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Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences.

Woman's Institute Library of Cookery Volume 5: Fruit and Fruit Desserts; Canning and Drying; Jelly Making, Preserving and Pickling; Confections; Beverages; the Planning of Meals online

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Online LibraryWoman's Institute of Domestic Arts and SciencesWoman's Institute Library of Cookery Volume 5: Fruit and Fruit Desserts; Canning and Drying; Jelly Making, Preserving and Pickling; Confections; Beverages; the Planning of Meals → online text (page 20 of 27)
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purpose, for as it is heavier than the warm liquid it sinks to the
bottom and carries the grounds with it. Coffee may also be cleared by
stirring a small quantity of beaten raw egg, either the white or the
yolk, or both, into the grounds before the cold water is added to them.
One egg will clear two or three potfuls of coffee if care is exercised
in its use. What remains of the egg after the first potful has been
cleared should be placed in a small dish and set away for future use. A
little cold water poured over it will assist in preserving it. If the
egg shells are washed before the egg is broken, they may be crushed and
added to the grounds also, for they will help to clear the coffee. The
explanation of the use of egg for this purpose is that it coagulates as
the coffee heats and carries the particles of coffee down with it as
it sinks.

34. Another very satisfactory way in which to make boiled coffee is to
tie the ground coffee loosely into a piece of cheesecloth, pour the
boiling water over it, and then let it boil for a few minutes longer
than in the method just given. Coffee prepared in this manner will be
found to be clear and therefore need not be treated in any of the ways
mentioned.

35. FILTERED COFFEE. - When it is desired to make coffee by the filtering
process, the coffee must be ground into powder. Then it should be made
in a drip, or French, coffee pot. If one of these is not available,
cheesecloth of several thicknesses may be substituted. The advantage of
making coffee by this method is that the coffee grounds may sometimes be
used a second time.

FILTERED COFFEE
(Sufficient to Serve Six)

1/2 c. powdered coffee
1 qt. boiling water

Place the coffee in the top of the drip pot, pour the boiling water over
it, and allow the water to drip through into the vessel below. When all
has run through, remove the water and pour it over the coffee a second
time. If cheesecloth is to be used, put the coffee in it, suspend it
over the coffee pot or other convenient utensil, and proceed as with
the drip pot.

36. PERCOLATED COFFEE. - The coffee used for percolated coffee should be
ground finer than for boiled coffee, but not so fine as for filtered
coffee. This is perhaps the easiest way in which to prepare coffee and
at the same time the surest method of securing good coffee.

PERCOLATED COFFEE
(Sufficient to Serve Six)

1/2 c. finely ground coffee
1 qt. cold water

Place the coffee in the perforated compartment in the top of the
percolator and pour the cold water in the lower chamber. As the water
heats, it is forced up through the vertical tube against the top. It
then falls over the coffee and percolates through into the water below.
This process begins before the water boils, but the hotter the water
becomes the more rapidly does it percolate through the coffee. The
process continues as long as the heat is applied, and the liquid becomes
stronger in flavor as it repeatedly passes through the coffee. When the
coffee has obtained the desired strength, serve at once.

37. AFTER-DINNER COFFEE. - After a rather elaborate meal, a small cup of
very strong, black coffee is often served. To prepare after-dinner
coffee, as this kind is called, follow any of the methods already
explained, but make it twice as strong as coffee that is to accompany
the usual meal. Sugar and cream may be added to after-dinner coffee, but
usually this coffee is drunk black and unsweetened.

38. VIENNA COFFEE. - An especially nice way in which to serve coffee is
to combine it with boiled milk and whipped cream. It is then known as
Vienna coffee. The accompanying directions are for just 1 cup, as this
is prepared a cupful at a time.

VIENNA COFFEE
(Sufficient to Serve One)

1/4 c. boiled milk
3 Tb. whipped cream
1/2 c. hot filtered coffee, or coffee prepared by any method

Place the boiled milk in a cup, add the whipped cream, and fill the cup
with the hot coffee.

39. ICED COFFEE. - Persons fond of coffee find iced coffee a most
delicious hot-weather drink. Iced coffee is usually served in a glass,
as shown in Fig. 5, rather than in a cup, and when whipped cream is
added an attractive beverage results.

