Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Breakfast, a few thoughts

Below is the opening of the book Breakfast Dainties then I posted a couple recipes from the various sections in his breakfast menus. Enjoy!


Dinner may be pleasant.
So may social tea;
But yet methinks the breakfast
Is best of all the three."

The importance of preparing a variety of dainty dishes for the breakfast table is but lightly considered by many who can afford luxuries, quite as much as by those who little dream of the delightful, palate-pleasing compounds made from '' unconsidered trifles.''
The desire of the average man is to remain in bed until the very last moment. A hurried breakfast of food long cooked awaits the late riser, who will not masticate it properly when he finally arrives at the breakfast-table, and the best of housekeepers is discouraged and prevented from ever attempting culinary surprises, when they are not to be appreciated. In this way she is innocently driven into a rut from which it is difficult to escape when occasions present themselves for offering novelties.
The following recipes and remarks will be found valuable assistants to those so situated, and will offer many practical suggestions intended to' develop ingenuity and skilfulness in this much-neglected branch of cookery. Avoid asking that innocent but often annoying question, "What shall we have for breakfast?" Rely upon your own resources and inventiveness, and you will soon master the situation. The average business man generally knows but little of what is or is not in market, and he dislikes to have his gastronomic knowledge constantly analyzed.
Should your domestic duties prevent you from occasionally visiting the public markets, it will be found expedient to subscribe for a reliable newspaper that makes a specialty of reporting the latest gastronomic news. This cannot be accomplished by cook-books, owing to the fluctuations in prices and the constant arrival of "good cheer" at seasons when least expected.
Steaks and chops are looked upon as the substantial of the breakfast-table, but when served continually they do not give satisfaction, be they ever so good, and are not duly appreciated unless interspersed occasionally with lighter dishes.

Apples, Baked.—Peel and core six large sour apples; mix together a cup of sugar, half a teaspoonful of mixed ground spice, a saltspoonful of salt, two tablespoonfuls of grated cracker crumbs, and two tablespoonfuls of milk or water. Fill the core with the mixture; put the apples in a pan, and bake; serve them hot or cold with sweetened cream. A border of whipped cream around the apples may be substituted for the plain cream.

Coffee.—The coffee-tree is a much-branched tree of the cinchona family, not exceeding twenty feet in height, and much resembling a cherrytree. Its pale green leaves are about six inches in length. The flowers are in clusters in the axils of the leaves, are white in color, resembling orange-tree flowers, and perfume the air. The fruit on ripening turns from green to red, and is about the size of a cherry or cranberry, each containing two seeds closely united by their flat sides. These being removed and separated, become the coffee of commerce.
"How to make good coffee" is the great problem of domestic life. Tastes naturally differ, and some prefer a quantity of chicory, while to others the very name of this most wholesome plant (but keep it out of coffee) will produce nausea.
Purchase coffee from large dealers who roast it daily. Have it ground moderately fine, and do not purchase large quantities at a time. At home keep the coffee in air-tight jars or cans when not in use.
The old-fashioned coffee-pot has much to recommend it, and the only possible objection to it is that it makes a cloudy beverage. Those who find this objectionable should use one of the many patented modern filters. When the coffee is finely ground these filter-pots are the best to use. Put three ounces of finely-ground coffee in the top compartment of the coffee-pot; pour a quart of boiling water over it; let it filter through; add half a pint more of boiling water; let it filter through, and pour it out into a hot measure, and pour it through the filter again. Let it stand a moment on the range, and you have coffee as clear as wine; but unless your pot, measure, and the water are very hot, the coffee will taste as though it had become cold and then '' warmed over.'' No eggs or other foreign substances are used to clear or settle the coffee.
As I do not object to a sediment in my cup, I use the old-fashioned coffee-pot. I first heat the pot, and put the coffee into a loose muslin bag, and pour a quart of boiling water over every three ounces of coffee. I let it boil, or rather come to a boiling point a moment; then let it stand to settle. Should it not do so rapidly enough, I pour a few tablespoonfuls of cold water round the inside edge of the coffee-pot. It is advisable to tie a thread to the bag, with "after-dinner Coffee." which it may be drawn out of the coffee, if desired.
Now, heat the coffee cup; fill it one third full of hot, but not boiled, cream; then add the coffee, and serve.
One word as to eggs used in making coffee. I admit that a different flavor is produced when these are used; but the albumen of the eggs covers the coffee grains, and coagulates, preventing the escape of the properties of the coffee, and compelling one to use nearly double the quantity of coffee to produce the same result as when eggs are not used.
Pure Java, if of a high order, does not need other brands of coffee to make it palatable; but, as a rule, most of the coffees sold at the grocers' are improved by blending or mixing one third each of pure Mocha, Java, and Maracaibo to make a rich cup of coffee, while a mixture of two thirds Mandehling Java and one third "male berry" (so called) Java produces excellent results. Mexico coffee is quite acceptable, but the producers must clean it properly if they expect to receive patronage.

Corn-meal Custard—Beat up three eggs; add to them a quart of milk and an ounce each of butter and sugar. Mix and add gradually a quarter of a pound of very fine corn meal; flavor with nutmeg. Pour into custard cups, and boil or steam for ten minutes; then put them in the oven a moment to brown on top.

Omelet with Herbs.—Beat up three eggs and add to them a teaspoonful of chopped parsley, mixed with a few chives. Pour into the pan, and before folding season with salt and pepper; fold, and turn out on a hot dish.

Potatoes au G-ratin.—Nearly fill the gralin pan with hot boiled potatoes, cut into small pieces; cover with milk; strew over them grated cheese or part cheese and grated crumbs; add a little butter, and bake brown in a quick oven.
Source: Breakfast Dainties ©1885

1 comment:

  1. Lynn, I have to say, your blog is my new favorite! I'm so glad I discovered it through your post on Heroes, Heroines, & History. As a historical romance author writing between 1860 and 1880, your posts are a wealth of knowledge. Thank you so much for taking the time to share!