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Tom Vincent (my cousin) now lives is St. George, Utah.
 ~Edward Lyon regarding Okie's story from Vol. 8 Iss. 17 titled UNTITLED

My father was the first custodian of Oklahoma Hall when it was built [more]...
 ~Eva Welch regarding Okie's story from Vol. 8 Iss. 3 titled UNTITLED


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Weather Dog Report...

Vol 6, Iss 18

"Wait three days and the weather will eventually change. That is what it did this week. AND... we have been having our April Showers plus our sunny days. It was a beautiful Monday afternoon for the Alva Mural Society's hamburger fry & ice cream social last Monday, April 26th, 2004.

Yes!... You all can view all the photos that I managed to snap of those who came out to watch the artist, Don Gray, paint on Alva's new mural on the Professional building. We have placed those snapshots on our NW OkieLegacy webshots. Just click on "Share Bros. Mural - Profession bldg." Check it out and glimpse of few of those helping out and those that stopped by to taste the goodies and view the artist at work. Want to see it as a Slideshow? You might catch a glimpse of Fred Neuman, Jim Richey, Don Gray, Dan Shorter, Jack Moore, and many other Alva citizens. There are also some pictures in there of the Runnymede Hotel that is in the process of being renovated. The homemade ice cream was delicious. The hamburgers looked meaty, delicious... but I passed on those.

We have been hearing more about K101 Radio morning show and the talk of the Ann Reynolds Mystery. I have not had a chance to tune in yet, but I have heard from a few people that have told me that the K101 DJ's have been talking about it for the last few days. Have you heard it yet? It sounds like they have talked to someone who was a neighbor of Ann's. They have even talked to a man whose father was undersheriff of Woods County at the time (March, 1956). What was most on their mind was... Was it Murder? What really happened that day? Don't forget some of NW Oklahoma's other Mystery - Old Opera House Murder. Strange things can happen everyday in this "neck of the Woods."

This writer would like to know if this "cold" case (Ann Reynolds murder) was a cover-up or just a flubbed investigation by officials in this NW Oklahoma county. Was there a conspiracy of some sort? I am assuming that the Statute of Limitations does not run out in a murder trial. Will it ever be solved? Will the ghost of Ann Reynolds ever be at rest... or.... will it haunt the Avard, Woods county area until the last old timers take the truth to their graves? I would like to read their memoirs!

We got out our Home Comfort Cookbook this week and scanned more of it's pages to our NW OkieLegacy Webshots. You can now read about How to Construct, Hook-up the Home Comfort Range -- read some Home Comfort Recipes that came with the book. Next week I plan to scan some Home Comfort Hints. The Home Comfort Cookbook says the secret of good cooking is to be a critical judge -- know excellent cooking from poor cooking; find a fascination in the science, and become thoroughly familiar with "what, and what not to do;" find a genuine pleasure in the practice -- mastering the basic recipes and the operation and control of your Range -- and above all, "Think."

Northwest Oklahoma & Fowitz Mortuary of 1929... Does anyone out there have any knowledge of the Fowitz Mortuary that was in the Alva area around 1929? Someone in the Mailbag Corner is looking for some funeral records of her great-grandfather, William Washington Gilbert, who died around 1929.

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Home Comfort Cookbook (1934) - Recipes & Pleasures

Vol 12, Iss 50 America - The Home Comfort Cookbook of 1934 had this tidbit of information about the Home Comfort Range pleasures of cooking recipes on the range. Did your grandparents feel the same way as the following quote?

"Home Comfort recipes have been compiled with much care and in anticipation of the many pleasurable hours they will provide for those who are the recipients of this book. Your Home comfort range is a piece of beautiful and useful furniture, and you are sure to find a fascination in preparing upon it these choice viands and will be rewarded by the compliments and favor of those to whom you serve. This is only one of the many supreme Home Comfort pleasures."

Cary in Montana says, "Linda, my mom and dad brought a Home Comfort wood stove with them when they moved from Vermont to Montana back in 1981. I remember sleeping under stove when I was a kid back in early 70's. I am going to inherit it! Great Fun! I found your pdf files (Home Comfort Cookbook 1934 (book 1) - Home Comfort Cookbook (book 2)) on internet for the cookbook and got very excited." View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Home Comfort Cookbook (1934) - Candy & My Cookbook

Vol 12, Iss 47 America - T'is the season for sweets and giving something of yourself to those special around you.

We have just the thing from our 1934 Home Comfort Cookbook, put out by the Wrought Iron Range Company with the purchase of their range in the 1930's. Some of our Home Comfort Cookbook Candy recipes can be seen at My Cookbook - Okie's Kitchen or What's Cookin' Cookbook.

This first recipe we would like to share with you is for chocolate and caramel lovers. It can be found in the Sweets category. This Chocolate Caramels recipe is from the 1934 Home Comfort Cookbook, page 129, in the Candy and Candy Making section.

Chocolate Caramels
Source: 1934 Home Comfort Cookbook
1 Cup brown sugar
2 cups molasses
1 cup rich milk
4 Tablespoons butter
4 oz. bitter chocolate
1 Teaspoon vanilla

Instructions: Melt butter and chocolate; add sugar, molasses and milk; cook until consistency of a soft caramel when tested in cold water; pour into buttered square pan and, when half cold, cut into squares, or oblongs. Nuts may be added immediately on removing from range, if desired.

Remember the Divinity that your mother or grandmother would make around the holidays? Check out this Divinity Fudge taken from the 1934 Home Comfort Cookbook, page 129. It has my sweet, chocolate tooth carving and my mouth watering for something chocolate and caramel.

We will bring you some more Holiday Candies in the next few issues of our OkieLegacy newsletters. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Home Comfort Cookbook (1934) - Methods of Cooking (cont.)

Vol 12, Iss 45 America - 1934 Methods of Cooking continued from the 1934 Wrought Iron Range Home Comfort cookbook. Last week we promised you more methods of cooking. This week we bring you boiling, stewing, steaming and frying.

Boiling -- Another modification of primitive roasting, the difference being that the heat is applied through the medium of boiling water. In fresh meats -- called pot-roasts -- sear, or harden the outer side by plunging into boiling water. Do not allow it to remain at this high heat very long, not more than five minutes, but allow it to finish cooking by simmering for the required period.

The pot should be but slightly larger than the meat, and only sufficient water to cover it used; but, the meat should be keep completely covered while cooking and precaution taken not to allow the water to entirely boil away.

In salt meats, the outer surface should not be closed by plunging into boiling water, but should be immersed in cold or lightly warm water and allowed to come to the boiling point, held there for about five minutes, then dropped back to simmering. Very salt meats should be soaked in cold water before boiling. BVegetable should be boiled in slightly salted water or with salt meats.

