Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tasty Tuesday ~ Hand-Book of Practical Cookery, for Ladies and Professional Cooks By PIERRE BLOT ~ DIRECTIONS, EXPLANATIONS, ETC.

Carrying on with Pierre Blot’s Practical Cookery for Ladies and Professional Cooks
Anise comes from Egypt, and is used as a spice.
This is a native of Armenia. It is served like plums and peaches; in salad, compote, etc.
Never use smoked bacon or ham, except when especially directed. The smoky taste would spoil the dish.
A bain-marie is a large vessel of hot or boiling water, in which saucepans, kettles, moulds, etc., are placed to prepare or warm food. It is also used to keep any kind of food warm, when something is ready to serve, and the time has not come; the utensil containing it is placed in hot water, and it not only keeps it warm, but there is almost no evaporation while in it. It does not boil away either.
There are things that are much more delicate when prepared or warmed in hot water.
One utensil made for that purpose, and of brass, with compartments, is more handy, but a large saucepan may be used in its stead.
When any thing is in the bain-marie, the water should not be allowed to boil fast enough either to upset the pans or get into them.
A bake-pan for baking meat, fish, or any other object that requires liquor of any kind, must have borders in order to hold that liquor; but a bake-pan for cakes or any other object that does not require any liquor, or that does not turn liquid in baking, is better without borders—that is, a simple piece of sheet iron of a size to go easily in the oven.
This is known also under its French name laurier.
It is used as a spice; it is exceedingly cheap and is excellent to flavor sauces, gravies, etc.
It comes especially from Italy, where it is used to pack figs, oil, and different fruits.
The red beet is much used to decorate different dishes.
It is boiled, then pickled, cut in fancy shapes, either with a knife or with paste-cutters, and tastefully placed on or around the object it is used to decorate.
It is served as a hors-d'oeuvre, pickled, and cut in slices.
To boil.—Set it on a good fire in a pan, covered with cold water, and boil gently till done.
The beet must not be touched at all with any thing rough, for if the skin or root is cut or broken, all the color goes away in boiling, it is not fit to decorate, and loses much of its quality.
When you buy beets, see that they are not bruised, and that the root is not broken.

Braising, in cookery, means to cook any thing with fire under and upon the pan, kettle, or other utensil.
A good oven is by far more easy, and answers perfectly the purpose. An oven not only warms the under and upper parts of the utensil, but all around it also.
It is composed of parsley, thyme, bay-leaf, and cloves, and sometimes a clove of garlic is added. Place the sprigs of parsley in the left hand, rather spread, lay the others on and in the middle of the parsley, and envelop them in it as well as possible, then tie the whole with twine.
As all these seasonings are never served except when chopped, they are more easily taken out than if they were not tied together.
Dip in lukewarm butter a piece of white paper of the size you want, and envelop the piece to broil or roast with it. Tie the paper around with twine or coarse thread.
The only difference between oiled and buttered paper is, that it is dipped in sweet or olive oil instead of butter.
Beware of what is sold under the name of catsups and pickles; many cases of dyspepsia, debility, and consumption come from using such stuff.
It is made with the roes, hard and soft, of the sterlet. It is imported from Russia, and is served as a hors-d'oeuvre, with slices of lemon and toast.
Cervelas, saucissons, as well as smoked sausages, are pork-butchers' preparations, cut slantwise in very thin slices, and served as hors-d'oeuvre, with parsley in the middle of the dish.
Cheese is the first plate of dessert to be partaken of. "A dinner without cheese is like a handsome lady with but one eye."—Brillat-Savarin.
"Cheese takes away all the taste that might be left from preceding dishes, and by that means prepares the palate for the appreciation of the good things, the delicate flavors of the dessert and wines."
Cochineal, or carmine. Buy the cochineal in powder, prepared for cooking purposes, mix some (say the size of half a split pea) with a few drops of cold water and mix that again with what you wish to color. The quantity of cochineal is according to the quantity of mixture and also according to how deep the color is desired.
This comes from Italy, and is used in salad and as a spice.
Besides the ordinary colander, it is necessary to have a fine one. We mean, by a fine colander, one with holes half the size of the ordinary ones, that is, just between the colander and strainer. A colander should not have holes on the sides; it is handier and more clean with holes at the bottom only.
We think that curry is very good and necessary on the borders of the Ganges River, and for that very reason we think also that it ought to be eschewed on the borders of the Hudson, Delaware, Ohio, and thereabouts.
We cannot describe curry better than by giving here the answer (verbatim et literatim) of a gentleman who has lived a few years in Java, to a question on the properties and qualities of curry. He said that he thought it good and even necessary to use some there on account of the climate, but every time he had eaten it he thought he was swallowing boiling alcohol or live coals.
It must be well ventilated and lighted. The best degree of temperature is about 66 degrees Fahr.
A dish ought to be charming to the eye, flattering to the smell, and delicious to the taste.
To drain, is to put in a colander any thing that has been soaked, washed, or boiled, etc., in water or any other liquid, in order to dry it, or at least to let drop from it the water or other liquid that may be in it.
Salads of greens, as a general thing, are drained after being washed, before putting them in the salad-dish; they must be drained as dry as possible, but without pressing on them, as it would wilt the leaves, and give the salad an unsightly appearance.