To prepare iced coffee, make coffee by any desired method, but if the
boiling method is followed be careful to strain the liquid so that it is
entirely free from grounds. Cool the liquid and then pour into glasses
containing cracked ice. Serve with plain cream and sugar or with a
tablespoonful or two of whipped cream. If desired, however, the cream
may be omitted and the coffee served with an equal amount of milk, when
it is known as _iced cafe au lait_.

40. LEFT-OVER COFFEE. - The aim of the person who prepares coffee should
be to make the exact quantity needed, no more nor no less, and this can
usually be done if directions are carefully followed. However, if any
coffee remains after all are served, it should not be thrown away, as it
can be utilized in several ways. Drain the liquid from the grounds as
soon as possible so that the flavor will not be impaired.

[Illustration: FIG. 5]

If desired, left-over coffee may be added to fresh coffee when it is
prepared for the next meal or, in hot weather, it may be used for iced
coffee. It may also be used to flavor gelatine, which, when sweetened
and served with whipped cream, makes an excellent dessert. Again,
left-over coffee is very satisfactory as a flavoring for cake icing, for
custards, or for whipped cream that is to be served with desserts. When
coffee is desired for flavoring, it should be boiled in order to
evaporate some of the water. Very good cake is made by using left-over
coffee for the liquid and spices for the flavoring.


SERVING COFFEE

41. The serving of coffee may be done in several ways, but, with the
exception of iced coffee, this beverage should always be served as hot
as possible. As can well be imagined, nothing is more insipid than
lukewarm coffee. Therefore, coffee is preferably made immediately before
it is to be served. Sugar and cream usually accompany coffee, but they
may be omitted if they are not desired.

Coffee may be served with the dinner course, with the dessert, or after
the dessert. When it is served with the dinner course or the dessert, a
coffee cup or a tea cup of ordinary size is used; but when it is served
after the dessert, a demi-tasse, or small cup that holds less than half
the amount of the other size, is preferable. Usually, after-dinner
coffee, or _cafe noir_, as such black coffee is called, rather than
coffee with cream and sugar, is served after the dessert course of a
heavy dinner because it is supposed to be stimulating to the digestion.

The pouring of coffee may be done at the table or in the kitchen. If it
is done at the table, the person serving should ask those to be served
whether or not they desire cream and sugar, and then serve accordingly.
If it is done before the coffee is brought to the table, the cream and
sugar should be passed, so that those served may help themselves to the
desired amount. Care should always be taken in the serving of coffee not
to fill the cup so full that it will run over or that it will be too
full to handle easily when the cream and sugar are added.

* * * * *

TEA

HISTORY AND PRODUCTION

42. TEA consists of the prepared leaves or leaf buds of a plant known as
the tea plant and is used as one of the three stimulating beverages.
This plant is grown in China, Japan, India, Ceylon, and the East Indies,
and to a small extent in South Carolina. There are two distinct
varieties of tea, and each one may be used for the preparation of either
green or black tea. The leaves of the tea plant, which are what is used
for making the beverage, are gathered four times a year from the time
the plants are 4 years old until they are 10 or 12 years old. Then the
plants are pulled up and new ones planted. Upon being gathered, the
leaves are put through a series of processes before they are ready for
use. During this treatment, various modifications of flavor are
developed and the leaves are changed in color to black or green,
depending on the process used.

43. It is surprising to most persons to learn that tea was known in
China for many years before people began to make a beverage of it. The
first record of its use as a beverage was probably in the 6th century,
when an infusion of tea leaves was given to a ruler of the Chinese
Empire to cure a headache. A century later, tea had come into common use
as a beverage in that country. As civilization advanced and new
countries were formed, tea was introduced as a beverage, and today there
is scarcely a locality in which it is not commonly used.

44. CLASSIFICATION OF TEA AS TO QUALITY. - The position of the leaf on
the tea plant determines the quality of the tea. The farther from the
top, the coarser are the leaves and the poorer is the quality. On the
other hand, the smaller the leaves and the nearer the top, the better is
the quality. In the very best qualities of tea, the buds of the plant
are included with the tiny top leaves.

45. Tea that is raised in China is graded in a particular way, and it
will be well to understand this grading. The top buds are used entirely
for a variety known as _flowery pekoe_, but this is seldom found in our
markets. The youngest leaves next to the buds are made into a tea called
_orange pekoe_; the next older leaves are used for _pekoe_; the third,
for _souchong first_; the fourth, for _souchong second_; the fifth, for
_congou_; and if there is another leaf, it is made into a tea known as
_bohea_. Sometimes the first three leaves are mixed, and when this is
done the tea is called _pekoe_. If they are mixed with the next two, the
tea is called _souchong pekoe_. The laws controlling the importation of
tea require that each shipment be tested before it passes the custom
house, to determine whether or not it contains what the label claims
for it.

