Learn to Simplify Food Preparation by Using Basic or Standard Recipes

Osceola Record, Osceola, Nebraska June 10, 1920, page 4

(Prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture.)

Recipes are guides for the cook just as paper patterns are guides for the dressmaker. The good dressmaker does not purchase a new pattern for each new garment that she makes but uses her plain sleeve, her plain waist, and her plain skirt patterns and alters then to meet individual requirements and current styles. So the homemaker should learn to simplify her food preparation by using a few basic or standard method of combining these ingredients and varying these recipes to meet her need, rather than blindly following every new recipe appearing in cook book, magazine or newspaper. To analyze these new recipes, says to office of home economics, would be to find that almost all of them are variations of a few simple patterns or types, divided or multiplied, differently flavored, baked in a new form or otherwise changed in some such detail.

Quick batters and doughs make up a large group of our common foods for which recipes are almost endless yet all are variations of the few types given in the table.

How to Mix the Ingredients (except for Pastry). – Mix sugar with shortening. Add egg (in some cakes only the yolk is added at this time – the separated white is folded in the batter at the last). Add liquid and sifted dry ingredients alternately.

The Way to Make Pastry. – Mix fat and flour thoroughly, then add water slowly. Mix and roll thin.

All of these basic recipes can be varied in a number of ways. Take the plain cake for example . By varying the flavoring, etc., one can have many recipes from the one-pattern recipe.

Variation with One Batter.

For Layer Cake. – Bake batter in layer cake tins. The various layers may be differently colored if desired. Put together with filling or frosting.

For Chocolate Cake. – Add one square chocolate (one ounce or one-fourth cupful) and one tablespoonful less of flour than called for. Or while melting chocolate, make thick paste with two tablespoonfuls boiling water, cooking it until thick and of shout the same consistency as the cake batter. In the latter case the full amount of flour may be used.

Nut Cake. – Add one-half cupful finely chopped or coarsely ground nut meat. Decrease fat one tablespoonful.

Spice Cake. – Add one-half teaspoonful cinnamon and one-fourth teaspoonful cloves.

Very Dark Spice Cake. – Use brown sugar in place of white and one-half teaspoonful each of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

Ribbon Cake. – Add to one-third the batter one-fourth teaspoonful each of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and one-fourth cupful raisins cut into small pieces. Bake dark batter as one layer and light as two. Put dark between with raisin jelly, fruit, chocolate, or any desired filling. Or divide batter and color as desired pink, green, chocolate, etc., baking each portion separately and put together.

Silver or White Cake. – Use four whites in place of two whole eggs and add one-half tablespoonful butter.

Gold or Yellow Cake. – Use four yolk in place of two whole eggs.

Marble Cake. – Color about one-third of the batter by adding two tablespoonfuls molasses or one tablespoonful cocoa or one square chocolate. Put the plain mixture in the tin and into this drop, by the spoonful, the dark mixture. This makes a mottled light and dark marble effect.

Many other common recipes can be grouped in the same way as these batters and doughs.

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