Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kitchen Hints, Part 2.

Today I want to continue giving you some kitchen wisdom from old cookery books. The principles of saving fuel, money and time are timeless, and I am sure that the following advice is just as relevant today as when it was written. See if you agree.

From "Win the war" Cook Book (1918) published by St. Louis county unit, Woman's committee, Council of National Defense, here are a few ideas to save kitchen fuel.

Save Gas: Never leave burner lighted while preparing material - better to use an extra match.
When oven is used plan to bake at same time a roast, apples, potatoes and a pudding or cake.
The boiling point is 212 F. No amount of heat will make it higher. Notice this and turn flame accordingly.
There are three-cornered sauce pans: 3 vegetables or sauces may be cooked at one time.

And here is some further advice from: Jennie June's American Cookery Book (New York, 1870), by Jane Cunningham Croly.

Arrange work so as to save fuel as much as possible. Mix bread at night, so that it will be ready to bake with that "first fire" which always makes the oven hot in the morning. Prepare fruit over night, so that pies or other things can be quickly made and baked immediately after. Prepare hashes for breakfast, over night. Have the kitchen and dining room put in order before retiring to rest. Have kindlings and whatever is needed for building fires laid ready, and the fire in the kitchen raked down, so that it can be built up in the shortest possible space of time. This is not only a saving in the morning, but will be found useful in case of illness in the night, when a fire is often required at a moment's notice.
Try to buy in as large quantities as possible, so as to save the perpetual running out to the grocery. Supplies on hand also enable the housekeeper to provide a more varied table, with far greater economy than is possible where everything is bought by the half a pound, more or less.
Every family that can possibly find means to do it, or a place to properly keep the articles, should commence winter with fuel, potatoes, apples, flour, and butter, enough to last till Spring. A good supply of hominy, rice, farina, Indian meal, preserved fish, and other staples, including sugar, should also be laid in, not forgetting a box of raisins, one of currants, a third of soap, and a fourth of starch.
There is such an immense saving in soap well dried, that it is surprising so many housekeepers content themselves with buying it in damp bars. Starch also is frightfully wasted by quarter, and half pound purchases, which are frequently all absorbed at one time, by careless girls, in doing the washing for a small family.
Regularity is the pivot upon which all household management turns; where there is a lack of system there is a lack of comfort, that no amount of individual effort can supply. Forethought also is necessary, so that the work may be all arranged beforehand; done in its proper order, and at the right time. Never, except in cases of extreme emergency, allow Monday's washing to be put off till Tuesday; Tuesday's ironing till Wednesday, or Wednesday's finishing up and "setting to rights," till Thursday. Leave Thursday for extra work; or when that is not required, for resting day, or half holiday, and as a preparation for the up stairs' sweeping and dusting of Friday, and the downstairs' baking and scrubbing of Saturday.

As the recipe for the day, I give you a little something from Jennie June: 

Mock Duck.
Procure a steak cut from the rump of beef, and fill it with a dressing made of chopped bread, pork, sage, onions and sweet marjoram, and well-seasoned; sew it up, put a slice or two of pork, or some of the dressing, on the top, and set it in a pan, into which pour a pint of water; cover down tight, and let it cook slowly in the oven three hours; then take off the lid, brown quickly, and serve hot.

Quotation for the Day.

The object of cooking is to make food healthful, and palatable; the secret is therefore, how to combine elements and flavors, so as to produce the best results.
Jennie June's American Cookery Book.(1870)

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