Read BREAKFAST DISHES of Science in the Kitchen., free online book, by Mrs. E. E. Kellogg, on ReadCentral.com.

A good breakfast is the best capital upon which people who have real work to do in the world can begin the day. If the food is well selected and well cooked, it furnishes both cheer and strength for their daily tasks. Poor food, or good food poorly prepared, taxes the digestive powers more than is due, and consequently robs brain and nerves of vigor. Good food is not rich food, in the common acceptation of the term; it is such food as furnishes the requisite nutriment with the least fatigue to the digestive powers. It is of the best material, prepared in the best manner, and with pleasant variety, though it may be very simple.

“What to get for breakfast” is one of the most puzzling problems which the majority of housewives have to solve. The usually limited time for its preparation requires that it be something easily and quickly prepared; and health demands that the bill of fare be of such articles as require but minimum time for digestion, that the stomach may have chance for rest after the process of digestion is complete, before the dinner hour. The custom of using fried potatoes or mushes, salted fish or meats, and other foods almost impossible of digestion, for breakfast dishes, is most pernicious. These foods set completely at variance all laws of breakfast hygiene. They are very difficult of digestion, and the thirst-provoking quality of salted foods makes them an important auxiliary to the acquirement of a love of intoxicating drinks. We feel very sure that, as a prominent temperance writer says, “It very often happens that women who send out their loved ones with an agony of prayer that they may be kept from drink for the day, also send them with a breakfast that will make them almost frantic with thirst before they get to the first saloon.”

The foods composing the breakfast menu should be simple in character, well and delicately cooked, and neatly served. Fruits and grains and articles made from them offer the requisites for the ideal breakfast. These afford ample provision for variety, are easily made ready, and easily digested, while at the same time furnishing excellent nutriment in ample quantity and of the very best quality. Meats, most vegetables, and compound dishes, more difficult of digestion, are better reserved for the dinner bill of fare. No vegetable except the potato is especially serviceable as a breakfast food, and it is much more readily digested when baked than when prepared in any other manner. Stewing requires less time for preparation, but about one hour longer for digestion.

As an introduction to the morning meal, fresh fruits are most desirable, particularly the juicy varieties, as oranges, grape fruit, melons, grapes, and peaches, some one of which are obtainable nearly the entire year. Other fruits; such as apples, bananas, pears, etc., though less suitable, may be used for the same purpose. They are, however, best accompanied with wafers or some hard food, to insure their thorough mastication.

For the second course, some of the various cereals, oatmeal, rye, corn, barley, rice, or one of the numerous preparations of wheat, well cooked and served with cream, together with one or more unfermented breads (recipes for which have been given in a previous chapter), cooked fruits, and some simple relishes, are quite sufficient for a healthful and palatable breakfast.

If, however, a more extensive bill of fare is desired, numerous delicious and appetizing toasts may be prepared according to the recipes given in this chapter, and which, because of their simple character and the facility with which they can be prepared, are particularly suitable as breakfast dishes. The foundation of all these toasts is zwieback, or twice-baked bread, prepared from good whole-wheat or Graham fermented bread cut in uniform slices not more than a half inch thick, each slice being divided in halves, placed on tins, or what is better, the perforated sheets recommended for baking rolls, and baked or toasted in a slow oven for a half hour or longer, until it is browned evenly throughout the entire slice. The zwieback may be prepared in considerable quantity and kept on hand in readiness for use. It will keep for any length of time if stored in a dry place.

Stale bread is the best for making zwieback, but it should be good, light bread; that which is sour, heavy, and not fit to eat untoasted, should never be used. Care must be taken also not to scorch the slices, as once scorched, it is spoiled. Properly made, it is equally crisp throughout, and possesses a delicious, nutty flavor.

Its preparation affords an excellent opportunity for using the left-over slices of bread, and it may be made when the oven has been heated for other purposes, as after the baking of bread, or even during the ordinary cooking, with little or no additional heat. If one possesses an Aladdin oven, it can be prepared to perfection.

Zwieback may also be purchased in bulk, all ready for use, at ten cents a pound, from the Sanitarium Food Co., Battle Creek, Mich., and it is serviceable in so many ways that it should form a staple article of food in every household.

