Everyone has noticed how some things carry or conduct heat and other things don't. That's why we use a "holder," when handling a hot dish or stove lifter or tea-pot. The "holder" does not carry the heat to the hand; it keeps it away. So the hay packed around the hot kettle kept the heat in the kettle, refusing to "conduct" it away. Therefore the soup went on cooking.
Your English cousins use a "cosy" to cover the hot teapot or coffee pot. This "cosy" is made of quilted cotton; and looks like the quilted hood that your great-grandmother used to have. This keeps the heat in the tea or coffee, so that you can have a second cup for the asking.
America was slow to learn from her thrifty cousins, but at last she adopted the fireless cooker; and this is what it does:
The fireless cooker, a case packed with some material which refuses to conduct heat, is used to continue the cooking of foods after they have been made hot on the stove. When securely covered in the cooker they will go on cooking for several hours because the heat is retained by the protecting case. A Girl Scout may buy a fireless cooker, paying from $5 to $25 for it, or she may make one, which will cost less than one dollar. Of course this is a challenge to make one. You may be very sure that if you make a fireless cooker you will understand all about it. To make a fireless cooker you will need:
(1) A cooker or container, which should be an agate pail with a close fitting cover. The sides should be straight up and down, the bottom just as big as the top. You can choose a small one holding two quarts, or a gallon pail which would be large enough for anything an ordinary family would be likely to cook.
(2) A case, which must be at least eight inches wider than your container, for the packing must extend at least four inches around the pail on every side. You may use a round case like a big wooden candy pail, which you can usually get at the ten cent store for ten cents; or it may be a galvanized iron can with a cover like the one ordinarily used for garbage; or it may be a box shaped like a cube.
(3) For packing you may use crumpled newspapers tightly packed in; or ground cork, which is used in packing Malaga grapes, is fine, and you may be able to get it from a fruit store. Excelsior is good, and perhaps you will find that in the shed in some packing case; while, if you live in the country, you may be able to get Spanish moss. This should be dried, of course. And then there is hay—which our Norwegian cousins use.
Let us try paper. Pack the box or can four inches deep, with crumpled paper, making a very even layer. Put a piece of pasteboard much larger than the bottom of your pail upon this layer and set your pail in the middle of it. Now pack the paper tightly around the pail up to the very top, using a stick of wood or mallet to press it down.
Now you must make a cloth cover for your pail in the shape of a tall hat. The rim of the hat must reach out to the edges of your case and be tacked there. Take out your pail, fit this cloth cover into the hole and tack the edge evenly to the box.
You must now make a cushion to fill the rest of the box, packing it full of the crumpled paper. Make hinges for the lid of your box and put some sort of fastener on the front to keep the lid down tight.
Now you have your fireless cooker. When your oatmeal or your stew, or your chicken, or your vegetables have boiled ten or fifteen minutes on the stove in your agate pail, clap on its cover, set it into the nest, push the cushion into the top of the cooker, clamp down the lid, and your work is done, for the cooking will go merrily on all alone by itself in your fireless cooker.
While you are making your fireless cooker, remember that the thermos bottle is made on the same principle. And remember, too, that your non-conducting packing material will keep heat out just as well as it keeps heat in. In the summer time you may wish to keep your ice cream cold for a while in your fireless cooker. Perhaps you will see how this might help on a hot summer's day and what a comfort a fireless cooker might prove in a sick room.
The Ice Chest. How It Is Made
In taking care of food we must be provided with a cool place, for the storage of milk, butter, cream, and all cooked food that may spoil. In summer this is especially important; in an apartment, and in most city houses the ice chest is needed all the year around; in the country, it is needed only in the warm months.
The ice chest is built much as the fireless cooker is made. Its case is usually made of wood, its packing material must be non-conducting, and its lining must be some smooth surface through which water cannot pass. Some ice chests are lined with zinc and some with porcelain tiles. In some ice chests, food and ice are kept in the same box, which usually opens at the top; in other chests there is a separate chamber for the ice. From the ice chamber a drain pipe carries away the water which drips from the melting ice.
Every ice chest must be kept clean and sweet. It should be looked over every day and washed carefully at least once a week. No crumbs of food should be left on the shelves. If you spill anything, wipe it up clean at once.
The drain pipe must be kept clean. A long wire brush is used for this. If you are buying an ice box, get one with removable pipes, which are easily cleaned. If there is any odor from the chest, scald with water and soda, a teaspoonful of soda to a quart of water. Rinse with fresh cold water.
If your ice chest drips into a pan which must be emptied daily, have a regular time for emptying it. An overflowing pan in an apartment may damage the ceiling below. If it drips into a pan which drains itself, be sure that the drain is kept clean and the entrance to the pipe unclogged. Clean the drip pan whenever you clean the ice chest.
It is a good plan to keep food in closed containers like fruit jars. Wide dishes take up too much space. Containers should be tall rather than broad.
Put no hot dishes in the ice box; it wastes the ice.
The Iceless Refrigerator
An "iceless refrigerator" sounds like a "fireless cooker." This is an arrangement made to keep food cool in the summer when there is no ice. A wooden cage with shelves is covered with a cloth cover and placed near a window or out of doors. If in the house it should stand in a large pan to prevent the dripping of water on the shelf or floor.
A piece of the cloth cover should rest in a pan of water. If this is not convenient a strip of cloth can be sewed to the cover endwise and this piece should be placed in a pan or bowl of water which should be set on top of the cage. This water will be sucked throughout the cloth cover of the refrigerator until it is wholly wet. As the water evaporates from the cover the air inside the refrigerator is cooled.
The iceless refrigerator works well on days when dry air is moving about. It does not do well on damp, quiet days.
Another simple refrigerator which does very well for a little milk or a pat of butter is a clean, earthen flower pot, turned upside down in a shallow pan of water. This will keep very cool the food which it covers.
The Kitchen Sink
Next to the stove, the sink is the most important piece of kitchen furniture.
The best sinks are of enamel or are made of porcelain. They have a fine wire drainer so that nothing solid will go into the trap and plug the pipes. The Girl Scout uses boiling water, and plenty of it, to flush the sink. She takes pains that no grease gets into the drain to harden there. When grease is accidentally collected, soda and hot water will wash it away, but it should never collect in the pipes.
The Keeper of the House takes pride in a perfectly clean sink.
Taking Care of the House and the Things in It
Taking care of a house and its furniture means keeping the house clean, neat, and orderly, and keeping everything in good repair. This means a great deal of thought on the part of the Keeper of the House. For there are many sorts of work to be done, and there is a right way of doing every bit of it. By paying attention a Girl Scout may learn very fast, and become very helpful and competent.
First, there's the Dish Washing.
In making ready for dish washing scrape every plate carefully to remove crumbs that would get into the dish water. Try using crumpled tissue paper to remove milk, grease, or crumbs before the dishes are put into the pan. Save tissue paper, and paper napkins for this.
Pile in separate piles, all dishes of each sort; wash first glass, then silver, then cups, saucers, plates, then the rest; do not put bone, ivory or wooden handles of knives into the water. Use hot water and soap for dish washing, then rinse with clean hot water.
Dish towels should be cleansed after every dish washing; wash clean in hot soapy water, then rinse all the soap away in clean water. Cooking utensils should soak in cold water until time for dish washing, unless they can be washed as soon as used.
Use a tray for carrying dishes to the closet or pantry instead of travelling with a handful back and forth. Strain the dish water before pouring it down the sink. Be sure that no greasy water is put into the sink. Let the grease rise and cool; skim it off and dispose of it after the dishes are washed.
Taking Care of Rooms
Keeping a house in order means having everything in its place in every room. It means sweet, fresh air in every room; it means removal of dust and litter. A good housekeeper "tidies" her rooms as she goes along, always picking up anything that is out of place and putting it where it belongs. But she also has a method in doing things. Perhaps she sweeps the entire house every day or every other day, or perhaps she puts one room in order on one day and another on another and so on. The important thing is to have a regular plan.
The Living Room
Taking care of a living room means cleaning the floor and the rugs; dusting the walls, the pictures; cleaning, dusting, and sometimes polishing the furniture. Open the windows top and bottom, dust and brush them inside and out; use a soft brush or a dust mop to take the dust from the floor. Use a carpet sweeper for the rugs unless you have electricity and can use a vacuum cleaner; collect the sweepings and burn them.
Dampen one quarter of your cheese-cloth duster and roll it inside the rest of the duster, then wring. This makes a dampish cloth for dusting the base-boards, window sills, and other woodwork as well as the furniture. Where the furniture is highly polished, or would be injured by water, use oil on the duster instead. Dust after the dust has settled, not when it has been stirred into the air. Shake and replace doilies or covers.
Be sure that the pictures hang straight after dusting and that every piece of furniture is put in its right place. See how long it takes to clean the room; then study to find out how the time can be shortened.
Do not keep useless furniture nor have too many things in your room.
