I SHALL never forget the first meal I cooked by myself after my marriage. I had never cooked an entire meal before and I didn’t know one joint from another or one measure from another. I was a greenhorn when it came to cooking and baking.
Now I am considered to be the best pastry-maker in my family circle, and I can cook economical meals, flavoured to make those who cat them smack their lips with delight and ask for more.
It hasn’t been easy, this self-acquired art of cooking, but it has been fun finding out. It still gives me a thrill to take a cake or pie from the oven and see it ‘done to a turn.’
I advise all young housewives to experiment for themselves. Keep trying new flavours, new ways of mixing and blending ingredients. It’s fascinating to discover that you are able to make up dishes of your own this way.
All through my married life I have collected my own recipes and hints until now I have a book with all the information that I need to provide for my family circle.
KITCHEN WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
We now use such small quantities in our daily cooking and baking that I find it best to rely on spoon and cup measures. I keep the same breakfast cup for all my cooking and baking. It holds half a pint of liquid. Keeping to the same cup means that my measures are always the same.
I recommend the purchase of measuring spoons as a good kitchen ‘buy.’ Then, too, I find that we purchase our kitchen commodities in such small quantities we can often judge our weights from the shop packets themselves.
I seldom weigh fats, because I keep them in their shop wrappers, and as they are put up in 2-oz., 4-oz. And 8-oz. Packets it is easy to judge any required quantity.
All goods are sold by avoirdupois weight: 16 drams = 1 oz., 16 oz. = 1 lb.
When measuring liquids I remember that one breakfastcupful equals ½ pint (or 2 gills). Then 4 gills = 1 pint; 2 pints = 1 quart; 4 quarts = 1 gallon.
Heavy dry ingredients, like sugar, split peas, barley, are estimated as follows: 1 level tablespoonful = 1 oz. 1 breakfastcupful = 8 oz.
Light dry ingredients, like flour or custard powder, are estimated as follows: 1 level tablespoonful . . . . = 1 oz. 1 breakfastcupful =4 oz. 1 heaped tablespoonful of breadcrumbs – 1 oz. 1 knob of margarine about the size of a pullet’s egg =s 1 oz.
Count one medium egg as = 2 oz. 1 level tablespoonful of currants or sultanas = 1 oz. 1 level tablespoonful of uncooked rice = 1 oz. 1 heaped tablespoonful of thick jam = 2 oz.
The Gas Stove
Use the top two shelves for small cakes, biscuits, scones, and pastries. Middle shelf: joints, slab cake, vegetables. Lower part of oven : custards, casserole dishes, rich fruit cakes.
The Electric Stove
Use the shelves as follows: Top: scones, small cakes. Middle: cakes, vegetables, pastries. Bottom: meats, custards, casserole dishes, rich fruit cakes.