A pan, after being buttered or greased, is dusted with flour, sugar, or even bread-crumbs, to prevent the mixture that is put in it from sticking. Sugar, etc., may also be sprinkled over dishes with a dredger.
When weary, or cold, or warm, or exhausted, we drink in preference to eating, because we feel the effect instantaneously; while after eating even the most substantial food, we do not feel the effect for some time.
When exhausted and when immediate relief is necessary, the best drinks are broth, chocolate, milk, or water sweetened with sugar. It is more than a mistake to drink wines or liquors at such a time; it is really committing slow suicide.
When only thirsty, without exhaustion, we ought to drink cold water with a teaspoon. When thirsty and heated, the first thing to do is to dip the hands in cold water deep enough just to cover the wrists; then dip a towel in the water, lay it on the forehead, and then drink cold water with a teaspoon.
A few drops of vinegar or lemon-juice may be added to the water. If exceedingly hot, keep your hands in cold water and the towel on your forehead at least one minute before drinking.
A remark or two on eating and drinking in hot weather are always in season. Green vegetables, properly cooked, are certainly healthful in warm weather; but it is a mistake to think that meat should be excluded from summer diet. The hotter the weather, the more the system wastes, and therefore the more we must supply.

In order to keep the body in a healthful condition, meat ought to be eaten at least once a day in summer-time. It would be well to vary this programme by taking one meal of fish on every other day.
Fat should be disused as much as possible. A very little good butter with your fresh radishes at breakfast is as much fat as is necessary.
Fat meat is good in winter and is relished; so are dry vegetables and saccharine substances.
Nature has provided man with a mind, in order that he should study what kind of food suits his constitution; he who does not do it, is not above the lower animals.
"Good things have been made by the Creator for good people, flowers have certainly not been made for brutes, either quadruped or biped."—Jefferson.
"It is from good things that, in a human point of view, we derive the strength necessary to our limbs, let us partake of the same and be thankful."—Rev.——Chadband.
Have your food selected and prepared according to constitution, occupation, climate, age, and sex.
Waste in females is greater than in males.
Animals, generally, are very careful in selecting their food.
A temporary bloatedness may be obtained, especially with the young, by eating much farinaceous food, such as pancakes, etc., but it does not last, and is sure to bring on disease or sickness, or both.
Man is omnivorous, and must be fed accordingly.
Extreme leanness comes from want of proper food, either in youth or old age.

