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The Best Works of Caroline French BentonA Little Cook Book For A Little GirlA Little Housekeeping Book for a Little GirlLiving On A LittleThe Fun of CookingWomans Club Work and Programs
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The Best Collection of Caroline French Benton
A Little Cook Book For A Little Girl
A Little Housekeeping Book for a Little Girl
Living On A Little
The Fun of Cooking
WomansClub Work and Programs
A LITTLE COOK-BOOK FOR A LITTLE GIRL
byCAROLINE FRENCH BENTONAuthor of ``Gala Day Luncheons''Boston, The Page Company, Publishers
ForKatherine, Monica and BettyThree Little GirlsWho Love To Do``Little Girl Cooking''
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Margaret, and she wanted to cook, so she went into the kitchen and tried and tried, but she could not understand the cook-books, and she made dreadful messes, and spoiled her frocks and burned her fingers till she just had to cry.
One day she went to her grandmother and her mother and her Pretty Aunt and her Other Aunt, who were all sitting sewing, and asked them to tell here about cooking.
``What is a roux,'' she said, ``and what's a mousse and what's an entrée? What are timbales and sautés and ingredients, and how do you mix 'em and how long do you bake 'em? Won't somebody please tell me all about it?''
And her Pretty Aunt said, ``See the flour all over that new frock!'' and her mother said, ``Dear child, you are not old enough to cooks yet;'' and her grandmother said, ``Just wait a year or two, and I'll teach you myself;'' and the Other Aunt said, ``Some day you shall go to cooking-school and learn everything; you know little girls can't cook.''
But Margaret said, ``I don't want to wait till I'm big; I want to cook now; and I don't want to do cooking-school cooking, but little girl cooking, all by myself.''
So she kept on trying to learn, but she burned her fingers and spoiled her dresses worse than ever, and her messes were so bad they had to be thrown out, every one of them; and she cried and cried. And then one day her grandmother said, ``It's a shame that child should not learn to cook if she really wants to so much;'' and her mother said ``Yes, it is a shame, and she shall learn! Let's get her a small table and some tins and aprons, and make a little cook-book all her own out of the old ones we wrote for ourselves long ago,—just the plain, easy things anybody can make.'' And both her aunts said, ``Do! We will help, and perhaps we might put in just a few cooking-school things beside.''
It was not long after this that Margaret had a birthday, and she was taken to the kitchen to get her presents, which she thought the funniest thing in the world. There they all were, in the middle of the room: first her father's present, a little table with a white oilcloth cover and casters, which would push right under the big table when it was not being used. Over a chair her grandmother's present, three nice gingham aprons, with sleeves and ruffled bibs. On the little table the presents of the aunties, shiny new tins and saucepans, and cups to measure with, and spoons, and a toasting-fork, and ever so many things; and then on one corner of the table, all by itself, was her mother's present, her own little cook-book, with her own name on it, and that was best of all.
When Margaret had looked at everything, she set out in a row the big bowl and the middle-sized bowl and the little wee bowl, and put the scalloped patty-pans around them, and the real egg-beater in front of all, just like a picture, and then she read a page in her cook-book, and began to believe it was all true. So she danced for joy, and put on a gingham apron and began to cook that very minute, and before another birthday she had cooked every single thing in the book.
This is Margaret's cook-book.
THE THINGS MARGARET MADE FOR BREAKFAST
A LITTLE COOK BOOK FOR A LITTLE GIRL
1 quart of boiling water. 4 tablespoonfuls of cereal. 1 teaspoonful of salt.
When you are to use a cereal made of oats or wheat, always begin to cook it the night before, even if it says on the package that it is not necessary. Put a quart of boiling water in the outside of the double boiler, and another quart in the inside, and in this last mix the salt and cereal. Put the boiler on the back of the kitchen range, where it will be hardly cook at all, and let it stand all night. If the fire is to go out, put it on so that it will cook for two hours first. In the morning, if the water in the outside of the boiler is cold, fill it up hot, and boil hard for an hour without stirring the cereal. Then turn it out in a hot dish, and send it to the table with a pitcher of cream.
The rather soft, smooth cereals, such as farina and cream of rice, are to be measured in just the same way, but they need not be cooked overnight; only put on in a double boiler in the morning for an hour. Margaret's mother was very particular to have all cereals cooked a long time, because they are difficult to digest if they are only partly cooked, even though they look and taste as though they were done.
1 quart of boiling water. 1 teaspoon of salt. 4 tablespoons of corn-meal.
Be sure the water is boiling very hard when you are ready; then put in the salt, and pour slowly from your hand the corn-meal, stirring all the time till there is not one lump. Boil this half an hour, and serve with cream. Some like a handful of nice plump raisins stirred in, too. It is better to use yellow corn-meal in winter and white in summer.
Fried Corn-meal Mush
Make the corn-meal mush the day before you need it, and when it has cooked half an hour put it in a bread-tin and smooth it over; stand away overnight to harden. In the morning turn it out and slice it in pieces half an inch thick. Put two tablespoons of lard or nice drippings in the frying-pan, and make it very hot. Dip each piece of mush into a pan of flour, and shake off all except a coating of this. Put the pieces, a few at a time, into the hot fat, and cook till they are brown; have ready a heavy brown paper on a flat dish in the oven, and as you take out the mush lay it on this, so that the paper will absorb the grease. When all are cooked put the pieces on a hot platter, and have a pitcher of maple syrup ready to send to the table with them.
Another way to cook corn-meal mush is to have a kettle of hot fat ready, and after flouring the pieces drop them into the fat and cook like doughnuts. The pieces have to be rather smaller to cook in this way than in the other.
1 cup of rice. 2 cups of boiling water. 1 teaspoonful of salt.
