Part 6 out of 17
sufficient water to prevent burning until a fork will easily pierce
their center; drain thoroughly, place the kettle back on the range,
cover with a cloth to absorb the moisture, and let them dry four or five
minutes. Shake the kettle several times while they are drying, to make
STEAMED POTATOES.--Potatoes may be steamed either with or without
the skin. Only mature potatoes can be steamed. Prepare as for boiling;
place in a steamer, over boiling water, and steam until tender. If water
is needed to replenish, let it always be boiling hot, and not allow the
potatoes to stop steaming, or they will be watery. When done, uncover,
remove the potatoes to the oven, and let them dry a few minutes. If
peeled before steaming, shake the steamer occasionally, to make them
ROASTED POTATOES.--Potatoes are much more rich and mealy roasted
than cooked in any other way. Wash them very carefully, dry with a
cloth, and wrap in tissue paper; bury in ashes not too hot, then cover
with coals and roast until tender. The coals will need renewing
occasionally, unless the roasting is done very close to the main fire.
BAKED POTATOES.--Choose large, smooth potatoes as near the same
size as possible; wash and scrub with a brush until perfectly clean; dry
with a cloth, and bake in a moderately hot oven until a fork will easily
pierce them, or until they yield to pressure between the fingers. They
are better turned about occasionally. In a slow oven the skins become
hardened and thickened, and much of the most nutritious portion is
wasted. When done, press each one till it bursts slightly, as that will
allow the steam to escape, and prevent the potatoes from becoming soggy.
They should be served at once, in a folded napkin placed in a hot dish.
Cold baked potatoes may be warmed over by rebaking, if of good quality
and not overdone the first time.
STUFFED POTATO.--Prepare and bake large potatoes of equal size, as
directed in the preceding recipe. When done, cut them evenly three
fourths of an inch from the end, and scrape out the inside, taking care
not to break the skins. Season the potato with salt and a little thick
sweet cream, being careful not to have it too moist, and beat thoroughly
with a fork until light; refill the skins with the seasoned potato, fit
the broken portions together, and reheat in the oven. When hot
throughout, wrap the potatoes in squares of white tissue paper fringed
at both ends. Twist the ends of the paper lightly together above the
fringe, and stand the potatoes in a vegetable dish with the cut end
uppermost. When served, the potatoes are held in the hand, one end of
the paper untwisted, the top of the potato removed, and the contents
eaten with a fork or spoon.
STUFFED POTATOES NO. 2.--Prepare large, smooth potatoes, bake until
tender, and cut them in halves; scrape out the inside carefully, so as
not to break the skins; mash smoothly, mix thoroughly with one third
freshly prepared cottage cheese; season with nice sweet cream, and salt
if desired. Fill the shells with the mixture, place cut side uppermost,
in a pudding dish, and brown in the oven.
MASHED POTATOES.--Peel and slice potatoes enough to make two
quarts; put into boiling water and cook until perfectly tender, but not
much broken; drain, add salt to taste; turn into a hot earthen dish, and
set in the oven for a few moments to dry. Break up the potatoes with a
silver fork; add nearly a cup of cream, and beat hard at least five
minutes till light and creamy; serve at once, or they will become heavy.
If preferred, the potatoes may be rubbed through a hot sieve into a hot
plate, or mashed with a potato beetle, but they are less light and flaky
when mashed with a beetle. If cream for seasoning is not obtainable, a
well-beaten egg makes a very good substitute. Use in the proportion of
one egg to about five potatoes. For mashed potatoes, if all utensils and
ingredients are first heated, the result will be much better.
NEW POTATOES.--When potatoes are young and freshly gathered, the
skins are easiest removed by taking each one in a coarse cloth and
rubbing it; a little coarse salt used in the cloth will be found
serviceable for this purpose. If almost ripe, scrape with a blunt knife,
wash very clean, and rinse in cold water. Boiling is the best method of
cooking; new potatoes are not good steamed. Use only sufficient water to
cover, and boil till tender. Drain thoroughly, cover closely with a
clean cloth, and dry before serving.
CRACKED POTATOES.--Prepare and boil new potatoes as in the
preceding recipe, and when ready to serve, crack each by pressing
lightly upon it with the back of a spoon, lay them in a hot dish, salt
to taste, and pour over them a cup of hot thin cream or rich milk.
CREAMED POTATOES.--Take rather small, new potatoes and wash well;
rub off all the skins; cut in halves, or if quite large, quarter them.
Put a pint of divided potatoes into a broad-bottomed, shallow saucepan;
pour over them a cup of thin sweet cream, add salt if desired; heat just
to the boiling point, then allow them to simmer gently till perfectly
tender, tossing them occasionally in the stewpan to prevent their
burning on the bottom. Serve hot.
SCALLOPED POTATOES.--Pare the potatoes and slice thin; put them in
layers in an earthen pudding dish, dredge each layer lightly with flour,
and salt, and pour over all enough good, rich milk to cover well. Cover,
and bake rather slowly till tender, removing the cover just long enough
before the potatoes are done, to brown nicely. If preferred, a little
less milk may be used, and a cup of thin cream added when the potatoes
are nearly done.
STEWED POTATO.--Pare the potatoes and slice rather thin. Put into
boiling water, and cook until nearly tender, but not broken. Have some
rich milk boiling in the inner dish of a double boiler, add to it a
little salt, then stir in for each pint of milk a heaping teaspoonful of
corn starch or rice flour, rubbed smooth in a little cold milk. Stir
until it thickens. Drain the potatoes, turn them into the hot sauce, put
the dish in the outer boiler, and cook for a half hour or longer. Cold
boiled potatoes may be sliced and used in the same way. Cold baked
potatoes sliced and stewed thus for an hour or more, make a particularly
POTATOES STEWED WITH CELERY.--Pare and slice the potatoes, and put
them into a stewpan with two or three tablespoonfuls of minced celery.
Use only the white part of the celery and mince it finely. Cover the
whole with milk sufficient to cook and prevent burning, and stew until
tender. Season with cream and salt.
POTATO SNOWBALLS.--Cut largo potatoes into quarters; if small,
leave them undivided; boil in just enough water to cover. When tender,
drain and dry in the usual way. Take up two or three pieces at a time in
a strong, clean cloth, and press them compactly together in the shape of
balls. Serve in a folded napkin on a hot dish.
POTATO CAKES.--Make nicely seasoned, cold mashed potato into small
round cakes about one half an inch thick. Put them on a baking tin,
brush them over with sweet cream, and bake in a hot oven till golden
POTATO CAKES WITH EGG.--Bake nice potatoes till perfectly tender;
peel, mash thoroughly, and to each pint allow the yolks of two eggs
which have been boiled until mealy, then rubbed perfectly smooth through
a fine wire sieve, and one half cup of rich milk. Add salt to taste, mix
all well together, form the potato into small cakes, place them on oiled
tins, and brown ten or fifteen minutes in the oven.
POTATO PUFF.--Mix a pint of mashed potato (cold is just as good if
free from lumps) with a half cup of cream and the well-beaten yolk of an
egg; salt to taste and beat till smooth; lastly, stir in the white of
the egg beaten to a stiff froth. Pile up in a rocky form on a bright tin
dish, and bake in a quick oven until heated throughout and lightly
browned. Serve at once.
