Avoid Wasting of The Food
We fear that in many houses a great deal of the food is wasted, not that it is always willingly, but mainly because many people have not learned how to make the best use of, or put in appetising form the ‘left overs’ that are common in every house. There are number of things that often are, but not needed to be thrown away, and the following suggestions below on what to do with the food should help you.
Remnants of Steak:
What to do with the remnants of beef steak would be a less complicated problem with housekeepers if they would remember the two principles of the warming up of meat.
One is that cooked meat should be heated only just enough to make it hot and pleasant to taste, and the second is that it should have a slow and thorough cooking at a moderate temperature. Anything between these two methods is likely to be no improvement to the meat.
It follows therefore that the first method is applicable only to such meats as they are already tender, like the best parts of the steak and roasts. But unfortunately, these are not the portions usually left over. It is the tough, gristly, stringy portions which confront us as we go to the larder. They are often turned directly into the chopping tray, minced as fine as their tough fibre will allow, warmed enough to make them tougher than in their first state, and then served up again.
Now, instead of waiting until just before deciding what use to make of these remnants of steak, let us look them over directly after dinner.
Remove any burned edges and unnecessary fat. There should be about a third or fourth part only and put the good portions over the fire in a small stew pan, with water barely enough to cover, and let them simmer until very tender, from one to two hours.
Often they will be in a condition to remove from the fire when the after dinner work is finished, and there is less danger of their burning if one is about to watch them. Let the water cook nearly all away, then set away to cool. Next morning remove the cake of fat, chop the meat quite fine, and mix with it from one to two parts of cold potato, chopped medium fine. Season with salt and pepper, and moisten with the meat liquor, or water, or you may aswell use milk.
Fry one sliced onion in some of the fat until slightly coloured, turn in the mixture,and cook slowly until a brown crust has formed underneath; fold over, and turn out like an omelet. Then you will have a dish which you will be glad to have repeated many times on your menus.
Always boil rice in plenty of water. When the grains are soft, but not broken, drain in a colander over a bowl, and not into the sink.
Rice water contains more nourishment than the cooked cereal itself. Set aside for some hours, and you have a jelly which will add value to your soup stock; or may be boiled down still further, sweetened slightly, and flavoured with rosewater or vanilla, lastly, left in the ice or in a cold place to form in a mould. Eaten with sugar and cream it is a pleasant dessert; beaten into a plain custard it is even better. It can also be used for thickening white sauces or gravies.
Crusts and Bread Crumbs:
Spread them upon a flat platter, and leave in a moderate oven until dried, but not coloured. Let them cool in a dry place, crush fine with a rolling pin and keep in a glass jar for breading chops, croquettes, etc.. And for scalloping oysters, meat, and other of the many made dishes that add character and variety to everyday fare. Never throw away so much as a crust of bread; the whole loaf is available down to the last crumb.
Bones of Cooked Meat:
Bones cleaned by the carver or the wise house-mother in the preparation of minces, and stews and salads, should be laid in a spare dish, cracked through while fresh, and put over the fire, with a quart of cold water for every pound of bones, a carrot, a turnip, two tomatoes, an onion, a stalk or so of celery, all cut into dice, and boiled slowly until reduced to half the original quantity of liquid.
Cool in the pot, skim and strain, and you have a tolerable ‘stock’, useful for a great number of dishes.
Save fat odds and ends of cooked meats, and skim every particle of congealed grease from the top of gravies, soups, and the liquor in which ham and other large pieces of meat are boiled.
Bring slowly to a gentle simmer over the fire, and strain, without rubbing, through a fine soup sieve or a bit of fine netting. When firm, it is better for frying than any fat you can buy.
Mutton and lamb fat must, however, be excluded; at its purest, it gives an unpleasant taste to anything cooked in it.
Melt it in a saucepan. When hot, add a little boiling water, with a pinch of salt to cause the dregs to settle.
Heat five minutes without boiling: strain, but do not stir or squeeze into small moulds. When hard you will have a better cosmetic than cold cream, and an invaluable salve for chapped hands and lips.
We hope you learned something new, it is always better to use food than throwing it away, right? Leave your opinions below.