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NEW COOK BOOK,
A GUIDE TO MARKETING AND COOKING.
BY MARIA PARLOA,
PRINCIPAL OF THE SCHOOL OF COOKING IN BOSTON
When the author wrote the Appledore Cook Book, nine years ago, she had
seen so many failures and so much consequent mortification and
dissatisfaction as to determine her to give those minute directions
which were so often wanting in cook-books, and without which success
in preparing dishes was for many a person unattainable. It seemed then
unwise to leave much to the cook's judgment; and experience in
lecturing and in teaching in her school since that time has satisfied
the author that what was given in her first literary work was what was
needed. In this book an endeavor has been made to again supply what is
desired: to have the directions and descriptions clear, complete and
concise. Especially has this been the case in the chapter on
Marketing. Much more of interest might have been written, but the hope
which led to brevity was that the few pages devoted to remarks on that
important household duty, and which contain about all that the average
cook or housekeeper cares and needs to know, will be carefully read.
It is believed that there is much in them of considerable value to
those whose knowledge of meats, fish and vegetables is not extensive;
much that would help to an intelligent selection of the best
Of the hundreds of recipes in the volume only a few were not prepared
especially for it, and nearly all of these were taken by the author
from her other books. Many in the chapters on Preserving and Pickling
were contributed by Mrs. E. C. Daniell of Dedham, Mass., whose
understanding of the lines of cookery mentioned is thorough. While
each subject has received the attention it seemed to deserve, Soups,
Salads, Entrées and Dessert have been treated at unusual length,
because with a good acquaintance with the first three, one can set a
table more healthfully, economically and elegantly than with meats or
fish served in the common ways; and the light desserts could well take
the place of the pies and heavy puddings of which many people are so
fond. Many ladies will not undertake the making of a dish that
requires hours for cooking, and often for the poor reason only that
they do not so read a recipe as to see that the work will not be hard.
If they would but forget cake and pastry long enough to learn
something of food that is more satisfying!
After much consideration it was decided to be right to call particular
attention in different parts of the book to certain manufactured
articles. Lest her motive should be misconstrued, or unfair criticisms
be made, the author would state that there is not a word of praise
which is not merited, and that every line of commendation appears
utterly without the solicitation, suggestion or _knowledge_ of
anybody likely to receive pecuniary benefit therefrom.
The following is a table of measures and weights which will be found
useful in connection with the recipes:
One quart of flour one pound.
Two cupfuls of butter one pound.
One generous pint of liquid one pound.
Two cupfuls of granulated sugar one pound.
Two heaping cupfuls of powdered sugar one pound.
One pint of finely-chopped meat, packed solidly one pound.
The cup used is the common kitchen cup, holding half a pint.
Care of Food
Poultry and Game
Meat and Fish Sauces
Force-Meat and Garnishes
Pies and Puddings
Pickles and Ketchup
Breakfast and Tea
How to do Various Things
Bills of Fare
THE PUBLISHERS' COMPLIMENTS TO THE READER.
In the preparation of this book the author and publishers have
expended much time and money, with the hope that it may lessen your
cares, by enabling you to provide your household with appetizing and
healthful food, at a reasonable outlay of expense and skill. Should
they not be disappointed in this hope, and you find yourself made
happier by the fond approval of those who enjoy the food which you set
before them as a result of your use of this book, we trust you will
recommend its purchase by your friends, to the end that they may also
be benefited by it, and that both author and publisher may be
recompensed for its preparation.
MISS PARLOA'S NEW COOK BOOK.
Upon the amount of practical knowledge of marketing that the
housekeeper has, the comfort and expense of the family are in a great
measure dependent; therefore, every head of a household should acquire
as much of this knowledge as is practicable, and the best way is to go
into the market. Then such information as is gained by reading becomes
of real value. Many think the market not a pleasant or proper place
for ladies. The idea is erroneous. My experience has been that there
are as many gentlemen among marketmen as are to be found engaged in
any other business. One should have a regular place at which to trade,
as time is saved and disappointment obviated. If not a judge of meat,
it is advisable, when purchasing, to tell the dealer so, and rely upon
him to do well by you. He will probably give you a nicer piece than
you could have chosen. If a housekeeper makes a practice of going to
the market herself, she is able to supply her table with a better
variety than she is by ordering at the door or by note, for she sees
many good and fresh articles that would not have been thought of at
home. In a book like this it is possible to treat at length only of
such things as meat, fish and vegetables, which always form a large
item of expense.
Beef is one of the most nutritious, and, in the end, the most
economical, kinds of meat, for there is not a scrap of it which a good
housekeeper will not utilize for food.
As to Choosing It.
Good steer or heifer beef has a fine grain, a yellowish-white fat, and
is firm. When first cut it will be of a dark red color, which changes
to a bright red after a few minutes' exposure to the air. It will also
have a juicy appearance; the suet will be dry, crumble easily and be
nearly free from fibre. The flesh and fat of the ox and cow will be
darker, and will appear dry and rather coarse. The quantity of meat
should be large for the size of the bones. Quarters of beef should be
kept as long as possible before cutting. The time depends upon climate
and conveniences, but in the North should be two or three weeks. A
side of beef is first divided into two parts called the fore and hind
quarters. These are then cut into variously-shaped and sized pieces.
Different localities have different names for some of these cuts. The
diagrams represent the pieces as they are sold in the Boston market,
and the tables give the New York and Philadelphia names for the same
pieces. In these latter two cities, when the side of beef is divided
into halves, they cut farther back on the hind quarter than they do in
Boston, taking in all the ribs--thirteen and sometimes fourteen. This
gives one more rib roast. They do not have what in Boston is called
the tip of the sirloin.
The Hind Quarter.
In Philadelphia they cut meat more as is done in Boston than they do
in New York. The following diagram shows a hind quarter as it appears
in Boston. In the other two cities the parts 1 and 13f are included in
the _fore_ quarter. The dotted lines show wherein the New York
cutting differs from the Boston:
[ILLUSTRATION: Diagram No. 1. Hind Quarter of Beef.]
EXPLANATION OF DIAGRAM NO. 1.
1. Tip end of sirloin.
2. Second cut of sirloin.
3. First cut of sirloin.
4. Back of rump.
5. Middle of rump.
6. Face of rump.
8. Best of round steak.
9. Poorer round steak.
10. Best part of vein.
11. Poorer part of vein.
12. Shank of round.
1. First cut of ribs.
2. Sirloin roast or steak.
3. Sirloin roast or steak.
4. Hip roast; also rump steak.
5. Middle of rump.
6. Face of rump.
7. Tail of rump.
8. Best of round steak.
9. Poorer round steak.
10. Best part of vein.
11. Poorer part of vein.
13. (e) Flank.
1. First cut of ribs.
2. Porter-house steak or sirloin roast
3. Flat-boned sirloin steak or roast.
4,5,6. /(a) Large sirloin (a) steaks or roasts
8. (and 4b and 5b) Rump steak.
9. (and 13e) Round steak.
10. Best part of vein
11. Poorer part of vein.
12. (d) Leg of beef.
13. (e) Flank.
The hind quarter consists of the loin, rump, round, tenderloin or
fillet of beef, leg and flank. The loin is usually cut into roasts and
steaks; the roasts are called sirloin roasts and the steaks sirloin or
porter-house steaks. In the loin is found the tenderloin; and a small
piece of it (about two and a half pounds in a large animal) runs back
into the rump. In Boston this is often sold under the name of the
short fillet, but the New York and Philadelphia marketmen do not cut
it. Plate No. 2 shows the fillet.
[Illustration: PLATE NO. 2. SHORT FILLET.]
Next the loin comes the rump, from which are cut steaks, roasts and
pieces for stewing, braising, a la mode and soups. Next the rump comes
the round, from which are cut steaks, pieces for a la mode, stewing,
braising and soups. The flank is cut from the loin, and used for
corning, stewing and as a roll of beef.
