Squash

Buttered Beets A. Squash.

Prepare squash, boiled, steamed, and baked. Compare the time of cooking, the texture, and the flavor.

Boiled Squash

Cut the squash in pieces, pare, and remove seeds and strings. Cook in boiling, salted water, until soft. Drain, mash, and season with salt, pepper, and butter.

Steamed Squash

Follow directions under boiled squash, except that, instead of boiling the squash, you should cook it in a strainer over boiling water.

Baked Squash

Prepare squash by cutting in squares and removing seeds and strings, but do not pare. Bake until soft.

B. 1. Wash a beet and cut the top off close. Cook in hot water until tender. 2. Wash a beet as before, but take pains not to break the skin, retain the root and at least an inch of the top. Cook as before. Compare results. When should beets be peeled, before or after cooking? To serve, peel, and cut beets in half-inch slices and reheat in a little butter; season with salt, and pepper if desired.

C. Class Experiment. Sugar Test.

Very dilute copper sulphate and potassium hydroxide solutions are used in testing for sugar.

1. Boil together a little or the two solutions, and note the color obtained when no sugar is present.

2. To a few drops of glucose, add a little of the two solutions and boil. (Corn syrup may be used.) What is the color when sugar is present?

3. See if you can obtain this color by using granulated sugar in place of the glucose.

4. Boil a little granulated sugar with some acid in the water. (Cream of tartar or vinegar may be used.) Now try the sugar test, but before boiling, be sure to add enough of the hydroxide to color the solution blue and not green.

5. Boil small pieces of vegetables or fruit, such as beet, onion, sweet potato, grape, apple, prune, or date, with water, and then test the water for sugar. If the test is not obtained at once, try boiling first with acid, and then making the test.

Cane And Beet Sugar

Sucrose is the chemical name of the sugar used as lump, granulated, or powdered sugar. It occurs in large amounts in sugar cane and in the sugar palm, as well as in sugar beets. In the manufacture of sugar from sugar cane, the cane is crushed and the juice squeezed out by passing between a series of rollers while the pulp is sprayed with water. This gives what is called raw juice. The separation and refining of the sugar is sometimes carried out by one process, sometimes by another. Lime is often used to neutralize the acidity of the juice, impurities are filtered off or allowed to settle out, and the residue is boiled repeatedly, sugar crystallizing out after each boiling. In modern factories, this last process is accomplished in vacuum pans. The raw or brown sugar which is obtained requires still further purification. It is washed with sugar syrup, dissolved in hot water, clarified, and filtered first through cotton bags, then through bone-black filters, to remove as much of the color as possible, and again crystallized in vacuum pans. During the last process, the sugar is often "blued" to make it appear whiter. When we study in detail all the processes which sugar goes through, and all the machinery which is used in its manufacture, it seems marvelous that sugar can be sold for a few cents a pound.

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Copyright by Underwood & Underwood, N. Y. A Field of Sugar Cane

The source of one of our important foods

Sugar from beets is manufactured by similar processes, but the juice is soaked out instead of being crushed out of the beet. As found on the market, the crystals of sugar from the one source are usually coarser than from the other, but the two are equally valuable. The United States produces sugar in large quantities, but more from cane than from beets. Europe, on the other hand, makes beet sugar.

Refined sugar could also be manufactured from the sap of the sugar maple, although not very profitably, for the amount of sugar present is small; but because the taste of the raw sugar is agreeable, maple sugar, as such, is put upon the market and obtains a good price.

The amount of sugar used yearly is large. In this country, about eighty-five pounds per person is consumed, but of course some of this is used in industrial processes. It is only recently that sugar has been used freely, and it is still an open question whether such extensive use is desirable. Sugar not only lacks mineral salts, as has already been pointed out, but it shows some tendency to cause indigestion. In too great concentration, it abstracts water from the the mucous membrane. Sherman suggests that this effect is easily illustrated by holding a piece of hard candy in one side of the mouth for some time, without moving it. Then, too, sugar readily ferments in the stomach, and forms irritating acids. On the other hand, sugar is quickly digested and furnishes an immediate source of energy.

In the household use of sugar, it should be remembered that the best time to eat sugar or candy is after meals. If taken with staple food, it often causes more to be eaten than is needed, or by cloying the appetite, produces the opposite effect. Taken between meals, it may upset the normal appetite. It is less likely to irritate the stomach, if taken with other food. Liberal amounts of water also tend to lessen the irritation.

Sugar is a hearty food and can undoubtedly be used in larger quantities by very active people, hard laborers, and children, than by sedentary people, if it does not produce digestive disturbances. It is often carried by soldiers or mountain climbers because it is a concentrated food.

References

U. S. Dept. of Agriculture. Farmers' Bulletin No. 93. "Sugar as Food" or Farmers' Bulletin, No. 535. "Sugar and Its Value as Food."

Journal of Home Economics. Vol. VII, p. 544. "The Consumption of Sugar."

Questions

1. Make a list of common vegetables, giving season, amount needed for a family of four, and the probable cost of that amount when in season. (The work on this table may well be divided between the different members of the class.)

2. Make a list of the cheaper vegetables, and give as many ways of preparing each as you can find. Consult cook books.