BROWNED POTATOES.--Slice cold potatoes evenly, place them on an
oiled tin, and brown in a very quick oven; or slice lengthwise and lay
on a wire broiler or bread-toaster, and brown over hot coals. Sprinkle
with a little salt if desired, and serve hot with sweet cream as
ORNAMENTAL POTATOES.--No vegetable can be made palatable in so many
ways as the potato, and few can be arranged in such pretty shapes.
Mashed potatoes made moist with cream, can easily be made into cones,
pyramids, or mounds. Cold mashed potatoes may be cut into many fancy
shapes with a cookie-cutter, wet with a little cold water, and browned
in the oven.
Mounds of potatoes are very pretty smoothed and strewn with well-cooked
vermicelli broken into small bits, and then lightly browned in the oven.
Scoring the top of a dish of mashed potato deeply in triangles, stars,
and crosses, with the back of a carving knife, and then browning
lightly, gives a very pretty effect.
BROILED POTATO.--Mashed potatoes, if packed firmly while warm into
a sheet-iron bread tin which has been dipped in cold water, may be cut
into slices when cold, brushed with cream, and browned on a broiler over
WARMED-OVER POTATOES.--Cut cold boiled potatoes into very thin
slices; heat a little cream to boiling in a saucepan; add the potato,
season lightly with salt if desired, and cook until the cream is
absorbed, stirring occasionally so as to prevent scorching or breaking
VEGETABLE HASH.--With one quart finely sliced potato, chop one
carrot, one red beet, one white turnip, all boiled, also one or two
stalks of celery. Put all together in a stewpan, cover closely, and set
in the oven; when hot, pour over them a cup of boiling cream, stir well
together, and serve hot.
THE SWEET POTATO.
DESCRIPTION.--The sweet potato is a native of the Malayan
Archipelago, where it formerly grew wild; thence it was taken to Spain,
and from Spain to England and other parts of the globe. It was largely
used in Europe as a delicacy on the tables of the rich before the
introduction of the common potato, which has now taken its place and
likewise its name. The sweet potato is the article referred as potato by
Shakespeare and other English writers, previous to the middle of the
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--What has been said in reference to the
common potato, is generally applicable to the sweet potato; it may be
prepared and cooked in nearly all the ways of the Irish potato.
In selecting sweet potatoes, choose firm, plump roots, free from any
sprouts; if sprouted they will have a poor flavor, and are likely to be
The sweet potato is best cooked with the skin on; but all discolored
portions and the dry portion at each end, together with all branchlets,
should be carefully removed, and the potato well washed, and if to be
baked or roasted, well dried with a cloth before placing in the oven.
The average time required for boiling is about fifty minutes; baking,
one hour; steaming, about one hour; roasting, one and one half hours.
BAKED SWEET POTATOES.--Select those of uniform size, wash clean,
cutting out any imperfect spots, wipe dry, put into moderately hot oven,
and bake about one hour, or until the largest will yield to gentle
pressure between the fingers. Serve at once without peeling. Small
potatoes are best steamed, since if baked, the skins will take up nearly
the whole potato.
BAKED SWEET POTATO NO. 2.--Select potatoes of medium size, wash and
trim but do not pare, and put on the upper grate of the oven. For a peek
of potatoes, put in the lower part of the oven in a large shallow pan a
half pint of hot water. The water may be turned directly upon the oven
bottom if preferred. Bake slowly, turning once when half done. Serve in
their skins, or peel, slice, and return to the oven until nicely
BOILED SWEET POTATOES.--Choose potatoes of equal size; do not pare,
but after cleaning them well and removing any imperfect spots, put into
cold water and boll until they can be easily pierced with a fork; drain
thoroughly, and lay them on the top grate in the oven to dry for five or
ten minutes. Peel as soon as dry, and send at once to the table, in a
hot dish covered with a folded napkin. Sweet potatoes are much better
baked than boiled.
STEAMED SWEET POTATOES.--Wash the potatoes well, cut out any
discolored portions, and steam over a kettle of boiling water until they
can be easily pierced with a fork, not allowing the water in the pot to
cease boiling for a moment. Steam only sufficient to cook them, else
they will be watery.
BROWNED SWEET POTATOES.--Slice cold, cooked sweet potatoes evenly,
place on slightly oiled tins in a hot oven, and brown.
MASHED SWEET POTATOES.--Either bake or steam nice sweet potatoes,
and when tender, peel, mash them well, and season with cream and salt to
taste. They may be served at once, or made into patties and browned in
POTATO HASH.--Take equal parts of cold Irish and sweet potatoes;
chop fine and mix thoroughly; season with salt if desired, and add
sufficient thin cream to moisten well. Turn into a stewpan, and heat
gently until boiling, tossing continually, that all parts become heated
alike, and serve at once.
ROASTED SWEET POTATOES.--Wash clean and wipe dry, potatoes of
uniform size, wrap with tissue paper, cover with hot ashes, and then
with coals from a hardwood fire; unless near the main fire, the coals
will need renewing a few times. This will require a longer time than by
any other method, but they are much nicer. The slow, continuous heat
promotes their mealiness. When tender, brush the ashes off with a broom,
and wipe with a dry cloth. Send to the table in their jackets.
TO DRY SWEET POTATOES.--Carefully clean and drop them into boiling
water. Let them remain until the skins can be easily slipped off; then
cut into slices and spread on racks to dry. To prepare for cooking, soak
over night, and boil the next day.
DESCRIPTION.--The turnip belongs to the order _Cruciferae_,
signifying "cross flowers," so called because their four petals are
arranged in the form of a cross. It is a native of Europe and the
temperate portions of Asia, growing wild in borders of fields and waste
places. The ancient Roman gastronomists considered the turnip, when
prepared in the following manner, a dish fit for epicures: "After
boiling, extract the water from them, and season with cummin, rue or
benzoin, pounded in a mortar; afterward add honey, vinegar, gravy, and
boiled grapes. Allow the whole to simmer, and serve."
Under cultivation, the turnip forms an agreeable culinary esculent; but
on account of the large proportion of water entering into its
composition, its nutritive value is exceedingly low. The Swedish, or
Rutabaga, variety is rather more nutritive than the white, but its
stronger flavor renders it less palatable. Unlike the potato, the turnip
contains no starch, but instead, a gelatinous substance called pectose,
which during the boiling process is changed into a vegetable jelly
called pectine. The white lining just inside the skin is usually bitter;
hence the tuber should be peeled sufficiently deep to remove it. When
well cooked, turnips are quite easily digested.
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--Turnips are good for culinary purposes
only from the time of their ripening till they begin to sprout. The
process of germination changes their proximate elements, and renders
them less fit for food. Select turnips which are plump and free from
disease. A turnip that is wilted, or that appears spongy, pithy, or
cork-like when cut, is not fit for food.
Prepare turnips for cooking by thoroughly washing and scraping, if young
and tender, or by paring if more mature. If small, they may be cooked
whole; if large, they should be cut across the grain into slices a half
inch in thickness. If cooked whole, care must be taken to select those
of uniform size; and if sliced, the slices must be of equal thickness.
BOILED TURNIPS.--Turnips, like other vegetables, should be boiled
in as small an amount of water as possible. Great care must be taken,
however, that the kettle does not get dry, as scorched turnip is
spoiled. An excellent precaution, in order to keep them from scorching
in case the water becomes low, is to place an inverted saucer or
sauce-dish in the bottom of the kettle before putting in the turnips.