Stewing -- A modification of boiling, employed principally for small or cheaper cuts of meat, especially when it is to be served with its juices, or gravy, and after the ingredients are well blended, lay the meat into it, allow it to boil for about two minutes, then complete the cooking by simmering. The time required for stewing greatly depends upon the quality of the meat -- one and a half to two hours is usually necessary.

Steaming -- Cooking by steam, a method necessary for certain foods. Accomplished without special equipment by placing a small quantity of water in the bottom of a boiling pot and resting the food to be steamed upon a framework of wire (a perforated tin can inverted and resting on the bottom will do very well) above the water. covered and set to boil, the steam fills the pot and supplies the moist heat with an even temperature.

Frying -- Perhaps the most used of cooking methods, and one of the easiest to do well, and also badly. Proper frying is of the greatest importance to the household. Two methods are in practice -- deep and shallow frying.

Deep-fat frying -- far superior to shallow frying -- is done in a deep pan or kettle, of hot fat, such as lard, vegetable fat, or butter, referred to in "Home Comfort" recipes as cooking fat. The kettle -- a graniteware stew-kettle is ideal -- should be kept for this purpose, and provided with a woven wire frying-basket, or tray, suspended into the kettle to within about an inch of the bottom. The fat should be hot -- just under the snaking point -- before placing the articles to be fried into it. Drop them in one or two at a time to allow the fat to regain its temperature after being slightly cooled by their cold surface.

use plenty of fat, always sufficient to cover the articles, for there is very little waste, and no real economy in using too little, since by this method the surface of the articles are quickly crisp, the cooking fat does not penetrate far, nor does the fat absorb the juices or odor of the food to any great extent. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Home Comfort Cookbook - Soup Recipes

Vol 12, Iss 41 America - Last week we offered our readers some hints of "soups" and "Chowders" from the Wrought Iron Range, 1934 Home Comfort cookbook. Does anyone out there love a bit of "creole" (soup, that is) from time to time? The following recipe for "Creole Soup" came from our Home Comfort cookbook. This is how our ancestors were making creole soup in the 1930s. BUT . . . Wait! Where is the shrimp and other seafood that we might expect in creole today?

Creole Soup

Drop 1/4 cup washed rice in 3 cups boiling water and boil 30 minutes. Fry 1/2 cup chopped onion in 2 Tablespoons bacon grease until tender but not brown; add 2 cups tomato pulp, stew 10 minutes, and rub through strainer into rice and water; season with salt, sugar and paprika or chili to taste; add 1 chopped green pepper or a tablespoon finely chopped parsley if desired; serve with crackers.

Mexican Soup -- Here is a Mexican soup that has something that I have never tried with turnips in it.

Make a stock with a small soup-bone and some fat or from the water in which beef has boiled by adding trimmings or scraps of meat and poultry; to 2 quarts of stock, add 1 each, sliced, large onion, large tomato, small turnip, small carrot, and salt to taste. Simmer for 5 or 6 hours, frequently skimming; about 30 minutes before soup is done, stir thoroughly and add 1 tablespoon chili powder; strain through a sieve; serve.

Ox-Tail Soup -- For those who like a bit of strangeness to your Wintery soups, you might try the recipe below. Oxtail (occasionally spelled ox tail or ox-tail) is the culinary name for the tail of cattle. They sure made do with every little bit, didn't they?

Cleanse and cut 1 ox-tail into joints, put into stew kettle, cover with salted cold water, par-boil, strain off liquid or stock; have ready 1/2 cup finely chopped bacon or ham, and 2 each onions, carrots, small turnips and single stalks of celery, all finely sliced or chopped.

Now, dry each oxtail joint, roll them in flour, and put into a stew pan containing 4 tablespoons hot cooking fat; add bacon and chopped vegetables, and fry all together until brown. Add the strained oxtail stock, 12 whole peppers, 2 cloves, any herbs desired, and season with salt if necessary.

Bring whole to boiling point, skim well, cover with lid, and simmer for about 3-1/2 or 4 hours; strain, remove excess fat, return to kettle, add 1 tablespoon corn-starch beaten into a little milk or wine, stir and cook a few moments. Put in some of the smaller joints of oxtail; serve. Larger joints may be served in brown gravy as meat.

Did you know that the regulation of your oven-heat is one of the big secrets in both roasting and baking. The oven-door of the "Home Comfort" was readily adjustable by means of the "handle" to gradually and properly cool an over heated oven. In hot weather if you objected to the heat escaping into the room, the lowering of the oven-heat may be accomplished by placing a pan of water in the oven until its temperature is just right.

Next week we shall bring you some "Meats and Meat Specials dishes." View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Home Comfort Cookbook - Rolls & Quick Yeast Breads

Vol 12, Iss 39 America - This week I promised you some yeast and quickbread recipes from the 1934 Home Comfort Cookbook put out by the Wrought Iron Range.

Remember when the smell of fresh baked rolls and breads filled the home? AND ... When your mom or grandmother would take the bread/rolls out of the oven and give you a slice with REAL butter? Hummmmmm Hummmm Good!!

We shall start with a Cinnamon Rolls first and follow up with a Quick Yeast Rolls recipe on page 34, that uses cake compressed yeast.

Cinnamon Rolls -- Dissolve one cake compressed yeast in one-fourth cup warm water, add one cup scalded milk and one and a half cups flour, mix batter and set in warm place to rise. When light, add one-fourth cup sugar, one-fourth cup shortening, two beaten egg yolks, one teaspoon salt and enough flour to form dough.

Work together and knead until smooth and elastic; cover closely and set in warm place to rise to double in bulk; turn onto floured board, roll out in a sheet, spread with four tablespoons soft butter or shortening, sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon, and roll up as a jelly roll and cut into sections and inch or more in thickness.

Put two or three tablespoons butter or shortening in an eight by ten baking pan, and distribute over this about three-fourths cup brown sugar; lay the rolls in sidewise or flat, and set aside to rise or become light.

Bake in a moderate oven and turn out top side down on a cloth to cool; bottoms will be found to be glazed with sugar. Makes about eighteen rolls.

Quick yeast Bread -- Dissolve one cake yeast in one-fourth cup luke-warm water. Scald two cups milk; add three tablespoons butter, two tablespoons sugar, two teaspoons salt, and let mixture cool to luke-warm. Add yeast liquid and thoroughly beat in three cups flour; cover and let rise until light; press down and knead in about two and one-half cups flour or enough to form elastic dough. Roll in ball put in dry greased bowl, cover, and let rise until light; knead again, form into rolls, brush with melted butter, and bake in moderate oven about twenty-five minutes.

