Cooking Class: Lesson 2, Week 5

We are starting the second chapter of this book: Cookery. 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 7 weeks versus the 11 weeks as originally taught. When we are finished, I am hoping we all have a good understanding (including myself) of cooking, itself!

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

  1. Cookery w/recipe Baking Bread (Saturday, April 27th, 2013)
  2. Fire
  3. How to Build a Fire w/recipe Potato Soup (Saturday, May 4th, 2013, Sunday, May 12th)
  4. Ways of Cooking
  5. Various Ways of Preparing Food for Cooking w/recipe Broiled Fish (Sunday, May 12th, 2013)
  6. How to Bone a Bird w/recipe Mashed Potatoes (Saturday, May 18th, 2013, Wednesday, June 5th)
  7. How to Measure
  8. How to Combine Ingredients w/recipe Boiled Eggs (Saturday, May 25th, 2013, Wednesday, June 5th)
  9. Ways of Preserving w/recipe Hash
  10. Table of Measures and Weights w/recipe Scalloped Eggs (Saturday, June 1st, 2013)
  11. Time Tables for Cooking w/recipe Blanc-Mange (Saturday, June 8th, 2013)

Chapter 2, Section 7: How to Measure

I’m quite sure we all know how to measure. I’m covering these chapters simply in continuity with the book.

“Correct measurements are absolutely necessary to insure the best results.”

Ain’t that the truth, huh? How about this quote, “Good judgment, with experience, has taught some to measure by sigh; the but majority need definite guides.”

“Tin measuring-cups, divided in quarters or thirds, holding one half-pint, and tea and table spoons of regulation sizes, – which may be bought at any store where kitchen furnishings are sold, – and a case knife, are essentials for correct measurements. Mixing-spoons, which are little larger than tablespoons, should not be confounded with the latter.”

Quite simple and to the point – make sure you have the right tools for the job and do it correctly to make sure you enjoy what you have made.

Measuring Ingredients:

  • Flour, meal, powdered and confectioners’ sugar, and soda should be sifted before measuring;
  • Mustard and baking-powder, from standing in boxes, settle, therefore should be stirred to lighten;
  • Salt frequently clumps and they should be broken up;

To measure level, fill the cup to slightly rounded upwards then slide a case knife across to smooth it down appropriately.

To measure tea or table spoonfuls, dip the spoon in the ingredient, fill, life, and level with a knife, the sharp edge being toward the tip of the spoon.

Measuring Liquids:

“A cupful of liquid is all the cup will hold. A tea or table spoonful is all the spoon will hold.” Pretty basic to me. Any questions?

A side note from the author: When dry ingredients, liquids, and fats are called for in the same recipe, measure in the order given, thereby using but one cup.

Measuring Butter, Lard, etc.:

To measure butter or lard (or other solid fats), pack solidly into a cup or spoon and level with a knife.

Chapter 2, Section 8: How to Combine Ingredients

“Next to measuring comes care in combining, – a fact not always recognized by the inexperienced.”

Three ways to combine:

  • Stir – mix by using circular motion, widening the circles until all is blended. Pretty common method.
  • Beat – turn ingredients over and over, continually bringing the under part of the surface, thus allowing the utensil used for beating to be constantly brought in contact with bottom of the dish and through-out the mixture.
  • Cut and Fold – Introduce one ingredient into another by two motions – with a spoon going repeatedly in a vertical downward motion (cutting) or by turning over and over of the mixture (folding).

When you stir, you mix your ingredients. By beating, a large amount of air is introduced. By cutting and folding, air already introduced is prevented from escaping. I honestly didn’t realize there was a difference. I’m a great cook but I’ve never paid attention to what was said about stirring, beating, cutting or folding. I think I will pay a bit more attention, now. Especially if making bread and air is needed!

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 Eggs

“Have ready a saucepan containing boiling water. Carefully put in with a spoon the number of eggs desired, covering them with water. Remove saucepan to back of range, where water will not boil. Cook from six to eight minutes if liked “soft boiled,” forty to forgive if liked “hard boiled.” Eggs may be cooked by placing in cold water and allowing water to heat gradually until the boiling point is reached, when they will be “soft boiled.” In using hard-boiled eggs for making other dishes, when taken from the hot water they should be plunged into cold water to prevent, if possible, discoloration of yolks.

“Eggs perfectly cooked should be placed and kept in water at a uniform temperature of 175 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Easily understood – even for a beginning cook!

Categories: Basics of Cooking, Cooking School | Leave a comment

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