Appetizing Jellied Soups for Hot Days

This is the final article in July of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on July 28, 1907, and is an article on jellied soups.

The thought of jellied soups gives me the willies, in fact, there is a line in this article that states, “it is prudent not to enter into details of the manufacture,” i.e. making gelatine is gross. hahaha.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the Boston Sunday Post.

Appetizing Jellied Soups for Hot Days

IMPRIMIS: Never resort to the cheap trick of using gelatin to cover lack of skill and the failure to combine the right elements to secure consistency. I have before me recipes for making mint jelly, for jellied bouillon, and, strangest of all, for the manufacture of fruit jellies to be kept over from season to season—all of which call for sparkling gelatine in varying quantities.

Gelatine is excellent in its place. That is, as a substitute for the calf’s feet from which our granddames were wont to evolve jellies that, in clarity and flavor, are not equaled by the finest products that have gelatine as the basic idea.

It is superfluous to tell the least sophisticated of our housewifely readers that this same gelatine is an animal product. It is prudent not to enter into details of the manufacture. Like many another popular article of human food, it is best received on faith by the consuming one asking no questions for the diaphragm’s sake.

Being an animal bi-product, it decomposes too readily to be compounded into jellies that are to be stored for use in the months to come.

We do not can or pot jellied soup in the private family. I have, it is true, poured it hot into air-tight jars and kept it good for some weeks. I doubt not it could be preserved for several months if properly made and kept sealed from the air and in a dark closet.

What we are considering today is the preparation of jellied soups to be eaten in lieu of hot in the “good old summer-time,” when the cooler a thing is the more it tempts the palate.

Soup-jelly should be strong. It must have gathered unto itself the best elements of the meat and vegetables that go into it. They must cook long and slowly until the residuum in the strainer is tasteless and no more nutritious than the same bulk of bleached cotton would be.

There is no short cut to excellence in the work of preparation. Unless the busy house-mother has learned the art of dove-tailing the tasks of the day, so as to carry on several processes at once, bestowing the requisite amount of time and attention upon each in its turn, she would better not essay the composition until she has a leisure forenoon.

Jellied Bouillon.

Two pounds of lean beef. The coarser parts of the meat will do as well as choice cuts, but there must be not a particle of fat upon it. One pound of lean veal. Mince it fine. Two pounds each of beef and of veal bones, cracked faithfully by the butcher.
A bunch of soup herbs, including parsley.
Two teaspoonfuls of onion juice. Chop the onion and squeeze through cheesecloth. If the pulp be added it will cloud the soup.
Three teaspoonfuls of kitchen bouquet.
White pepper and salt to taste.
One gallon of cold water.

Put meat, bones and vegetables with the water into a deep pot; cover closely and set at the side of the range, where it will not reach the boiling point under an hour’s time. Simmer thus for four hours, never allowing it to boil hard, yet keeping it at boiling heat all the time. At the end of the second hour pour in a cupful of cold water to throw up the scum; cover and set the pot back in place when you have skimmed it. Should the water sink to less than half the original quantity while the soup is in cooking, replenish from the boiling kettle.

When the soup has cooked four hours and you have reduced the liquid to two quarts, remove from the fire, season as directed above, cover again tightly and set in a cool place until the morrow. It should be a firm jelly, clinging to meat and bones. Scrape off the fat carefully. A greasy bouillon is nearly disgusting. Set over the fire and warm quickly to a boil.

As this is merely to rid bones and meat of jelly, do not keep it up more than five minutes. Drop in a lump of ice as big as an egg to check the bubble, transfer the pot to the table and let it alone for ten minutes.

Meanwhile, line a colander with white flannel which has been scalded and then rinsed in two waters. Pour the soup in to the colander, taking care not to disturb the dregs of meat and bones. Put again over the fire, drop in the white of an egg and the crushed shell, bring to a fast boil and strain again through the flannel, which should be perfectly clean. Do not squeeze the cloth at any time.

Finally, having satisfied yourself by tasting that the seasoning is right, set away the bouillon in a cool place.

When quite cold put on ice.

I have been thus explicit in giving the details of the process, because they are substantially the same in making jellied soups of whatsoever kind. The manufacture is by no means as tedious and difficult as might appear to the casual reader. While the soup is boiling, other work may go on without interruption, the bouillon taking care of itself, and demanding no thought beyond an occasional glance to make sure it is not cooking too fast.

Jellied bouillon is in great request at women’s luncheons and in the sick-room. An invalid will relish and digest a few spoonsful of iced jellied soup who would turn away in revulsion from hot liquids.

Jellied Chicken Soup.

Clean and dress a large fowl. It should weigh from four to five pounds when cleaned. Sever each joint from the rest and cut the breast into four pieces. Crack a knuckle of veal from which most of the meat has been stripped. (Veal is especially useful in making jellied soups because it contains much gelatinous matter.) Put the pieces of fowl and the veal bone into a pot; add two teaspoonfuls of onion juice and three stalks of celery cut into inch lengths, and cover with a gallon of cold water.

Cover closely and set where it will not boil under an hour, yet will heat steadily. Cook slowly for four hours, or until the flesh of the fowl slips from the bones. The toughest meat may be made tender by slow and prolonged cooking. The liquid should be reduced to two quarts.

Set the pot away, covered tightly, until the contents are a cold jelly. Heat to a boil to loosen the jelly from the bones, and strain as directed in the foregoing recipe. Clear with a cracked egg shell and the white of an egg as with beef bouillon.

Jellied Chicken and Sago Soup.

Make as for jellied chicken soup, but when the meat has boiled from the bones, stir into the hot soup four tablespoonfuls of sago that have soaked for three hours in a cupful of cold water. Add now a quart of boiling water and simmer for another hour. Leave the soup until cold. Skim then, and re-heat to the boiling point. Strain through double cheesecloth without squeezing, season to taste with white pepper and celery salt and set away to cool and to jelly.

A palatable and nourishing dish for invalids.

Jellied Veal and Celery Soup.

Crack a knuckle of veal into bits to get at the marrow. Put it over the fire, with six stalks of white celery cut into inch lengths; cover with a gallon of cold water and cook slowly for four—perhaps five—hours, replenishing the liquid with boiling water should it boll away too fast. When the meat is done to white rags, season with white pepper and salt, a little minced parsley, two teaspoonfuls of onion juice and a teaspoonful of kitchen bouquet. Set away for ten hours, skim and heat to liquefy the jelly, and strain without squeezing.