For the preparation of toasts, the zwieback must be first softened with some hot liquid, preferably thin cream. Heat the cream (two thirds of a pint of cream will be sufficient for six half slices) nearly to boiling in some rather shallow dish. Put the slices, two or three at a time, in it, dipping the cream over them and turning so that both sides will become equally softened. Keep the cream hot, and let the slices remain until softened just enough so that the center can be pierced with a fork, but not until at all mushy or broken. With two forks or a fork and a spoon, remove each slice from the hot cream, draining as thoroughly as possible, and pack in a heated dish, and repeat the process until as much zwieback has been softened as desired. Cover the dish, and keep hot until ready to serve. Special care should be taken to drain the slices as thoroughly as possible, that none of them be wet and mushy. It is better to remove them from the cream when a little hard than to allow them to become too soft, as they will soften somewhat by standing after being packed in the dish. Prepare the sauce for the toast at the same time or before softening the slices, and pour into a pitcher for serving. Serve the slices in individual dishes, turning a small quantity of the hot sauce over each as served.

RECIPES.

APPLE TOAST. Fresh, nicely flavored apples stewed in a small quantity of water, rubbed through, a colander, sweetened, then cooked in a granite-ware dish in a slow oven until quite dry, make a nice dressing for toast. Baked sweet or sour apples rubbed through a colander to remove cores and skins, are also excellent. Soften slices of zwieback in hot cream, and serve with a spoonful or two on each slice. If desired, the apple may be flavored with a little pineapple or lemon, or mixed with grape, cranberry, or apricot, thus making a number of different toasts.

APRICOT TOAST. Stew some nice dried apricots as directed on page 191. When done, rub through a fine colander to remove all skins and to render them homogeneous. Add sugar to sweeten, and serve as a dressing on slices of zwieback which have been previously softened in hot cream. One half or two thirds fresh or dried apples may be used with the apricots, if preferred.

ASPARAGUS TOAST. Prepare asparagus as directed on page 255. When tender, drain off the liquor and season it with a little cream, and salt if desired. Moisten nicely browned zwieback in the liquor and lay in a hot dish; unbind the asparagus, heap it upon the toast, and serve.

BANANA TOAST. Peel and press some nice bananas through a colander. This may be very easily done with a potato masher, or if preferred a vegetable press may be used for the purpose. Moisten slices of zwieback with hot cream and serve with a large spoonful of the banana pulp on each slice. Fresh peaches may be prepared and used on the toast in the same way.

BERRY TOAST. Canned strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries may be made into an excellent dressing for toast.

Turn a can of well-kept berries into a colander over an earthen dish, to separate the juice from the berries. Place the juice in a porcelain kettle and heat to boiling. Thicken to the consistency of cream with flour rubbed smooth in a little water; a tablespoonful of flour to the pint of juice will be about the right proportion. Add the berries and boil up just sufficiently to cook the flour and heat the berries; serve hot. If cream for moistening the zwieback is not obtainable, a little juice may be reserved without thickening, and heated in another dish to moisten the toast; of if preferred, the fruit may be heated and poured over the dry zwieback without being thickened, or it may be rubbed through a colander as for Apricot Toast.

BERRY TOAST N. Take fresh red or black raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries, and mash well with a spoon. Add sugar to sweeten, and serve as a dressing on slices of zwieback previously moistened with hot cream.

CELERY TOAST. Cut the crisp white portion of celery into inch pieces, simmer twenty minutes or half an hour, or until tender, in a very little water; add salt and a cup of rich milk. Heat to boiling, and thicken with a little flour rubbed smooth in a small quantity of milk a teaspoonful of flour to the pint of liquid. Serve hot, poured over slices of zwieback previously moistened with cream or hot water.

CREAM TOAST. For this use good Graham or whole-wheat zwieback. Have a pint of thin sweet cream scalding hot, salt it a little if desired, and moisten the zwieback in it as previously directed packing it immediately into a hot dish; cover tightly so that the toast may steam, and serve. The slices should be thoroughly moistened, but not soft and mushy nor swimming in cream; indeed, it is better if a little of the crispness still remains.

CREAM TOAST WITH POACHED EGG. Prepare the cream toast as previously directed, and serve hot with a well-poached egg on each slice.

CHERRY TOAST. Take a quart of ripe cherries; stem, wash and stew (if preferred the stones may be removed) until tender but not broken; add sugar to sweeten, and pour over slices of well-browned dry toast or zwieback. Serve cold.