The Bathroom and the bath tub require daily cleansing. In the ordinary family every one who uses the tub should leave it perfectly clean for the next one who needs it. All the furnishings of the bathroom should be kept sweet and clean. Use a flush closet brush daily, scalding it after using it. And remember that fresh air and sunshine are cleansing agents. Get them to work for you.
The Bedroom. Your bedroom needs all the fresh air it can get. The Girl Scout sleeps with her windows open. As soon as you have dressed in the morning throw the windows wide open again, if they have been closed. Open the bed, so that both sheets may be reached by the fresh air. Shake up your pillows and put them on a chair near the window. Leave your night clothing spread or hung where it will be well aired. Let your room have a fresh air bath!
You know already how to make a bed. You will remember that all the bedclothing must be smooth and even, when the bed is made. You are lucky if you have a sister to help you make your bed, for this piece of work is easier for two than for one. You will see that the mattress is lying straight. Once a week you (the two of you) will turn the mattress, end over end one week, and side over side the next week. Then your mattress will wear evenly, and not have a hollow in the middle where you sleep all the time. Then you two will lay the mattress cover straight, and tuck it in firmly, so that you will have no hard wrinkles to sleep on. The under sheet, smooth and straight, must be tucked in all around. You will make the bed as smooth as the table. Now the upper sheet, which is the hardest thing to manage in bed making, must be neatly tucked in at the foot. But you must allow eight inches at the top to be turned over the blankets and spread. Now the blankets, straight and smooth, and evenly tucked in at the foot. Then you may choose between tucking in the sides after folding the top sheet down over the blankets, and afterwards covering the whole bed with the spread, letting the sides and ends hang down; and laying the spread even with the blankets, tucking in the sides, and turning down the sheet over all. Try both ways.
Now, shake and pat the pillows, making them very smooth and quite square-cornered; then lay them or stand them neatly at the head of the bed, meeting exactly in the middle; and your bed is fit for a queen, or a tired Girl Scout after a tramp!
With the bed neatly made, everything must be put in its proper place. The furniture and window sills must be dusted with a clean cheese-cloth duster; and the bare floors must be nicely dusted with a dry floor-mop, or a cloth pinned over a broom. If there are rugs, use a carpet sweeper, if you have one, or a broom. If you do any broom sweeping, however, you will do it before you dust.
Now a last look to see that the room is tidy, every chair in place and the shades even at the windows, and your room is ready for the day. Of course any Girl Scout who wants a Homemaker's badge will do all these things;—not guess or suppose how others do them and how long it takes. That is the honest way to learn. So find out how long it takes to put your room in order. There is only one way to find out.
Keeping clean in these days means keeping free from troublesome germs as well as visible dirt. Germs thrive in dampness and darkness. They can be overcome by sunshine. For thorough cleanness, the house needs fresh air and sunshine as well as sweeping and dusting. The Girl Scout must remember to let the fresh air blow through every room in the house every day. She should sleep with her windows open. She is fortunate if she can sleep out of doors.
Of course she is in honor bound to have no dark, damp, hidden, dirt-filled corners in any part of her house, not even in shed or cellar. Let in the light and clean out the dirt.
Fighting the House Fly and Mosquito
House flies carry disease. They breed in filth, human waste, animal droppings, decayed animal or vegetable matter, and are so made that they carry filth wherever they go. Since the fly alights wherever it pleases, it carries dirt from outside and distributes it wherever it CHOOSES.
Clean up all heaps of rubbish where flies may breed. Keep your garbage pail absolutely clean. Disinfect outdoor water-closets and cover with gravel or slacked lime. Get fly traps to set on your porches. Kill all flies that come into the house, especially the early ones, in the spring. Keep your windows and doors screened.
Fight mosquitoes just as you fight flies. Leave no still water even in an old tin can, for the eggs of mosquitoes are deposited in still water and hatch there. The mosquito, like many other insects, has an intermediate stage between the egg and the grown mosquito. During this stage it swims about in quiet water. Mosquitoes in great numbers may be growing in old cans or bottles, rain-filled and hidden away under the bushes in your yard. Watch for such breeding places; clean up your yard and banish the mosquito.
Taking Care of Waste
All waste must be carefully disposed of. It should never accumulate in the kitchen; but the important thing is to have no real waste. See that everything is put to the utmost use. If you live in the country, chickens and pigs will take the parings, the outer leaves of vegetables, etc., and you can bury or burn waste. If you live in the city the garbage man will collect all waste.
The garbage can must be kept thoroughly clean. It should be rinsed and scalded whenever it is empty, so that there will be no bad odors about the kitchen. Find out how garbage is taken care of in your town. How can you help to keep your neighborhood clean? What should be done if there is carelessness about garbage?
Taking Care of Woolen Things
Housekeepers must fight moths as well as flies. The clothes moth loves to lay its eggs in wool. It is very keen in searching out bits of wool and finding a place for its baby to thrive. Unless you have a care it will lay its eggs in your best winter dress which you forgot and left hanging in the hot summer days.
When the baby worm pokes its head out of the egg, it begins to feed upon the wool; and when some cold winter morning you get your dress you will find holes neatly cut where the little worm has gnawed, and beside the holes the little woven cradle which the tiny creature spun for itself, and in which the crawling worm changed to the flying, silvery moth.
The housekeeper must therefore, carefully brush and pack away all woolen things before the moths arrive. After the garment is cleansed and brushed it may be folded in newspapers carefully pinned at the ends, so that no crack is left for the moth to get in it, or it may be laid in a cedar box; or in any plain box with moth balls or camphor. Every box should be labelled so that you know without opening it what is in it.
Watch edges of carpets and rugs for the carpet beetle and the "Buffalo bug." The last bothersome creature may eat your cotton dresses in your closet. All clothing must have care.
Make a list of the woolen things that must be taken care of if the house is closed in summer and what personal clothing must be packed away for the summer even if the house is not closed.
Storage of Food
Taking care of food so that it will "keep" well is just as important as the careful buying of food. Much waste, and therefore loss of money and labor, comes from carelessness in the storage of food. The bright Girl Scout will keep her eyes open to see how foods are taken care of in the house; which foods must be kept in the cellar; which ones must be stored on the shelves of dry closets; which ones come in sealed parcels; which in paper bags; which in boxes; which in barrels. There must be a place in the house for keeping all these things. So you need to think which foods must be kept in the house and which must be bought from day to day. And in the house which you plan there must be ample space for closets and shelves, for keeping properly all that must be stored. No one can say which things must be kept in the house by every family. If the Girl Scout happens to live in a crowded city where rents are high, she will have little storage space, and will not keep so many things on hand. If she lives in the country, miles from a store, she must have a "store" of her own. So keep your eyes open, Girl Scout, and see what is being done in your part of the world. That is what eyes are made for.
Heating the House
A house may be heated by a furnace, by stoves, or even by open fires in the fireplace, as in old days. Heating the house makes the chimney necessary. This must be carefully arranged for in planning your house. Heating by stoves is the most common arrangement. In the large city or town, the furnace is used. This is merely a big stove in the cellar or basement, so planned that its heat is distributed through the house. By this means one big stove does the work of many little ones, and warms the whole house.
The furnace may use its heat to turn water into hot steam, which is sent through all the house through the iron pipes and radiators. Or the water in the boiler may be made quite hot, though not turned into steam, and sent through the house in the same way, by means of pipes. Or hot air from around this big stove or furnace may be sent through big pipes directly to the various rooms. This means dust and dirt, and we are learning to use steam and hot water instead of the hot air system.
The fireplace is almost a luxury. It is found oftenest in country houses where wood can easily be got and stored. The town or city home may have its open fire, however. Everyone loves an open fire; and when you plan your own house, you must manage to get one if you can. The hearth is the heart of the house.
The housekeeper must learn how to do her work in the least possible time; she must save steps. Look at the house that you have planned and see whether everything you need to use is within easy reach. Look carefully at the closets where you keep things. Are they big enough? Are they in the right place? Suppose your water comes from a well which is a long way from the house. What difference will it make? What would you do about it?
The Water Supply
The water supply of every home should be carefully guarded. If the water is defiled or contaminated by germs of typhoid fever, diphtheria, or other diseases, whose bacteria may be carried by water, the disease may be spread wherever the water is used.
No earth closets or human or animal waste should be in the neighborhood of the well. Water should come from high ground and clean places with no possibility of gathering infection on the way to the house. Great pains should be taken to keep drinking water absolutely clean. All drinking vessels should be washed and scalded and the rims should never be handled.
In the country every home has a private water supply and takes pains to guard it. In the city there is a common water supply and everyone is responsible for keeping it pure. Where does the water come from that supplies your city or town? How is it kept clean? Who takes care of it?
Whenever there is any question about the purity of common drinking water, the table supply should be boiled, for safety. Boiling will destroy any bacteria that could produce disease. This boiled water should be used for rinsing dishes as well as for drinking.
Girl Scouts will interest themselves in municipal or neighborhood housekeeping, for that is a responsibility which all share together.
