Mother's hash does n't taste of soap grease, rancid butter, spoiled cheese, raw flour, boarding-house skillets, hotel coffee, garden garlics, bologna sausage, or cayenne pepper; neither is it stewed and simmered and simmered and stewed, but is made so nicely, seasoned so delicately, and heated through so quickly, that the only trouble is, "there is never enough to go round." Cold meat of any kind will do, but corned beef is best; always remove all surplus fat and bits of gristle, season with salt and pepper, chop fine, and to one-third of meat add two-thirds of chopped cold boiled potato, and one onion chopped very fine; place in the dripping-pan, dredge with a little flour, and pour in at the side of the pan enough water to come up level with the hash, place in oven, and do not stir; when the flour is a light-brown, and has formed a sort of crust, take out, add a lump of butter, stir it through several times, and you will have a delicious hash. Or, by cooking longer, it may be made of cold raw potatoes, which peel, slice, and let lie in salt and water a half hour before chopping. If of meat and potatoes, always use the proportions given above, and before chopping, season with pepper and salt, and a chopped onion if you like (if onions are not to be had, take them out of pickle jar), place in hot skillet with just enough water to moisten, add a little butter or some nice beef drippings, stir often until warmed through, cover and let stand on a moderately hot part of the stove fifteen minutes. When ready to dish, run the knife under and fold as you would an omelet, and serve hot with tomato catsup. In making hash meats may be combined if there is not enough of a kind. Do not make hash or any other dish greasy. It is a mistaken idea to think that fat and butter in large quantities are necessary to good cooking. Butter and oils may be melted without changing their nature, but when cooked they become much more indigestible and injurious to weak stomachs.
After Thanksgiving Dinner, a most excellent hash may be made thus: Pick meat off turkey bones, shred it in small bits, add dressing and pieces of light biscuit cut up fine, mix together and put into dripping-pan, pour over any gravy that was left, add water to thoroughly moisten, but not enough to make it sloppy; place in a hot oven for twenty minutes, and, when eaten, all will agree that the turkey is better this time than it was at first; or warm the remnants of the turkey over after the style of escaloped oysters (first a layer of bread-crumbs, then minced turkey, and so on); or add an egg or two and make nice breakfast croquettes. The common error in heating over meats of all kinds is putting (406) into a cold skillet, and cooking a long time. This second cooking is more properly only heating, and should be quickly done. All such dishes should be served hot with some sort of tart jelly. Always save a can of currant juice (after filling jelly cups and glasses), from which to make jelly in the winter, and it will taste as fresh and delicious as when made in its season.
Always Save all the currants, skimmings, pieces, etc., left after making jelly, place in a stone jar, cover with soft water previously boiled to purify it, let stand several days; in the meantime, take your apple peelings, without the cores, and put on in porcelain kettle, cover with water, boil twenty minutes, drain into a large stone jar; drain currants also into this jar, add all the rinsings from your molasses jugs, all dribs of syrups, etc., and when jar is full, drain off all that is clear into vinegar keg (where, of course, you have some good cider vinegar to start with). If not sweet enough, add brown sugar or molasses, cover the bung-hole with a piece of coarse netting, and set in the sun or by the kitchen stove. In making vinegar always remember to give it plenty of air, and it is better to have the cask or barrel (which should be of oak) only half full, so that the air may pass over as large a surface as possible. Vinegar must also have plenty of material, such as sugar, molasses, etc., to work upon. Never use alum or cream of tartar, as some advise, and never let your Finegar freeze. Paint your barrel or cask if you would have it durable. Company, sickness, or other circumstances may prevent making
Sweet Pickles in their season, but they can be prepared very nicely at any time, by taking pear, peach, plum, or apple preserves, and pouring hot spiced vinegar over them; in a few days they will make a delightful relish. It very often happens in putting up cucumber pickles that you can only gather or buy a few at a time; these can be easily pickled in the following manner: Place in a jar, sprinkle with salt, in the proportion of a pint salt to a peck cucumbers, cover with boiling water, let stand twenty-four hours, drain, cover with fresh hot water; after another twenty-four hours, drain, place in a jar, and cover with cold, not very strong vinegar; continue to treat each mess in this manner, using the two jars, one for scalding and the other as a final receptacle for the pickles, until you have enough, when drain and cover with boiling cider vinegar, add spices, and in a few days they will be ready for use. Never throw away even
A Crumb Of Bread, but save it and put with other pieces; if you have a loaf about to mold, cut in thin slices, place all together in a dripping-pan and set in oven to dry and you will find that when pounded and rolled it will be very nice for dressing, stuffing, puddings, griddle-cakes, etc. When to be used for breading meats, etc., it must be made very fine. Keep in a covered box, or in a paper bag tied securely and hung in a dry place. It is much more economical to prepare meats with a dressing of some kind, since they "go so much further."
Sausage Toast is made by scalding the sausages in boiling water, frying to light brown, chop fine, and spread on bits of toast.