It is not the amount that is eaten which nourishes, but the amount that is digested; an excess of food is as bad as a lack of it.
Good and well-baked bread is nutritious and healthful, while unbaked bread is heavy and difficult of digestion.
Take at least half an hour's rest after a hearty meal, for mind and stomach cannot work at the same time.
Never eat when angry, or tired, or when heated; but be as cool and as gay as possible, for food being exposed to a heat of about 100 degrees Fahr, in the stomach, would ferment instead of digesting.
Take a hearty but by no means heavy dinner.
Eat slowly, at regular hours, and masticate well, but do not bolt your food, or eat any thing that does not taste good.
Drink slowly, moderately, and always taste before swallowing.
Vary your food as much as possible.
Always have at least one dish of vegetables for dinner, besides meat, and also ripe fruit.
See that every thing you eat or drink is of a good quality, wholesome and properly prepared.
There is not a word so much misused in cooking as the word economy.
Prejudice comes for a large share in the use of it.
How many things are thrown away, or wasted by mere prejudice or ignorance!
It is often from economy that a woman washes meat, because some part of it does not look clean. Instead of washing it, do not buy it; or, if bought, cut off a thin slice and throw it away: it is more economical than washing the whole piece, which you partly destroy by the process.

It is with a view to economy, that an old, bad custom prevails of boiling coffee. What an economy of sending the best part of the coffee (the aroma) to the attic, and the rest to the dining-room. A bad drink can be made cheaper with many things than with coffee.
Tea is also boiled with an eye to economy.
We have tried five different kinds in Boston, before a large audience and on the demand of an inventor of one, but none could beat eggs as well as a common hand-beater. The whites of the eggs could not be raised with any of the others much more than half as much as with the common one; and besides, could not be beaten stiff.
Many persons do not succeed in making cakes of different preparations in which whites of eggs beaten to a stiff froth are used, because the eggs are not properly beaten.
Any tinsmith can make an egg-beater. It is generally made with tin-wire, but may be made with brass-wire.
With the cut below, as a model, it can be easily made.

The handle a is of tin, into which the tin wires b are fastened and soldered.
Ignorance produces abuse or error, or both. Blissful ignorance may be a fine thing in some cases, but either in preparing or partaking of food, it is certainly more than an abuse, it is a dangerous error.

It is by ignorance or disease that man abuses wine or any other liquor.
It is by ignorance or prejudice that many eschew the best and most healthful of condiments, such as garlics, onions, etc. They dislike them on account of their pungent taste when raw, not knowing that when cooked it is all evaporated. Their pungent taste comes from the volatile oil they contain, and which evaporates in cooking; it cannot be retained, but their sugar is retained, and gives such a good flavor to gravies and sauces.
This is said to be a native of the Canary Islands; it has a very strong taste, and is used as a spice, especially in blood pudding. The Romans used a great deal of it.
The fig-tree comes from Mesopotamia. Figs are generally served as hors-d'oeuvre, or used in puddings, etc.
Parsley and cives chopped fine, and used for omelets, or with cold meat, sauces, etc., are called thus.
In cooking, new flour is not as good as old; it does not thicken as well and as fast.
Foies, or pâtés de foies gras are made with geese-livers, fresh fat pork, truffles, ham, fines herbes, and spices.

They are always served cold as a relevé or entrée, but most generally they are used for lunch or supper.
There are many sizes in the set, to core from a pineapple to a cherry.

The word galantine means a boned bird, or a boned shoulder of veal.
Glazing is generally done by means of a brush or with feathers. A beaten egg, or syrup, or jelly, or egg and sugar, etc., are used to glaze cakes, etc. It is done by dipping the brush into the egg or jelly, and by spreading it on the cake or other object before baking or before serving, as directed in the different receipts. It is also done by sifting powdered sugar on cakes which are put back in the oven for a short time—that is, the time necessary to melt the sugar.
A cup of tea and camomile, half of each, with a few drops of orange-flower water, and the whole well sweetened and taken warm, is very good after having eaten something difficult to digest.
Macaroni, vermicelli, and the like dry pastes, are called Italian pastes, whatever the shape—round, oval, or star-like.
It is sometimes used instead of gelatine to make jellies.

