-Over Pork Serving and Carving of Meat Sausages and Meat Preparations Principles of Deep-Fat Frying Application of Deep-Fat Frying Timbale Cases
POULTRY AND GAME Poultry as a Food Selection of Poultry Selection of Chicken Selection of Poultry Other Than Chicken Composition of Poultry Preparation of Chicken for Cooking Preparation of Poultry Other Than Chicken for Cooking Cooking of Poultry Stuffing for Roast Poultry Boned Chicken Dishes from Left-Over Poultry Serving and Carving of Poultry Game Recipes for Game
FISH AND SHELL FISH Fish in the Diet Composition and Food Value of Fish Purchase and Care of Fish Cleaning Fish Boning Fish Skinning Fish Filleting Fish Methods of Cooking Fish Recipes for Fish Sauces and Stuffings Recipes for Fresh Fish Recipes for Salt and Smoked Fish Recipes for Canned Fish Recipes for Left-Over Fish Shell Fish—Nature, Varieties, and Use Oysters and Their Preparation Clams and Their Preparation Scallops and Their Preparation Lobsters and Their Preparation Crabs and Their Preparation Shrimp and Their Preparation
SOUP AND ITS PLACE IN THE MEAL
VALUE OF SOUP
1. SOUP is a liquid food that is prepared by boiling meat or vegetables, or both, in water and then seasoning and sometimes thickening the liquid that is produced. It is usually served as the first course of a dinner, but it is often included in a light meal, such as luncheon. While some persons regard the making of soup as difficult, nothing is easier when one knows just what is required and how to proceed. The purpose of this Section, therefore, is to acquaint the housewife with the details of soup making, so that she may provide her family with appetizing and nutritious soups that make for both economy and healthfulness.
2. It is interesting to note the advancement that has been made with this food. The origin of soup, like that of many foods, dates back to practically the beginning of history. However, the first soup known was probably not made with meat. For instance, the mess of pottage for which Esau sold his birthright was soup made of red lentils. Later on meat came to be used as the basis for soup because of the agreeable and appetizing flavor it provides. Then, at one time in France a scarcity of butter and other fats that had been used to produce moistness and richness in foods, brought about such clear soups as bouillon and consomme. These, as well as other liquid foods, found much favor, for about the time they were devised it came to be considered vulgar to chew food. Thus, at various periods, and because of different emergencies, particular kinds of soup have been introduced, until now there are many kinds from which the housewife may choose when she desires a dish that will start a meal in the right way and at the same time appeal to the appetite.
3. VALUE OF SOUP IN THE MEAL.—Not all persons have the same idea regarding the value of soup as a part of a meal. Some consider it to be of no more value than so much water, claiming that it should be fed to none but children or sick persons who are unable to take solid food. On the other hand, many persons believe that soup contains the very essence of all that is nourishing and sustaining in the foods of which it is made. This difference of opinion is well demonstrated by the ideas that have been advanced concerning this food. Some one has said that soup is to a meal what a portico is to a palace or an overture to an opera, while another person, who evidently does not appreciate this food, has said that soup is the preface to a dinner and that any work really worth while is sufficient in itself and needs no preface. Such opinions, however, must be reconciled if the true value of this food is to be appreciated.
4. Probably the best way in which to come to a definite conclusion as to the importance of soup is to consider the purposes it serves in a meal. When its variety and the ingredients of which it is composed are thought of, soup serves two purposes: first, as an appetizer taken at the beginning of a meal to stimulate the appetite and aid in the flow of digestive juices in the stomach; and, secondly, as an actual part of the meal, when it must contain sufficient nutritive material to permit it to be considered as a part of the meal instead of merely an addition. Even in its first and minor purpose, the important part that soup plays in many meals is not hard to realize, for it is just what is needed to arouse the flagging appetite and create a desire for nourishing food. But in its second purpose, the real value of soup is evident. Whenever soup contains enough nutritive material for it to take the place of some dish that would otherwise be necessary, its value cannot be overestimated.
If soup is thought of in this way, the prejudice that exists against it in many households will be entirely overcome. But since much of this prejudice is due to the fact that the soup served is often unappetizing in both flavor and appearance, sufficient attention should be given to the making of soup to have this food attractive enough to appeal to the appetite rather than discourage it. Soup should not be greasy nor insipid in flavor, neither should it be served in large quantities nor without the proper accompaniment. A small quantity of well-flavored, attractively served soup cannot fail to meet the approval of any family when it is served as the first course of the meal.
5. GENERAL CLASSES OF SOUP.—Soups are named in various ways, according to material, quality, etc.; but the two purposes for which soup is used have led to the placing of the numerous kinds into two general classes. In the first class are grouped those which serve as appetizers, such as bouillon, consomme, and some other broths and clear soups. In the second class are included those eaten for their nutritive effect, such as cream soups, purees, and bisques. From these two classes of soup, the one that will correspond with the rest of the meal and make it balance properly is the one to choose. For instance, a light soup that is merely an appetizer should be served with a heavy dinner, whereas a heavy, highly nutritious soup should be used with a luncheon or a light meal.
6. ECONOMIC VALUE OF SOUP.—Besides having an important place in the meal of which it forms a part, soup is very often an economy, for it affords the housewife a splendid opportunity to utilize many left-overs. With the French people, who excel in the art of soup making chiefly because of their clever adaptation of seasoning to foods, their pot-au-feu is a national institution and every kitchen has its stock pot. Persons who believe in the strictest food economy use a stock pot, since it permits left-overs to be utilized in an attractive and palatable way. In fact, there is scarcely anything in the way of fish, meat, fowl, vegetables, and cereals that cannot be used in soup making, provided such ingredients are cared for in the proper way. Very often the first glance at the large number of ingredients listed in a soup recipe creates the impression that soup must be a very complicated thing. Such, however, is not the case. In reality, most of the soup ingredients are small quantities of things used for flavoring, and it is by the proper blending of these that appetizing soups are secured.
CLASSIFICATION OF SOUPS
7. The two general classes of soup already mentioned permit of numerous methods of classification. For instance, soups are sometimes named from the principal ingredient or an imitation of it, as the names potato soup, beef soup, macaroni soup, mock-turtle soup testify. Again, both stimulating and nutritious soups may be divided into thin and thick soups, thin soups usually being clear, and thick soups, because of their nature, cloudy. When the quality of soups is considered, they are placed in still different classes and are called broth, bisque, consomme, puree, and so on. Another important classification of soups results from the nationality of the people who use them. While soups are classified in other ways, it will be sufficient for all practical purposes if the housewife understands these three principal classes.
8. CLASSES DENOTING CONSISTENCY.—As has already been pointed out, soups are of only two kinds when their consistency is thought of, namely, clear soups and thick soups.
CLEAR SOUPS are those made from carefully cleared stock, or soup foundation, and flavored or garnished with a material from which the soup usually takes its name. There are not many soups of this kind, bouillon and consomme being the two leading varieties, but in order to be palatable, they require considerable care in making.
THICK SOUPS are also made from stock, but milk, cream, water, or any mixture of these may also be used as a basis, and to it may be added for thickening meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, or grain or some other starchy material. Soups of this kind are often made too thick, and as such soups are not appetizing, care must be taken to have them just right in consistency.
9. CLASSES DENOTING QUALITY.—When attention is given to the quality of soup, this food divides itself into several varieties, namely, broth, cream soup, bisque, chowder, and puree.
BROTHS have for their foundation a clear stock. They are sometimes a thin soup, but other times they are made quite thick with vegetables, rice, barley, or other material, when they are served as a substantial part of a meal.
CREAM SOUPS are highly nutritious and are of great variety. They have for their foundation a thin cream sauce, but to this are always added vegetables, meat, fish, or grains.
BISQUES are thick, rich soups made from game, fish, or shell fish, particularly crabs, shrimp, etc. Occasionally, vegetables are used in soup of this kind.
CHOWDERS are soups that have sea food for their basis. Vegetables and crackers are generally added for thickening and to impart flavor.
PUREES are soups made thick partly or entirely by the addition of some material obtained by boiling an article of food and then straining it to form a pulp. When vegetables containing starch, such as beans, peas, lentils, and potatoes, are used for this purpose, it is unnecessary to thicken the soup with any additional starch; but when meat, fish, or watery vegetables are used, other thickening is required. To be right, a puree should be nearly as smooth as thick cream and of the same consistency.
10. CLASSES TYPICAL OF PARTICULAR COUNTRIES.—Certain kinds of soup have been made so universally by the people of various countries that they have come to be regarded as national dishes and are always thought of as typical of the particular people by whom they are used. Among the best known of these soups are Borsch, a soup much used by the Russian people and made from beets, leeks, and sour cream; Daikan, a Japanese soup in which radishes are the principal ingredient; Kouskous, a soup favored by the people of Abyssinia and made from vegetables; Krishara, a rice soup that finds much favor in India; Lebaba, an Egyptian soup whose chief ingredients are honey, butter, and raisin water; Minestra, an Italian soup in which vegetables are combined; Mulligatawny, an Indian rice soup that is flavored with curry; Potroka, another kind of Russian soup, having giblets for its foundation; Soljinka, an entirely different variety of Russian soup, being made from fish and onions; and Tarhonya, a Hungarian soup containing noodles.