If you want to make Parker House Rolls, then it states, "Prepare dough as for Quick Yeast Rolls, lightly roll out on floured board and cut in rounds with biscuit cutter; crease across center of each with the back of a knife, brush over with melted butter, fold one-half over the other, and place in greased pan far enough apart to allow for raising. Cover and let rise until light; brush tops with sweet milk and bake in moderate oven twenty-five to thirty minutes." View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Home Comfort Cookbook Hints - Canning & Preserving Vegetables

Vol 12, Iss 37 America - Have you come to a time when your vegetable gardens have been producing, coming to an end with the Fall weather approaching in some areas? We have browsed through the 1934 Home Comfort Cookbook that they used with the Wrought Iron Range, to find some hints for canning and preserving some of those vegetables.

The 1934 cookbook says that you should have all jars, covers and rings in perfect condition. Examine each jar and cover to see that there are no defects in them. Inspect closely each cover and rim, making sure that they form a perfectly even contact all around and are not chipped or dented. Use only fresh, elastic rubber rings.

The next step is to properly cleanse, sterilize the jars; wash jars and covers thoroughly; rinse well and drain. You need two pans handy with some cold water in them. Put some of the jars in one, laying them on their sides and in the other pan put some of the covers.

Place the pans on the range, bring to boiling point and allow to boil at least 10 minutes before removing them just before putting in the prepared vegetables. In another pan of boiling water emerse the dipper, cup, spoon, funnel, skimmer, etc., being used, for a few minutes to sterilize them.

Methods of Canning -- In the several methods of canning in use back in the 1930's, the principle in all of them was the same. It was that of preparing the product by "cooking" or "sterilization" in such a way as to exclude or kill all spores, yeast-plants and bacteria that cause fruits and vegetables to ferment and spoil.

The Next Step -- Seal the fruits and vegetables in sterilized cans or jars absolutely airtight, so these micro-organisms cannot enter the product after it was canned. These are the simple fundamental rules upon which all canning is based.

These are a few hints for canning vegetables as found in my 1934 Home Comfort Cookbook that came with the Model B Wrought Iron Range. It states that canning vegetables, like fruit, depends entirely upon the proper selection, preparation, sterilization and sealing of the product. The fundamental object is to destroy the present bacteria and its spores and to prevent them from entering the product after sterilization. No step of the process should be overlooked.

The one most successful method, best adapted to kitchen canning of vegetables, is known as the "Sterilization Process." It has been found that the most practical jar is that of the wide-mouth glass type, fitted with glass cover held by a stout wire levitation, spring clamp which is attached to the neck. Do they still make those type of jars in the twenty-first century? I know my grandmother has lots of those jars on shelves in the basement with something fermenting in each jar. I need to donate the contents of those jars to science somewhere so I can recycle the jars.

STERILIZATION PROCESS -- Select and prepare vegetables according to the subsequent recipes given for their proper canning. Put the prepared vegetables into hot sterilized jars, filling each to within about an inch of the top. Fill up the jar to top with hot fresh water that has just been boiled, passing it through a strainer and being particular that the water penetrates through the vegetables to the bottom of the jar. Adjust the sterilized ring and cover. Then place the wire in position over the top, but do not clamp down the lever at the side. Leave it in upward position.

Place the filled jars upon the rack, or false bottom, in the steamer, being careful to separate them sufficiently to prevent them from touching or hitting together when the water boils. Pour into the steamer enough hot water to extend about half-way the height of the jars. Adjust the cover of the boiler and set to boil. Boil steadily and gently for 1 hour, keeping the boiler cover in place during the period. Then set boiler back on range, remove cover and allow steam to escape. When cool enough, lift out the jars, press down the spring clamp to tighten, wipe, and set aside to cool away from wind or draft.

The Following Day -- Put the jars back into the steamer with cold water instead of hot, release the clamp lever, bring to boiling point; boil 1 hour as before, tighten the clamps while hot, wipe, and set aside as before. On the third day - Repeat the process; wipe, cool, label and set aside.

In a day or two, the jars should be tested. To do this, release the clamp and move wire from over top. Now, carefully lift up each jar by the glass lid or cover alone. If the top comes off, the sterilization is not complete and fermentation or decomposition has set in. But, if the weight of the jar may be lifted by the top, tighten down the clamp and store as perfectly sealed.

Here are a few recipes for canning your home grown vegetables:
BEANS -- Lima, kidney and similar varieties of shelled, beans should be gathered in the early morning and kept in a freshened state until shelled. After shelling, they should be immediately placed in the jars and carried through the sterilization process as directed. Before shelling, all pods that have begun to harden should be discarded.

Stringbeans should be gathered while the dew is still on them and canned while still crisp and fresh. Select only young tender beans, string them and break into short lengths. Pack at once into the jars, add a teaspoon of salt to each quart jar after the water has been added, and carry through the sterilization process as directed.

BEETS -- Select young beets, wash them, trim off tops, and boil them in plenty of water for about 1-1/2 hours or until well cooked. Dip them in cold water, skin and slice them. Put into jars and fill to top with the hot water in which they were boiled passed through a strainer. Cover and pass through the sterilization process as described. By using half water and half vinegar, they are converted into pickled beets, to which a little sugar and spices or herbs may also be added if desired.

CORN -- Select choice ears of sweet, green corn, carefully gathering those with full, well-developed grains at the stage just before they begin to harden. At this stage, the corn will be at its best in richness and sugar contents. Do not allow it to wait, since the sugar strength diminishes very rapidly after being pulled from the stalk. But, within the hour that it is gathered, have it prepared and in the jars. Husk, brush off silks with a stiff brush, and shave off the grains with a sharp knife. Pack immediately in jars and carry through the sterilization process as directed. When testing, if any jars are discarded, do not try to save them, but empty and put the jars through the process again with new corn.

OKRA -- (Gumbo) Select young, tender odds, wash them and cut them in 3 or 4 pieces. Fill jars and pass through the sterilizing as directed. For soups or stews.

TOMATOES -- Blanch or skin the tomatoes in the usual way, and cook them to our liking. However, they are best when cooked in as little water as possible. Like other fruit, the open-kettle method is best adapted to their canning. Put the boiling tomatoes into hot sterilized Mason or other jars, seal and invert until cool, using all the precaution previously given for this method. Special care should be taken not to touch the inside of cover and ring with the fingers after they are sterilized. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Home Comfort Cookbook - Soups & Chowders

Vol 12, Iss 40 America - With the Fall, cool weather creeping slowly upon us and Winter to follow, who does not crave a bowl of soup or chowder to help keep them warm, cozy and . . . it works on a light budget, which many of us have tried to accustomed themselves and their families.

