This section is from the book "Food And Health: An Elementary Textbook Of Home Making", by Helen Kinne, Anna M. Cooley. Also available from Amazon: Food And Health: An Elementary Textbook Of Home Making.
How to make. Do everything as you did with the creamed dried beef, through stirring in the fat. Then add 2 or 3 beaten eggs; stir very fast, - scramble, in fact, - until the egg is cooked; then serve at once.
We shall find some other breakfast dishes farther on in the book.
How can we make it easy to get breakfast? We have said nothing about Mother, so far, in our talk about breakfast, but she is probably the one who is interested in preparing the meal and in having it ready quickly.
One way to save time in the morning is to make some things partly ready the night before.
Read the two recipes for hash again, and see what could be done beforehand. These recipes and the two for dried beef are planned to use as few utensils as possible. This saves dish washing. In the lessons on cereals we shall find there are other ways of saving time for Mother in the early morning.
Making coffee for breakfast. Many grown people think that they cannot do without the cup of fragrant coffee in the morning. Miss James explained to the cooking class that, although young people should not drink it themselves, they ought to know how to make it well for other people. She advised them to use, instead of true coffee, a hot drink made from grain roasted and ground.
What is cereal coffee? Mollie Stark's grandmother told her that crust coffee could be made from the old-fashioned brown bread, which is a mixture of rye and Indian meal, sweetened with a little molasses. The crusts should be dried in the oven, made fine with a rolling pin, and kept dry in a jar, ready for use. The beverage is made by putting a cupful of these crumbs into a coffeepot, pouring on a quart of boiling water, and letting the pot stand at the back of the stove for about half an hour.
Very few people make this kind of brown bread nowadays, but we may still have cereal coffee. If you have grain on the farm take equal parts of popcorn, shelled rye, and wheat grains, roast them slowly in a pan in the oven until they are brown all the way through, keep the parched grain in tight jars, arid grind in the coffee grinder just as you would coffee grains. A little practice will tell you just how much water to use to a cupful of the ground grain. Gentle boiling for half an hour gives a beverage of very good flavor. This homemade cereal coffee is less costly than the kinds that may be purchased.
What is real coffee? The coffee bean comes from a tree growing in tropic countries, which first came from Arabia. Now most of our coffee comes from Brazil, from Central America, and from the West Indies, although we still use the names Mocha and Java. The berries are cured and roasted before we grind them for making. Has your mother ever thought of buying green coffee by the bag from some wholesale firm and roasting it in a slow oven from time to time? If this seems too much trouble, she can buy good coffee, already roasted, from the wholesale dealer, for not more than 19 or 20 cents a pound. It is much better to buy it this way than ground in tins, for you will have a better flavor when you grind it just before using.
Fig. 68. - A pot for boiling coffee and a pot for drip coffee.
Coffee contains two substances that are not especially good for us. One is caffeine, very much like the theine of tea, and the other is a form of tannic acid. While we may like the flavor of coffee boiled a long time, it is much better to boil it only a minute or two, or to make drip coffee. The long boiling draws out the harmful tannic acid. Also the liquid coffee should be poured off the grounds at once. Here are pictures (Figs. 68 and 69) that show the different kinds of coffeepots. In the "percolator" the water boils up through the coffee; in the drip coffeepot the water is poured on from above and slowly drips through the coffee grounds. If you buy a percolator, the directions usually come with it.