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STOCK FOR SOUP
USES AND VARIETIES OF STOCK
11. MEANING AND USE OF STOCK.—In order that soup-making processes may be readily grasped by the housewife, she should be thoroughly familiar with what is meant by stock, which forms the foundation of many soups. In looking into the derivation of this term, it will be found that the word stock comes from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning to stick, and that while it has many different uses, the idea of fixedness is expressed in every one of them. As is generally known, a stock of anything means a reserve supply of that thing stored away for future use. When applied to soup, stock is similar in meaning, for it refers to material stored or prepared in such a way that it may be kept for use in the making of certain kinds of soup. In a more definite sense, soup stock may be regarded as a liquid containing the juices and soluble parts of meat, bone, and vegetables, which have been extracted by long, slow cooking and which can be utilized in the making of soups, sauces, and gravies.
12. Soups in which stock is utilized include all the varieties made from beef, veal, mutton, and poultry. If clear stock is desired for the making of soup, only fresh meat and bones should be used and all material that will discolor the liquid in any way carefully avoided. For ordinary, unclarified soups, the trimmings and bones of roast, steak, or chops and the carcass of fowl can generally be utilized. However, very strongly flavored meat, such as mutton, or the fat from mutton should be used sparingly, if at all, on account of the strong flavor that it imparts.
13. VARIETIES OF STOCK.—Several kinds of stock are utilized in the making of soup, and the kind to employ depends on the soup desired. In determining the kind of stock required for the foundation of a soup, the housewife may be guided by the following classification:
FIRST STOCK is made from meat and bones and then clarified and used for well-flavored, clear soups.
SECOND STOCK is made from the meat and the bones that remain after the first stock is strained off. More water is added to the remaining material, and this is then cooked with vegetables, which supply the needed flavor. Such stock serves very well for adding flavor to a nutritious soup made from vegetables or cereal foods.
HOUSEHOLD STOCK is made by cooking meat and bones, either fresh or cooked, with vegetables or other material that will impart flavor and add nutritive value. Stock of this kind is used for ordinary soups.
BONE STOCK is made from meat bones to which vegetables are added for flavor, and it is used for making any of the ordinary soups.
VEGETABLE STOCK is made from either dried or fresh vegetables or both. Such stock is employed in making vegetable soups.
GAME STOCK is made from the bones and trimmings of game to which vegetables are added for flavor. This kind of stock is used for making game soups.
FISH STOCK is made from fish or fish trimmings to which vegetables are added for flavor. Shell fish make especially good stock of this kind. Fish stock is employed for making chowders and fish soups.
14. ADDITIONAL USES OF STOCK.—As has already been shown, stock is used principally as a foundation for certain varieties of soup. This material, however, may be utilized in many other ways, being especially valuable in the use of left-over foods. Any bits of meat or fowl that are left over can be made into an appetizing dish by adding thickened stock to them and serving the combination over toast or rice. In fact, a large variety of made dishes can be devised if there is stock on hand to add for flavor. The convenience of a supply of stock will be apparent when it is realized that gravy or sauce for almost any purpose can be made from the contents of the stock pot.
15. SOUP EXTRACTS.—If a housewife does not have sufficient time to go through the various processes involved in making soup, her family need not be deprived of this article of diet, for there are a number of concentrated meat and vegetable extracts on the market for making soups quickly. The meat extracts are made of the same flavoring material as that which is drawn from meat in the making of stock. Almost all the liquid is evaporated and the result is a thick, dark substance that must be diluted greatly with water to obtain the basis for a soup or a broth. Some of the vegetable extracts, such as Japanese soy and English marmite, are so similar in appearance and taste to the meat extracts as to make it quite difficult to detect any difference. Both varieties of these extracts may be used for sauces and gravies, as well as for soups, but it should be remembered that they are not highly nutritious and are valuable merely for flavoring.
THE STOCK POT
16. NATURE, USE, AND CARE OF STOCK POT.—Among the utensils used for cooking there is probably none more convenient and useful than the stock pot. It is nothing more or less than a covered crock or pot like that shown in Fig. 1, into which materials that will make a well-flavored stock are put from time to time. From such a supply, stock can be drawn when it is needed for soup; then, when some is taken out, more water and materials may be added to replenish the pot. The stock pot should be made of either enamel or earthenware, since a metal pot of any kind is liable to impart flavor to the food. Likewise, its lid, or cover, should be tight-fitting, for then it will be an excellent utensil in which the materials may be stored until they are to be heated, when they can be poured or dipped into a saucepan or a kettle.
The stock pot, like any other utensil used for making soup, should receive considerable care, as it must be kept scrupulously clean. No stock pot should ever be allowed to stand from day to day without being emptied, thoroughly washed, and then exposed to the air for a while to dry.
17. FOOD SUITABLE FOR THE STOCK POT.—Some one has said that nothing edible is out of place in the stock pot, and, to a great extent, this statement is true. Here should be put the bones from the cooked roast, as well as the trimmings cut from it before it went into the oven; the tough ends and bones of beefsteak; the trimmings or bones sent home by the butcher; the carcasses of fowls, together with any remains of stuffing and tough or left-over bits of meat; any left-over vegetables; the remains of the gravy or any unsweetened sauces used for meats or vegetables; the spoonful of left-over hash, stew, or stuffing; a left-over stuffed tomato or pepper; and the water in which rice, macaroni, or certain vegetables have been cooked. Of course, plain water can be used for the liquid, but the water in which such vegetables as cauliflower, carrots, beans, peas, asparagus, celery, and potatoes have been cooked is especially desirable, for, besides imparting flavor to the soup, it adds valuable mineral salts. However, when such things as left-over cereals, rice, macaroni, and green vegetables are to be utilized in soup, they should not be put in the stock pot; rather, they should be added to the stock after it is removed from the pot.
MAKING OF SOUP
18. The making of the stock that is used in soup is the most important of the soup-making processes; in fact, these two things—soup and stock—may be regarded, in many instances, as one and the same. The housewife will do well, therefore, to keep in mind that whenever reference is made to the making of soup usually stock making is also involved and meant. Before the actual soup-making processes are taken up, however, the nature of the ingredients required should be well understood; for this reason, suitable meats and vegetables, which are the principal ingredients in soups, are first discussed.
19. MEAT USED FOR SOUP MAKING.—With the exception of pork, almost every kind of meat, including beef, veal, mutton, lamb, game, and poultry, is used for soup making. Occasionally, ham is employed, but most other forms of pork are seldom used to any extent. When soup stock is made from these meats, they may be cooked separately, or, as a combination is often an improvement over a single variety, several kinds may be combined. For instance, mutton used alone makes a very strongly flavored soup, so that it is usually advisable to combine this kind of meat with another meat that has a less distinctive flavor. On the other hand, veal alone does not have sufficient flavor, so it must be combined with lamb, game, fowl, or some other well-flavored meat.
20. Certain cuts of meats are preferred to others in the making of soups, because of the difference in their texture. The tender cuts, which are the expensive ones, should not be used for soups, as they do not produce enough flavor. The tough cuts, which come from the muscles that the animal uses constantly and that therefore grow hard and tough, are usually cheaper, but they are more suitable, because they contain the material that makes the best soup. The pieces best adapted to soup making are the shins, the shanks, the lower part of the round, the neck, the flank, the shoulder, the tail, and the brisket. The parts of the animal from which these cuts are taken are clearly shown in Fig. 2. Although beef is obtained from the animal shown, the same cuts come from practically the same places in other animals. Stock made from one of these cuts will be improved if a small amount of the fat of the meat is cooked with it; but to avoid soup that is too greasy, any excess fat that remains after cooking should be carefully removed. The marrow of the shin bone is the best fat for soup making.
If soup is to be made from fish, a white variety should be selected. The head and trimmings may be utilized, but these alone are not sufficient, because soup requires some solid pieces of meat. The same is true of meat bones; they are valuable only when they are used with meat, an equal proportion of bone and meat being required for the best stock.
21. VEGETABLES USED FOR SOUP MAKING.—In soup making, the housewife has also a large number of vegetables from which to select, for any vegetable that has a decided flavor may be used. Among those from which soups can be made successfully are cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, corn, onions, turnips, carrots, parsnips, tomatoes, beans, peas, lentils, salsify, potatoes, spinach, celery, mushrooms, okra, and even sweet potatoes. These vegetables are used for two purposes: to provide flavoring and to form part of the soup itself as well as to furnish flavor. When they are used simply for flavoring, they are cooked until their flavor is obtained and then removed from the stock. When they are to form part of the soup, as well as to impart flavor, they are left in the soup in small pieces or made into a puree and eaten with the soup.
Attention, too, must be given to the condition of the vegetables that are used in soup. The fresh vegetables that are used should be in perfect condition. They should have no decayed places that might taint or discolor the soups, and they should be as crisp and solid as possible. If they are somewhat withered or faded, they can be freshened by allowing them to stand in cold water for a short time. When dried vegetables are to be used for soup making, they should first be soaked well in cold water and then, before being added to the stock, either partly cooked or entirely cooked and made into a puree.
PROCESSES INVOLVED IN MAKING STOCK
22. Although the making of stock or soup is a simple process, it must necessarily be a rather long one. The reason for this is that all flavor cannot be drawn from the soup materials unless they are subjected to long, slow cooking at a temperature lower than the boiling point. With this point definitely understood, the actual work of soup making may be taken up.
23. COOKING MEAT FOR SOUP.—When clear stock is to be made from fresh meat, the required quantity of meat should be cut into small pieces rather than large ones, so as to expose as much of the surface as possible from which the flavor of the meat can be drawn. A little more flavor is obtained and a brown color developed if a small part, perhaps a fourth, of the pieces of meat are first browned in the frying pan. The pieces thus browned, together with the pieces of fresh meat, are put into a kettle and a quart of cold water for each pound of meat is then added.
