Miss Parloa's New Cook Book Part 59
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Scrape fine an ounce (one of the small squares) of Baker's or any other plain chocolate. Add two table-spoonfuls of sugar, and put in a small saucepan with a table-spoonful of hot water. Stir over a hot fire for a minute or two, until it is perfectly smooth and glossy, and then stir it all into a quart of boiling milk, or half milk and half water. Mix thoroughly, and serve at once. If the chocolate is wanted richer, take twice as much chocolate, sugar, and water. Made in this way, chocolate is perfectly smooth, and free of oily particles. If it is allowed to boil after the chocolate is added to the milk, it becomes oily and loses its fine flavor.
There is a variety of coffees; but, unlike the teas, they do not owe their difference of flavor or color to the curing, but to the soil and climate in which they grow. Coffee grows on small trees. The fruit is something like the cherry, but there are two seeds in it. The beans are separated by being bruised with a heavy roller, and are then washed and dried. The longer the raw berry is kept the riper and better flavored it becomes. In countries where coffee is grown the leaves are used as much as the berry. Like tea, coffee must be roasted, that the fine flavor shall be developed. There are large establishments for roasting and grinding coffee. The work is done by machinery; and nearly always the grains arc evenly roasted, and just enough to give the right flavor. If the coffee, after roasting, is put in close tin cans, it will retain its best qualities for a long time.
It can be ground when needed for use. Many persons think that heating the dry coffee just before making improves the flavor. There are many modes of making coffee, each having its advantages and disadvantages.
Some people think that by first wetting the coffee with cold water, and letting it come to a boil, and by then adding the boiling water, more of the strength of the coffee is extracted. When there is not cream for coffee the milk should be boiled, as it makes the coffee richer. As soon as the milk boils up it should be taken off of the stove, since it grows strong and oily by much boiling. To many people it is injurious to drink coffee; but physicians say that, taken without milk, it is harmless. Some element of the coffee combines with the milk to form a leathery coating on the stomach, which impairs digestion. A great many substances are mixed with coffee, when sold, to cheapen it,--chicory, beans, peas, rye, and wheat being the commonest. To obtain it pure, the safest way is to buy it unground, unless you purchase of a strictly honest dealer. Coffee drinkers, as a rule, eat less than other people, though coffee, and also tea, have little direct food value; but they retard the waste of the tissues, and so take the place of food. The sugar and milk used with them give some nutriment.
The old method of boiling coffee is still practised by at least one- half the housekeepers in this country. The coffee is sometimes boiled with an egg, which makes it perfectly clear, and also enriches it.
When an egg is not used a small piece of salt fish skin is boiled with the coffee to clear it.
Directions for making: A small cupful of roasted and ground coffee, one-third Mocha and two-thirds Java; a small egg, shell and all, broken into the pot with the dry coffee. Stir veil with a spoon, and then pour on three pints of boiling water. Let it boil from five to ten minutes, counting from the time it begins to boil. As soon as it has boiled enough, pour in a cupful of cold water, and turn a little of the coffee into a cup, to see that the nozzle of the pot is not filled with grounds. Turn this back, and let the coffee stand a few moments to settle, taking care that it does not boil again. The advantages of boiled coffee are that when the egg is used the yolk gives a very rich flavor, and when the milk or cream is added the coffee has a rich, yellow look, which is pleasing. It has also a peculiar flavor, which many people prefer to the flavor gained by any other process. The disadvantages are that the egg coats the dry coffee, and when the hot water is added the coating becomes hard, and a great deal of the best of the coffee remains in the grounds after boiling. Also, in boiling, much of the fine flavor is lost in the steam that escapes from the pot.
Another--and really the most economical and the easiest--way of making coffee is by filtering. The French coffee biggin is valuable for this. It consists of two cylindrical tin vessels, one fitting into another, and the bottom of the upper being a fine strainer. Another coarser strainer, with a rod running from the centre, is placed upon this. Then the coffee, which must be finely-ground, is put in, and another strainer is placed at the top of the rod. The boiling water is poured on, and the pot set where it will keep hot, but not boil, until the water has gone through. This will make a clear, strong coffee, with a rich, smooth flavor. The advantage of the two extra strainers is that the one coming next to the fine strainer prevents the grounds from filling up the fine holes, and so the coffee is clear, and made more easily. The upper strainer causes the boiling water to fall on the coffee like rain. In this way it is more evenly distributed, and the fine coffee is not carried through the fine strainer, as it would be if the water were poured directly on the dry coffee. When milk or cream is added to filtered coffee it does not turn a rich yellow, as in the case of that boiled with an egg. A few spoonfuls of this coffee, without sugar or milk, taken after dinner, is said to help digestion.
A quartet of a cupful of boiled milk. Add three table-spoonfuls of whipped cream, and fill up with filtered coffee.
Cafe au Lait.
This is simply one pint of filtered coffee added to one pint of milk that has come just to the boiling point.