Learning to take care of one's own home is a good beginning, if one is to share in providing good conditions for the neighborhood.
Little Things Worth Remembering
The stove should be cleaned with crumpled newspaper whenever the kitchen is put in order. All ashes should be neatly brushed off.
In lifting ashes from the ash pan with a shovel use a newspaper to cover the pail into which the ashes are poured, so that the dust will not scatter over the room. Don't dump them and raise dust; and never put hot ashes into a wooden box or barrel.
Watch the floor of closets and see that no dusty corners are hidden out of sight.
Air and dry soiled clothing before putting it in the laundry basket. If damp clothes are hidden away they will mildew.
Learn to make out a laundry list and to check it when the laundry comes home.
Save the soap chips and use a soap shaker.
Get all the help you can from older housekeepers in your neighborhood. Ask them how they do things and why. Your mother may know something better than anybody else does.
The Girl Scout asks questions and learns why things are done as they are. She may think out a better way some day, but first she must pay attention to the old way.
Sing at your work; it goes better so. Besides, joy belongs with housekeeping and your song helps to keep her there. Always sing if the work drags, but let it be a lively song!
Making Things Clean and Keeping Clean
Making things clean is a most important duty of the Keeper of the House. But don't forget, Girl Scout, that keeping things clean is a constant duty. You know many a body who "cleans up" with a lot of stir once in a while, but who litters and spills and spreads dirt and lets dust collect in corners all the rest of the time.
"Keeping clean" is the housekeeper's regular business, and "cleaning up" never need stir up the whole house.
For keeping clean, soap and water must always be had. The soap loves to wrestle with grease. The water softens and rinses away both dirt and soap. You will use a scouring soap or powder to clean stained or dirty metal or glass; and you should cover water-closets and other out-of-door places for refuse with clean slaked lime now and then to keep them clean.
Ten Ways of Removing Stains
1. When you have raspberry or blueberry or strawberry stains on your white handkerchief or blouse or skirt, do not be too much disturbed. Hold the stained part firmly over an empty bowl, with the spot well in the centre, and ask some one to pour boiling hot water over the spot and into the bowl. The stains will disappear like magic. Then the wet spot may be dried and pressed with a hot iron, and the damage is repaired.
2. Peach stains are much harder to remove, but they should be treated just as the others were treated. Often several applications of hot water are necessary for these stubborn stains. But you must not lose patience. And you must not use soap. The stain will fade out at last under the hot water.
3. Ink stains are a great bother, especially to the school girl who carries a leaky fountain pen. Do not let them get dry. They will be much harder to remove. Sometimes cold water, applied immediately, will remove the ink, if the spot is rinsed carefully. Use the cold water just as the hot water is used for the peach stain. If that does not remove it try milk. If the milk fails, let the spot soak in sour milk. Sometimes it must soak a day or two; but it will disappear in the end, with rinsing and a little rubbing.
4. Ink stains on a carpet are a serious matter. Let us hope that no Girl Scout will be so unlucky as to upset an ink bottle on a friend's carpet or rug. If she does, she should know the best way to set about removing it. This should be done as quickly as possible before the ink dries, or "sets." Take cotton, or soft tissue paper or blotting paper, and absorb all that has not soaked in. You will see that the "sooner" is the "better" in this case. Try not to increase the size of the spot, for you must keep the ink from spreading. Then dip fresh cotton in milk, and carefully sop the spot. Do not use the cotton when it is inky; that will smear the carpet and spread the stain. Use fresh bits of cotton, dipped in clean milk, until the stain has disappeared. Then rinse with clean water in the same way, and dry with dry cotton.
5. The spots made on silk or woolen by acids may be removed by touching with ammonia or baking soda, dissolved in a little water. The bright yellow spot on a black dress will sometimes run away like lightning when touched by the wet cork of the ammonia bottle.
6. Egg stains on the napkin, or sometimes, unfortunately, on a dress front, must be removed before washing. Use cold water alone. The egg will dissolve and can be rinsed out. Hot water will cook the egg and it will be hard to remove.
7. Liquid shoe blacking is almost worse than ink. It must be treated in the same way, and at once.
8. Coffee and tea stains will wash out with either warm water or soap and water. A black coffee stain on a fresh tablecloth may be removed like the berry stains, by the teakettle and bowl method.
9. Grease spots may be removed from washable fabrics by soap and water. For silk and woolen, gasoline should be used. Use gasoline in daytime only, to avoid lamps or gas in the neighborhood; and never near a fire. Use carbona instead of gasoline or benzine when possible, as it cannot burn. Remember that all grease or sugar spots should be removed before putting a woolen garment away. Moths always seek them out, and they will find them if you don't.
10. Paint can be removed by soaking the spot in turpentine. This dissolves it, and a bit of rubbing shakes it out. A brush helps, when the paint spot is on a woolen garment, after the turpentine has done its work.
Remember: All spots and stains should be removed before washing the garment.
GOOD MANNERS AND SOCIAL FORMS
It is easier to meet people socially if we are acquainted with the simple forms of introductions, meeting and parting, and so forth. A girl who is entertaining her friends will be more successful in doing so if she plans ahead how she can welcome them and has all the necessary preparations for a substantial good time, at hand. This planning also makes it possible for her to be less occupied when the time comes, and to have a good time herself.
Stand where guests can see you at once when they enter.
Always introduce a younger person to an older one, as "Mrs. Smith, may I present Miss Jones, or Mr. Brown?" A man is always presented to a woman, or a girl, as "Miss Brewster, may I present Mr. Duncan?"
If you have many guests, ask some of your friends to join you in watching to be sure that no one is left out, so that the evening may be a success for every one. It is sometimes difficult for a hostess to do this alone.
If you ask other girls to help you ask each to do a definite thing, as to arrange for wraps, sing or play, pay special attention to some older person, etc. This saves confusion, as the Pine Tree patrol does in camp.
A few intimate friends need no plan to make them have a good time, but with a large number it is usually better to plan games, music, charades, or some other form of entertainment.
When invited to a house at a certain time, be prompt. Promptness is always a mark of courtesy, as it means consideration for the time and convenience of others. One should also watch carefully the time of leaving, and not stay about unless specially detained.
Accept what is offered or placed before you, with a quiet "Thank you." If you are asked what you prefer, it is proper to name it.
Do not drink while food is in the mouth.
Take soup quietly from the side of the spoon, dipping it into the plate from instead of towards you, to avoid dripping the soup.
Break bread or roll, and spread with butter only the piece which you are about to eat.
Use knife only as a divider, the fork to take food to the mouth. Where one can dispense with a knife, and use only the fork to divide food, do so. When not using either, lay them together across the side of the plate, not resting on the table cloth.
A spoon should never be allowed to rest in a tall receptacle such as a cup or glass, as it is likely to overturn the receptacle. Place the spoon on plate or saucer.
At close of meal, fold napkin, that table may be left in orderly condition. When napkins are to be washed at once, or when they are paper napkins, they need not be folded.
Do not begin a course until all are served.
Sometimes it is better to serve the hostess first, and sometimes it is the custom to serve the guest first, that is the guest of honor who sits on the hostess' right. When the host or hostess does the serving, the guest is served first.
Do not be troubled if you use the wrong spoon or fork, and never call attention to anyone else's doing so. No matter how you feel, or what the blunder or accident may be, such as spilling something or dropping a plate, never show displeasure to either servant or guest. Good breeding and pleasant atmosphere are essential to all entertainment.
Good breeding means first of all thoughtfulness of others, and nothing shows lack of breeding so quickly as a lack of such politeness to those who happen to be serving us in hotels, at home, in shops, or when travelling, or anywhere else.
When acting as waitress, stand at the left of the person to be served, so that the portion may be taken with the right hand.
Preparing the Meal
Plan the cooking so that the food that is to be served may be kept hot; for instance, soup may be kept hot on the back of the stove or where there is less heat, while the meat or vegetables are being cooked. Food that is to be served cold, should be kept in the ice-box or standing in water until the last moment and served in chilled dishes. In placing the food on the dishes and platters care should be taken to make it look attractive.
Setting the Table
When setting the table keep in mind how many courses there will be, and therefore, how many knives, forks, and spoons are needed. Have everything clean, and lay everything straight. Air room well. Wipe table, and if a tablecloth is used, cover table with a felt silence cloth. If a tablecloth is used, it should be laid with the fold in the center of the table. If a centerpiece and doilies are used, they should be laid at even distances. Clean white oil cloth and paper napkins make an attractive looking table. At each cover the knife, edge in, is placed at the right with the spoon, and the glass is placed at the right in line with the end of the knife. The fork is at the left and bread and butter plate and small knife are at the left opposite the glass. Put the napkin between the knife and fork.
Salt, pepper, water, bread and butter should be on the table, and if necessary, vinegar, mustard, sugar, pickles, etc.
When possible a few flowers add to the appearance of the table.