46. VARIETIES OF TEA. - The teas that are put on the market are of two
general varieties, _black tea_ and _green tea_. Any quality of tea or
tea raised in any country may be made into these two kinds, for, as has
been mentioned, it is the method of preparation that is accountable for
the difference. A number of the common brands of tea are blends or
mixtures of green and black tea. These, which are often called _mixed
teas_, are preferred by many persons to the pure tea of either kind.

47. BLACK TEA is made by fermenting the tea leaves before they are
dried. This fermentation turns them black and produces a marked change
in their flavor. The process of preparation also renders some of the
tannin insoluble; that is, not so much of it can be dissolved when the
beverage is made. Some well-known brands of black tea are _China
congou_, or _English breakfast_, _Formosa_, _oolong_, and the various
_pekoes_. The English are especially fond of black tea, and the people
of the United States have followed their custom to the extent that it
has become a favorite in this country.

48. GREEN TEA is made by steaming the leaves and then drying them, a
process that retains the green color. With tea of this kind, all
fermentation of the leaves is carefully avoided. Some familiar kinds of
green tea are _hyson_, _Japan_, and _gunpowder_. The best of these are
the ones that come from Japan.


PREPARATION OF TEA

49. SELECTION OF TEA. - In the course of its preparation, tea is rolled
either into long, slender pieces or into little balls. Knowing this, the
housewife should be able to detect readily the stems and other foreign
material sometimes found in teas, especially the cheaper varieties. Such
teas should be avoided, for they are lacking not only in flavor but also
in strength. If economy must be practiced, the moderately expensive
grades will prove to be the best ones to buy.

50. METHODS OF MAKING TEA. - Upon steeping tea in hot water, a very
pleasant beverage results. If this is properly made, a gentle stimulant
that can be indulged in occasionally by normal adults without harmful
results can be expected. However, the value of tea as a beverage has at
all times been much overestimated. When it is served as afternoon tea,
as is frequently done, its chief value lies in the pleasant hospitality
that is afforded by pouring it. Especially is this the case in England,
where the inhabitants have adopted the pretty custom of serving
afternoon tea and feel that guests have not received the hospitality of
the home until tea has been served. Through their continued use of this
beverage, the English have become expert in tea making.

51. The Russians are also adepts so far as the making of tea is
concerned. They use a very good kind of tea, called _caravan tea_, which
is packed in lead-covered packages and brought to them by caravans. This
method of packing and delivery is supposed to have a ripening effect on
the leaves and to give them an unusually good flavor. For making tea,
the Russians use an equipment called a _samovar_. This is an urn that is
constantly kept filled with boiling water, so that tea can be served to
all visitors or callers that come, no matter what time of day
they arrive.

52. Most persons, however, make tea into a beverage by steeping it in
boiling water or by placing it in a tea ball or some similar utensil and
then allowing it to stand in boiling water for a short time. Whichever
method of preparation is followed, the water must be at the boiling
point and it must be freshly boiled. Water that has been boiled for any
length of time becomes very insipid and flat to the taste and affects
the flavor of the tea. Tea leaves that have been used once should never
be resteeped, for more tannin is extracted than is desirable and the
good tea flavor is lost, producing a very unwholesome beverage. As a
rule, 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoonfuls of tea to 1 cupful of water is the
proportion followed in tea making.

53. STEEPED TEA. - When tea is to be steeped, a teapot is used. That the
best results may be secured, the teapot should always be freshly scalded
and the water freshly boiled.

STEEPED TEA
(Sufficient to Serve Six)

2 Tb. tea
1 qt. boiling water

Scald the teapot. Put the tea into the teapot and pour the boiling water
over it. Let stand on the back of the stove for 3 minutes, when a
beverage of sufficient strength will be formed. Strain the beverage from
the tea leaves and serve at once.

[Illustration: FIG. 6]

54. AFTERNOON TEA. - When tea is desired for afternoon serving or when it
is to be prepared at the table, a _tea ball_ is the most satisfactory
utensil to use. This is a perforated silver or aluminum ball, such as
shown in Fig. 6, which opens by means of a hinge and into which the tea
is placed. For convenience in use, a chain is attached to the ball and
ends in a ring that is large enough to slip over the finger. Some
teapots contain a ball attached to the inside of the lid and suspended
inside the pot. Utensils of this kind are very convenient, for when the
tea made in them becomes strong enough, the leaves may be removed
without pouring off the tea.

