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reasonable request; nor from the pleasure and dietetic point of view need we suffer, provided we favor the production of the more flavorsome substitutes for cooking butter, chief of which is olive-oil, which, as any Italian cook can prove, gives quite as tasty results.
American olive-oil has a great future. Already we have in California the largest orchards in the world, and in most of them only the oily ripe fruit is harvested. The nut oils and butters, especially those made of cocoa and peanuts, are becoming great favorites, and the supply need not fall short of the demand. In our Southern States last year's peanut crop covered more than two million acres. If, therefore, as Mr. Hoover declares, much of the world's hopes lies in increasing the supply of vegetable fats, we can face the future cheerfully from both the economic and gastronomic points of view.
Whatever we do, however, we must at the same time do all we can to encourage the farmers and dairymen who supply our milk, butter, and cheese. The cow must not be side-tracked, for she is our main source of vitamines, without which our children particularly could not bloom. For adults cheese is almost as valuable a food as butter or milk. Governmental experiments have demonstrated that hardworking men can sustain health and efficiency on cottage cheese, the cheapest of all foods, quite as well as on meat. In the matter of flavors, too, cheeses present a great variety. The French alone make more than sixty kinds, and in all Europe. there are at least three hundred distinct varieties, most of them made of the protean cow's milk. We are far behind Europe in this respect, but the war will help us to catch up.
THE WAR-BREAD SCARECROW
The first intimations that we might be reduced to the necessity of eating "warbread" with our butter and cheese created almost a panic not only among those who had read about German war-bread, padded with sawdust for bulk and sand for weight, but among those who merely
feared being deprived of their daily white bread, made of wheat alone. But with our vast resources we shall never be reduced to the German level; and as for white bread as usually served on our tables, we ought to be glad to exchange it for something better. It has little flavor, all the mineral salts and vitamines have been milled out, and it is responsible for two-thirds of our dyspeptic troubles. In Europe there are many epicures who prefer rye bread to white because it has a richer flavor. Several of my friends have told me lately of their conversion to "war-bread" made of rye and wheat, which they now much prefer to the old white loaf, as do all their friends who have lunched or dined with them.
Two kinds of "war-bread" have long been favorites in this country: Boston brown in New England and corn bread in the South. The Boston brown is made up of equal proportions of rye meal, corn, and graham flour. Corn bread in the North is usually spoiled by using two cups of white flour to one of corn meal, instead of vice versa. But the millers of the North are even greater sinners than the cooks. Their meal, as Martha McCulloch Williams declares in her delightful book, "Dishes and Beverages of the South," has been "bolted and kiln-dried out of all natural flavor. Take the trouble to get meal water-ground from white flint corn, and fresh from the mill. Then you will have something worth spending time and effort. upon."
Particularly strenuous efforts are being made by our food administrators to persuade Northern folk to be as patriotic as Southerners and eat more of this most American of all cereals than of wheat; but George Washington was right: patriotism alone won't do it. The commissioners may talk themselves red, white, and blue in the face for naught unless they compel Northern millers to stop denaturing corn meal for profiteering purposes.
We can, however, take the law in our own hands the coming summer by planting more sweet corn (the same kinds we eat off the cob) and grinding it ourselves.
Evidently many families did this last summer, for I have heard of a man who is getting rich making hand mills for grinding corn at home. He is doing more to help win the war than if he were on the firing-line.
WHY GIRLS AND SOLDIERS PREFER
Quite as foolish as the habit of eating only white bread is the general clamor for white sugar. White sugar is "refined" sugar, and "refined" sugar is denatured sugar. Are you old enough to remember the time when brown cane sugar was used in American kitchens as well as eagerly munched by the children? If not, take Dr. Wiley's word for it that that brown sugar was "aromatic, fragrant, and delicious to a far greater degree in the raw state then when it is refined."
What the refiners remove from the cane sugar is its very soul; that is, its aroma and fragrance. That's why girls and soldiers, too, if they have the opportunity and the cash, when they want to buy sweets, do not go to a grocer's and spend a dime for a pound of white sugar, but to a store where candy is sold at from twice to ten times that price. What is candy? It is sugar with a soul-sugar flavored with fruits or nuts or diverse spices and aromatic substances like cinnamon, cloves, wintergreen, vanilla, chocolate.
