TRAY SERVICE. SERVING BUTTER IN VARIOUS FORMS
OFTEN a maid is asked to prepare a tray for breakfast or luncheon, to be served to a person in her room. Certain points are to be remembered in arranging a tray, which should appeal to sight as well as taste. Always cover the tray with a fresh linen cloth with no fold. The dishes used should be small in size, and those containing hot food should be covered. Arrange the taller dishes at the back of the tray, the low ones in front, but never overcrowd it. Select dainty china, harmonizing in color with the food to be served.
After the cloth is laid, place a plate in the middle of the front side. The knife and spoon should be on the right of the plate, the fork and napkin on the left. Place the water glass at the point of the knife, the individual butter plate containing a form of butter, at the top of the fork. The various dishes to be served should then be arranged symmetrically. Do not forget salt and pepper.
The tray should never be allowed to stand about after use, therefore the maid should come for it at what would seem the proper time.
SERVING BUTTER IN VARIOUS FORMS
Butter may be served in prints as it is bought or may be shaped into various forms. The former is practical for every-day use; a quarter or a half- pound cake is placed upon a butter dish, with butter- knife on dish, and neat, square pieces cut off for serving. Butter, too, may be bought in half-pound cakes stamped in individual squares, which are divided with a knife.
Usually wooden implements are used to shape butter, such as butter-paddles and molds. These should be thoroughly scalded and then thoroughly chilled in ice-water before beginning to shape the butter. Not less than thirty minutes should be given to the preparation of utensils, and an hour's time is better. When they are ready, put the butter into a bowl of cold water and with a wooden spoon work it until it is waxy enough to shape. Balls are the most common, the most easily made, and are the foundation of other forms. In order that all may be uniform in size, measure a level tablespoonful of butter for each ball and roll between the butter- paddles. Hold the paddle vertically in the left hand and horizontally in the right, thus placing them at right angles to each other. Light pressure should be given and a rotary motion of the paddle in right hand, holding left one stationary. Practice is usually necessary to accomplish a well rounded ball.Drop the balls on a chilled plate and in summer use a plate of cracked ice upon which to place the balls. The butter-paddles should be dipped into cold or iced water after each shaping. As butter readily absorbs flavors and odors from other articles, it should be kept in a clean, closely-covered receptacle. There come for the purpose jars of glass or porcelain, with handles and tight covers, which are very satisfactory. Balls may be made up in quantity and kept in these jars, as no harm comes from piling them ; but more fanciful shapes mentioned must be delicately handled and should be made not long before serving. One of these is the "shell" made with a butter scoop or crook. To make these a piece of butter of some length is required, or two half-pound prints can be placed end to end and used. First dip the utensil into a cup of hot water and wipe dry with a piece of clean cheese-cloth. Then draw it over the butter lightly and quickly, making a thin shaving which curls over as it is drawn along. The crook must be dipped in hot water and wiped clean each time. For serving, these shells are arranged on a dish of cracked ice with a few sprigs of parsley or cress ; for the individual plate, three of them look attractive placed close together with a very small sprig of green in the center.
Butter lilies are made by first forming a butter- ball ; next, place it between the smooth sides of the paddles and make a smooth surfaced ball rather than a rough one. Then, still using the smooth sides of the paddles, slap the ball with one paddle while it rests on the other, until the ball is a flat round of uniform thickness. Fold over the two lower sides to form a point and slightly curve backward the top. Place on a dish of cracked ice. Make the pistil by rolling a small piece of butter between the smooth sides of the paddle, exerting greater pressure on one end than the other. Place the broader end in the heart of the lily, having the point come not quite to the top, and not touching the sides at all. A bit of green at the base of the lily is attractive.
To make roses, follow directions just given as far as patting into a circular flat piece and then drop into cold water. When five have been made, put the hands under water and mold the five petals into the form of a wild rose. The bases of the petals should be joined one to another, and the tops of the petals bent into irregular shapes. For the center make three or five of the tiniest possible balls on the corrugated side of the paddle. These roses can be made small for individual service, or a large butter-rose may be made and passed, with knife on dish for serving.
Butter may be worked until creamy (or freshly- churned butter may be used) put through a pastry- bag and rose-tube into three-inch lengths of pencil size, or into rosettes, by holding the tube still and pressing until the butter has piled up to the size desired. Rolls may be made by making first a ball, patting to about one fourth of an inch in thickness ( holding butter-paddles parallel to each other) and rolling the circular pat of butter up. Care should be used to hold the butter-paddles in correct position, else the butter will not have the vertical creases it should have.
Pats are made by using the small wooden forms, which come for the purpose and which must be perfectly scalded and chilled to get good results. The butter is packed solidly into the small space, evened off, and pressure is brought to bear upon the butter within ; then the wooden form is taken up and the imprinted butter removed.
Butter forms look more attractive when served with cracked ice and a few green leaves or a bit of cress or of parsley.