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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, March 06, 1910, Image 10

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French Cookery
in American Kitchens
FIFTEEN years ago I engaged a
cook, who brought what she
would have termed "a car
rackt-tr" from a rich and re
spectable woman, in. whose service
ehe had been for seven years. I called
upon her late employer, who con
firmed the written certificate. "Ma
rietta was clean, industrious, honest
and sober, and an excellent cook."
At the end of a week I liad learned
that the treasure was proficient in
nothing except the plainest kind of
cookery. She could roast, boll and fry
and cook vegetables as her mother
had done before her. Beyond this
rudimentary knowledge she did s not
aspire to go. And when she found
That we had soup every day in the
year she remonstrated.
"I didn't in^age to do Frerveh cook
ing," she said, tearfully. "It nair
breaks me heart to think pf makln'
e'up every day of the week. At Mrs.
P.'s we niver thought o' such doln's.*
Upon that hint I spake a bit of my
mind, quietly but' firmly, she must
learn to make soup or seek another
place. She chose the alternative, and
carried her excellent cookery into an
other house.
I thoueiit her complaint odd then
and her Oisdain of "French rooking"
the prejudice of an untrained mind.
I have come since to deprecate it as a
prevalent mistake on the part of an
immense number of otherwise Intelli
gent people who should know better.
It goes without saying that the
French lead the world in all pertaln-
Ir-ST *o fine cookery. It should btt
better known that they are also the
wisest of domestic economists.
. I have said this, in effect, so often
that those who are indifferent to gas
tronomical and culinary studies ac
cuse me of harping tediously upon one
string. It cannot be too strongly
driven into the consciousness of our
practical housemother that she could
"bring her family fare up to a much
higher standard of palatableness than
ehe has dreamed of and lower market
bills by going to school to the
Frenchwoman of limited means. I am
not writing this plain talk for those
who can, command and pay for the
services of a "chef." .The" French
peasant knows how to make the very
best, as regards savoriness and econo-
m X; v. out of the homely materials
which are all sne can afford to buy.
And she puts the knowledge into
daily and hourly practice. Her stock
pot is never empty and the garbage
pail is seldom full. The "dip" and the
• wallop,", of which I spoke some
weeks ago. are translated by her into
a wise reserve of every particle of
nutriment and flavor that meat, fish
and esculent can yield.
I kept house In France long enough to
look narrowly into methods that amused
for a time, and then edified me. Now
end then, and as time wore on and my
Interest In the subject became serious
and practical, I used to go with my
rook to market. 1 had soon learned to
let her mako purchases. Where I would
have bought two pounds of meat she
got or.c, and made it go as far as two
would have gone in my hands. I speak
the simple truth in asserting that not
one leaf or stalk of any green vegetable
that cagie into my kitchen found Us
way to the swill pail. She shredded spin
acn from the stalks, and compounded
for dinner the most entrancing spinach
.a la creme that ever passed my lips
The stalks were scalded to take out the
rank flavor, and then chopped before
they were committed to the stock pot.
Cracked bones of cooked meat, gristly
and skinny m-orsels and "dabs" of
cooked vegetables contributed body to
the "pot-au-feu" served up to us once
a week. We grew so fond of It that
we would have been glad to buy ma
terials expressly for it. But this Marie
would not allow. "So much would go
to waste but for the pot-au-feu that
the thought was harrowing." When told
that the eavory steaming broth that
titillated nostrils and delighted palates
on rainy and chilly days (she 'made
cunning selection of times and weath
ers) was unknown in America, she 1
rolled up her eyes and wrung her hands.
"But what then would madam do with
what would not serve for any other
.She put nothing raw Into the pot.
Everything was parboiled or scalded,
and t wice a week the pot itself was lift
ed to the range to dimmer for an hour.
It never boiled actively.
Salads were as much a matter of
everj-day consumption as soups. And
the variety was' practically endless.
From this daughter of the provinces—
for she was not a Parisian by birth or
training— l learned that enough parsley
and chives might be grown in a sunny
kitchen window to' supply seasoning
and garnishing for our small family.