Put into boiling water, cook rapidly until sufficiently tender to pierce
easily with a fork; too much cooking discolors and renders them strong
in flavor. Boiled turnips should be drained very thoroughly, and all
water pressed out before preparing for the table. The age, size, and
variety of the turnip will greatly vary the time necessary for its
cooking. The safest rule is to allow plenty of time, and test with a
fork. Young turnips will cook in about forty-five minutes; old turnips,
sliced, require from one and a quarter to two hours. If whole or cut in
halves, they require a proportionate length of time. White turnips
require much, less cooking than yellow ones.
BAKED TURNIPS.--Select turnips of uniform size; wash and wipe, but
do not pare; place on the top grate of a moderately hot oven; bake two
or more hours or until perfectly tender; peel and serve at once, either
mashed or with cream sauce. Turnips are much sweeter baked than when
cooked in any other way.
CREAMED TURNIPS.--Pare, but do not cut, young sweet white turnips;
boil till tender in a small quantity of water; drain and dry well. Cook
a tablespoonful of flour in a pint of rich milk or part cream; arrange
the turnips in a baking dish, pour the sauce over them, add salt if
desired, sprinkle the top with grated bread crumbs, and brown in a quick
CHOPPED TURNIPS.--Chop well-boiled white turnips very fine, add
salt to taste and sufficient lemon juice to moisten. Turn into a
saucepan and heat till hot, gently lifting and stirring constantly. Cold
boiled turnip may be used advantageously in this way.
MASHED TURNIPS.--Wash the turnips, pare, and drop into boiling
water. Cook until perfectly tender; turn into a colander and press out
the water with a plate or large spoon; mash until free from lumps,
season with a little sweet cream, and salt if desired. If the turnips
are especially watery, one or two hot, mealy potatoes mashed with them
will be an improvement.
SCALLOPED TURNIPS.--Prepare and boil whole white turnips until
nearly tender; cut into thin slices, lay in an earthen pudding dish,
pour over them a white sauce sufficient to cover, made by cooking a
tablespoonful of flour in a pint of milk, part cream if preferred, until
thickened. Season with salt, sprinkle the top lightly with grated bread
crumbs, and bake in a quick oven until a rich brown. Place the baking
dish on a clean plate, and serve. Rich milk or cream may be used instead
of white sauce, if preferred.
STEAMED TURNIPS.--Select turnips of uniform size, wash, pare, and
steam rapidly till they can be easily pierced with a fork; mash, or
serve with lemon juice or cream sauce, as desired.
STEWED TURNIPS.--Prepare and slice some young, fresh white turnips,
boil or steam about twenty minutes, drain thoroughly, turn into a
saucepan with a cup of new milk for each quart of turnips; simmer gently
until tender, season with salt if desired, and serve.
TURNIPS IN JUICE.--Wash young white turnips, peel, and boil whole
in sufficient water to keep them from burning. Cover closely and cook
gently until tender, by which time the water in the kettle should be
reduced to the consistency of syrup. Serve at once.
TURNIPS WITH CREAM SAUCE.--Wash and pare the turnips, cut them
into half-inch dice, and cook in boiling water until tender. Meanwhile
prepare a cream sauce as directed for Scalloped Turnips, using thin
cream in place of milk. Drain the turnips, pour the cream sauce over
them, let them boil up once, and serve.
DESCRIPTION.--The common garden parsnip is derived by cultivation
from the wild parsnip, indigenous to many parts of Europe and the north
of Asia, and cultivated since Roman times. It is not only used for
culinary purposes, but a wine is made from it. In the north of Ireland a
table beer is brewed from its fermented product and hops.
The percentage of nutritive elements contained in the parsnip is very
small; so small, indeed, that one pound of parsnips affords hardly one
fifth of an ounce of nitrogenous or muscle-forming material. The time
required for its digestion, varies from two and one half to three and
one half hours.
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--Wash and trim off any rough portions:
scrape well with a knife to remove the skins, and drop at once into cold
water to prevent discoloration. If the parsnips are smooth-skinned,
fresh, and too small to need dividing, they need only be washed
thoroughly before cooking, as the skins can be easily removed by rubbing
with a clean towel. Reject those that are wilted, pithy, coarse, or
stringy. Large parsnips should be divided, for if cooked whole, the
outside is likely to become soft before the center is tender. They may
be either split lengthwise or sliced. Parsnips may be boiled, baked, or
steamed; but like all other vegetables containing a large percentage of
water, are preferable steamed or baked.
The time required for cooking young parsnips, is about forty-five
minutes; when old, they require from one to two hours.
BAKED PARSNIPS.--Wash, thoroughly, but do not scrape the roots;
bake the same as potatoes. When tender, remove the skins, slice, and
serve with cream or an egg sauce prepared as directed for Parsnips with
Egg Sauce. They are also very nice mashed and seasoned with cream. Baked
and steamed parsnips are far sweeter than boiled ones.
BAKED PARSNIPS NO. 2.--Wash, scrape, and divide; drop into boiling
water, a little more than sufficient to cook them, and boil gently till
thoroughly tender. There should remain about one half pint of the liquor
when the parsnips are done. Arrange on an earthen plate or shallow
pudding dish, not more than one layer deep; cover with the juice, and
bake, basting frequently until the juice is all absorbed, and the
parsnips delicately browned. Serve at once.
BOILED PARSNIPS.--Clean, scrape, drop into a small quantity of
boiling water, and cook until they can be easily pierced, with a fork.
Drain thoroughly, cut the parsnips in slices, and mash or serve with a
white sauce, to which a little lemon juice may be added if desired.
BROWNED PARSNIPS.--Slice cold parsnips into rather thick pieces,
and brown as directed for browned potatoes.
CREAMED PARSNIPS.--Bake or steam the parsnips until tender; slice,
add salt if desired, and a cup of thin sweet cream. Let them stew slowly
until nearly dry, or if preferred, just boil up once and serve.
MASHED PARSNIPS.--Wash and scrape, dropping at once into cold water
to prevent discoloration. Slice thinly and steam, or bake whole until
perfectly tender. When done, mash until free from lumps, removing all
hard or stringy portions; add salt to taste and a few spoonfuls of thick
sweet cream, and serve.
PARSNIPS WITH CREAM SAUCE.--Bake as previously directed. When
tender, slice, cut into cubes, and pour over them a cream sauce prepared
as for Turnips with Cream Sauce. Boil up together once, and serve.
PARSNIPS WITH EGG SAUCE.--Scrape, wash, and slice thinly, enough
parsnips to make three pints; steam, bake, or boil them until very
tender. If boiled, turn into a colander and drain well. Have ready an
egg sauce, for preparing which heat a pint of rich milk or very thin
cream to boiling, stir into it a level tablespoonful of flour rubbed
smooth with a little milk. Let this boil a few minutes, stirring
constantly until the flour is well cooked and the sauce thickened; then
add slowly the well-beaten yolk of one egg, stirring rapidly so that it
shall be well mingled with the whole; add salt to taste; let it boil up
once, pour over the parsnips, and serve. The sauce should be of the
consistency of thick cream.
PARSNIPS WITH POTATOES.--Wash, scrape, and slice enough parsnips
to make two and a half quarts. Pare and slice enough potatoes to make
one pint. Cook together in a small quantity of water. When tender, mash
smoothly, add salt, the yolks of two eggs well beaten, and a cup of rich
milk. Beat well together, put into an earthen or china dish, and brown
lightly in the oven.
