GRANOLA FRUIT MUSH.—Prepare the mush as directed, and stir into it, when done, a large cupful of nicely-steamed, seedless raisins. Serve hot with cream. Milk may be used instead of water, if preferred.
GRANOLA PEACH MUSH.—Instead of the raisins as directed in the foregoing recipe, add to the mush, when done, a pint of sliced yellow peaches. Finely-cut, mellow sweet apples, sliced bananas, and blueberries may be used in a similar way.
BRAN JELLY.—Select some clean wheat bran, sprinkle it slowly into boiling water as for Graham mush, stirring briskly meanwhile with a wooden spoon, until the whole is about the consistency of thick gruel. Cook slowly in a double boiler for two hours. Strain through a fine wire sieve placed over the top of a basin. When strained, reheat to boiling. Then stir into it a spoonful or so of sifted Graham flour, rubbed smooth in a little cold water. Boil up once; turn into molds previously wet in cold water, and when cool, serve with cream or fruit juice.
THE OAT, OR AVENA.
DESCRIPTION.—The native country of the plant from which our common varieties of the oat are derived, is unknown. Oat grains have been found among the remains of the lake-dwellers in Switzerland, and it is probable that this plant was cultivated by the prehistoric inhabitants of Central Europe.
The ancient Greeks and Romans used oats, ranking them next in value to barley, which they esteemed above all other cereals. Although principally grown as food for horses, the oat, when divested of its husk and broken by a process of milling, is an exceedingly nutritious and valuable article of diet for human beings; and there is no article of food that has increased in general favor more rapidly in the last few years than this grain.
The Scotch have long been famed for their large consumption of oatmeal. It forms the staple article of diet for the peasantry, to which fact is generally attributed the fine physique and uniform health for which they, as a race, are particularly noted. It is related that Dr. Johnson, of dictionary fame, who never lost an opportunity to disparage the Scotch, on one occasion defined oats as, “In Scotland, food for men; in England, food for horses.” He was well answered by an indignant Scotchman who replied, “Yes; and where can you find such fine men as in Scotland, or such horses as in England?”
Oatmeal justly ranks high as an alimentary substance. It contains about the same proportion of nitrogenous elements as wheat, and with the exception of maize, is richer in fatty matter than any other of the cultivated cereals. In general structure the oat resembles wheat.