Have as much ready as possible before sitting down at the table. See at least that (1), glasses are filled; (2), butter portioned; (3), chairs placed.
Hard and fast rules as to table setting do not exist. Local customs, the amount of service at hand, and common sense must govern this. The captain, assisted by the council, must be the judges.
THE GIRL SCOUT COOK
BY ULA M. DOW, A. M.
In charge of Division of Food, Simmons College
The Girl Scout who has earned the Cooking Badge may be a great help at home if she has learned to work quickly and neatly and may get much amusement both at home and on camping parties. If the first trial of a process is not a success, the Scout should have patience to try again and again until her result is satisfactory. If she has learned to prepare a few simple dishes well she should have courage to try unfamiliar recipes which are found in any good cook book. If she is to be ready to take responsibility when it is necessary, she should be able to plan the meals in such a way that nothing is wasted and that the family is satisfied and well-nourished.
When working in the kitchen the Scout should wear a clean, washable dress, or a washable apron which covers her dress. She should be sure that her hair is tidy, and she should remember to wash her hands before beginning work. She should try to use as few dishes as possible and not to spill or spatter. She should remember that her cooking is not finished until she has cleaned up after herself, has washed and put away the dishes, washed the dish towels and left the kitchen in order.
WHAT TO HAVE FOR BREAKFAST—Breakfast is in most families the simplest meal of the day and the easiest to prepare. Some people are satisfied with fruit, cereal, toast or muffins, coffee for the adults, and milk for the children. Many families, however, like the addition of a heartier dish, such as boiled or poached eggs, fish hash, or minced meat on toast. If a hearty dish is served at breakfast this is a good time to use up such left-overs as potato, fish, or meat.
SIMPLE BREAKFAST Apple sauce or sliced peaches. Oatmeal or cornmeal mush. Toast or muffins. Coffee (for adults). Milk (for children).
HEARTY BREAKFAST Apple sauce or sliced peaches. Oatmeal or cornmeal mush. Toast or muffins. Coffee (for adults). Milk (for children). Poached eggs or minced lamb on toast.
FRUIT—Raw fruit should be carefully washed and prepared in such a way that it can be easily eaten. Berries may be cooked with no other preparation than washing. Fruits, such as apples and pears, should be washed, pared, quartered, and cored before cooking. Any fruit which becomes dark on standing after it is cut may be kept light colored by dropping the pieces into a pan of water until they are ready to be cooked. If this is done most of the water should be drained off before they are cooked.
Dried fruits, such as prunes, which have a wrinkled skin should be soaked for a short time in cold water before they are washed. Otherwise it is impossible to get them clean. After washing they should be covered with cold water and soaked over night, or until they are plump. They should be put on to cook in the water in which they are soaked and cooked until tender. Sugar should then be added if they are not sweet enough.
The most common method of cooking fresh fruit is to boil it gently with just enough water to prevent it from burning. Sugar should be added just before the cooking is finished, the amount depending on the acidity of the fruit and the taste of the family.
In sampling food, the cook should remember that the rest of the food is to be eaten by other people. She should never taste from the cooking spoon, but should transfer her sample to a tasting spoon which is not returned to the kettle.
CEREAL—Cereals, such as oatmeal, cornmeal, and cracked wheat, should be cooked in a double boiler. A double boiler can be improvised by setting a pail or pan into a kettle of boiling water. Cereals for breakfast may be cooked the day before and reheated in the double boiler, but should not be stirred while reheating. A tablespoonful or two of cold water on top will prevent a hard skin from forming while standing. All prepared cereals are better if cooked for a longer time than the package directions indicate. It is hardly possible to cook any grain too long. The fireless cooker is especially valuable for cooking cereals, but a longer period of time must be allowed than for cooking in a double boiler. A home-made fireless cooker, described in another place, is interesting to make. Ready-to-serve cereals are very expensive compared with those cooked at home.
Cracked wheat, 1/4 cup to 1 cup water; 3-12 hours.
Rolled oats, 1/2 cup to 1 cup water; 1/2-3 hours
Cornmeal, 3 tablespoonfuls to 1 cup water; 1-4 hours.
Use 1/2 teaspoonful of salt to each quart of water. Have the water boiling rapidly. Add the cereal gradually. Let the mixture cook directly over the fire 5 minutes. Place over boiling water or in the fireless cooker to cook slowly for a long time. Keep covered and do not stir. The time of cooking given in the table means that the cereal is eatable after the shorter time mentioned, but is better if cooked the longer time.
TOAST—Good toast is worth knowing how to make. The cook should not be satisfied with toast which is either white or burned.
Toast is most easily made from stale bread, which should be cut in one-third to one-half inch slices. A single slice of toast may be made by holding it over the fire on a fork. In camp a forked stick answers every purpose. The easiest way to make several slices is to put them in a wire toaster and hold them over hot coals. Begin carefully and hold the bread some distance away from the fire, turning it often until it dries. Then hold it nearer the coals until it a golden brown on both sides. With a new coal fire or wood fire toast must be made on a toaster on the top of the stove to prevent the bread from being smoked. If the top of the stove is being used for other things, the drying may be done in the oven.
MUFFINS—Any good cook book has numerous recipes for muffins, most of which, can be made easily if the directions are followed exactly.
Cornmeal Muffins (for four persons):
Four tablespoonfuls butter or oleomargarine, 3 tablespoonfuls sugar, 1 egg, 1 cup milk, 1-1/3 cups flour, 2/3 cup cornmeal, 3 teaspoonfuls baking powder.
Cream the butter, add the sugar and the egg well beaten. Sift the baking powder with the flour and cornmeal and add to the first mixture, alternating with milk. Bake in buttered muffin pan 25 to 30 minutes. This mixture makes good corn bread if baked in a shallow buttered pan.
COFFEE—If the family drink coffee, they will want coffee for breakfast no matter what other items of the menu may be varied. It should be served only to the grown-up members of the family. Coffee of average strength is made as follows:
One-half cup coffee finely ground, 4 cups cold water, 2 eggshells.
Mix the coffee, the crushed eggshell, and 1/2 cupful of cold water in a scalded coffee pot. Add the remainder of the water and allow the mixture to come gradually to the boiling point. Boil 3 minutes. Draw to the back of the range and keep hot for 5 minutes. Add 1/8 cupful of cold water and let stand 1 minute to settle. Strain into a heated coffee pot in which the coffee is to be served at the table.
A method for making coffee used by the guides in the White Mountains is as follows:
Boil the water in an ordinary pail, remove the pail from the fire, pour the dry coffee gently on the top of the water, cover tightly and move it near the fire where it will keep warm but will not boil again. In about thirty minutes the coffee will have become moistened and sunk to the bottom of the pail. If the coffee is slow in becoming moist, time may be saved by removing the cover for a moment and pressing gently with a spoon on the top of the coffee, but the mixture must not be stirred. It is essential that the water be boiling when the coffee is added, that the cover be absolutely tight, and that the coffee be kept hot without boiling. Half a cup of coffee to four cups of water makes coffee of average strength.
MILK—The little children of the family should have whole milk at every meal. The older children should have milk at breakfast and supper time. There is no food so good for children who want to be well and strong. A part of the family supply of milk is sometimes skimmed to give cream for use in coffee and on desserts. The cream contains most of the fat in the milk, but the skimmed milk which is left is still a very valuable food, containing the substances which make muscle and bone, and every bit of it should be used in the cooking or for making cottage cheese. The waste of milk is the worst possible extravagance.
EGGS—Eggs may be prepared in countless ways, and the ambitious cook will find much amusement in trying some of the suggestions in the cook books. Eggs are an entirely satisfactory substitute for meat and fish, and are therefore often served for the main dish at dinner or supper. Many people like an egg every morning for breakfast, but this is a rather extravagant habit. If eggs are served for breakfast they are usually cooked in the shell, poached or scrambled. The men of the family sometimes prefer their eggs fried, but this is not a good method for the children. Only fresh eggs can be poached successfully, so that this is a good test for freshness.
Poached Eggs—Oil the skillet and fill it to within a half inch of the top with water. Break each egg into a saucer and let the water boil after the egg is placed in it. The egg is done when the white is jelly-like and a slight film is formed over the yolk. Remove the egg with a griddle cake turner to a piece of buttered toast. Sprinkle lightly with salt. If the eggs are not absolutely fresh, the white will scatter in the water. If the first egg to be cooked shows this tendency oiled muffin rings may be put in the pan to keep the rest of them in shape.
Soft Boiled Eggs—A soft boiled egg has much the same consistency as a poached egg. It is easier to manage because the shell is unbroken, but it is harder to get it of just the right consistency because the contents of the egg are invisible. Most people are very particular to have the egg just hard or soft enough to suit them, and it is necessary for the cook to practice to be sure of uniform results. Drop the eggs carefully into a kettle of boiling water, draw the kettle back on the stove so that the water does not boil again and (for a soft egg) allow the eggs to remain for five minutes. If the eggs are very cold they should remain longer.