STEWED PARSNIPS.--Prepare and boil for a half hour; drain, cover
with rich milk, add salt if desired, and stew gently till tender.
STEWED PARSNIPS WITH CELERY.--Prepare and steam or boil some nice
ones until about half done. If boiled, drain thoroughly; add salt if
desired, and a tablespoonful of minced celery. Turn rich boiling milk
over them, cover, and stew fifteen or twenty minutes, or till perfectly
DESCRIPTION.--The garden carrot is a cultivated variety of a plant
belonging to the _Umbettiferae_, and grows wild in many portions of
Europe. The root has long been used for food. By the ancient Greeks and
Romans it was much esteemed as a salad. The carrot is said to have been
introduced into England by Flemish refugees during the reigns of
Elizabeth and James I. Its feathery leaves were used by the ladies as an
adornment for their headdresses, in place of plumes. Carrots contain
sugar enough for making a syrup from them; they also yield by
fermentation and distillation a spirituous liquor. In Germany they are
sometimes cut into small pieces, and roasted as a substitute for coffee.
Starch does not enter into the composition of carrots, but a small
portion of pectose is found instead. Carrots contain more water than
parsnips, and both much cellulose and little nutritive material. Carrots
when well cooked form a wholesome food, but one not adapted to weak
stomachs, as they are rather hard to digest and tend to flatulence.
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--The suggestions given for the preparation
of parsnips are also applicable to carrots; and they may be boiled,
steamed, or browned in the same manner. From one to two hours time will
be required, according to age, size, variety, and method of cooking.
BOILED CARROTS.--Clean, scrape, drop into boiling water, and cook
till tender; drain thoroughly, slice, and serve with a cream sauce.
Varieties with strong flavor are better parboiled for fifteen or twenty
minutes, and put into fresh boiling water to finish.
CARROTS WITH EGG SAUCE.--Wash and scrape well; slice and throw into
boiling water, or else steam. When tender, drain thoroughly, and pour
over them a sauce prepared the same as for parsnips (page 244), with the
addition of a tablespoonful of sugar. Let them boil up once, and serve.
STEWED CARROTS.--Prepare young and tender carrots, drop into
boiling water, and cook for fifteen or twenty minutes. Drain, slice, and
put into a stewpan with rich milk or cream nearly to cover; simmer
gently until tender; season with salt and a little chopped parsley.
DESCRIPTION.--The beet is a native of the coasts of the
Mediterranean, and is said to owe its botanical name, _beta_, to a
fancied resemblance to the Greek letter B. Two varieties are in common
use as food, the white and the red beet; while a sub-variety, the sugar
beet, is largely cultivated in France, in connection with the beet-sugar
industry in that country. The same industry has recently been introduced
into this country. It is grown extensively in Germany and Russia, for
the same pose, and is also used there in the manufacture of alcohol.
The beet root is characterized by its unusual amount of sugar. It is
considered more nutritive than any other esculent tuber except the
potato, but the time required for its digestion exceeds that of most
vegetables, being three and three fourths hours.
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--Beets, like other tubers, should be
fresh, unshriveled, and healthy. Wash carefully, scrubbing with a soft
brush to remove all particles of dirt; but avoid scraping, cutting, or
breaking, lest the sweet juices escape. In handling for storage, be
careful not to bruise or break the skins; and in purchasing from the
market, select only such as are perfect.
Beets may be boiled, baked, or steamed. In boiling, if the skin is cut
or broken, the juice will escape in the water, and the flavor will be
injured; for this reason, beets should not be punctured with a fork to
find if done. When tender, the thickest part will yield readily to
pressure of the fingers. Beets should be boiled in just as little water
as possible, and they will be much better if it has all evaporated by
the time they are cooked.
Young beets will boil in one hour, while old beets require from three to
five hours; if tough, wilted, and stringy, they cannot be boiled tender.
Baked beets require from three to six hours.
BAKED BEETS.--Beets are far better baked than boiled, though it
takes a longer time to cook properly. French cooks bake them slowly six
hours in a covered dish, the bottom of which is lined with
well-moistened rye straw; however, they may be baked on the oven grate,
like potatoes. Wipe dry after washing, and bake slowly. They are very
nice served with a sauce made of equal quantities of lemon juice and
whipped cream, with a little salt.
BAKED BEETS NO. 2.--Wash young and tender beets, and place in an
earthen baking dish with a very little water; as it evaporates, add
more, which must be of boiling temperature. Set into a moderate oven,
and according to size of the beets, bake slowly from two to three hours.
When tender, remove the skins and dress with lemon juice or cream sauce.
BEETS AND POTATOES.--Boil newly matured potatoes and young beets
separately till tender; then peel and slice. Put thorn in alternate
layers in a vegetable dish, with salt to taste, and enough sweet cream
nearly to cover. Brown in the oven, and serve at once.
BEET HASH.--Chop quite finely an equal quantity of cold boiled or
baked beets and boiled or baked potatoes. Put into a shallow saucepan,
add salt and sufficient hot cream to moisten. Toss frequently, and cook
until well heated throughout. Serve hot.
BEET GREENS.--Take young, tender beets, clean thoroughly without
separating the tops and roots. Examine the leaves carefully, and pick
off inferior ones. Put into boiling water, and cook for nearly an hour.
Drain, press out all water, and chop quite fine. Serve with a dressing
of lemon juice or cream, as preferred.
BEET SALAD, OR CHOPPED BEETS.--Cold boiled or baked beets, chopped
quite fine, but not minced, make a nice salad when served with a
dressing of lemon juice and whipped cream in the proportion of three
tablespoonfuls of lemon juice to one half cup of whipped cream, and salt
BEET SALAD NO. 2.--Chop equal parts of boiled beets and fresh young
cabbage. Mix thoroughly, add salt to taste, a few tablespoonfuls of
sugar, and cover with diluted lemon juice. Equal quantities of cold
boiled beets and cold boiled potatoes, chopped fine, thoroughly mixed,
and served with a dressing of lemon juice and whipped cream, make a
palatable salad. Care should be taken in the preparation of these and
the preceding salad, not to chop the vegetables so fine as to admit of
their being eaten without mastication.
BOILED BEETS.--Wash carefully, drop into boiling water, and cook
until tender. When done, drop into cold water for a minute, when the
skins can be easily rubbed off with the hand. Slice, and serve hot with
lemon juice or with a cream sauce.
STEWED BEETS.--Bake beets according to recipe No. 2. Peel, cut in
slices, turn into a saucepan, nearly cover with thin cream, simmer for
ten or fifteen minutes, add salt if desired, and thicken the gravy with
a little corn starch or flour.
DESCRIPTION.--The common white garden cabbage is one of the oldest
of cultivated vegetables. A variety of the plant known as red cabbage
was the delight of ancient gourmands more than eighteen centuries ago.
The Egyptians adored it, erected altars to it, and made it the first
dish at their repasts. In this they were imitated by the Greeks and
Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, considered the cabbage one of the
most valuable of remedies, and often prescribed a dish of boiled cabbage
to be eaten with salt for patients suffering with violent colic.
Erasistratus looked upon it as a sovereign remedy against paralysis,
while Cato in his writings affirmed it to be a panacea for all diseases,
and believed the use the Romans made of it to have been the means
whereby they were able, during six hundred years, to do without the
assistance of physicians, whom they had expelled from their territory.