Plate No. 4 represents a loin as cut in Boston and Philadelphia, and
it and No. 3 represent one as cut in New York, if the two parts be
imagined joined at the point A. No. 4 also shows the inside of the
loin, where the tenderloin lies.
The sirloin is cut in all sizes, from eight to twenty pounds, to suit
the purchaser. The end next the ribs gives the smallest pieces, which
are best for a small family. The tenderloin in this cut is not as
large as in the first and second. In cutting sirloin steaks or roasts,
dealers vary as to the amount of flank they leave on. There should be
little, if any, as that is not a part for roasting or broiling. When
it is all cut off the price of the sirloin is of course very much more
than when a part is left on, but though the cost is increased eight or
ten cents a pound, it is economy to pay this rather than take what you
do not want.
[Illustration: PLATE NO. 3. RUMP, SHOWING END WHICH JOINS ROUND.]
[Illustration: PLATE NO. 4. LOIN. THE LOWER END JOINS RIBS.]
Every part of the sirloin, and a part of the rump, is named porter-
house steak in various localities. In New York the second cut of the
sirloin is considered the choice one for these steaks. The rump steak,
when cut with the tenderloin in it, is also called porter-house steak.
The original porter-house steaks came from the small end of the loin.
Sirloin steaks are cut from all parts of the loin, beginning with the
small end and finishing with the rump. In New York the rump steaks are
also known as sirloin. In some places they do not cut tenderloin with
sirloin. One slice of sirloin from a good-sized animal will weigh
about two and a half pounds. If the flank, bone and fat were removed,
there would remain about a pound of clear, tender, juicy meat There
being, therefore, considerable waste to this steak, it will always be
expensive as compared with one from a rump or round. But many persons
care only for this kind, as it has a flavor peculiar to itself; and
they will buy it regardless of economy. Plate No. 5 shows a second cut
of the sirloin, with the shape of a sirloin or small porter-house
steak. The only part that is really eatable as a steak is from the
base to the point A, the remainder being flank.
[Illustration: Plate No. 5. SIRLOIN ROAST--SECOND CUT.]
[Illustration: Plate No. 7. SHORT RUMP STEAK.]
[Illustration: Plate No. 6. LONG RUMP STEAK.]
What in Boston and Philadelphia is called rump steak is in New York
named sirloin. There are three methods of cutting a rump steak; two of
these give a very fine steak, the third almost the poorest kind. The
first two are to cut across the grain of the meat, and thus obtain,
when the beeve is a good one, really the best steaks in the animal.
Plates Nos. 6 and 7 represent these steaks. No. 6 is a long rump
steak, very fine; and No. 7 a short rump, also excellent. In both of
these there is a piece of tenderloin. In New York, No. 6 is sirloin
without bone, and No. 7 sirloin. There is yet another slice of rump
that is of a superior quality. It is cut from the back of the rump,
and there is no tenderloin in it. Plate No. 8 shows a rump steak cut
with the grain of the meat; that is, cut lengthwise. It comes much
cheaper than the others, but is so poor that it should never be
bought. It will curl up when broiled, and will be tough and dry.
[Illustration; Plate No. 8. RUMP STEAK WITH THE GRAIN.]
[Illustration: Plate No. 9. BACK OF THE RUMP.]
[Illustration: PLATE NO. 10. AITCHBONE.]
[Illustration: PLATE NO. 11. ROUND OF BEEF.]
Some marketmen will not cut rump steak by the first two methods,
because it spoils the rump for cutting into roasts, and also leaves a
great deal of bone and some tough meat on hand. The price per pound
for a rump steak cut with the grain is ten cents less than for that
cut across, and yet dealers do not find it profitable to sell steak
cut the latter way. Plate No. 9 shows the back of the rump, which is
used for steaks and to roast. The steaks are juicy and tender, but do
not contain any tenderloin.
Plate No. 11 shows the round of beef with the aitch bone taken off; a,
a, a, a, is the top of the round, b, b, b, b, the under part, where
the aitchbone has been cut off, and c, c, c, c, the vein. Plate No. 10
is this aitchbone, which is first cut from the round, and then the
steaks are taken off.
The best steak begins with the third slice. The top and under part of
the round are often cut in one slice. The top is tender and the under
part tough. When both are together the steak sells for fifteen or
sixteen cents per pound; when separate, the top is twenty or more and
the under part from ten to twelve. If it is all to be used as a steak,
the better way is to buy the top alone; but if you wish to make a stew
one day and have a steak another, it is cheaper to buy both parts
together. Round steak is not, of course, as tender as tenderloin,
sirloin or rump, but it has a far richer and higher flavor than any of
the others. It should be cut thick, and be cooked rare over a quick
fire. Steaks are cut from the vein in the round and from the shoulder
in the fore quarter. They are of about the same quality as those from
This is cut from the tenderloin, and costs from twenty-five cents to a
dollar per pound. It is very soft and tender, but has hardly any
flavor, and is not half as nutritious as one from a round or rump.
Quality and Cost.
We will now consider the various kinds of steak, as to their cost and
nutritive qualities. The prices given are not those of all sections of
the country, but they will be helpful to the purchaser, as showing the
ratio which each bears to the other.
Top of the round, the most nutritious, 18 to 25 cents.
Rump cut across the grain, next in nutritive qualities, 28 to 30 cents
Rump cut with the grain, 22 to 25 cents
Sirloin, 25 to 30 cents
Porter-house, 30 cents
Tenderloin, 25 cts. to $1.00
The tenderloin, rump and round steaks are all clear meat; therefore,
there is no waste, and of course one will not buy as many pounds of
these pieces to provide for a given number of persons as if one were
purchasing a sirloin or porter-house steak, because with the latter-
named the weight of bone and of the flank, if this be left on, must
always be taken into consideration.
After the aitchbone and steaks have been taken from the round there
remain nice pieces for stewing and braising; and still lower the meat
and bones are good for soups and jellies. The price decreases as you
go down to the shank, until for the shank itself you pay only from
three to four cents per pound.
It will be remembered that plate No. 4 represents a loin of beef,
showing the end which joined the ribs, also the kidney suet. No. 12
represents the same loin, showing the end which joined the rump. There
are about thirty pounds in a sirloin that has been cut from a large
beeve. This makes about three roasting pieces for a moderately large
family. The piece next the rump has the largest tenderloin and is,
therefore, by many considered the choicest. Steaks cut from it are now
served in the principal hotels as porter-house.
In plate No. 3 was shown that part of the ramp which joins the round.
Plate No. 13 represents the end which joins the sirloin.
[Illustration: PLATE NO. 13. RUMP.]
[Illustration: PLATE NO. 12. LOIN.]
Plate No. 14 represents the first five ribs cut from the back half
where it joins the tip of the sirloin, and shows the end that joined.
This cut is considered the best of the rib-roasts. For family use it
is generally divided into two roasts, the three ribs next the sirloin
being the first cut of the ribs and the others the second cut.
[Illustration: PLATE NO. 14. FIRST FIVE RIBS.]
[Illustration: PLATE NO. 15. CHUCK RIBS.]
Plate No. 15 represents the chuck ribs, the first chuck, or sixth rib,
being seen at the end. There are ten ribs in the back half as cut in
Boston, five prime and five chuck; We must remember that in New York
and Philadelphia there are thirteen ribs, eight of which are prime.
The first two chuck ribs make a very good roast or steak, being one of
the most nutritious cuts in the animal, and the next three are good
for stewing and braising. Many people roast them. The flavor is fine
when they are cooked in this manner, but the meat is rather tough. A
chuck rib contains part of the shoulder-blade, while the prime ribs do
not. In New York and Philadelphia the ribs are cut much longer than in
Boston; hence the price per pound is less there. But the cost to the
purchaser is as great as in Boston, because he has to pay for a great
deal of the rattle-ran or rack. It is always best to have the
ribroasts cut short, and even pay a higher price for them, as there
will then be no waste.