USE OF LEFT-OVERS FOR BREAKFAST—If the family likes a hearty breakfast this is a good meal at which to use bits of left-over meat which might otherwise be wasted. Meat may be chopped or ground, reheated in the gravy which was served with it, and served on toast. Lamb is especially good minced on toast. To make hash mix equal quantities of meat and chopped potato and brown nicely in a greased frying pan. Such mixtures should be tasted to make sure that they are salted enough. Some people like a very small amount of onion with any of these made-over meat dishes.
WHAT TO HAVE FOR DINNER—If all the members of the family are at home at noontime it is usually more convenient to have dinner then, but if members of the family are away or hurried at noontime it may be better to have dinner at night. Dinner may consist of several courses, but if the mother or the daughter of the family prepares the meal, the family is usually perfectly satisfied with two courses.
The main course of a simple family dinner consists of meat, fish, eggs or a cheese dish served with potato, rice or macaroni, and a vegetable such as string beans, green peas, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes or corn. If the family likes salad, the vegetables are often served as a salad. This is a very good way to use up small amounts of vegetables which are left from the day before. Often little remainders of two or more vegetables may be very attractively combined in this way.
Some families like hot bread at dinner, and hot breads, such as baking powder biscuit (described under supper), or corn bread (described under breakfast), are particularly good with some combinations. Examples are baking powder biscuit with meat stew or fricasseed chicken and corn bread with bacon and eggs or ham. If fish is served in a chowder, buttered and toasted crackers are usually served. An occasional chowder for dinner is an excellent way to use up any surplus of skimmed milk which may be on hand.
The kind of dessert served at dinner, besides depending on the taste of the family, depends on the amount of money which is spent for food and whether there are young children in the family. Pie and ice cream, which are favorite desserts in many families, are expensive. Little children should not have desserts which contain a good deal of fat, such as pie or doughnuts, or which are the least bit soggy, as some steamed puddings are inclined to be. The most economical desserts and those best suited to the children are baked puddings made with milk and cereal, such as Indian pudding, rice pudding, and those made with cereal and fruit, such as Apple Betty or peach tapioca. If there is skimmed milk on hand the possibility of using it in a milk pudding should be considered. Chocolate bread pudding and Apple Betty made a very attractive use of left-over bread. Dessert should always be chosen with reference to the heartiness of the first course. A main dish which is not very filling can be balanced by a more substantial dessert.
1. Hamburg steak. Baked potato. Squash or baked tomatoes. Apple Betty.
2. Roast chicken or roast lamb with dressing and currant jelly. Mashed potato and gravy. Peas or string beans. Orange jelly and whipped cream.
MEAT—The best way to learn about cuts of meat is to go often to market and talk to the butcher whenever he has a minute to spare. Some cuts of meat are tough with coarse fibers and much connective tissue. They should be ground if, like Hamburg steak, they are to be cooked by a short process, such as broiling. If not ground, the tougher meats are usually cooked a long time with water and made into a stew, a pot roast, a meat pie, or a meat loaf. These cuts are cheaper, but require more care in preparation than the more expensive cuts. Examples are the bottom of the round, the shin, and the flank of beef. The more expensive cuts, such as the top of the round, tenderloin and sirloin, are more tender, more delicately flavored, and are used for broiling and roasting. Some cuts which seem inexpensive really cost more than they appear to because they contain large amounts of bone or waste fat. The difference between lamb and mutton is a question of the age at which the animal was slaughtered. Lamb is much more tender than mutton, is more delicately flavored and more expensive. There is a similar difference between chicken and fowl. Fowl is much tougher than chicken and requires careful and long cooking to make it tender.
Pan Broiled Hamburg Steak—Hamburg steak may be bought already ground at the butcher's, or one of the cheap cuts of beef, such as bottom of the round or shin, may be bought and ground at home. Many people like a little salt pork or onion ground with the meat.
Make the meat into small, flat cakes and cook in a smoking hot frying pan which has been thoroughly rubbed over with a piece of fat. When one side is seared over nicely turn the cakes (a griddle cake turner or spatula is helpful) and broil on the other side. Place on a hot platter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, dot with bits of butter and garnish with a little parsley or watercress.
A rump or sirloin steak may be broiled in a hot frying pan in a similar way. Wipe and trim the steak, place in a smoking hot frying pan and sear both sides. Reduce the heat and turn the steak occasionally (about every 2 minutes) until it is cooked, allowing 8 minutes for a rare steak, 10 minutes for medium cooked steak, and 12 minutes for well done steak, for a steak 1 inch thick. Avoid puncturing the meat with a fork while cooking.
Many people prefer to broil a steak on a broiler. This is practical with gas or electricity or over a wood or coal fire which is reduced to clear coals without smoke or flame. It is very difficult indeed to cook Hamburg steak on a broiler.
Lamb chops may be broiled in either way.
Roast Leg of Lamb—Wash the leg of lamb, place it on the rack in a roasting pan and put in a hot oven with the roaster uncovered. When the roast is well seared (15 to 30 minutes), draw from the oven, sprinkle with salt, pour a little water into the pan, and put on the cover. Finish cooking at a lowered temperature, allowing 20 or 25 minutes for each pound.
A dripping pan may be used in place of a roaster, using a pan of similar size for a cover. A rack may be improvised from a broiler, a toaster or a cake rack.
Beef is roasted in the same way, but is usually cooked for a shorter time (15 to 20 minutes for each pound).
BEEF STEW (for four):
2-1/2 pounds beef shoulder or shin. 2 cups diced potato. 1/3 cup turnip cut in half inch cubes. 1/3 cup carrot cut in half inch cubes. 1/4 onion chopped. 2 tablespoons flour. Salt and pepper.
Wash the meat, remove from the bone and fat and cut in 1-1/2 inch cubes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dredge with flour. Sear the pieces of meat in the frying pan in the fat cooked out from the trimmings of fat. Put the meat in a kettle, and rinse the frying pan with boiling water, so that none of the juices will be lost. Add the bone, cover with boiling water and boil five minutes. Lower the temperature and cook until the meat is tender (about three hours). Add the carrots, turnips, onions, pepper and salt in an hour, and the potato in 15 minutes before the steak is to be served. Remove the bone and any large pieces of fat. Stir two tablespoons of flour to a smooth paste with a little water and thicken the stew.
Such a stew may also be made with lamb, mutton, or veal, using other vegetables as desired. Celery and onion are better than turnip and carrot with veal.
CHICKEN—If a chicken is purchased at the market it is usually delivered dressed. This means that the head has been cut off, the entrails removed, and the coarser pinfeathers pulled out. Many times, however, it is necessary to know how to do this oneself.
To Dress and Clean a Chicken—Cut off the head and draw out the pinfeathers. Remove hair and down by holding the fowl over a flame (a gas flame, an alcohol flame, or a piece of paper flaming in the wood or coal range), constantly changing the position until all parts of the surface have been exposed to the flame. Cut off the feet. Wash the fowl thoroughly, using a small brush, in water to which a little soda has been added. Rinse and dry. Make a slit down the back of the neck. Remove the crop and windpipe. Draw down the neck skin long enough to fasten under the back. Make a straight cut from 1/2 inch below the tip of the breastbone to the vent. Cut around the vent. Slip fingers in carefully around and fully loosen the entrails. Carefully draw out the entrails. The lungs, lying in the cavities under the breast, and the kidneys, in the hollow near the end of the backbone, must be taken out separately. Remove the oil sack and wash the chicken by allowing cold water to run through it.
To clean giblets (the gizzard, the heart, and the liver) proceed as follows: Separate the gall bladder from the liver, cutting off any portion of the liver that may have a greenish tinge. Remove the thin membrane, the arteries, the veins and the clotted blood around the heart. Cut the fat and the membranes from the gizzard. Make a gash through the thickest part of the gizzard as far as the inner lining, being careful not to pierce it. Remove the inner sack and discard. Wash the gizzard carefully and boil in water to use for giblet sauce.
If the chicken comes from the market dressed it should be washed carefully and any pinfeathers removed which were overlooked by the market man.
To Stuff, Truss and Roast a Chicken—When the chicken is clean and prepared as directed, fill it with stuffing (described later), a little in the opening at the neck, the rest in the body cavity. Sew up the opening with a few long stitches. Draw the skin of the neck smoothly down and under the back, press the wings close against the body and fold the pinions under, so that they will cross the back and hold down the skin of the neck. Press the legs close to the body. Thread the trussing needle with white twine, using it double. Press the needle through the wing at the middle joint, pass it through the skin of the neck and back, and out again at the middle joint of the other wing. Return the needle through the bend of the leg at the second joint, through the body, and out at the same point on the other side; draw the cord tight and tie it with the end at the wing joint. Thread the needle again and run it through the legs and body at the thigh bone and back at the ends of the drumsticks. Draw the drumstick bones close together, covering the opening made for drawing the chicken and tie the ends. Have both knots on the same side of the chicken. When cooked, cut the cord on the opposite side and draw out by the knots.
