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- School and Home Cooking - 6/103 -
A study of food means a knowledge of many things. Before purchasing foods one should know what foods to _select_ at market, whence they come, how they are prepared for market, by what means they are transported, and how they are taken care of in the market. There is a great variety of foods in the present-day market; some are rich in nutrients; others contain little nourishment, yet are high in price. It has been said that for food most persons spend the largest part of their incomes; it is a pity if they buy sickness instead of health. Whether foods are purchased at the lunch counter or at market, it is necessary to know what foods to choose to meet best the needs of the body.
Meal planning is an important factor of food study. The matter of _combining_ foods that are varied in composition or that supplement one another in nutritious properties deserves much consideration. Not only nutriment but flavor enters into food combination. It is most important to combine foods that "taste well."
In learning to _prepare_ foods, the experience of those who have cooked foods successfully is most helpful. Hence the pupil is told to follow directions for cooking a type of food or to use a recipe. Following a direction or recipe in a mechanical way, however, does not result in rapid progress. Keen observation and mental alertness are needed if you would become skilful in food preparation.
One class of food or one principle of cooking may be _related_ to another or _associated_ with another. For example, the method of cooking a typical breakfast cereal may be applied to cereals in general. There may be some exceptions to the rule, but when the basic principle of cooking is kept in mind, the variations can be readily made. If a pupil has learned to prepare Creamed Potatoes she should be able to apply the principle to the cooking of Potato Soup. In making chocolate beverage, the pupil learns to blend chocolate with other ingredients. The knowledge gained in making chocolate beverage should be applied to the flavoring of a cake or of a dessert with chocolate. In all the thousands of recipes appearing in cook books, only a few principles of cooking are involved. The pupil who appreciates this fact becomes a much more resourceful worker and acquires skill in a much shorter time.
The _results_ of every process should be observed. Careful observations should be made when work is not successful. There is no such thing as "good luck" in cooking. There is a cause for every failure. The cause of the failure should be found and the remedy ascertained. The same mistake should never be made a second time. Progress is sure to result from such an attitude towards work. Moreover, confidence in the result of one's work is gained. This is of incalculable value, besides being a great satisfaction, to the home-keeper.
A dining table with carefully laid covers is always inviting. Graceful _serving_ of food at such a table is an art. The ability to serve food in an attractive way is an accomplishment that no girl should fail to acquire.
Considerations regarding success in learning to cook may be summed up as follows:
(_a_) Know what foods to select from the standpoint of economy, nutriment, and flavor.
(_b_) Observe and think when working. Relate or associate one class of foods with another and one principle of cooking with another.
(_c_) Note the results of your work; know why the results are successful or why they are unsuccessful.
Food selection, food combination, and food preparation are all important factors of good cooking. It is to be hoped that the pupil will realize that the study of food and cooking means the ability not only to boil, broil, and bake, but to select, combine, use, and serve food properly. All this demands much earnest thought and effort.
SCHOOL AND HOME COOKING
BAKED APPLES (Stuffed with Raisins)
6 apples Seeded raisins 6 tablespoonfuls brown sugar 6 tablespoonfuls water
Wash the apples; with an apple corer or paring knife, remove the core from each. Place the apples in a granite, earthenware, or glass baking-dish. Wash a few raisins and place 6 of them and I level tablespoonful of sugar in each core. Pour the water around the apples.
Bake in a hot oven until tender. Test the apples for sufficient baking with a fork, skewer, or knitting needle (see Figure 1). During baking, occasionally "baste" the apples, _i.e._ take spoonfuls of the water from around the apples and pour it on the top of them. The time for baking apples varies with the kind of apple and the temperature of the oven. From 20 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees F. is usually required.
DISH-WASHING AND EFFICIENCY.--There is almost invariably a waste of effort in both the washing and the drying of dishes. This may be due to:
(_a_) Poorly arranged dish-washing equipments.
(_b_) Inadequate utensils for dish-washing.
(_c_) Lack of forethought in preparing the dishes for washing and too many motions in washing and drying them.