Serve ice cold in bouillon cups.

The recipes given herewith are susceptible of numberless variations at the hands of the ingenious cook. The general principles of slow and regular cooking; an abundance of raw, sound meat and a judicious proportion of such materials as contain gelatine, together with wise seasoning, hold good with all.

Marion Harland

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Learning to Cook and Proper Utensils

This is the third article in July of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on July 21, 1907, and is an educating article on cooking.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the Boston Sunday Post.

Learning to Cook and Proper Utensils

A KNOWLEDGE of cookery does not come by nature, although many persons seem to think it does, if one may judge from the little trouble they take to prepare themselves for the work. Neither is it a “knack” that can be picked up at will and requires no preliminary instruction. Any one who wishes skill in the practice of cooking has to work for it as for any other profession. The great advantage of it over many other kinds of work is that even a little attention and labor will produce good results, and that such results appear at an early stage of the study.

Cookery has been called an exact science, and in a way this is true. But it is not like chemistry in its exactness—rather like agriculture, which, after the best efforts have been made, must in a great degree depend for success upon the weather. So in cookery perfect work in preparation may sometimes be spoiled by the eccentricities of the oven or the fluctuations of the fire.

Barring such accidents as these, however, one may be fairly sure of good effects, if one goes about the task in the right way. A few things even the “born cook” must know to start with, or there will be a failure.

Of course, the ideal method of learning cookery is by the practical direction of a skilful teacher—not by attendance at a cooking school, but by work in a kitchen, where, in the good old style inculcated by the immortal Mr. Squeers, we “spell it first and then go and do it.”

In other words, if one have a good cook book, and a competent cook at one’s elbow to give a few needed directions and corrections, one can learn more quickly by experience than in any other way.

DETAILS ARE IMPORTANT

If this cannot be attained, and if there is no motherly soul at hand to give counsel, the cooking school may be resorted to. I have known persons who declared they had derived great good from cooking lessons, but my observation inclines me to think that the gain was made when the pupils had had some preliminary instruction.

If one understands the rudiments, the “frills” can be acquired at a cooking lesson; but unless one enters a class for beginners at a regular cooking school, it is hard to attain familiarity with the first things of the kitchen.

The tyro in cookery who must make her own way with little or no aid except that which she can derive from a cook book should resolve from the first not to despise the day of small things.

There should be no high-flying attempts at elaborate dishes; and I may add that this advise is worth heeding even by those who know a little something of the outlines of cookery. When a familiarity with simple dishes is once gained the more involved processes will follow more or less as a matter of course, but they should be avoided for a good while.

A man once said that if a woman knew how to sweep a floor, to broil a beefsteak, and to make a loaf of bread, she would have no difficulty in getting a husband. He might have added, “or in keeping one.”

Even with this high aim in view, however, it is not well for the beginner to start too rashly upon a career as a bread maker. The broiling of the steak, a knowledge of how to cook plain vegetables, to roast a piece of meat, to make toast, tea and coffee, even to boil eggs, will all serve as beginning better than any process where judgment has to be used, as is essential in making bread, biscuit or cake or anything else in which the thickening qualities of the flour or other uncertain quantities have to be considered.

I have often wondered why it is that the young girl learns to make cake before she attempts anything else. Perhaps it is on the same principle as that which moves her to acquire a knowledge of embroidery before she can darn stockings and to play the piano before she can make her bed or sweep her room!

When I had daughters of my own who had to learn to cook, I gave them instruction in cookery and kitchen economy as I would have done in a language or a science.

THE RUDIMENTS

They were taught how to broil steak and chops, how to mix bread and biscuit. They were enlightened as to the difference between the consistency of dough for bread, for cake, or batter for griddle cakes and waffles.

They were taught that there were two kinds of frying—one, the process conducted in shallow fat, which is described by the French as to “saute” (pronounced so-tay), and is employed in frying sausage, pan fish, cutlets and the like; the other, the frying in deep fat, in which the object is immersed, and which is suitable for doughnuts, crullers, croquettes, fritters, potatoes and so forth. They learned that the heat in the latter case must be such that a bit of bread dropped into the fat would brown in a minute, and that food cooked in this mode was different thing from articles left to soak in lukewarm grease.

Also they learned that bread to rise to the correct degree must increase to double its bulk; that if eggs and milk were cooked together more than just the right length of time they would curdle; that to make a white sauce—the model of nearly all sauces—a tablespoonful each of butter and flour must be allowed to half a pint of milk; that the oven for roasting meat must be kept at a high temperature for ten or fifteen minutes after the roast goes in, so that the outside may be seared and the juices retained; that soups must always cook slowly; that the toughest meat can be made tender by long, deliberate cookery, and a score of other things which, while they were not sufficient to produce experienced cooks, were yet superstructure could be reared. I would advise every woman with daughters at home to go and do likewise.

“GO SLOW”

But there are housekeepers who have already homes of their own, or who are entering upon them, and are unequipped with the rudiments. If they have to learn these for themselves, I can only repeat, the advice I gave a few minutes back— “Go slow!” Provide yourself with a good cook book, and begin with simple dishes.

Believe the words of a veteran housekeeper when I say that your John would rather have for his dinner a well-baked potato, a perfectly broiled steak and a satisfactory cup of coffee than all the fancy and made dishes that you can perpetrate—unless these are done with the skill that bespeaks practice as well as enterprise.

Often I am asked concerning the utensils required for the cook, and I never hear the query without recollecting the dishes I have eaten that were prepared with the simplest utensils, and were yet good because the cook knew how to handle them.

One might as well expect French to be won by the purchase of a dictionary and a phrase book as cookery to be gained by an outfit of utensils. Certain articles are, of course, indispensable. A gridiron, a frying pan, baking tins, a covered roaster, mixing bowls and spoons, a grater and a vegetable press, a skimmer and a strainer, measuring cups and flour sifters, egg beaters and paring knives—but the list of these you will find in your cook book or can obtain from any housekeeper or from a salesman in a house-furnishing shop.

Having secured your utensils let me give you one bit of advice about them. Never begin to cook until you have gathered to you everything you are going to use in the preparation of the dish you have undertaken.

