This section is from the book "Elements Of The Theory And Practice Of Cookery", by Mary E. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Elements Of The Theory And Practice Of Cookery; A Textbook Of Domestic Science For Use In Schools.
For two eggs allow one pint of water; for each additional egg three-fourths of a cup of water additional. Put the water in a saucepan, let it come to the boiling-point, lower the eggs into it with a spoon, remove at once from the fire, and let stand covered about ten minutes. The fewer the number of eggs to be cooked, the smaller should be the saucepan, in order that the smaller quantity of water may cover them.
Cut stale bread (at least two days old) into slices one-third of an inch thick. Trim off the crusts, leaving the slices rectangular; lay the bread in a toaster, and hold over a bright coal fire, turning frequently in order that both sides may brown alike. Hold the bread well above the fire at first, to dry it; then nearer, until both sides are an even golden brown. Bread may be toasted on the grid in the broiling oven of a gas-stove. Toast thus made is usually dry all through. It requires close watching to prevent burning. A variety of contrivances for toasting over a top burner are on the market.
Toast may be buttered at once, but is more wholesome if buttered as it is eaten. Serve on a doily, on a hot plate, uncovered.
1 To soften butter work it with a spoon or knife in a warmed bowl if necessary.
Prepare squares or circles (cut with a muffin ring) of water toast; arrange on a platter. On each break carefully a soft-cooked egg, keeping the yolk whole and in the centre of the slice of toast; sprinkle a little salt, and a tiny bit of white pepper, on each yolk, and serve. (Plate VII.)
To break an egg, hold it in the left hand and crack the shell by striking it sharply with a knife; then put your thumbs together at the crack, and gently break the shell apart. (Plate VI.)
To separate the yolk from the white, hold the egg upright while breaking the shell apart, so that the yolk will remain in one half of the shell: slip the yolk from one piece of shell to the other several times, letting the white run over the edge into a bowl or plate. Caution. - When using several eggs, if you are not sure of their freshness, break each singly into a cup, and examine it before adding it to the rest.
Beat yolks in a bowl with a fork or a Dover beater; beat whites in a bowl with a Dover beater, or on a deep plate or platter with a fork or wire whisk. Whites are beaten stiff when a knife-cut made in the mass does not close; dry, when the gloss is gone from them, and flaky bits fly off as you beat. Yolks well beaten are thick and much lighter colored than before beating.
Eggs are beaten slightly (i.e., until the white and yolk are mingled) to make them smooth and creamy, for French omelet, custards, and some sauces. They are beaten till light to entangle air in fine bubbles in the albumin. Can you beat in more air by beating the whole egg or by beating the white separately from the yolk? To beat with a spoon or fork, carry it swiftly through the material, tilting the dish so that the material will be "flopped" over at each stroke. To stir, move the spoon steadily in a widening circle. To fold one ingredient into another, put the spoon in edge-wise, lift the ingredients, and turn them over; repeat until thoroughly mixed. Avoid stirring after beating or folding. Why?
Breaking an Egg.
Separating Yolk from White.