most familiar form is the essence of vanilla, extracted from the pod, but its use cannot be recommended, for being volatile, the greater part of its flavour escapes during the process of cooking. It is much better to use vanilla pods or vanilla sugar.
Vinegar—(Fr. Vinaigre).—The best vinegar comes from France, and is made from white wine. Ordinary vinegar is made chiefly from malt, cheap wine and cider, by a long process whereby acetic acid is produced. Any of these vinegars may be used to form the base of chilli, tarragon, or eschalot vinegar, the ingredients from which they take their name being steeped in the vinegar until the desired flavour is imparted. An inferior variety of vinegar is distilled from wood, but it is somewhat lacking in flavour, and consequently considered suitable only for pickling purposes. Vinegar serves many useful purposes in cookery: it enters largely into the composition of many sauces, and greatly assists in softening the fibres of tough meat. Vinegar is also an antiseptic: and taken in small quantities it promotes digestion, by stimulating the organs engaged in the process into greater activity; but if taken in excess, it is highly injurious.
Baking Powder.—Mix well together 4 ozs. of ground rice, 4 ozs. of carbonate of soda, and 3 ozs. of tartaric acid, and pass them through a fine sieve. Keep in an air-tight tin.
Blanching.—Some things are blanched to improve their colour, others to remove some strong, undesirable flavour. In all cases the process is the same, the article being immersed in a saucepan of cold water, which is brought to boiling point, and then strained off.
Bouquet Garni.—This name is given to the small bunch of herbs so much used for flavouring sauces, soups, and stews. In its most simple form it consists of a sprig of thyme, marjoram, and a bayleaf wrapped together in parsley, and tied into a little roll. To these may be added a small quantity of one or more of the following: chervil, chives, celery leaf, basil, tarragon.
Breadcrumbs (White).—Remove the crust from some stale bread and rub it through a fine wire sieve, using the palm of the hand for the purpose. Any crumbs left over from egging and bread-crumbing should be dried in the oven, passed through a sieve, and kept in an air-tight tin or jar for future use.
Breadcrumbs (Brown).—Put the crusts removed from the loaf in making white breadcrumbs, or any pieces of stale bread there may be, into a moderate oven, and bake them brown. Then crush them with a rolling pin or pound them in a mortar, pass them through a fine wire sieve, and keep them in an air-tight tin. To make them more quickly, brown white breadcrumbs in a hot oven, turning them frequently during the process, pass them through a fine sieve and use.