DELAYS ARE PERILOUS

The inexperienced cook wastes time and imperils the product of her hands by having to stop at critical moments to run to the pantry for this or that essential.

If you are making a batch of biscuit, have ready your mixing bowl and flour sifter, your spoon, measuring cup and rolling pin, your biscuit board and tins. Bring together all the materials, too: your flour and shortening and salt and milk and baking powder.

Having these and your recipe, recall to mind all you have heard about cookery being exact.

Remember that the famous French cooks are careful to weigh even the vegetables they use in their soup and leave nothing to chance. Presence of mind and happy guessing may be admirable in some emergencies, but they are out of place in the category of the inexperienced cook.

Be sure of your recipe, then go ahead! Follow directions and take no liberties. Nice customs may courtesy to great kings and queens, but a woman must be pretty sure of her dominion in her kitchen before she departs from the customs dictated by her superiors in knowledge and experience.

One of these days you, too, shall arrive, but, until then, “follow the man from Cook’s!”

Marion Harland

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Proper Care of Sink and Refrigerator

This is the second article in July of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on July 14, 1907, and is an educating article about keeping sink and fridge clean.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the Boston Sunday Post.

Proper Care of Sink and Refrigerator

THE kitchen sink cannot be made slightly by any device. It cannot be draped; and to draw a screen before it is to subject the priestess of the domain to countless inconveniences when she must have light and room for operations. The basin may be of porcelain, and the row of faucets above it of shining nickel. The whole construction is unmistakably and irredeemably ugly.

It is, nevertheless, the criterion of the housewife’s or cook’s “management.”

“Show me your sink, and I will describe your cook!” is a homely old saying.

If it be littered with tea leaves and coffee grounds; if it be “whisk-clean” save for a greasy gloss on bottom and sides, while in the far corner the blackened whisk conceals a disgusting deposit of refuse and of coagulated fats—you need not inquire verbally into the management of that mistress’ housewifery or into that cook’s fidelity to the duties of her calling.

Keep a sink sieve hanging above the sink and use it whenever anything that contains sediment is poured out. The stationary grating in the bottom of the basin is too coarse to keep back the substances which clog the pipes.

Beware of Grease.

The vilest of these in all its works and ways is, of course, grease, invisible to the careless eye when hot, but afterward working out the mischievous fruits of neglect. It coagulates upon the sides of the drain, and if not “cut,” becomes as hard and as impervious to water as wax. Nine-tenths of the disastrous stoppages in the pipes that flood the kitchen floor with all manner of uncleanness and involve the expense of the costly plumber and his equally costly assistant, are the direct result of a collection of oil matter that should never have found its way into the sink at all—or if this had happened, ought not to have been suffered to stiffen into a mass.

In consideration of this truth, the duty of flushing the sink daily with caustic alkalies cannot be too strongly enforced upon cook and housewife. Have ever on hand chlorides—or, better still, and more easily procured— washing soda, which disintegrates the accumulation of grease. Plain folk say “cuts” it, and the term is more emphatic than the polysyllable.

Scald the sink every other day flushing the pipes by letting the hot water run when at its hottest and for ten minutes at a time. Before the flushing begins, lay a lump of washing soda over the grating and run the water directly upon it.

Summer Expedients.

In summer, substitute, twice a week, a lump of unslaked lime for the soda. If a handful of borax be thrown into the sink at night directly over the grating and left there until morning, it will tend to dissuade water bugs from creeping through the pipe and sweeten the first dash of water turned out of the faucet on the morrow.

Beside the can of borax set above the sink should stand the bottle of household ammonia. The combined cost of an abundant stock of the two would not equal in a year what a plumber “and man” would charge for three hours’ work—“and time.”

(By the way, why must a plumber invariably bring a helper along when one man could do all the work? Must the species always hunt in couples?)

I mentioned “water bugs” in a casual, airy manner just now, that was altogether disproportioned to the part they play in bathroom, kitchen, and sink, not to speak of pantry and refrigerator. They are cousin-german to the cockroach.

There is a covert pun in that compound word. For our water bug was brought to our shores in the holds of German vessels. Ever since that unhappy hour he has been a “stowaway” of the most detestable type. To cap the climax of odiousness, he and his kinsman inflict upon the memory a sesquipedalian title. The cockroach is “Blatta (or Periplaneta) Orientails.” The imported variety is “Blatta Germanica.”

A naturalist thus describes the pest of sink and larder:

“Nocturnal in habits and very troublesome in houses, where they multiply in great rapidity, infesting kitchens and pantries and attacking provisions of all kinds. They have a very offensive smell.”

He might have added that an ill-kept sink is their favorite resort.

Borax comes into deserved prominence in the list of our helpers in the mission of freeing our premises of the loathly things. Strew it thickly over shelves and blow it into cracks. Or—mix it with molasses and cornmeal into a paste, work in tartar emetic, or red lead, and set tiny plates of the delicacy in the sink and on the shelves overnight. Or (again!) pour a little oil of pennyroyal down the pipe at night and wet a cloth in hot water, drop a little of the oil upon it and wipe off the woodwork of the sink with it.

Old-fashioned Southern housemothers knew not the “water bug” even by name. The native cockroach we have had from time immemorial. They (the aforesaid mothers) used to boil poke weed root in water, and mix the strong decoction with an equal quantity of black molasses. This was spread on bread and laid in the tracks of the nocturnal prowlers. They ate it ravenously and departed to other hunting grounds—if there be a future state for the Blatta tribe.

In our germ-mad generation, it is surprising that in the howl against cold storage foods, so little has been made of the peril to health by unclean refrigerators. The confined air is, of itself, unwholesome, imparting a “close taste” to butter and meats, easily recognized, yet rarely analyzed. The chill of the ice arrests decay, but it does not prevent the growth of mould.

Did you ever look at a section of mould through a microscope? You would see it pretty forest or jungle of divers color. Like non-edible toadstools, it is fair to see, and, like them, it is poisonous to human stomach. If the sink be a faithful witness to the housewifery of owner or caretaker, the refrigerator is a yet more correct reporter. It should be absolutely odorless.

How to Keep Food.

Meats that give forth a goodly smell should be kept in a meat safe in the cellar. Fragrant fruits must never be set in the same compartment with other foods. If milk and butter are kept in the refrigerator, give them a shelf to themselves, and, unless the butter be perfectly fresh, keep it away from the milk.

