Cooking School: Lesson 1, Week 7

This fell by the wayside for the past few months. I’m restarting it. Look for next week, when we move on to Chapter 2: Cookery!

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 – Rescheduled for April 20th, 2013)

Chapter 1, Section 12: Fruits

“The varieties of fruits consumed are numerous, and their uses important.”

I have to quote the beginning of this section. It says so much about fruits, in general, I can’t paraphrase or rewrite it sufficiently.

“[Fruits] are chiefly valuable for their sugars, acids, and salts, and are cooling, refreshing, and stimulating. They act as a tonic, and assist in purifying the blood.”

Some contain pectin and others contain starch. Starch, as we’ve already learned, converts to sugars in the blood stream. The book says that bananas, dates, figs, prunes and grapes are the most nutritious – because of their low amount of water and high concentration of sugar.

Large quantities of water can be found in melons, oranges, lemons and grapes. Potash salts are found in apples, lemons and oranges. Oranges and lemons are good for their citric acid content.

To enjoy a fruit with the least amount of sugar (like for me, a diabetic), we could stick to the low-sugar fruits like: plums, peaches, apricots and raspberries. This is good to know! I hadn’t thought of this and, since I like all the fruits in this section, it’ll be something to play with when the season starts and I start finding fruits available again. The author cautions that apples, sweet cherries, grapes and pears contain the largest amount of sugar.

This is bad. I’ve taken to eating little bags of mixed cheeses with grapes as a snack. Perhaps I should find a way to include raspberries or one of the other low-sugar fruits instead? Except, I really like green grapes!

“If possible, fruits should always appear on the breakfast-table.”

I’ve tried to make sure we have oranges on our breakfast table; however, Caiden tends to eat them all gone before I can serve them for breakfast. Perhaps I should start having raspberries to put in a cup on their breakfast plate? That might go a lot smoother then having the oranges that he grabs on a whim!

This morning, he actually had half an orange before we finally got moving and Jen made pancakes for breakfast. I could do it that way? When he wakes up at 6 in the morning, give him half an orange. Then, at 7 a.m., get breakfast ready.

Chapter 1, Section 13: Vegetable Acids, and Where Found

“The principle vegetable acids are:

  • Acetic – found in wine and vinegar
  • Tartaric – found in grapes, pineapples and tamarinds
  • Malic (much like tartaric) – found in apples, pears, peaches, apricots, gooseberries and currants
  • Citric – found in lemons, oranges, limes and citron
  • Oxalic – found in rhubarb and sorrel”

Not much else is said about the vegetable acids. I think this was just a short blurb on where to find things.

Chapter 1, Section 14: Condiments

“Condiments are not classified among foods, but are known as food adjuncts. They are used to stimulate the appetite by adding flavor to food.”

  • Black Pepper – made from ground peppercorns
  • White Pepper – remove the husk of the peppercorn and then ground them
  • Cayenne Pepper – powdered pod of capsicum
  • Mustard – ground seed of white and black mustard seeds
  • Ginger – pulverized dried root of Zanzibar officinale
  • Cinnamon – ground inner bark of Cinnamomum zeylanicum
  • Clove – ground flower buds of Caryophyllus aromaticus
  • Pimento – ground fruit of Eugenia Pimenta (and I always thought it came from the inside of an olive)
  • Nutmeg – the kernel of the fruit of the Myristica fragrans
  • Mace – fibrous network which envelops the nutmeg seed
  • Vinegar – made from apple cider, malt and whine – product of fermentation
  • Capers – flower buds of Capparis spinosa – preserved in vinegar
  • Horse-radish – root of Cochliaria armoracia – grated, mixed with vinegar and bottled

That’s about all that is in this chapter. More of an informational than a teaching.

Chapter 1, Section 15: Flavoring Extracts

“[Extracts] are made from the flower, fruit or seed from which they are named.”

“Strawberry, pineapple and banana extracts are manufactured from chemicals.”

That’s it for Chapter 1. I hope y’all enjoyed it – even with the super long delay. Next week, we’ll go further and learn a bit more!

naia signature

*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: Boiled Coffee

  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 6 cups boiling water

“Scald a granite-ware coffee-pot. Wash egg, break and beat slightly. Dilute with one-half the cold water, add crushed shell, and mix with coffee. Turn the coffee-pot, pour on boiling water, and stir thoroughly. Place on front of range, and boil three minutes. If not boiled, coffee is cloudy; if boiled too long, too much tannic acid is developed. The spout of pot should be covered or stuffed with soft paper to prevent escape of fragrant aroma. Stir and pour some in a cup to be sure that pout is free from grounds. Return to coffee-pot and repeat. Add remaining cold water, which perfects clearing. Cold water being heavier than hot water sinks to the bottom, carrying grounds with it. Place on back of range for ten minutes, where coffee will not boil. Serve at once. If any is left over, drain from grounds, and reserve for making of jelly or other dessert.

“Egg shells may be saved and used for clearing coffee. Three egg shells are sufficient to effect clearing where one cup of ground coffee is used. The shell performs no office in clearing except for the albumen which clings to it. Burnett’s Crystal Coffee Settler, or salt fish skin, washed, dried, and cut into in inch pieces [sic], is used for same purpose.

“Coffee made with an egg has a rich flavor which egg alone can give. Where strict economy is necessary, if great care is taken, egg may be omitted. Coffee so made should be served from range, as much motion causes it to become roiled.

“Tin is an undesirable material for a coffee-pot, as tannic acid acts on such metal and is apt to form a poisonous compound.

“When coffee and scalded milk are served in equal proportions, it is called Cafe’ au lait. Coffee served with whipped cream is called Vienna Coffee.”

To Make a Small Pot of Coffee. Mix one cup ground coffee with one egg slightly beaten and crushed shell. To one-third of this amount add one-third cup cold water. Turn into a scalded coffee-pot, add one pint boiling water, and boil three minutes. Let stand on back of range ten minutes; serve. Keep remaining coffee and egg closely covered, in a cool place, to use two successive mornings.”

To Make Coffee for One. Allow two tablespoons ground coffee to one cup cold water. Add coffee to cold water, cover closely, and let stand over night. In the morning bring to boiling point. If carefully poured, a clear cup of coffee may be served.”

What an interesting way to make coffee. I’m actually anxious to try this. I’ll have to buy some coffee grounds, though. I use the Keurig machine and don’t buy just regular ground coffee any longer.

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