Since dish-washing is one of the constant duties of housekeeping, efficiency methods, _i.e._ methods which accomplish satisfactory results with the fewest motions and in the least time, should be applied to it. The washing of dishes, invariably considered commonplace, may become an interesting problem if it is made a matter of motion study.
[Illustration: FIGURE 1.--SKEWER AND KNITTING NEEDLE FOR TESTING FOODS. Note that the knitting needle has one end thrust into a cork, which serves as a handle.]
For thorough and rapid dish-washing, the following equipment is desirable:
A sink placed at a height that admits of an erect position while washing dishes, [Footnote 1: In case it is necessary for one to wash dishes at a sink which is placed too low, the dish-pan may be raised by placing it on an inverted pan or on a sink-rack, which may be purchased for this purpose.] and equipped with two draining boards, one on each side of the sink, or with one draining board on the left side; dish and draining pans; dish-drainer (see Figures 4 and 5); dish-rack (see Figures 6 and 7); dish- mop (see Figure 3); wire dish-cloth or pot-scraper (see Figure 3); dish- cloths (not rags); dish-towels; rack for drying cloths and towels; soap- holder (see Figure 3) or can of powdered soap; can of scouring soap and a large cork for scouring; tissue paper or newspapers cut in convenient size for use; scrubbing-brush; bottle-brush (see Figure 3); rack made of slats for drying brushes (see Figure 2).
PREPARING DISHES FOR WASHING.--If possible, as soon as _serving dishes, i.e._ dishes used at the dining table, are soiled, scrape away bits of food from them. The scraping may be done with: (_a_) a piece of soft paper, (_b_) plate-scraper (see Figure 3), (_c_) a knife or spoon. The latter is doubtless the most commonly used for dish scraping, but it is less efficient and may scratch china. If it is impossible to wash dishes soon after soiling, let them soak in water until they can be washed.
[Illustration: FIGURE 2.--A SINK ARRANGED FOR EFFICIENCY IN DISH-WASHING.
Note the draining board on each side of the sink, the dish-cupboard in the upper left corner, and the rack for drying brushes below the sink.]
_Cooking utensils_ need special care before washing, especially if they have held greasy foods. "Oil and water do not mix!" The grease from dish-water often collects in the drain-pipe and prevents or retards the drainage of waste water. This often means expensive plumber's bills and great inconvenience. Bear in mind the following cautions Before putting a utensil which has held fat into the dish-water, always wipe it carefully with a piece of paper. After wiping most of the grease from a pan or kettle, the remaining fat can be entirely removed by filling the utensil with hot water and then adding washing-soda. Boil the solution a few minutes. Fat and washing-soda react and form soap; hence the effectiveness of this method (See Experiment 34) (This method should not be applied to aluminum utensils; washing-soda or any alkaline substance makes a dark stain on aluminum)
[Illustration: FIGURE 3--UTENSILS FOR DISH WASHING
A, soap-holder, B, C bottle-brushes, D, dish-mop, E F, wire dish-cloths G plate scraper]
Utensils used in cooking can generally be washed with greater efficiency if they are soaked before washing. Fill each dish or pan with water, using cold water for all utensils which have held milk, cream, eggs, flour, or starch, and hot water for all dishes having contained sugar or sirup.
ARRANGING DISHES.--Arrange dishes and all the requisite dish-washing utensils in convenient order for washing, placing all of one kind of dishes together. Also place the dishes to be washed at the _right_ of the dish-pan. Wash them and place the washed dishes at the _left_ of the pan. A dish-washer invariably holds a dish that is being washed in her left hand and the dish-cloth or mop in her right hand. That there may be no unnecessary motions, the dishes should be placed to drain after washing at the left of the dish-pan. In this way there is no crossing of the left hand over the right arm as there would be if the washed dishes were placed at the right of the dish-pan. A cupboard located above the draining board at the left makes the storing of dishes an efficient process (see Figure 2).
WASHING AND SCOURING DISHES AND UTENSILS.--Fill the dish-pan about two thirds full of hot water. "Soap" the water before placing the dishes in the pan; use soap-powder, a soap-holder, or a bar of soap. If the latter is used, do not allow it to remain in the water. Fill another pan about two thirds full of hot water for rinsing the dishes. A wire basket may be placed in the rinsing pan.
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