Make a conical bag of good white flannel, about twenty inches long, fifteen inches broad at one end when spread on a flat surface, or about thirty inches in circumference, the other end being the point. Sew to it four pieces of white tape at the large end, and at equal distances, so that two sticks may be run into them. The sticks are placed on chairs or something else, in order to have the point of the bag about one foot from the floor. It is then ready to pass the jellies through it.

Gastronomists use, in preference to any thing else, crockery or earthen pans; or, for want of these, block-tin pans.
Copper is, in the end, the cheapest of all; but American cooks do not like them because they require too much care and must be examined every day; to prevent any accident, it is necessary to keep the inside properly lined.
Many indispositions are caused by food prepared in copper not properly lined; even food allowed to cool in a well-lined pan would be dangerous.
Pans lined with porcelain are excellent, but the trouble with them is, that they crack, and after that cannot be cleaned; something will always remain between the lining and the iron, and spoil every thing cooked in them.
The tin-lined are preferable, on account of being easily cleaned by means of a small birch-broom, washing-soda, and boiling water.
Mix well in a tumbler a yolk of egg and a teaspoonful of sugar; then add a few drops of orange-flower water (eau de fleur d'oranger); pour boiling water on the whole, little by little, stirring the while, and drink warm.
The quantity of water is according to taste.
A gill of water to a yolk of egg makes it thick enough.
It makes an excellent drink, to be taken just before retiring, for persons with cough.
Never buy lard ready made if you can help it, but take hog's fat, the part enveloping the kidneys, or leaf lard, and chop it fine, put it in a cast-iron or crockery kettle with a bay-leaf and a stalk of thyme to every two pounds of fat; set on a moderate fire, and as soon as it begins to melt, take the melted part out with a ladle, and put it in a stone jar or pot; be careful not to take any pieces of fat not yet melted. Continue that process till it is all melted.
The dry or hard part that remains at the bottom of the kettle when done is no good.
Lard made thus is as white as snow, and may be kept a long time.
When there is water in lard, it flies all over the fire; in that case, boil it a few minutes with a cover on the pan, and then use.

Take beef suet, the part around the kidneys, or any kind of fat, raw or cooked; remove as much as possible fibres, nerves, thin skin, or bones; chop it fine, put it in a cast-iron or crockery kettle; add to it the fat you may have skimmed from the top of broth, sauces or, gravies. Set the pan on a moderate fire; boil gently for about fifteen minutes, skim it well during the process; take from the fire, let it stand about five minutes, and then strain.
Put it in a stone jar or pot, and keep it in a dry and cool place. Cover the jar when perfectly cold.
It is as good as lard and more handy; it does not fly over the pan like lard.
A careful cook seldom buys fat; generally there is enough coming from skimming of broth, sauces, and gravies, for every purpose.
Set the fat on a moderate fire in a pan, and as soon as it commences to boil, place a slice of bread dried in the oven in it, boil gently for about half an hour; take from the fire, let it settle for a few minutes; remove the bread, turn gently into a jar or pot, leaving the dregs in the pan.
Chicken, Turkey, and Goose Fat.—The fat of the above birds is never used to fry, but to sauté instead of butter. To make omelets it is excellent; an omelet is whiter and more sightly made with chicken-fat than when made with butter. It is clarified as directed above.
Game-fat can be used instead of other fat and also instead of butter, to sauté, or what is generally called partly fry, game; it may also be used, instead of butter to bake game.