The fore quarter is first cut into two parts, the back half and the
rattle-ran, and these are then cut into smaller pieces for the
different modes of cooking. Diagram No. 16 represents a fore quarter.
The back half only is numbered, for the rattle-ran is given in diagram
[Illustration: FACE OF THE RUMP.]
[Illustration: DIAGRAM NO. 16. THE FORE QUARTER.]
EXPLANATION OF DIAGRAM NO. 16.
1. First cut of ribs.
2. Second cut of ribs.
3. Third cut of ribs.
4 and 5. Best chuck ribs.
6 and 7. Poorer chuck ribs.
8. Neck piece.
1. First cut of ribs, with tip of sirloin.
2. Second cut of ribs.
3. Third cut of ribs.
4 and 5. Best chuck ribs.
6 and 7. Poorer chuck ribs.
8. Neck piece.
1. First cut of ribs, with tip of sirloin.
2. Second cut of ribs.
3. Third cut of ribs.
4 and 5. Best chuck ribs.
6 and 7. Poorer chuck ribs.
8. Neck chuck.
The whole of lower half of the fore quarter is often called the
rattle-ran. Diagram No. 17 shows this, and the table following gives
the name of the separate cuts:
[Illustration: DIAGRAM NO. 17. THE RATTLE-RAN.]
EXPLANATION OF DIAGRAM NO. 17.
2. Shoulder of mutton.
3. Sticking piece.
4. Shin, thick end of brisket, part of sticking piece.
5 and 6. Brisket piece.
7. Middle cut or rib plate.
8. Navel end of brisket.
1. Plate piece.
2 and 3. Shoulder of mutton.
4. Shin and thick end of brisket.
5 and 6. Brisket piece.
7 and 8. Navel end of brisket.
1. Plate piece.
2. Shoulder of mutton or boler piece.
3. Sticking piece.
4. Shin and thick end of brisket.
5 and 6. Brisket piece.
7 and 8. Navel end of brisket.
The rattle-ran or plate piece is generally corned, and is considered
one of the best cuts for pressed beef. The shoulder of mutton is used
for stews, beef _à la mode_, roasts and steaks, and is also
corned. The sticking piece, commonly called the back of the shoulder,
but which is really the front, is used for stews, soups, pie meat and
for corning. The shin is used for soups, and the brisket and ribs for
corning and for stews and soups. One of the best pieces for corning is
the navel end of the brisket. The middle cut of the rattle-ran is also
Mutton is very nutritious and easily digested. The best quality will
have clear, hard, white fat, and a good deal of it; the lean part will
be juicy, firm and of a rather dark red color. When there is but
little fat, and that is soft and yellow and the meat is coarse and
stringy, you may be sure that the quality is poor. Mutton is much
improved by being hung in a cool place for a week or more. At the
North a leg will keep quite well for two or three weeks in winter, if
hung in a cold, dry shed or cellar. Mutton, like beef, is first split
through the back, and then the sides are divided, giving two fore and
two hind quarters. Diagram No. 18 is of a whole carcass of mutton, and
half of it is numbered to show the pieces into which the animal is cut
[Illustration: DIAGRAM NO. 18.]
EXPLANATION OF DIAGRAM NO. 18.
1, 2, 4. Hind quarter.
3, 5, 5. Fore quarter
Hind Quarter of Mutton.
This consists of the leg and loin, and is the choicest cut. It makes a
fine roast for a large family, but for a moderate-sized or small one
either the leg or loin alone is better. A hind quarter taken from a
prime animal will weigh from twenty to thirty pounds.
Leg of Mutton.
This joint is nearly always used for roasting and boiling. It has but
little bone, as compared with the other parts of the animal, and is,
therefore, an economical piece to select, though the price per pound
be greater than that of any other cut. It is not common to find a good
leg weighing under ten or twelve pounds. A leg is shown in plate No.
[Illustration: PLATE NO. 19.]
Loin of Mutton.
In a loin, as cut in Boston, there are seven ribs, which make a good
roast for a small family. This cut is particularly nice in hot
weather. It is not as large as a leg, and the meat is, besides, of a
lighter quality and more delicate flavor. The cost when the flank is
taken off will be about seven cents more a pound than if the loin be
sold with it on; but, unless you wish to use the flank for a soup,
stew or haricot, it is the better economy to buy a trimmed piece and
pay the higher price. When the two loins are joined they are called a
saddle. Plate No. 20 shows a saddle and two French chops.
[Illustration: PLATE NO 20. SADDLE OF MUTTON AND FRENCH CHOPS.]
Fore Quarter of Mutton.
In this is included the shoulder and breast. When the shoulder-blade
is taken out the quarter makes a good roast for a large family. The
shoulder is separated from the breast by running a sharp knife between
the two, starting at the curved dotted lines near the neck (shown in
diagram No. 18), and cutting round to the end of the line. The
shoulder is nice for roasting or boiling. The breast can be used for a
roast, for broths, braising, stewing or cotelettes. Rib chops are also
cut from the breast, which is, by the way, the cheapest part of the
Chops and Cutlets.
Chops are cut from the loin. They are called long when the flank is
cut on them and short if without it. When part of the bone of the
short chop is scraped clean it is called a French chop. The rolled
chops sold by provision dealers are the long chops with the bone
removed. One often sees them selling at a low price. They are then the
poor parts of the mutton, like the flank, and will be found very
expensive no matter how little is asked.
The price of mutton varies with the seasons, but a table giving the
average price may help the purchaser to an estimate of the comparative
cost of each cut:
Hind Quarter, 15 cents.
Leg, 17 cents.
Loin, with flank, 13 cents.
Loin, without flank, 20 cents.
Fore Quarter, 8 cents.
Trimmed Chops, 20 cents.
Untrimmed Chops, 12 cents.
When one has a large family it brings all kinds of meat considerably
cheaper to buy large pieces untrimmed, as the trimmings can be used
for soups, stews, etc.; but for a small family, it is much better to
purchase only the part you want for immediate use. Although mutton
costs less per pound than beef, it is no cheaper in the end, because
to be good it must be fat, and mutton fat, unlike beef fat, cannot be
employed for cooking purposes, as it gives a strong flavor to any
article with which it is used.
Lamb is cut and sold like mutton. Being much smaller, however, a hind
or fore quarter is not too large for a good-sized family. Lamb will
not keep as long as mutton, for, being juicy, it taints more readily.
It is of a delicate flavor until nearly a year old, when it begins to
taste like mutton and is not so tender. The bones of a young lamb will
be red, and the fat hard and white. This meat is in season from May to
The calf being so much larger than the sheep, the fore and hind
quarters are not cooked together, and for an ordinary family both are
not purchased. The animal is, however, cut into the same parts as
mutton. The loin, breast and shoulder are used for roasting. Chops are
cut from the loin and neck, those from the neck being called rib chops
or cotelettes. The neck itself is used for stews, pies, fricassees,
etc. The leg is used for cutlets, fricandeaux, stews and roasts, and
for braising. The fillet of veal is a solid piece cut from the leg--
not like the tenderloin in beef, but used in much the same way. The
lower part of the leg is called a knuckle, and is particularly nice
for soups and sauces. Good veal will have white, firm fat, and the
lean part a pinkish tinge. When extremely white it indicates that the
calf has been bled before being killed, which is a great cruelty to
the animal, besides greatly impoverishing the meat. When veal is too
young it will be soft and of a bluish tinge. The calf should not be
killed until at least six weeks old. Veal is in the market all the
year, but the season is really from April to September, when the price
is low. The leg costs more than any other joint, because it is almost
wholly solid meat. The fillet costs from 20 to 25 cents; cutlets from
the leg, 30 cents; chops from loin, 20 cents; loin for roast, 15
cents; breast, 10 to 12 cents. Veal is not nutritious nor easily
digested. Many people cannot eat it in any form, but such a number of
nice dishes can be made from it, and when in season the price is so
low, that it will always be used for made dishes and soups.
