Cooking School: Lesson 1, Week 5

We are still covering the first chapter of this book: Food. The dates listed are the dates for the lessons. Any section not covered with a date will be included on the date given after that section. This way, I can condense the sections and get through this quickly but efficiently, skipping nothing. This entire lesson will take 6 weeks versus the 10 weeks as originally taught. When we are finished, I am hoping we all have a good understanding (including myself) of food and its uses so we can continue on with the meat of the class: cooking good food!

As a reminder, the sections (and dates) are:

  1. Food w/recipe Breakfast Cereal (Saturday, December 29th, 2012)
  2. Correct Proportions of Food
  3. Water w/recipe Baked Apples (Saturday, January 5th, 2013)
  4. Salts
  5. Starch
  6. Sugar w/recipe Creamed Chicken (Saturday, January 12th, 2013)
  7. Gum, Pectose and Cellulose
  8. Fats and Oils w/recipe Boiled Potatoes (Saturday, January 19th, 2013)
  9. Milk
  10. Milk for the Sick w/recipe Dry Toast (Saturday, January 26th, 2013 – Rescheduled for February 2nd, 2013)
  11. Butter
  12. Cheese w/recipe Milk Toast (Saturday, February 2nd, 2013)
  13. Fruits
  14. Vegetable Acids, and Where Found
  15. Condiments
  16. Flavoring Extracts w/recipe Boiled Coffee (Saturday, February 9th, 2013)

Chapter 1, Section 9: Milk

“The value of milk as a food is obvious from the fact that it constitutes the natural food of all young mammalia during the period of their most rapid growth.”

This section starts out with the composition of milk.

  • 3.4% Proteid (Protein)
  • 4% Fat
  • .7% Mineral Matter
  • 4.9% Lactose
  • 87% Water

Protein is good for diabetics and the 87% water doesn’t hurt when you need to drink more fluids. The book cautions that adults don’t need as much milk as do growing children. Adults need more solid food than children do. An unusual fact: “One obtains the greatest benefit from milk when taken alone at regular intervals between meals, or before retiring, and sipped, rather than drunk.” And, of course, we’ve all heard about giving a glass of warm milk to help sleep.

“Why milk sours.”

“A germ floating in the air attacks a portion of the lactose in the milk, converting it to lactic acid; this, in turn, acts upon the casein (proteid) and precipitates it, producing what is known as curd and whey.

Preserve milk by sterilizing, pasteurizing and evaporating. “Fresh Condensed Milk” is also known as evaporated milk and is used in coffee. “Malted Milk” is a combination of evaporated milk mixed with the extracts of malted barley and wheat. It was reported in the writing of this book to be “used to a considerable extent” and is (or was) sold as a powder.

Devonshire (clotted cream) is made by removing the cream from a milk allowed to heat to a temperature of about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. What uses does Clotted Cream have? The book does not say.

The book cautions to be careful to keep milk being fed to children in sterile form. It also says that you can prevent acid-reflux by adding a few teaspoons of lime water to a half pint of milk. I wish I had known this when my firstborn had really bad acid-reflux as a baby.

The recipe for Lime Water is included and it says, “Pour two quarts boiling water over an inch cube unslacked lime; stir thoroughly and stand over night; in the morning pour off the liquid that is clear, and bottle for use. Keep in a cool place.”

Chapter 1, Section 10: Milk For The Sick

This section of the book discusses typhoid fever and diptheria in regards to using milk. It appears that milk was used as a primary means of feeding someone with these illnesses in the beginning. When it can not be drunk by itself, it can be combined with soda or selzer. Caution is given to give milk to the sick in small quantities at regular intervals instead of giving an entire glass.

The book lists several different kinds of milk used for different reasons. I can’t even pronounce them, much less tell you anything about them. I’ll suggest reading it on your own; however, it appears that specialized milk products were made for general consumption, at one time. I have no knowledge if they are still sold or used. Something for me to watch for at the grocery store, next time I’m out and about.

Kind of a boring section except for finding out that milk is mostly water with some protein. Adults don’t need as much as children – that was common knowledge; and milk should be given in small quantities to the sick. I thought it was going to be a lot more interesting than it was.

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*All quotes (noted or not) are from The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book c1904, my own personal copy, unless otherwise noted.

** All opinions stated here are my own, not medically backed, unless otherwise stated.

Recipe: Dry Toast

“Cut stale bread in one-fourth inch slices. Crust may or may not be removed. Put slices on wire toaster, lock toaster and place over clear fire to dry, holding some distance from coals; turn and dry other side. Hold nearer to coals and color a golden brown on both sides. Toast, if piled compactly and allowed to stand, will soon become moist. Toast may be buttered at table or before sending to table.”

On the same page is “Water Toast.” I’m curious what they would use that for. The recipe for that is as follows.

“Dip slices of dry toast quickly in boiling salted water, allowing one-half teaspoon to one cup boiling water. Spread slices with butter, and serve at once.”

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