She cultivated both in a box, clipping
so judiciously that fresh leaves duti
fully filled (he places of those she took
pff. From her I learned the value of
chives, which I had hitherto looked upon
as akin to weeds. Minced fine, they im
part a delicious . piquancy to" French
saiad dressing. A t'.-aspoonful is all
you want for 3 large dieh of lettuce or
endive, celery cr other green salad. I
never entered until then into the mean
ing of the deft ;ines in Sydney Smith's
famous recipe for salad dressing:
"Let garlic's atoms lurk within ' the
And unsuspected, animate the whole."
The witty rhymester was conversant
with French cookery, and no English
man understood better how to com
;wind a, "salad. He would have said
••chives" and not "garlic," .if the exi
gencies of meter had not forbidden the
monosyllable. , \u0084.".? V
: It was Marie who initiated'ns Into the
manifold uses of powdered \u25a0- cheese in
cookery. A glass saucer of it was , the
invariable accompaniment of soups,
depending for distinctive character upon
cereals. And of these there were not a
few.- Polenta, rice,' barley, sago, tap
ioca, macaroni in \u25a0 every form, • noodles
and half a dozen . other - grair9< and
starches— all comprised -under thef gen
eral name of "manestra"— lent sub
etance. to i broths :->: -> and were . not
foreign to clear soups. Grated Par
mesan was always in company'; with
these. Until " one \u25a0 had -eaten- it. sev
eral times, and educated 'his palate int"
appreciation of the harmony of the com
bination, one '\u25a0 might be' inclined- to ilet
It pass. For ourselves, " the taste formed
then abides with us to this day. TTor
example, this soup, under Marie's hand,
left nothing to be desired:
Onion Soup. •
Parboil a large onion for five minutes:
Chop, and stir it into two cupfuls o£
the stock in which a fowl was boiled.
Cook ten minutes and . strain out ths
onion. Have ready a cupful of milk
heated to scalding. Put a tiny pinch
of soda (a mere '.'suspicion") in the
milk ito prevent curdling. Stir two
tablespoonfuls of flour into one of
butter, set over the fire until you have
a smooth roux, season with celery salt
and paprika, and. add-to. the .soup.Br ing
to a boll, stirring all the time, add the
beaten yolk of an egg and take from
the fire. Serve grated cheese with it
for those who like It." - ; v" AMc
The stock of veal may. be substituted
for the chicken. Either broth may.ba
made irom the bones of the . meat. . : We
never bought meat expressly : for it.
Marie's best chicken broth was made
from the feet, necks and heads of
chickens. In France these > may be
bought separately^ from, r the.i '.rowi.
When *we i: purchased poultry,'? she " inf.
slated: upon having 'the; parts' I have
named: put: In iwith; the 1 . body>fof «the
fowl. WhenVshe^got Jthem "home,'; she
scalded and j scraped 'them;? saving the
combs of the chickens* with' the necks
and feet,* and converted them into a
white potage which was inimitable in
its way.- , t Another y Marie,'/ who *; served
me lon g a s * cook zln * America,Xwoutd
take the butcher roundly. to. taak when
he forgot- to - bring i her/ these '^'trim
mings'', of the chickens. V She said they
contained <more tvgoodness'.'; than : - any
other portion ,of ..the* fowl.T, I take .it
that n she * -. meant ;••.. gelatinous - matter,
which goes for the soul- of) the broth.;
-.;-"> Potato Souffles. ; i / v
In s t cad -of \u25a0 fryi ng • potatoes after" the
manner, practiced \u25a0\u25a0 by :- ours srrandmoth
ers, who really. sauted," not fried, them—
preferring cold cooked potatoes
raw— our Frenchwoman pares them
very thin; knowing j that the "meal" or
"starch lies next the skin. .Then she
cuts them crosswise or : lengthwise, \u25a0 as
she thinks best, into" rather thin
slices. .Next, these., are laid in. very
cold water for half an hour, then
drled'by spreading them upon a towel
and patting them: gently through an -,
other. \A wire basket that flts-easily . \
Into ; the deep '\u25a0 frying pan receives as \u25a0 .
many, sliced potatoes as will lie on the
bottom, and is soused, into boiling
deep fat.. Thefe'lt is held for perhaps '
two minutes, or until the potatoes are
heated -all through. ; after ..which it ,' is
withdrawn from - the frying pan or
shallow. 1 kettle and hung: up to^drain -,
ahM cool for* three or -four minutes, y
The^.fat, meanwhile.-'bubbles over a .' •
low. flame, not to lose heat.