Pork, although not so much used in the fresh state as beef, mutton,
lamb, etc., is extensively employed in the preparation of food. It is
cut somewhat like mutton, but into more parts. Fresh young pork should
be firm; the fat white, the lean a pale reddish color and the skin
white and clear. When the fat is yellow and soft the pork is not of
the best quality. After pork has been salted, if it is corn-fed, the
fat will be of a delicate pinkish shade. When hogs weighing three and
four hundred pounds are killed, the fat will not be very firm,
particularly if they are not fed on corn. The amount of salt pork
purchased at a time depends upon the mode of cooking in each family.
If bought in small quantities it should be kept in a small jar or tub,
half filled with brine, and a plate, smaller round than the tub,
should be placed on top of the meat to press it under the brine.
The parts into which the hog is cut are called leg, loin, rib piece,
shoulder, neck, flank, brisket, head and feet. The legs and shoulders
are usually salted and smoked. The loin of a large hog has about two
or three inches of the fat cut with the rind. This is used for
salting, and the loin fresh for roasting. When, however, the hog is
small, the loin is simply scored and roasted. The ribs are treated the
same as the loin, and when the rind and fat are cut off are called
spare-ribs. This piece makes a sweet roast. Having much more bone and
less meat than the loin, it is not really any cheaper, although sold
for less. The loin and ribs are both used for chops and steaks. The
flank and brisket are corned. The head is sold while fresh for head-
cheese, or is divided into two or four parts and corned, and is a
favorite dish with many people. The feet are sometimes sold while
fresh, but are more frequently first pickled. The fat taken from the
inside of the hog and also all the trimmings are cooked slowly until
dissolved. This, when strained and cooled, is termed lard. Many
housekeepers buy the leaf or clear fat and try it out themselves. This
is the best way, as one is then sure of a pure article.
These should be made wholly of pork, but there is often a large
portion of beef in them. They should be firm, and rather dry on the
Calves' liver is the best in the market, and always brings the highest
price. In some markets they will not cut it. A single liver costs
about fifty cents, and when properly cooked, several delicious dishes
can be made from it.
Beef liver is much larger and darker than the calves', has a stronger
flavor and is not so tender. It is sold in small or large pieces at a
Pigs' liver is not nearly as good as the calves' or beeves', and comes
very much cheaper.
Both the calves' and beeves' hearts are used for roasting and
braising. The calves' are rather small, but tenderer than the beeves'.
The price of one is usually not more than fifteen cents. The heart is
nutritious, but not easily digested.
The kidneys of beef, veal, mutton, lamb and pork are all used for
stews, broils, _sautés_, curries and fricassees. Veal are the
These are very delicate. Beef tongue is the most used. It should be
thick and firm, with a good deal of fat on the under side. When fresh,
it it used for bouilli, mince pies and to serve cold or in jelly.
Salted and smoked, it is boiled and served cold. Lambs' tongues are
sold both fresh and pickled.
POULTRY AND GAME.
All fowl less than a year old come under this head. The lower end of
the breast-bone in a chicken is soft, and can be bent easily. The
breast should be full, the lean meat white, and the fat a pale straw
color. Chickens are best in last of the summer and the fell and
winter. The largest and juciest come from Philadelphia.
These are generally used for broiling. They vary in size, weighing
from half a pound to two and a half pounds. The small, plump ones,
weighing about one and a half or two pounds, are the best. There is
little fat on spring chickens.
These may be anywhere from one to five or six years old. When over two
years the meat is apt to be tough, dry and stringy. They should be
fat, and the breast full and soft. The meat of fowl is richer than
that of chickens, and is, therefore, better for boiling and to use for
salads and made dishes. The weight of bone is not much greater than in
a chicken, while there is a great deal more meat. Another point to be
remembered is that the price per pound is also generally a few cents
The lower end of the breast-bone should be soft, and bend easily, the
breast be plump and short, the meat firm and the fat white. When the
bird is very large and fat the flavor is sometimes a little strong.
Eight or ten pounds is a good size for a small family.
It is more difficult to judge of the age and quality of a goose than
of any other bird. If the wind pipe is brittle and breaks easily under
pressure of the finger and thumb, the bird is young, but if it rolls
the bird is old. Geese live to a great age--thirty or more years. They
are not good when more than three years old. Indeed, to be perfect,
they should be not more than one year old. They are in season in the
fall and winter.
The young geese are very well fed, and when from two to four months
old are killed for sale. They bring a high price, and are delicious.
They are sometimes in the market in winter, but the season is the
summer and fall.
The same tests that are applied to chickens and geese to ascertain age
and quality are made with ducks. Besides the tame bird, there are at
least twenty different kinds that come under the head of game. The
canvas-back is the finest in the list; the mallard and red-head come
next. The domestic duck is in season nearly all the year, but the wild
ones only through the fall and winter. The price varies with the
season and supply. A pair of canvas-backs will at one time cost a
dollar and a half and at another five dollars.
There are two kinds of pigeons found in the market, the tame and the
wild, which are used for potting, stewing, &c. Except when "stall-fed"
they are dry and tough, and require great care in preparation. The
wild birds are the cheapest. They are shipped from the West, packed in
barrels, through the latter part of the winter and the early spring.
Stall-fed pigeons are the tame ones cooped for a few weeks and well
fed. They are then quite fat and tender, and come into market about
the first of October.
These are the young of the tame pigeon. Their flesh is very delicate,
and they are used for roasting and broiling.
Grouse, or Prairie Chicken.
These birds comes from the West, and are much like the partridge of
the Eastern States and Canada. The flesh is dark, but exceedingly
tender. Grouse should be plump and heavy. The breast is all that is
good to serve when roasted, and being so dry, it should always be
larded. The season is from September to January, but it is often
continued into April.
There should be a good deal of fat on this meat. The lean should be
dark red and the fat white. Venison is in season all the year, but is
most used in cold weather. In summer it should have been killed at
least ten days before cooking; in winter three weeks is better. The
cuts are the leg, saddle, loin, fore quarter and steaks. The supply
regulates the price.
This bird is so like the grouse that the same rules apply to both.
What is known as quail at the North is called partridge at the South.
These birds are found in the market all through the fall and winter.
They are quite small (about the size of a squab), are nearly always
tender and juicy, and not very expensive. They come from the West.
Woodcock is in season from July to November. It is a small bird,
weighing about half a pound. It has a fine, delicate flavor, and is
There are numerous large and small birds which are used for food, but
there is not space to treat of them all. In selecting game it must be
remembered that the birds will have a gamey smell, which is wholly
different from that of tainted meat.
To fully describe all the kinds of fish found in our markets would
require too much space and is unnecessary, but a list of those of
which there is usually a supply is given, that housekeepers may know
what it is best to select in a certain season and have some idea of
To Select Fish.
When fresh, the skin and scales will be bright, the eyes full and
clear, the fins stiff and the body firm. If there is a bad odor, or,
if the fish is soft and darker than is usual for that kind, and has
dim, sunken eyes, it is not fit to use.
This is good all the year, but best in the fall and winter. When
cooked, it breaks into large white flakes. It is not as nutritious as
the darker kinds of fish, but is more easily digested. The price
remains about the same through all seasons.
This is a firmer and smaller-flaked fish than the cod, but varies
little in flavor from it. The cod has a light stripe running down the
sides; the haddock a dark one.
This also belongs to the cod family, and is a firm, white fish. It is
best in winter.
This is used mostly for salting. It is much like the cod, only firmer
grained and drier.
This fine fish is always good. It varies in weight from two pounds to
three hundred. The flesh is a pearly white in a perfectly fresh fish.
That cut from one weighing from fifty to seventy-five pounds is the
best, the flesh of any larger being coarse and dry. The small fish are
called chicken halibut.
These are thin, flat fish, often sold under the name of sole. Good at
all times of the year.