This week's issue of The OkieLegacy brings you some tips that your ancestors might have utilized, practiced to perfection back in the 1930's when they were also on a tight budget and using their Wrought Iron Ranges, with their Home Comfort Cookbook flopped open to a particular page.

Soups and Chowders -- Soups may be classified as being either "clear" or "thick." The latter containing vegetables, cream, starch, or other thickening materials. They may also be classified as those with or without meat -- these being usually named from their predominating vegetable or flavor.

Soups afford a valuable means of utilizing, at small cost, the rich mutation to be extracted from the bones, joints, cheaper cuts, and trimmings of meats, as well as the rich juices of meats and vegetables left over from boiling, that are often discarded and wasted. The economical housewife will use these rich extracts by converting them into "stock," from which she may, on short notice, prepare any of a wide variety of good, wholesome soups.

The proper handling of "stock" is the basic essential of all good soups, and this is covered by a few well defined general rules:

Beef, veal, and poultry are meats best adapted to the making of good soup-stock, and may be used separately or in combination. Mutton and lamb also may be used, but sparingly, owing to their strong flavor.

Stock should contain, in combination: The gelatin from bones, gristle, and tendons portions; the savory extracts from the meats; a certain amount of fat; and, the acid salts and alkaline from fresh meats. Care must be taken to avoid any material of doubtful purity and freshness.

A stock-pot may be kept on the back of the range-top, in which such bits of bone or meat may be accumulated through the day. These are then turned into stock while fresh -- all meat and bones must be cut or broken into small pieces.

Cold water, with a little salt added, should always be used in extracting the juices from the meats. Hot water quickly hardens the outer albumen, thus preventing the extraction of the essential juices, while cold water readily dissolves this albumen, as well as other juices, and the salt -- not much -- aids in their extraction.

The stock-pot, with with cold water and materials, is placed in position and allowed to slowly reach the boiling-point, and is then set back to simmer until the juices are sufficiently extracted.

In cold weather, left-over vegetables may safely be added to the stock-pot; but, in warm weather, these are inclined to sour, and shold always be freshly cooked and added to stock when soup is made.

Floating fats and solids should be skimmed off before the stock is set aside or allowed to cool; or, before cooling, the stock should be strained off into a clean vessel. Do not leave it in the stock-pot over night.

Stock may be used the following day, or may be kept for several days by placing in a glass fruit-jar and kept in a cool place.

If all nourishment has not been extracted from the meats, they may be used in a second stock, but it will usually be necessary to add some fresh materials to bring up to full strength. Bones, especially, may be used in second stock.

Left-over soups may be strained, and the liquid included in the next stock.

In hot weather, left-over stock should be brought to the boiling-point every day, and poured into a clean vessel to prevent souring.

When clear soups -- as consomme -- are required, the floating film of excess fat may be removed by passing absorbent, or blotting paper lightly over the surface.

Soups should not be allowed to boil again, after the addition of such thickening materials as eggs, milk, or starch.

Soups and broths of fish may be made either from the whole fish or from stock made from the bones, skins and trimmings of white fish. These should be broken into small bits and the stock well strained. As the flavor is stronger, and the juices more easily extracted than of domestic meats, a somewhat larger proportion of water should be used.

CHOWDERS

Chowder is, in reality, a thickened soup closely approaching the stew; however, the term is generally accepted as applying to such dishes made from various vegetable, fish and seafoods. By following the recipes, anyone may make perfect chowders; however, a wide range of variation is permissible and one must be governed by the materials at hand.

Pastry In Soups

Noodles, macaroni and vermicelli are always nice additions to almost any soup. By boiling these products in any kind of good soup stock, Noodle Soup, Vermicelli Coup, etc, is made in the plain form; however, many variations will suggest themselves.

Macaroni is especially adapted to beef and vegetable soups. Vermicelli is a valuable addition to chicken soup, or clear, rich soup of any kind that is served in the smaller quantities. These pastries should, in most cases, be swelled by standing in luke-warm water for a time before putting into the soup. Consomme

From 1 quart good strong soup stock, skim all fat from the surface; put in a stew pan, and add the white and clean shell of 1 egg beaten thoroughly with 1 tablespoon cold water; place over fire and heat gradually, constantly stirring to prevent egg from sticking to the pan; boil gently until egg rises to surface in thick white scum and stock becomes clear under the egg; remove egg, and filter stock through folded napkin or cloth laid on a colander, but do not move or squeeze it through, allowing it to pass through naturally; season with salt and serve while hot.

Mock Turtle Soup

This next recipe has nothing to do with turtles. Have you ever heard your ancestors talk of Mock Turtle Soup? Was it favorably? What did they mention about this unique delicacy? Let me know if this gets too gruesome!

Let someone besides yourself clean a calf-head, removing brains and tongue shoal, the meat from the bone, and chopping the bone into several pieces; put all to soak separately in salt-water for several minutes to bleach; use brain and tongue for separate dishes, turning meat and bone into soup.

Put a stock kettle with about 1 gallon cold water and the bone, head-meat, tongue, half a bunch of parsley, half a stalk of celery, one large bay leaf, three cloves, half an inch of a stick of cinnamon, six whole allspice, six peppercorns, half of a large carrot, and one turnip. When the tongue is tender take out, to be served as a separate dish. Leave in the flesh for about two hours, when it will be perfectly tender. let the bones, etc., simmer for six hours, then strain and put stock away until the next day.

At the same time that the calf's head is cooking in one vessel, make a stock in another, with a small beef or veal soup bone, and any scraps of poultry (it would be improved with a hickey added; and one might take this opportunity to have a boiled chicken for dinner, cooking it in the stock); put into two or three quarts of water, and simmer until reduced to a pint.

The next day remove fat and settlings from the two stocks.

Put into a two-quart pan 2 tablespoons butter and when it bubbles stir in an ounce of ham, cut in strips, and 2 tablespoons of flour, stirring it constantly until it gets quite brown; pour the reduced stock over it, mix well, and strain it.

Now, to half a pound of calf's head cut into dice add one quart of calf's-head stock boiling hot, the pint of reduced and thickened stock, and the juice of half a lemon. When it is about to boil set it to one side and skim it very carefully. And the head-meat cut in dice, and two hard-boiled eggs cut in dice, and salt; serve.

As For Cleaning Calf-head: Cut from between the ears to the nose, touching the bone, then cutting close to it, take off all the flesh. Turn over the head, cut open the jaw bone from underneath, and take out the tongue whole. Turn the head back again, crack the top of the skull between the ears, and take out the brains whole; they should be saved for a separate dish.