The reason for using cold rather than hot water will be evident when the action of water on raw meat is understood. The fiber of meat is composed of innumerable thread-like tubes containing the flavor that is to be drawn out into the water in order to make the stock appetizing. When the meat is cut, these tiny tubes are laid open. Putting the meat thus prepared into cold water and allowing it to heat gradually tend to extract the contents of the tubes. This material is known as extractives, and it contains in its composition stimulating substances. On the other hand, plunging the meat into hot water and subjecting it quickly to a high temperature will coagulate the protein in the tissue and prevent the extractives from leaving the tubes.
24. To obtain the most flavor from meat that is properly prepared, it should be put over a slow fire and allowed to come gradually to the boiling point. As the water approaches the boiling point, a scum consisting of coagulated albumin, blood, and foreign material will begin to rise to the top, but this should be skimmed off at once and the process of skimming continued until no scum remains. When the water begins to boil rapidly, either the fire should be lowered or the kettle should be removed to a cooler part of the stove so that the water will bubble only enough for a very slight motion to be observed. Throughout the cooking, the meat should not be allowed to boil violently nor to cease bubbling entirely.
The meat should be allowed to cook for at least 4 hours, but longer if possible. If, during this long cooking, too much water evaporates, more should be added to dilute the stock. The salt that is required for seasoning may be added just a few minutes before the stock is removed from the kettle. However, it is better to add the salt, together with the other seasonings, after the stock has been drawn off, for salt, like heat, has a tendency to harden the tissues of meat and to prevent the flavor from being readily extracted.
25. Although, as has been explained, flavor is drawn from the fibers of meat by boiling it slowly for a long time, the cooking of meat for soup does not extract the nourishment from it to any extent. In reality, the meat itself largely retains its original nutritive value after it has been cooked for soup, although a small quantity of protein is drawn out and much of the fat is removed. This meat should never be wasted; rather, it should be used carefully with materials that will take the place of the flavor that has been cooked from it.
26. FLAVORING STOCK.—It is the flavoring of stock that indicates real skill in soup making, so this is an extremely important part of the work. In fact, the large number of ingredients found in soup recipes are, as a rule, the various flavorings, which give the distinctive flavor and individuality to a soup. However, the housewife whose larder will not produce all of the many things that may be called for in a recipe should not feel that she must forego making a particular kind of soup. Very often certain spices or certain flavoring materials may be omitted without any appreciable difference, or something that is on hand may be substituted for an ingredient that is lacking.
27. The flavorings used most for soup include cloves, peppercorns, red, black, and white pepper, paprika, bay leaf, sage, marjoram, thyme, summer savory, tarragon, celery seed, fennel, mint, and rosemary. While all of these are not absolutely necessary, the majority of them may well be kept on the pantry shelf. In addition, a bottle of Worcestershire sauce should be kept on hand. Celery and parsley, which are also much used for flavoring, can usually be purchased fresh, but as they are scarce at times it is advisable to dry some of the leaves during the season when they can be secured, so as to have a supply when they are not in the market. A small amount of lemon peel often improves soup, so some of this should be kept in store. Another group of vegetables that lend themselves admirably to soup flavoring includes leeks, shallots, chives, garlic, and onions, all of which belong to the same family. They must be used judiciously, however, as a strong flavor of any of them is offensive to most persons.
28. As many of the flavorings used for soup lose their strength when they are exposed to the air, every effort should be made to keep them in good condition. Many of them can be kept an indefinite length of time if they are placed in tightly closed metal boxes or glass jars. Flavorings and spices bought from the grocer or the druggist in paper packages should be transferred to, and enclosed in, a receptacle that will not allow them to deteriorate. If proper attention is given to these materials, the supply will not have to be replenished often; likewise, the cost of a sufficient number to produce the proper flavorings will be very slight.
29. In the use of any of the flavorings mentioned or the strongly flavored vegetables, care should be taken not to allow any one particular flavor to predominate. Each should be used in such quantity that it will blend well with the others. A very good way in which to fix spices and herbs that are to flavor soup is to tie them in a small piece of cheesecloth and drop the bag thus made into the soup pot. When prepared in this way, they will remain together, so that, while the flavor can be cooked out, they can be more readily removed from the liquid than if they are allowed to spread through the contents of the pot. Salt, which is, of course, always used to season soup, should be added in the proportion of 1 teaspoonful to each quart of liquid.
30. REMOVING GREASE FROM SOUP.—A greasy soup is always unpalatable. Therefore, a very important feature of soup making, whether a thin or a thick soup is being made, is the removal of all grease. Various ways of removing grease have been devised, depending on whether the soup is hot or cold. In the case of hot or warm soup, all the grease that it is possible to remove with a spoon may be skimmed from the top, and the remainder then taken up with a piece of clean blotting paper, tissue-paper, or absorbent cotton. Another plan, by which the fat may be hardened and then collected, consists in tying a few small pieces of ice in a piece of cloth and drawing them over the surface of the soup. A very simple method is to allow the soup or stock to become cold, and then remove the fat, which collects on the top and hardens, by merely lifting off the cake that forms.
31. CLEARING SOUP.—Sometimes it is desired to improve the appearance of soup stock, particularly a small amount of soup that is to be served at a very dainty luncheon or dinner. In order to do this, the stock may be treated by a certain process that will cause it to become clear. After being cleared, it may be served as a thin soup or, if it is heavy enough, it may be made into a clear, sparkling jelly into which many desirable things may be molded for salad or for a dish to accompany a heavy course. Clearing soup is rather extravagant; however, while it does not improve the taste, it does improve the appearance.
A very satisfactory way in which to clear stock is to use egg whites and crushed egg shell. To each quart of cold stock should be added the crushed shell and a slightly beaten egg white. These should be mixed well, placed on the fire, and the mixture stirred constantly until it boils. As the egg coagulates, some of the floating particles in the stock are caught and carried to the top, while others are carried to the bottom by the particles of shell as they settle. After the mixture has boiled for 5 or 10 minutes, the top should be skimmed carefully and the stock then strained through a fine cloth. When it has been reheated, the cleared stock will be ready to serve.
32. THICKENING SOUP.—Although thin, clear soups are preferred by some and are particularly desirable for their stimulating effect, thick soups find much favor when they are used to form a substantial part of a meal. Besides giving consistency to soup, thickening usually improves the flavor, but its chief purpose is to give nutritive value to this food. In fact, whenever a soup is thickened, its food value is increased by the ingredient thus added. For this reason, it is advisable to thicken soups when they are desired for any other purpose than their stimulating effect.
33. The substance used to thicken soups may be either a starchy material or food or a puree of some food. The starchy materials generally used for this purpose are plain flour, browned flour, corn starch, and arrowroot flour. Any one of these should be moistened with enough cold water to make a mixture that will pour easily, and then added to the hot liquid while the soup is stirred constantly to prevent the formation of lumps. A sufficient amount of this thickening material should be used to make a soup of the consistency of heavy cream.
The starchy foods that are used for thickening include rice, barley, oatmeal, noodles, tapioca, sago, and macaroni. Many unusual and fancy forms of macaroni can be secured, or the plain varieties of Italian pastes may be broken into small pieces and cooked with the soup. When any of these foods are used, they should be added long enough before the soup is removed to be cooked thoroughly.
Purees of beans, peas, lentils, potatoes, and other vegetables are especially desirable for the thickening of soups, for they not only give consistency, but add nutritive value and flavor as well. Another excellent thickening may be obtained by beating raw eggs and then adding them carefully to the soup just before it is to be served. After eggs have been added for thickening, the soup should not be allowed to boil, as it is liable to curdle.
34. KEEPING STOCK.—Soup stock, like many other foods, spoils quite readily. Therefore, in order to keep it for at least a few days, it must receive proper attention. At all times, the vessel containing stock should be tightly closed and, especially in warm weather, the stock should be kept as cold as possible. Stock that is heavy enough to solidify into a jellylike consistency when it is cold will keep better than stock that remains liquid. The addition of salt or any spicy flavoring also helps to keep stock from deteriorating, because these materials act as preservatives and prevent the action of bacteria that cause spoiling. Bacteria may be kept from entering soup if, instead of removing the grease, it is allowed to form in a solid cake over the top. No matter which of these precautions is taken to prevent stock from spoiling, it should be heated to boiling point once a day when it is to be kept for several days.
35. Soup may be correctly served in several different ways, the method to adopt usually depending on the kind of soup. Thin, clear soups are generally served in bouillon cups, as shown in Fig. 3, which may be placed on the table immediately before the family assembles or passed after the members are seated. Heavier soups may be served at the table from a soup tureen, or each person's portion may be served before the family comes to the table. For soups of this kind, the flat soup plate, like that shown in Fig. 4, is found preferable.
The spoon to be served with soup also depends on the kind of soup, but a larger spoon than a teaspoon is always necessary. When soup is served in a soup plate, a dessert spoon is used, as will be observed in Fig. 4. A bouillon spoon is the best kind to use with any thin soup served in bouillon cups. Such a spoon, as shown in Fig. 3, is about the length of a teaspoon, but has a round bowl.
36. To increase the attractiveness of soup and at the same time make it more appetizing and nutritious, various accompaniments and relishes are served with it. When the accompaniment is in the form of crackers, croutons, or bread sticks, they may be passed after the soup is served, or, as shown in Figs. 3 and 4, a few of them may be placed on the bread-and-butter plate at each person's place. The relishes should be passed while the soup is being eaten. Plain whipped cream or whipped cream into which a little mashed pimiento has been stirred adds much to the flavor and appearance of soup when served on the top of any hot or cold variety. Then, too, many soups, especially vegetable soups, are improved in flavor by the addition of a spoonful of grated cheese, which should be sprinkled into the dish at the time of serving. For this purpose, a hard, dry cheese, such as Parmesan, which can often be purchased already grated in bottles, is the most satisfactory.