Pick the rice over, taking out all the bits of brown husk; fill the outside of the double boiler with hot water, and put in the rice, salt, and water, and cook forty minutes, but do not stir it. Then take off the cover from the boiler, and very gently, without stirring, turn over the rice with a fork; put the dish in the oven without the cover, and let it stand and dry for ten minutes. Then turn it from the boiler into a hot dish, and cover. Have cream to eat on it. If any rice is left over from breakfast, use it the next morning as—
Press it into a pan, just as you did the mush, and let it stand overnight; the next morning slice it, dip it in flour, and fry, either in the pan or in the deep fat in the kettle, just as you did the mush.
When farina has been left from breakfast, take it while still warm and beat into a pint of it the beaten yolks of two eggs. Let it then get cold, and at luncheon-time make it into round balls; dip each one first into the beaten yolk of an egg mixed with a tablespoonful of cold water, and then into smooth, sifted bread-crumbs; have ready a kettle of very hot fat, and drop in three at a time, or, if you have a wire basket, put three in this and sink into the fat till they are brown. Serve in a pyramid, on a napkin, and pass scraped maple sugar with them.
Margaret's mother used to have no cereal at breakfast sometimes, and have these croquettes as a last course instead, and every one liked them very much.
1 cup of milk. Yolk of one egg. 1/4 cup of rice. 1 large tablespoonful of powdered sugar. Small half-teaspoonful of salt. 1/2 cup of raisins and currants, mixed. 1/2 teaspoonful of vanilla.
Wash the rice and put in a double boiler with the milk, salt and sugar and cook till very thick; beat the yolks of the eggs and stir into the rice, and beat till smooth. Sprinkle the washed raisins and currants with flour, and roll them in it and mix these in, and last the vanilla. Turn out on a platter, and let all get very cold. Then make into pyramids, dip in the yolk of an egg mixed with a tablespoonful of water, and then into sifted bread-crumbs, and fry in a deep kettle of boiling fat, using a wire basket. As you take these from the fat, put them on paper in the oven with the door open. When all are done, put them on a hot platter and sift powdered sugar over them, and put a bit of red jelly on top of each. This is a nice dessert for luncheon. All white cereals may be made into croquettes; if they are for breakfast, do not sweeten them, but for luncheon use the rule just given, with or without raisins and currants.
Cook this just as you did the rice, drying it in the oven; serve one morning plain, as cereal, with cream, and then next morning fried, with maple syrup, after the rest of the meal. Fried hominy is always nice to put around a dish of fried chicken or roast game, and it looks especially well if, instead of being sliced, it is cut out into fancy shapes with a cooky-cutter.
After Margaret had learned to cook all kinds of cereals, she went on to the next thing in her cook-book.
Put six eggs in a baking-dish and cover them with boiling water; put a cover on and let them stand where they will keep hot, but not cook, for ten minutes, or, if the family likes them well done, twelve minutes. They will be perfectly cooked, but not tough, soft and creamy all the way through.
Another way to cook them is this:
Put the eggs in a kettle of cold water on the stove, and the moment the water boils take them up, and they will be just done. An easy way to take them up all at once is to put them in a wire basket, and sink this under the water. A good way to serve boiled eggs is to crumple up a fresh napkin in a deep dish, which has been made very hot, and lay the eggs in the folds of the napkin; this prevents their breaking, and keeps them warm.
Take a pan which is not more than three inches deep, and put in as many muffin-rings as you wish to cook eggs. Pour in boiling water till the rings are half covered, and scatter half a teaspoonful of salt in the water. Let it boil up once, and then draw the pan to the edge of the stove, where the water will not boil again. Take a cup, break one egg in it, and gently slide this into a ring, and so on till all are full. While they are cooking, take some toast and cut it into round pieces with the biscuit cutter; wet these a very little with boiling water, and butter them. When the eggs have cooked twelve minutes, take a cake-turner and slip it under one egg with its ring, and lift the two together on to a piece of toast, and then take off the ring; and so on with all the eggs. Shake a very little salt and pepper over the dish, and put parsley around the edge. Sometimes a little chopped parsley is nice to put over the eggs, too.
Poached Eggs with Potted Ham
Make the rounds of toast and poach the eggs as before. Make a white sauce in this way: melt a tablespoonful of butter, and when it bubbles put in a tablespoonful of flour; shake well, and add a cup of hot milk and a small half-teaspoonful of salt; cook till smooth. Moisten each round of toast with a very little boiling water, and spread with some of the potted ham which comes in little tin cans; lay a poached egg on each round, and put a teaspoonful of white sauce on each egg.
If you have no potted ham in the house, but have plain boiled ham, put this through the meat-chopper till you have half a cupful, put in a heaping teaspoonful of the sauce, a saltspoonful of dry mustard, and a pinch of red pepper, and it will do just as well.
4 eggs. 2 tablespoonfuls of milk. 1/2 teaspoonful of salt.
Put the eggs in a bowl and stir till they are well mixed; add the milk and salt. Make the frying-pan very hot, and put a tablespoonful of butter in it; when it melts, shake it well from side to side, till all the bottom of the pan is covered. Put in the eggs and stir them, scraping them off the bottom of the pan until they begin to get a little firm; then draw the pan to the edge of the stove, and scrape up from the bottom all the time till the whole looks alike, creamy and firm, but not hard. Put them in a hot, covered dish.
Scrambled Eggs with Parsley
Chop enough parsley to make a teaspoonful, and mince half as much onion. Put the onion in the butter when you heat the pan, and cook the eggs in it; when you are nearly ready to take the eggs off the fire, put in the parsley.
After Margaret had learned to make these perfectly, she began to mix other things with the eggs.
Scrambled Eggs with Tomato
When Margaret found a cupful of tomato in the refrigerator, she would take that, add a half-teaspoonful of salt, two shakes of pepper, and a teaspoonful of chopped parsley, and simmer it all on the fire for five minutes; then she would cook half a teaspoonful of minced onion in the butter in the hot frying-pan as before, and turn in the eggs, and when they were beginning to grow firm, put in the tomato. In summer-time she often cut up two fresh tomatoes and stewed them down to a cupful, instead of using the canned.
