Produced by Charles Aldarondo, Keren Vergon, Steve Schulze
and PG Distributed Proofreaders
Produced by Charles Aldarondo, Keren Vergon, Steve Schulze
WOMAN’S INSTITUTE LIBRARY OF COOKERY
ESSENTIALS OF COOKERY
WOMAN’S INSTITUTE OF DOMESTIC ARTS AND SCIENCES, Inc.
The Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery consists of five volumes that cover the various phases of the subject of cookery as it is carried on in the home. These books contain the same text as the Instruction Papers of the Institute’s Course in Cookery arranged so that related subjects are grouped together. Examination questions pertaining to the subject matter appear at the end of each section. These questions will prove helpful in a mastery of the subjects to which they relate, as they are the same as those on which students of the Institute are required to report. At the back of each volume is a complete index, which will assist materially in making quick reference to the subjects contained in it.
This volume, which is the first of the set, deals with the essentials of cookery, cereals, bread, and hot breads. In Essentials of Cookery, Parts 1 and 2, are thoroughly treated the selection, buying, and care of food, as well as other matters that will lead to familiarity with terms used in cookery and to efficiency in the preparation of food. In Cereals are discussed the production, composition, selection, and care and the cooking and serving of cereals of all kinds. In Bread and Hot Breads are described all the ingredients required for bread, rolls, and hot breads of every kind, the processes and recipes to be followed in making and baking them, the procedure in serving them, and the way in which to care for such foods.
Whenever advisable, utensils for the preparation of food, as well as labor-saving devices, are described, so as to enable beginners in the art of cookery to become acquainted with them quickly. In addition, this volume contains breakfast, luncheon, and dinner menus that will enable the housewife to put into practical, every-day use many of the recipes given.
It is our hope that these volumes will help the housewife to acquire the knowledge needed to prepare daily meals that will contain the proper sustenance for each member of her family, teach her how to buy her food judiciously and prepare and serve it economically and appetizingly, and also instil in her such a liking for cookery that she will become enthusiastic about mastering and dignifying this womanly art.
The Problem of Food
Selection of Food
Digestion and Absorption of Food
Preparation of Food
Methods of Cooking
Heat for Cooking
Utensils for Cooking
Preparing Foods for Cooking
Order of Work
Table for Cooking Foods
Care of Food
Menus and Recipes
Terms Used in Cookery
Production, Composition, and Selection
Cereals as a Food
Preparation of Cereals for the Table
Indian Corn, or Maize
Rye, Buckwheat, and Millet
Prepared, or Ready-to-Eat, Cereals
Importance of Bread as Food
Ingredients for Bread Making
Utensils for Bread Making
Making the Dough
Care of the Rising Dough
Kneading the Dough
Shaping the Dough Into Loaves
Baking the Bread
Use of the Bread Mixer
Recipes for Rolls, Buns, and Biscuits
Hot Breads in the Diet
Principal Requirements for Hot Breads
Hot-Bread Utensils and Their Use
Preparing the Hot-Bread Mixture
Baking the Hot-Bread Mixture
Serving Hot Breads
Miscellaneous Hot-Bread Recipes
Utilising Left-Over Hot Breads
ESSENTIALS OF COOKERY (PART 1)
THE PROBLEM OF FOOD
1. Without doubt, the greatest problem confronting the human race is that of food. In order to exist, every person must eat; but eating simply to keep life in the body is not enough. Aside from this, the body must be supplied with an ample amount of energy to carry on each day’s work, as well as with the material needed for its growth, repair, and working power. To meet these requirements of the human body, there is nothing to take the place of food, not merely any kind, however, but the right kind. Indeed, so important is the right kind of food in the scheme of life that the child deprived of it neither grows nor increases in weight, and the adult who is unable to secure enough of it for adequate nourishment is deficient in nerve force and working power. If a person is to get the best out of life, the food taken into the body must possess real sustaining power and supply the tissues with the necessary building material; and this truth points out that there are facts and principles that must be known in order that the proper selection of food may be made, that it may be so prepared as to increase its value, and that economy in its selection, preparation, use, and care may be exercised.