To prepare afternoon tea with a tea ball, put 1 or 2 teaspoonfuls of tea
in the ball, fasten it securely, and place it in a cup. Then pour enough
freshly boiled water over the ball to fill the cup to the desired
height. Allow the ball to remain in the water until the desired strength
is attained and then remove it. If more than 2 or 3 persons are to be
served, it will be necessary to refill the ball.

55. ICED TEA. - Perhaps one of the most refreshing drinks for warm
weather is iced tea. A tea that is especially blended for this purpose
and that is cheaper in price than other tea may be purchased. Slices of
lemon or crushed mint leaves add much to the flavor of the tea and are
often served with it.

Prepare tea by steeping it, but make it double strength. Strain it from
the leaves and allow it to become cool. Then pour it into glasses
containing cracked ice. Serve with sugar and slices of lemon or
mint leaves.

56. LEFT-OVER TEA. - Tea that remains after all persons are served need
not be wasted if it is poured off the leaves at once. Such tea is
satisfactory for iced tea, or it may be combined with certain fruit
juices in the preparation of various cold beverages. However, there are
not many satisfactory uses for left-over tea; so it is best to take
pains not to make more than will be required for one time.


SERVING TEA

[Illustration: FIG. 7]

57. Tea may be served as an accompaniment to meals or with small
sandwiches, dainty cakes, or macaroons as an afternoon ceremony. If it
is served with meals and is poured at the table, the hostess or the one
pouring asks those to be served whether they desire sugar and cream and
then uses these accompaniments accordingly. In the event that it is
brought to the table poured, the sugar and cream are passed and those
served may help themselves to what they desire. Lemon adds much to the
flavor of tea and is liked by most persons. A dish of sliced lemon may
be passed with the cream and sugar or placed where the hostess may add
it to the tea. The Russians, who are inveterate tea drinkers, prepare
this beverage by putting a slice of lemon in the cup and then pouring
the hot tea over it. If this custom is followed, the lemons should be
washed and sliced very thin and the seeds should be removed from the
slices. The flavor may also be improved by sticking a few cloves in each
slice of lemon; or, if the clove flavor is desired, several cloves may
be put in the teapot when the tea is made. Fig. 7 shows slices of lemons
ready to be served with tea. Some of them, as will be observed, have
cloves stuck in them.

Lemon is almost always served with iced tea, for it adds a delightful
flavor. If it is not squeezed into the glass, it should be cut into
quarters or eighths lengthwise and then cut across so that small
triangular pieces are formed. These are much easier to handle than
whole slices.

[Illustration: FIG. 8]

58. In the serving of afternoon tea, the pouring of the tea is the main
thing, and the remainder of the service simply complements this pleasant
ceremony. Tiny sandwiches, small cakes, or macaroons usually accompany
the tea, while such confections as candied orange peel, stuffed dates,
or salted nuts are often served also. When sandwiches are used, they may
be merely bread-and-butter sandwiches or they may contain marmalade or
any desired filling. The principal requirement is that they be made as
small and thin as possible, so that they will be extremely dainty in
appearance.

59. A _tea cozy_ is a convenient device to use when tea is served from
the pot. It consists of a padded cap, or cover, that may be slipped over
the teapot to prevent the heat from escaping after the tea is infused.
It is made of several thicknesses of material in a shape and size that
will slip over the teapot easily and can then be removed when the tea
is to be poured. This can be made very attractive by means of a nicely
embroidered cover.

60. Fig. 8 shows an attractive table that may be used for serving tea.
The top folds over vertically, so that when the table is not in use it
may be disposed of by placing it against the wall of a room. This table
holds nothing except the pot containing the tea, which must be made in
the kitchen and placed in the pot before it is brought to the table, the
sugar and cream, the teacups, and the lemon. Sandwiches, wafers, or
cakes that are to be served with the tea should be passed to the guests.

[Illustration: FIG. 9]

61. Fig. 9 shows a tea wagon and the equipment for making tea, with the
sandwiches and cakes to be served arranged on a muffin stand, or Lazy
Susan. When tea is to be made with an equipment of this kind, the water
is heated in the little kettle by means of the alcohol burner. The can
with the long spout contains an extra supply of alcohol with which to
keep the burner filled. The tea ball, which is in the little glass, is
filled with tea and the boiling water is poured over it into each cup.
The ball is allowed to remain until the tea is of the desired strength,
when it is removed and used for another cup, provided sufficient
strength remains in the tea leaves.