In summer the shelves should be cleared dally and the contents sorted under the of the mistress. The corners must be scrubbed faithfully with a cloth wrung out in boiling water and baking soda, that nothing may accumulate there. Then the doors must be left open until the shrives are entirely dry. To shut up humidity in the chilled interior is to make a dark cave of it.

It is an excellent plan to lay a lump of dry, clean charcoal upon each shelf, exchanging it for fresh once a week. It absorbs musty smells and tends to keep the refrigerator dry inside.

Charcoal is an invaluable sweetener.

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Marketing for Us Two

This is the first article in July of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on July 7, 1907, and is an educating article on how to keep a house for two people.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the Boston Sunday Post.

Marketing for Us Two

IN A paper written by Christine Terhune Herrick upon a kindred subject some years ago we read:

“The tradition is current among housekeepers that there is great economy in buying’ supplies in large quantities. The learned of them will dilate upon the amount that will be saved by getting flour, sugar and potatoes by the barrel, butter by the tub and coffee by the bag. They prove to you that you may put money into your pocket by purchasing a crate of eggs at a time and pickling them for winter use. They buy meat in the piece, as it were, and tell you triumphantly how much they can thus save on a pound over the retail price.”

This introduction to a most pertinent article has recurred often to my mind lately in reading the many letters recoiled by the Exchange relative to the scheme of bringing the marketing for a family of two people within a certain limit—in most cases, within $4 per week.

At least half of the housewives who aver that they have accomplished the feat mention, with a of modest exultation, that they lay in supplies by the quantity. The aforenamed tradition is too firmly lodged in the cranium of the American woman of domestic affairs to be dislodged by one or by a dozen treatises.

Yet our papers teem with stones of “How we lived in Italy, France, England or in Scotland”—the last-mentioned country being a recognied school in thrift and comfortable frugality. We read them, and wonder with great admiration at the moderate sums disbursed by native and adopted caterers for their families and for ours. We tell, amusedly, when we come home how we bought half a chicken in a Florentine market, and eggs by the pound almost everywhere; how our cook brought home, daily, exactly as much of each kind of food as would last us for twenty-four hours, and repeat the complacent remark I have told of once before in the column, of a man who had been a Paris householder for years—“A mouse could not make a breakfast on what is left-over in our cupboard each night.”

TAKE LESSONS FROM FRANCE

The French, we observe, incidentally, as we talk of these things, are the wisest and the daintiest economists in the world.

We learn much and rapidly of them in other lines. We copy their dress, their speech, their dishes and their manner of serving tables; we read their literature and admire their pictures. We remain dull to the practical philosophy of buying food in small quantities for small—and for large—families.

Yet we have object lessons at home which should have opened our eyes to the unwisdom of wholesale purchasing. Plenty and waste may not march together in our minds or in our practice. Every housekeeper who reads this can call up, without an effort, illustrations from her own experience of the association of the two in the thought and action of hirelings of whatever nationality.

Have I ever told here of my friend who checked her cook’s movement in the direction of the garbage pail, with—

“But, Ann! there are six or seven whole, sound potatoes among those peelings?”

The woman stared: “Yis, mem, but, sure, there’s a barrel of ’em in the cellar!”

I have said that we are slow to learn the lesson. I well recollect—and not without shame—the smile of amused contempt with which, as a young matron, I heard another woman as young and foolish as myself tell of a millionaire’s wife who “never bought flour and sugar by the barrel, because it made servants careless in the use of them.”

We thought her mean then. I comprehend now one reason why her husband became a millionaire.

Another prime advantage in buying perishables in small quantities is so well put by Mrs. Herrick that I crave permission to quote again from her paper:

“There is an avoidance of useless labor in the system—that is, in purchasing by what may be called ‘limited retail.’ No unpleasant hours are spent in picking over apples, potatoes and winter vegetables. The housewife has not to count upon a certain amount of loss from rotting and withering. Her grocer bears that loss. His shop is her pantry, to which she goes to get vegetables by the quart or half the corn-meal or Graham flour when she gets two or three pounds at a time. If a freshly opened package of oatmeal be musty, she sends it back to him forthwith. The coffee in her small canister cannot lose strength, for it is constantly used and constantly renewed. Butter never grows rancid; eggs never become stale on her hands.”

In buying meat for “us two,” study out the small cuts. The butcher will face you down, if he sees that he can, that two ribs are the least number which may be formed into a roast. We all know “his tricks and his manners” in that direction. The meat that goes with a single rib, ho assures you, “is nothing more than a thick steak.”

Stand fast in your lot (which is not his!) and make him take out the solitary rib, roll the “steak” and skewer it into a four-pound roast. It will be comely to the eye and serve you two for two—maybe three—meals, to say nothing of the pint of soup-stock based upon the trimmings.

Be sure he sends the one rib home! If you do not get it, he will sell it to another customer who inquires for material for soup-stock. It is false shame that holds you back from insisting upon getting all you have bought.

Your transatlantic sister has no such scruples. The honest tradesman, until he has been trained by you and other sensible marketers, is unwilling to sell four chops, or a single veal cutlet, or two pork tenderloins. Since they are all you need for one meal, why buy more?

The fishmonger displays the same amazed reluctance to weigh half a pound of smelts or to measure a pint of oysters. A fair degree of moral courage is needed to carry out your principle not to buy what you do not want merely because grocer, huckster and butcher do not dissemble their surprise at your “small ways.” Keep steadily in mind the truth that you have as good a right to look out for your own interests as he has to guard his.

That is a pretty story told by Mary Lamb’s biographer of her reception of three unexpected guests who happened to call just as she and “the gentle Charles,” her brother, were sitting down to dine upon a tiny roast of mutton. Mary divided it into five chops.

“Just one apiece!” she said, cheerily, “and we will make out for the rest with bread and cheese.”

Rise superior to the weakness of mortification when a chance visitor discovers that you purchase food as yon receive grace from heaven—by the day. Economy is not, of necessity, stinginess, nor is a just sense of proportion in considering ways and means parsimony.

Marion Harland

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Preparing for a Fourth of July Picnic

This is the last article in June of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on June 9, 1907, and is a fun little article on picnic and the Fourth of July.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of The Washington Times.