37. In summer, clear soups are sometimes served cold, as cold soups are found more desirable for warm weather than hot ones. However, when a soup is intended to be hot, it should be hot when it is ready to be eaten, and every effort should be made to have it in this condition if an appetizing soup is desired. This can be accomplished if the soup is thoroughly heated before it is removed from the stove and the dishes in which it is to be served are warmed before the soup is put into them.
* * * * *
RECIPES FOR SOUP AND SOUP ACCOMPANIMENTS
NECESSITY FOR CAREFUL WORK
38. So that the housewife may put into practice the knowledge she has gained about soup making, there are here given recipes for various kinds of soup. As will be observed, these recipes are classified according to the consistency and nature of the soups, all those of one class being placed in the same group. As it is important, too, for the housewife to know how to prepare the various accompaniments and garnishes that are generally served with soup, directions for the making of these are also given and they follow the soup recipes.
39. In carrying out these recipes, it will be well to note that exactness in fulfilling the requirements and care in working out the details of the recipes are essential. These points cannot be ignored in the making of soup any more than in other parts of cookery, provided successful results and excellent appearance are desired. It is therefore wise to form habits of exactness. For instance, when vegetables are to be cut for soups, they should be cut into pieces of equal size, or, if they are to be diced, they should be cut so that the dice are alike. All the pieces must be of the same thickness in order to insure uniform cooking; if this precaution is not observed, some of the pieces are likely to overcook and fall to pieces before the others are done.
Strict attention should also be given to the preparation of other ingredients and the accompaniments. The meat used must be cut very carefully rather than in ragged, uneven pieces. Noodles, which are often used in soup, may be of various widths; but all those used at one time should be uniform in width—that is, all wide or all narrow. If different widths are used, an impression of careless cutting will be given. Croutons and bread sticks, to be most satisfactory, should be cut straight and even, and, in order to toast uniformly, all those made at one time should be of the same size.
STOCKS AND CLEAR SOUPS
40. Stock for Clear Soup or Bouillon.—A plain, but well-flavored, beef stock may be made according to the accompanying recipe and used as a basis for any clear soup served as bouillon without the addition of anything else. However, as the addition of rice, barley, chopped macaroni, or any other such food will increase the food value of the soup, any of them may be supplied to produce a more nutritious soup. When this stock is served clear, it should be used as the first course in a comparatively heavy meal.
STOCK FOR CLEAR SOUP OR BOUILLON
4 lb. beef 4 qt. cold water 1 medium-sized onion 1 stalk celery 2 sprigs parsley
6 whole cloves 12 peppercorns 1 bay leaf Salt Pepper
Cut the meat into small pieces. Pour the cold water over it, place on a slow fire, and let it come to a boil. Skim off all scum that rises to the top. Cover tightly and keep at the simmering point for 6 to 8 hours. Then strain and remove the fat. Add the onion and celery cut into pieces, the parsley, cloves, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Strain through a cloth.
41. Household Stock.—If it is desired to make a stock that may be kept on hand constantly and that may be used as a foundation for various kinds of soups, sauces, and gravies, or as a broth for making casserole dishes, household stock will be found very satisfactory. Such stock made in quantity and kept in a sufficiently cool place may be used for several days before it spoils. Since most of the materials used in this stock cannot be put to any other particularly good use, and since the labor required in making it is slight, this may be regarded as an extremely economical stock.
3 qt. cold water 3 lb. meat (trimmings of fresh meat, bones, and tough pieces from roasts, steaks, etc.) 1 medium-sized onion 4 cloves 6 peppercorns Herbs Salt Pepper
Pour the cold water over the meat and bones and put them on the fire to cook. When they come to a boil skim well. Then cover and simmer 4 to 6 hours. Add the onion, cloves, peppercorns, and herbs and cook for another hour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Strain and set aside to cool. Remove the fat.
42. White Stock.—An especially nice broth having a delicate flavor and generally used for special functions when an attractive meal is being served to a large number of persons is made from veal and fowl and known as white stock. If allowed to remain in a cool place, this stock will solidify, and then it may be used as the basis for a jellied meat dish or salad.
5 lb. veal 1 fowl, 3 or 4 lb. 8 qt. cold water 2 medium-sized onions 2 Tb. butter 2 stalks celery 1 blade mace Salt Pepper
Cut the veal and fowl into pieces and add the cold water. Place on a slow fire, and let come gradually to the boiling point. Skim carefully and place where it will simmer gently for 6 hours. Slice the onions, brown slightly in the butter, and add to the stock with the celery and mace. Salt and pepper to suit taste. Cook 1 hour longer and then strain and cool. Remove the fat before using.
43. Consomme.—One of the most delicious of the thin, clear broths is consomme. This is usually served plain, but any material that will not cloud it, such as finely diced vegetables, green peas, tiny pieces of fowl or meat, may, if desired, be added to it before it is served. As a rule, only a very small quantity of such material is used for each serving.
4 lb. lower round of beef 4 lb. shin of veal 1/4 c. butter 8 qt. cold water 1 small carrot 1 large onion 2 stalks celery 12 peppercorns 5 cloves 4 sprigs parsley Pinch summer savory Pinch thyme 2 bay leaves Salt Pepper
Cut the beef and veal into small pieces. Put the butter and meat into the stock kettle, and stir over the fire until the meat begins to brown. Add the cold water, and let come to the boiling point. Skim carefully and let simmer for 6 hours. Cut the vegetables into small pieces and add to the stock with the spices and herbs. Cook for 1 hour, adding salt and pepper to suit taste. Strain and cool. Remove the fat and clear according to directions previously given.
44. Tomato Bouillon.—It is possible to make a clear tomato soup without meat stock, but the recipe here given, which is made with meat stock, has the advantage of possessing a better flavor. The tomato in this bouillon lends an agreeable color and flavor and affords a change from the usual clear soup. Cooked rice, macaroni, spaghetti, or vermicelli may be added to tomato bouillon to provide an additional quantity of nutrition and vary the plain soup.
TOMATO BOUILLON (Sufficient to Serve Eight)
1 qt, meat stock 1 tsp. salt 1 Tb. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper 1 can tomatoes
Heat the stock, and to it add the salt, sugar, and pepper. Rub the tomatoes through a fine sieve, and add them to the stock. Cook together for a few minutes and serve.
HEAVY THICK SOUPS
45. Julienne Soup.—A very good way in which to utilize any small quantities of vegetables that may be in supply but are not sufficient to serve alone is to use them in julienne soup. For soup of this kind, vegetables are often cut into fancy shapes, but this is a more or less wasteful practice and should not be followed, as tiny strips or dice cut finely and carefully are quite as agreeable. The vegetables do not add a large amount of nutriment to this soup, but they introduce into the soup mineral salts that the soups would otherwise not have and they also add a variety of flavor.
JULIENNE SOUP (Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 pt. mixed vegetables 1/2 tsp. salt 1 qt. stock 1/4 tsp. pepper
Cut into tiny dice or into strips such vegetables as celery, carrots, and turnips, making them as nearly the same size and shape as possible. Put them on to cook in enough boiling salted water to cover well. Cook until they are soft enough to be pierced with a fork, but do not lose their shape. Drain off the water and put the vegetables into the stock. Bring to the boiling point, season with the pepper, and serve.
46. Ox-Tail Soup.—The use of ox tails for soup helps to utilize a part of the beef that would ordinarily be wasted, and, as a rule, ox tails are comparatively cheap. Usually the little bits of meat that cook off the bones are allowed to remain in the soup. Variety may be obtained by the addition of different kinds of vegetables.
OX-TAIL SOUP (Sufficient to Serve Eight)
2 ox tails 1 large onion 1 Tb. beef drippings 4 qt. cold water 1 Tb. mixed herbs 4 peppercorns 1 Tb. salt
Wash and cut up the ox tails, separating them at the joints. Slice the onion and brown it and half of the ox tails in the beef drippings. When they are browned, put them and the remainder of the ox tails into a kettle. Add the water and the herbs and peppercorns tied in a little piece of cheesecloth. Bring to the boiling point, and then simmer for 3 to 4 hours or until the meat separates from the bones. Add the salt an hour before serving the soup. Remove the fat and serve some of the nicest joints with the soup. If vegetables are desired, they should be diced and added 20 minutes before serving, so that they will be cooked soft.
47. Mulligatawny Soup.—If a highly seasoned soup is desired, mulligatawny, although not a particularly cheap soup, will be found very satisfactory. The curry powder that is used adds an unusual flavor that is pleasing to many people, but if it is not desired, it may be omitted.
MULLIGATAWNY SOUP (Sufficient to Serve Eight)
3 lb. chicken 1 lb. veal 4 qt. cold water 2 onions 1 Tb. butter 4 peppercorns 4 cloves 1 stalk celery 1 Tb. curry powder 1 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. pepper 1 lemon
Cut up the chicken and veal, add the cold water to them, and place over a slow fire. Slice the onions and brown them in the butter. Add them and the peppercorns, cloves, chopped celery, and curry powder stirred to a smooth paste with a little water to the meat. Simmer together slowly until the chicken is tender. Remove the meat from the bones and cut it into small pieces. Put the bones into the kettle and simmer for another hour. Strain the liquid from the veal and bones and remove the fat. Add the salt, pepper, chicken, and the juice of the lemon. Return to the fire and cook for a few minutes. Serve with a tablespoonful or two of cooked rice in each soup dish.
