The following few bills of fare will serve to illustrate the author's idea:
Rolled Wheat Mush. Cream. Butter. Potatoes. Rolls
Grapes. Bread and Butter. Poached Eggs. Dry Toast
Boiled Rice. Cream and Sugar. Hashed Potatoes. Coffee. Milk
Cornmeal Mush Bread
Sugar and Cream. Butter
Codfish in White Sauce
Oatmeal Mush. Broiled Bacon. Bread. Milk
Sugar and Cream. Creamed Potatoes. Butter. Coffee
Fruit, or fruit sauce, is placed first on the breakfast bill of fare because fruit taken at the beginning of the morning meal is found by some to be both pleasing and beneficial. Strawberries, blackberries, peaches and bananas are each very palatable (in their raw state) with wheat mush. Eating fruit rather than cream with mush gives to some a pleasing variety. Cornmeal mush and oatmeal mush make a better food with milk than with cream and sugar, but on account of greater palatability it is sometimes better to take the cream or fruit, as the mush will not be eaten if served with milk, and cereals are a valuable addition to the morning meal. It is not necessary in the manufacture of cereals that any of the edible portion of the grain be excluded from the finished product. Cereals therefore contain all the mineral matter and muscle-forming material of the grains from which they are made. They also give some bulk to the food, and this is needed by old and young alike. Good'bread is truly the staff of life, and while other foods can furnish fat in sufficient amount, no other fat equals butter in flavor for the purpose for which it is used. Lean meat, eggs and fish give muscle-forming material and mineral matter, both of which are needed to give children good teeth and bones and strong muscles, as well as for repair in older bodies. Potatoes furnish materials for heat and energy and also help give the needed bulk in food. Milk furnishes bulk, mineral matter, etc., and pleases the palate and cheapens the expense of living anywhere. Coffee pleases the palate, but increases the expense and often injures the health. For these reasons children should be brought up in such a way as to have no desire for it if possible.
There is no good reason for many courses in a dinner. Four is enough to give all the food a person needs at the time, and since there is but one good reason for eating, viz., to supply the needs of the body, this answers the conditions. The following menus will serve to illustrate the manner in which a variety can be given from day to day in summer, autumn or winter. Soup is used primarily to aid in giving the system the needed bulk; secondarily, to quiet the nerves and allay the feeling of extreme haste which often causes farmers to eat too hurriedly to masticate their food properly, if solid food is taken at the beginning of the meal. Raw vegetables are used for the sake of the vegetable acids and mineral matter they furnish, and also for bulk, variety and palatability. Both raw vegetables and raw fruits help to tone the system and are cheaper and more palatable than medicine. Cooked vegetables are used largely for bulk and variety, though they of course all give some food value and in case of legumes a goodly amount of it. Desserts are used principally to gratify the palate, and are often eaten when no food is needed. For this reason melons, berries, raw fruit, etc., are better than pastry, etc., for dessert usually. When the busy housewife can find time to prepare no more than three courses she may leave off dessert without fear of injuring any one's health.