The learned philosopher, Pythagoras, composed books in which he lauded
its wonderful virtues.
The Germans are so fond of cabbage that it enters into the composition
of a majority of their culinary products. The cabbage was first raised
in England about 1640, by Sir Anthony Ashley. That this epoch, important
to the English horticultural and culinary world, may never be forgotten,
a cabbage is represented upon Sir Anthony's monument.
The nutritive value of the cabbage is not high, nearly ninety per cent
being water; but it forms an agreeable variety in the list of vegetable
foods, and is said to possess marked antiscorbutic virtue. It is,
however, difficult of digestion, and therefore not suited to weak
stomachs. It would be impossible to sustain life for a lengthened period
upon cabbage, since to supply the body with sufficient food elements,
the quantity would exceed the rate of digestion and the capacity of the
M. Chevreul, a French scientist, has ascertained that the peculiar odor
given off during the boiling of cabbage is due to the disengagement of
sulphureted hydrogen. Cabbage is said to be more easily digested raw
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--A good cabbage should have a
well-developed, firm head, with fresh, crisp leaves, free from
worm-holes and decayed portions. To prepare for cooking, stalk, shake
well to free from dirt, and if there are any signs of insects, lay in
cold salted water for an hour or so to drive them out. Rinse away the
salt water, and if to be boiled, drop into a small quantity of boiling
water. Cover closely and boil vigorously until tender. If cooked slowly,
it will be watery and stringy, while overdone cabbage is especially
insipid and flavorless. If too much water has been used, remove the
cover, that evaporation may go on more rapidly; if too little, replenish
with boiling water. Cabbage should be cooked in a porcelain-lined or
granite-ware sauce pan or a very clean iron kettle. Cabbage may also be
steamed, but care must be taken to have the process as rapid as
possible. Fresh young cabbage will cook in about one hour; old cabbage
requires from two to three hours.
BAKED CABBAGE.--Prepare and chop a firm head of young white
cabbage, boil until tender, drain, and set aside until nearly cold. Then
add two well-beaten eggs, salt to taste, and a half cup of thin cream or
rich milk. Mix and bake in a pudding dish until lightly browned.
BOILED CABBAGE.--Carefully clean a nice head of cabbage, divide
into halves, and with a sharp knife slice very thin, cutting from the
center of the head outward. Put into boiling water, cover closely, and
cook rapidly until tender; then turn into a colander and drain, pressing
gently with the back of a plate. Return to the kettle, add salt to
taste, and sufficient sweet cream to moisten well, heat through if at
all cooled, dish, and serve at once. If preferred, the cream may be
omitted, and the cabbage served with tomato sauce or lemon juice as a
CABBAGE AND TOMATOES.--Boil finely chopped cabbage in as little
water as possible. When tender, add half the quantity of hot stewed
tomatoes, boil together for a few minutes, being careful to avoid
burning, season with salt if desired, and serve. If preferred, a little
sweet cream may be added just before serving.
CABBAGE CELERY.--A firm, crisp head of cabbage cut in slices half
an inch or an inch thick, and then again into pieces four or five inches
long and two or three inches wide, makes a quite appetizing substitute
CABBAGE HASH.--Chop fine, equal parts of cold boiled potatoes and
boiled cabbage, and season with salt. To each quart of the mixture add
one half or three fourths of a cup of thin cream; mix well and boil till
CHOPPED CABBAGE OR CABBAGE SALAD.--Take one pint of finely chopped
cabbage; pour over it a dressing made of three tablespoonfuls of lemon
juice, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, and a half cup of whipped cream,
thoroughly beaten together in the order named; or serve with sugar and
diluted lemon juice.
MASHED CABBAGE.--Cut a fine head of cabbage into quarters, and cook
until tender. A half hour before it is done, drop in three good-sized
potatoes. When done, take all up in a colander together, press out the
water, and mash very fine. Season with cream, and salt if desired.
STEWED CABBAGE. Chop nice cabbage quite fine, and put it into
boiling water, letting it boil twenty minutes. Turn into a colander and
drain thoroughly; return to the kettle, cover with milk, and let it boil
till perfectly tender; season with salt and cream to taste. The beaten
yolk of an egg, stirred in with the cream, is considered an improvement
CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI.
DESCRIPTION.--These vegetables are botanically allied to the
cabbage, and are similar in composition. They are entirely the product
of cultivation, and constitute the inflorescence of the plant, which
horticultural art has made to grow into a compact head of white color in
the cauliflower, and of varying shades of buff, green, and purple in the
broccoli. There is very little difference between the two aside from the
color, and they are treated alike for culinary purposes. They were known
to the Greeks and Romans, and highly appreciated by connoisseurs. They
are not as nutritious as the cabbage, but have a more delicate and
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--The leaves should be green and fresh, and
the heads of cauliflower creamy white; when there are dark spots, it is
wilted. The color of broccoli will depend upon the variety, but the head
should be firm, with no discolorations. To prepare, pick off the outside
leaves, cut the stalk squarely across, about two inches below the
flower, and if very thick, split and wash thoroughly in several waters;
or better still, hold it under the faucet, flower downward, and allow a
constant stream of water to fall over it for several minutes; then place
top downward in a pan of lukewarm salted water, to drive out any insects
which may be hidden in it; examine carefully for worms just the color of
the stalk; tie in a net (mosquito netting, say) to prevent breaking, or
place the cauliflower on a plate in a steamer, and boil, or steam, as is
most convenient. The time required for cooking will vary from twenty to
(The recipes given are applicable to both broccoli and cauliflower.)
BOILED CAULIFLOWER.--Prepare, divide into neat branches, and tie
securely in a net. Put into boiling milk and water, equal quantities,
and cook until the main stalks are tender. Boil rapidly the first five
minutes, afterward more moderately, to prevent the flower from becoming
done before the stalks. Serve on a hot dish with cream sauce or diluted
BROWNED CAULIFLOWER.--Beat together two eggs, a little salt, four
tablespoonfuls of sweet cream, and a small quantity of grated bread
crumbs well moistened with a little milk, till of the consistency of
batter. Steam the cauliflower until tender, separate it into small
bunches, dip each top in the mixture, and place in nice order in a
pudding dish; put in the oven and brown.
CAULIFLOWER WITH EGG SAUCE.--Steam the cauliflower until tender,
separate into small portions, dish, and serve with an egg sauce prepared
as directed for parsnips on page 244.
CAULIFLOWER WITH TOMATO SAUCE.--Boil or steam the cauliflower until
tender. In another dish prepare a sauce with a pint of strained stewed
smooth in a little water, and salted to taste. When the cauliflower is
tender, dish, and pour over it the hot tomato sauce. If preferred, a
tablespoonful of thick sweet cream may be added to the sauce before
STEWED CAULIFLOWER.--Boil in as little water as possible, or steam
until tender; separate into small portions, add milk, cream and salt to
taste; stew together for a few minutes, and serve.
SCOLLOPED CAULIFLOWER.--Prepare the cauliflower, and steam or boil
until tender. If boiled, use equal quantities of milk and water.
Separate into bunches of equal size, place in a pudding dish, cover with
a white or cream sauce, sprinkle with grated bread crumbs, and brown in
DESCRIPTION.--This plant is supposed to be a native of western
Arabia. There are several varieties which are prepared and served as
"greens." Spinach is largely composed of water. It is considered a
wholesome vegetable, with slightly laxative properties.