48. Noodle Soup.—The addition of noodles to soup increases its food value to a considerable extent by providing carbohydrate from the flour and protein from the egg and flour. Noodle soup is a very attractive dish if the noodles are properly made, for then they will not cause the soup to become cloudy when they are put into it. Little difficulty will be experienced if the directions here given for making noodles are followed explicitly.
NOODLE SOUP (Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 egg 1 Tb. milk 1/2 tsp. salt Flour 1 qt. household stock 3 sprigs parsley 1 small onion
To make noodles, beat the egg slightly, add to it the milk, and stir in the salt and enough flour to make a stiff dough. Toss upon a floured board and roll very thin. Allow the dough to dry for hour or more, and then, as shown in Fig. 5, cut it into strips about 4 inches wide. Place several strips together, one on top of the other, and roll them up tight, in the manner indicated. Cut each roll into thin slices with a sharp knife, as shown in Fig. 6. When the slices are separated the noodles should appear as shown in the pile at the right. If it is desired not to follow this plan, the dough may be rolled into a thin sheet and cut into strips with a noodle cutter.
Such a supply of noodles may be used at once, or they may be dried thoroughly and sealed tightly in a jar for future use. The very dry ones, however, require a little longer cooking than those which are freshly made. With the noodles prepared, heat the stock with the parsley and onion chopped very fine. Add the noodles and cook for 15 or 20 minutes or until the noodles are thoroughly cooked.
Rice, barley, macaroni, and other starchy materials may be added to stock in the same way as the noodles.
49. Vegetable Soup With Noodles.—The combination of noodles and vegetables in soup is a very excellent one, since the vegetables add flavor and the noodles add nutritive value. If the vegetables given in the accompanying recipe cannot be readily obtained, others may be substituted.
VEGETABLE SOUP WITH NOODLES (Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 carrot 1 onion 1 turnip 1 stalk celery 1 c. boiling water 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 c. noodles 2 sprigs parsley 1/8 tsp. pepper 1 qt. household stock
Dice the vegetables and put them on to cook with the boiling water and the salt. Cook for a few minutes or until partly soft. Add the noodles, parsley, pepper, and stock and cook for 15 minutes longer. Serve.
50. Soups classed as cream soups consist of a thin white sauce to which is added a vegetable in the form of a puree or cut into small pieces. Because of their nature, cream soups are usually high in food value; but they are not highly flavored, so their use is that of supplying nutrition rather than stimulating the appetite. Considerable variety can be secured in cream soups, for there are scarcely any vegetables that cannot be used in the making of them. Potatoes, corn, asparagus, spinach, peas, tomatoes, and onions are the vegetables that are used oftenest, but cream soups may also be made of vegetable oysters, okra, carrots, watercress, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, lentils, and dried peas. The vegetables may be cooked especially for the soup, or left-over or canned vegetables may be utilized. It is an excellent plan to cook more than enough of some vegetables for one day, so that some will be left over and ready for soup the next day.
If the vegetable is not cut up into small pieces, it must be put through a sieve and made into the form of a puree before it can be added to the liquid. Two kinds of sieves for this purpose are shown in Fig. 7. It will be observed that with the large, round sieve, a potato masher must be used to mash the vegetables, the pulp of which is caught by the utensil in which the sieve is held. In making use of the smaller sieve, or ricer, the vegetable is placed in it and then mashed by pressing the top down over the contents with the aid of the handles.
51. THIN WHITE SAUCE.—The liquid for cream soups should be thin white sauce made entirely of milk or of milk and cream. The flavor of the soup will be improved, however, by using with the milk some meat stock, or the stock that remains from cooking celery, asparagus, or any vegetables that will lend a good flavor to the soup. The recipe here given makes a sauce that may be used for any kind of cream soup.
THIN WHITE SAUCE
1 pt. milk, or milk and cream or stock 1 tsp. salt 2 Tb. butter 2 Tb. flour
Heat the liquid, salt, and butter in a double boiler. Stir the flour and some of the cold liquid that has been reserved to a perfectly smooth, thin paste and add to the hot liquid. Stir constantly after adding the flour, so that no lumps will form. When the sauce becomes thick, it is ready for the addition of any flavoring material that will make a palatable soup. If thick material, such as any vegetable in the form of a puree, rice, or potato, is used without additional liquid, only half as much flour will be required to thicken the sauce.
52. CREAM-OF-POTATO SOUP.—Because of the large quantity of carbohydrate derived from the potato, cream-of-potato soup is high in food value. For persons who are fond of the flavor of the potato, this makes a delicious soup and one that may be served as the main dish in a light meal.
CREAM-OF-POTATO SOUP (Sufficient to Serve Four)
2 slices of onion 1 sprig parsley 2 medium-sized potatoes 1 c. milk 1 c. potato water 1 Tb. flour 2 Tb. butter 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper
Cook the onion and parsley with the potatoes, and, when cooked soft, drain and mash. Make a sauce of the milk, potato water, flour, and butter. Season with the salt and pepper, add the mashed potato, and serve.
53. CREAM-OF-CORN SOUP.—The flavor of corn is excellent in a cream soup, the basis of the soup being milk, butter, and flour. Then, too, the addition of the corn, which is comparatively high in food value, makes a very nutritious soup.
CREAM-OF-CORN SOUP (Sufficient to Serve Four)
1 pt. milk 1 Tb. butter 1 Tb. flour 1 c. canned corn 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper
Make a white sauce of the milk, butter, and flour. Force the corn through a colander or a sieve, and add the puree to the white sauce. Season with the salt and pepper, and serve.
54. Cream-of-Asparagus Soup.—The asparagus used in cream-of-asparagus soup adds very little besides flavor, but this is of sufficient value to warrant its use. If a pinch of soda is used in asparagus soup, there is less danger of the curdling that sometimes occurs. In making this soup, the asparagus should be combined with the white sauce just before serving.
CREAM-OF-ASPARAGUS SOUP (Sufficient to Serve Four)
1 pt. milk 2 Tb. flour 2 Tb. butter 1 c. asparagus puree 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper
Make white sauce of the milk, flour, and butter. Add to it the cup of puree made by forcing freshly cooked or canned asparagus through a sieve. Season with the salt and pepper, and serve.
55. Cream-of-Spinach Soup.—Although cream-of-spinach soup is not especially attractive in appearance, most persons enjoy its flavor, and the soup serves as another way of adding an iron-containing food to the diet. Children may often be induced to take the soup when they would refuse the spinach as a vegetable.
CREAM-OF-SPINACH SOUP (Sufficient to Serve Four)
1 pt. milk 2 Tb. flour 2 Tb. butter 1/2 c. spinach puree 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper
Make white sauce of the milk, flour, and butter. Add the spinach puree, made by forcing freshly cooked or canned spinach through a sieve. Season with the salt and pepper, heat thoroughly, and serve.
56. Cream-of-Pea Soup.—Either dried peas or canned green peas may be used to make cream-of-pea soup. If dried peas are used, they must first be cooked soft enough to pass through a sieve. The flavor is quite different from that of green peas. With the use of green peas, a fair amount of both protein and carbohydrate is added to the soup, but more protein is provided when dried peas are used.
CREAM-OF-PEA SOUP (Sufficient to Serve Four)
1 pt. milk 1 Tb. flour 2 Tb. butter 1/2 c. pea puree 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper
Make white sauce of the milk, flour, and butter. Put enough freshly cooked or canned peas through a sieve to make 1/2 cupful of puree. Then add the pea puree, the salt, and the pepper to the white sauce. Heat thoroughly and serve.
57. CREAM-OF-TOMATO SOUP.—As a rule, cream-of-tomato soup is popular with every one. Besides being pleasing to the taste, it is comparatively high in food value, because its basis is cream sauce. However, the tomatoes themselves add very little else besides flavor and mineral salts.
CREAM-OF-TOMATO SOUP (Sufficient to Serve Four)
1 c. canned tomatoes 1 pt. milk 3 Tb. flour 3 Tb. butter 1/8 tsp. soda 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper
Force the tomatoes through a sieve and heat them. Make white sauce of the milk, flour, and butter. Add the soda to the tomatoes, and pour them slowly into the white sauce, stirring rapidly. If the sauce begins to curdle, beat the soup quickly with a rotary egg beater. Add the salt and pepper and serve.
58. CREAM-OF-ONION SOUP.—Many persons who are not fond of onions can often eat soup made of this vegetable. This is probably due to the fact that the browning of the onions before they are used in the soup improves the flavor very decidedly. In addition, this treatment of the onions gives just a little color to the soup.
CREAM-OF-ONION SOUP (Sufficient to Serve Four)
4 medium-sized onions 4 Tb. butter 2 Tb. flour 2-1/2 c. milk 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper
Slice the onions and brown them in a frying pan with 2 tablespoonfuls of the butter. Make white sauce of the flour, the remaining butter, and the milk. Add to this the browned onions, salt, and pepper. Heat thoroughly and serve.
59. CHESTNUT PUREE.—There are many recipes for the use of chestnuts in the making of foods, but probably none is any more popular than that for chestnut puree. The chestnuts develop a light-tan color in the soup. The very large ones should be purchased for this purpose, since chestnuts of ordinary size are very tedious to work with.
CHESTNUT PUREE (Sufficient to Serve Four)
1 c. mashed chestnuts 1 c. milk 2 Tb. flour 2 Tb. butter 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper 1/8 tsp. celery salt 1 c. white stock
Cook Spanish chestnuts for 10 minutes; then remove the shells and skins and mash the chestnuts. Make white sauce of the milk, flour, and butter. Add to this the mashed chestnuts, salt, pepper, celery salt, and stock. Heat thoroughly and serve.
