Dial of a Gas Meter, (a) At the Beginning of a Month, (b) After Registering the Amount of Gas Used for the Month.
The housekeeper should learn to read a gas meter. Each space on the right hand circle passed by the hand indicates the consumption of 1oo cubic feet of gas, on the middle circle 1,000 feet, and on the one on the left hand 10,000 feet. Read from left to right, taking the figure just passed by each hand and add two ciphers for the hundreds. A previous reading deducted from the present one shows the amount of gas consumed in a given time.
Example. In the illustration, the hand on dial A has just passed the figure 7, indicating 700 cubic feet; on dial B the hand has passed figure 8 (note that this hand moves in the opposite direction to the first), and on dial C the hand has last passed the figure 4. The reading is then, 700+8,000+40,000=48,700 cubic feet. If in a month the hands are in the position indicated in the second figure, the reading is 64,900 cubic feet. The difference between the two readings is 64,900 - 48,700=16,-200 cubic feet. Sixteen thousand two hundred cubic feet is the amount consumed for the month.
The small dial at the top of the illustration indicates cubic feet and is used only for testing the system for leakage.
Kerosene and gasoline are useful fuels for summer and emergency use. These are sold by the gallon and only the best qualities should be used. The blue flame kerosene probably are the best of this class of stoves. The small lamp stoves also have merit. They are similar in construction to read-ding lamps and should receive equal care. Two small stoves often are more useful than one large one, because more readily moved where needed. It is essential that such stoves should stand out of a draft.
Kerosene and Gasoline
A steam cooker is an invaluable adjunct to the small stoves whether gas or kerosene is burned. Several articles may thus be cooked over one burner and both time and fuel are saved.
The Aladdin oven is an arrangement for saving heat. It may be used with an ordinary large lamp or with gas. The iron oven is placed inside a jacket of non-conducting substance, hence little heat is lost. It is especially useful for slow cooking.
The Norwegian cooking box is another plan for saving heat. A kettle of food is raised to the boiling point and then packed in a box lined with non-conducting materials.
The modern chafing dish is but slightly different in effect from the primitive charcoal stove or brazier. The use of alcohol for fuel makes it simple and clean. Wood alcohol - a byproduct from distillation of wood - is often used for fuel, but its disagreeable odor makes it less desirable. Anything that may be cooked over any other stove in a frypan, saucepan, or double boiler may be prepared in the chafing dish.
Heat brings out the flavors in food and develops new ones and makes soluble, substances which the human stomach could not otherwise digest. In most cases moderate heat long continued produces better results than intense heat applied for a short period.
Graniteware Palls with tight covers are packed with asbestos and covered with a pad, the lid of the box is then closed and the whole wrapped in an old blanket.
The degree of heat best adapted to make food digesti-ible is not always that which produces the most acceptable flavor, hence cooking must be more or less of a compromise. As yet we know little about the degree of heat best suited to the perfect cooking of each food and the temperature at which it should be served. Nothing will cook until it is warmed, and warming and drying are usually the first steps in the cooking process.
Steam Cooker, Circular Form
Effects of Cooking
Aladdin Oven Heated by Lamp
A Modified Norwegian Cooking Box
The transmission of heat from a fire to our foods may be by conduction, as when heat travels along a bar of metal, by convection, when heat is transferred by the motion of heated liquid or gas, and by radiation through the air. The effect of heat on the food is further modified by the way the metal or other substance containing the food is affected by heat.
The use of asbestos in the form of mats and linings for ovens and jackets for kettles to modify the heat transferred to food is likely to increase in the future.
Broiling probably was the first attempt at cooking since it required little beside the fire and the heat. Roasting is a similar process applied to larger sections of meat and therefore requiring a longer time. The relationship of roasting and broiling is most apparent with a gas range for there is no line of separation between the cooking of thick steaks and thin roasts. Much so-called roasting is really baking.
In broiling and roasting, tender portions of fish, flesh or fowls are exposed to intense heat at first to sear the outside and close the open tubes or pores which contain the juices. The fire should be free from smoke and may be charcoal or half-burned wood or coal or gas. After the surface is browned the section of meat should be drawn away from the intense heat and kept at a more moderate temperature until cooked thoroughly. More depends upon the shape of the article to be broiled or roasted than upon the weight.
When a thick mass is to be cooked in this fashion it becomes necessary to modify the heat on the outside and to aid in driving it in by the process known as basting; that is, dipping up the hot fat which has dripped into a pan beneath the meat and hence is known as dripping, and pouring it over the outside of the mass. The glossy brown secured by basting may have suggested to some early cook the advantage of deep frying.
The difference between broiling over coals and in a hot pan is but slight and dry frying or sautering is a similar process. Toasting is a similar application of heat to foods already cooked once.
The earliest forms of baking were in the hot dishes and then in covered kettles set in coals or hung over the fire. Our ovens are an outgrowth from those primitive methods, and now much so-called roasting is really baking.
A point to study in this connection is the fact that food is fuel for the human body. The amount and quality of fuel is varied according to the work to be done, so should the food be chosen according to the work of the individual and the climate or season of the year.
Chafing-Dish - the Modern Brazier