Preparing for a Fourth of July Picnic

IMPRIMIS: A box party at theater or opera conveys the impression of luxury and especially privileges to a favored foe; a box picnic is but a variation of the basket picnic, well known as the simplest form of the summer all-day outing. It is particularly adapted to the Fourth of July outings, which are becoming each year a more favored method of pawing our national holiday.

The box has sundry advantages over the hamper as a means of transporting provisions for the merry excursionists. For weeks in advance of the holiday, there should be a hoarding up of the paper boxes that drift into the house from grocer, florist, shoe merchant, and haberdasher. Select those of medium size, and apportion to each the contents suited to dimensions and shape.

Provide yourself with plenty of tissue paper, also the waxed paper used by confectioners and bakers for wrapping dainties that may ooze or grease. Lay in a stock of light, strong wrapping paper, twine, and the wooden handles that make the carriage of parcels less awkward business than when they are merely tied up with a string.

Boxes Better Than Baskets.

A box is less unwieldy because more compact than a basket; the sight of a party thus laden attracts less attention on train or boat than if every man, woman, and child bore a hamper—a walking advertisement of the day’s business. The box is light and easily tucked under the seat or bestowed in the rack overhead while the passengers are in the train. If they do not wish to be cumbered with empty boxes on the return trip, a bonfire on the camping ground disposes of impedimenta, including wrapping paper, Japanese napkins and the wooden plates, which have saved the picnickers the burden of china platters and plates.

A procession of tired excursionists, bearing disheveled hampers, emptied of edibles, yet which must be carried carefully lest the crockery within jingles itself to pieces, is a dispiriting feature of the return townward when the day’s fun is clean over.

In buying napkins have the thought of “the day we celebrate” in mind. If you can find those that are stamped with the Stars and Stripes or other national emblems get them. Lay in an abundance of narrow ribbons, striped with red, white and blue, for tying up sandwiches and rolls. These and other simple devices for lending a patriotic flavor to the festivities are well worth the exercise of ingenuity and expenditure of time.

Use Wooden Plates.

You may buy wooden plates, such as we used by grocers for sending butter to customers, at an absurdly low price. Also deeper and smaller wooden trenchers, which you will find useful in bestowing your goods in the boxes. All are so cheap that you will not grudge cremating them when they have had their day.

Set aside the largest boxes for sandwiches rolls, and biscuits. The next size should be appropriated by cakes and fruit. Have separate compartments for each. Sandwiches impart odors to plain bread and butter, and cake lends fragrance to its neighbors.

Cut fresh bread as thin as a sharp knife will shave it—having buttered it on the loaf, and roll each slice up neatly, tying it with narrow ribbon. This is “nice” work, requiring deft fingers and a keen blade. Warm the butter slightly for spreading bread. Sandwiches are clumsy when butter is laid on the slices in lumps. Pare the crust from the bread to be rolled or used for sandwiches. When the rolled bread is ready, envelope each ribbon-bound parcel in waxed paper and pack them in the box already lined with tissue paper. If this be done at once, the bread will be soft when the box is opened.

Open long French rolls on one side and scrape out two-thirds of the crumb. Fill the cavities with minced tongue, ham or chicken; close the roll and bind into place with narrow ribbon. Pack the several kinds in separate boxes, marking them “ham,” or “tongue” or “chicken.” It will save confusion in unpacking and serving. Oblong sandwiches are more easily handled in eating than square or triangular. They also pack to better advantage. Wrap each in waxed paper as soon as it is tied up, and lay in the box. Pack securely, but do not crush.

Packing Loaf Cakes.

Cut loaf cakes and lay the slices closely together in the paper-lined box. When it is full, cover by folding the waxed paper about it to exclude the air. Do not wrap the slices separately. Put up cookies, etc., in like manner.

Salads should be prepared at home, and made quite ready for the dressing. If you have a tin biscuit box, line it with several thicknesses of waxed paper; on this lay an interlining of cheesecloth or old muslin. In the box thus prepared pack lettuce or chicken and celery cut up, but not seasoned. It will remain fresh in the hottest weather if you will sprinkle it very lightly with water before fitting on the lid. The dressing—mayonnaise or French—should be put up in a wide-mouthed bottle, securely corked and wrapped in raw cotton. Give it a small box to itself.

Bottles are ticklish articles to carry, and moreover, heavy. Yet there must be beverages at a July picnic. Cold tea and coffee, and ginger ale will add seriously to the weight of the outfit. If you must take them, distribute the bottles among the several boxes and assign them to the stronger members of the party. Pare and slice the lemons at home, and pack with sugar in fruit jars with screw tops and rubbers. Water and ice (if you can procure the latter in the neighborhood of the camping ground) may be added when you are ready to serve the lemonade. Since tumblers are another must-be, get a dozen or so of the cheapest you can find. Then no tears are shed if they come to grief.

You will be surprised when everything is put up to see how much has been packed into a few boxes. The larger cases should be done up separately, each enveloped in paper, tied with twine, and fitted up with a handle. Two or three smaller boxes may be strapped together.

When the joyous company board train or boat, they may be mistaken for town cousins who are bearing gifts to the old homestead on the holiday. They will not look like fruit, candy, and peanut peddlers, bound for a day’s business in the rural districts.

The small silver needed for the luncheon should go into the breast pocket of paterfamilias, or into “mother’s” shopping bag. A dozen teaspoons take little room. Forks and tablespoons will not be required, unless the former are needed for salad.

I append a few recipes for sandwiches that may be a welcome variation upon the stock “chicken, tongue, and ham.”

Cheese Jelly Sandwiches.

Beat the yolks of two eggs light, add a saltspoonful of salt, the same of white pepper and of French mustard. Mix well and stir into mixture a cup of hot milk, to which has been added a pinch of soda. Stir over the fire, in a double boiler, for five or until it heats throughout evenly and thickens into a custard. Have ready a tablespoonful of gelatine, which has soaked tor two hours in a cupful of cold water. Take the custard from the range and beat in the gelatine alternately with a great spoonful of cream. Set in boiling water, and, when it is hot, add a cupful (scant) of grated cheese. When you have a smooth paste, turn out to cool in a deep plate. Do this the day before it is to be used. Slice and lay between buttered slices of bread.

Cream Cheese and Nut Sandwiches.

Work the cheese to a paste with cream and butter, and mix with an equal quantity of sorted pecans, chopped fine. Butter thin slices of graham bread and spread with the mixture.

Egg and Anchovy Sandwiches.

