A Friend In The Kitchen: What to Cook and How to Cook It

Jul 15, 2012 by

Everybody needs a friend in the kitchen right? Someone to tell us what to cook and how to cook it? Well, here is your friend in a book for the kitchen by Mrs. Anna Colcord. A FRIEND IN THE KITCHEN: WHAT TO COOK AND HOW TO COOK IT was originally published in 1899.  I really adore finding old vintage cookbooks.  Sometimes the measurements need to be tweaked a bit, but for goodness sake it’s fun to use a little imagination and creativity when in the kitchen isn’t it?  Mrs. Colcord shares simple easy recipes and is truly a friend in the kitchen for those of us who are not necessarily culinarily-inclined.  Here are a few examples of her simple vegetable recipes.  Easy to follow and use: GREEN PEAS Shell, and put to cook in boiling, slightly salted water, allowing one cupful of water to every four cups of peas. If they are old, and need longer cooking, add more water if necessary. Cover, and cook rather slowly till tender. About thirty minutes’ cooking for fresh, young peas will be found sufficient. When done, pour over a cupful of sweet milk, heat to boiling, and thicken with a little flour. Season with a little salt, and a spoonful of cream or a small piece of butter. LENTILS Cook, season, and serve the same as split peas, only less water and less time for cooking will be required. BAKED RICE Take one cupful of rice, wash well by turning into a colander and dipping in and out of warm water, put into a pudding dish, and pour over four cupfuls of milk, or two each of milk and water, adding a little salt. Bake about an hour, stirring once or twice before the top becomes hard. Serve as a vegetable with lentil sauce. PLAIN BOILED RICE Wash thoroughly one cupful of rice, and sprinkle it slowly into a granite saucepan containing two or three quarts of rapidly boiling, slightly salted water. If the grains sink to the bottom, stir gently until they keep in motion themselves. Boil rapidly, without covering, for thirty minutes, or until soft; then drain through a colander and rinse with hot water to remove all starch. The grains should be separate and distinct from one another. It may be served with a tomato sauce. See page 77. SPAGHETTI WITH TOMATO SAUCE Break in pieces and cook in boiling, salted water, or cook whole by dipping the ends in the hot water, and as they bend, coil them around in the saucepan. Cook for twenty or thirty minutes, or until soft, then drain, rinse with hot water to re- move starch if it is sticky, turn into a dish and pour over a hot tomato sauce, made as directed on page 77. STEWED CAULIFLOWER Carefully separate into small portions; examine closely to make sure there are no insects on it; let stand a short time in cold water, then put into boiling, salted water, and cook from twenty to forty minutes, or until tender. Drain, season with a little butter or cream, or serve with cream sauce poured over it. ”  Or this wild little dish she suggests for someone not feeling well: “EGGS IN NEST ON ZWIEBACK Take six eggs, or as many as required, break, and separate, by putting all the whites in one bowl and each yolk in a cup by itself containing a spoonful or two of cold water. Moisten six slices of zwieback by pouring over them hot water and quickly draining, and place side by side in a large shallow baking pan. Beat the whites of the eggs until very stiff, and place an equal amount on top of each slice of zwieback. Make a hollow in the center of the whites, lift the yolks out of the water from the cups with a tablespoon, being careful not to break them., and place a yolk in each hollow. Sprinkle over a little salt, and place in the oven until the whites are a delicate brown. Serve as soon as done. A nice dish for the sick. ” Or these nifty recipes for sacramental bread: “UNLEAVENED BREAD FOR SACRAMENTAL USE Take three cups of white flour, half a cup of thick sweet cream, a pinch of salt, and a little cold water. Sift the flour into a dish, add the salt and cream, and rub together thoroughly; then moisten with cold water till of the consist- ency of thick pie crust. Knead and roll well with the hand for fifteen minutes; then roll out to about a quarter of an inch in thickness, and cut into cakes four inches square. Mark out each cake into half-inch squares with a knife, so that when baked it may easily be broken, and prick each square with a fork to prevent blistering. Lay on floured baking tins, and bake in a quick oven, being careful not to scorch or burn.”  Mrs. Colcord truly is a FRIEND IN THE KITCHEN telling us WHAT TO COOK AND HOW TO COOK IT!  Originally published in 1899 these recipes are still as vital and easy to use as they were over a hundred years ago.  Happy Cooking and Keep Reading!

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