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--Use only tender plants or the tender
leaves of the older stalks, and be sure to have enough, as spinach
shrinks greatly. A peck is not too much for a family of four or five.
Pick it over very carefully, trim off the roots and decayed leaves, and
all tough, stringy stalks, and the coarse fibers of the leaves, as those
will not cook tender until the leaves are overdone. Wash in several
waters, lifting grit. Shake each bunch well. Spinach is best cooked in
its own juices; this may be best accomplished by cooking it in a double
boiler, or if placed in a pot and slowly heated, it will however, be
stirred frequently at first, to prevent burning; cover closely and cook
until tender. The time required will vary from twenty minutes to half an
hour or more. If water is used in the cooking, have a half kettleful
boiling when the spinach is put in, and continue to boil rapidly until
the leaves are perfectly tender; then drain in a colander, press with
the back of a plate to extract all water, chop very fine, and either
serve with lemon juice as a dressing, or add a half cup of sweet cream
with or without a teaspoonful of sugar. Boil up once, stirring
constantly, and serve very hot. A garnish of sliced boiled eggs is often
employed with this vegetable.
DESCRIPTION.--The common celery is a native of Great Britain. In
its wild state it has a strong, disagreeable taste and smell, and is
known as _smallage_. By cultivation it becomes more mild and sweet. It
is usually eaten uncooked as a salad herb, or introduced into soups as a
flavouring. In its raw state, it is difficult of digestion.
Celery from the market may be kept fresh for some time by wrapping the
bunches in brown paper, sprinkling them with water, then wrapping in a
damp cloth and putting in some cool, dark place.
CELERY SALAD.--Break the stems apart, cut off all green portions,
and after washing well put in cold water for an hour or so before
STEWED CELERY.--Cut the tender inner parts of celery heads into
pieces about a finger long. The outer and more fibrous stalks may be
saved to season soups. Put in a stewpan, and add sufficient water to
cover; then cover the pan closely, and set it where it will just simmer
for an hour, or until the celery is perfectly tender. When cooked, add a
pint of rich milk, part cream if you have it, salt to taste, and when
boiling, stir in a tablespoon of flour rubbed smooth in a little milk.
Boil up once and serve.
STEWED CELERY NO. 2.--Cut the white part of fine heads of celery
into small pieces, blanch in boiling water, turn into a colander, and
drain. Heat a cup and a half of milk to boiling in a stewpan; add the
celery, and stew gently until tender. Remove the celery with a skimmer,
and stir into the milk the beaten yolks of two eggs and one half cup of
cream. Cook until thickened; pour over the celery, and serve.
CELERY WITH TOMATO SAUCE.--Prepare the celery as in the preceding
recipe, and cook until tender in a small quantity of boiling water.
Drain in a colander, and for three cups of stewed celery prepare a sauce
with a pint of strained stewed tomato, heated to boiling and thickened
with a tablespoonful of flour rubbed smooth in a little cold water. If
desired, add a half cup of thin cream. Turn over the celery, and serve
CELERY AND POTATO HASH.--To three cups of cold boiled or baked
potato, chopped rather fine, add one cup of cooked celery, minced. Put
season. Heat to boiling, tossing and stirring so that the whole will be
heated throughout, and serve hot.
DESCRIPTION.--The asparagus is a native of Europe, and in its wild
state is a sea-coast plant. The young shoots form the edible portion.
The plant was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who not only used
it as a table delicacy but considered it very useful in the treatment of
internal diseases. Roman cooks provided themselves with a supply of the
vegetable for winter use by cutting fine heads and drying them. When
wanted, they were put into hot water and gently cooked.
The asparagus is remarkable as containing a crystalline alkaloid called
_asparagin_, which is thought to possess diuretic properties.
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--Select fresh and tender asparagus. Those
versed in its cultivation, assert that it should be cut at least three
times a week, and barely to the ground. If it is necessary to keep the
bunches for some time before cooking, stand them, tops uppermost, in
water about one half inch deep, in the cellar or other cool place. Clean
each stalk separately by swashing back and forth in a pan of cold water
till perfectly free from sand, then break off all the tough portions,
cut in equal lengths, tie in bunches of half a dozen or more with soft
tape, drop into boiling water barely sufficient to cover, and simmer
gently until perfectly tender.
If the asparagus is to be stewed, break: (not cut) into small pieces;
when it will not snap off quickly, the stalk is too tough for use.
Asparagus must be taken from the water just as soon as tender, while yet
firm in appearance. If boiled soft, it loses its flavor and is
uninviting. It is a good plan when it is to be divided before cooking,
if the stalks are not perfectly tender, to boil the hardest portions
first. Asparagus cooked in bunches is well done, if, when held by the
thick end in a horizontal position between the fingers, it only bends
lightly and does not fall heavily down.
The time required for boiling asparagus depends upon its freshness and
age. Fresh, tender asparagus cooks in a very few minutes, so quickly,
indeed, that the Roman emperor Augustus, intimating that any affair must
be concluded without delay, was accustomed to say, "Let that be done
quicker than you can cook asparagus." Fifteen or twenty minutes will
suffice if young and fresh; if old, from thirty to fifty minutes will be
ASPARAGUS AND PEAS.--Asparagus and green peas make a nice dish
served together, and if of proportionate age, require the same length of
time to cook. Wash the asparagus, shell and look over the peas, put
together into boiling water, cook, and serve as directed for stewed
ASPARAGUS POINTS.--Cut of enough heads in two-inch lengths to make
three pints. Put into boiling water just sufficient to cover. When
tender, drain off the water, add a half cup of cream, and salt if
desired. Serve at once.
ASPARAGUS ON TOAST.--Cook the asparagus in bunches, and when
tender, drain and place on slices of nicely browned toast moistened in
the asparagus liquor. Pour over all a cream sauce prepared as directed
ASPARAGUS WITH CREAM SAUCE.--Thoroughly wash, tie in small bunches,
and put into boiling water; boil till perfectly tender. Drain
thoroughly, untie the bunches, place the stalks all the same way upon a
hot plate, with a dressing prepared as follows: Let a pint of sweet
cream (about six hours old is best) come to the boiling point, and stir
into it salt to taste and a level tablespoonful of flour rubbed smooth
with a little cold cream.
ASPARAGUS WITH EGG SAUCE.--Prepare and cook asparagus as directed
above. When tender, drain thoroughly, and serve on a hot dish or on
slices of nicely browned toast, with an egg sauce prepared in the
following manner: Heat a half cup of rich milk to boiling, add salt, and
turn into it very slowly the well-beaten yolk of an egg, stirring
constantly at the same time. Let the whole just thicken, and remove from
the fire at once.
STEWED ASPARAGUS.--Wash, break into inch pieces, simmer till tender
in water just to cover, add sufficient rich milk, part cream if
convenient, to make a gravy, thicken slightly with flour, a teaspoonful
to a pint of milk; add salt if desired, boil up together once, and
DESCRIPTION.--This plant, a native of Britain, and much esteemed as
a vegetable in England and on the Continent, is also in its wild state a
sea-coast plant. When properly cooked, it is nutritious and easy of
digestion. In appearance and flavor it greatly resembles asparagus, and
the suggestions for cooking and recipes given for that vegetable are
applicable to sea-kale.
LETTUCE AND RADISH.