The bubble Jis "Increased '-to liveliness
and; the basket plunged in again. sThe »>
slices puff *" up ; like ; balloons, verifying v
their name.; , , \u25a0'.-, r -V:"\. "~" .' \u25a0 \u0084;. r.- : v -
They are ; served in a dish lined ; with
a heated , napkin. Every drop of • grease
should be drained from < them by a
gentle; whirl and shake of the wire, J.
'basket-'-- '' • \ ''\u25a0 ' ' v ; "."' ...\ £'; \u25a0 '\u25a0
t: MAKE IT Aj STUDY- \u25a0 ;*.'
Did itlme^and fspa.ee permit, "I ! could fl\l
' many; pages with r recipes for 'dishes jo*
: Inexpensive" that * our native : cook 'would '\u25a0 :
. widen • her... eyes - Incredulously: at i hear- : . 1 '
ing the 'cost -given i In" cents. -. ;;.•,... \u25a0'.\u25a0
t How s is; this accomplished?/ Firet, by
studying sthe i ; art i: of ';\; \ nn« rr * '\u25a0 yet : simple .
\u25a0 cookery u as:one^would;any<otheribrancn \u25a0'
\u25a0 of - manual j labor, that ( must | be I seconded
by brains if ,; the v pupil?, would .achieve '- .
success. >, .Secondly, Sbyiwillingnessi^to -
take i the necessary pains ;.« to win -; that"
' success every, time a dish' is , to :be. pre
pared: and served.' : Our.t Frenchwoman . •
\ reckons > : her:' cookery^ as ». part -of ?the -
business of life, takes pride in what she
does, ; and accounts ' waste -of j materials'?
; as slovenly \u25a0; and vulgar.;.
- 1 i have "~ said, i elsewhere, .... that ~ mucn r
depends c. upon i the ~;of;, what
she \u25a0' calls .'"entrees" " and .iwe ; • speak " of.
sllghtingjy, or .? apologetically, > as ,*'made :•--,:
dishes.'.'.:' She "weighs or ;measures>eacn
: Ingredient takes v no; risks. . : The.
• slap-dash tossing ' together,- of ; a* handful '{.-\u25a0
'of i this ?. and " a ; small " quantity of . that,
- and cas much of a : third article as cmo /
chances tV have, would seem to her
absolute desecration of valuable foods.
•She knows jti3t what effects she wishes
to' produce" before she, takes the first
step; she studies the moods of her fire
and the tenses, of her ovens.
In '" a word, she respects her work
' enough to do it well— and even* time!
Tie Housemothers' Exchange
Beef Scrapple
IN THESE times of high prices— especially
for meat— l feel that poor people ought
to know how to use their money to the
best advantage. Having prepared meats in
the way described in the accompanying pa
per, for my own family, and for years. I
know the value of the methods, and wish
to Impart the knowledge to others.
How tp Reduce the Meat Bill.
Put a nice soup bone on to cook in boiling
water. When, the scum ceases to rise and
you have skimmed it all off. set ItTjaek on
the range where It-will bolLslowly for about
four hours, or until: lt is qftite tender, salt
lng>lt when 4t is about half done.
Let It cool; separate lean from fat meat,
. remove \u25a0 the -gristle. >tc. Put the Inferior
bits, with pristle and bone, back into the '
stock; boil briskly for another hour; strain,
and keep warm. Chop the lean meat and
add a like quantity of bread, which . has
been thorouKhly soaked In some of the warm
stock. - More bread may- be used to make
the dish "go further." Any kind of bread
.^\u25a0wl'l do. -If scrans of stale bread have ac
cumulated, this is a good way of utilizing
tl _-m. - - ' .-'
I think that stale Kerns made of equal
parts of cornmeal and graham . flour give
\u25a0_ the best flavor. Add salt to your taste, mix \u25a0
thoroughly and press hard down in a ma^ld.