Lay the stuffed and trussed chicken on its back on a rack in a roasting pan. Lay a strip of salt pork on breast. Place in a hot oven until the chicken begins to brown, then lower the temperature and cook the chicken until very tender. Baste often with the drippings in the pan. From 3 to 4 hours will be required for a five-pound chicken. If a fowl is used it should be steamed for 3 or 4 hours and then roasted for 1/2 hour.
Stuffing—For a large chicken mix thoroughly 4 cups of finely broken stale bread, 1-1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, 1 teaspoon of poultry dressing and 4 tablespoons of fat. Pour over the mixture hot milk or water, stirring lightly until the mixture is moist.
Giblet Gravy—If the chicken was properly roasted the drippings in the pan should be nicely browned, but not burned. Make a gravy from these drippings and the water in which the giblets were boiled. To do this pour the water into the pan, set the pan over the fire and stir until the contents of the pan are dissolved. Thicken with a smooth paste of flour and water, using two tablespoons of flour for every cup of liquid. Boil until the flour tastes cooked. Strain. Add the giblets cut in small pieces.
VEGETABLES—All vegetables should be clean, crisp and firm when ready for cooking. Vegetables are prepared and cooked in a variety of ways, but almost all vegetables should be carefully washed as the first process. It is convenient to keep a small brush for washing the vegetables, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets, which must be scrubbed to get them clean. Vegetables which are to be eaten raw, such as lettuce and celery, should be washed with special care, wrapped in a clean, wet cloth and put in the ice box to keep them crisp.
Baked Potato—Select smooth potatoes of even size. Scrub them carefully and bake them in a hot oven. The time required is from 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes and the temperature of the oven. When the potatoes are done, slash each one with a knife to let the steam escape, and serve immediately.
Mashed Potato—Wash the potatoes, pare, cover with boiling salted water (1 level teaspoon of salt to a pint of water), and cook until tender (30 to 45 minutes). Drain off the water and return to the fire a moment to dry. Mash the potatoes, add butter, salt, pepper and hot milk, and beat vigorously until light and creamy. For three cups of potato use 2 tablespoons of butter and 4 tablespoons of hot milk. Pile lightly in a hot dish and serve immediately.
Steamed Squash—Wash and cut in one-inch slices. Steam until tender, scrape from the shell, mash thoroughly, season with salt, pepper and butter, and serve.
String Beans—Snap the ends from the beans, remove any strings, cut into short pieces, wash, cover with boiling salted water (1 level teaspoon to a pint) and cook until tender. The time required will vary from one hour to three hours, depending on the age and kind of bean. Drain the beans, season with salt and butter, and serve.
Canned string beans should be rinsed, reheated in as little water as possible, drained, and seasoned.
Baked Tomatoes—Select smooth tomatoes of even size. Wash the tomatoes, cut a thin slice from the stem end and remove a spoonful of pulp. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and scraped onion, fill the cavity with buttered crumbs, place in a pan (preferably one which can be used as a serving dish at the table), and bake in a moderate oven until the tomatoes are tender. Serve in the dish in which they were cooked or remove them carefully to the platter on which the Hamburg steak is being served, arranging them in a ring around the meat.
The buttered crumbs are prepared by melting a tablespoon of butter or oleomargarine and stirring in six tablespoonfuls of dry bread crumbs.
DESSERTS—Most desserts are easy to make if the directions given in the cook books are followed exactly. Many people take pride in making delicious cake or pie, who are careless about making good toast or baking a potato well.
Apple Betty—Prepare well-sweetened apple sauce and thin slices of lightly buttered bread cut in small triangles. Fill a shallow baking dish with alternate layers of apple sauce and toast, beginning with apple sauce and ending with toast. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and cinnamon and heat in the oven. Serve with cream.
Orange Jelly—Swell 1-1/2 tablespoons of powdered gelatin in half cupful of cold water. Mix 1 cupful of orange juice, 1/4 cupful of lemon juice, 1/2 cupful of sugar and 1-1/4 cupfuls of boiling water. Add the gelatin and stir carefully until it is dissolved. Strain into a wet mould and chill until the jelly is firm. Unmould the jelly and serve with whipped cream or a custard sauce. To unmould the jelly, run the point of a knife around the edge of the mould, dip the mould quickly in warm water, place an inverted serving plate on top of the mould, turn both over and lift the mould carefully.
SUPPER OR LUNCH
WHAT TO HAVE FOR SUPPER.—Supper shows more variation between families than other meals of the day. Some men insist upon meat, even though meat is served for their dinner, but this is rather extravagant unless there is left-over meat which should be used. Hash and minced lamb on toast, which were suggested for the hearty breakfast, would be equally well liked by most families for supper. Many families prefer for supper some milk dish such as macaroni and cheese or a cream soup served with either stewed or fresh fruit or followed by a fruit or vegetable salad. Hot rolls or baking powder biscuits are a very attractive substitute for plain bread if someone has time to make them at the last minute. If the mother and daughter do all the work of the family, they usually like to have on hand cookies or cake, which can be used for supper rather than to have to prepare some special dessert. Cold meat has the advantage that it is ready to serve with little preparation, but many other dishes such as the macaroni and cheese and the creamed soup, suggested in the menus, may be made when dinner is being prepared and simply reheated for supper.
A hot drink at night usually seems desirable except on hot days in the summer. If tea is served for adults, the children should have cocoa or milk.
If dinner is served at night, luncheon is served in the middle of the day. The suggestions made in regard to supper apply equally well to luncheon.
Little children should have their hearty meal in the middle of the day and a light meal at night no matter what arrangement of meals the rest of the family may have.
1. Macaroni and cheese or cold meat Stewed or fresh fruit Cookies Bread and butter Tea (for adults) Milk or cocoa (for children)
2. Cream of potato soup Vegetable or fruit salad Baking powder biscuit Tea (for adults) Milk or cocoa (for children).
Macaroni and Cheese.—For macaroni and cheese the macaroni must be cooked and white sauce prepared. Break three-quarters of a cup of macaroni in inch pieces and cook in two quarts of boiling water to which a tablespoon of salt has been added. The water must be boiling rapidly when the macaroni is added and must be kept boiling constantly. When the macaroni is tender, drain it in a strainer and run enough cold water through it to prevent the pieces from sticking together. To prepare the sauce, melt two tablespoons of butter or oleomargarine in the top of a double boiler, stir in two tablespoons of flour and a half teaspoon of salt and pour over the mixture a cup and a half of cold milk. Cook this mixture directly over the heat, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken. Then place the dish over the lower part of the double boiler, containing boiling water, and let it continue cooking for fifteen minutes. Put a layer of the boiled macaroni in a buttered baking dish and sprinkle with cheese, either grated or cut into small pieces. Pour on a layer of the sauce. Follow this by layers of macaroni, cheese and sauce until the dish is full. Cover with buttered crumbs and bake until the crumbs are brown. To make the buttered crumbs, melt one tablespoon of butter or oleomargarine and stir in six tablespoons of crumbs.
The macaroni and cheese may be prepared in the morning if desired and baked at supper time in a moderate oven. It should be left in the oven long enough to become thoroughly hot. If there are little children in the family a dish of creamed macaroni should be made for them without the cheese.
Cream of Potato Soup—
3 potatoes 1 quart milk 2 slices of onion 3 tablespoons flour 1-1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon celery salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 2 tbsp. butter or oleomargarine
Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water. When soft rub through a sieve. Scald the milk with the onion in a double boiler, remove the onion, unless the family likes it left in, add the salt, celery salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan, stir the flour into it and then add this mixture to the hot milk, stirring briskly. Cook for ten minutes over boiling water in the double boiler.
A good creamed soup may be made from almost any vegetable, substituting vegetable pulp for the potato. Celery soup and corn soup are very good. With these and most other vegetables, the celery salt should be omitted. Onion salt is very useful.
Creamed soups are very good made from skimmed milk if there is a supply in the house which should be used.
SALAD—The pleasure in a salad is in its crispness, attractiveness or arrangement, and pleasant combination of flavors. A salad may be arranged in a large dish and served at the table if it is the chief dish of the meal, such as chicken salad or fish salad, but it is usually arranged in individual portions and made to look as dainty and pretty as possible. All fresh vegetables and fruits used should be crisp and cold and thoroughly washed. Canned or leftover vegetables or fruit may often be used.
To wash lettuce.—Handle delicately. Remove leaf by leaf from the stalk, examining for insects. Pass the leaves backwards and forwards through clean water until all sand is removed. Fold in a wet cloth and keep in the ice-box until it is used. The lettuce leaves should be dried when they are used.
French Dressing.—Mix 3/4 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika. Add oil and vinegar alternately, beating constantly with a fork until 5 tablespoons of vinegar and 10 tablespoons of oil have been used. A quick way to make French dressing is to mix all the ingredients in a bottle with a tightly fitting stopper and shake vigorously until the ingredients are blended. Some persons prefer less vinegar, and reduce the amount to 2-1/2 tablespoons vinegar to 10 of oil.
