This section is from the book "Philadelphia Cook Book: A Manual Of Home Economies", by Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Philadelphia Cook Book.
Cheese may be regarded as our most concentrated food. It contains almost twice as much nutriment as any other known substance. Being difficult of digestion, it should be taken only in small quantities. Old cheese, being in a state of decomposition, taken after a hearty meal, mingling with the contents of the stomach, will aid digestion by exciting fermentation.
Cooked or melted cheese forms a most valuable and nutritious food, and is much more easily digested than when eaten raw. Mattieu Williams says: "I regard it as the most important of all that I have to describe in connection with my subject - the 'Science of Cookery.' Its cookery is singularly neglected - is practically an unknown art - especially in this country; and all that is required to render it, next to bread, the staple food of Britons, is scientific cookery."
1/4 pound of cheese 1/4 teaspoonful of bi-carbon-ate of potash
1 saltspoon of white pepper 1/6 part of a nutmeg, grated
1 gill of milk
Chop the cheese; add the potash to the milk, then add the cheese, mustard, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg; rub the butter and flour together and add that. Heat this carefully until the cheese is dissolved. Then beat the eggs, yolks and whites together, and add them to this solution of cheese, stirring the whole. Now take a shallow metal or earthenware dish or tray, that will bear heating, and put a little butter on it, and heat the butter until it frizzles. Then pour the mixture into the tray, and bake or fry until nearly solidified.
1/2, pound of rich cheese 4 slices of bread
Salt and cayenne to taste
Cut the cheese into very thin slices, spread it on a heated flat dish, and stand it over boiling water to melt. While this is melting, toast the bread, and butter it; place it on a hot dish, add the seasoning to the cheese, and spread it over the toast. Serve very hot.
2 cups of grated cheese Yolks of two eggs
1/2 cup of milk Salt and cayenne to taste
Toast carefully square slices of bread with the crusts removed; while hot, butter them, and then plunge in a bowl of hot water. Place on a heated dish and stand in the oven to keep warm while you make the rare-bit. Put the milk into a porcelain-lined or granite saucepan; stand it over a moderate fire; when boiling hot, add the cheese; stir continually until the cheese is melted; add the salt, cayenne and yolks, and pour it over the toasted bread.
If the rare-bit is stringy and tough, it is the fault of the cheese not being rich enough to melt.
Old English dairy cheese makes the best Welsh rare-bit.
2 cups of grated cheese 1/4 teaspoonful of mustard 1 dash of cayenne 1 cup of milk 1/2 teaspoonful of salt 6 squares buttered toast 6 poached eggs
Put the milk on to boil in a porcelain or granite saucepan; add to it the cheese, mustard, salt and cayenne; stir constantly until the cheese is melted. Have ready the toast, pour enough of the cheese over each piece to cover it, put a poached egg carefully on the top of each piece, dust lightly with pepper and salt, and serve immediately.