SHELLS are merely the husk of the cocoa-nut; and a cupful to a quart of boiling water is the amount needed. Boil steadily an hour, and use with milk and sugar.
This rule, though unlike that given in cook-books generally, makes a drink in consistency and flavor like that offered at Maillard’s or Mendee’s, the largest chocolate manufacturers in the country.
Scrape or grate fine two squares (two ounces) of Baker’s or any unsweetened chocolate. Add to this one small cup of sugar and a pinch of salt, and put into a saucepan with a tablespoonful of water. Stir for a few minutes till smooth and glossy, and then pour in gradually one pint of milk and one of boiling water. Let all boil a minute. Dissolve one heaping teaspoonful of corn-starch or arrow-root in a little cold water, and add to the chocolate. Boil one minute, and serve. If cream can be had, whip to a stiff froth, allowing two tablespoonfuls of sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence to a cup of cream. Serve a spoonful laid on the top of the chocolate in each cup. The corn-starch may be omitted, but is necessary to the perfection of this rule, the following of which renders the chocolate not only smooth, but entirely free from any oily particles. Flavor is lost by any longer boiling, though usually half an hour has been considered necessary.
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To be able to boil a potato perfectly is one of the tests of a good cook, there being nothing in the whole range of vegetables which is apparently so difficult to accomplish. Like the making of good bread, nothing is simpler when once learned. A good boiled potato should be white, mealy, and served very hot. If the potatoes are old, peel thinly with a sharp knife; cut out all spots, and let them lie in cold water some hours before using. It is more economical to boil before peeling, as the best part of the potato lies next the skin; but most prefer them peeled. Put on in boiling water, allowing a teaspoonful of salt to every quart of water. Medium-sized potatoes will boil in half an hour. Let them be as nearly of a size as possible, and if small and large are cooked at the same time, put on the large ones ten or fifteen minutes before the small. When done, pour off every drop of water; cover with a clean towel, and set on the back of the range to dry for a few minutes before serving. The poorest potato can be made tolerable by this treatment. Never let them wait for other things, but time the preparation of dinner so that they will be ready at the moment needed. New potatoes require no peeling, but should merely be well washed and rubbed.
Boil as directed, and when dry and mealy, mash fine with a potato-masher or large spoon, allowing for a dozen medium-sized potatoes a piece of butter the size of an egg, half a cup of milk, a teaspoonful of salt, and half a teaspoonful of white pepper. The milk may be omitted if the potato is preferred dry. Pile lightly in a dish, or smooth over, and serve at once. Never brown in the oven, as it destroys the good flavor.