Cooked Salad Dressing.—
3/4 tablespoon sugar 1/4 tablespoon butter 1 egg yolk 1/4 cup vinegar 1/4 tablespoon flour 1/8 teaspoon mustard 1/4 teaspoon salt Dash of red pepper.
Heat the vinegar in the upper part of double boiler over direct heat. Sift the flour, mustard, salt and pepper thoroughly. Pour the boiling vinegar gradually upon the mixture, stirring constantly. Return to the upper part of the double boiler and cook over hot water until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Add the butter and remove from the fire. Chill before using.
1 egg yolk 2 tablespoons lemon juice or 2 tablespoons vinegar 1/2 teaspoon mustard 2/3 teaspoon salt Dash of cayenne pepper 2/3 cup of oil (olive oil, cotton seed oil or other edible oil).
Have the ingredients chilled, Place the mixing bowl in crushed ice. Mix the egg yolk, mustard, salt and cayenne pepper. Add a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice, then a teaspoon of oil, drop by drop, until all the ingredients are used. Constant beating is necessary throughout.
Fruit and Vegetable Salads.—Good combinations for salad are (1) potato and beet, (2) carrot and green peas, (3) tomato and celery, (4) asparagus and pimento. Combinations of fruit and vegetables are, (1) apple and celery, (2) orange and green pepper. Combinations of different kinds of fruit and nuts or cheese are especially good. Examples are, (1) pineapple and orange, (2) white cherries stuffed with nuts, (3) banana rolled in chopped nuts or (4) half pears (cooked or raw) with a ball of cream cheese and chopped nuts in the cavity made by the removal of the core.
Magazines which devote a page to cooking usually have in their summer numbers pictures of salads from which suggestions in regard to arrangement may be taken.
Baking Powder Biscuit.—
2 cups flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons shortening 3/4 to 1 cup milk or milk and water.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt, twice. Put in the shortening, then add the milk gradually, mixing with a knife. The dough should be as soft as can be handled without sticking. Turn onto a lightly floured board, roll lightly 3/4 inch thick and cut with a floured cutter. Bake in a hot oven 12 or 15 minutes.
Tea.—People who like tea have very decided ideas about how strong is should be and how long it should be steeped. The following gives tea of moderate strength.
Scald the teapot and put in 4 teaspoonfuls of tea leaves. Pour over them four cups of boiling water, cover and steep 3 minutes. Strain into a teapot and serve at once.
Cocoa.—The children of the family should never have tea. On a cold night cocoa is a very pleasant variant from the usual glass of milk.
Mix 4 tablespoons of cocoa with 3 tablespoons of sugar and a little salt. Add 1 cup of boiling water and cook until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Add a quart of milk and heat to boiling. This may be done more safely in a double boiler. Just before serving beat with an egg beater.
If the Girl Scout who is preparing for her examination will look back over the menus which have been suggested, she will notice that milk is emphasized. It is absolutely essential that the children in the family shall have milk. If the family do not like milk to drink, it should be remembered that every bit which is used in cooking serves the same purpose as if it were taken from a glass, but little children do not ordinarily get enough milk unless they drink some. Fruit should be served at least once a day and better twice, and some vegetable other than potato should be not only served but eaten by the family. Children who are not taught to like vegetables when they are little sometimes never learn to like them, and it is really important to eat vegetables, not only because they contain important substances for growth, but because it is only good manners to learn to like all the ordinary foods which are served. Anyone who has cooked knows how discouraging it is to feel that some member of the family does not like the food. There is a temptation in the city where fruit, vegetables and milk are high, to use too much meat and but little of these foods. It has been suggested recently that in forming an idea as to whether the money is being spent to the most advantage, the money spent for fruit and vegetables, for milk and cheese, and for meat and fish should be compared. In a well-balanced diet these amounts should be nearly equal. An increasing number of people are becoming lacto-vegetarians, which means that they eat no meat or fish, but balance their absence by using more milk, eggs and cheese.
Before starting to prepare a meal the Scout should not only have her menu in mind, but should have an idea how long it will take to prepare each dish so that everything will be ready to serve at the same time with all the hot dishes very hot and all the cold dishes very cold. If all the dishes of the meal require about the same length of time in their preparation the ones should be started first which can be most easily kept in good condition.
Enjoyment of a meal depends quite as much on neat and comfortable service as it does upon good food. The table cloth, napkins, dishes and silver should be clean and the dishes should be arranged so that there is as little danger as possible of accident. This is the reason, for example, for the rule that a spoon should never be left in a coffee or tea cup. This arrangement is usually more comfortable if nothing is placed on the table which is not going to be actually used at the meal, except that a few flowers or a little dish of ferns in the center of the table is very much liked by most people, if there is room for it. It often happens that the family see more of each other at meal times than at any other time in the day and everyone should try to make meal time a pleasant, restful, good-humored time.
HOUSEHOLD WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
The careful housewife soon becomes skilled in weighing and measuring the various goods she buys and uses. At the store she is on guard against short measures, and if she does not market in person, she has machines at home to test what is delivered. The following table is given for frequent reference use by the Girl Scout while earning her badges in Homecraft. She will also find it useful in learning to judge weights and distances for her First Class test.
TABLE OF HOUSEHOLD WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
(Reprinted by permission of publisher from "Housewifery," by L. Ray Balderston, M. A. J. B. Lippincott, 1919)
12 inches = l foot 3 feet = 1 yard 5-1/2 yards = 1 rod 320 rods = 1 mile 1760 yards = 1 mile 5280 feet = 1 mile
144 square inches = 1 square foot 9 square feet = 1 square yard 30-1/4 square yards = 1 square rod 160 square rods = 1 acre 1 square mile = 1 section 36 square miles = 1 township
27.3 grains = 1 dram 16 drams = 1 ounce (oz.) 16 ounces = 1 pound (lb.) 100 pounds = 1 cwt. (hundredweight) 2,000 pounds = 1 ton
4 gills = 1 pint 2 pints = 1 quart 4 quarts = 1 gallon 31-1/2 gallons = 1 bbl.
2 pints = 1 quart 8 quarts = 1 peck 4 pecks = 1 bushel 105 dry quarts = 1 bbl. (fruit, vegetables, etc.)
Miscellaneous Household Measures:
4 saltspoonfuls = 1 teaspoonful 3 teaspoonfuls = 1 tablespoonful 16 tablespoonfuls = 1 cupful 2 gills = 1 cupful 2 cupfuls = 1 pint 1 cupful = 8 fluid ounces 32 tablespoonfuls = 1 lb. butter 2 cups of butter = 1 lb. 1 lb. butter = 40 butter balls 4 cups flour = 1 lb. 2 cups sugar = 1 lb. 5 cups coffee = 1 lb. 1 lb. coffee = 40 cups of liquid coffee 1-7/8 cups rice = 1 lb. 2-2/3 cups oatmeal = 1 lb. 2-2/3 cups cornmeal = 1 lb. 1 cup of liquid to 3 cups of flour = a dough 1 cup of liquid to 2 cups of flour = a thick batter 1 cup of liquid to 1 cup of flour = a thin batter 1 teaspoonful soda to 1 pint sour milk 1 teaspoonful soda to one cup of molasses 1 teaspoonful cream of tartar plus 1/2 teaspoonful soda = 2 teaspoonfuls baking powder
2. THE CHILD NURSE
There always are and always will be children to be taken care of. There is no way in which a girl can help her country better than by fitting herself to undertake the care of children. A Girl Scout thinks for herself, and knowing the Health Laws, she knows the important things to consider in caring for children:
1. The care necessary for the child's bones. 2. When it should exercise its muscles. 3. Its rest. 4. The air, sun and food and water which it needs. 5. How to keep it clean.
Bones—Great care must be taken in handling a baby. Its bones are soft and easily injured, and for this reason a baby should not be handled more than necessary. When very young its entire spine should be supported, and no undue pressure made upon the chest, as often happens if the baby is grasped under the arms. In lifting a young baby from its bed, the right hand should grasp the clothing below the feet, and the left hand should be slipped beneath the infant's body to its head. It is then raised upon the left arm. An older child should be lifted by placing the hands under the child's arms, and never by the wrists. If children are jerked or lifted by the arms, serious injury may be done to the bones. The bones, when a child is growing, are partly composed of soft tissue which is easily destroyed, and further growth is prevented. Many children are brought to the hospitals with injuries done to their arms from being jerked across the street. Do not let a child walk too soon, especially a heavy child. Bow legs and knock knees come from standing and walking when the bones are soft.
Exercise—At least twice a day an infant should be allowed for fifteen or twenty minutes the free use of its limbs by permitting it to lie upon a bed in a warm room, with all clothing except the shirt and diaper removed. In cold weather leave on the stockings. Later, when in short clothes, the baby may be put upon a thick blanket or quilt, laid upon the floor, and be allowed to tumble at will.
