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The flesh of the best quality of beef is of a bright red color, intersected with closely laid veins of yellowish fat; the kidney fat, or suet, is abundant, and there is a thick layer upon the back. The second quality has rather whitish fat, laid moderately thick upon the back, and about the kidneys; the flesh is close-grained, having but few streaks of fat running through it, and is of a pale red color, and covered with a rough, yellowish skin. Poor beef is dark red, gristly, and tough to the touch, with a scanty layer of soft, oily fat. Buy meat as cheap as you can, but be sure it is fresh; slow and long cooking will make tough meat tender, but tainted meat is only fit to throw away. Never use it. You would, by doing so, invite disease to enter the home where smiling health should reign. The best way to detect taint in any kind of meat is to run a sharp, thin-bladed knife close to the bone, and then smell it to see if the odor is sweet. Wipe the knife after you use it. A small, sharp wooden skewer will answer, but it must be scraped every time it is used, or the meat-juice remaining on it will become tainted, and it will be unfit for future use. If, when you are doubtful about a piece of meat, the butcher refuses to let you apply this test carefully enough to avoid injuring the meat, you will be safe in thinking he is afraid of the result.


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Twenty-Five Cent Dinners for Families of Six (1879).

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