« PreviousContinue »
soldiers in France during the month of August, 1870, contained
Carbohydrates. Army dietary. 157 gms.
331 gms. It was represented by one pound and ten ounces of bread, about one and one eighth pounds of meat, and over one half pound of bacon, besides an allowance of coffee, tobacco, and wine beer. Professor Ranke has called this an admirable diet for fighting men. In garrison life these soldiers would have received only 56 grams of fat and 120 grams of proteids, while the carbohydrates would have been increased to five hundred grams or more.
On the other hand, fat when coupled with enough carbohydrate food can replace some of the proteid, and often does so in the food of hardy and economical people. The Bavarian woodDiet of Bavarian chopper is enabled by his splendid digestion to
woodchopper. arrange his diet in the following way: he takes little proteid from the animal kingdom, but in order to get enough of it from vegetable products, he must, as we know, take in an immense quantity of the starch associated with it, and to this he adds a great quantity of fat. Von Liebig says that such a man takes on the average
Carbohydrates. 112 gms. 309 gms.
691 gms. We see therefore that we can have a sliding scale for fat ; while we should not go below two ounces a day, we may, in case we lower one or both of the other two great constituents, go up to eight or nine ounces.
People belonging to the well-to-do classes, unless Importance of fat
not realized. they have given special study to the subject, seldom realize the importance of fat in our economy. Fat means to them fat meat, suet, lard, and the like, and much eating of these is considered proof of a gross appetite; they do not consider how much fat they take in eggs, in milk, in grains like oatmeal and maize, in the seasoning of their varied dishes, and in their well-fattened meats, where, as in an average piece from a very fat mutton, they eat twice as much fat as proteid without knowing it.
Indeed, a well-fed man of the upper classes may have more fat in his daily diet than has the freshly arrived Mechlenburg laborer
who spreads a quarter-inch layer of lard on his bread. The latter cannot take his fat in unsuspected forms; he craves this principle with his plain vegetable diet, and must take it as he can
Now let us understand that where economy is to be considered, this question of fat does not take care of itself as it does for the rich man. The economical housewife should always keep in mind that she must furnish her family enough fat, and furnish it cheaply.
Butter is a dear fat; count out the water in it and Substitutes for
see what it costs you. We must economize in butter in as many ways as possible. We must eat more fat meat, first, that which is ingrained with the lean where it takes the place of water, as we have seen under“ Proteids," costing us practically nothing ; when we eat our vegetables seasoned with such a piece of meat, we find them sufficiently seasoned. We must also eat more of fat meat which we recognize as such, taking pains to cook it so that it will be palatable; the crisp, brown outside of a roast is always welcome, but the fat of boiled beef or mutton will also be relished if served very hot. An excellent selection in low-priced beef is the fat middle rib; the lean part is very tender and juicy when cooked in water at a low temperature for two or three hours (or in heat saver, see page 226, for three or four hours) and the fat, if served hot, any but a pampered taste will relish. Too much cannot be said in praise of pork as furnishing a good-tasting and cheap fat; it can be cooked in many ways and used to flavor vegetables, etc.
It is consoling to the economist to know that little Digestibility of
of this food principle will be wasted in the body. Fat is more completely absorbed, according to the testimony of the experimenters, than any other kind of food, even meat.
We want to say a few words as to the character of different animal fats, and then we are done with this subject. All the fats consumed by us, without exception, are composed of three bodies called neutral fats, mixed together in varying proportions. These three bodies are “ olein," "palmatin” (margarin), and “stearin,” and the chief difference between them is
they melt at different temperatures; the more olein a fat has, the more easily it melts, and the less it has the more it is like tallow. In
vegetable oils we find, in addition to these, small quantities of what are called “ fatty acids,” and in butter we have beside the three common fats a small per cent of four scarcer ones.
Practically, therefore, all fats are alike, and when Fats compared.
absorbed they do the same work in the body, their varying flavors and their colors having nothing to do with this. However, their flavor, their appearance, and the ease with which they melt in the mouth and in the digestive tract have much to do with our estimation of them as foods. Mutton fat will do our body the same service as butter, but because of the relatively small amount of olein it contains, we have difficulty in swallow
As to the comparative digestibility of these fats, it is generally admitted that those which melt at a low temperature, like butter and vegetable oils, are most readily taken up by the system ; it is thought that we could digest beeswax if it would melt in the stomach. Still, although butter stands in common estimation as the most digestible as it is the most palatable of the fats, the stomach finds no trouble in disposing of reasonable amounts of any fats used in the household.