Boil six eggs hard and throw them into cold water. Leave them there for two hours. Take out the yolks and rub to a powder with a silver spoon. Moisten with a dressing made of a tea spoonful of lemon juice rubbed to an emulsion with three tablespoonfuls of salad oil, half a teaspoonful of French mustard and a dash of salt and pepper. Make into a lumpless compound, adding, finally, two teaspoonfuls of anchovy paste.

Whole wheat bread is best for this filling.

Cream Cheese and Olive Sandwiches.

Rub a Philadelphia cream cheese to a paste with two tablespoonfuls of mayonnaise dressing. Add one-third as much chopped olives, and beat all light. This filling is especially nice when spread upon round slices of Boston brown bread.

Lettuce Sandwiches.

Slice white bread thin, when you have cut off the crust and buttered the cut end of the loaf. Lay in between every two slices a leaf of crisp lettuce, dipped in mayonnaise dressing.

If you take these to the picnic, let it be in sections. Butter and pack the bread at home, take the lettuce in one box, the dressing in another, and put them together on the grounds.

Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches.

Prepare as in the last recipe, adding to the lettuce leaf a slice of raw and peeled tomato.

Pressed Loaf Sandwiches.

A new and appetizing pressed sandwich may be made by removing the crusts from a loaf of bread, either brown or white, and cutting it in four equal-sized pieces. Spread each slice thickly with butter, red peppers sliced in lengthwise strips and plenty of cream or Neufchatel cheese. Now reshape the loaf by putting the slices together again. Wrap in a heavy dry towel, then in a wet one and put between two boards, on which three or four heavy flatirons are placed. Let the loaf remain weighted from six to ten hours; this will compress it into a sold mass three or four inches high, which may be sliced like cake. To pack, wrap whole in waxed paper and cut at the picnic.

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More Summer Vegetables and How to Cook Them

This is the fourth article in June of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on June 23, 1907, and is the second talk on cooking less well-known vegetables in summer time.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the Boston Sunday Post.

More Summer Vegetables and How to Cook Them

NEXT-TO-EVERYBODY has some idea how to fry eggplant. Therefore, I omit the recipe for preparing the delicious vegetable in that way. Comparatively few cooks know how good it may be made if handled in obedience to the directions which follow this preamble.

Parboil the eggplant for ten minutes if it be of medium size. Put it over the fire in cold, salted water and keep it there for ten minutes after the boil is reached. Plunge then into ice water and leave it to get cold and firm. It is well to parboil and cool it the day before it is to be cooked, as it will then be cold to the heart. When this has been done, cut the eggplant in half, lengthwise, and scrape out the heart, leaving a crust an inch thick. Mince the pulp and mix to a forcemeat with minced chicken, or veal or duck, fine crumbs, well seasoned, melted butter and a dash of onion juice. With this forcemeat fill both halves of the eggplant, put them together in the original shape and bind securely with soft cotton lamp wick or tape. Lay in your covered roaster, pour a cupful of good stock about it, cover closely and bake. Baste with the stock every ten minutes. It should be done in about forty-five minutes, unless it is very large.

Transfer to a dish, remove the strings carefully not to separate the halves, and keep hot while you thicken the gravy left in the pan with browned flour rolled in butter. Boil up and pour over and about the eggplant.

Eggplant a la Creole.

Prepare as directed in the preceding recipe until you are ready to stuff it. Then make the forcemeat of the pulp, a chopped sweet pepper, one young okra pod minced, four or five ripe tomatoes, cut up small, and a cupful of fine crumbs. Add a great spoonful of melted butter, pepper and salt to taste, not omitting a little sugar to correct the acid of the tomato. It is well to parboil the pepper if it be large, before adding it to the stuffing.

Fill the hollowed halves with the mixture, bind as in the last recipe, and lay in the pan.

Pour a rich tomato sauce about it and baste with butter and water. Keep the top of the roaster on while the eggplant is cooking, and it will not shrivel.

Serve as with the stuffed eggplant above described and pour the tomato sauce about the base.

Scalloped Eggplant.

Peel, cut into strips as long as your finger and nearly as wide. Lay these in ice-cold water well salted, and leave in a cold place for an hour. Then boil until they are clear and tender, but not broken. Drain all the water off in a colander, and arrange the strips in a buttered bake dish. Butter, pepper and salt, strew with fine crumbs, season these in like manner; then another layer of eggplant, and so on until the dish is full. The last layer should be thicker than the rest, and soaked with cream. Bake, covered, half an hour, then brown.

A Scallop of Mushrooms.

Select mushrooms of medium and uniform size. Skin them without cutting off the stems. Lay enough to cover the bottom of the dish, stems uppermost, in a pudding dish. Dust with salt and pepper, and pour into the gills a little melted butter. Then strew very lightly with fine cracker crumbs, and arrange a second layer upon the first. Season and butter, cover with crumbs, soak the crumbs in cream; dot with butter and bake, covered, for twenty minutes, and brown very delicately. Serve at once. There is no more delicious preparation of mushrooms than this.

Sweet Peppers a la Creole.

Cut a slit in the side of each pepper and extract the seeds, touching the inside as little as possible. The pungency lies chiefly in the seeds. Lay the emptied peppers in boiling water for ten minutes. Prop the slits open with a bit of wood to let the water reach the inside. At the end of the ten minutes drain the peppers and cover with ice-cold water, leaving them in it until they are perfectly cold. Wipe and stuff with a forcemeat of any kind of meat that you have on hand, preferably poultry, veal or lamb. Add to the meat a raw tomato skinned and chopped, and one-third as much fine crumbs as you have meat. Season with salt, melted butter and a very little sugar to soften the acid of the tomato. Wet well with gravy. Tie the filled peppers into shape with soft thread and set upright in the covered roaster; pour a cupful of gravy about them, and bake, covered, for twenty minutes, then five more, uncovered. Serve upon a heated platter, pouring the thickened gravy over and about them.

You may, if you like, substitute fish, picked free of bones and skin, for the meat.

Or, mushrooms, skinned, parboiled and cut small—not chopped.

Or, and perhaps best of all, sweetbreads, blanched, then stewed for ten minutes in the gravy that is to be poured about the peppers. This last-named dish is exceedingly dainty.

Swiss Chard.