."\u25a0 """•••! loaf may be sliced when cold and the
rest of It kept to use, again.- The.- remain-
Ing stock will do for soups nnd grravy. I
•nave had » bowl of gravy and enough meat
for tour days for the same number of peo
ple" from. 10 cents' worth of meat.
Mrs. E. E. (Sandwich,, 111.).
As; with all made dishes, everything
depends upon the seasoning .'in .prepar
ing what might be called; "beef scrap
ple." If the' crumbsbe cooked for three
minute's with the" chopped and seasoned
meat, .the mixture will be even moro"
savory:*; I may. add that the loaf, when
sliced, dipped in. egg and crumbs, then
sauted in, dripping, is, a nice luncheon
dish.. .. -^ ; ' \u25a0 . - - . •
- Another way , of utilizing scraps - of
meat trimmed from ; the soupbone is
popular in our family.'
.; Boil a half pound of spaghetti in the
\u25a0 soup stock. until tender. Have ready a
cupful *of tomato ; pulp . from < which the
Juice has been strained." also a parboiled
onion ; , chop- the onion very fine. Stir it,
with a cupful of meat (or. what you hap
pen: to have), Jnto. the spaghetti, season
to taste with saltand paprika,, bring to
the. boil and serve." Send around grated
cheese to be eiUen'.with it for. those who
fancy the Italian touch, as we do in our
family. ". r -.« -.-. .» ; ... -
\,The 'same dish may; be made with a
left-over . of boiled . rice ! instead of spa
ghetti." While it is usually served in a
deep ; dish ,'aa a stew,- if is even nicer
when-t urned ; into a bakedlsh.: covered
with dry. fine breadcrumbs (and If you
like.twith grated -Parmesan cheese) and
browned, in-. a Vjuick oven. ' Do not get
it too. dry. v \u25a0\u25a0; v - -, . - v
''\u25a0 \u25a0 ! '' '??'• \i" : - r ~~ i ~j '\u25a0\u25a0 \u25a0• '
/.feathers Again
Having ; had unpleasant . experiences . \u25a0with
,' 111-smelling - feathers. -I am sending you. a,
,\u25a0, remedy, given ~ to me-, by i. a Polish woman. \u25a0
which. : in my case, worked like a charm. •\u25a0
'• During j a heavy.; downpour -of, .rain,-- p!n-«.
the - pillows i. (In the -full -ticks) securely to
.a \u25a0. clothes-line \u25a0: by ;;, the -', upper edges, , t>t. :
them "take all i the* drenching, they, can -get. .
Then turn them and Jet' the water drain off."
Finally, let; the Run; air-dry them. > -.
. \u25a0! Mine were like « new . feathers; r and -• never
\u25a0 again -had -their- peculiarly •• disagreeablo
•odor. : .. ..; , -V .. :•\u25a0 .. ..-...,,•\u25a0"\u25a0\u25a0 :-," \u25a0 \u25a0 \u25a0
-For five or 'six -years' carrot puddfng-has
. . been -a - favorite .• in . our - household." Try ;It
i'.-.wlth-leis fruit and; lt makes' a most desir
able pudding eatentwith'hard sauce. It Is
not necesgarj' to have what. ls lefto ver for
next day"s dinner. .; If- properly, cared . for, \u25a0
it may- be 'steamed and aerv^.dv next week.
- ; Mrs. -E.E. (Adrian, Mich.).;
Out Lof the mouths ., of - two : or : three
' witnesses shallany truth be; established.
