Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery / Volume 2: Milk, Butter and Cheese; Eggs; Vegetables

Produced by Charles Aldarondo, Keren Vergon, Steve Schulze
and PG Distributed Proofreaders








This volume, which is the second of the Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, deals with such essentials of diet as the dairy products–milk, butter, and cheese–the protein food, eggs, and the energy-producing nutrients, vegetables.

In Milk, Butter, and Cheese, Parts 1 and 2, are explained the place that milk occupies in the diet, its composition, grades, and the dishes for which it is used; the purchase, care, and use of butter and butter substitutes; and the characteristics, care, and varieties of both domestic and imported cheeses, as well as a number of excellent recipes for cheese dishes. A luncheon menu, in which a cheese dish is substituted for meat, is of interest in this connection, for it shows the housewife, early in her studies, not only how to combine dishes to produce a balanced meal, but also how to make up a menu in which meat is not needed.

In Eggs are discussed the nutritive value of eggs, the ways in which to select, preserve, cook, and serve them, and how to utilize left-over eggs. So many uses have eggs in the diet and so nourishing is this food that too much attention cannot be paid to its preparation. In this lesson, also, is given a breakfast menu to afford practice in preparing several simple dishes usually served in this meal.

In Vegetables, Parts 1 and 2, every variety of vegetable is discussed as to food value, preparation, place in the meal, and proper methods of serving. With such a fund of knowledge, the housewife will be well equipped to give pleasing variety to her meals.

In addition to the instruction in these matters, there are a large number of illustrations, which make clear the important details in every process employed and in many recipes show certain steps as well as the finished result. With such detailed information, it is our desire that as many of the recipes as possible be tried, for it is only through constant practice that the rules and principles of cookery will become thoroughly instilled in the mind. Nothing is of more value to the housewife than such a knowledge of food and its preparation, for, as every one knows, proper diet is the chief requisite of good health.

To be of the greatest assistance to the woman in the home is the purpose of these volumes–to relieve her household tasks of much of their drudgery and to help her come to a realization of the opportunity for good that is hers. In no better way can she create happiness and contentment in her home than by preparing appetizing, nutritious meals and serving them in the most attractive manner.



Milk in the Diet
Composition of Milk
Products Obtained from Milk
Characteristics of Wholesome Milk
Grades of Clean Milk
Preserved Milk
Milk in the Home
Recipes for Milk Dishes and Sauces
Economical Use of Butter
Flavor and Composition of Butter
Purchase and Care of Butter
Cooking With Butter
Serving Butter
Butter Substitutes
Characteristics and Care of Cheese
Imported Cheese
Domestic Cheese
Serving Cheese
Recipes for Cheese Dishes
Luncheon Menu


Description of Eggs and Place in the Diet
Nutritive Value of Eggs
Selection of Eggs
Preservation of Eggs
Cooking of Eggs
Serving of Eggs
Egg Recipes
Use of Left-Over Eggs
Breakfast Menu


Variety in Vegetables
Structure, Composition, and Food Value
Purchase and Care of Vegetables
Classification of Vegetables
Methods of Preparing and Cooking Vegetables
Sauces for Vegetables
Asparagus and Its Preparation
Beans and Their Preparation
Beets and Their Preparation
Brussels Sprouts and Their Preparation
Cabbage and Its Preparation
Carrots and Their Preparation
Cauliflower and Its Preparation
Celery and Its Preparation
Corn and Its Preparation
Cucumbers and Their Preparation
Eggplant and Its Preparation
French Artichokes and Their Preparation
Greens and Their Preparation
Jerusalem Artichokes and Their Preparation
Kohlrabi and Its Preparation
Lentils and Their Preparation
Mushrooms and Their Preparation
Okra and Its Preparation
Onions and Their Preparation
Parsnips and Their Preparation
Peas and Their Preparation
Peppers and Their Preparation
White Potatoes and Their Preparation
Sweet Potatoes and Their Preparation
Radishes and Their Preparation
Salsify and Its Preparation
Squash and Its Preparation
Tomatoes and Their Preparation
Turnips and Their Preparation
Vegetable Combinations
Serving Vegetables