60. SPLIT-PEA PUREE.—Dried peas or split peas are extremely high in food value, and their addition to soup stock makes a highly nutritious soup of very delightful flavor. Such a puree served in quantity does nicely for the main dish in a light meal. Instead of the peas, dried beans or lentils may be used if they are preferred.
SPLIT-PEA PUREE (Sufficient to Serve Four)
3/4 c. split peas 1 pt. white stock 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper 2 Tb. butter 2 Tb. flour
Soak the peas overnight, and cook in sufficient water to cover well until they are soft. When thoroughly soft, drain the water from the peas and put them through a colander. Heat the stock and add to it the pea puree, salt, and pepper. Rub the butter and flour together, moisten with some of the warm liquid, and add to the soup. Cook for a few minutes and serve.
61. CLAM CHOWDER.—The flavor of clams, like that of oysters and other kinds of sea food, is offensive to some persons, but where this is not the case, clam chowder is a popular dish of high food value. This kind of soup is much used in localities where clams are plentiful.
CLAM CHOWDER (Sufficient to Serve Eight)
1 c. water 1 qt. clams 1 small onion 1 c. sliced potatoes 1/2 c. stewed tomatoes 1/2 c. diced carrots 1/2 c. diced celery 1-1/2 c. milk 2 Tb. butter 1-1/2 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper
Add the water to the clams, and pick them over carefully to remove any shell. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth, and then scald the clams in it. Remove the clams and cook the vegetables in the liquid until they are soft. Add the milk, butter, salt, and pepper and return the clams. Heat thoroughly and serve over crackers.
62. FISH CHOWDER.—An excellent way in which to utilize a small quantity of fish is afforded by fish chowder. In addition, this dish is quite high in food value, so that when it is served with crackers, little of anything else need be served with it to make an entire meal if it be luncheon or supper. Cod, haddock, or fresh-water fish may be used in the accompanying recipe.
FISH CHOWDER (Sufficient to Serve Six)
2 lb. fish 1 small onion 1 c. sliced potatoes 1/2 c. stewed tomatoes 1-1/2 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper 2 Tb. butter 1-1/2 c. milk
Skin the fish, remove the flesh, and cut it into small pieces. Simmer the head, bones, and skin of the fish and the onion in water for 1/2 hour. Strain, and add to this stock the fish, potatoes, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer together until the potatoes are soft. Add the butter and milk. Serve over crackers.
63. POTATO CHOWDER.—A vegetable mixture such as the one suggested in the accompanying recipe is in reality not a chowder, for this form of soup requires sea food for its basis. However, when it is impossible to procure the sea food, potato chowder does nicely as a change from the usual soup. This chowder differs in no material way from soup stock in this form.
POTATO CHOWDER (Sufficient to Serve Four)
1-1/2 c. sliced potatoes 1 small onion, sliced 1 c. water 1-1/2 c. milk 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper 2 Tb. butter
Cook the potatoes and onion in the water until they are soft, but not soft enough to fall to pieces. Rub half of the potatoes through a sieve and return to the sliced ones. Add the milk, salt, pepper, and butter. Cook together for a few minutes and serve.
64. CORN CHOWDER.—The addition of corn to potato chowder adds variety of flavor and makes a delicious mixture of vegetables. This dish is rather high in food value, especially if the soup is served over crackers. A small amount of tomato, although not mentioned in the recipe, may be added to this combination to improve the flavor.
CORN CHOWDER (Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 c. sliced potatoes 1 small onion, sliced 1 c. water 1 c. canned corn 1-1/2 c. milk 2 Tb. butter 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper
Cook the potatoes and onions in the water until they are soft. Add the corn, milk, butter, salt, and pepper, and cook together for a few minutes. Serve over crackers.
SOUP ACCOMPANIMENTS AND GARNISHES
65. The soup course of a meal is a more or less unattractive one, but it may be improved considerably if some tempting thing in the way of a garnish or an accompaniment is served with it. But whatever is selected to accompany soup should be, in a great measure, a contrast to it in both consistency and color. The reason why a difference in consistency is necessary is due to the nature of soup, which, being liquid in form, is merely swallowed and does not stimulate the flow of the gastric juices by mastication. Therefore, the accompaniment should be something that requires chewing and that will consequently cause the digestive juices, which respond to the mechanical action of chewing, to flow. The garnish may add the color that is needed to make soup attractive. The green and red of olives and radishes or of celery and radishes make a decided contrast, so that when any of these things are served with soup, an appetizing first course is the result. It is not necessary to serve more than one of them, but if celery and radishes or celery, radishes, and olives can be combined in the same relish dish, they become more attractive than when each is served by itself.
66. RADISHES AND CELERY.—Before radishes and celery are used on the table, whether with soup or some other part of a meal, they should be put into cold water and allowed to stand for some time, so that they will be perfectly crisp when they are served. In the case of radishes, the tops and roots should first be cut from them, and the radishes then scrubbed thoroughly. They may be served without any further treatment, or they may be prepared to resemble flowers, as is shown in Fig. 8. This may be done by peeling the red skin back to show the white inside, and then cutting the sections to look like the petals of a flower. Little difficulty will be experienced in preparing radishes in this artistic way if a sharp knife is used, for, with a little practice, the work can be done quickly and skilfully.
67. Celery that is to be served with soup may be prepared in two ways, as Fig. 9 illustrates. The stems may be pulled from the stalk and served separately, as in the group on the right, or the stalk may be cut down through the center with a knife into four or more pieces, as shown at the left of the illustration. The first of these methods is not so good as the second, for by it one person gets all of the tender heart and the coarse outside stems are left for all the others. By the second method, every piece consists of some of the heart and some of the outside stems attached to the root and makes a similar serving for each person. Whichever way is adopted, however, the celery should be scrubbed and cleansed thoroughly. This is often a difficult task, because the dirt sticks tightly between the stems. Still, an effort should be made to have the celery entirely free from dirt before it goes to the table. A few tender yellow leaves may be left on the pieces to improve the appearance of the celery.
68. CRACKERS.—Various kinds of wafers and crackers can be purchased to serve with soup, and the selection, as well as the serving of them, is entirely a matter of individual taste. One point, however, that must not be overlooked is that crackers of any kind must be crisp in order to be appetizing. Dry foods of this sort absorb moisture from the air when they are exposed to it and consequently become tough. As heat drives off this moisture and restores the original crispness, crackers should always be heated before they are served. Their flavor can be improved by toasting them until they are light brown in color.
69. CROUTONS.—As has already been learned, croutons are small pieces of bread that have been fried or toasted to serve with soup. These are usually made in the form of cubes, or dice, as is shown in the front group in Fig. 10; but they may be cut into triangles, circles, ovals, hearts, or, in fact, any fancy shape, by means of small cutters that can be purchased for such purposes. The bread used for croutons should not be fresh bread, as such bread does not toast nor fry very well; left-over toast, stale bread, or slices of bread that have been cut from the loaf and not eaten are usually found more satisfactory. If the croutons are not made from slices already cut, the bread should be cut into slices 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, and, after the crusts have been closely trimmed, the slices should be cut into cubes. When the cubes have been obtained, they may be put into a shallow pan and toasted on all sides quickly, placed in a frying basket and browned in deep fat, or put into a frying pan and sauted in butter. If toast is used, it should merely be cut in the desired shape.
Various methods of serving croutons are in practice. Some housewives prefer to place them in the soup tureen and pour the soup over them, while others like to put a few in each individual serving of soup. A better plan, however, and one that is much followed, is to serve a number of croutons on a small plate or dish at each person's place, as shown in Figs. 3 and 4, for then every one may eat them in the way preferred.
70. BREAD STICKS.—A soup accompaniment similar in nature to croutons, and known as bread sticks, is made of pieces of bread 1/2 inch wide, 1/2 inch thick, and several inches long. These are toasted on each side and are served in place of crackers. A number of them are shown in the back row in Fig. 10. Variety in bread sticks may be secured by spreading butter over them before the toasting is begun or by sprinkling grated cheese over them a few minutes before they are removed from the oven. Bread sticks are usually served on a bread-and-butter plate to the left of each person's place at the table.
71. PASTRY STRIPS.—A very appetizing addition to soup may be made by cutting pastry into narrow strips and then baking these strips in the oven until they are brown or frying them in deep fat and draining them. Strips prepared in this way may be served in place of crackers, croutons, or bread sticks, and are considered delicious by those who are fond of pastry. Details regarding pastry are given in another Section.
72. SOUP FRITTERS.—If an entirely different kind of soup accompaniment from those already mentioned is desired, soup fritters will no doubt find favor. These are made by combining certain ingredients to form a batter and then dropping small amounts of this into hot fat and frying them until they are crisp and brown. The accompanying recipe, provided it is followed carefully, will produce good results.
1 egg 2 Tb. milk 3/4 tsp. salt 1/2 c. flour
Beat the egg, and to it add the milk, salt, and flour. Drop the batter in tiny drops into hot fat, and fry until brown and crisp. Drain on paper and serve with the soup.
73. EGG BALLS.—To serve with a soup that is well flavored but not highly nutritious, egg balls are very satisfactory. In addition to supplying nutrition, these balls are extremely appetizing, and so they greatly improve a course that is often unattractive. Careful attention given to the ingredients and the directions in the accompanying recipe will produce good results.
3 yolks of hard-cooked eggs 1/2 tsp. melted butter Salt and pepper 1 uncooked yolk
Mash the cooked yolks, and to them add the butter, salt, and pepper, and enough of the uncooked yolk to make the mixture of a consistency to handle easily. Shape into tiny balls. Roll in the white of egg and then in flour and saute in butter. Serve in the individual dishes of soup.