It must be clarified longer than other fat, but in the same way.
The boiling of fat with water, as indicated in some cook-books, is only a fancy and extra work, it has no effect whatever on the fat. It is the same by keeping it for hours in a bain-marie; it does not change it in the least.
For frying Vegetables.—Put three tablespoonfuls of flour in a bowl with two yolks of eggs, and cold water enough to make a kind of thin paste, then add salt and half a teaspoonful of sweet oil; mix well. Beat the two whites of the eggs to a stiff froth and mix them with the rest. Put the batter away in a cold place for at least two hours, and use.
It must not be put away longer than for half a day.
Another.—Proceed as above in every particular, except that you use milk instead of water.
For frying Fish.—Make it exactly as the above, except that you do not use any oil.
For frying Fritters.—Mix well together in a bowl three tablespoonfuls of flour with two yolks of eggs and cold water enough to make a thin paste; add a pinch of sugar, rum or brandy, or any other liquor, according to taste, from one to three or four tablespoonfuls, mix well again, and put away for at least two or three hours, but not longer than twelve hours.
Eggs and Crumbs for frying.—The eggs are beaten as for omelets, with a little salt. The objects to be fried are dipped in the eggs first, then rolled in bread-crumbs and fried.
Another.—When rolled in bread-crumbs as above; dip again in the eggs, roll again in bread-crumbs and fry.

Another.—Dip the object in melted butter, then in eggs, and roll in bread-crumbs; fry.
All pork-butchers sell salt pork for larding. Cut it in slices and then by cutting the slices across it makes square strips or fillets.
The strips must be of a proper size to be easily inserted into the larding-needle, and are about two inches and a half long.
When the needle is run half way through the meat, insert the salt pork into it, pull the needle off and leave the salt pork inside of the meat, both ends of it sticking out.
If it were running through, that is, if the salt pork were pulled off with the needle, most likely the strips are too small; then pull slowly, and when the salt pork is far enough into the meat, press on it with the finger and pull the needle, it will then stay in its proper place. It is better to cut a few strips first and try if they are of a proper size.
If, in pulling off the needle, the salt pork does not enter the meat, the strips are too large.
If the strips are of a proper size and break while pulling the needle off, then the pork is not good.
Fricandeau, sweetbreads, birds, etc., are larded in the same way.
For beef à la mode, it is described in the receipt.
The best are made of brass. Those that are sold for steel are generally of iron, and break easily.
Those for beef à la mode are of steel, and must be flat near the point, in order to cut the meat.
Knead four ounces of flour with baker's yeast, enough to make a rather thick dough; give it the shape of a rather flat apple; with a sharp knife make two cuts on the top and across, and through about one-third of the paste; put the paste in a pan of lukewarm water. In a few minutes it will float; take it off and use then after it has floated about two minutes.
The time it takes to cook meat depends as much on the quality of the meat as on the fire. Some persons like meat more done than others; in many cases you must consult your own taste or that of your guests.
Beef, lamb, mutton, and game, may be eaten rather underdone, according to taste; domestic fowls must be properly cooked; but pork and veal must always be overdone, or else it is very unwholesome, if not dangerous.
The following table may be used as a guide:
Bear and Buffalo,
a five-pound piece,
  5 to 7 hrs.
Wild Boar and Woodchuck,
      Do.        do.
  3 to 4 hrs.
      Do.        do.
  1 hr. 30 m.
a ten pound piece,
  2 hrs. 30 m.
a large one,
  1 hour.
a middling-sized one,
45 min.
a large one,
45 min.
a small one,
30 min.
a large one,
  2 hours.
a small one,
  1 hr. 30 m.
Grouse, Heathcock, Snipe, and W'dcock,
a fat one,
30 min.
  Do.              do.        do.              do.
a lean one,
20 min.
Guinea Fowl,
a middling-sized one,
  1 hour.
an old one,
  1 hr. 30 m.
a young one,
about 1 hr.
Lamb and Kid,
a large quarter,
  1 hour.
  Do.          do.
a small one,
45 min.
a four-pound piece,
  1 hour.
a six        "        "
  1 hr. 30 m.
Partridge, Pheasant, and Prairie-Hen,
a middling-sized one,
30 to 45 m.
30 min.
a two-pound piece,
  1 hr. 15 m.
a four      "        "
  2 hours.
20 min.
a large one,
  2 hrs. 30 m.
  Do.      do.
a small one,
  2 hours.
a middling-sized one,
30 to 45 min.
Robin, Blackbird, Fig-pecker, High-holder,
Lapwing, Meadow Lark, Plover, Reed-bird,
Thrush, Yellow-bird, and other small birds,
15 to 20 min.
a large one,
  1 hr. 30 m.
a small one,
about 1 hour.
a two-pound piece,
  1 hr. 15 m.
a four      "        "
about 1 hour.