DESCRIPTION.--These two vegetables, although wholly different, the
one being the leaf of a plant, the other the root, are both so commonly
served as relishes that we will speak of them together. Both have long
been known and used. Wild lettuce is said to be the bitter herb which
the Hebrews ate with the Paschal lamb. The ancient Greek and Roman
epicures valued lettuce highly, and bestowed great care upon its
cultivation, in some instances watering the plants with sweet wine
instead of water, in order to communicate to them a delicate perfume and
flavor. The common garden lettuce of the present day is a hardy plant,
which supplies an agreeable, digestible, and, when served with a
wholesome dressing, unobjectionable salad.
The common radish is supposed to be indigenous to China. Ancient writers
on foods mention the radish as used by the early Greeks and Romans, who
fancied that at the end of three years its seed would produce cabbages.
They had also the singular custom of making the radish the ignominious
projectile with which in times of tumult the mob pursued persons whose
political opinions had made them obnoxious. When quiet was restored, the
disgraced vegetable was boiled and eaten with oil and vinegar. Common
garden radishes are of different shapes and of various colors on the
outside, there being black, violet, red, and white radishes. The inside
portion of all, however, is white. They are sometimes cooked, but more
commonly served raw. A dish of crisp, coral radishes adds beauty to the
appearance of the table, but they are not possessed of a high nutritive
value, being very similar to the turnip in composition, and unless very
young, tender, and when eaten thoroughly masticated, are quite difficult
LETTUCE.--Wash well, put into cold water, and set on ice or on the
cellar bottom for an hour or more before using. Dry the leaves with a
soft towel and use whole or tear into convenient pieces with a silver
fork; never cut with a knife. Serve with a dressing prepared of equal
quantities of lemon juice and sugar, diluted with a little ice water;
or, with a dressing of cream and sugar, in the proportion of three or
four tablespoonfuls of thin cream to a teaspoonful of sugar. The
dressing may be prepared, and after the sugar is dissolved, a very
little lemon juice (just enough to thicken the cream slightly, but not
sufficient to curdle it) may be added if desired.
RADISHES.--Wash thoroughly young and tender radishes, and arrange
in a glass dish with the taper ends meeting. Scatter bits of cracked ice
among them. An inch of the stem, if left on, serve as a convenience in
CYMLING, SUMMER SQUASH, OR VEGETABLE MARROW.
DESCRIPTION.--The vegetable marrow (sometimes called cymling) is
thought to be a variety of the common gourd, from which also the pumpkin
and winter squash appear to have been derived. It is easily digested,
but on account of the abundance of water in its composition, its
nutritive value is very low.
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--When very young, most varieties need no
preparation for cooking, aside from washing thoroughly. After cooking,
the skin can be easily rubbed off and the seeds removed. If more mature,
pare thinly, and if large, divide into halves or quarters and scoop out
the seeds. Summer squashes are better steamed than boiled. If boiled,
they should be cooked in so little water that it will be quite
evaporated when they are tender. From twenty to sixty minutes will be
required for cooking.
MASHED SQUASH.--Wash, peel, remove seeds, and steam until tender.
Place the squash in a clean cloth, mash thoroughly, squeeze until the
squash is quite dry, or rub through a fine colander and afterward simmer
until neatly dry; season with cream, and a little salt if desired, and
heat again before serving. A teaspoonful of sugar may be added with the
cream, if desired.
SQUASH WITH EGG SAUCE.--Prepare, steam till tender, cut into
pieces, and serve with an egg sauce made the same as directed for
asparagus, page 256.
STEWED SQUASH.--Prepare, cut into pieces, and stew until tender in
a small quantity of boiling water; drain, pressing out all the water;
serve on toast with cream or white sauce. Or, divide in quarters, remove
the seeds, cook in a double boiler, in its own juices, which when done
may be thickened with a little flour. Season with salt if desired, and
The winter squash and pumpkin are allied in nature to the summer squash.
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--Select squashes of a firm texture, wash,
break in pieces with a hatchet if hard-shell, or if the shell is soft,
divide with a knife; remove all seeds, and boil, stew, steam, or bake,
To boil or steam, from thirty minutes to one hour's time will be needed;
to bake, one to two hours.
BAKED SQUASH..--The hard-shell varieties are best for baking. Wash,
divide, and lay, shells downward, on the top grate of the oven, or place
in a shallow baking dish with a little boiling water. Boil until tender,
serve in the shell, or scrape out the soft part, mash and serve with two
largo tablespoonful of cream to a pint of squash. If preferred, the
skins may be removed before baking, and the squash served the same as
sweet potato, for which it makes a good substitute.
STEAMED SQUASH.--Prepare the squash, and steam until tender. Mash
and season as for baked squash.
DESCRIPTION.--When our forefathers came to this country, they found
the pumpkin growing in the Indian cornfields, and at once made use of
it. Although as food it did not supply what its handsome exterior
promised, yet in the absence of other fruits and relishes, of which the
exigencies of a new country deprived them, they soon found the pumpkin
quite palatable; and the taste, cultivated through necessity, has been
handed down through generations, until the pumpkin stewed and baked in
pies, has become an established favorite.
BAKED PUMPKIN.--Wash the pumpkin well on the outside, divide into
quarters if small, into sixths or eighths if large; remove the seeds but
not the rind. Bake as directed for squash. Serve in the rind, dishing it
out by spoonfuls.
STEWED PUMPKIN.--Select a good, ripe pumpkin, and cut in halves;
remove the seeds, slice halfway around, pare, cut into inch pieces, put
over the fire in a kettle containing a small quantity of boiling water,
and stew gently, stirring frequently until it breaks to pieces. Cool,
rub through a colander, and place where it will just simmer, but not
burn, until the water is all evaporated and the pumpkin dry. Pumpkin for
pies is much richer baked like squash, and rubbed through a colander
after the skin has been removed.
DRIED PUMPKIN.--Pumpkin may be dried and kept for future use. The
best way is first to cut and stew the pumpkin, then spread on plates,
and dry quickly in the oven. Dried in this manner, it is easily
softened, when needed, by soaking in a small quantity of water, and is
considered nearly as good as that freshly stewed.
DESCRIPTION.--The tomato, or "love apple," as it was called in the
early part of the century, is a native of South America and Mexico. It
was formerly regarded as poisonous, and though often planted and prized
as a curiosity in the flower garden, it has only within the last half
century come to be considered as a wholesome article of diet.
Botanically, it is allied to the potato. It is an acid fruit, largely
composed of water, and hence of low nutritive value; but it is justly
esteemed as a relish, and is very serviceable to the cook in the
preparation of soups and various mixed dishes.
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--Tomatoes to be served in an uncooked
state should be perfectly ripe and fresh. The medium-sized, smooth ones
are the best. To peel, pour scalding water over them; let them remain
for half a minute, plunge into cold water, allow them to cool, when the
skins can be easily rubbed off. Tomatoes should always be cooked in
porcelain or granite ware; iron makes them look dark, and being
slightly acid in character, they are not wholesome cooked in tin
Tomatoes require cooking a long time; one hour is needed, and two are
BAKED TOMATOES.--Fill a pudding dish two thirds full of stewed
tomatoes; season with salt, and sprinkle grated crumbs of good
whole-wheat or Graham bread over it until the top looks dry. Brown in
the oven, and serve with a cream dressing.
BAKED TOMATOES NO. 2. Wash and wipe a quantity of smooth,
even-sized tomatoes; remove the stems with a sharp-pointed knife.