" r and four<responsible»hous-emothers: con
fidently -. affirm .. that i: pillows i. and their
'contents - may' be- cleansed;- and sweet
»ened' in the manner described by our
'Michigan -member.:- I was i Incredulous
'i for a while. Now;.l Incline to ,the belief
that, there are many" things in practJcal
1 housewifery ; of which I have been ab
\u25a0surdlyignbrant.%'- ...•;\u25a0"\u25a0— .- •\u25a0*
\. .Will i not you i give us .: the recipe for
\u25a0 carrot 1 pudding made : as your " household
- approves of.- it?. _-y " " \u25a0'*"
Homes Versus Apartments
---\u25a0\u25a0 From a charminß and cordial letter I
make:-anextract<-that* should be in
dorsed by every Uru^e woman:, -,
. -ft Cur s land s reeds -. homes,' not apartments ; .
.' ': homes ; with •;: yard3.-.Ti and ".with •- something (
" for :every \u25a0 -member .-.of/, the family to dr>: '.
-.:. fathers." -whose ..pleasure -It '.Is to earnjthe
;;'• money . for tlje" family; smothers. ? who ; refer -
•":to i homework fas ; an ; accomplishment well
.worth the . learning. -no \u25a0 matter in what ; da
The San Francisco Sunday Call
partment. and never think of any part of tt
a.; drudgery: children', who \u25a0 love home
because home first loved and fostered them.
Won't you sometime write upon this text:
• "A wise woman buildeth up her house; a -
fnoiiish v.on-an iear*ih it down"?
You and our countn* contributors seem
to see things as they are.
A. H. (Seattle. Watn.).'
Dear old friend, I have been writ
ing upon, that text, for over forty
years, and, please God, I shall keep
on hammering upon the same subject
and the same old anvil while life and
reason last. My mission in life is.
primarily, to my fellow-women. I
wish I could makethem feel how I
love them .and • long for their best
good. If ; I could make them, as a
body, comprehend the dignity of do
mestic life, the possibility and the
duty of bringing their work up to the
level of a profession Instead of low
ering themselves to grinding "drudg
ery, that eats the soul, and tody. I
should be ready to chant £ "Nunc
Dimittis"! •
1 Valuable Hints
I read the Exchange regularly, but this
Is my first Jetter. I tender a few hints
that mean . much to me. and which may
help others: . \u25a0
1. In making any kind of cake in which
baking powder or soda Is used. • melt the
butter and stir in at the last, and the
cake will never fall. Even if pressed
down, it will, like '"truth crushed to
tarth." rise again.. -.
2. In roasting chickens, dress them the
day before they are to be cooked. Mix a
teaspoonful. each. . of baking soda and of
salt in -two tablespoonfuls of warm water.
With a email brush' or bit of cloth, paint
the back and hlp-bone3 on the inside of
the fowl with this mixture, and hang up.
or. lay it -in the refrigerator until next
morning. Then wash out well and roast
the chick? n. You will find the meat all
as white ,as the breast.
May I ask F'hat will remove mildew from,
linen without* injuring it?.
Also, can you - tell me what should be
done with the bulbs of Chinese lilies after .
they have bloomed? Should they be taken
out o? the water -and. .tried, or left to die
down? Mrs. E. L P. (Wabash. Ind->.
Your household "briefs" are novel and
Interesting. We veterans, who have all
our lives stirred sugar and butter to a
Grapes, hominy and cream, creamed chip
ped beef, popovers, toast, tea and coffee.
Veal and ham loaf, stuffed potatoes, cel
ery, nut and orange salad, thin brown bread
and butter, prunes. Jelly -and . cake. tea.
\u25a0 • DINNER.
. Cream of celery coup. . roast goose, apple
sauce, scalloped eggplant, glazed sweet po
tatoes."- French tapioca pudding, sponge
cake, black coffee.
i|||||l| MONDAY
. Baked apples, cereal and cream, bacon
and fried hominy (a left-over), toast, tea
and coffee.
- i1"/-^.i 1 "/-^. LUNCHEON.
Veal and ham loaf, sliced (a left-over).
chopped sweet" potatoes (a left-over). . to
mato toast (baked), doughnuts and cheese,
cocoa. ' " .
Gumbo soup, ragout of goose (a left
over). \u25a0\u25a0 apple - sauce. « creamed oygter plant,
mashed potatoes, carrot pudding with hard
sauce, black coffee.