Next week's Home Comfort cookbook recipes for soup may add a bit of Creole, Mexican and Ox-tail Soup. Does that sound awesome or gruesome? View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Cooking On A Wrought Iron Range

Vol 12, Iss 36 St. Louis, Missouri - A few years ago I found a 1930's Wrought Iron Range Home Comfort Cookbook at a garage sale in my hometown of Alva, Woods County, Oklahoma. So I grabbed this old Home Comfort Cookbook to add to my other antique collectibles. It was not only a cookbook, but a manual for the Model CB Wrought Iron Stove that was heated by wood or coal in the 1930's (approx. 1934).

The Home Comfort Cookbook that I have came with the Model "CB" range and showed instructions for using, installing and cooking on the range. It also has pictures listing the parts for the Wrought Iron Range. I am assuming that this book dates back to around the 1934 time period. My copy of the book has handwritten personal recipes that someone had written on the inside of the front and back covers of the cookbook.

The Model "CB" Wrought Iron Range was considered to be of sturdy, rugged construction with modern, trim appearance. It had gleaming verluc enamel inside and out. Except for the cooking-top and oven. It had an adaptive color to any kitchen. It had a draft control, effecting rapid heating, even baking and economy of fuel.

The dimensions of the range were as follows: top cooking surface, 34 inches by 28 inches; height was 33 inches; extreme height of range was 62 inches; extreme width of range was 55 inches.

The dimensions of the Oven part were as follows: height was equal to 14-1/2 inches; width equaled 18-1/4 inches; and depth was 21-1/4 inches. The approximate shipping weight was 520 pounds.

It had a full floating six-hole cooking-top with malleable iron, unrestricted expansion and greater durability. It was of a duplex grates; for coal or wood. It even had it's own reversible reservoir (waterback) for an abundant supply of hot water.

It was electrically welded, arch-reinforced oven with rounded corners, extra heavy bottom, hammer hardened, adjustable oven-door spring and heat indicator. It had a lower warming closet, a mantle warming closet and asbestos insulated flues. What more could or would you need in this 1930's modern Wrought Iron Range?

Established in 1864, by three Culver brothers, the Culver Company of St. Louis, Missouri began making Wrought Iron Ranges and giving away these manual/cookbooks with each range.

The Ohio born brothers, Henry Harrison Culver, William Wallace Culver and Lucius Lewellyn Culver began their collaborative careers as traveling salesmen for Farmer Cook Stoves in 1864. Traveling door-to-door with mule-drawn wagons loaded with cast iron stoves, each had a different trade territory to cover. Within a decade the trio had garnered enough financial resources to move to St. Louis, establish an office, expand into more states and hire a sales crew. Difficulty obtaining replacement parts for brittle cast iron castings produced by the Farmer Cook Stove Company prompted the Culvers to start manufacturing their own product in a city blessed with nearby coal and iron deposits.

The three founders died around the turn of the century, Culver sons (and Later grandsons) took over the thriving business and family philanthropies including the Culver Military Academy established in 1894 in Culver, Indiana. The Culver Military Academy was located on Lake Maxinkuckee, Culver, Indiana as a preparatory school for boys between the ages of 10 and 18.

In 1910, Wrought Iron Range bought a large tract of land near the city limits and began construction in 1901 of a 250,000 square foot modern fireproof plant at 5661-81 Natural Bridge Road. Designed by Baker & Knell of St. Louis with construction by Murch Brothers, the project was estimated at $180,000. Included in the programming for the new plant was an area devoted to the production of miniature ranges. Correct to the last detail, the small-scale models for traveling salesmen allowed each salesman to be equipped with a horse-drawn buggy rather than the old heavy wagons. Showrooms remained in the old factory on Washington Avenue.

The Wrought Iron Range Company, incorporated with $30,000, opened for business in a modest factory at 9th Street and Christy Avenue in 1881. Breakage problems associated with the competitor's cast iron stoves were solved by adding wrought iron sheets to the body and the oven of the brothers' trademark Home Comfort Stoves. New features included increased cooking top surface and built-in ovens. By the spring of 1883, the company had increased capital stock to $1 million and moved operations west to a new plant at 19th and Washington Avenue. It would cover an entire city block.

Home Comfort Ranges were more thoroughly sold throughout the Middle and Western states than any range on the market. The company's first Home Comfort Cookbook, issued during the St. Louis Fair of 1891, offered admonitions as well as recipes. Published regularly by the company, the cookbooks provided fascinating commentary on contemporary tastes, advertising trends and the physical layout of the corporate showrooms. The one from 1896 included a full-page view of the vast Hotel Kitchen Outfitting Department.

Part of the Wrought Iron Range Company building still stands at 1901-37 Washington Avenue, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Included in the boundary of the St. Louis Central Business District, it occupies the entire city block bounded by Washington Avenue to the south, 19th Street to the east, Lucas Avenue (an alley) to the north and 20th Street to the west.

It was designed for the Wrought Iron Range Company in 1925 by St. Louis architect Albert Knell, the building's rectangular footprint has three divisions that are unified by a continuous and cohesive design scheme. This elongated two-story steel frame and brick Tudor Revival building features a stucco half-timbered second story, a hipped clay-tiled roof containing a series of cross gables, tall brick piers (posing as chimneys) and an elaborate primary entrance surround with an arched hood molding. I am not sure when the Culver Company went out of business.

In the foreward of the book it mentions it was beginning it's 70th year in operation for the Wrought Iron Range Company, established in 1864, St. Louis, Missouri by the three Culver brothers. There is no copyright listed with the book and it was given away free with the purchase of the Wrought Iron Range. I am assuming the cookbook, manual for the Model CB range dates back to around 1934. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Bread & Bread Making (1930)

Vol 12, Iss 38 America - Our Home Comfort cookbook of 1934 states the following about baking breads on/in your Wrought Iron Range:

"Bread is divided into two general classifications; Yeast bread, and quick Bread. In their plain form, these constitute basic recipes, from which many plain and fancy variations are made by the interchanging of materials, or by the form of the finished product.

"Bread is composed of flour (used in its general term), salt, shortening, Liquid, and a rising agent.

"For plain, white bread, flour from Spring wheat -- called Bread Flour -- is best. While usually spoken of as "white flour," it has a slightly cream tinge, but produces a fine, practically white loaf.

"Shortening gives to bread a tender texture, rendering it not only more palatable, but more readily digestible; therefore, a small amount is used in all the better breads.

"Water, as the liquid in bread, is in universal use, for not only is it cheaper, but bread will hold its moisture longer if made with water. Milk, however, is more nutritious, since it contains practically all the food values; also, milk gives bread a more spongy texture. A half-and-half mixture of the two liquids is often used.