This is a flat fish, weighing from two to twenty pounds. The flesh is
soft, white and delicate. Turbot is not common in our market.
Salmon is in season from April to July, but is in its prime in June.
It is often found in the market as early as January, when it brings a
high price. Being very rich, a much smaller quantity should be
provided for a given number of people than of the lighter kinds of
This is in season in the Eastern and Middle States from March to
April, and in the Southern States from November to February. The flesh
is sweet, but full of small bones. Shad is much prized for the roe.
This is a rich, dark fish, weighing from two to eight pounds' and in
season in June, July and August. It is particularly nice broiled and
Black-fish, or Tautog.
Good all the year, but best in the spring. It is not a large fish,
weighing only from one to five pounds.
White-fish, or Lake Shad.
This delicious fish is found in the great lakes, and in the locality
where caught it is always in season. At the South and in the East the
market is supplied only in winter, when the price is about eighteen
cents a pound. The average weight is between two and three pounds.
This fish, weighing from half a pound to six or seven, pounds, is very
fine, and is in season nearly all the year. It is best in March, April
The weight of rock-bass generally ranges from half a pound to thirty
or forty pounds, but sometimes reaches eighty or a hundred. The small
fish are the best. The very small ones (under one pound) are fried;
the larger broiled, baked and boiled. The bass are in season all the
year, but best in the fall.
This is very large, with dark, firm flesh. It is nutritious, but not
as delicate as other kinds of fish: It is cut and sold like halibut,
and in season in July and August.
This fish, like the halibut and sword fish, is large. The flesh is of
a light red color and the fat of a pale yellow. There is a rather
strong flavor. A fish weighing under a hundred pounds will taste
better than a larger one. The season is from April to September.
Weak-fish is found in the New York and Philadelphia markets from May
to October. In the Eastern States it is not so well known. It is a
delicate fish, and grows soft very quickly. It is good boiled or
Small, or "Pan"-Fish.
The small fish that are usually fried, have the general name of "pan"-
fish. There is a great variety, each kind found in the market being
nearly always local, as it does not pay to pack and ship them. A
greater part have the heads and skin taken off before being sold.
These are good at any time, but best in the winter, when they are both
plenty and cheap.
There are several varieties of this fish, which is much prized in some
sections of the country. It is a small fish, weighing from a quarter
of a pound to two or three pounds. It often has a slightly muddy
flavor, owing to living a large part of the time in the mud of the
This fish is nutritious and cheap. It is in the market through the
spring and summer, and averages in weight between one and two pounds.
These are larger than the common mackerel, and have rows of yellow
spots, instead of the dark lines on the sides. They are in season from
June to October, and generally bring a high price.
These are sold skinned; are always in season, but best from April to
This shell-fish is in the market all the year, but is best in May and
June. If the tail, when straightened, springs back into position, it
indicates that the fish is fresh. The time of boiling live lobsters
depends upon the size. If boiled too much they will be tough and dry.
They are generally boiled by the fishermen. This is certainly the best
plan, as these people know from practice, just how long to cook them.
Besides, as the lobsters must be alive when put into the pot, they are
ugly things to handle. The medium-sized are the tenderest and
sweetest. A good one will be heavy for its size. In the parts of the
country where fresh lobsters cannot be obtained, the canned will be
found convenient for making salads, soups, stews, etc.
These are in the market all the year. They are sold alive and, also,
like the lobster, boiled. Near the coast of the Southern and Middle
States they are plenty and cheap, but in the interior and in the
Eastern States they are quite expensive. They are not used as much as
the lobster, because it is a great deal of trouble to take the meat
from the shell.
As the crab grows, a new, soft shell forms, and the old, hard one is
shed. Thus comes the soft-shelled crab. In about three days the shell
begins to harden again. In Maryland there are ponds for raising these
crabs, so that now the supply is surer than in former years. Crabs are
a great luxury, and very expensive. In the Eastern States they are
found only in warm weather. They must always be cooked while alive.
Frying and broiling are the modes of preparing.
These are found on the Southern coasts; are much the shape of a
lobster, but very small. They are used mostly for sauces to serve with
fish. Their season is through the spring, summer and fall. There is a
larger kind called big shrimp or prawns, sold boiled in the Southern
markets. These are good for sauces or stews, and, in fact, can be
used, in most cases, the same as lobster. But few shrimp are found in
the Eastern or Western markets. The canned goods are, however,
convenient and nice for sauces.
This shell-fish comes from the South, Baltimore being the great
terrapin market. It belongs to the turtle family. It is always sold
alive, and is a very expensive fish, the diamond backs costing from
one to two dollars apiece. Three varieties are found in the market,
the diamond backs, little bulls and red fenders. The first named are
considered marketable when they measure six inches across the back.
They are then about three years old. The little bulls, or male fish,
hardly ever measure more than five inches across the back. They are
cheaper than diamond backs, but not so well flavored. The red fenders
grow larger than the others, and are much cheaper, but their meat is
coarse and of an inferior flavor. Terrapin are in the market all the
year, but the best time to buy them is from November to February.
No other shell-fish is as highly prized as this. The oyster usually
takes the name of the place where it is grown, because the quality and
flavor depend very much upon the feeding grounds. The Blue-point, a
small, round oyster from Long Island, is considered the finest in the
market, and it costs about twice as much as the common oyster. Next
comes the Wareham, thought by many quite equal to the Blue-point. It
is a salt water oyster, and is, therefore, particularly good for
serving raw. The Providence River oyster is large and well flavored,
yet costs only about half as much as the Blue-point. The very large
ones, however, sell at the same price. Oysters are found all along;
the coast from Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico. Those taken from
the cool Northern waters are the best. The sooner this shell-fish is
used after being opened, the better. In the months of May, June, July
and August, the oyster becomes soft and milky. It is not then very
healthful or well flavored. The common-sized oysters are good for all
purposes of cooking except broiling and frying, when the large are
preferable. The very large ones are not served as frequently on the
half shell as in former years, the Blue-point, or the small Wareham,
having supplanted them.
There are two kinds of this shell-fish, the common thin-shelled clam
and the quahaug. The first is the most abundant. It is sold by the
peck or bushel in the shell, or by the quart when shelled. Clams are
in season all the year, but in summer a black substance is found in
the body, which must be pressed from it before using. The shell of the
quahaug is thick and round.
This shell-fish is used about the same as the clam, but is not so
popular, owing to a peculiarly sweet flavor. It is in season from
September to March, and is sold shelled, as only the muscular part of
the fish is used.
Every good housekeeper will supply her table with a variety of
vegetables all the year round. One can hardly think of a vegetable,
either fresh or canned, that cannot be had in our markets at any
season. The railroads and steamers connect the climes so closely that
one hardly knows whether he is eating fruits and vegetables in or out
of season. The provider, however, realizes that it takes a long purse
to buy fresh produce at the North while the ground is yet frozen.
Still, there are so many winter vegetables that keep well in the
cellar through cold weather that if we did not have the new ones from
the South, there would be, nevertheless, a variety from which to
choose. It is late in the spring, when the old vegetables begin to
shrink and grow rank, that we appreciate what comes from the South.
If one has a good, dry cellar, it is economy to procure in the fall
vegetables enough for all winter, but if the cellar is too warm the
vegetables will sprout and decay before half the cold months have
passed. Those to be bought are onions, squashes, turnips, beets,
carrots, parsnips, cabbages, potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes, all of
which, except the first two, should be bedded in sand and in a cool
place, yet where they will not freeze. Squashes and onions should be
kept in a very dry room. The price of all depends upon the supply.
WHEN IN SEASON.
