The "Scientific American" says: There is a great want of intelligence regarding the burning of coal, and it is not to be expected that servants should know how to save it. The grate or range is stuffed so full that the oven-top is loaded with it, so the fire will not die out or need looking after; then the draft is opened, and the money, or what is the same, the heat, goes flying up the chimney. With a little forethought ail this could be prevented, and a ton of coal made to last three months instead of one. A good bright fire can be steadily maintained with coal, with less trouble than with any other kind of fuel, but not by raking, poking, and piling in green fuel continually.
After breakfast the fire should be cleared of ashes, if there are any, and fresh fuel put on to fill the grate moderately. Let the oven damper be turned up so as to heat it, and leave the small top door open, more or less, according to the intensity of heat required. In this way air enters over the top of the fire, and maintains a far better combustion, and consequently greater heat than when the draft-dampers are thrown down. A washing can be done, or "ironing" accomplished, with one-third less coal than is generally thought necessary to use.
There is also great waste in throwing away half-burned coal under the supposition that it is cinders. One who has experimented with coal for twenty years, both in the house and under the boiler, writes:
In cleaning the grate in the morning, you will find there is a quantity of unburned coal, which has been externally subjected to combustion. It is covered with ashes, and looks to the inexperienced eye like cinder. It is often relentlessly dumped into the ash-box. The fact, in many cases, is, that the lump is only roasted on the outside, not even coked, and is in a better condition for igniting than the fresh coal. We have stated that coal is a condensed form of carbon. The superficially burned lumps, found in our grates or among our ashes, sufficiently prove this. But take a lump of anthracite coal from the fire, red-hot and all alive, throw it into the water until the ashes are washed from it, and it is black externally and cool. Take it out, and break it open with a hammer, and you will find it red-hot and glowing inside. This shows that time, and a plentiful supply of air, are necessary to burn coal, and that large amounts of what we call ashes and cinders are really excellent fuel.
To prove this fact, let any one carefully sift his ashes, throwing out the inevitable slate, which can be readily detected, and start his coal-fire on wood or charcoal, kindling his coal-fire with the savings. He will find that he can get a good bed of incandescent coal sooner than with green coal on the kindlings.
Never, whether rich or poor, suffer cinders or unburned bits of coal to be wasted in the ash-barrel. Measure for measure, they are worth more than coal. Save them, soak them, try them. Water renovates the coke, and wet cinders upon a hot .coal-fire will make it hotter, and keep it so longer than fresh coal. Saving cinders is not meanness, it is economy.
Flavoring Extracts, Fruit-juices, Etc - The following directions for the preparation at home of extracts, etc., are contributed by a trustworthy and experienced dealer, and may be relied upon. Of flavoring extracts put up for the general market, almond and peach are seldom pure, and are sometimes even poisonous. The other kinds are less liable to be adulterated.
To prepare vanilla, take one ounce of fresh vanilla beans, cut fine, and rub thoroughly with two ounces granulated sugar, put in a pint bottle, and pour over it four ounces pure water, and ten ounces of ninety-five per cent. deodorized alcohol. Set in a warm place, and shake occasionally for fourteen days.
To prepare lemon, cut in small pieces the rinds of two lemons, put in a four-ounce bottle, and fill with deodorized strong alcohol, set in a warm place for a week; then put two drams fresh oil of lemon, four ounces of deodorized strong alcohol, and the juice of half a lemon, in a bottle of sufficient size to hold all; then strain in the tincture of lemon peel. 30
To make orange extract, use the rind and oil of orange, as directed for lemon.
Oils must be fresh and pure, or the extract will have a turpentine taste; and always use deodorized alcohol.
For fruit juices, select clean, ripe fruit, press out juice, and strain it through flannel; to each pint of juice, add six ounces pure granulated sugar; put in a porcelain kettle, bring to boiling point, and bottle while hot, in two or four ounce bottles.