Another mode of preparing coffee is to steam it. The coffee is put in a pot and boiling water poured on it. This pot, which is made to fit into a tea-kettle, is placed in the kettle, and the coffee is cooked from ten to twenty minutes, the water in the kettle boiling all the time. This will make a clear and delicious drink.
There are three varieties of the tea plant; both black and green tea can be prepared from them all. Green tea is made from leaves which are dried quickly, and black from leaves which have first been allowed to stand twelve hours or more before roasting. The leaves wilt and grow moist in that time, and that is what gives the dark and peculiar appearance to this tea. In making tea the pot should be earthen, rinsed with boiling water and left to stand a few moments on the stove, to dry. Put in the tea leaves, and let the pot stand a few minutes longer. Pour on boiling water, leaving the pot standing where it will be at the boiling point, yet will not boil, for from three to five minutes. For moderate strength use one teaspoonful of tea to half a pint of water. If the water is soft it should be used as soon as it boils, for boiling causes all the gases which flavor the water to escape; but if the water is hard it is best to boil from twenty to thirty minutes. The gases escape from hard water also, but boiling causes the mineral matter, which hardens the water, to settle on the bottom of the kettle, and the water becomes softer.
Good lemonade can be made with half a pint of lemon juice (extracted with a squeezer, and strained), three pints of water and a generous pint of sugar. Have the drink cold. Hot lemonade is highly recommended for a cold. A glass can be made with the juice of a lemon, one large table-spoonful of sugar and a cupful of boiling water. Drink it hot.
To Blanch Almonds.
Shell the nuts, and pour boiling water over them. Let them stand in the water a minute, and then throw them into cold water. Rub between the hands.
To Corn Beef.
For fifty pounds of beef make a pickle with two gallons of water, four pounds of salt, one and a half pounds of brown sugar, one and a half ounces of saltpetre, half an ounce of saleratus. Put these ingredients on to boil, and when they boil, skim, and put away to cool. When cold, put the beef in it. Put weights on the meat, to keep it under the brine.
To Scrape Chocolate.
If only one square of chocolate is needed, draw a line across the two squares at the end, dividing them in halves. With a sharp knife, shave off the chocolate until you come to the line. By this method there is no waste of time or material. If you want two or more squares, all that is necessary is, of course, to shave off until you come to the dividing line already there. The pound packages of Baker's chocolate consist of two cakes, each of which has eight squares; so one of these squares is an ounce.
To Use the Salamander.
The salamander is a circular iron plate, to which is attached a long handle. It is made red hot in the fire and held over the article to be browned, being careful not to have it touch. If you have not a salamander the fire shovel can be heated and used in the same way; but the shovel is not improved by the operation.
To Clean English Currants.
Pick all the stones, bits of dirt and long stems from the currants.
Add one pint of flour to two quarts of currants, and rub well between the hands. This starts the stems and dirt from the fruit. Put about a pint of currants in the flour sieve and rub them until all the flour has passed through; then put them in the colander and shake until the stems have passed through. When all the fruit has been treated in this manner, put it in a large pan of cold water. Wash thoroughly, and drain in the colander. Repeat this operation three times. When the fruit is well drained, spread it on boards or flat dishes and dry in a warm place. Put away in jars.
To Remove Jellies and Creams from Moulds.
Have in a pan water enough (a little more than blood warm) to come to the top of the mould. If the mould is tin, set it in this for about half a minute; if earthen, keep it in long enough to have the heat pass through the mould. Wipe the mould, place over it the dish into which the jelly is to be turned, and turn both dish and mould simultaneously. Let the mould rest a moment before lifting it gently from the jelly.
To Whip Cream.
Very rich or _very_ poor cream will not whip well. When too rich it turns to butter, and when too poor the froth becomes liquid almost as soon as it has been skimmed. Thick cream, that will hardly pour, should have an equal quantity of milk added to it before whipping.
Such cream as one gets from the milkman will rarely be found _too_ rich for whipping. It is more likely to be the other way; and one is often disappointed in finding it too poor to froth. The cream should be ice cold.
Have a large bowl or tin pail, rather narrow at the bottom. Place this in a pan of ice water. Have a bright tin pan in another of ice water.
Put the cream in the bowl and put the whip churn in this. Hold the churn with the left hand, tipping it slightly, that the cream may flow out at the bottom. With the right hand draw the dasher lightly about half way up the cylinder; then press down hard. It must not be forgotten that the _up_ stroke is _light_ and the _down_ stroke is _hard_. When the bowl is full, skim the froth into a tin pan. Continue this until nearly all the cream has been whipped.
Draw the froth in the pan to one side, and turn the liquid cream at the bottom of the pan back into the bowl. Whip it again. A little of the cream will always become liquid again.
When the cream is for whips, or for a garnish for frozen pudding or Bavarian creams, sweeten it, and flavor with anything you please, before whipping. If the cream is very rich a Dover beater will whip it, but there is nothing that will whip cream so quickly and so well as the whip churn described in the chapter on Kitchen Furnishing.
To Boil Sugar.
Miss Parloa's New Cook Book Part 59
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Miss Parloa's New Cook Book Part 59 summary
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