An excellent vegetable, so lately introduced into our country that the name is unfamiliar to most of our housewives. It is not very unlike spinach in general appearance, although it belongs to a different family of esculents.

Pick over carefully, stripping the leaves from the stalks, and lay them in cold water for an hour. Drain, without drying, and put the leaves into the inner vessel of a double boiler. Fill the outer with cold water, and bring to a quick boil, keeping the inner vessel closed. This will steam the chard in the juice extracted from the leaves.

I may observe here that spinach, steamed in the same way, with no water except that which clings to the leaves after washing, is quite another vegetable from that which is generally served on our tables under the name.

When the chard is tender and broken, drain, pressing in the colander. Turn now into a wooden bowl and chop, or run it through the vegetable press. Set over the fire in a saucepan, stir in a teaspoonful of sugar, a tablespoonful of butter, salt and pepper to taste and beat to a creamy mass. When piping hot, serve in a deep dish, with sippets of toast arranged upon it.

Vegetable Marrow.

Another esculent popular for a century among our English cousins, but which needs a formal introduction to the rank and file of our native cooks. It is akin to the squash family, with a smooth richness of flavor and flesh all its own. Having cultivated it successfully in my garden for ten years, I can certify that it takes kindly to American soil and climate and is easily brought to perfection.

Pare away the rind, cut into squares or strips and lay in cold water for half an hour. Drain and put over the fire in plenty of salted boiling water. Cook until clear and tender, but not until the pieces lose form. Drain off the water, pour in a good drawn butter, set the saucepan at the side of the range for ten minutes to let the sauce sink into the marrow, and serve.

Cold vegetable marrow, cooked as above directed, maybe wrought into an excellent pudding to be eaten with meat. Run through the vegetable press, beat in a spoonful of melted butter, season with pepper and salt, and add two well-beaten eggs. Turn into a buttered bake dish when you have beaten all the ingredients together for a minute; bake, covered, for fifteen minutes in a quick oven, and brown lightly.

Green Corn Pudding.

Grate, or slice with a sharp knife, the kernels from twelve ears of corn. If the corn be hard, grate it. If immature, it will lose nearly all its substance under the grater. The knife will slice it to better advantage. Season with pepper and salt, and stir in a tablespoonful of sugar and two tablespoonfuls of melted butter. Beat light the yolks of four eggs and whip the whites stiff. Stir the yolks into a scant quart of milk and into this the seasoned corn. Finally, fold in the frothed whites, pour the mixture into a buttered pudding dish and bake, covered, half an hour, then brown.

Green Corn Gumbo.

Put two tablespoonfuls of butter into a saucepan, and when it hisses, add three onions of fair size, sliced thin. Brown slightly, and put into the sizzling pan six tomatoes, peeled and sliced, two sweet peppers that have been parboiled and minced, two okra pods, also sliced thin, and the grains from six ears of corn. Add a generous cupful of stock—chicken, if you have it—salt, pepper and a teaspoonful of sugar. Cook, covered, forty-five minutes, steadily but not hard.

Just before dishing, stir in two teaspoonsful of “file” (sassafras powder), boil up and serve.

If you wish to use this as a soup, double the quantity of stock. The dish described here is to accompany meat or fish.

You may convert this into a curry gumbo by the addition of a heaping teaspoonful of curry powder.

The “file” may be had of first-class city grocers .It gives smoothness, and yet piquancy, to the gumbo.

Cucumbers a la Syrie.

Half well-grown young cucumbers lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Leave in salt and water for half an hour, wipe and till with cold meat—beef or veal, or mutton—seasoned well and mixed with one-third the quantity of fine crumbs. Moisten with gravy. Bind the sides of the cucumbers in place with soft twine; lay in your covered roaster; pour a cupful of gravy about them and bake, covered, for half an hour. Uncover, and brown slightly. Untie the strings, lay the cucumbers in a heated platter, and pour the gravy about them.

I made the acquaintance of this dish in northern Syria, eating it first almost in the shadow of the cedars of Lebanon, and improved the friendship many times afterward. It is singularly pleasant to the palate, and more digestible than raw cucumbers.

Okra Gumbo.
(A Louisiana Dish.)

Wash and scrape lightly a dozen young okra pods. Lay in cold water while you peel and slice six tomatoes; chop a peeled onion; seed and scald a large a sweet pepper, and chop it. Put the okras then into a saucepan, cover with boiling water and cook for ten minutes. While they are cooking, heat two tablespoonfuls of butter in a frying pan, add the onions and pepper, and cook for one minute’s simmer. Turn into a saucepan with the tomatoes, and cook gently for half an hour. Slice the okras, add to the rest and cook fifteen minutes more. Season with salt, and stir in a teaspoonful of “file” five minutes before dishing.

Line the dish with thin, buttered toast.

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Some Summer Vegetables and how to Cook Them

This is the third article in June of the School for Housewives 1907 series published on June 16, 1907, and is part one of two on cooking vegetables in summer time.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the Boston Sunday Post.

Some Summer Vegetables and how to Cook Them

WE WILL not waste time and space in repetitions of what has been said strongly and often in this column of the gastronomic and sanitary virtues of tomatoes. No more wholesome vegetable comes upon our tables. I may add, none that is susceptible of more and agreeable varieties of cooking. I offer a few formulas that may be novel and attractive to our housemother who is not content to trot steadily in the track worn dusty by her forbears in the sphere of culinary enterprise.

Tomatoes Stuffed With Green Corn.

Select large, smooth tomatoes of uniform size; cut a piece from the blossom end of each with a keen knife and lay it aside. With a small silver spoon (an egg-spoon will do) dig out the pulp and seeds, leaving the walls untouched. Mince the extracted pulp and mix it with cold boiled green corn—two-thirds of the corn and one-third of the tomato pulp; season with melted butter, salt, pepper, and sugar. The sugar must never be omitted from tomatoes when cooked in any way. When the ingredients are well incorporated, fill the emptied tomatoes with the mixture, replace the tops, set them close together in a bake dish, put a bit of butter on each to prevent scorching, cover and bake ten minutes before removing the cover. If they are “sizzling” by then, uncover and cook from ten to twelve minutes more. The oven should be brisk. Serve in the bake dish.

Uncooked corn may be substituted for the boiled, if it be young and tender. In that case, cook five minutes longer, before uncovering. This is a good way of using corn left over from yesterday.

Tomatoes Stuffed With Mushrooms.