Scrambled Eggs with Chicken
Chop fine a cup of cold chicken, or any light-colored meat, and heat it with a tablespoonful of water, a half-teaspoonful of salt, two shakes of pepper, and a teaspoonful of chopped parsley. Cook a half-teaspoonful of minced onion in the butter you put in the hot frying-pan, and turn in the eggs, and when they set mix in the chicken.
Sometimes Margaret used both the tomato filling and the chicken in the eggs, when she wanted to make a large dish.
Cook six eggs twenty minutes, and while they are on the fire make a cup of white sauce, as before: one tablespoonful of butter, melted, one of flour, one cup of hot milk, a little salt; cook till smooth. Peel the eggs and cut the whites into pieces as large as the tip of your finger, and put the yolks through the potato-ricer. Mix the eggs white with the sauce, and put in a hot dish, with the yellow yolks over the top. Or, put the whites on pieces of toast, which you have dipped in part of the white sauce, and put the yolks on top, and serve on a small platter.
Another nice way to cream eggs is this: Cook them till hard, and cut them all up into bits. Make the white sauce, and into it stir the beaten yolk of one egg, just after taking it from the fire. Mix the eggs with this, and put in a hot dish or on toast. You can sprinkle grated cheese over this sometimes, for a change.
Creamed Eggs in Baking-Dishes
Cut six hard-boiled eggs up into bits, mix with a cup of white sauce, and put in small baking-dishes which you have buttered. Cover over with fine, sifted bread-crumbs, and dot with bits of butter, about four to each dish, and brown in the oven. Stick a bit of parsley in the top of each, and put each dish on a plate, to serve.
Sometimes when she wanted something very pretty for breakfast,Margaret used this rule:
Open six eggs, putting the whites together in one large bowl, and the yolks in six cups on the kitchen table. Beat the whites till they are stiff, putting in half a teaspoonful of salt just at the last. Divide the whites, putting them into six patty-pans, or small baking-dishes. Make a little hole or nest in the middle of each, and slip one yolk carefully from the cup into the place. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over them, and put a bit of butter on top, and put the dishes into a pan and set in the oven till the egg-whites are a little brown.
Making an omelette seems rather a difficult thing for a little girl, but Margaret made hers in a very easy way. Her rule said:
Break four eggs separately. Beat the whites till they are stiff, and then wash and wipe dry the egg-beater, and beat the yolks till they foam, and then put in half a teaspoonful of salt. Pour the yolks over the whites, and mix gently with a large spoon. Have a cake-griddle hot, with a piece of butter melted on it and spread over the whole surface; pour the eggs on and let them cook for a moment. The take a cake-turner and slip under an edge, and look to see if the middle is getting brown, because the color comes there first. When it is a nice even color, slip the turner well under, and turn the omelette half over, covering one part with the other, and then slip the whole off on a hot platter. Bridget had to show Margaret how to manage this the first time, but after that she could do it alone.
1 cup of cooked tomato. 1 green pepper. 1 slice of onion. 1 teaspoonful of chopped parsley. 1 teaspoonful salt. 3 shakes of pepper.
Cut the green pepper in half and take out all the seeds; mix with the tomato, and cook all together with the seasoning for five minutes. Make an omelette by the last rule while the tomato is cooking, and when it is done, just before you fold it over, put in the tomato.
Omelette with Mushrooms
Take a can of mushrooms and slice half of them into thin pieces. Make a cup of very rich white sauce, using cream instead of milk, and cook the mushrooms in it for one minute. Make the omelette as before, and spread with the sauce when you turn it over.
Omelette with Mushrooms and Olives
This was a very delicious dish, and Margaret only made it for company. She prepared the mushrooms just as in the rule above, and added twelve olives, cut into small pieces, and spread the omelette with the whole when she turned it.
Eggs Baked in Little Dishes
Margaret's mother had some pretty little dishes with handles, brown on the outside and white inside. These Margaret buttered, and put one egg in each, sprinkling with salt, pepper, and butter, with a little parsley. She put the dishes in the oven till the eggs were firm, and served them in the small dishes, one on each plate.
Eggs with Cheese
6 eggs. 2 heaping tablespoonfuls Parmesan cheese. 1/2 teaspoonful salt. Pinch of red pepper.
Beat the eggs without separating till light and foamy, and then add the cheese, salt, and pepper. Put a tablespoonful of butter in the frying-pan, and when it is hot put in the eggs, and stir till smooth and firm. Serve on small pieces of buttered toast.
Parmesan cheese is very nice to use in cooking; it comes in bottles, all ready grated to use.
Eggs with Bacon
Take some bacon and put in a hot frying-pan, and cook till it crisps. Then lift it out on a hot dish and put in the oven. Break six eggs in separate cups, and slide them carefully into the fat left in the pan, and let them cook till they are rather firm and the bottom is brown. Then take a cake-turner and take them out carefully, and put in the middle of the dish, and arrange the bacon all around, with parsley on the edge.
Ham and Eggs, Moulded
Take small, deep tins, such as are used for timbales, and butter them. Make one cup of white sauce; take a cup of cold boiled ham which has been put through the meat-chopper, and mix with a tablespoonful of white sauce and one egg, slightly beaten. Press this like a lining into the tins, and then gently drop a raw egg in the centre of each. Stand them in a pan of boiling water in the oven till the eggs are firm,—about ten minutes,—and turn out on a round platter. Put around them the rest of the white sauce. You can stand the little moulds on circles of toast if you wish. This rule was given Margaret by her Pretty Aunt, who got it at cooking-school; it sounded harder than it really was, and after trying it once Margaret often used it.
One day some small, cunning little fish came home from market, and Margaret felt sure they must be meant for her to cook. They were called smelts, and, on looking, she found a rule for cooking them, just as she had expected.