Bermuda sends new potatoes into Northern markets about the last of
March or first of April. Florida soon follows, and one Southern State
after another continues the supply until June, when the Northern and
Eastern districts begin. It is only the rich, however, who can afford
new potatoes before July; but the old are good up to that time, if
they have been well kept and are properly cooked. Cabbage is in season
all the year. Beets, carrots, turnips and onions are received from the
South in April and May, so that we have them young and fresh for at
least five months. After this period they are not particularly tender,
and require much cooking. Squashes come from the South until about
May, and we then have the summer squash till the last of August, when
the winter squash is first used. This is not as delicate as the summer
squash, but is generally liked better. Green peas are found in the
market in February, though they are very expensive up to the time of
the home supply, which is the middle of June, in an ordinary season,
in the Eastern States. They last until the latter part of August, but
begin to grow poor before that time. There is a great variety, some
being quite large, others very small. The smaller are the more
desirable, being much like French peas. When peas are not really in
season it is more satisfactory to use French canned peas, costing
forty cents a can. One can is enough for six persons. When buying
peas, see that the pods are green, dry and cool. If they have turned
light they have been picked either a long time or when old.
Spinach is always in season, but is valued most during the winter and
spring, as it is one of the few green vegetables that we get then, and
is not expensive. It should be green and crisp.
Asparagus, from hot houses and the South, begins to come into the
market in March and April. It is then costly, but in May and June is
abundant and quite cheap. About the last of June it grows poor, and no
matter how low the price, it will be an expensive article to buy as it
has then become very "woody." The heads should be full and green; if
light and not full, the asparagus will not spend well.
The cultivated dandelion is found in the market in March, April and a
part of May. It is larger, tenderer and less bitter than the wild
plant, which begins to get into the market--in April. By the last of
May the dandelion is too rank and tough to make a good dish.
This vegetable is generally quite expensive. It is found in the market
a greater part of the year, being now grown in hot houses in winter.
It is in perfection from the first of May to November or December. The
leaves should be green and fresh and the heads a creamy white. When
the leaves are wilted, or when there are dark spots on the head, the
cauliflower is not good.
The fresh tomato comes to the market from the South in April and
sometimes in March. On account of the high price it is then used only
where the canned tomato will not answer. In July, August and September
it is cheap. It comes next to the potato in the variety of forms in
which it may be served. By most physicians it is considered a very
healthful vegetable. The time to buy ripe tomatoes for canning is
about the last of August, when they are abundant and cheap. About the
middle or last of September green ones should be secured for pickling,
etc. As the vines still bear a great many that cannot ripen before the
frost comes, these are sold for this purpose.
There are two kinds of green beans in the market, the string or snap
bean and the shell bean. String beans come from the South about the
first of April. They are picked in Northern gardens about the first of
June, and they last until about the middle of July. They should be
green, the beans just beginning to form, and should snap crisply. If
wilted or yellow they have been picked too long.
Shell beans come in May, but are not picked at the North before June.
They are good until the last of September. There is a great variety of
shell beans, but the Lima is considered the best When fresh, shell
beans are dry and smooth; but if old, they look dull and sticky.
Celery is found in the market from August to April, but is in its
prime and is cheapest from November to the first of March. Before the
frost comes it is slightly bitter, and after the first of March it
grows tough and stringy. Unless one has a good cellar in which to bury
celery, it is best to purchase as one has need from time to time.
Celery is a delicious salad. It is also considered one of the best
vegetables that a nervous, rheumatic or neuralgic person can take. The
heads should be close and white, and the stalks should break off
crisply. Save the trimmings for soups.
Lettuce is found in the market all the year round, being now raised in
hot houses in winter. It then costs two and three times as much as in
summer; still, it is not an expensive salad. There are a number of
varieties having much the same general appearance. That which comes in
round heads, with leaves like a shell, is the most popular in this
country, because it can be served so handsome. There is another kind,
high in favor in Paris and in some localities in this country for its
tenderness and delicate flavor, but not liked by marketmen, because it
will not bear rough handling. The tune will come, however, when there
will be such a demand for this species that all first-class provision
dealers will keep it. The French call it Romaine, and in this country
it is sometimes called Roman lettuce. It does not head. The leaves are
long and not handsome whole; but one who uses the lettuce never wishes
for any other. Lettuce should be crisp and green, and be kept until
used in a very cold place--in an ice chest if possible.
Mushrooms are in the market at all seasons. In summer, when they are
found in pastures, they are comparatively (fifty or seventy-five cents
a pound), but in winter they are high priced. Being, however, very
light, a pound goes a great way. The French canned mushrooms are safe,
convenient and cheap. One can, costing forty cents, is enough for a
sauce for at least ten people. There is nothing else among vegetables
which gives such a peculiarly delicious flavor to meat sauces.
Mushrooms are used also as a relish for breakfast and tea, or as an
entrée. In gathering from the fields one should exercise great care
not to collect poisonous toadstools, which are in appearance much like
mushrooms, and are often mistaken for these by people whose knowledge
of vegetables has been gained solely by reading. The confusion of the
two things has sometimes resulted fatally. There can hardly be danger
if purchases are made of reliable provision dealers.
Green corn is sent from the South about the last of May or the first
of June, and then costs much. It comes from the Middle States about
the middle of July and from the Eastern in August, and it lasts into
October in the North Eastern States. It should be tender and milky,
and have well-filled ears. If too old it will be hard, and the grains
straw colored, and no amount of boiling wilt make it tender. Corn is
boiled simply in clear water, is made into chowders, fritters,
puddings, succotash, etc.
There are two kinds of artichokes, the one best known in this country,
the Jerusalem artichoke, being a tuber something like the potato. It
is used as a salad, is boiled and served as a vegetable, and is also
pickled. This artichoke comes into the market about July, and can be
preserved in sand for winter use.
The Globe Artichoke.
A thick, fleshy-petaled flower grows on a plant that strongly
resembles the thistle; this flower is the part that is eaten. It is
boiled and served with a white sauce, and is also eaten as a salad. It
is much used in France, but we have so many vegetables with so much
more to recommend them, that this will probably never be common in
Cucumbers are in the market all the year round. In winter they are
raised in green houses and command a high price. They begin to come
from the South about the first of April, and by the last of May the
price is reasonable. They last through the summer, but are not very
nice after August They are mostly used as a salad and for pickles, but
are often cooked. They should be perfectly green and firm for a salad,
and when to be pickled, they must be small. If for cooking, it does no
harm to have them a little large and slightly turned yellow.
There are two forms of the radish commonly found in the market, the
long radish and the small round one. They are in the market in all
seasons, and in early spring and summer the price is low. Radishes are
used mostly as a relish.
Chicory or Endive.
The roots and leaves of this plant are both used, but the leaves only
are found in the market (the roots are used in coffee), and these come
in heads like the lettuce. Chicory comes into the market later than
lettuce, and is used in all respects like it. Sometimes it is cooked.
The housekeeper in large cities has no difficulty in finding all the
herbs she may want, but this is not so in small towns and villages.
The very fact, however, that one lives in a country place suggests a
remedy. Why not have a little bed of herbs in your own garden, and
before they go to seed, dry what you will need for the winter and
spring? Thus, in summer you could always have the fresh herbs, and in
whiter have your supply of dried.
It is essential to have green parsley throughout the winter, and this
can be managed very easily by having two or three pots planted with
healthy roots in the fall. Or, a still better way is to have large
holes bored in the sides of a large tub or keg; then fill up to the
first row of holes with rich soil; put the roots of the plants through
the holes, having the leaves on the outside; fill up again with soil
and continue this until the tub is nearly full; then plant the top
with roots. Keep in a sunny window and you will have not only a useful
herb, but a thing of beauty through the winter.
For soups, sauces, stews and braising, one wants sweet marjoram,
summer savory, thyme, parsley, sage, tarragon and bay-leaf always on
hand. You can get bunches of savory, sage, marjoram and thyme for five
cents each at the vegetable market. Five cents' worth of bay-leaves
from the drug shop win complete the list (save tarragon, which is hard
to find), and you have for a quarter of a dollar herbs enough to last
a large family a year. Keep them tied together in a large paper bag or
a box, where they will be dry. Mint and parsley should be used green.