•Oranges, cereal and cream,. toast (the re
mains of the veal - and ham loaf), rolls.
toast, tea and coffee.
Sausages, potato . pull (a left-over), hot
shortcake, endive salad with French dress
ing, marmalade and cookies, tea.
Yesterday's soup. • beefsteak, onions, fried
French sweet potatoes, raisin and data pud
ding-, black coffee.
" Oranges, oatmeal - porridge and cream,
fried scallops, muffins.. toast, tea and coffee.
\u25a0 Scalloo of snaghettl. r.oraato and chopped
beef, well seasoned (see Exchange): baked
potatoes, on on souffle (a left -overt. . hot
gingerbread and chocolate.
0 ~*.
cream for cake batter, may -well star*
in amazement at the injunction to melt
and add butter the last thing. Yet I
learned long ago not to distrust any
Innovation upon established customs. I
recollect that cold water was appllod
to ray bruised head -when my mother
'•ran to catch me when I fell.*' Now
we call lustily for water as hot as can
be born© by the abraded cuticle. And
we know that our way is the better.
For mildewed linen, wet it with boll
ing: water and rub in all the cream of
tartar it will take up. Then stretch
the stained spot tightly over the top of
a boiling teakettle and let the steam
pour through for five minutes, rubbing
In more cream of, tartar three- times.
Lastly, wet with lemon juice and lay In
the sunshine - alt^day. wetting hourly
\u25a0with lemon juice. If thera remain, boots
trace of the stain, soak all nigh*, in
loppered milk, dr In buttermilk. Next
day wash In the usual way.
When the lilies hay» ceased to bloom,
cut oft the leaves and lay bulba In a
dry place, but not In the sun. Wuen
they are quite dry. pack In dry sand
until next season. You know. I suppose,
that they will not flower the second or
the third year? They are very unsatis
factory In this respect. Set them in
earth next year and tha next. They
will ud leaves, but will not bloom.
To Clean a Feather Boa
Kindly tell mm how I can clean a white
feather boa at home? Or can I d-ve It?
E.- N. A. (Lancaster. Pa.).
You may wash the boa in gasoline
by sousing it up and down until the
grime, settles at the bottom of th»
Or you may dip it in cold starch,
very slightly blued, and hang it to
dry where the air can get at it from
all sides. Leave it thus for twenty
four hours. Then shake and brush
gently to dislodge the powder. Curl
by holding in the steam of a boiling
kettle, then over the red-hot plat© of
a stove. -
Don't try to dye It at home unless
you have some experience in that
business. You will ruin it.
Beef gravy soup, roast china of fresh
pork, « tewed tomatoes (a left-over), mash
ed turnips, fruit surprise, black coftee.
Canned pineappla. oatmeal porrldgo (from
yesterday), browned beef hash (a left
over from Tuesday), served with poached
eggs on top; potato biscuits. toa3t. tea an«X
Cold chins (a. left-over), potatoes corn
bread, tomato asttlc and lettuce salad
(founded uoon liquor of stewed tomatoes)
crackers and chtese. bread and jam DUd
dlng. tea.
\u25a0Yesterday's sous with addition of maca
roni (eaten with Parmesan cheese), mmwa
chop*. »trinsr beans, corn fritters, sauaali
pie. black coffee.
Oraares. cereal and cream, creamed mack
erel, rice muflM. toast, tea and cofteeu^
Cheese fondu. brown bread (steamed)
•alad of string beans and lettuce (a left
over), baked custard, cookies, tea.
Oyster bisaue^clam fritters, celery knobs
potatoes a la Parisienne. arabrJsia (o?a^l
and cocoaaut). lady fingers, black coffeel
Taasrerlnes cereal and cream, bacon.
k p Wh co a fr^ ake9 ' toast - tea "* 3S&
PhlladelDhla scrapple, baked Wweet not«
toes, saiau u< ceiery knobs and romSjr^T
with French dressing: crackers and uStSjw
cookies ana marmalade, tea. cnees*. w
Vegetable spuo. boiled fowl wfta «*.
sauce, mashed turniim. fried oyster j>^£?
farmer's rice pudding, black coffee waat »

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