WHO SAYS the 1933 housekeeper is not as good a cook as her grandmother? Not I. In fact, I think she is a better one in lots of ways. And just as good a manager as well, if it comes to that. Of course, grandmother could do wonders with her “happy thought,” and the melting goodness of many old-fashioned dishes will linger long in our memories. Oatmeal cookies, com muffins and spoon bread, for instance. But there are some things she never even heard of—pie crust made of crushed, crisp com flakes, dainty little cakes full of puffed rice or wheat grains, ice cream with nutlike kernels to give it flavor. Or flsh with a coating of the same crunchy flakes, casseroles and scalloped dishes topped with them in place of crumbs, soup with a garnish of floating grain, macaroons and candies made quite “different” with the simple addition of seme new form of cereal. Ah, here is where the modern chatelaine is more than a match for any of her predecessors !
The term “breakfast cereals” tells only half the story when we come to talk about these good foods. Of course, we still feel that a bowl of hot porridge or a dish of some ready-to-serve variety gets the day off to the right start. We eat it then for the nourishment it supplies, for economy’s sake and for real enjoyment. There is nothing monotonous about the dish either. Think of the different grains with their distinctive flavor, and the variety of forms in which each may appear. No need to sit down to “the same old thing” every morning unless we like to.
It may be wheat today —cracked, rolled, flaked, puffed or shredded, and formed into little biscuits of different shapes. Or our choice may be com as a meal or in delicate flakes. Or, again, rice puffed to an airy lightness.
And, of course, oats ground to a coarse meal or rolled, and in some cases precooked to shorten the time of preparation. We even have barley malted and blended with wheat to form crisp, golden brown kernels, or other brands of cereal in which a variety of grains are blended for good flavor. Our fancy may be for the finer meals made from hulled com or wheat, but if we want bran we may have it in different forms—-all good, and all good for us. Cereals have indeed kept pace with our demand for variety, and we give them all a turn at our breakfast table.
Sometimes we like our “parritch” straight—from the package or the pot. Another morning we may enjoy one of the many fruit-and-cereal possibilities. Have you tried dates or a few raisins with your hot cereal, or served raw fruit with any of the packaged varieties? Dietetically, this is quite a sensible combination and one w'hich is popular from a flavor point of view. Use any fruit in season such as
sliced peaches, strawberries, sliced bananas, and d o not overlook such dried fruit as apricots, prunes and figs.
But, as I have said, that is only part of the tale. The importance of many varieties as an ingredient in a wide range of dishes is another chapter. We all know that johnny-cake and bran muffins and oatmeal wafers will get a welcome any time, but we have learned a lot of new' tricks and new dishes which equal any other old-time favorite. They give the busy housekeeper a chance for short cuts in cooking, for serving tasty dishes at low cost, and for a bit of novelty in her menus. For instance, instead of always using bread crumbs with your meat and fish loaves, try one of the flaked cereals and see how it gives “body” to the mixture. Then wffien you are making scalloped tomatoes or some such dish, use them in alternate layers with the vegetables, sprinkle them over the top and dot with butter to form a golden brown crust. Vegetables and meat casseroles are good this way and just a bit different. Use prepared cereals sometimes as a coating for croquettes or fish which you cook in the oven or in deep fat, or, for veal and other meats, which are often crumbed, even in the dressing for fowl or stuffing for vegetables such as green peppers, tomatoes and the like.
There are interesting ways to use different kinds of cereals in desserts and quickbreads of all sorts. Grape-Nuts
added to ice cream give a distinctive and delicious flavor; puffed rice or wheat in fudge and other homemade candy is surprisingly good; corn flakes in macaroons make a dainty fit for any occasion, and prepared bran in cookie dough is something delightfully different and tasty. Try the recipe for cereal ice-box cookies and I am sure you will keep a roll in your refrigerator as one of your social ties.
Two cookery short cuts are illustrated in the recipes for corn flake pastry and its lemon cream filling. Try that the next time the family asks for pie.
So, you see, cereals are not only good breakfast foods; they fit into every meal of the day and are listed among the important ingredients for a wide range of dishes. New ideas for their use occur to us almost every time we get out our mixing bowl.