Put a deep kettle on the fire, with two cups of lard in it, to get it very hot. Wipe each smelt inside and out with a clean wet cloth, and then with a dry one. Have a saucer of flour mixed with a teaspoonful of salt, and another saucer of milk. Put the tail of each smelt through its gills—that is, the opening near its mouth. Then roll the smelts first in milk and then in flour, and shake off any lumps. Throw a bit of bread into the fat in the kettle, and see if it turns brown quickly; it does if the fat is hot enough, but if not you must wait. Put four smelts in the wire basket, and stand it in the fat, so that the fish are entirely covered, for only half a minute, or till you can count thirty. As you take them out of the kettle, lay them on heavy brown paper on a pan in the oven, to drain and keep hot, and leave the door open till all are done. Lay a folded napkin on a long, narrow platter, and arrange the fishes in two rows, with slices of lemon and parsley on the sides.
One morning there was quite a good deal of cold mashed potato in the ice-box, so Margaret decided to have fish-balls for breakfast. Her rule said: Take a box of prepared codfish and put it in a colander and pour a quart of boiling water through it, stirring it as you do so. Let it drain while you heat two cups of mashed potato in a double boiler, with half a cup of hot milk, beating and stirring till it is smooth. Squeeze the water from the codfish and mix with the potato. Beat one egg without separating it, and put this in, too, with a very little pepper, and beat it all well. Turn it out on a floured board, and make into small balls, rolling each one in flour as it is done, and brushing off most of the flour afterward. Have ready a kettle of hot lard, just as for smelts, and drop in three or four of the balls at one time, and cook till light brown. Lift them out on a paper in the oven, and let them keep hot while you cook the rest. Serve with parsley on a hot platter.
Pour boiling water over a package of prepared codfish in the colander and drain it. Heat a frying-pan, and, while you are waiting, beat the yolk of an egg. Squeeze the water from the fish. Put one tablespoonful of butter in a hot pan, and when it bubbles put in two tablespoonfuls of flour, and stir and rub till all is smooth. Pour in slowly a pint of hot milk, and mix well, rubbing in the flour and butter till there is not a single lump. Then stir in the fish with a little pepper, and when it boils put in the egg. Stir it all up once, and it is done. Put in a hot covered dish, or on slices of buttered toast.
This was a dish Margaret's grandmother liked so much that they had it every little while, even though it was old-fashioned.
Put the mackerel into a large pan of cold water with the skin up, and soak it all one afternoon and night, changing the water four times. In the morning put it in a pan on the fire with enough water to cover it, and drop in a slice of onion, minced fine, a teaspoonful of vinegar, and a sprig of parsley. Simmer it twenty minutes,—that is, let it just bubble slowly,—and while it is cooking make a cup of white sauce as before: one tablespoonful of butter, melted, one tablespoonful of flour, one cup of hot milk, a little salt. Cook till smooth. Take up the fish and pour off all the water; place it on a hot platter and pour the sauce over it.
When it came to cooking meat for breakfast, Margaret thought she had better take first what looked easiest, so she chose—
Corned Beef Hash
1 pint of chopped corned beef. 1 pint of cold boiled potatoes. 1 cup of clear soup, or one cup of cold water. 1 tablespoonful of butter. 1 teaspoonful of finely minced onion. 1/2 teaspoonful of salt. 3 shakes of pepper.
Mix all together. Have a hot frying-pan, and in it put a tablespoonful of butter or nice fat, and when it bubbles shake it all around the pan. Put in the hash and cook it till dry, stirring it often and scraping it from the bottom of the pan. When none of the soup or water runs out when you lift a spoonful, and when it seems steaming hot, you can send it to the table in a hot dish, with parsley around it. Or you can let it cook without stirring till there is a nice brown crust on the bottom, when you can double it over as you would an omelette. Or you can make a pyramid of the hash in the middle of a round platter, and put poached eggs in a circle around it.
Many people like one small cold boiled beet cut up fine in corned beef hash, and sometimes for a change you can put this in before you put it in the frying-pan.
Margaret's mother believed there was only one very nice way to cook bacon. It was like this: Slice the bacon very, very thin, and cut off the rind. Put the slices close together in a wire broiler, and lay this over a shallow pan in a very hot oven for about three minutes. If it is brown on top, then you can turn the broiler over, but if not, wait a moment longer. When both sides are toasted, lay it on a hot platter and put sprigs of parsley around. This is much nicer than bacon cooked in the frying-pan or over coals, for it is neither greasy nor smoky, but pink and light brown, and crisp and delicious, and good for sick people and little children and everybody.
Wipe off the chops with a clean wet cloth and trim off the edges; if very fat cut rather close to the meat. Rub the wire broiler with some of the fat, so that the chops will not stick. Lay in the chops and put over a clear, red fire without flame, and toast one side first and then the other; do this till they are brown. Lay on a hot platter, and dust both sides with salt and a tiny bit of pepper. Put bits of lemon and parsley around, and send to the table hot.
If the fire is not clear so that you cannot broil the chops, you must pan them. Take a frying-pan and make it very hot indeed; then lay in the chops, which you have wiped and trimmed, and cook one side very quickly, and then the other, and after that let them cook more slowly. When they are done,—you can tell by picking open a little place in one with a fork and looking on the inside,—put them on a platter as before, with pepper and salt. If they are at all greasy, put on brown paper in the oven first, to drain, leaving the door of the oven open. Be careful not to let them get cold.
Liver and Bacon
Buy half a pound of calf's liver and half a pound of bacon. Cut the liver in thin slices and pour boiling water over it, and then wipe each slice dry. Slice the bacon very thin and cut off the rind; put this in a hot frying-pan and cook very quickly, turning it once or twice. Just as soon as it is brown take it out and lay it on brown paper in the oven in a pan. Take a saucer of flour and mix in it a teaspoonful of salt and a very little pepper; dip the slices of liver in this, one at a time, and shake them free of lumps. Lay them in the hot fat of the bacon in the pan and fry till brown. Have a hot platter ready, and lay the slices of liver in a nice row on it, and then put one slice of bacon on each slice of liver. Put parsley all around, and sometimes use slices of lemon, too, for a change.