Empty fine ripe tomatoes, as directed in the last recipe. In this dish the pulp is not used. Put it into your soup stock before giving it the daily boil.

Have ready a cupful of fresh mushrooms, which have been peeled and cut into thirds—not minced. Put into a saucepan two tablespoonfuls of butter and a small onion, finely minced. Add the mushrooms and cook slowly for eight or ten minutes. Remove from the fire, season with pepper and salt, stir into the mixture two heaping tablespoonfuls of dry crumbs, and fill the tomatoes with it. After this is done, pour a tablespoonful of rich gravy—chicken or veal, if you have it—into each tomato, letting it sink into the mixture. Then strew line crumbs over all and fit on the tops cut from the tomatoes. Lastly, pour a little stock into the bakedish to keep the tomatoes from burning and add to the flavor; cover, and bake for twenty minutes. If you have not the fresh mushrooms, use champignons. This is a delicious luncheon dish, and good at any time.

Broiled Tomatoes.

Slice large, firm tomatoes, without peeling, into rounds rather more than a quarter inch thick. Arrange them upon a buttered broiler and cook for ten minutes over hot coals, turning every minute. Lay on a hot dish and coat with a sauce made of butter beaten to a cream with a little onion juice, salt, pepper, and sugar. Set the dish upon the upper grating of the oven to melt the sauce before serving.

Breaded and Fried Tomatoes.

Cut as for broiling; season with pepper, salt, and sugar; coat with dry crumbs, and fry quickly in a little butter.

To speak correctly, this process should be called “sauteing.” To fry is to immerse in boiling fat. To saute is to fry in just butter, oil, or other fat to keep the article to be cooked from sticking to the pan.

Green Tomatoes.

Green tomatoes may be sliced and broiled, or saute, according to the recipes given for ripe. They make a nice breakfast relish on a warm morning.

They may also be fried in the fat that has exuded from breakfast bacon, and the bacon be served as a garnish to the dish. They go well together.

Onions.

Onions are at their best in the “rich midsummer prime.” In winter they are plebeians. Useful they may be, and they may be rendered almost delicate by cooking in two waters and then treated to a final boil in milk. In summer a parboil of ten minutes in slightly salted water and a second ten minutes in half milk, half water converts them into patricians.

Stuffed Onions.

Arrange six or eight large Bermuda onions, peeled and washed, in a bake dish, cover with boiling water slightly salted and cook for half an hour, or until a wire will pierce them easily. Transfer the dish to a table, turn off all the water, and, with a sharp thin blade, extract the hearts of the onions without breaking the outer walls. Fill the cavity with a forcemeat or minced cold chicken and fine crumbs, seasoned with pepper and salt and moistened with melted butter. It should be very soft. Strew butter crumbs over the top, pour a rich white sauce in the dish until it almost touches the tops of the onions, cover and bake for half an hour, then brown delicately.

Scalloped Onions.

Slice full-grown, but young, onions across a quarter-inch thick, lay in a bakedish and cover with hot water. Fit a close cover on the dish and set in a quick oven for ten minutes. Drain off all the water, season with salt and pepper, pour a good drawn butter over them, strew with fine dry crumbs, stick butter bits over this and bake, covered, for ten minutes, then brown lightly.

Potato Snow.

Pare ripe but young potatoes so carefully that the peelings are as thin as paper. If they are thin-skinned, you may scrape off the outer covering, taking care not to leave the eyes or bits of colored skin. Put over the fire in plenty of boiling water, salted, and cook fast until they are tender, but not broken. Drain off the water; turn the potatoes into a colander and set in a hot open oven when you have sprinkled salt over them. Have at hand four or five squares of clean, cloth—clean dishcloths will do. Take up the potatoes, one by one, lay on the cloth and give the opposite ends of this a wring, enveloping and crushing the potato. As each crumbles into dry meal, reverse the cloth and let the meal drop into a heated dish. When you have a heap of snow and the last potato has been crushed, serve at once without touching the “drift.”

Garnish of Sweet Potatoes.

Wash and peel sweet potatoes of uniform size, and slice them evenly, lengthwise, a quarter inch thick. When this is done, run two stout straws from end to end of each potato when you have put the slices together in imitation of the originals. Pass a soft cotton string about the restored vegetables to hold the slices in shape, and parboil for eight or ten minutes in boiling salted water. Drain well, and lay in the roaster when a piece of beef is nearly done. Baste with the dripping and brown lightly. When the meat is dished, clip the threads, withdraw the straws, and arrange the potatoes about the meat. Do not let them fall apart until they are served.

A Potato “Buck.”

Slice enough cold boiled potatoes to fill a bakedish three-fourths of the way to the top. Arrange in layers, sprinkle each stratum with salt, pepper, bits of butter and Parmesan cheese. Have ready a cup of half milk, half cream, into which you have beaten three eggs. Pour this over the prepared potatoes and bake, covered, fifteen minutes, then brown.

Brussels Sprouts on the Half-Shell.

The “half-shell” is that of an Edam cheese from which the inside has been scooped by degrees, leaving it as hard as wood. Cook the sprouts tender in two waters, adding salt to the second. Cut each sprout in two and put a layer in the bottom of the shell when you have washed and wiped it. Cover lightly with fine cracker crumbs, dot with butter, season with pepper and salt and let fall on each layer a few drops of lemon juice. Stick butter bits thickly in the uppermost layer of sprouts, cover with crumbs and bake to a light brown. The sprouts should be put in very hot and the filling be done so rapidly that they do not cool before going into the oven. Long baking would affect the integrity of the shell. The slight flavor of cheese is a pleasant addition to that of the vegetable.

Scalloped Beets.

This is a good way to use up cold beets, usually regarded as unavailable except pickles of salad. Slice the beets and put in layers into a bakedish. Strew each with dots of butter, pepper, salt, and a very little onion juice. “Just enough to be suspected, but not convicted,” said the merry matron from whom I had the formula. A few drops of lemon juice on each slice are the finishing touch to the seasoning. Cover with fine crumps; put a few spoonfuls of melted butter on the crumbs and bake, covered, for half an hour, then brown the crumbs.

Next week I shall talk of mushrooms, green beans, eggplant, Swiss chard, vegetable marrow, okra, and other summer delights, some of which have not had from American cooks the intelligent appreciation their merits deserve.

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