Flour must have no musty or unpleasant smell, or acid taste. Good wheat flour should be soft and silky to the touch, not greasy or gritty, and when a little is squeezed together in the hand, it should adhere together, not lose its shape when the pressure is relaxed. The color should be a creamy white for ordinary household purposes; if very fine and white it contains but little nutriment.

Eggs should be heavy and have rough dull shells; when stale these become quite shiny as if polished. When held in front of a strong light they should have a transparent look and no dark spots should be visible. A common method of testing the freshness of eggs is to place them in water, when a new-laid egg will be nearly submerged, and an old egg will project above the surface, the reason being that eggs lose their specific gravity by keeping.

Butter should be firm in texture and free from moisture or any rancid smell. It should be rich, but not too deep in color, and the flavor should be mild. Butter is frequently adulterated with water, and its undue presence may be detected by melting, when the water will remain at the bottom. The water is added to increase the weight.

Lard. The best lard is very white, close, and has little or no odor. If it sputters furiously when heated, it indicates the presence of water, due either to careless "trying out " of the raw fat, or to its having been added to the melted fat, to give increased weight.

Milk. Allow milk to stand for some hours and note the depth of cream which rises to the top; if it be very slight, the milk has been previously skimmed and is of a poor quality; if it be very thin and slightly bluish looking, it is not worth buying. Skim milk is milk separated from its fat or cream by allowing the latter to rise to the surface of the liquid and being then "skimmed" off. Skimmed milk contains some fat and all the other natural constituents of milk.

Buttermilk is the residue after removing the butter from milk by churning. It is most nutritious, as the casein of the milk is still retained in great quantities, but the milk sugar has become converted into lactic acid, giving it a slightly sour flavor. It is a most refreshing drink, and it is easily digested.