Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Water Issue of Unbelievable Importance

A little on the lighter side today - cooking.  We inherited a small library when we bought our 1930's house here in Colby. In that library was a copy of The Snow White Cook Book - 1892.  I love old style writing so I ventured in.  Some of what I found: (Please note that a few of my comments have been included - in parentheses)

"Page 20 - SOUPS.  Be careful to proportion the quantity of water to that of the meat. Somewhat less than a quart of water to a pound of meat is a good rule for common soups. Rich soups, intended for company, may have a smaller allowance of water."  (Yeah, and less soup, too, for more people!)

"Potatoes, if boiled in the soup, are thought by some to render it unwholesome, from the opinion that water in which potatoes have been cooked is almost a poison."  (OK, so boil your potatoes in the soup only when unwanted company is coming over, and make sure it's a rich soup, too, just to be sure.)

That's all the water stuff for now, but I also love the section titled:  "Rules For Eating."  Straight from the book:  "1.  Never sit down to table with an anxious or disturbed mind; better a hundred times intermit that meal, for there will then be that much more food in the world for hungrier stomachs than yours; and besides, eating under such circumstances can only, and will always, prolong and aggravate the condition of things."  (I always felt maybe my hasty eating habits were the cause of our groundwater problems!)

"2.  Never sit down to a meal after any intense mental effort, for physical and mental injury are inevitable, and no one has the right to deliberately injure body, mind, or estate."  (I guess I'm pretty safe with this rule.)

"3.  Never go to a full table during bodily exhaustion - designated by some as being worn out, tired to death, used up, over done, and the like. The wisest thing to be done under such circumstances is to take a cracker and a cup of tea, black or green, and no more.  Then in a couple of hours, a full meal may be taken, provided that it does not bring it later than two hours before sundown; if later, then take nothing for that day in addition to the cracker and tea.."  (Yeah, this fits our dinner preparation and eating schedules..)  Rule 3 goes on to say:  "..while it is a fact of no unusual observation among intelligent physicians, that eating heartily and under bodily exhaustion, is not unfrequently the cause of alarming and painful illness, and sometimes sudden death."  (That does it - no more eating for me unless I'm ready to run a marathon!)

The book is full of gems, but that's all for now.  If you want more, let me know and I'll from time to time put up some more of this book's sage advice.  Hope you enjoyed it as much as I do.

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