The following table may be used as a guide to know how long meat may be kept, in a cool, dry, and dark place; and protected from flies or other insects:
In Summer.
In Winter.
Bear and Buffalo,
3 to 4 days.
10 to 15 days.
Wild Boar and Woodchuck,
3 to 4    "
  8 to 10    "
Beef and Pork,
2 to 4    "
  6 to 10    "
2 to 3    "
  4 to   8    "
Chicken, old one,
3 to 4    "
  4 to 10    "
    Do.    young one,
1 to 2    "
  2 to   6    "
Deer, Partridge, Pheasant, Prairie-Hen, Quail, Guinea-Fowl, and Turkey,
2 to 3    "
  6 to 10    "
Duck and Goose,
3 to 4    "
  4 to   8    "
Hare and Rabbit,
2 to 3    "
  4 to   8    "
Grouse, Heathcock, Snipe, and Woodcock,
3 to 4    "
  8 to 15    "
Lamb, Kid, Sucking Pig, and Veal,
2 to 3    "
  3 to   6    "
2 to 3    "
  6 to 10    "
Pigeons, Blackbirds, Fig-peckers, High-holders,
Lapwings, Meadow Larks, Yellow-birds, and other small birds,
2 to 3    "
  6 to 10    "
The time must be reduced one-half in summer, in stormy or damp weather, and one-third in winter, in thawing or rainy weather.
Fish.—When cleaned and prepared as directed, place it in a crockery stewpan, cover it with cold water, add a little salt, two or three sprigs of thyme, and one or two bay-leaves. It will keep thus for some time.

Mould for Meat Pies.—A mould for meat pies may be round or oval; it must be in two pieces, fastened together by a kind of hinge. When the pie is baked, the wire pin holding the mould is pulled, and the mould removed.

Mould for Pies, Jellies, etc.—This mould may be used for any thing that requires a mould; it may also be round, oval, or of any other shape.

Fresh and ripe they are served as dessert with other fruit. Preserved, they are served as a hors-d'oeuvre, and used to flavor and decorate different dishes.
Olives as well as sardines are healthful and considered one of the best hors-d'oeuvre.
Osmazome is found in beef, mutton, full-grown domestic fowls, venison, and game; in the latter, when the bird or animal is adult.
In meat soup, the osmazome is the soluble part of the meat that dissolves in boiling, and makes nutritious broth.
In broiled or roasted pieces, it is that part which makes a kind of brown crust on the surface of the meat, and also the brownish part of the gravy.
Chicken, lamb, sucking-pig, veal, etc., do not contain any osmazome.
Hang in the shade, under a shed, or in a garret, and in a clean and dry place, some small bunches of parsley, chervil, celery, etc., the roots upward; leave them thus till perfectly dry, then place them in your spice-box for winter use.
The best time for drying them is at the end of October or the beginning of November; dig them up in fine and dry weather, so as to have them clean without washing.
Soak in cold water half an hour before using.
This is black pepper decorticated.
Put peppercorns in a bowl, cover with cold water, and leave thus till the skin is tender; then drain. Take the skin off, let it dry, grind it; place with your other spices, and use where directed. It takes many days for the skin to become tender.
The quality of meat depends entirely on the quality of food with which the animal has been fed.
For fish, the taste or quality is according to the kind of water in which they have lived; fish from a muddy pond smell of mud, while fish from a clear brook are delicious.