There is but little difficulty in regard to mint, as it is used only
in the spring and summer.
The manner in which a housekeeper buys her groceries must depend upon
where she lives and how large her family is. In a country place, where
the stores are few and not well supplied, it is best to buy in large
quantities all articles that will not deteriorate by keeping. If one
has a large family a great saving is made by purchasing the greater
portion of one's groceries at wholesale.
There is now in use flour made by two different processes, by the old,
or St. Louis, and the new, or Haxall. The Haxall flour is used mostly
for bread and the old-process for pastry, cake, etc. By the new
process more starch and less of the outer coats, which contain much of
the phosphates, is retained; so that the flour makes a whiter and
moister bread. This flour packs closer than that made in the old way,
so that a pound of it will not measure as much as a pound of the old
kind. In using an old rule, one-eighth of this flour should be left
out. For instance, if in a recipe for bread you have four quarts (old-
process) of flour given, of the new-process you would take only three
and a half quarts. This flour does not make as good cake and pastry as
the old-process. It is, therefore, well, to have a barrel of each, if
you have space, for the pastry flour is the cheaper, and the longer
all kinds of flour are kept in a _dry_ place, the better they
are. Buying in small quantities is extremely extravagant. When you
have become accustomed to one brand, and it works to your
satisfaction, do not change for a new one. The _best_ flour is
the cheapest. There are a great many brands that are equally good.
The best Graham is made by grinding good wheat and not sifting it.
Much that is sold is a poor quality of flour mixed with bran. This
will not, of course, make good, sweet bread. The "Arlington Whole
Wheat Meal" is manufactured from pure wheat, and makes delicious
bread. Graham, like flour, will keep in a cool, dry place for years.
In most families there is a large amount of this used, but the
quantity purchased at a time depends upon the kind of meal selected.
The common kind, which is made by grinding between two mill-stones,
retains a great deal of moisture, and, in hot weather, will soon grow
musty; but the granulated meal will keep for any length of time. The
corn for this meal is first dried; and it takes about two years for
this. Then the outer husks are removed, and the corn is ground by a
process that produces grains like granulated sugar. After once using
this meal one will not willingly go back to the old kind. Indian meal
is made from two kinds of corn, Northern and Southern. The former
gives the yellow meal, and is much richer than the Southern, of which
white meal is made.
This meal, like the old-process Indian, will grow musty in a short
time in hot weather, so that but a small quantity of it should be
bought at a time. The meal is much better than the flour for all kinds
of bread and muffins.
There are several kinds of oat meal--Scotch, Irish, Canadian and
American. The first two are sold in small packages, the Canadian and
American in any quantity. It seems as if the Canadian and American
should be the best because the freshest; but the fact is the others
are considered the choicest. Many people could not eat oat meal in
former years, owing to the husks irritating the lining of the stomach.
There is now what is called pearled meal. All the husks are removed,
and the oats are then cut. The coarse kind will keep longer than the
fine ground, but it is best to purchase often, and have the meal as
fresh as possible.
This is the whole wheat just crushed or cut like the coarse oat meal,
but unlike the meal. It will keep a long time. It is cooked the same
as oat meal. That which is cut makes a handsomer dish than the
crushed, but the latter cooks more quickly.
This is made from corn, and it comes in a number of sizes, beginning
with samp and ending with a grade nearly as fine as coarse-granulated
sugar. The finest grade is really the best, so many nice dishes can be
made with it which you cannot make with the coarse. Hominy will keep a
long time, and it can be bought in five-pound package or by the
The fine-granulated sugar is the best and cheapest for general family
use. It is pure and dry; therefore, there is more in one pound of it
than in a damp, brown sugar, besides its sweetening power being
considerably greater. The price of sugar at wholesale is not much less
than at retail, but time and trouble are saved by purchasing by the
It is well to keep on hand all kinds of spice, both whole and ground.
They should not be in large quantities, as a good cook will use them
very sparingly, and a good house-keeper will have too much regard for
the health of her family and the delicacy of her food to have them
used lavishly. For soups and sauces the whole spice is best, as it
gives a delicate flavor, and does not color. A small wooden or tin box
should be partly filled with whole mace, cloves, allspice and
cinnamon, and a smaller paste-board box, full of pepper-corns, should
be placed in it. By this plan you will have all your spices together
when you season a soup or sauce.
These keep well, and if cleaned, washed and _well_ dried, will
improve in flavor by being kept.
In large families, if this fruit is much used, it is well to buy by
the box. Time does not improve raisins.
Soda, Cream of Tartar, Baking Powder.
There should not be so much of these articles used as to require that
they be purchased in large quantities. Cream of tartar is expensive,
soda cheap. If one prefers to use baking powders there will be no need
of cream of tartar, but the soda will still be required for
gingerbread and brown bread, and to use with sour milk, etc. The
advantage of baking powder is that it is prepared by chemists who know
just the proportion of soda to use with the acid (which should be
cream of tartar), and the result will be invariable if the cook is
exact in measuring the other ingredients. When an inexperienced cook
uses the soda and cream of tartar there is apt to be a little too much
of one or the other. Just now, with the failure of the grape crops in
France, from which a greater part of the crystals in use come, cream
of tarter is extremely high, and substitutes, such as phosphates, are
To be Always Kept on Hand.
Besides the things already mentioned, housekeepers should always have
a supply of rice, pearl barley, dried beans, split peas, tapioca,
macaroni, vermicilli, tea, coffee, chocolate, corn-starch, molasses,
vinegar, mustard, pepper, salt, capers, canned tomato, and any other
canned vegetables of which a quantity is used. Of the many kind of
molasses, Porto Rico is the best for cooking purposes. It is well to
have a few such condiments as curry powder (a small bottle will last
for years), Halford sauce, essence of anchovies and mushroom ketchup.
These give variety to the flavoring, and, if used carefully, will not
be an expensive addition, so little is needed for a dish.
CARE OF FOOD.
A great saving is made by the proper care and use of cooked and
uncooked food. The first and great consideration is perfect
cleanliness. The ice chest and cellar should be thoroughly cleaned
once a week; the jars in which bread is kept must be washed, scalded
and dried thoroughly at least twice a week. When cooked food is placed
in either the ice chest or cellar it should be perfectly cool; if not,
it will absorb an unpleasant flavor from the close atmosphere of
either place. Meat should not be put directly on the ice, as the water
draws out the juices. Always place it in a pan, and this may be set on
the ice. When you have a refrigerator where the meat can be hung, a
pan is not needed. In winter, too, when one has a cold room, it is
best to hang meats there. These remarks apply, of course, only to
joints and fowl. The habit which many people have of putting steaks,
chops, etc., in the wrapping paper on ice, is a very bad one. When
purchasing meat always have the trimmings sent home, as they help to
make soups and sauces. Every scrap of meat and bone left from roasts
and broils should be saved for the soup-pot. Trimmings from ham,
tongue, corned beef, etc., should all be saved for the many relishes
they will make. Cold fish can be used in salads and warmed up in many
palatable ways. In fact, nothing that comes on the table is enjoyed
more than the little dishes which an artistic cook will make from the
odds and ends left from a former meal. By artistic cook is meant not a
professional, but a woman who believes in cleanliness and hot dishes,
and that there is something in the appearance as well as in the taste
of the food, and who does not believe that a quantity of butter, or of
some kind of fat, is essential to the success of nearly every dish
cooked. The amount of food spoiled by butter, _good_ butter too,
One should have a number of plates for cold food, that each kind may
be kept by itself. The fat trimmings from beef, pork, veal, chickens
and fowl should be tried out while fresh, and then strained. The fowl
and chicken fat ought to be kept in a pot by itself for shortening and
delicate frying. Have a stone pot for it, holding about a quart, and
another, holding three or four quarts, for the other kinds. The fat
that has been skimmed from soups, boiled beef and fowl, should be
cooked rather slowly until the sediment falls to the bottom and there
is not the shadow of a bubble. It can then be strained into the jar
with the other fat; but if strained while bubbles remain, there is
water in it, and it will spoil quickly. The fat from sausages can also
be strained into the larger pot. Another pot, holding about three
quarts, should be kept for the fat in which articles of food have been
fried. When you have finished frying, set the kettle in a cool place
for about half an hour; then pour the fat into the pot through a fine
strainer, being careful to keep back the sediment, which scrape into
the soap-grease. In this way you can fry in the same fat a dozen
times, while if you are not careful to strain it each time, the crumbs
left will burn and blacken all the fat. Occasionally, when you have
finished frying, cut up two or three uncooked potatoes and put into
the boiling fat. Set on the back of the stove for ten or fifteen
minutes; then set in a cool place for fifteen minutes longer, and
strain. The potatoes clarify the fat. Many people use ham fat for
cooking purposes; and when there is no objection to the flavor, it is
nice for frying eggs, potatoes, etc. But it should not be mixed with
other kinds. The fat from mutton, lamb, geese, turkey or ducks will
give an unpleasant flavor to anything with which it is used, and the
best place for it is with the soap-grease. Every particle of soup and
gravy should be saved, as a small quantity of either adds a great deal
to many little dishes. The quicker food of all kinds cools the longer
it keeps. This should be particularly remembered with soups and bread.