For gold coloring, take one ounce turmeric to two ounces alcohol.
To filter water and alcoholic solutions (not syrups), pass through filtering paper, folded in conical form, so as to set into a funnel (a half-pint glass funnel is best). The paper is kept at all drug stores.
The New "Patent Process Flour." - In all markets the best and highest-priced flour is now known as the Minnesota "New Process." A few years ago the process was invented and first used in the young city of Minneapolis, which now exports nearly a million and a quarter barrels of flour yearly, and finds a market for it in every part of the United States and Europe. The wheat from which this flour is made, is the hard spring wheat, raised in the extreme North, that raised south of Minnesota and Dakota being inferior, and most of it not available for the best grades, while that raised on the line of the North Pacific, and in the rich valley of the Red River of the North, makes the very highest grades of flour. This hard wheat is first passed through rollers and mashed; then to the stones, which are run at a low rate of speed, and so dressed that the grinding is nearly all done near the outer edge of the stone, the "runner" being set high, so as not to heat the flour, but to leave it in hard, sharp globules. From this stone it is conveyed to a series of bolts, where the bran is separated, the softer and finer particles being passed through and put up as lower grades of flour, known as " All-Wheat Flour." The coarser particles and " middlings " are separated by this process, and conveyed to. the purifiers, where they are thoroughly cleaned of all bran and impurities; after which, they go to the stones to be reground and rebolted, and thus made into the " New Process Flour." These middlings are mainly from the outer portion of the kernel, which lies immediately below the flinty and worthless husk (which goes off in bran), and is rich in the nutritious gluten - the nitrogenous principle of wheat which makes it rank first as a " force-producing" food. Before the introduction of this process, the stones were driven at a high rate of speed, and the wheat thoroughly ground by the first run through the mill, the flour coming out quite hot, and much of its strength lost by the heating. The comparative rate of speed may be known by the fact that only five bushels are ground per hour by the new process; while, with the old, from fifteen to eighteen would have been consumed. By the old process, the " middlings " made a second rate dark flour; by the new, it is transformed into the best known to the trade.
That this flour is the most economical for use, there is no doubt among those who have tried it. The hard spring wheat makes a much stronger flour than any of the soft varieties of spring or winter wheat, because it contains a larger portion of gluten and less starch; and a given quantity will make from fifteen to twenty per cent, more loaves of bread of the same size and weight than the best winter wheat flour. This fact is what has given Minnesota bakers' grades their popularity. Another advantage possessed by this flour, especially for family use, is that bread from it does not become stale and dry as soon as that made from winter wheat, but retains its moisture and good table qualities much longer.
The following in regard to the New Process Flour is from George H.
Christian, Esq., who has spent years in studying the best methods in use in this country and Europe, and is the largest manufacturer in the United States:
"In regard to the economy of the New Process Flour, made from Minnesota spring wheat, it is claimed, and I believe has been established, that the best qualities will make forty or fifty pounds of bread to the barrel more than flour from the best quality of winter wheat. This is explained by its superior affinity for water which, being held in that much greater quantity in the bread, insures its keeping moist for a long time. Perhaps it might interest the scrupulous housewife to know that the New Process Flour is cleaner, all of the shell or bran being taken away before this kind of flour is made by the mill-stones. The authorities give the chemical analysis as 20 parts gluten, 50 parts starch, 10 parts dextrine, glucose, etc., 5 parts salts, fatty material, etc., and 15 parts water, for flour made from the best Minnesota spring wheat by the new process. The above percentage of gluten is nearly double that of flour made from the soft varieties of wheat (that of Minnesota is of the hard). Gluten is the most important compound of flour, and is the substance which renders the dough firm, and gives it sufficient consistency to hold the gases, generated by fermentation, long enough to make it rise well, and ensure a light palatable bread. It is well known also that bread from spring' wheat is sweeter. The percentage of gluten in New Process Flour is more than in flour made of the same wheat by the old process."