The silver tea caddy at the back of the wagon contains the tea, and
lemon with a fork for serving it is on a small plate near the front of
the wagon. Napkins and plates for the cakes and sandwiches are on the
lower part of the wagon. The napkins and plates are first passed; then
the tea is served with the sandwiches, after which cakes are served.

* * * * *

COCOA AND CHOCOLATE

NATURE AND SELECTION

[Illustration: FIG. 10]

62. COCOA and CHOCOLATE are made from the fruit of the cacao, or
chocolate, tree. This tree is native to Mexico, where cocoa was first
used as a beverage, but it is also grown in South America and the West
Indies. The fruit of this tree was named _cocoa Theobroma_, which means
"food for the gods," because of its excellent flavor. The original
natives of Mexico and Peru used cocoa in place of money. When the
Spanish invaded these countries, they learned its use and took it back
to Spain, where it is still a popular beverage. In many localities in
Spain it became a fashionable morning drink, but it was also served at
other times.

63. PRODUCTION OF COCOA AND CHOCOLATE. - The fruit of the cacao tree is
in the form of pods from 6 to 10 inches in length and 3 to 4 inches in
diameter. These pods are filled with a white, pulpy mass in which are
embedded from twenty to forty seeds about twice the size and very much
the shape of kidney beans. Fig. 10 shows the three stages of the
treatment through which the seeds are put before they can be used for a
beverage. After they are removed from the pod, they are fermented and
then dried, when they appear as at _a_. In this form they are packed in
bags and distributed. The beans are then roasted to develop their flavor
and are crushed into small pieces called _cocoa nibs_, as shown at _b_.
The cocoa nibs are then ground fine, when they become almost a liquid
mass because of the very large amount of fat contained in cocoa. To make
the ordinary _bitter chocolate_ used so extensively for cooking
purposes, this mass is run into shallow pans, where it hardens as it
cools. It is often flavored and sweetened and then forms the confection
known as _sweet chocolate_. The application of pressure to bitter
chocolate extracts considerable fat, which is known as _cocoa butter_
and is used largely in creams and toilet preparations. The remaining
material is ground into a powder, as shown at _c_, and becomes the
_commercial cocoa_.

To prevent the formation of a large amount of sediment in the bottom of
the cup, cocoa is treated with various kinds of alkali. Some of these
remain in the cocoa and are supposed to be harmful if it is taken in any
quantity. The cocoas that are treated with alkali are darker in color
than the others. The Dutch cocoas are considered to be the most soluble
and also contain the most alkali.

64. SELECTION OF COCOA AND CHOCOLATE. - Chocolate is usually pure in the
form in which it is sold, because it does not offer much chance for
adulteration. However, the volume of cocoa can be easily increased by
cheaper materials, such as starch, ground cocoa shells, etc. Cocoa so
adulterated should be avoided if possible. Generally the best brands,
although higher in price than others, are free from adulteration, and
from these a selection should be made. The particular brand of chocolate
or cocoa to buy must be governed by the taste of those to whom it is to
be served.


PREPARATION OF COCOA AND CHOCOLATE

65. As a beverage, cocoa probably has greater use than chocolate; still
there are some who prefer the flavor of chocolate to that of cocoa.
Directions for preparing beverages from both of these materials are
given, with the intention that the housewife may decide for herself
which one she prefers to use. For either one, any ordinary saucepan or
kettle may be used, but those made of enamel or aluminum are best. Of
these two materials, aluminum is the better, for milk is less liable to
scorch in a vessel of this kind than in one of any other material.

66. When chocolate is to be used for a beverage, the amount required
varies with the strength desired. Recipes for bitter chocolate usually
give the amount in squares, but no difficulty will be experienced in
determining the amount, for the cakes of chocolate are marked in squares
of 1 ounce each. If sweet chocolate is used, less sugar should, of


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Online LibraryWoman's Institute of Domestic Arts and SciencesWoman's Institute Library of Cookery Volume 5: Fruit and Fruit Desserts; Canning and Drying; Jelly Making, Preserving and Pickling; Confections; Beverages; the Planning of Meals → online text (page 20 of 27)