Liver and Bacon on Skewers
Get from the butcher half a dozen small wooden skewers, and prepare the liver and bacon as you did for frying, scalding, dipping the liver in flour, and taking the rind off the bacon. Make three slices of toast, cut into strips, and put in the oven to keep hot. Cut up both liver and bacon into pieces the size of a fifty-cent piece and put them on the skewers, first one of the liver and then one of the bacon, and so on, about six of each. Put these in the hot frying-pan and turn them over till they are brown. Then lay one skewer on each strip of toast, and put lemon and parsley around. You can also put large oysters on the skewers with pieces of bacon, and cook in the same way.
See that the fire is clear and red, without flames. Trim off most of the fat from the steak, and rub the wires of the broiler with it and heat it over the coals. Then put in the meat and turn over and over as it cooks, and be careful not to let it take fire. When brown, put it on a hot platter, dust over with salt and a very little pepper, and dot it with tiny lumps of butter. Put parsley around. Steak ought to be pink inside; not brown and not red. Put a fork in as you did with the chops, and twist in a little, and you can see when it gets the right color.
Steak with Bananas
Peel one banana and slice in round pieces, and while the steak is cooking fry them in a little hot butter till they are brown. After the meat is on the platter, lay these pieces over it, arranging them prettily, and put the parsley around as before. Bananas are very nice with steak.
Frizzled Dried Beef
Take half a pound of dried beef, shaved very thin. Chop it fine and pull out the strings. Put a large tablespoonful of butter in the frying-pan, and when it bubbles put in the meat. Stir till it begins to get brown, and then sprinkle in one tablespoonful of flour and stir again, and then put in one cup of hot milk. Shake in a little pepper, but no salt. As soon as it boils up once, it is done, and you can put it in a hot covered dish. If you like a change, stir in sometimes two beaten eggs in the milk instead of using it plain.
Wipe off the meat with a clean wet cloth, and then with one that is dry. Dust it over with salt, pepper, and flour. Put a tablespoonful of nice dripping in a hot frying-pan, and let it heat till it smokes a little. Lay in the meat and cook till brown, turning it over twice as it cooks. Look in the inside and see if it is brown, for cutlet must not be eaten red or pink inside. Put in a hot oven and cover it up while you make the gravy, by putting one tablespoonful of flour into the hot fat in the pan, stirring it till it is brown. Then put in a cup of boiling water, half a teaspoonful of salt, and a very little pepper; put this through the wire sieve, pressing it with a spoon, and turn over the meat. Put parsley around the cutlet, and send hot to the table.
Margaret's father said he could not possibly manage without potatoes for breakfast, so sometimes Margaret let Bridget cook the cereal and meat, while she made something nice out of the cold potatoes she found in the cupboard.
Cut cold boiled potatoes into pieces as large as the end of your finger; put them into a pan on the back of the stove with enough milk to cover them, and let them stand till they have drunk up all the milk; perhaps they will slowly cook a little as they do this, but that will do no harm. In another saucepan or in the frying-pan put a tablespoonful of butter, and when it bubbles put in a tablespoonful of flour, and stir till they melt together; then put in two cups of hot milk, and stir till it is all smooth. Put in one teaspoonful of salt, and last the potatoes, but stir them only once while they cook, for fear of breaking them. Add one teaspoonful of chopped parsley, and put them in a hot covered dish. You can make another sort of potatoes when you have finished creaming them in this way, by putting a layer of them in a deep buttered baking-dish, with a layer of white sauce over the top, and break-crumbs and bits of butter for a crust. Brown well in a hot oven. When you do this, remember to make the sauce with three cups of milk and two tablespoonfuls of flour and two of butter, and then you will have enough for everything.
Hashed Browned Potatoes
Chop four cold potatoes fine, and add one teaspoonful of salt and a very little pepper. Put a tablespoonful of butter in the frying-pan, and turn it so it runs all over; when it bubbles put in the potatoes, and smooth them evenly over the pan. Cook till they are brown and crusty on the bottom; then put in a teaspoonful of chopped parsley, and fold over like an omelette.
Wash and pare four potatoes, and rub them on the potato-slicer till they are in thin pieces; put them in ice-water for fifteen minutes. Heat two cups of lard very hot, till when you drop in a bit of bread it browns at once. Wipe the potatoes dry and drop in a handful. Have a skimmer ready, and as soon as they brown take them out and lay on brown paper in the oven, and put in another handful.
Take two cups of mashed potato, and mix well with the beaten yolk of one egg, and make into small flat cakes; dip each into flour. Heat two tablespoonfuls of nice dripping, and when it is hot lay in the cakes and brown, turning each with the cake-turner as it gets crusty on the bottom.
Fried Sweet Potatoes
Take six cold boiled sweet-potatoes, slice them and lay in hot dripping in the frying-pan till brown. These are especially nice with veal cutlets.
Toast is very difficult for grown people to make, because they have made it wrong all their lives, but it is easy for little girls to learn to make, because they can make it right from the first.
Cut bread that is at least two days old into slices a quarter of an inch thick. If you are going to make only a slice or two, take the toasting-fork, but if you want a plateful, take the wire broiler. Be sure the fire is red, without any flames. Move the slices of bread back and forth across the coals, but do not let them brown; do both sides this way, and then brown first one and then the other afterward. Trim off the edges, butter a little quickly, and send to the table hot. Baker's bread makes the best toast.
Put one pint of milk on in a double boiler and let it heat. Melt one tablespoonful of butter, and when it bubbles stir in one small tablespoonful of corn-starch, and when these are rubbed smooth, put in one-third of the milk. Cook and stir till even, without lumps, and then put in the rest of the milk and stir well; add half a teaspoonful of salt, and put on the back of the stove. Make six slices of toast; put one slice in the dish and put a spoonful of the white sauce over it, then put in another and another spoonful, and so on till all are in, and pour the sauce that is left over all. If you want this extra nice, do not take quite so much butter, and use a pint of cream instead of the milk.
Margaret's Other Aunt said little girls could never, never make biscuit, but this little girl really did, by this rule:
1 pint sifted flour. 1/2 teaspoonful of salt. 4 teaspoonfuls of baking-powder. 3/4 cup of milk. 1 tablespoonful of butter.