The same difference exists in vegetables and fruit; their quality is according to the quality or nature of the ground in which they have been grown.
A bag for pastry is made with thick, strong linen; of a conical shape, about one foot long, eight inches broad at one end when spread on a flat surface, and which makes about sixteen inches in circumference, and only one inch and a quarter at the other end, and in which latter end a tin tube is placed, so that the smaller end of the tin tube will come out of the smaller end of the bag. Putting then some mixture into the bag and by pressing from the upper end downward, the mixture will come out of the tin tube.
If American cookery is inferior to any other generally, it is not on account of a want of the first two requisites—raw materials and money to buy them; so there is no excuse for it, both are given to the cooks.
Here, where markets rival the best markets of Europe and even surpass them in abundance, it is really a pity to live as many do live.

This knife is used to cut beets, carrots, turnip-rooted celery, potatoes, radishes, and turnips; in slices, round, oblong, or of any other shape; either to decorate dishes, or to be served alone or with something else, or to be fried.

The annexed cuts will give an idea of what can be done with it. It is understood that the vegetables are peeled first.

Shallots come from Syria. Shallot is stronger than garlic and onion; a real Tartar sauce cannot be made without shallot. The small, green onion is a good substitute for it.
The cuts below are skewers. The common ones are used to fasten pieces of meat together; to roast or bake small birds, liver in brochette, etc., etc.

Those to decorate are only used with different flowers or vegetables, and stuck inside of different pieces of meat as a decoration. They are removed just before carving.
The use of them is explained in the different receipts. They may be different from those seen in the cuts.
The cooks of this country generally have a queer idea of what they call French cookery and French spices.
Some honestly believe that to make a French dish a great deal of pepper and other strong seasonings must be put in.
Many other persons, who have not been in Europe, really believe also, that French cookery is what is called highly-seasoned. There never was a greater mistake.
If French cooks use several kinds of spices, and may-be more than American cooks, they are not the same; or if some are the same, such as pepper, they use them in much smaller proportions.
They generally use thyme, parsley, bay-leaf, chervil, tarragon, etc., which are aromatic; but never use (in this climate) ginger, curry, cayenne pepper, pimento, catsups, variegated colored pickles made with pyroligneous acids, etc., and which are very exciting and irritating.
Some of our readers may naturally ask: How is it that French cookery is believed by many to be the contrary of what it really is?
Because every eating-house, of no matter what size, pretends to be a first-rate one or a fashionable one—and to be first-rate or fashionable must, as a matter of course, have French cooks, or at least cook French dishes.
You enter the place, ask for a French dish; or, ask if you can have such a dish, à la Française?
You are politely and emphatically answered in the affirmative; and very often the polite waiter says that a French cook presides in the kitchen.
Result!—the cook, be he from the Green Isle or of African descent, receiving the order to prepare a French dish, puts a handful of pepper in the already too much peppered, old-fashioned prepared dish, and sends it to the confident customer as a genuine French dish.
Said customer never asks a second time for a French dish, and pronounces French cookery to be—abominable!
Never use any spoon but a wooden one to stir any thing on the fire or in a warm state.
To strain, is to pass a sauce or any thing else through a sieve, a strainer, or a piece of cloth, in order to have it freed from particles of every kind.
Broth is strained to make soup, so as to remove the small pieces of bones that may be in it, etc.
Sugar plays a very important part in cooking. It is added to cereals, vegetables, and fruit, many of which would almost be unpalatable without it, and which are rendered not only palatable but wholesome by its action.
It is the sugar of the carrot and that of the onion, or of the garlic, that gives such a peculiar and delicious flavor to gravies and sauces, to beef à la mode, fricandeau, etc.
Pulverized.—When pulverized or powdered sugar can be had pure, it saves the trouble to do it; but often there are foreign matters in it and therefore it is better to make it; you know then what you have.