"The purpose of a rising agent in bread (also most cake, and some pastures) is to render the product light and porous, making it more palatable and digestible. Flour, shortening, and liquid, form an elastic paste which may be formed into a multitude of small air-cells by laboriously beating air into it; when heated, the air expands the cell-walls, rendering the product porous.

"Rising agents, such as yeast, baking powder, or soda with sour milk or molasses, take the place of the air process by forming gas (carbonic-acid gas -- the same as in soda water), which, when heated, expands and inflates the cells, causing the bread to rise. The cell walls are then baked in this condition and retain their shape and volume.

"Besides perfecting the taste of bread, salt strengthens the elasticity of the dough, and also aids in holding the moisture and keeping it fresh.

"Yeast is composed of living cells or plant life. Provided with moisture, warmth and the food on which it thrives, such as the flours of grains, the yeast plant will grow and multiply; but, robbed of these, the living plant will remain in a stet of rest awaiting the proper conditions. yeast, as in general use, is of three kinds: Liquid, or simple yeast; Compressed, or fresh compact; and Dry Cake, or foam. The two latter are the ordinary forms of commercial yeast, or a collection of yeast plants in a state of rest, and may be obtained at almost any grocer.

"Some general rules to be observed in making yeast Bread:
* In preparing yeast for bread, cold or luke-warm water should always be used as extremely hot or boiling water will kill the yeast plant.

* Yeast should first be softened in a small quantity of water, and this stirred into the bulk of the liquid.

* Always add the flour to the liquid, remembering that the liquid determines the quantity of the dough, while the amount of flour determines the texture or quality.

* Bread may be mixed at night, covered with a cloth, and set on the top of the warm reservoir of your range to rise; by morning, the fermentation should be complete, and soon made ready for early baking.

* Bread should be mixed in a bowl of earthenware or crockery, as it holds the warmth more evenly. Since dough is too heavy for beating, it should be mixed with a stiff missing knife, or spatula.

* It is necessary to knead bread twice -- before and after the first rising -- the first, to thoroughly distribute the ingredients; the second to break up the larger air cells and make firm.

* Do not hurry the second rising -- let it be slow and natural; this will result in a finer texture.

* It is best to bake bread in small loaves, as this gives a larger proportion of crust, thus giving it a higher food value.

* It is necessary in baking bread, to kill the yeast plant quickly and thoroughly, since it has accomplished its work of supplying the necessary gas, and must be prevented from further spreading. This is done by placing in a very hot oven for a few moments, and the baking completed in a moderate oven."

Under Bread and Bread Baking, our Home Comfort cookbook says, "The term Quick Bread is here used to cover that classification in which baking powder, or other similar rising agent, is used instead of Yeast, and format he fact that the principal object is the saving of both time and energy in the making of it. Many of the same general rules applying to Yeast Bread may also be applied to Quick Bread, since the principles of mixing and baking are the same. Detailed instructions will be found contain inch particular Home Comfort recipe."

We will include some Yeast and Quick Bread recipes in next weeks Okielegacy ezine. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Home Comfort Cookbook Hints - Canning & Preserving Fruits

Vol 12, Iss 36 St. Louis, Missouri - The following are someHome Comfort Cookbook hints for canning, preserving fruits on your Wrought Iron Range, as taken from the free 1934 Home Comfort Cookbook that the Culver Brothers Company sent out with each range in the earlier 1930's. That does not mean you have to go backwards to the days of cooking on a wood burning range, though.

For the canning, preserving of fruits, two of the most successful open to the home-canner at that time were known as the "Open-Kettle" and the "Can-Cooked" methods. In the first, which was universally employed for fruits and preserves, the cooking is done in the preserving kettle before being placed in the cans.

In the second, which was extensively used for vegetables and other foods, as well as some fruits, all or part of the cooking was done after being placed in the can.

OPEN-KETTLE METHOD -- Prepare the fruit according to the variety. Cook the fruit in its own juice, fruit syrup or simple syrup just enough to render digestible. No longer. If water is used at all, as in the case of some of the larger, dryer fruits, use just as little as possible, otherwise the rich natural flavor of the fruit will be destroyed by too much dilution. The syrup method of canning was far superior to others, and produce a product with all its richness preserved.

Sterilize the jars according to directions. Have them hot and ready when the fruit is cooked. Fill the hot jar with boiling fruit and syrup; run a sterilized silver knife blade around the inside to release all air-pockets or bubbles; and fill to overflowing with the boiling syrup.

Wipe top of jar carefully with a perfectly clean cloth, dipped in boiling water. Next dip a new, fresh sealing-ring, or rubber in boiling water and adjust to the jar. Then adjust and fasten the hot sterilized cover tightly. Invert the jar and place it way from draft to cool. When cooled, if screw caps are used, tighten them again thoroughly, since the cooling has slightly contracted both jar and cap. Wipe jar with damp cloth. Label, store in a dark, cool place.

CAN-COOKED METHOD -- Prepare the fruit according to variety the same as for the open kettle. Also, prepare a sufficient quantity of hot simple syrup of proper density. Fill the hot sterilized jar without the uncooked fruit and add enough syrup to fill jar solidly to within a quarter inch of the opening. Run a sterilized silver knife blade around the inside. Then proceed to cook by one of the two following methods.

1 - OVEN-COOKING -- Back in 1934 they were still using, providing a sheet of asbestos large enough to practically cover the bottom of the Wrought Iron Range oven area. Back then, such sheets could be had at most plumbing establishments or hardware stores. If asbestos was not obtainable, you could provide a large pan, fill with about two inches of hot water. Place the filled, open jars in the moderately heated oven, upon the asbestos, or in the pan of water. Cook for the length of time required for the particular fruit. Remove from oven and fill to top with boiling syrup. Seal, employing the same precautions as in open-kettle method.

2 - BOILER COOKING -- Provide a wash-boiler or large lard-stand, and fit into the bottom a latticed wooden rack for the jars to rest upon, thus preventing them from touching the bottom. Fill the boiler with warm water to about four inches above the rack. Put the filled jars into the boiler, separating them by a latticed, wooden frame, or by weaving around and between them a small cotton rope, to prevent them from touching or hitting together when the water boils. Cover the boiler, bring the water to boiling point and cook for the remaining time counting from this period.

When cooked, draw boiler back from over fire, take off cover, and when steam has passed off, lift out each jar, set it in a pan of boiling water, fill with syrup to top, wipe, and properly seal. Set away from draft to cool, employing the same precautions as in the open-kettle method.