74. FORCEMEAT BALLS.—Another delicious form of accompaniment that improves certain soups by adding nutrition is forcemeat balls. These contain various nutritious ingredients combined into small balls, and the balls are then either sauted or fried in deep fat. They may be placed in the soup tureen or in each person's soup.
1/2 c. fine stale-bread crumbs 1/2 c. milk 2 Tb. butter White of 1 egg 1/4 tsp. salt Few grains of pepper 2/3 c. breast of raw chicken or raw fish
Cook the bread crumbs and milk to form a paste, and to this add the butter, beaten egg white, and seasonings. Pound the chicken or fish to a pulp, or force it through a food chopper and then through a puree strainer. Add this to the first mixture. Form into tiny balls. Roll in flour and either saute or fry in deep fat. Serve hot.
75. AMERICAN FORCEMEAT BALLS.—A simple kind of forcemeat balls may be made according to the accompanying recipe. The meat used may be sausage provided especially for the purpose or some that is left over from a previous meal. If it is not possible to obtain sausage, some other highly seasoned meat, such as ham first ground very fine and then pounded to a pulp, may be substituted.
AMERICAN FORCEMEAT BALLS
1 Tb. butter 1 small onion 1-1/2 c. bread, without crusts 1 egg 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper Dash of nutmeg 1 Tb. chopped parsley 1/2 c. sausage meat
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion finely chopped. Fry for several minutes over the fire. Soak the bread in water until thoroughly softened and then squeeze out all the water. Mix with the bread the egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg, parsley, and meat, and to this add also the butter and fried onion. Form small balls of this mixture and saute them in shallow fat, fry them in deep fat, or, after brushing them over with fat, bake them in the oven. Place a few in each serving of soup.
(1) (a) Mention the two purposes that soups serve in a meal, (b) What are the qualities of a good soup?
(2) (a) Mention the two general classes of soup. (b) Explain and illustrate how to choose a soup.
(3) Why is soup an economical dish?
(4) (a) Explain in full the meaning of stock as applied to soup. (b) For what purposes other than soup making is stock used?
(5) (a) What is the value of the stock pot? (b) What care should be given to it?
(6) Mention some of the materials that may be put into the stock pot.
(7) (a) Why are the tough cuts of meat more suitable for soup than the tender ones? (b) Name the pieces that are best adapted to soup making.
(8) (a) What proportion of bone to meat should be used in making soup from fresh meat? (b) For what two purposes are vegetables used in soup?
(9) Explain briefly the making of stock from meat.
(10) (a) Why should the cooking of the meat for stock be started with cold water rather than with hot water? (b) What disposal should be made of meat from which stock is made?
(11) (a) Of what value are flavorings in the making of soups? (b) What precaution should be taken in the use of flavorings?
(12) Explain how grease may be removed from soup.
(13) How may soup be cleared?
(14) (a) For what purposes is thickening used in soups? (b) Mention the materials most used to thicken soups.
(15) What precaution should be taken to keep soup or stock from spoiling.
(16) What point about the serving of soup should be observed if an appetizing soup is desired?
(17) What kind of dish is used for serving: (a) thin soup? (b) thick soup?
(18) (a) What is a cream soup? (b) Give the general directions for making soup of this kind.
(19) (a) How may the soup course of a meal be made more attractive? (b) In what ways should soup accompaniments be a contrast to the soup?
(20) (a) Explain the making of croutons. (b) What is the most satisfactory way in which to prepare celery that is to be served with soup?
Plan and prepare a dinner menu from the recipes given in the lessons that you have studied. Submit the menu for this dinner and give the order in which you prepared the dishes. In addition, tell the number of persons you served, as well as what remained after the meal and whether or not you made use of it for another meal. Send this information with your answers to the Examination Questions.
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MEAT (PART 1)
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MEAT IN THE DIET
VALUE OF MEAT AS FOOD
1. In its broadest sense, MEAT may be considered as "any clean, sound, dressed or properly prepared edible part of animals that are in good health at the time of slaughter." However, the flesh of carnivorous animals—that is, animals that eat the flesh of other animals—is so seldom eaten by man, that the term meat is usually restricted to the flesh of all animals except these. But even this meaning of meat is too broad; indeed, as the term is generally used it refers particularly to the flesh of the so-called domestic animals, and does not include poultry, game, fish, and the like. It is in this limited sense that meat is considered in these Sections, and the kinds to which attention is given are beef, veal, lamb, mutton, and pork. Meat, including these varieties, forms one of the principal sources of the family's food supply. As such, it is valuable chiefly as a food; but, in the form of broths and extracts made from it, meat stimulates the appetite and actually assists the flow of gastric juice. Therefore, so that the outlay for meat will not be greater than it should be and this food will provide the greatest amount of nourishment, every housewife should be thoroughly familiar with the place it occupies in the dietary.
2. In the first place, it should be remembered that the food eaten by human beings comes from two sources—animal and vegetable. The foods of animal origin, which include milk, eggs, and meat, have a certain similarity that causes them to be classed together and this is the fact that they are high-protein foods. Milk is the first protein food fed to the young, but a little later it is partly replaced by eggs, and, finally, or in adult life, meat largely takes the place of both. For this reason, meat has considerable importance in the dietary. In reality, from this food is obtained the greatest amount of protein that the average person eats. However, it will be well to note that milk and eggs, as well as cheese and even cereals and vegetables, can be made to take the place of meat when the use of less of this food is deemed advisable.
3. As the work of protein foods is to build and repair tissue, it is on them that the human race largely depends. Of course, protein also yields energy; but the amount is so small that if one variety of protein food, such as meat, were eaten simply to supply energy to the body, huge quantities of it would be needed to do the same work that a small amount of less expensive food would accomplish. Some persons have an idea that meat produces the necessary strength and energy of those who perform hard work. This is entirely erroneous, because fats and carbohydrates are the food substances that produce the energy required to do work. Some kind of protein is, of course, absolutely necessary to the health of every normal person, but a fact that cannot be emphasized too strongly is that an oversupply of it does more harm than good.
Scientists have been trying for a long time to determine just how much of these tissue-building foods is necessary for individuals, but they have found this a difficult matter. Nevertheless, it is generally conceded that most persons are likely to use too much rather than too little of them. It is essential then, not only from the standpoint of economy, but from the far more important principle of health, that the modern housewife should know the nutritive value of meats.
4. In her efforts to familiarize herself with these matters, the housewife should ever remember that meat is the most expensive of the daily foods of a family. Hence, to get the greatest value for the money expended, meat must be bought judiciously, cared for properly, and prepared carefully. Too many housewives trust the not over-scrupulous butcher to give them the kind of meat they should have, and very often they do not have a clear idea as to whether it is the best piece that can be purchased for the desired purpose and for the price that is asked. Every housewife ought to be so familiar with the various cuts of meat that she need not depend on any one except herself in the purchase of this food. She will find that both the buying and the preparation of meats will be a simple matter for her if she learns these three important things: (1) From what part of the animal the particular piece she desires is cut and how to ask for that piece; (2) how to judge a good piece of meat by its appearance; and (3) what to do with it from the moment it is purchased until the last bit of it is used.
5. Of these three things, the cooking of meat is the one that demands the most attention, because it has a decided effect on the quality and digestibility of this food. Proper cooking is just as essential in the case of meat as for any other food, for a tender, digestible piece of meat may be made tough and indigestible by improper preparation, while a tough piece may be made tender and very appetizing by careful, intelligent preparation. The cheaper cuts of meat, which are often scorned as being too tough for use, may be converted into delicious dishes by the skilful cook who understands how to apply the various methods of cookery and knows what their effect will be on the meat tissues.
6. Unfortunately, thorough cooking affects the digestibility of meat unfavorably; but it is doubtless a wise procedure in some cases because, as is definitely known, some of the parasites that attack man find their way into the system through the meat that is eaten. These are carried to meat from external sources, such as dust, flies, and the soiled hands of persons handling it, and they multiply and thrive. It is known, too, that some of the germs that cause disease in the animal remain in its flesh and are thus transmitted to human beings that eat such meat. If there is any question as to its good condition, meat must be thoroughly cooked, because long cooking completely eliminates the danger from such sources.
STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION OF MEAT
7. An understanding of the physical structure of meat is essential to its successful cooking. Meat consists of muscular tissue, or lean; varying quantities of visible fat that lie between and within the membranes and tendons; and also particles of fat that are too small to be distinguished except with the aid of a microscope. The general nature of the lean part of meat can be determined by examining a piece of it with merely the unaided eye. On close observation, it will be noted that, especially in the case of meat that has been cooked, innumerable thread-like fibers make up the structure. With a microscope, it can be observed that these visible fibers are made up of still smaller ones, the length of which varies in different parts of the animal. It is to the length of these fibers that the tenderness of meat is due. Short fibers are much easier to chew than long ones; consequently, the pieces containing them are the most tender. These muscle fibers, which are in the form of tiny tubes, are filled with a protein substance. They are held together with a tough, stringy material called connective tissue. As the animal grows older and its muscles are used more, the walls of these tubes or fibers become dense and tough; likewise, the amount of connective tissue increases and becomes tougher. Among the muscle fibers are embedded layers and particles of fat, the quantity of which varies greatly in different animals and depends largely on the age of the animal. For instance, lamb and veal usually have very little fat in the tissues, mutton and beef always contain more, while pork contains a greater amount of fat than the meat of any other domestic animal.