2. Probably the most important of these principles is the cooking of food. While this refers especially to the preparation of food by subjecting edible materials to the action of heat, it involves much more. The cooking of food is a science as well as an art, and it depends for its success on known and established principles. In its full sense, cookery means not only the ability to follow a recipe, thereby producing a successfully cooked dish, but also the ability to select materials, a knowledge of the ways in which to prepare them, an understanding of their value for the persons for whom they are prepared, and ingenuity in serving foods attractively and in making the best use of food that may be left over from the previous meals, so that there will be practically no waste. Thus, while cookery in all its phases is a broad subject, it is one that truly belongs to woman, not only because of the pleasure she derives in preparing food for the members of her family, but because she is particularly qualified to carry on the work.
3. The providing of food in the home is a matter that usually falls to the lot of the housewife; in fact, on her depends the wise use of the family income. This means, then, that whether a woman is earning her own livelihood and has only herself to provide for, or whether she is spending a part of some other person’s income, as, for instance, her father’s or her husband’s, she should understand how to proportion her money so as to provide the essential needs, namely, food, clothing, and shelter. In considering the question of providing food, the housewife should set about to determine what three meals a day will cost, and in this matter she should be guided by the thought that the meals must be the best that can possibly be purchased for the amount of money allowed for food from the family income and that their cost must not exceed the allotment. To a great extent she can control the cost of her foods by selecting them with care and then making good use of what her money has bought. It is only by constant thought and careful planning, however, that she will be able to keep within her means, and she will find that her greatest assistance lies in studying foods and the ways in which to prepare them.
4. A factor that should not be disregarded in the problem of food is waste, and so that the housewife can cope with it properly she should understand the distinction between waste and refuse. These terms are thought by some to mean the same thing and are often confused; but there is a decided difference between them. Waste, as applied to food, is something that could be used but is not, whereas refuse is something that is rejected because it is unfit for use. For example, the fat of meat, which is often eaten, is waste if it is thrown away, but potato parings, which are not suitable as food, are refuse.
In connection with the problem of waste, it may be well to know that leakage in the household is due to three causes. The first one is lack of knowledge on the part of the housekeeper as to the difference between waste and refuse and a consequent failure to market well. As an illustration, many housewives will reject turkey at a certain price a pound as being too expensive and, instead, will buy chicken at, say, 5 cents a pound less. In reality, chicken at 5 cents a pound less than the price of turkey is more expensive, because turkey, whose proportion of meat to bone is greater than that of chicken, furnishes more edible material; therefore, in buying chicken, they pay more for refuse in proportion to good material. The second cause for this leakage in the household is excessive waste in the preparation of food for the table, arising from the selection of the wrong cooking method or the lack of skill in cooking; and the third cause is the serving of too large quantities and a consequent waste of food left on individual plates and unfit for any other use in the home.
5. Another matter that constantly confronts the housewife is what foods she shall select for each day’s meals. To be successful, all meals should be planned with the idea of making them wholesome and appetizing, giving them variety, and using the left-overs. Every woman should understand that food is cooked for both hygienic and esthetic reasons; that is, it must be made safe and wholesome for health’s sake and must satisfy the appetite, which to a considerable degree is mental and, of course, is influenced by the appearance of the food. When the housewife knows how to cook ordinary foods well, she has an excellent foundation from which to obtain variety in the diet–by which in these lessons is meant the daily food and drink of any individual, and not something prescribed by a physician for a person who is ill–for then it is simply a matter of putting a little careful thought into the work she is doing in order to get ideas of new ways in which to prepare these same foods and of utilizing foodstuffs she has on hand. However, ample time must always be allowed for the preparation of meals, for no one can expect to produce tasty meals by rushing into the kitchen just before meal time and getting up the easiest thing in the quickest manner. Well-planned meals carefully prepared will stimulate interest in the next day’s bill of fare and will prove extremely beneficial to all concerned.