1. As is well understood, milk is the liquid that is secreted by the mammary glands of female mammals for the nourishment of their young. The word milk as it is commonly used, however, refers to cow’s milk, because such milk is employed to a greater extent as human food than the milk from any other animal. Cow’s milk in its perfectly fresh raw state is a yellowish-white, opaque fluid, called whole milk, and, as is well known, possesses a distinctly sweet taste and characteristic odor. When such milk is allowed to stand for some time without being disturbed, it separates into two distinct layers, an upper and a lower one. The upper layer, which is lighter than the lower one and occupies a smaller space, consists largely of globules of fat and is called cream; the lower layer, which is white or bluish-white in color and is composed of water, solids, and protein, is, when separated from the cream, called skim milk.

2. As an article of diet, milk is very important, because its sole function in nature is to serve as food. It is required by the infant; it is needed in the diet of all growing children; and it is desirable in the preparation of dishes for both young and old.

Milk is used to such a great extent because it fills many of the requirements of an ideal food. It is generally liked, requires little or no time for preparation, agrees with the majority of persons when used properly, and contains substances that supply energy and build and repair tissue. Still, it does not contain these substances in such proportions as to make it an ideal or exclusive article of diet for adults, and it must often be modified to suit the needs of infants, because it is ideal for only the young of the species for which it is intended. Therefore, while milk is often called a perfect food, in reality it is perfect for only the calf. When it is desired for the feeding of a very young child, it must be changed to meet the requirements before it can be used with good results.

3. So important is milk as an article of food that, outside of the purely rural districts, producing the milk supply is a business of considerable importance. This is due to the fact that the purity of milk must be constantly safeguarded in order that clean, safe milk may be provided for the countless numbers that depend on it. In fact, milk undoubtedly bears a closer relation to public health than any other food. To produce an adequate amount of clean, safe, pure milk is one of the food problems of the city and country alike. In the city much of the difficulty is overcome by the ordinances that provide standards of composition and cleanliness, as well as inspection to insure them; but such ordinances are rarely provided for in villages and country districts.

When there is no law to prevent it, unclean milk is sometimes used in the manufacture of butter and cheese, but when this happens, great injustice, if not positive harm, is done to the consumers of these articles. Then, too, unless milk is carefully inspected, tubercular milk is liable to be used in the making of butter, and such a condition will cause the spreading of tuberculosis as readily as the use of the contaminated milk itself.

4. With its various products, milk helps to form a very large part of the dietary in most homes, but while nothing can take the place of this food and while it is high in food value, there seems to be a general tendency to think of it as an addition to the bill of fare, rather than as a possible substitute for more expensive food. For instance, milk is very often served as a beverage in a meal in which the quantity of meat or other protein foods is not reduced. From an economical standpoint, as well as from the point of view of the needs of the body, this is really extravagant, for milk is itself largely a protein food. The serving of a glass of milk or of a dish that contains generous quantities of milk offers the housewife an opportunity to cut down considerably the allowance of meat and eggs. Because of this fact and because milk and its products may be used to add nutritive value to a food, to give variety, and to improve flavor, they deserve considerable study on the part of the housewife.

5. Since milk may be used in such a variety of ways, it may be easily included in the dietary for the family. Being liquid in form, it may always be served without any preparation as a beverage or with other beverages, cereals, and fruits. It also has numerous other uses, being employed in the making of sauces for vegetables and meats, in the place of stock for soups, and as the liquid for bread, cakes, puddings, custards, and many frozen desserts. Because of its extensive use, every housewife not only should know how to buy milk and care for it, but should be familiar with its composition, so that she may determine whether or not it suits the needs of her family. In addition, she should know the effect of heat on milk and the various methods of preparation if she would be able to judge what food combinations can be used with milk.