And however cereals are served, they contribute wholesome goodness to the diet. They supply food materials for heat and energy, for growth and development. Furthermore, they offer convenience, variety and good flavor at low cost and are available anywhere all the year round. Their many advantages make the modern housekeeper turn to them for help in serving well-rounded and satisfactory meals to lier family.
Cereal Ice-Box Cookies
Cupfuls of butter 1 Cupful of All-Bran
2 Cupfuls of brown sugar 3 Cupfuls of flour 2 Eggs 2 Teaspoonfuls of baking
Cream the butter, add the sugar gradually and continue creaming until the mass is light. Add the eggs, which have been beaten until light. Add the All-Bran and combine thoroughly. Mix and sift the flour and baking powder and add to the first mixture. Shape into rolls, wrap in waxed paper and let stand in the refrigerator until needed. When thoroughly chilled and firm, slice thinly with a sharp knife and bake on a greased bat ing sheet in a hot oven—425
degrees Fahr.—for ten to twelve minutes.
Corn Flake Pastry
y Cupful of butter y Cupful of sugar
1 Cupful of Corn Flake crumbs
Cream the butter, add the sugar gradually and continue creaming. Roll the Com Flakes with a rolling pin to obtain crumbs, and add one cupful to the creamed mixture. When thoroughly combined, press into a pie tin, patting and shaping until the bottom and sides are covered with a layer of uniform thickness. Place in the refrigerator to harden. An excellent and easy filling is:
1 Package of dates 114 Cupfuls of sugar
1 Teaspoonful of vanilla 14 Cupful of hot water
Cut the dates into small pieces and put into a saucepan with the sugar and water. Cook to a soft paste, then add the flavoring.
Lemon Cream Filling
1 Can of condensed milk (1J^ cupfuls)
Y Cupful of lemon juice Grated rind of one lemon
Add the lemon juice gradually to the condensed milk and stir until combined. Add the grated rind and pour into the Corn Flake pastry shell. Chill thoroughly and serve with sweetened whipped cream.
Grape-Nuts Ice Cream
1 Tablespoon ful of flour
Y Cupful of sugar
Yz Teaspoon ful of salt
2 Cupfuls of milk
1 Cupful of cream
1 Tablespoon ful of vanilla Y¿ Cupful of Grape-Nuts
Scald the milk. Mix together the flour, sugar and salt, and stir this into the hot milk. Beat the egg slightly and stir a little of the milk into it, then pour this into the remaining milk in the double boiler, stirring constantly. Cook carefully until the mixture is thick enough to coat a cold spoon. Remove at once and when cool add the cream and
flavoring. Freeze to a mush, add the GrapeNuts and continue freezing until firm. Serves six.
Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
2Y Cupfuls of quick cooking oats
2 Teaspoon fuis of baking powder
5 Tablespoon fuis of cocoa
iy Cupfuls of sugar
1Y Teaspoon fuis of vanilla
y Cupful of flour
Y Teaspoon ful of salt
Y Cupful of milk
Y Cupful of shortening
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa and sugar together, and sift over the oats. Mix thoroughly. Stir together the milk, egg and melted shortening and add to the dry ingredients. Blend well. Drop by spoonfuls on to a well-greased pan and bake in a moderate oven—350 degrees Fahr.—for twenty to twenty-five minutes.
Southern Spoon Bread
y Cupful of commeal
1 Teaspoonful of salt
3 Tablespoonfuls of melted
1 Cupful of boiling water
1 Cupful of milk
4 Teaspoon fuis of baking
Mix the salt with the cornmeal, then add the melted butter and the boiling water slowly. Beat well until smooth. Add the milk, well-beaten eggs and baking powder. Mix well and turn into a greased casserole about eight inches in diameter. Bake in a moderate oven—350 degrees Fahr.—for forty to fifty minutes.
Date Sandwich Loaf
1 y Cupfuls of rolled oats
1 Yi Cupfuls of pastry flour
3 Teaspoon fuis of baking
y Teaspoonful of salt
1 Cupful of brown sugar
y Cupful of butter
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, and add to the rolled oats. Cut in the butter until well mixed. Break the egg
into this, and mix with a fork until well blended. Spread half of this mixture on a greased shallow cake pan about nine inches square. Spread with date filling and cover with the remaining half of the rolled oats mixture. Bake in a moderate oven—350 to 375 degrees Fahr.—for thirty to thirty-five minutes.