Bread and cake must be thoroughly cooled before being put into box or
jar. If not, the steam will cause them to mold quickly. Crusts and
pieces of stale bread should be dried in a slow oven, rolled into fine
crumbs on a board, and put away for croquettes, cutlets or anything
that is breaded. Pieces of stale bread can be used for toast, griddle-
cakes and puddings and for dressing for poultry and other kinds of
meat. Stale cake can be made into puddings; The best tub butter will
keep perfectly well without a brine if kept in a cool, sweet room. It
is more healthful and satisfactory to buy the choicest tub butter and
use it for table and cooking purposes than to provide a fancy article
for the table and use an inferior one in the preparation of the food.
If, from any cause, butter becomes rancid, to each pint of it add one
table-spoonful of salt and one teaspoonful of soda, and mix well; then
add one pint of cold water, and set on the fire until it comes to the
boiling point Now set away to cool, and when cool and hard, take off
the butter in a cake. Wipe dry and put away for cooking purposes. It
will be perfectly sweet.
Milk, cream and butter all quickly absorb strong odors; therefore,
care must be taken to keep them in a cool, sweet room or in an ice
chest. Cheese should be wrapped in a piece of clean linen and kept in
a box. Berries must be kept in a cool place, and uncovered.
Stove, or Range?
The question often arises, even with old housekeepers, Which shall it
be--a stove or a range? There are strong points in favor of each. For
a small kitchen the range may be commended, because it occupies the
least space, and does not heat a room as intensely as a stove,
although it will heat water enough for kitchen and bath-room purposes
for a large family. That the range is popular is evident from the fact
that nearly every modern house is supplied with one; and thus the cost
of, and cartage for, stoves is generally saved to tenants in these
There are these advantage of a stove over a set range: it requires
less than half as much fuel and is more easily managed--that is, the
fire can be more quickly started, and if it gets too low, more easily
replenished and put in working order; and the ovens can be more
quickly heated or cooled. But, although you can have a water-back and
boiler with most modern stoves or, as they are now called, portable
ranges, the supply of hot water will not be large. And you cannot
roast before the fire as with a range.
So near-perfection have the makers of ranges and stoves come that it
would be difficult to speak of possible improvements, especially in
stoves. This can be said not of a few, but of a great many
manufacturers, each having his special merit. And where the products
are so generally good, it is hard to mention one make in preference to
another. When purchasing, it is well to remember, that one of simple
construction is the most easily managed and does not soon get out of
order. No single piece of furniture contributes so much to the comfort
of a family as the range or stove, which should, therefore, be the
best of its kind.
Gas and Oil Stoves.
During the hot weather a gas or oil stove is a great comfort. The "Sun
Dial," manufactured by the Goodwin Gas Stove Co., Philadelphia, is a
"perfect gem," roasting, baking, broiling, etc., as well as a coal
stove or range. Indeed, meats roasted or broiled by it are jucier than
when cooked over or before coals. The peculiar advantage of oil and
gas stoves is that they can be coveniently used for a short time, say
for the preparation of a meal, at a trifling expense. The cost of
running a gas stove throughout the day is, however, much greater than
that of a coal stove, while an oil stove can be run cheaper than
There are a great many manufacturers of oil stoves, and as a natural
consequence, where there is so much competition, the stoves are nearly
all good. One would not think of doing the cooking for a large family
with one or, indeed, two of them; but the amount of work that can be
accomplished with a single stove is remarkable. They are a great
comfort in hot weather, many small families doing their entire cooking
The trouble with most refrigerators is that the food kept in them is
apt to have a peculiar taste. This is owing in a great measure to the
wood used in the construction of the interior and for the shelves. On
the inside of the Eddy chest-shaped refrigerator there is not a
particle of wood, and the food kept in it is always sweet. It is
simply a chest, where the ice is placed on the bottom and slate
shelves put on top. With this style of refrigerator the waste of ice
is much greater than in those built with a separate compartment for
ice, but the food is more healthful.
The following is a list of utensils with which a kitchen should be
furnished. But the housekeeper will find that there is continually
something new to be bought. If there be much fancy cooking, there must
be an ice cream freezer, jelly and charlotte russe moulds and many
little pans and cutters. The right way is, of course, to get the
essential articles first, and then, from time to time, to add those
used in fancy cooking:
Two cast-iron pots, size depending upon range or stove (they come with
One porcelain-lined preserving kettle.
One fish kettle.
Three porcelain-lined stew-pans, holding from one to six quarts.
One No. 4 deep Scotch frying kettle.
One waffle iron.
Three French polished frying-pans, Nos. 1, 3 and 6.
Four stamped tin or granite ware stewpans, holding from one pint to
One double boiler, holding three quarts.
One Dover egg-beater.
One common wire beater.
One meat rack.
One dish pan.
Two bread pans, holding six and eight quarts respectively.
Two milk pans.
Two Russian-iron baking pans--two sizes.
Four tin shallow baking-pans.
Four deep pans for loaves.
Two quart measures.
One deep, round pan of granite-ware, with cover, for braising.
One deep Russian-iron French roll pan.
Two stamped tin muffin pans.
One coffee biggin.
One chocolate pot.
One squash strainer.
One strainer that will fit on to one of the cast-iron pots.
One melon mould.
Two brown bread tins.
One round pudding mould.
Two vegetable cutters.
One tea canister.
One coffee canister.
One cake box.
One spice box.
One dredger for flour.
One for powdered sugar.
One smaller dredger for salt.
One, still smaller, for pepper.
One boning knife.
One French cook's knife.
One large fork.
Two case-knives and forks.
Two vegetable knives.
Four large mixing spoons.
One larding needle.
One trussing needle.
One set of steel skewers.
One wire dish cloth.
One whip churn.
One biscuit cutter.
One hand basin.
One jagging iron.
Three double broilers--one each for toast, fish and meat.
One long-handled dipper.
One large grater.
One apple corer.
One flour scoop.
One sugar scoop.
One lemon squeezer.
Chopping tray and knife.
Small wooden bowl to use in chopping.
Moulding board of good _hard_ wood.
Board for cutting-bread on.
One for cutting cold meats on.
Thick board, or block, on which to break bones, open lobsters, etc.
A rolling pin.
Wooden buckets for sugar, Graham, Indian and rye meal.
Wooden boxes for rice, tapioca, crackers, barley, soda, cream of
Covers for flour barrels.
Wire flour sieve--not too large.
A pail for cleaning purposes.
One vegetable masher.
Stone pot for bread, holding ten quarts.