It is as easy and as agreeable for candyeaters to be patriotic as for bread or meateaters if they know how. The way was indicated by one of the "chain" candy stores in New York, which posted on its windows a placard urging customers to "buy more chocolates, molasses candy, taffies, cocoanut candy, marshmallows, candy paste, peanut brittle, and less of the gloss or hard candies," which are made of the solid sugar urgently needed in the camps of our soldiers in France and their allies. In our own kitchens and dining-rooms we can help Hoover in two saccharine ways: by wasting less white sugar and by using the delectable substitutes therefor that are within reach. "Wasting" is the right word. We have been sugar glut
tons, eating, each of us, from eighty to ninety pounds a year, when half that amount would have sufficed, and bettered our health, which is why we did not suffer during the recent shortage.
As for the substitutes, they are one and all gastronomically preferable to refined. white sugar, being, in reality, candies provided by nature herself. I refer particularly to maple sugar and honey. Candy and cake-makers in Europe, and to some extent in America, have long utilized nature's own aromatic sweets; but we had to wait for the shortage caused by the war to find out that delectable use could also be made of them in our kitchens.
The early settlers in this country had no white sugar at all in their kitchens or dining-rooms, but they learned from the Indians how to condense the luscious sap of the maple-tree, which was their only sweetener. I read the other day that the Swedish Government is planting mapletrees in the hope of helping out the sugar supply in coming lean years. In our own forests there are millions of maples which will now again have their innings. Let there be no slackers! Everybody who has a group should tap them in the spring. Directions for making the best quality may be had for five cents by sending for Farmers' Bulletin No. 516 entitled, "Production of Maple Syrup and Sugar."
Send another nickel for Bulletin No. 653, on "Honey and Its Uses in the Home." With commendable foresight this bulletin was issued before the war, and it is particularly valuable just now because it not only tells about the great nutritive value of honey, but, unlike the cook-books in the market, which barely mention honey, includes ten pages of tested receipts based on a series of careful official experiments. From your grocer you can also get for the asking a booklet with 143 honey receipts issued by one of the wholesale bee-keepers. The United States Department of Agriculture has issued a special call in the present emergency to all who live in the country to help augment the supply of honey as a war-economy measure. Anybody can keep bees, and
honey, which until a few generations ago was the world's universal sweetener, is as profitable as it is delicious and wholesome, being far more digestible than white sugar, especially by children and invalids.
In France they are now making sugar out of sweet grapes, of which it constitutes twenty-six per cent. Bananas have a sugar content of twenty per cent. Plums have a sugar percentage of about fifteen; prunes, of over sixteen; apples, nearly twelve; dates, thirty. By eating freely of our fruits, most of which have a high percentage of sweetness, we can almost dispense with white sugar entirely. Nothing, therefore, could be more patriotic than a diet made up largely of fruits. Our country is the fruit-eaters' paradise, and at present our fruits are cheaper and better than ever because there are no bottoms available to ship them to Europe. The best of all lunches are made up of fruits, fresh and dried.
Am I wrong in asserting that war-time pleasures of the table can be made more varied and intense than those of peacetime? But we must use our brains and ger out of the ruts. Take apple pleasures as an example. Most of us eat raw apples, baked apples, apple sauce, pie, and perhaps brown betty; but how many realize that there are hundreds of ways of cooking apples? The Canadian Government has printed a "Book of Apple Delights," with over two hundred receipts. Send for it; also for our own Government's Bulletin on the "Use of Fruit as Food."
HOW TO MAKE VEGETABLES POPULAR
Fruits and vegetables are the two classes of foods we are especially asked to favor in order to save meats and cereals, because they are too perishable and bulky to be easily shipped. While our fruits, though not eaten as much as they should be, are generally liked, most vegetables seem to be generally disliked or at least neglected. A herculean effort should be made at once to overcome this unfortunate prejudice. That it exists is not strange, for the American way of cooking vegetables is discouragingly unappetizing. I
have tried the war time "vegetable lunches" offered in diverse New York restaurants, but one dose in each case was quite enough.
In our public eating-places, as in our homes, vegetables are almost always boiled, a procedure which deprives them of most of their flavor and of fully thirty per cent. of their mineral and other nutriment. Vegetables should never be boiled except in soups. By far the best way to cook them is to steam them. Yet steaming receives no more than brief "honorable mention" in our cook-books. The only American book I have been able to find which treats the subject adequately is "Experimental Domestic Science," by the chemist, R. Henry Jones. He gives a striking table showing how much nutriment is lost when vegetables (and meats) are boiled instead of steamed. He attests what I most emphatically indorse-that "the flavor of the steamed article is far superior to that of the boiled." He points out furthermore that vegetables are far more digestible when steamed, while some of them, like cabbage and turnips, lose their rank plebeian odor and become converted into delicate dishes fit for a millionaire's table. Steamed carrots are a revelation to those who think they do not like this vegetable, which is particularly rich in mineral salts.