Break loaf sugar into small lumps, pound it and sift it. With a fine sieve, you can make it as fine as you please.
It was not used in Europe until about the middle of the seventeenth century.
For the cooking of sugar, see Preserves.
The French name of tarragon is estragon. It is excellent in vinegar and in many fish sauces. It is aromatic, sudorific, and stomachic, and grows very well in this country. It grows at least twice as large here as in Europe.
These tubes are put in the pastry-bag, at the smaller end of it, to make meringues, ladies' fingers, etc.; they are of tin, and can be made by any tinsmith.
They have the shape of a trapezoid or frustum. Two are enough for any purpose.
No. 1. One inch and a half long; one inch and three-eighths in diameter at one end, and nine-sixteenths of an inch at the other end.
No. 2. One inch and a half long; one inch and a half in diameter at one end, and six-eighths of an inch at the other.
Truffles are found in Europe and Africa, where they were first discovered.
The truffle is neither an animal nor a vegetable, although it has been classed among the fungi, which has root, and the truffle has neither root nor stem.
The truffle is used for stuffing and flavoring only otherwise it is not of much value. On account of their scarcity, and the difficulty in finding them, they are rather costly.
We think truffles may be compared to lace—both are dear, and neither has an intrinsic value.
Is a native of America, extensively used for seasoning creams, pastry, etc., to which it gives a delicious flavor.
Although a native of America, all the extracts of vanilla, as well as others, were formerly imported; but within a few years Americans have found out that they are able to distil also, and "Burnett's Extract of Vanilla" is better known to-day all over the country than any other.
Vegetable spoons are used to cut potatoes, carrots, and turnips; there are different shapes, round, oval, carrot-shape, plain, and scalloped. We give here only two, being sufficient to explain their use.

The first (a) is of an oval shape, and makes the cut c; the second (b) is round, and makes the cut d.

When the vegetable is peeled, place the spoon on it, the convex side up; holding the vegetable in your left hand, press on the spoon with your left thumb, and in order to cause it to cut the vegetable while turning it with the right hand, first half way or rather when the half of it is inside of the vegetable, stop, turn it the other way, causing it to cut the vegetable also, then raise it up without turning at all and you have in the spoon a piece of vegetable of the shape of the spoon, and as seen in the cuts.
Rain-water is for cooking purposes, as for other purposes, the best, but is seldom used, especially in large cities, where it is difficult to procure it. Another difficulty is, when procured it soon gets foul.
The next best is river-water, or water from lakes.
By boiling, water evaporates its gases and alkali, and is inferior afterward for cooking purposes, especially for boiling vegetables; therefore, we earnestly recommend to use the water at the first boiling.
When foul water has to be used for want of other, if no filter, charcoal, sand, or paper can be had to filter it, it will improve by boiling it and then exposing it to the air for some time.
Native wines, when pure, are just as good as any other for cooking purposes.
It is wrong and a great mistake to underrate native wines; they have a little more acerbity than foreign wines, but are not inferior. It cannot be otherwise, being grown in a virgin soil, or nearly so. The richer the soil or the younger the vineyard, the more acid the wine.
Cold nights during the ripening of the fruit make the wine more acid, not ripening so perfectly.
Wine is a healthy drink, and many invalids would recover much quicker by a judicious use of it.
Different wines are used in cooking, and we give the names of the best ones in the different receipts.
A little vinegar may be used as a substitute for wine, but it is very inferior, and in many dishes it cannot be used at all.
A few dollars spent during the year in wine for cooking purposes, makes much better and more wholesome dishes.
White wine contains little tannin; it retains nitrogenous matters, and is free from essential oils; hence the superior flavor and quality of brandy made with white wines.
It is more aperient and less nutritive than red wine.
Essential oils pass in red wine while it is fermenting.
Wine and sugar with certain fruits are excellent, and are known to neutralize the crudity of the fruit, such as straw-berries, pears, peaches, currants, etc.
The motto of the New York Cooking Academy is—
Since we must eat to live, let us prepare our food in such a manner, that our physical, intellectual, and moral capacities may be extended as far as is designed by our CREATOR.

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