JAMS & MARMALADES -- Jams are primarily preserves reduced to pulp form. Marmalades are jams with seeds and most of the moisture removed, and cooked low into a semi-jellied state. The term conserve is used for jams or marmalades made from a combination of fruits.

The best fruits for jams and marmalades are berries, cherries, grapes, currants, some varieties of plums, apples, quinces, oranges and lemon. In making jams and marmalades, it is essential that no water be added to the more juicy fruits, such as cherries, grapes, berries, etc.; and to the dryer fruits, such as apples, peaches, etc., add only enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan or kettle in which they are cooked. Even then, it is better to use juice of some other fruit, such as currants, or for apples, sweet cider.

When the more juicy fruits are used, rinse or moisten the inside of the kettle with cold water. For other fruits, cover the bottom with water or fruit juice. Put the prepared fruit in the kettle in light layers, sprinkling each layer generously with the sugar before adding another.

For jam, cook the fruit until soft, reduce it to a pulpy mass and continue cooking gently until just enough of the moisture has been evaporated. For marmalades, gently stew the larger fruits at slow heat until tender, reduce to pulp and pass through a sieve. Reduce smaller fruits to pulp uncooked and pass through a sieve to remove seeds. Then, proceed to cook according to the time required in the subsequent recipes, or until a little of the juice will jell when dropped on a cold plate.

JELLIES -- Jelly can be made from the natural juices of any acid fruit by the addition of sugar, and boiling until the density of the fruit syrup is 25 degrees when tested with a standard syrup gauge. The uncertainties of jelly making in the average household are due to the fact that this degree of density of the fruit-syrup must be gauged, or judged by experience and off-hand judgment alone.

For Jelly-making, select only tart, or acid, fruits in their newly ripened or near-ripened stage. These may be divided into two classes:

1 - Large, firm fruits, such as apples, peaches, quinces, etc. These require the addition of moisture to draw out the flavoring and the pectic acid that combines with the sugar, causing the juice to jell, and to produce a juice of sufficient volume and richness. The amount of water added however, varies with the fruit. Apples usually requiring 4 quarts of water to 8 quarts of sliced fruit, which after boiling until tender and straining without pressing, produces just 3 quarts of strained juice. If there is more than this amount, it should be cooked down to that quantity. Such fruits as peaches, containing a liberal amount of natural juice, require less water, the average requiring 3 to 3-1/2 quarts of water to reduce 3 quarts juice from 8 quarts of prepared fruit. Such semi-juicy fruit as plums require the addition of only 1 quart of water to each 1 gallon fruit, which should be slightly under-ripe when used for jelly.

2 - Small, soft fruits, such as currants, berries, cherries, grapes, etc. These do not require the addition of moisture, or water, since they are rich in natural juice. They should, therefore, never be gathered just after a rain, or after gathering, should not be allowed to stand in water, but should be quickly washed in a colander and drained, since they will readily absorb too much moisture. Grapes, these juicy fruits are best for jelly when just ripening. Grapes should be gathered half-ripe, or half of them newly ripe and half of them green. To extract the juice, some of the fruit is crushed in the bottom of the preserving kettle, some whole fruit added and cooked in its own juice until tender and the juices released. It is then crushed, or jammed, and the juice strained ready for the jelly kettle.

In separating or straining the juice from the pulp, it is best to strain it through cheesecloth without squeezing or pressing. If the cheese-cloth is doubled, or a thin muslin bag used, the juice will be quite clear; and, if a flannel or felt bag is used, the juice will be very clear.

TABLE Of SYRUP DENSITIES: There are several methods of measuring the proportion of sugar or density of syrups, the most accurate of which is the standard syrup gauge. Careful measuring is quite satisfactory in canning, since the syrup need not be boiled long enough to evaporate the water and thereby change the density. As a guide, the following densities are given. The sugar is first dissolved completely in boiling hot water that has just been removed from the fire. It is then put back, brought to the boiling point and boiled for 1 minute without stirring.

SYRUP TABLE DENSITIES: Density, Sugar & Water
40 degrees, 4 parts, 1 part
36 degrees, 3 parts, 1 part
32 degrees, 2 parts 1 part
28 degrees, 2 parts 1-1/2 part
24 degrees, 1 part, 1 part
17 degrees, 1 part, 1-1/2 parts
14 degrees, 1 part, 2 parts

1. For preserving berries, cherries, blue plums, etc. -- syrup using 40 degrees.

2. For preserving peaches, plums, quinces, currants, etc. -- syrup 28 to 36 degrees.

3. For canning acid fruits, such as apples, gooseberries, blue plums, grapes, etc. -- syrup 24 degrees.

4. For canning peaches, pears, cherries, sweet plums, berries, etc. -- Syrup 14 to 17 degrees.

5. For jelly making, syrup of 25 degrees density made by using the fruit juice instead of water, has been found to be right for combining the sugar and pectin bodies, causing the juice to properly jell. This is about the density of 24 degrees syrup boiled for 3 minutes.

A Few Recipes for Preserving and Canning Fruits:
APPLES -- If it becomes necessary to can apples to save the last of the winter storage, they may be prepared in any manner as for the table by the open kettle method. Remember that all fruit must reach boiling temperature, be put into hot sterilized jars, and sealed while hot.

APPLE JUICE -- When canning apples reserve the sound parings and cores. Add a few quartered apples, cover with water and cook about 30 minutes. STrain through the jelly-bag, reheat the juice to boiling, and seal in hot sterilized jars. This juice may then be kept on hand for emergency jelly making, for cooking purposes, or for frozen deserts.

APRICOTS -- Prepare and can exactly the same as Peaches.

PEACHES -- prepare a simple syrup of 14 degrees density, allowing 1 part sugar to 2 parts water for each 4 quarts prepared peaches after boiling 1 minute, skim and set syrup kettle back on range to keep hot, just under the boiling point, but not boil. Wash, skin, halve and seed just enough peaches at a time to make a layer in the bottom of the preserving kettle. Cover them with some of the hot syrup. Bring to boiling point, skim carefully, and boil 10 minutes for until easily pierced with a silver fork. Fill hot sterilized jars with peaches and fill to overflowing with the hot fruit syrup. Allowing about 1 cup syrup to each quart of fruit. Seal as directed. Peaches and similar fruit may also be canned by the can-cooked method by following directions previously given.

Thanks for letting this NW Okie share some Home Comfort Cookbook Hints as used on a Model B Wrought Iron Range. Are you are interested in more Home Comfort Cookbook recipes? View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Home Comfort Range (1934) - Pastry Recipes

Vol 13, Iss 7 America - This week we promised you some pastry recipes from our Home Comfort Cookbook of 1934.