Put the salt and baking-powder in the flour and sift well, and then rub the butter in with a spoon. Little by little put in the milk, mixing all the time, and then lift out the dough on a floured board and roll it out lightly, just once, till it is one inch thick. Flour your hands and mould the little balls as quickly as you can, and put them close together in a shallow pan that has had a little flour shaken over the bottom, and bake in a hot oven about twenty minutes, or till the biscuits are brown. If you handle the dough much, the biscuits will be tough, so you must work fast.
Grandmother's Corn Bread
1 1/2 cups of milk. 1 cup sifted yellow corn-meal. 1 tablespoonful melted butter. 1 teaspoonful sugar. 1 teaspoonful baking-powder. 2 eggs. 1/2 teaspoonful of salt.
Scald the milk—that is, let it boil up just once—and pour it over the corn-meal. Let this cool while you are separating and beating the eggs; let these wait while you mix the corn-meal, the butter, salt, baking-powder, and sugar, and then the yolks; add the whites last, very lightly. Bake in a buttered biscuit-tin in a hot oven for about half an hour.
Because grandmother's corn bread was a little old-fashioned, Margaret's Other Aunt put in another recipe, which made a corn bread quite like cake, and most delicious.
Perfect Corn Bread
1 large cup of yellow corn-meal. 1 small cup of flour. 1/2 cup of sugar. 2 eggs. 2 teaspoonfuls of baking-powder. 3 tablespoonfuls of butter. 1 teaspoonful of salt. Flour to a thin batter.
Mix the sugar and butter and rub to a cream; add the yolks of the eggs, well beaten, and then half a cup of milk; then put in the baking-powder mixed in the flour and the salt, and then part of the corn-meal, and a little more milk; next fold in the beaten whites of the eggs, and if it still is not like ``a thin batter,'' put in a little more milk. Then bake in a buttered biscuit-tin till brown, cut in squares and serve hot. This is particularly good eaten with hot maple syrup.
Put the muffin-tins or iron gem-pans in the oven to get very hot, while you mix these popovers.
2 eggs. 2 cups of milk. 2 cups of flour. 1 small teaspoonful of salt.
Beat the eggs very lightly without separating them. Pour the milk in and beat again. Sift the salt and flour together, pour over the eggs and milk into it, and beat quickly with a spoon till it is foamy. Strain through a wire sieve, and take the hot pans out of the oven and fill each one-half full; bake just twenty-five minutes.
2 cups sifted flour. 2 teaspoonfuls baking-powder. 1/2 teaspoonful of salt. 1 cup of milk. 2 eggs. 1 large teaspoonful of melted butter.
Mix the flour, salt, and baking-powder, and sift. Beat the yolks of the eggs, put in the butter with them and the milk, then the flour, and last the stiff whites of the eggs. Have the muffin-tins hot, pour in the batter, and bake fifteen or twenty minutes. These must be eaten at once or they will fall.
There was one little recipe in Margaret's book which she thought must be meant for the smallest girl who ever tried to cook, it was so easy. But the little muffins were good enough for grown people to like. This was it:
4 cups of whole wheat flour. 3 teaspoonfuls of baking-powder. 1 teaspoonful of salt. Enough water to make it seem like cake batter.
Drop with a spoon into hot buttered muffin-pans, and bake in a hot oven about fifteen minutes.
Bridget had to show Margaret what was meant by a ``cake batter,'' but after she had seen once just how thick that was, she could always tell in a minute when she had put in water enough.
2 eggs. 1 cup of milk. 1 1/2 cups flour. 2 teaspoonfuls of baking-powder. 1/2 teaspoonful of salt.
Put the eggs in a bowl without separating them, and beat them with a spoon till light. Put in the milk, then the flour mixed with the salt, and last the baking-powder all alone. Bake on a hot, buttered griddle. This seems a queer rule, but it makes delicious cakes, especially if eaten with sugar and thick cream.
1 tablespoonful of butter. 1 tablespoonful of sugar. 2 eggs. 2 cupfuls of flour. 1 teaspoonful of baking-powder. Milk enough to make a smooth, rather thin batter.
Rub the butter and sugar to a cream, add the eggs, beaten together lightly, then the flour, in which you have mixed the baking-powder, and then the milk. It is easy to know when you have the batter just right, for you can put a tiny bit on the griddle and make a little cake; if it rises high and is thick, put more milk in the batter; if it is too thin, it will run about on the griddle, and you must add more flour; but it is better not to thin it too much, but to add more milk if the batter is too thick.
Sweet Corn Griddle-cakes
These ought to be made of fresh sweet corn, but you can make them in winter out of canned grated corn, or canned corn rubbed through a colander.
1 quart grated corn. 1 cup of flour. 1 cup of milk. 1 tablespoonful melted butter. 4 eggs. 1/2 teaspoonful of salt.
Beat the eggs separately, and put the yolks into the corn; then add the milk, then the flour, then the salt, and beat well. Last of all, fold in the whites and bake on a hot griddle.
2 cups of flour. 1 teaspoonful baking powder. 1 1/2 cups of milk. 1 tablespoonful butter. 1/2 teaspoonful of salt. 3 eggs, beaten separately.
Mix the flour, baking-powder, and salt; put the beaten egg yolks in the milk, and add the melted butter, the flour and last the beaten whites of the eggs. Make the waffle-iron very hot, and grease it very thoroughly on both sides by tying a little rag to a clean stick and dipping in melted butter. Put in some batter on one side, filling the iron about half-full, and close the iron, putting this side down over the fire; when it has cooked for about two minutes, turn the iron over without opening it, and cook the other side. When you think it is done, open it a little and look to see if it is brown; if not, keep it over the coals till it is. Take out the waffle, cut in four pieces, and pile on a plate in the oven, while you again grease the iron and cook another. Serve very hot and crisp, with maple syrup or powdered sugar and thick cream.
Some people like honey on their waffles. You might try all these things in turn.
