By MARY JANE McCLURE
APRIL, all mud and slush underfoot and frowning, weeping skies overhead, presents a somber setting for the season of sackcloth and ashes. Fasting and penance would not be bugbears if the forty days of Lent fell in Midsummer, when skies are bright and gush of bird-song and fragrance of flowers distract the mind from such a material thing as longing for a good square meal--and meat. But, falling as it does in the spongy month, the time of retirement from frills and frivolity and roast beef is doubly hard to bear.
It requires a stronger character than is possessed by the average mortal to deliberately put aside meat for forty days, without compromising in some way. Nature and training force the stomach to cry out in an insistent demand for “the fleshpots of Egypt.” Some sort of a crutch is required upon which to lean in moments of weakness. Put something into the stomach that tastes like the food it is craving, and it quits crying and goes to sleep like a satisfied baby. By taking advantage of this propensity it will be possible to slip through the Lenten season without much discomfort or effort at self-denial.
No better compromise could be imagined at this juncture than Armour’s Extract of Beef. With its help, substantial meatless dishes may be prepared with the rich flavor of roast beef, as well as tasty tit-bits that may be eaten without the slightest qualm of conscience.
The possibilities contained in the tiny jar of Armour’s Extract of Beef are limited only by the ingenuity, originality and daring of the cook, and the ingredients at hand. All the delicious juices of rich, red, lean beef are concentrated in an aromatic, savory essence, delicately seasoned and full of palate-captivating properties.
In buying beef extract it is necessary to specify “Armour’s” if you want the best. Most other brands not only are lacking in quality, but they contain a certain percentage of water, which makes it necessary to use, in some cases, four times as much as would be required if Armour’s was employed. For this reason, while other brands at first sight may appear to be less expensive, Armour’s, in the long run, is the cheapest, because only about a quarter as much of it will be needed to produce the same results, and thus it will last four times as long as the “ bargain ” brand,
Meatless Beef Loaf. Soak ½ pound of stale bread in warm water and squeeze it dry. Put a piece of butter the size of an egg in a stew-pan and when hot, mix in it a large onion, finely chopped. As soon as the onion becomes a golden color, put in the bread and a tablespoonful of chopped parsley, and salt to taste. Stir it until it leaves the sides of the pan, then add two eggs in which has been mixed ½ teaspoonful of Armour’s Extract of Beef dissolved in 1 tablespoonful of boiling water. Put in a baking dish and bake for ten minutes. Serve with brown sauce made as follows:
Brown Sauce. Melt 1 heaping teaspoonful of butter. Into this stir 1 tabbespoonful of flour. Add boiling water to make the gravy the proper consistency. Season with pepper and salt and stir in 1 teaspoonful of Armour’s Extract of Beef.
Macaroni Loaf. Cook the macaroni in salted water until it is tender ; then drain free from the water and blanch in cold water, and place in a basin in alternate layers of grated cheese, bits of butter, salt and pepper until the basin is filled; then cover with milk and bake in a moderate oven for half an hour. Slip a knife around the edge and unmold onto a dish, covering with a sauce made as follows:
Devil Sauce. Press through a sieve the hard-boiled yolks of two eggs. Have the whites chopped fine and add to them a teaspoonful of minced parsley, ¼ teaspoonful of paprika, 1 chopped Spanish sweet pepper, and a teaspoonful of grated onion. Add all these ingredients to a sauce made from 1 pint of hot water to which has been added 2 teaspoonfuls of Armour’s Extract of Beef, 1 tabbespoonful of flour mixed in a paste with I rounding tabiespoonful of butter, then stirring it into the hot water and cooking until creamy. Sprinkle the egg yolk over the top, and serve hot for luncheon or as an entree for dinner.
FREE. A most unique and useful cook-book, “My Favorite Recipes,”by Mary Jane McClure, published by Armour & Company, Chicago, free upon receipt of return postage.