Steam is destined to create as great a revelation in the kitchen as it has in transportation on land and sea. There are now in the market utensils in which three or four kinds of vegetables, meat, or fish can be steamed at once. This is the time for their makers to advertise them freely. Let us all strive to make vegetables as alluring as possible. During the summer, when heating foods are not needed, we should be vegetarians, and, if possible, raise our own greens and roots; for the home-grown, gathered fresh every morning, are far more delicate and appetizing than any on sale in the markets. Last summer at least two million new backyard and vacant-lot gardens were planted. We can double or treble that number this year, thus adding greatly to our dietetic and war-time pleasures of the table.
HE bookkeeper of the Atlas Storage is particularly trying, after you have disand Transfer Company was manifestly disgusted.
"No, madam, we don't know where he is. Where did you want to get moved to?" The woman placed a finger on her lips and thought.
"Well," she finally announced, "I guess I will go and see my sister again. Maybe this is n't the place she meant." And with that she walked out.
The bookkeeper jabbed his pen into a glassful of shot and closed his book with a bang that alarmed the office cat, whereupon she also walked out.
The manager, having noted the departing customer, now came to make inquiry. "Well, what was the trouble with her?" he asked.
"Oh, it's another case of wanting that fellow to move them. They come in here and tell me what their sister says and what Mrs. Jones says and want me to send the same man around with the van; and when they find he is n't here any more, they turn on their heels and walk out. That's the second one this morning."
The manager, too, was disgusted.
A moving corporation does not take kindly to the star system in moving. When a hired man starts in to eclipse the company it is irritating and exasperating. The hired man should be anonymous and simply reflect his virtues on the firm. It
weeks afterward and ask for him; and then, after you have tried to explain yourself and detract from his virtues till you are tired of the subject, to have them walk right out in the face of your condemnation.
As it was the height of the moving season, and this thing had been going on for nearly a month with no signs of abatement, the manager began to have violent emotions.
"I wish," he said, "that that young whelp had never seen the inside of this door. I'd kick him out before I saw him coming. I wonder if there is any way we could get him back."
This statement, of course, was inconsistent and incongruous; but yet it expressed the manager's sentiments.
"No, I guess not," answered the bookkeeper. "The foreman saw him the other day and says he is working in a stable on the north side and likes it. And he said he was going to get the boss to trade off a hearse and put in a van."
If the manager had been angry before he was now irate.
"I wish," he said, "that the officer had put him in the jug and kept him there. If I had it to do over again, I 'd have him locked up and then given sixty days. And then I'd tell these women where they could find him."
In the midst of the tirade the axlegrease salesman arrived on the scene by way of the arched entrance. His orderbook was in his hand, and his smile was on his face; but when he caught sight of trouble in the office he decided not to enter. It was not the right weather in there to sell anything. Consequently he dropped the smile, having no use for it just at present, and rambled back through the stable to where the sun was extending an invitation through the alley door.
Here he found Swallow, the barn foreman, and McNamara, the hostler. Swallow was leaning against the edge of the doorway with a joyless look on his face. as of dough that has fallen. McNamara
where he would be outside the "no smoking" limits of the barn, and lit a cigar.
"How 's business?" he inquired. "Business is movin'," said McNamara, smiling faintly.
"What seems to be the unpleasantness. in the office?"
This question was addressed more particularly to Swallow. Swallow's apathetic countenance took on a still more vacuous expression as he began to think. But his mental efforts did not seem to come to anything, and he scratched his head.
"You tell it to him, McNamara. You know the names of the people and things."
"Well," said McNamara, "goin' back about a month, I 'll tell ye what started it. Several parts have already happened, and more of it keeps comin' out. But, anyway, about a month ago, which was early in April, a fellow by the name of Buck Summers comes along here lookin' for work around horses. "'T was comin' on the busy season when we would be needin' men, so the boss looks him over and asks him a few questions; and when he saw the fine strong build of him he hired him and put him on a van. And Whallen would teach him.
"But 't was little Whallen needed to teach him. He knew all the holts and ways of managin' things. T is all in the science of the muscles,' says he. 'And 't is the intelligence of the body.' He knew all that and more. But the great point about him was that the women took a likin' to him. He knew how to speak to them."
"He was a pretty good josher, eh?" "Not a bit of it. He was different. If I had the money to put up a barn and storage place and could get him for manager, I know how I would get rich. I would put out a sign, 'Refined movin' done here.' Or 'Painless movin', or 'Movin' made a pleasure.' Or somethin' like that. When it come to helpin' a piano down-stairs, or handin' a cook-stove over a newel-post at a landin', he did it as if 't was all a pleasure to him and nothin' at all to get excited about. ""T is all a case of usin' your brains and doin' your thinkin' on the hoof," says he.