8. The composition of meat depends to a large extent on the breed of the animal, the degree to which it has been fattened, and the particular cut of meat in question. However, the muscle fibers are made up of protein and contain more protein, mineral salts, or ash, and certain substances called extractives, all of which are held in solution by water. The younger the animal, the greater is the proportion of water and the lower the nutritive value of meat. It should be understood, however, that not all of meat is edible material; indeed, a large part of it is made up of gristle, bones, cartilage, nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The amount of these indigestible materials also varies in different animals and different cuts, but the average proportion in a piece of meat is usually considered to be 15 per cent. of the whole. Because of the variation of both the edible and inedible material of meat, a standard composition for this food cannot readily be given. However, an idea of the average composition of the various kinds can be obtained from Fig. 1.
BEEF Fuel value per pound Chuck, medium fat 735 Loin, medium fat 1040 Ribs, medium fat 1155 Round, very lean 475 Round, medium fat 895 Round, very fat 1275 Rump, medium fat 1110
VEAL Breast, medium fat 740 Leg, medium fat 620 Loin, medium fat 690
LAMB Leg, medium fat 870
MUTTON Leg, medium fat 900
PORK Ham, fresh, medium fat 1345 Ham, smoked 1675 Loin 1455 Bacon, medium fat 2795
9. PROTEIN IN MEAT.—The value of meat as food is due to the proteins that it contains. Numerous kinds of protein occur in meat, but the chief varieties are myosin and muscle albumin. The myosin, which is the most important protein and occurs in the greatest quantity, hardens after the animal has been killed and the muscles have become cold. The tissues then become tough and hard, a condition known as rigor mortis. As meat in this condition is not desirable, it should be used before rigor mortis sets in, or else it should be put aside until this condition of toughness disappears. The length of time necessary for this to occur varies with the size of the animal that is killed. It may be from 24 hours to 3 or 4 days. The disappearance is due to the development of certain acids that cause the softening of the tissues. The albumin, which is contained in solution in the muscle fibers, is similar in composition to the albumen of eggs and milk, and it is affected by the application of heat in the cooking processes in much the same way.
10. GELATINE IN MEAT.—The gelatine that is found in meat is a substance very similar in composition to protein, but it has less value as food. It is contained in the connective tissue and can be extracted by boiling, being apparent as a jellylike substance after the water in which meat has been cooked has cooled. Use is made of this material in the preparation of pressed meats and fowl and in various salads and other cold-meat dishes. Some kinds of commercial gelatine are also made from it, being first extracted from the meat and then evaporated to form a dry substance.
11. FAT IN MEAT.—All meat, no matter how lean it appears, contains some fat. As already explained, a part of the fat contained in meat occurs in small particles so embedded in the muscle fibers as not to be readily seen, while the other part occurs in sufficient amounts to be visible. In the flesh of some animals, such as veal and rabbit, there is almost no visible fat, but in very fat hogs or fowls, one-third or one-half of the weight may be fat. Meats that are very fat are higher in nutritive value than meats that contain only a small amount of this substance, as will be observed on referring to the table of meat compositions in Fig. 1. However, an excessive amount of fat prevents the protein materials from digesting normally.
The quality of fat varies greatly, there being two distinct kinds of this material in animals. That which covers or lies between the muscles or occurs on the outside of the body just beneath the skin has a lower melting point, is less firm, and is of a poorer grade for most purposes than that which is found inside the bony structure and surrounds the internal organs. The suet of beef is an example of this internal fat.
Fat is a valuable constituent of food, for it is the most concentrated form in which the fuel elements of food are found. In supplying the body with fuel, it serves to maintain the body temperature and to yield energy in the form of muscular and other power. Since this is such a valuable food material, it is important that the best possible use be made of all drippings and left-over fats and that not even the smallest amount of any kind be wasted.
12. CARBOHYDRATE IN MEAT.—In the liver and all muscle fibers of animals is stored a small supply of carbohydrate in a form that is called glycogen, or muscle sugar. However, there is not enough of this substance to be of any appreciable value, and, so far as the methods of cookery and the uses of meat as food are concerned, it is of no importance.
13. WATER IN MEAT.—The proportion of water in meat varies from one-third to three-fourths of the whole, depending on the amount of fat the meat contains and the age of the animal. This water carries with it the flavor, much of the mineral matter, and some food material, so that when the water is removed from the tissues these things are to a great extent lost. The methods of cookery applied to meat are based on the principle of either retaining or extracting the water that it contains. The meat in which water is retained is more easily chewed and swallowed than that which is dry. However, the water contained in flesh has no greater value as food than other water. Therefore, as will be seen in Fig. 1, the greater the amount of water in a given weight of food, the less is its nutritive value.
14. MINERALS IN MEAT.—Eight or more kinds of minerals in sufficient quantities to be of importance in the diet are to be found in meat. Lean meat contains the most minerals; they decrease in proportion as the amount of fat increases. These salts assist in the building of hard tissues and have a decided effect on the blood. They are lost from the tissues of meat by certain methods of cookery, but as they are in solution in the water in which the meat is cooked, they need not be lost to the diet if use is made of this water for soups, sauces, and gravies.
15. EXTRACTIVES IN MEAT.—The appetizing flavor of meat is due to substances called extractives. The typical flavor that serves to distinguish pork from beef or mutton is due to the difference in the extractives. Although necessary for flavoring, these have no nutritive value; in fact, the body throws them off as waste material when they are taken with the food. In some methods of cookery, such as broiling and roasting, the extractives are retained, while in others, such as those employed for making stews and soups, they are drawn out.
Extractives occur in the greatest quantity in the muscles that the animal exercises a great deal and that in reality have become tough. Likewise, a certain part of an old animal contains more extractives than the same part of a young one. For these reasons a very young chicken is broiled while an old one is used for stew, and ribs of beef are roasted while the shins are used for soup.
Meat that is allowed to hang and ripen develops compounds that are similar to extractives and that impart additional flavor. A ripened steak is usually preferred to one cut from an animal that has been killed only a short time. However, as the ripening is in reality a decomposition process, the meat is said to become "high" if it is allowed to hang too long.
PURCHASE AND CARE OF MEAT
16. PURCHASE OF MEAT.—Of all the money that is spent for food in the United States nearly one-third is spent for meat. This proportion is greater than that of any European country and is probably more than is necessary to provide diets that are properly balanced. If it is found that the meat bill is running too high, one or more of several things may be the cause. The one who does the purchasing may not understand the buying of meat, the cheaper cuts may not be used because of a lack of knowledge as to how they should be prepared to make them appetizing, or more meat may be served than is necessary to supply the needs of the family.
Much of this difficulty can be overcome if the person purchasing meat goes to the market personally to see the meat cut and weighed instead of telephoning the order. It is true, of course, that the method of cutting an animal varies in different parts of the country, as does also the naming of the different pieces. However, this need give the housewife no concern, for the dealer from whom the meat is purchased is usually willing to supply any information that is desired about the cutting of meat and the best use for certain pieces. In fact, if the butcher is competent, this is a very good source from which to obtain a knowledge of such matters.
Another way in which to reduce the meat bill is to utilize the trimmings of bone and fat from pieces of meat. In most cases, these are of no value to the butcher, so that if a request for them is made, he will, as a rule, be glad to wrap them up with the meat that is purchased. They are of considerable value to the housewife, for the bones may go into the stock pot, while the fat, if it is tried out, can be used for many things.
17. The quantity of meat to purchase depends, of course, on the number of persons that are to be served with it. However, it is often a good plan to purchase a larger piece than is required for a single meal and then use what remains for another meal. For instance, a large roast is always better than a small one, because it does not dry out in the process of cookery and the part that remains after one meal may be served cold in slices or used for making some other dish, such as meat pie or hash. Such a plan also saves both time and fuel, because sufficient meat for several meals may be cooked at one time.
In purchasing meat, there are certain pieces that should never be asked for by the pound or by the price. For instance, the housewife should not say to the butcher, "Give me 2 pounds of porterhouse steak," nor should she say, "Give me 25 cents worth of chops." Steak should be bought by the cut, and the thickness that is desired should be designated. For example, the housewife may ask for an inch-thick sirloin steak, a 2-inch porterhouse steak, and so on. Chops should be bought according to the number of persons that are to be served, usually a chop to a person being quite sufficient. Rib roasts should be bought by designating the number of ribs. Thus, the housewife may ask for a rib roast containing two, three, four, or more ribs, depending on the size desired. Roasts from other parts of beef, such as chuck or rump roasts, may be cut into chunks of almost any desirable size without working a disadvantage to either the butcher or the customer, and may therefore be bought by the pound. Round bought for steaks should be purchased by the cut, as are other steaks; or, if an entire cut is too large, it may be purchased as upper round or lower round, but the price paid should vary with the piece that is purchased. Round bought for roasts, however, may be purchased by the pound.
18. CARE OF MEAT IN THE MARKET.—Animal foods decompose more readily than any other kind, and the products of their decomposition are extremely dangerous to the health. It is therefore a serious matter when everything that comes in contact with meat is not clean. Regarding the proper care of meat, the sanitary condition of the market is the first consideration. The light and ventilation of the room and the cleanliness of the walls, floors, tables, counters, and other equipment are points of the greatest importance and should be noted by the housewife when she is purchasing meat. Whether the windows and doors are screened and all the meat is carefully covered during the fly season are also matters that should not be overlooked. Then, too, the cleanliness and physical condition of the persons who handle the meat should be of as great concern as the sanitary condition of the market. The housewife who desires to supply her family with the safest and cleanest meat should endeavor to purchase it in markets where all the points pertaining to the sanitary condition are as ideal as possible. If she is at all doubtful as to the freshness and cleanliness of what is sold to her, she should give it thorough cooking in the process of preparation so that no harm will be done to the persons who are to eat it.