GRAVY TOAST. Heat a quart and a cupful of rich milk to boiling, add salt, and stir into it three scant tablespoonfuls of flour which has been rubbed to a smooth paste in a little cold milk. This quantity will be sufficient for about a dozen slices of toast. Moisten slices of zwieback with hot water and pack in a heated dish. When serving, pour a quantity of the cream cause over each slice.

DRY TOAST WITH HOT CREAM. Nicely prepared zwieback served in hot saucers with hot cream poured over each slice at the table, makes a most delicious breakfast dish.

GRAPE TOAST. Stem well-ripened grapes, wash well, and scald without water in a double boiler until broken; rub through a colander to remove sends and skins, and when cool, sweeten to taste. If the toast is desired for breakfast, the grapes should be prepared the day previous. Soften the toast in hot cream, as previously directed, and pack in a tureen. Heat the prepared grapes and serve, pouring a small quantity over each slice of toast. Canned grapes may be used instead of fresh ones, if desired.

LENTIL TOAST. Lentils stewed as directed for Lentil Gravy on page 226 served as a dressing on slices of zwieback moistened with hot cream or water, makes a very palatable toast. Browned flour may be used to thicken the dressing if preferred.

PRUNE TOAST. Cook prunes as directed on page 191, allowing them to simmer very slowly for a long time. When done, rub through a colander, and if quite thin, they should be stewed again for a time, until they are about the consistency of marmalade. Moisten slices of zwieback with hot cream, and serve with a spoonful or two of the prune dressing on each. One third dried apple may be used with the prune, if preferred.

PEACH TOAST. Stew nice fresh peaches in a small quantity of water; when tender, rub through a colander, and if quite juicy, place on the back of the range where they will cook very slowly until nearly all the water has evaporated, and the peach is of the consistency of marmalade. Add sugar to sweeten, and serve the same as prunes, on slices of zwieback previously moistened with hot cream. Canned peaches may be drained from their juice and prepared in the same manner. Dried or evaporated peaches may also be used. Toast with dried-peach dressing will be more delicate in flavor if one third dried apples be used with the peaches.

SNOWFLAKE TOAST. Heat to boiling a quart of milk to which a half cup of cream, and a little salt have been added. Thicken with a tablespoonful of flour rubbed smooth in a little cold milk. Have ready the whites of two eggs beaten to a stiff froth; and when the sauce is well cooked, turn a cupful of it on the beaten egg, stirring well meanwhile so that it will form a light, frothy mixture, to which add the remainder of the sauce. If the sauce is not sufficiently hot to coagulate the albumen, it may be heated again almost to the boiling point, but should not be allowed to boil. The sauce should be of a light, frothy consistency throughout. Serve as dressing on nicely moistened slices of zwieback.

TOMATO TOAST. Moisten slices of zwieback in hot cream, and serve with a dressing prepared by heating a pint of strained stewed tomato to boiling, and thickening with a tablespoonful of corn starch or flour rubbed smooth in a little cold water. Season with salt and a half cupful of hot cream. The cream may be omitted, if preferred.

VEGETABLE OYSTER TOAST. Cook a quart of cleaned, sliced vegetable oysters in a quart of water until very tender; add a pint and a half of rich milk, salt to taste, and thicken the whole with two tablespoonfuls of flour rubbed to a smooth paste with a little milk. Let it boil for a few minutes, and serve as a dressing on slices of well-browned toast previously moistened with hot water or cream.

MISCELLANEOUS BREAKFAST DISHES.

BREWIS. Heat a pint of rich milk to boiling, remove from fire, and beat into it thoroughly and quickly a cup of very fine stale rye or Graham bread crumbs. Serve at once with cream.

BLACKBERRY MUSH. Rub a pint of canned or fresh stewed and sweetened blackberries, having considerable juice, through a fine colander or sieve to remove the seeds. Add water to make a pint and a half cupful in all, heat to boiling, and sprinkle into it a cupful of sifted Graham flour, or sufficient to make a mush of desired thickness. Cook as directed for Graham Mush, page 90. Serve hot with cream.

DRY GRANOLA. This prepared food, made from wheat, corn, and oats, and obtainable from the Sanitarium Food Co., Battle Creek, Mich., forms an excellent breakfast dish eaten with cold or hot milk and cream. Wheatena, prepared wholly from wheat; Avenola, made from oats and wheat; and Gofio, made from parched grains, all obtainable from the same firm, are each delicious and suitable foods for the morning meal.