Last of all the things Margaret learned to make for breakfast came coffee, and this she could make in two ways; sometimes she made it this first way, and sometimes the other, which is called French coffee.
First be sure your coffee-pot is shining clean; look in the spout and in all the cracks, and wipe them out carefully, for you cannot make good coffee except in a perfectly clean pot. Then get three heaping tablespoonfuls of ground coffee, and one tablespoonful of cold water, and one tablespoonful of white of egg. Mix the egg with the coffee and water thoroughly, and put in the pot. Pour in one quart of boiling water, and let it boil up once. Then stir down the grounds which come to the top, put in two tablespoonfuls of cold water, and let it stand for a minute on the back of the stove, and then strain it into the silver pot for the table. This pot must be made very hot, by filling it with boiling water and letting it stand on the kitchen table while the coffee is boiling. If this rule makes coffee stronger than the family like it, take less coffee, and if it is not strong enough, take more coffee.
Get one of the pots which are made so the coffee will drip through; put three tablespoonfuls of very finely powdered coffee in this, and pour in a quart of boiling water. When it is all dripped through, it is ready to put in the hot silver pot.
THE THINGS MARGARET MADE FOR LUNCHEON OR SUPPER
So many things in this part of Margaret's book call for white sauce, or cream sauce, that the rule for that came first of all.
White or Cream Sauce
1 tablespoonful of butter. 1 tablespoonful of flour. 1 cup hot milk or cream, one-third teaspoonful of salt.
Melt the butter, and when it bubbles put in the flour, shaking the saucepan as you do so, and rub till smooth. Put in the hot milk, a little at a time, and stir and cook without boiling till all is smooth and free from lumps. Add the salt, and, if you choose, a little pepper.
Cream sauce is made exactly as is white sauce, but cream is used in place of milk. What is called thick white sauce is made by taking two tablespoonfuls of butter and two of flour, and only one cup of milk.
1 pint oysters. 1 large cup of cream sauce.
Make the sauce of cream if you have it, and if not use a very heaping tablespoonful of butter in the white sauce. Keep this hot.
Drain off the oyster-juice and wash the oysters by holding them under the cold-water faucet. Strain the juice and put the oysters back in it, and put them on the fire and let them just simmer till the edges of the oysters curl; then drain them from the juice again and drop them in the sauce, and add a little more salt (celery-salt is nice if you have it), and just a tiny bit of cayenne pepper. You can serve the oysters on squares of buttered toast, or put them in a large dish, with sifted bread-crumbs over the top and tiny bits of butter, and brown in the oven. Or you can put them in small dishes as they are, and put a sprig of parsley in each dish.
Take the oysters from their juice, strain it, wash the oysters, and put them back in. Put them in a saucepan with a little salt,—about half a teaspoonful to a pint of oysters,—and a little pepper, and a piece of butter as large as the end of your thumb. Let them simmer till the edges curl, just as before, and put them on squares of hot buttered toast.
1 pint of oysters. 12 large crackers, or 1 cup of bread-crumbs. 1/2 cup of milk. The strained oyster-juice.
Butter a deep baking-dish. Roll the crackers, or make the bread-crumbs of even size; some people like one better than the other, and you can try both ways. Put a layer of crumbs in the dish, then a layer of oysters, washed, then a sprinkling of salt and pepper and a few bits of butter. Then another layer of crumbs, oysters, and seasoning, till the dish is full, with crumbs on the top. Mix the milk and oyster-juice and pour slowly over. Then cover the top with bits of butter, and bake in the oven till brown—about half an hour.
You can put these oysters into small dishes, just as you did the creamed oysters, or into large scallop-shells, and bake them only ten or fifteen minutes. In serving, put a small sprig of parsley into each.
Pigs in Blankets
These were great fun to make, and Margaret often begged to get them ready for company.
15 large oysters. 15 very thin slices of bacon.
Sprinkle each oyster with a very little salt and pepper. Trim the rind from the bacon and wrap each oyster in one slice, pinning this ``blanket'' tightly on the back with a tiny Japanese wooden toothpick. Have ready a hot frying-pan, and lay in five oysters, and cook till the bacon is brown and the edges of the oysters curl, turning each over once. Put these on a hot plate in the oven with the door open, and cook five more, and so on. Put them on a long, narrow platter, with slices of lemon and sprigs of parsley around. Or you can put each one on a strip of toast which you have dipped in the gravy in the pan; this is the better way. This dish must be eaten very hot, or it will not be good.
2 cups of cold fish. 1 cup of white sauce.
Pick any cold fish left from dinner into even bits, taking out all the bones and skin, and mix with the hot white sauce. Stir until smooth, and add a small half-teaspoonful of chopped parsley.
You can put this in a buttered baking-dish and cover the top with crumbs and bits of butter, and brown in the oven, or you can put it in small dishes and brown also, or you can serve it just as is, in little dishes.
1 lobster, or the meat from 1 can. 1 large cup of white or cream sauce.
Take the lobster out of the shell and clean it; Bridget will have to show you how the first time. Or, if you are using canned lobster, pour away all the juice and pick out the bits of shell, and find the black string which is apt to be there, and throw it away. Cut the meat in pieces as large as the end of your finger, and heat it in the sauce till it steams. Put in a small half-teaspoonful of salt, a pinch of cayenne, and a squeeze of lemon. Do not put this in a large dish, but in small ones, buttered well, and serve at once. Stand a little claw up in each dish.
1 can salmon. 1 cup of white sauce.
Prepare this dish exactly as you did the plain creamed white fish. Take it out of the can, remove all the juice, bones, and fat, and put in the white sauce, and cook a moment till smooth. Add a small half-teaspoonful of salt, a little pepper, and a squeeze of lemon, and put in a baking-dish and brown, or serve as it is, in small dishes.
Scalloped Lobster or Salmon
1 can of fish, or 1 pint. 1 large cup of cracker or bread crumbs. 1 large cup of white sauce.