Rest—Healthy children never sleep too much. A new born baby should sleep nine-tenths of the day. A child should have a nap during the day until four years old, and, if possible, until seven or eight years old. It should go to bed before six. It should have a crib or bed to itself, placed where it will have fresh air, but protected from draughts, and its eyes protected from direct rays of light.
Air and Sun—A little child is in its room so much it is very important that fresh air and sunlight should be brought to it there. Rooms may be well aired twice or three times a day, removing the baby to another room while the windows are open. The child may be placed in its crib or carriage before on open window, dressed as if for the street. After children are three months old they may be taken out, but the sunny part of the day should be chosen, between 10 a. m. and 3 p. m. in cold weather. At night the windows should be partly opened, but care should be taken that the infant does not become chilled. Be careful that sheet and blankets do not get over a baby's head. The clothes may be pinned to the side of the bed.
Food and Water—Even little babies should be given water twice a day. The water should be boiled, cooled and kept covered. It is hardly possible for children or older persons to drink too much water. During hot weather a child needs more water than during cold weather.
Mother's milk is the only perfect food for an infant during the first nine or ten months. If it is necessary to give artificial food from a bottle, the greatest possible care must be taken. The milk used should be the best obtainable. To obtain clean milk it is necessary that everything that touches it be clean, sterilized when possible, and that the cows, and men who handle the milk be healthy. In New York City all milk is classified according to its cleanliness and butter fat content. The cleanest and richest milk is called "certified milk" and is sold raw. The other milks are classified according to cleanliness. Grade A, B and C are all pasteurized. Only certified and Grade A should be used for infant feeding. You know that sterile means free from germs or bacteria. Milk or water may be made comparatively sterile by boiling. Pasteurized milk is milk which has been heated to 155 deg. Fahrenheit, kept at that temperature for thirty minutes and cooled quickly by placing the bottles in cold running water.
Punctual feeding makes good digestion, and even if the baby takes an extra nap it is better to wake a healthy baby to give him his meals at regular hours than to let his digestion get out of order. Between meals a little water which has been boiled and cooled and kept covered will wash out its mouth as well as refresh the child. The average infant is fed every three hours until it is five months old. After that it is fed every four hours until it is fifteen or sixteen months old, when it is shifted to three meals a day with perhaps a cup of milk in long intervals. Solid food, such as zwieback and milk or cereal, is begun at seven months, and by thirteen or fourteen months the child will be eating cereal, bread, broth, beef juice, potato, rice, vegetables, etc. Candy is harmful for children, and even older children should eat candy only after meals. Raw fruit, except orange juice, is apt to be upsetting in summer.
Keep the baby and everything around him clean. The baby's food is the most important thing to keep clean. The cleanliness of the bottle, when it is necessary to feed the baby from one, is very important. Choose a bottle of fairly heavy glass with rounded bottom and wide mouth, so that it may be easily cleaned. Short rubber nipples which clip over the neck of the bottle and which can be easily turned inside out, should be selected, and discarded when they become soft, or when the openings become large enough for the milk to run in a stream instead of drop by drop. Remove the bottle from the baby's mouth as soon as empty, rinse at once in cold water and then fill with a solution of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), about one teaspoonful to a pint of water. Before rinsing wash in hot soapsuds, using a bottle brush, rinse well in plain water, and boil for twenty minutes, placing a clean cloth in the bottom of the basin to protect the bottle from breaking. Before using new nipples they should be scrubbed inside and out and boiled for at least five minutes. After using they should be carefully rinsed in cold water and kept in a covered glass containing a solution of boric acid (one teaspoonful dissolved in a pint of boiling water), and at least once a day be turned inside out and thoroughly washed with soap and water, then rinsed. Nipples should be boiled twice a week.
Bath—A baby should have a bath every day, not sooner than one hour after feeding. The room should be warm; if possible there should be an open fire in the room. The temperature of the water for a baby up to six months old should be 98 deg. Then it should gradually decrease, next temperature being 95 deg., until at the age of two it should range between 85 deg. to 90 deg. Before a baby is undressed the person who is bathing the baby must be sure that everything needed for the bath and dressing is at hand. The hand basin or small tub of warm water, a pitcher of hot water in case it is needed, castile or ivory soap, soft wash cloths, towels, brush, powder, fresh absorbent cotton, boric acid solution, and the baby's clothes laid out in the order in which they will be needed in dressing the child, the soft flannel bandage, the diapers, the shirt, flannel petticoat, dress and shawl.
For some people it is easier to handle a baby when laid on a bed or table than on one's lap, having under the child a soft bath towel or canton flannel large enough to be wrapped around it. Its nose may be cleaned with a bit of absorbent cotton rolled to a point, using a fresh piece for each nostril. To bathe the eyes use fresh pieces of absorbent cotton dipped in boric acid solution. Wash the baby's face carefully so that the water does not drip into its ears. Dry the face carefully. Wash the head gently and thoroughly with soap, being careful to rinse completely. Soap the baby's body before putting it into the bath. As a soapy little baby is difficult to hold, support him firmly all the time he is kicking and splashing, by placing the arm or hand at the baby's back between its shoulders. Wash particularly, under the arms, the creases in the back of the neck, between the legs, fingers and toes. The bath should be given quickly and the baby lifted out in the bath towel or flannel, covered and dried quickly, using a soft towel. Rub the baby very slightly. All the folds of the skin should be dried and well powdered: under the arms, behind the ears, about the neck, legs, etc. Do not put too much powder on, as it forms a paste. Dress the infant and lay it on its crib while putting away all the things used for its bath. It is perfectly proper for a baby to exercise its lungs by crying, so do not be alarmed, but be sure that its clothing is comfortable and that the child is clean. Garments worn at night should always be different from those worn during the day. The garments next to the skin should be of wool or part wool, except the diaper, which should be soft cotton, and when new, washed several times before using. Wet diapers should be rinsed in cold water and dried before using a second time; about every twenty-four hours diapers should be washed, scalded, rinsed in cold water and hung in the air to dry.
Daily Routine—Child Under Two Years of Age
6.00 A.M. Feed warm milk.
7.30 A.M. Seat on chair or hold over chamber not more than ten minutes. If the child has no movement of the bowels at this time, try later.
9.00 A.M. Give bath, and immediately after, feed, then put to bed in a well ventilated room, darkened, or out of doors in carriage or crib. Be sure no strong light is in the child's eyes. Child should sleep until one o'clock.
1.00 P.M. Take up, make comfortable, and feed.
2.00 P.M. Take child out of doors again, but do not stay after 3 P.M. in winter time. Later in summer. Stormy days keep in house in crib or carriage, well wrapped up in room with window open.
3 to 5 P.M. Hold child, or let it stay in crib and play or kick.
6.00 P.M. Undress, rub with soft, dry towel, put on nightclothes, feed and put to bed in well ventilated room.
10.00 P.M. A young baby should be fed at this time, dried, and not fed again until 6. A.M.
A baby needs to be kept quiet. Do not make loud noises near it. Do not play with infant too much. Leave it to itself to grow. Keep the baby clean, everything about it tidy. Do not give a child pointed toys or playthings small enough to go into the infant's mouth. Tie toys to the crib or carriage so that they do not fall on the floor.
Things to Remember
Emphasize "tidy as you go," sleep, water, bowel movements, exercise for older children, especially in cold weather, nothing in mouth, do not use pacifiers, tying toys to crib or carriage, a baby over two years of age should not be fed oftener than every four hours.
At least once a day.
Should be medium soft, not loose, smooth, and when on milk diet, light in color.
If child is constipated, give one teaspoonful of milk of magnesia clear, at night.
See doctor if child is not well.
Children from birth to five months should be fed every three hours.
Children over one and a half years old need three meals a day, dinner in the middle of the day.
Little children need to be kept very quiet. No confusion or loud noises around them. They will then grow better and stronger.
Never neglect a cold. Do not "pass it on" to a child by coughing, sneezing, talking or breathing into its face. Do not kiss anyone when you have a cold. Never allow the handkerchief used by a person with a cold to touch a child. If you must handle a child when you have a cold, wear a piece of gauze over your mouth and nose, and be sure to keep your hands clean. Be very careful with the handkerchiefs used; see that no one touches or uses them. It is preferable to use gauze or soft paper for handkerchiefs and burn them. When a child has a cold put it to bed. Keep quiet as long as there is any fever. Give a cathartic, such as castor oil, as soon as cold appears. Reduce the child's diet and give plenty of drinking water. Consult a doctor. Do not let the child go out until thoroughly well.
3. THE FIRST AIDE IN ACCIDENTS AND EMERGENCIES
The sorrow and unhappiness of the world is increased enormously every year by injury and loss from accidents, more than half of which might be prevented if someone had not been careless, or if someone else had taken a little trouble to correct the results of that carelessness before they caused an accident.