The fact that all fats are so similar in composition Artificial butter.
and that if once digested they will do the same service in the body, first led scientists to try to make out of the cheaper fats a substitute for butter. It was Napoleon III, who set the chemist Mège-Mourier at work to discover an artificial butter for use in the army. This chemist added butter colors and flavors made in the laboratory to olein and margarin extracted from beef suet and mixed with this a little real butter, and so successful was the result that the making of artificial butter has become a great industry. Now certainly no one objects to artificial butter on the ground that it is made of animal fats, for he eats these every day on his table ; he objects because he has doubts as to the cleanliness or the healthfulness of its method of manufacture.
Therefore, since the substitution, to some extent, of animal fats for butter is from an economic standpoint so desirable, if we cannot bring ourselves to use oleomargarine we must do the best we can in these kitchen laboratories of ours to make other fats than butter acceptable to the taste.
USES OF FATS.
It should be bought perfectly fresh, that surrounding the kidneys being chosen as of the best quality. Chopped fine it is used in suet puddings, and may be employed to enrich other puddings made of skimmed milk, as a rice pudding ; it combines well with bread crumbs in any hot dish, in bread puddings, bread stuffing, bread omelet, and soup balls. In all cases it must be chopped fine and cooked sufficiently to fully incorporate it with the other materials. Suet may also be used in many flour dishes instead of butter, if they are only cooked long enough and eaten warm ; also in all cake where molasses and spices or any strong flavor is used.
Every bit of marrow in bones should be scraped
out and carefully used. Its taste is more delicate than that of suet, and it can be substituted for butter even in fine cake.
Whatever butter you use in cooking should be cooked
butter, which may be prepared when butter is cheap and put away for winter use. So prepared it will keep as long
Butter tried out.
A second quality of butter may be used for this, or that which is beginning to be rancid ; if already so, add one fourth teaspoonful soda to each pound, but such butter when tried out will not keep as long as that made from sweet butter. In trying out butter great care must be taken not to burn it. Put it in a large iron kettle and cook it down very slowly until you no longer hear the sound of boiling; it will then begin to froth and rise, and this is a sure sign that the process is completed. Set the kettle back to cool a few moments, then skim and pour off the butter from the dregs into jars. Keep in a cool place and closely covered. In any recipe use one fourth less than of fresh butter.
This should be done with even more care to avoid
the tallowy flavor. Exact directions are given in “ Cooking Methods,” page 224.
The “ scraps
are often relished by children. This beef fat (which we decline to call tallow) should be put away in cakes in a jar closely covered.
To use it, scrape it fine, sprinkling a little flour in
it to keep it light. So prepared it may be used in any of the ways mentioned under “suet,” and to this list still
Tried out suet.
others may be added, since it does not need, as does suet, long cooking in order to mix it well with the other ingredients of the dish. It can be used successfully in warm breads of all kinds, and in all but the nicest cakes if mixed with one half butter.
Much of the lard now furnished is so poor, that Lard.
unless one pays a high price to a well known dealer, it is better for each housekeeper to buy the leaf lard and try it out herself. Cut fine and cook all the water out, taking care not to burn. The “scraps are even better than those left from suet and should by no means be thrown away.
SAUCES FOR MEAT AND VEGETABLES.
The economical and busy housewife says she has no time nor money for sauces, but the fact is she cannot afford to do without them. All vegetables must have some fat to season them, and to use butter in every case is extravagant and gives no variety, while a cheaper fat if made into a sauce with four and water can be flavored in a dozen ways.
DRAWN BUTTER SAUCES.
Drawn butter, which is the foundation of most of the sauces, is thus made :
A heaping tablespoonful of butter or beef fat is Plain.
put into a saucepan ; when it boils, one heaping tablespoonful flour is added and stirred as it cooks. To this add gradually one pint of water, one teaspoonful of salt, and one fourth teaspoonful of pepper. If you wish to unite economy good flavor use one half tablespoonful of beef fat in making the sauce, and add one half tablespoonful butter cut in small pieces just before serving.
Milk sauce is the same, made with milk instead of water. brown sauce, the fat and flour are stirred till they brown, then make as above. Any number of sauces can be made from these three by adding different flavors ; chopped pickles and a tablespoonful of vinegar are added to No. I when it is to be used on fish, or mustard for mustard sauce, The addition of eggs raw or cooked makes another variety.