As a rule, is not for the dyspeptic. All but the crust of our home-made bread may fairly be called indigestible. If you do not eat biscuits, try properly made toast. I do not mean the ordinary 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch thick piece of sodden bread, simply browned on both sides, lying like a lump in your stomach, but a slice inch thick or thinner, thoroughly toasted through and well dried. If it is all crust, as it should be, it will give your teeth three times the work that bread or ordinary toast would, give. Stale bread is best for the purpose.
If allowed to stand 5 minutes develops tannin, which we know to be most injurious. Make your tea in an earthenware pot, and, after 1 to 2 minutes' drawing, strain off (no leaves, if you please) into the pot it is to be served in. If it has drawn longer than said above, add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. Avoid taking a great quantity of tea, better have-
Use the best quality only. If you cannot manage to roast your own beans every day, procure freshly roasted, but be sure to grind them in your own kitchen just before preparing the coffee for use. By roasting your own beans you will avoid having an inferior, and possibly an adulterated article palmed off on you; you will thus secure most of the aroma which, in the ground state, is quickly lost to an appreciable extent. Do not attempt to boil your coffee, or to invest in this or that patent machine-none of these are equal to the earthenware percolator. Place in this the freshly ground coffee, dessert spoonsful for 1 small cup of after-dinner coffee (or coffee extract), pat it down lightly, put a strainer over it, and gently pour through it the boiling water. If you be allowed to indulge in this after luncheon and dinner- mind, without cream-you will, for breakfast, add twice the quantity of hot milk or water.
You cannot possibly get a good article fit for your table at 2 or 8 shillings a pound. As a rule, it is far from being unadulterated with rice-flour, sugar, etc. Better pay a high price for the chocolate, and if you still care to mix it up with rice-flour, etc, then buy that, too, and your purse will not suffer. I use Marquis' surfin mi-vaniUe, costing 10 1/2 francs; the Kilo of 2 1/5 lbs. (about 4 shillings per pound), and I fancy equally good can be obtained elsewhere in Paris, but not for much less money. For cooking purposes chocolate without sugar (sans sucre) is recommended by experienced confiseurs. As a beverage I prefer it prepared with water only. Pour very little hot water into the grated chocolate until well mixed; then go on pouring water gradually, and finally let it simmer awhile. If you whisk it to a froth in the cup, you will not wish for milk; on festive occasions only indulge your guests, if not yourself, in a spoonful of whipped cream. I should recommend also your preparing your Cocoa with water only.
By all means have a great variety in your egg dishes. They are all good, whether boiled, poached, scrambled and in omelette form, provided they be soft and provided they be not fried in grease.
Eggs on the plate or shirred (oeufs sur le plat). Put a little butter into an earthenware dish or small pot and cook the eggs no longer than absolutely required to set the white. Serve quickly as they will go on cooking in the pot.
A few peeled shrimps thrown over the eggs after cooking are a pleasing addition to this dish, and so are, if you do not mind the expense, oysters. These should be added, with a pinch of cayenne, before taking off the fire; long enough to be warmed through, but not to cook.
Keep stirring the eggs in the previously melted butter, and take them off the fire while still in a liquid state. The usual hard, solid mess is quite unfit to eat. Excellent additions to this dish, or to as lightly cooked an omelette, are peeled shrimps or prawns, crawfish tails and claws, which, being already cooked, must only be warmed up in the dish; also mushrooms, previously cooked, or a thick sauce of beef stock, etc.
Eggs, boiled 3 1/2 minutes, the whites just set and the yolks liquid are excellent, served whole, free from the shells, in a bechamel (white stock) sauce with chopped mushrooms, or with peeled shrimps. I prefer this style to the rather flat ceufs d la poulette, and I do not fancy any preparation of eggs with cheese and cream as being too rich. I much prefer shrimps to prawns, because better flavoured and not so tough as the latter. If you do want a rich dish of eggs, then add to it the shrimp-prawn or crawfish (ecrevisses) butter, prepared by pounding the shells, etc, and stewing with butter. By the way, why do people persist in speaking of ecrevisses as crayfish ? The crayfish is the clawless lobster (langouste).
An American preparation of Indian corn, can be had at the American grocers in Piccadilly. Must be boiled at least 1 1/2 hours. After boiling, grill in little cakes with butter, and season slightly.