6. In the practice of cookery it is also important that the meals be planned and the cooking done for the sake of building the human body and caring for it. As soon as any woman realizes that both the present and the future welfare of the persons for whom she is providing foods depend on so many things that are included in cookery, her interest in this branch of domestic science will increase; and in making a study of it she may rest assured that there is possibly no other calling that affords a more constant source of enjoyment and a better opportunity for acquiring knowledge, displaying skill, and helping others to be well and happy.
The fact that people constantly desire something new and different in the way of food offers the housewife a chance to develop her ingenuity along this line. Then, too, each season brings with it special foods for enjoyment and nourishment, and there is constant satisfaction in providing the family with some surprise in the form of a dish to which they are unaccustomed, or an old one prepared in a new or a better way. But the pleasure need not be one-sided, for the adding of some new touch to each meal will give as much delight to the one who prepares the food as to those who partake of it. When cookery is thought of in this way, it is really a creative art and has for its object something more than the making of a single dish or the planning of a single meal.
7. From what has been pointed out, it will readily be seen that a correct knowledge of cookery and all that it implies is of extreme importance to those who must prepare food for others; indeed, it is for just such persons–the housewife who must solve cookery problems from day to day, as well as girls and women who must prepare themselves to perform the duties with which they will be confronted when they take up the management of a household and its affairs–that these lessons in cookery are intended.
In the beginning of this course of study in cookery it is deemed advisable to call attention to the order in which the subject matter is presented. As will be seen before much progress is made, the lessons are arranged progressively; that is, the instruction begins with the essentials, or important fundamentals, of food–its selection, preparation, and care–and, from these as a foundation, advances step by step into the more complicated matters and minor details. The beginner eager to take up the actual work of cookery may feel that too much attention is given to preliminaries. However, these are extremely essential, for they are the groundwork on which the actual cooking of food depends; indeed, without a knowledge of them, very little concerning cookery in its various phases could be readily comprehended.
8. Each beginner in cookery is therefore urged to master every lesson in the order in which she receives it and to carry out diligently every detail. No lesson should be disregarded as soon as it is understood, for the instruction given in it bears a close relation to the entire subject and should be continually put into practice as progress is made. This thought applies with particular emphasis to the Sections relating to the essentials of cookery. These should be used in connection with all other Sections as books of reference and an aid in calling to mind points that must eventually become a part of a woman’s cookery knowledge. By carrying on her studies systematically and following directions carefully, the beginner will find the cooking of foods a simple matter and will take delight in putting into practice the many things that she learns.
SELECTION OF FOOD
MATTERS INVOLVED IN RIGHT SELECTION
9. Each one of the phases of cookery has its importance, but if success is to be achieved in this art, careful attention must be given to the selection of what is to be cooked, so as to determine its value and suitability. To insure the best selection, therefore, the housewife should decide whether the food material she purchases will fit the needs of the persons who are to eat it; whether the amount of labor involved in the preparation will be too great in proportion to the results obtained; whether the loss in preparation, that is, the proportion of refuse to edible matter, will be sufficient to affect the cost materially; what the approximate loss in cooking will be; whether the food will serve to the best advantage after it is cooked; and, finally, whether or not all who are to eat it will like it. The market price also is a factor that cannot be disregarded, for, as has been explained, it is important to keep within the limits of the amount that may be spent and at the same time provide the right kind of nourishment for each member of the family.
10. In order to select food material that will meet the requirements just set forth, three important matters must be considered; namely, the substances of which it is composed; its measure of energy-producing material, or what is called its food, or fuel, value; and its digestion and absorption. Until these are understood, the actual cost of any article of food cannot be properly determined, although its price at all times may be known.
However, before a study of any of these matters is entered into, it is necessary to know just what is meant by food and what food does for the body. As is well understood, the body requires material by which it may be built and its tissues repaired when they are torn down by work and exercise. In addition it requires a supply of heat to maintain it at normal temperature and provide it with sufficient energy to do the work required of it. The material that will accomplish these important things is food, which may therefore be regarded as anything that, when taken into the body, will build and repair its tissues or will furnish it with the energy required to do its work.