(Good as a salad accompaniment.)
lYz Cupfuls of prepared bran
1 Cupful of cake or pastry flour y Teaspoonful of baking powder Yz Teaspoonful of salt
6 Tablespoon fuis of grated cheese
2 Tablespoon fuis of shortening Y\ Cupful of boiling water
Measure the flour, baking powder and salt and sift over the bran. Add the grated cheese, and mix all together thoroughly. Melt the shortening in the boiling water and add to the first mixture. Then add the egg, well beaten. Roll out very thin, sprinkle lightly with salt and cut with a cookie cutter. Place on a greased baking sheet and set in a slow oven—275 to 300 degrees Fahr.—until cooked.
Corn Flake Cream
3 Cupfuls of Corn Flakes
3 Tablespoon fuis of sugar
3 Tablespoon fuis of butter
Yz Teaspoonful cinnamon
Put the Corn Flakes through the meat grinder or roll very fine. Mix thoroughly with the other ingredients. Line the bottom of a cake tin or ovenproof baking dish— about eight inches in diameter—with this mixture, reserving about a quarter cupful. Fill with the following:
1 Yz Tablespoonfuls of flour Y Cupful of sugar Yz Teaspoon ful of salt
2 Egg yolks
1 Yz Cupfuls of scalded milk % Teaspoonful of vanilla
Mix the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the beaten egg yolks and mix until smooth. Stir the scalded milk slowly into this, and cook in a double boiler until thickened.
Cover with meringue made from the egg w'hites, stiffly beaten, and four tablespoonfuls of sugar. Sprinkle the remaining Com Flake mixture on top and bake in a slow oven—300 degrees Fahr.—for forty minutes. Six generous servings.
Puffed Rice Brittle
Spread two cupfuls of puffed rice in a shallow pan and place in the oven until crisped. Put one cupful of granulated sugar in a frying pan and set over a moderate heat. Stir until it melts and becomes a golden brown syrup, add a quarter teaspoon ful of vanilla and pour quickly over the Puffed Rice. When cool break into small pieces for serving.
1 Quart of milk
1 Teaspoon ful of salt
1 Cupful of Cream of Wheat
2 to 3 Tablespoonfuls of grated cheese Butter
Place the milk and salt in the top part of a double boiler and bring to boiling point. Add the Cream of Wheat gradually, stirring during the addition. Let boil for two or three minutes, then place over hot water to finish cooking. Beat the eggs and mix thoroughly with the hot cereal. Pour into a wide dish and allow to cool. Cut in rectangular-shaped pieces and place in layers in a baking dish having grated cheese between the layers. Dot the top with butter and place in a moderate oven until browned.
Try These for Dessert
Brown Sugar Sauce
Y¿ Cupful of brown sugar 2 Tablespoonfuls of cornstarch Pinch of salt
2 Cupfuls of boiling water 1 Yi Tablespoonfuls of butter 1 Tablespoonful of vinegar
Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add the boiling water gradually while stirring, and cook for ten minutes, stirring constantly to avoid lumping. Add the butter and vinegar. Stir until the butter is j melted and serve hot.
1 Cupful of sugar }4 Cupful of hot water y Pound of marshmallows Y> Teaspoonful of vanilla y Teaspoon ful of almond flavoring
Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water and cook together without stirring until the syrup spins a thread when dropped from
the tip of a spoon. Add the marshmallows, which have been cut in small pieces with the scissors. Beat until smooth, add the flavorings and serve hot. If too thick, add a few drops of hot water.
Steamed Suet Pudding
1Y Cupfuls of flour y Teaspoonful of soda y Teaspoonful of salt y Teaspoonful each of ginger, allspice, cloves
Y Teaspoon ful each of nutmeg
and cinnamon Y¿ Cupful of chopped suet Yz Cupful of seedless raisins Yz Cupful of chopped dates Yz Cupful of molasses
Y Cupful of sour milk
Sift the flour, measure and sift with the soda, salt and spices. Add the chopped suet, the raisins and chopped dates and mix well. Combine the molasses and sour milk and add to the first mixture. Beat well and fill greased pudding molds % full of the mixture. Cover closely and steam for 2 Yz hours. Serve with a brown sugar sauce.
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