Butter, milk and eggs are all of a nature to require the utmost care in purchasing and in storing before use. They are easily tainted so as to be spoiled for one of sensitive taste, while milk, especially, is probably the most frequent transmiter of disease, with the exception of water, of all our foods and drinks. Butter should be of the best, but a high price is not always a test of merit. While some creamery butters bring a very high price and take high awards for flavor, so that creamery butter as a whole commands a higher price than dairy butter, it is not the most desirable. All good creameries maintain a high sanitary standard and conditions under which the butter is made are doubtless superior to those in the majority of private dairies, yet one must go back of the creameries to the farms from which the creameries are supplied to determine the final healthfulness of the product. It is here that the difficulty lies with creamery butter, since the farmers that keep the poorest cows and who do not understand dairying under right conditions are those that supply the creameries, so that one cannot be sure that butter made from the cream produced under such conditions is healthful. It is far better, so far as is possible, to buy from an approved private dairy.
The same may be said of the milk supply. One should follow to its source and know without a question that there can be no pollution if any milk is consumed in a raw state by the family. This becomes doubly imperative where there are children in the family. If necessary, a cent or two more in price per bottle is little for the sake of safety.
Eggs are highest in price in winter. A housekeeper may take advantage of low prices in the spring or fall by buying a supply in advance, but she cannot do this unless she can be sure of a cool place to store them and is willing to take the trouble to coat each egg over so that the air may not penetrate the shell. Wrapping each in separate paper is a fairly good protection. Care must be used not to use anything that will cause an unpleasant flavor, as the shells are very porous and the contents readily acquire odors of anything near. A 10 per cent solution of silicate of soda is an excellent preservative.
A salt solution is a good test of the freshness of an egg. Two tablespoon fuls of salt for a quart of water may be used. If fresh, the egg will sink in it; if not perfectly fresh, will show signs of rising, while a bad egg will float at once.