The 1934 Home Comfort Cookbook says, "Shell pastry which is to contain a cooked filling -- as for single-curst pies and cup pastries -- is baked before the filling is placed into it. If for raw or uncooked filling such as custard, the shell and filling are cooked at the same time. The pastry is lightly place in the pan in the usual manner, but is trimmed about an inch away from the rim of the pan, and this margins folded back over the edge, and scalloped, or fluted, with the fingers, to form a rigid rim around the inside of the crust."

It is necessary, in making shell and flat pastries, to provide for the escape of excess air while baking, thus preventing bubbles; after the paste is place in the tin, puncture at regular spacing with the prongs of a fork. Top crusts of pies should always contain a few perforations with the point of a knife to allow escape of any steamer vapor.

Pies should never be allowed to set after being assembled, but should be placed in the hot oven at once. For this reason, always have the oven prepared before putting the pie together. For the same reason, the upper-crust paste should be rolled out and ready to put in place before the filling is placed in the lower crust.

Avoid undertaking of all pastry, as it will be heavy and rendered less digestible.

Plain Pastry (basic recipe)

No. 1 -- Quantity for one nine-inch pie shell; double for two shells.

1 cup sifted pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
4-1/2 tablespoons shortening
cold water to moisten

No. 2 -- Quantity for one nine-inch double crust, or two lower.

2 cups sifted pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
8 tablespoons shortening
cold water to moisten

Have all ingredients of the same temperature. Add salt to flour and resift; add shortening and cut in with two knives until mixture has appearance of coarse meal; add water, spoonful at a time while mixing with a knife or spatula into a stiff paste -- just when the paste rolls into a ball and cleans the bowl o flour and paste, enough water has been added. Lightly transfer paste to a slightly floured board; do not knead, but with floured fingers form quickly and lightly into dough; roll out lightly from the center outward, spreading into desired thickness.

If bread flour is to be used, remove 1 tablespoon from each cup called for in pastry flour recipe.

When No. 1 is to be used for extremely juicy fillings, leave out 1/2 tablespoon of shortening. All measurements are level.

When No. 2 is used, divide the dough in half and roll our each crust separately. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Home Comfort Range (1934) - Pies & Pastries

Vol 13, Iss 6 America - This week we bring you some information from our 1934 Home Comfort Cookbook and about Pies and Pastries back in that time period.

Among the classifications of our foods, Pastry was one of the easiest to make properly, and also, the easiest to make badly. Starch and fats are the source of muscular nourishment and energy, and when the flour and shortening in pastry are properly combined and baked, it is highly nutritious and readily digestible by even the more delicate systems.

Pastry is composed of flour, fat (shortening), liquid, and salt. There are three kinds of pastry -- forming basic recipes, from which a wide variety of fancy pastries may be made by slight variations in the method of handling -- these are plain, flake, and puff pastries.

For plain pastry, the flour and shortening are mixed evenly throughout by cutting-in with two knives. For flake pastry, part of the shortening is folded into the mixture of flour and liquid. Puff or French pastries are sometimes considered variations of flake pastry, but are of a different texture, produced by both the variation of ingredients and the method of combing.

Pastry flour, which is made from best Winter wheat, should be used, as it is lighter and absorbs but a small amount of liquid as compared with bread flour.

Too much flour makes pastry tough; too much shortening, and not enough liquid, makes it dry and crumble; too much liquid makes it heavy and soggy.

The amount of shortening, for best results, should not be less than one-half the weight of the flour used for plain and flake pastries; equal weights of flour and shortening for most puff-pastries.

The liquid (water and milk) renders pastry mixtures smooth and pliable. Just enough liquid should be added to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bowl, for at this pint, the flour has absorbed the necessary amount.

pastry dough should be stiff and elastic, but not porous or spongy. It should be mixed to a consistency that allows it to roll into a compact ball that will not stick to the bowl, nor will crumble and fall apart -- in this form, the paste will be found to clean the bowl.

If too much liquid has been added to prevent cleaning the bowl, then cut into three or four tablespoons of flour, a tablespoon of shortening, and add this -- a little at a time -- until stickiness is overcome.

pastry is made light bny the presence and expansion of air in the dough when it is placed into the hot oven. All ingredients should be mixed when cold -- warm shortening or liquid prevents the proper incorporation of air in the mixture, and makes the pastry heavy and flat. Handling with the warm hands has much the same effect; therefore, it is best to use the cutting-in or folding-in method of mixing.

The texture of pastry is improved by placing the dough in a closely covered crock, or bowl, and allowed to stand in a cool place for a few hours before forming.

The molding-board on which pastry is rolled or formed should be sprinkled lightly with fine flour -- sticking prevents the proper handling which should be delicately done. Some expert pastry makers cover their molding-board with a light canvas cloth -- and cover the rolling pin with cotton "stockinette" -- since the pastry can, in this way, be handled with less flour. Always roll pastry with a light, even motion, for best results, rolling in but one direction; too heavy or too much rolling pressed out the air needed to make the pastry light.

pastry in thin layers is inclined to shrink after rolling-out; lift lightly into place -- do not stretch tightly -- allowing for slight shrinkage. When two layers of pastry are to be combined at the edges -- as in double-crust pies -- the edge of the lower crust should be lightly dampened with cold water to make them more readily combine. Crimp together all around with the prongs of a fork.

Shell pastry which is to contain a cooked filling -- as for single-crust pies and cup pastries -- is baked before the filling is placed into it. If for raw or uncooked filling such as custard, the shell and filling are cooked at the same time.

The pastry is lightly placed in the pan in the usual manner, but is trimmed about an inch away from the rim of the pan, and this margin is folded back over the edge, and scalloped, or fluted, with the fingers, to form a rigid rim around the inside of the crust.

It is necessary, in making shell and flat pastries, to provide for the escape of excess air while baking, thus preventing bubbles; after the paste is placed in the tin, puncture at regular spacing with at the prongs of a fork. Top crusts of pies should always contain a few perforations with the point of a knife to allow escape of any steam of vapor.

Pies should never be allowed to set after being assembled, but should be placed in the hot oven at once. For this reason, always have the oven prepared before putting the pie together. For the same reason, the upper-crust paste should be rolled out and ready to put in place before the filling is placed in the lower crust.

Avoid underbaking of all pastry, as it will be heavy and rendered less digestible. Proper baking of pastries depends upon the careful attention given it. Always place pastry to bake on the lower oven shelf with strong heat from below. See that the direct damper is closed and that the flue around and under the oven is kept practically free from soot, and your range will faithfully perform its duty, and add its share to your reputation as baker of fine pastries.

Next week we shall bring you recipes for Plain Pastry and Flake Pastry. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


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