What shall we have for breakfast to-morrow? is the constant question of trial to a housekeeper, and it is the aim of the present chapter to meet this want by presenting a good and successive variety of articles healthful, economical, and easily prepared.
Some of the best housekeepers have taken this method: they provide a good supply of the following articles, to be used in succession - rice, corn-meal, rye flour, wheat grits, unbolted wheat, cracked wheat, pearl wheat, oat grits, oatmeal, and hominy, with which they make a new article for every day in the week. Some one of these is selected for either a dinner vegetable or dessert, or for a dish at tea, and the remainder used for the next morning's breakfast.
The following will indicate the methods:
Take four large cups of corn-meal, and scald it. In all cases, scald corn-meal before using it. Add half a cup of fine flour, three table-spoonfuls of sugar or molasses, one tea-spoonful of soda, and one of salt. Make a batter, and boil an hour or more, stirring often; or, better, cook in a tin pail set in boiling water. Use it as mush, with butter, sugar, and milk for supper. Next morning, thin it with hot water: add two or three eggs, and bake either as muffins or griddle-cakes.
Soak and then boil a quart of hominy with two heaping tea-spoonfuls of salt. Use it for dinner as a vegetable, or for supper with sugar and milk or cream. Next morning use the remainder, soaked in water or milk, with two eggs and a salt-spoonful of salt. Bake as muffins or griddle-cakes, or cut in slices, dipped in flour and fried. Farina may be used in the same way.
Pick over one pint of rice; add two tea-spoonfuls of salt and three quarts of boiling water. Then boil fifteen minutes; then uncover; let it steam fifteen minutes. This to be used for a vegetable at dinner, or for a tea-dish, with butter and sugar. At night, soak the remainder in as much milk or water, and next morning add as much fine or unbolted flour as there was rice, three eggs, a tea-spoonful of salt, and half a tea-spoonful of soda. Thin with water or milk, and bake as muffins or griddle-cakes.
Keep a jar for remnants of bread, both coarse and fine, for potatoes, remnants of hominy, rice, grits, cracked wheat, oat-meal, and all other articles used on table. Add all remnants of milk, whether sour or sweet, and water enough to soak all, so as to be soft, but not thin. When enough is collected, add enough water to make a batter for griddle-cakes, and put in enough soda to sweeten it. Add two spoonfuls of sugar, and half a tea-spoonful of salt, and two eggs for each quart, and you make an excellent dish of material, most of it usually wasted. Thicken it a little with fine flour, and it makes fine waffles.
One pint unbolted flour.
One spoonful of sugar.
One tea-spoonful of salt.
Melt a spoonful of butter in a little of the sour milk; then mix all, and just before setting in the oven, add very quickly and very thoroughly a tea-spoonful of soda dissolved in half a tea-cup of water. This should be done last and quickly, so that the carbonic acid gas produced by the union of the soda and the acid of the milk (lactic) may not escape. Use half a tea-cup of fine flour when molding into biscuits.