6. As milk is usually taken into the body in liquid form, the common tendency is to regard it as a beverage, rather than as an important source of nourishing food material. However, a knowledge of its composition, as well as the fact that milk becomes a solid food in the stomach and must then be dissolved in the process of digestion, will serve to show that milk contains solids. That it possesses all the elements required to sustain life and promote health is proved by the fact that a child may live for months on milk alone and during this time increase in weight.

7. The solids contained in milk are proteins, fat, carbohydrate in the form of sugar, and mineral salts, besides which, of course, water occurs in large quantities. The sugar and fat of milk serve as fuel; the mineral salts are chiefly valuable for the growth of bones and teeth and for their effect on the liquids of the body; and the proteins, like the fat and sugar, serve as fuel, but they also make and repair the muscular tissues of the body.

In considering the food substances of milk, it will be well to note also that they vary according to the breed, feeding, and individual characteristics of the cow. Jerseys and Guernseys give milk rich in fat and total solids, and while Holstein cows give a greater quantity of milk, such milk has a smaller proportion of fat and total solids. As a rule, though, the composition of milk may be considered as approximately 3.3 per cent. protein, 4 per cent. fat, 5 per cent. carbohydrate, and .7 per cent. mineral matter, making a total of 13 per cent. This indicates the quantity of actual food material in milk, the remainder, or 87 per cent., being water.

8. PROTEIN IN MILK.–Because of the double usefulness of protein–to serve as fuel and to make and repair muscular tissue–this element is regarded as an important ingredient of milk. The protein in milk is called casein. The opaque whiteness of milk is largely due to the presence of this substance. As long as milk remains sweet, the lime salts it contains hold this casein in solution; but when it sours, the salts are made soluble and the casein thickens, or coagulates. In addition to casein, milk contains a small amount of protein in the form of albumin. This substance, upon being heated, coagulates and causes the formation of the skin that is always found on the top of milk that has been heated. The skin thus formed contains everything that is found in milk, because, as it forms, casein is dried with it and sugar and fat, too, are caught and held there. It is the protein of milk and its characteristic coagulation that are made use of in the making of cheese. In cooking, the protein of milk is probably more affected than any of the other substances, but the degree to which the digestion of milk is thus affected is not definitely known, this being a much disputed question.

9. FAT IN MILK.–The other substance in milk that serves as fuel, or to produce energy, is fat. It occurs in the form of tiny particles, each surrounded by a thin covering and suspended in the liquid. Such a mixture, which is called an emulsion, is the most easily digested form in which fat is found. The fat in milk varies more than the other food substances, it being sometimes as low as 2 per cent, and again as high as 6 per cent. However, the average of these two, or 4 per cent., is the usual amount found in most milk.

As has been mentioned, the fat globules of milk rise to the top because fat is lighter than water, so that when milk has been undisturbed for some time the top, which is known as cream, will be found to contain most of the fat. Because of the fat it contains, the cream is yellower in color than the milk underneath. If the cream is beaten, or churned, these fat particles will adhere in a mass, advantage of this fact being taken in the making of butter.

10. CARBOHYDRATE IN MILK.–The carbohydrate contained in milk is in the form of sugar called lactose. It is unlike other sugars in that it is not very sweet and does not disagree with most persons nor upset their digestion. For this reason, it is often given to children, invalids, and persons who have digestive disturbances. However, it is like other carbohydrates in that in solution it ferments. The result of the fermentation in this case is the production of lactic acid, which makes the milk sour. With the fat, lactose makes up the bulk of the energy-producing material of milk, and while this is important it is only secondary when compared to the tissue-building power of the protein and minerals. Besides being an important part of milk itself, lactose is a valuable by-product in the manufacture of cheese. After being taken from whey, which is the clear, straw-colored liquid that remains when the curd, or coagulated portion, is completely removed from the milk, the lactose is refined and sold in the form of a powder that is used for various kinds of infant and invalid feeding.

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