Prepare this dish almost as you did the scalloped oysters. Take out all the bones and skin and juice from the fish; butter a baking-dish, put in a layer of fish, then salt and pepper, then a layer of crumbs and butter, and a layer of white sauce, then fish, seasoning, crumbs and butter again, and have the crumbs on top. Dot over with butter and brown in the oven, or serve in small dishes.
Crab Meat in Shells
You can buy very nice, fresh crab meat in tins, and the shells also. A very delicious dish is made by mixing a cup of rich cream sauce with the crab meat, seasoning it well with salt and pepper and putting in the crab-shells; cover with crumbs, dot with butter, and brown in the oven. This is a nice thing to have for a company luncheon.
Creamed Chicken or Turkey
2 cups of cold chicken. 1 large cup of white or creamed sauce. 1/2 teaspoonful of chopped parsley. Salt and pepper.
Pick the chicken or turkey off the bones and cut into small bits before you measure it. Heat it in the sauce till very hot, but do not let it boil, and add the seasoning,—about half a teaspoonful of salt, and a tiny bit of cayenne, or as much celery-salt in the place of the common kind. Put in a large buttered dish and serve, or in small dishes, either with crumbs on top or not.
A nice addition to this dish is half a green pepper, the seeds taken out, chopped very fine indeed, and mixed with the white meat; the contrast of colors is pretty and the taste improved.
6 hard-boiled eggs. 1 cup cream or white sauce. 1 cup fine bread-crumbs. Salt and pepper.
Cook the eggs twenty minutes, and while they are cooking make the white sauce, and butter one large or six small dishes. Peel the eggs and cut them into bits as large as the end of your finger. Put a layer of bread-crumbs on the bottom of the dish, then a layer of egg, then a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and bits of butter, then a layer of white sauce. Then more crumbs, egg, and seasoning, till the dish is full, with crumbs on top. Put bits of butter over all and brown in the oven.
Eggs in Double Cream
This is a rule Margaret's Pretty Aunt got in Paris, and it is a very nice one. Have half a pint of very thick cream—the kind you use to whip; the French call this double cream. Cook six eggs hard and cut them into bits. Butter a baking-dish, or small dishes, and put in a layer of egg, then a layer of cream, then a sprinkling of salt, and one of paprika, which is sweet red pepper. Put one thin layer of fine, sifted crumbs on top with butter, and brown in the oven. Or you can put the eggs and cream together and heat them, and serve on thin pieces of buttered toast, with one extra egg put through the ricer over the whole.
Creamed Eggs in Toast
Make small pieces of nice toast and dip each one in white sauce. Boil hard four eggs, and cut in even slices and cover the toast, and then spread the rest of the white sauce over all in a thin layer.
6 eggs. 2 saltspoonfuls of dry mustard. 1/2 teaspoonful of salt. 1 saltspoonful of cayenne pepper. 1 teaspoonful of olive-oil or cream. 1 large tablespoonful of chopped ham. 1/2 teaspoonful of vinegar.
Boil the eggs hard for twenty minutes, and put them in cold water at once to get perfectly cold so they will not turn dark. Then peel, cut in halves and take out the yolks. Put these in a bowl, and rub in the seasoning, but you can leave out the ham if you like. With a small teaspoon, put the mixture back into the eggs and smooth them over with a knife.
If you do not serve these eggs with cold meat it is best to lay them on lettuce when you send them to the table.
Eggs in Beds
Chop a cup of nice cold meat, and season with a little salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Add enough stock or hot water just to wet it, and cook till rather dry. Put this in buttered baking-dishes, filling each half-full, and on top of each gently slip from a cup one egg. Sprinkle over with salt and pepper, and put in the oven till firm.
This was a dish Margaret used to make on wash-day and house-cleaning day, and such times when everybody was busy and no one wanted to stop and go to market to buy anything for luncheon.
1 cup of chopped meat. 1 cup of boiling water. 1 teaspoonful of chopped parsley. 1/2 teaspoonful of salt. 1 teaspoonful of lemon juice, or 1/2 teaspoonful Worcestershire sauce. Butter the size of a hickory-nut. 2 cups hot mashed potato.
If the potato is cold, put half a cup of hot milk in it, beat it up well, and stand it on the back of the stove. Then mix all the other things with the meat, and put it in the frying-pan and let it cook till it seems rather dry. Butter a baking-dish, and cover the sides and bottom with a layer of potato an inch thick. Put the meat in the centre and cover it over with potato and smooth it. Put bits of butter all over the top, and brown it in the oven. Serve with this a dish of chow-chow, or one of small cucumber pickles.
1 cup of cold chicken, cut in small, even pieces. 1/2 cup chicken stock, or hot water. 1 teaspoonful chopped parsley. 1/2 teaspoonful salt. A pinch of pepper. Butter the size of a hickory-nut.
Put the chicken stock,—which is the water the chicken was cooked in, or chicken broth,—or, if there is none, the hot water, into the frying-pan, and mix in the chicken and seasoning, and cook and stir till it is rather dry. Serve as it is, or on squares of buttered toast. You can make any cold meat into hash this way, having it different every time. Sometimes you can put in the chopped green pepper, as before, or a slice of chopped onion, or a cup of hot, seasoned peas; or, leave out half the soup or water, and put in a cup of stewed tomato.
These little fish are really not broiled at all, but that is the name of the nice and easy dish. Take a box of large sardines and drain off all the oil, and lay them on heavy brown paper while you make four slices of toast. Trim off the edges and cut them into strips, laying them in a row on a hot platter. Put the sardines into the oven and make them very hot, and lay one on each strip of toast and sprinkle them with lemon juice, and put sliced lemon and sprigs of parsley all around.
This was a recipe the Pretty Aunt put in Margaret's book out of the one she had made at cooking school.
1 cup fresh bread-crumbs. 2 cups grated cheese. 1 cup of milk. 1 bit of soda as large as a pea. 1/2 teaspoonful of salt. 1 pinch of red pepper. 1 teaspoonful of butter. 2 eggs.
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