Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/844

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

an element in gravies, etc., as the far more expensive coloring-matter of brown meat-gravies, and that our English cooks should use it far more liberally than they usually do.

Its preparation is easy enough; the sugar should be gradually heated till it assumes a rich brown color and has lost its original sweetness. If carried just far enough, and not too far, the result is easily soluble in hot water, and the solution may be kept for a long time, as it is by cooks who understand its merits. In connection with the idea of its disinfecting action, I may refer to the cookery of tainted meat or "high" game. A hare that is repulsively advanced when raw, may by much roasting and browning become quite wholesome, and such is commonly the case in the ordinary cooking of hares. If it were boiled or merely stewed (without preliminary browning) in this condition, it would be quite disgusting to ordinary palates.

A leg of mutton for roasting should be hung until it begins to become odorous; for boiling it should be as fresh as possible. This should be especially remembered now that we have so much frozen meat imported from the antipodes. When duly thawed it is in splendid condition for roasting, but is not usually so satisfactory when boiled. I may here mention incidentally that such meat is sometimes unjustly condemned on account of its displaying a raw center when cooked. This arises from imperfect thawing. The heat required to thaw a given weight of ice and bring it up to 60°, is about the same as demanded for the cookery of an equal quantity of meat, and therefore, while the thawed portions of the meat is being cooked, the frozen portion is but just thawed, and remains quite raw.

A much longer time is demanded for thawing—i. e., supplying 142° of latent heat—than might be supposed. To ascertain whether the thawing is completed, drive an iron skewer through the thickest part of the joint. If there is a core of ice within, it will be distinctly felt by its resistance.

 
XV.

Before leaving the subject of caramel, I should say a few words about French coffee, or "coffee as in France," of which we hear so much. There are two secrets upon which depend the excellence of our neighbors in the production of this beverage: First, economy in using the water; second, flavoring with caramel. As regards the first, it appears that English housewives have been demoralized by the habitual use of tea, and apply to the infusion of coffee the popular formula for that of tea, "a spoonful for each person and one for the pot."

The French after-dinner coffee-cup has about one third of the liquid capacity of a full-sized English breakfast-cup, but the quantity of solid coffee supplied to each cupful is more than equal to that ordinarily allowed for the larger English measure of water.