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Discussion Of Foods And Cooking

( Originally Published 1918 )

Management of the kitchen stove. Cooking by dry heat. Baked vegetable or fruit.


Foods.—The body uses food to build and repair its tissues, to provide heat and energy, and to regulate the body processes. Foods differ from one another in their composition and in their ability to assist the body in the performance of its varied functions. These differences have led to the classification of foods into five groups, which are spoken of as the five food-stuffs or food principles.

While some foods can be used as they occur in nature, most of them are made more acceptable by the application of heat. Heat softens the structure of vegetables and fruits, makes tender the tissues of meat, pre-pares starch for digestion, develops the flavour in many foods, and destroys the parasites and germs that may be present. The five food-stuffs are differently affected by heat some require slow cooking, others require intense heat. Hence, it is necessary to study cooking, in order that each food may be properly prepared.

The stove. A knowledge of the construction of the stove and the methods whereby heat is obtained is imperative if one is to he a successful cook. For all stoves three things are necessary fuel, a supply of oxygen, and a certain degree of heat, known as the kindling point, whereby the fire is started. The supply of oxygen is regulated by dampers and checks so arranged as to admit or cut off the draught of air.

The creative dampers are doors or slides that come below the fire box. When open, they admit the entrance of air, increase the draught, and facilitate combustion.

The oven damper is a it plate which closes the opening into the chimney flue, to decrease the drawing of the draught, When the oven damper is closed, the heat from the fire remains in the stove and passes around the oven.

Checks are doors or slides higher than the fire-box, which, when open, allow the cold air to pass over the fire, retarding combustion.

A stove is also provided with means for disposing of the ashes, soot, and the gases formed_ All parts of the stove are so arranged that they may be kept clean.


There should be provided for this lesson from the homes of the pupils or the school garden), some fruit. or vegetable iii season that can be cooked by dry heat. Each pupil may be able to bring an apple or a potato. The teacher should be sure to have an oven that can be well heated for baking and to have the fire well started before the lesson begins, so that the oven will he ready for use.

Lessons in geography and nature study should lie correlated with the cooking lesson, to give the pupils an opportunity to study the source of foods and the reasons for cooking them.

One of the pupils should write the recipes on the black-board before the lesson hour.

RECIPES Baked Apples

Wash the apples, core them, and cut through the skin with a knife, so that the apple can expand in baking without breaking the skin. Place the apples in a baking-dish and fill each cavity with sugar. Cover the bottom of the dish with water one quarter of an inch deep and bake until the apples are soft (20 to 45 minutes), basting them every 10 minutes. Place them in a serving dish and pour the juice over them. Serve hot or cold.

Baked Potatoes

Select smooth potatoes of medium size, scrub carefully, and place in a baking-pan. Bake in a hot oven from 45 minutes to one hour. When soft, break the skin to let the steam escape and serve at once.


Discuss very briefly the food that is to be cooked and the method of cooking it. Have as many apples or potatoes baked as there are members of the class or as the baking-dish will hold.

Assign tasks to special members of the class.

As quickly as possible put the vegetable or fruit in the oven to bake.

While the baking is in process, take up a general discussion of foods and cooking and a special discussion of the food which is being used and the method of cooking that is being employed.

Give as thorough a lesson on the stove and combustion as time permits. Examine the baked article and discuss the methods of serving it, the time for serving, and so on.Use the finished product for the school lunch or have it served daintily in the class. Encourage the pupils to bring a dish to school in order to take the results of their work home for the family meal, if a school lunch is not served or if they do not need a lunch. Give careful directions for washing the dishes and supervise the housework carefully. (Sec pages 52, 53, household Management.)

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