FRUMENTY. Wash well a pint of best wheat, and soak for twenty-four hours in water just sufficient to cover. Put the soaked wheat in a covered earthen baking pot or jar, cover well with water, and let it cook in a very slow oven for twelve hours. This may be done the day before it is wanted, or if one has a coal range in which a fire may be kept all night, or an Aladdin oven, the grain may be started in the evening and cooked at night. When desired for use, put in a saucepan with three pints of milk, a cupful of well-washed Zante currants, and one cup of seeded raisins. Boil together for a few minutes, thicken with four tablespoonfuls of flour rubbed smooth in a little cold milk, and serve.

MACARONI WITH RAISINS. Break macaroni into inch lengths sufficient to fill a half-pint cup. Heat four cups of milk, and when actively boiling, put in the macaroni and cook until tender. Pour boiling water over a half cup of raisins, and let them stand until swelled. Ten or fifteen minutes before the macaroni is done, add the raisins. Serve hot with or without the addition of cream. Macaroni cooked in the various ways as directed in the chapter on Grains, is also suitable for breakfast dishes.

MACARONI WITH KORNLET. Break macaroni into inch lengths and cook in boiling milk and water. Prepare the kornlet by adding to it an equal quantity of rich milk or thin cream, and thickening with a little flour, a tablespoonful to the pint. When done, drain the macaroni, and add the kornlet in the proportion of a pint of kornlet mixture to one and one half cups of macaroni. Mix well, turn into an earthen dish, and brown in a moderate oven. Left-over kornlet soup, if kept on ice, may be utilized for this breakfast dish, and the macaroni may be cooked the day before. Green corn pulp may be used in place of the kornlet.

PEACH MUSH. Prepare the same as Blackberry Mush using very thin peach sauce made smooth by rubbing through a colander. Freshly stewed or canned peaches or nicely cooked dried peaches are suitable for this purpose. Apples and grapes may be likewise used for a breakfast mush.

RICE WITH LEMON. Wash a cup of rice and turn it into three pints of boiling water, let it boil vigorously until tender, and turn into a colander to drain. While still in the colander and before the rice has become at all cold, dip quickly in and out of a pan of cold water several times to separate the grains, draining well afterward. All should be done so quickly that the rice will not become too cold for serving; if necessary to reheat, place for a few moments in a dish in a steamer over a kettle of boiling water. Serve with a dressing of lemon previously prepared by cutting two fresh lemons in thin, wafer-like slices, sprinkling each thickly with sugar, and allowing them to stand for an hour or more until a syrup is formed. When the rice is ready to serve, lay the slices of lemon on top of it, pouring the syrup over it, and serve with a slice or two of the lemon for each dish.

TABLE TOPICS.

The lightest breakfast is the best. Oswald.

A NEW NAME FOR BREAKFAST. “Tum, mamma, leth’s go down to tupper,”
said a little toddler to her mother, one morning, recently.

“Why, we don’t have supper in the morning,” replied the mother.

“Den leth’s do down to dinner,” urged the little one.

“But we don’t have dinner in the morning,” corrected the mother.

“Well, den, leth’s do down any way,” pleaded the child.

“But try and think what meal we have in the morning,” urged mamma.

“I know,” said the toddler, brightening up.

“What meal do we have in the morning?”

“Oatmeal. Tum on; leth’s do.” Sel.

Seneca, writing to a friend of his frugal fare which he declares
does not cost a sixpence a day, says:

“Do you ask if that can supply due nourishment? Yes; and pleasure too. Not indeed, that fleeting and superficial pleasure which needs to be perpetually recruited, but a solid and substantial one. Bread and polenta certainly is not a luxurious feeding, but it is no little advantage to be able to receive pleasure from a simple diet of which no change of fortune can deprive one.”

Breakfast: Come to breakfast!
Little ones and all,
How their merry footsteps
Patter at the call!
Break the bread; pour freely
Milk that cream-like flows;
A blessing on their appetites
And on their lips of rose.

Dinner may be pleasant
So may the social tea,
But yet, methinks the breakfast
Is best of all the three.
With its greeting smile of welcome,
Its holy voice of prayer,
It forgeth heavenly armor
To foil the hosts of care.

Mrs. Sigourney.

Health is not quoted in the markets because it is without
price. Sel.

It is a mistake to think that the more a man eats, the fatter and
stronger he will become. Sel.