Arrange on an earthen pudding or pie dish, and bake whole in a moderate
oven. Serve with cream.
SCALLOPED TOMATOES.--Take a pint of stewed tomatoes, which have
been rubbed through a colander, thicken with one and one fourth cups of
lightly picked crumbs of Graham or whole-wheat bread, or a sufficient
quantity to make it quite thick, add salt if desired, and a half cup of
sweet cream, mix well, and bake for twenty minutes. Or, fill a pudding
dish with alternate layers of peeled and sliced tomatoes and bread
crumbs, letting the topmost layer be of tomatoes. Cover, and bake in a
moderate oven for an hour or longer, according to depth. Uncover, and
brown for ten or fifteen minutes.
STEWED CORN AND TOMATOES.--Boil dried or fresh corn until perfectly
tender, add to each cup of corn two cups of stewed, strained tomatoes,
either canned or freshly cooked. Salt to taste, boil together for five
or ten minutes, and serve plain or with a little cream added.
TOMATO GRAVY.--Heat to boiling one pint of strained stewed
tomatoes, either canned or fresh, and thicken with a tablespoonful of
flour rubbed smooth in a little water; add salt and when thickened, if
desired, a half cup of hot cream. Boil together for a minute or two and
serve at once.
TOMATO SALAD.--Select perfectly ripe tomatoes, and peel at least an
hour before using. Slice, and place on ice or in a cool place. Serve
plain or with lemon juice or sugar as preferred.
TOMATO SALAD NO. 2.--Use one half small yellow tomatoes and one
half red. Slice evenly and lay in the dish in alternate layers. Powder
lightly with sugar, and turn over them a cupful of orange juice to a
pint of tomato, or if preferred, the juice of lemons may be used
instead. Set on ice and cool before serving.
BROILED TOMATOES.--Choose perfectly ripened but firm tomatoes of
equal size. Place them on a wire broiler, and broil over glowing coals,
from three to eight minutes, according to size, then turn and cook on
the other side. Broil the stem end first. Serve hot with salt to season,
and a little cream.
TOMATO PUDDING.--Fill an earthen pudding dish with alternate layers
of stale bread and fresh tomatoes, peeled, sliced, and sprinkled lightly
with sugar. Cover the dish and bake.
STEWED TOMATOES.--Peel and slice the tomatoes. Put them into a
double boiler, without the addition of water, and stew for an hour or
longer. When done, serve plain with a little sugar added, or season with
salt and a tablespoonful of rather thick sweet cream to each pint of
tomatoes. If the tomatoes are thin and very juicy, they may be thickened
with a little flour rubbed smooth in a little cold water. They are much
better, however, to stew a longer time until the water they contain is
sufficiently evaporated to make them of the desired consistency. The
stew may also be thickened, if desired, by the addition of bread crumbs,
rice, or macaroni.
TOMATO WITH OKRA.--Wash the okra, cut off the stem and nibs, and
slice thin. For a quart of sliced okra, peel and slice three large
tomatoes. Stew the tomatoes for half an hour, then add the okra, and
simmer together for half an hour longer. Season with salt and a little
DESCRIPTION.--The egg plant, a vegetable indigenous to the East
Indies, is somewhat allied in character to the tomato. In shape, it
resembles an egg, from which fact it doubtless derives its name. It
ranks low in nutritive value. When fresh, the plant is firm and has a
SCALLOPED EGG PLANT.--Pare a fresh egg plant. If large, divide in
quarters, if small, in halves, and put to cook in boiling water. Cook
until it can be easily pierced with a straw, and drain in a colander.
Turn into a hot dish, and beat with a silver fork until finely broken.
Measure the egg plant, and add to it an equal quantity of graded bread
crumbs, a little salt, and a tablespoonful of thick sweet cream. Lastly,
add one well beaten egg. Put in an earthen pudding dish, and brown in
the oven until the egg is set, and the whole is heated throughout but
BAKED EGG PLANT.--Wash and cook whole in boiling water until
tender. Divide in halves, remove the inside with a spoon, taking care
not to break the skin. Beat the egg plant smooth with a fork. Season
with salt and cream, and if desired, a stalk of celery or a small slice
of onion very finely minced, for flavor. Put back in the skin, sprinkle
the top with bread crumbs, and brown the outside uppermost in the oven.
DESCRIPTION.--The cucumber is a native of Southern Asia, although
it is quite commonly cultivated in most civilized countries. It formed a
part of the dietary of the Israelites when in Egypt, where it grew very
plentifully. The ancient Greeks held the cucumber in high esteem, and
attributed to it wonderful properties.
The cucumber is not a nutritious vegetable, and when served in its raw
state, as it so generally is, dressed with salt, vinegar, pepper, and
similar condiments, it is an exceedingly indigestible article. If it is
to be eaten at all, it should first be cooked. It may be pared, divided
in quarters, the seeds removed, and cooked in a small quantity of water
until perfectly tender, and served on toast with an egg sauce or a cream
sauce; or it may be prepared the same as directed for Escalloped Egg
SALSIFY, OR VEGETABLE OYSTER.
DESCRIPTION.--The vegetable oyster plant, sometimes called purple
goat's-beard, or salsify, is indigenous to some portions of Great
Britain. The long, slender root becomes fleshy and tender under
cultivation, with a flavor, when cooked, somewhat resembling that of the
mollusk for which it is named. On this account, it is much esteemed for
soups. A variety of the plant grows near the line of perpetual snow, and
forms the principal article of fresh vegetable food in the dietary of
PREPARATION AND COOKING.--Select fresh and unshriveled roots, wash
and scrape well, dropping into cold water as soon as cleaned, to prevent
discoloration. If the roots are covered with cold water for a half hour
or more before scraping, they can be cleaned much easier. Use a
porcelain-lined kettle, for cooking, as an iron one will discolor it
and injure its flavor. From twenty minutes to one hour, according to
age, is required to cook it tender.
SCALLOPED VEGETABLE OYSTERS.--Boil two quarts of sliced vegetable
oysters in about two quarts of water until very tender. Skim them out,
and fill a pudding dish with alternate layers of crumbs and oysters,
having a layer of crumbs for the top. To the water in which they were
boiled, add a pint and a half of thin cream, salt to taste, boil up, and
thicken with a heaping tablespoonful or two of flour rubbed smooth in a
little cold cream. Pour this over the oysters and crumbs, and bake a
half hour. If this is not enough to cover well, add more cream or milk.
Stewed tomatoes are a nice accompaniment for escalloped vegetable
STEWED VEGETABLE OYSTERS.--Wash, scrape, and cut into slices not
more than one half inch in thickness. Put into a small quantity of
boiling water and cook until tender. If a large quantity of water is
used, the savory juices escape, and leave the roots very insipid. When
tender, pour in a cup of rich milk and simmer for five or ten minutes;
add a little flour rubbed smooth in milk, and salt if desired; boil up
once, and serve as a vegetable or on slices of nicely browned toast. If
preferred, a well-beaten egg may be used in the place of flour.
GREEN CORN, PEAS, AND BEANS.
DESCRIPTION.--Corn, peas, and beans in their immature state are so
nearly allied to vegetables, that we give in this connection recipes for
cooking green corn, green beans, and green peas. A general rule
applicable to all is that they should, when possible, be cooked and
eaten the day they are gathered, as otherwise they lose much of their
sweetness and flavor. For corn, select young, tender, well-filled ears,
from which the milk will spurt when the grain is broken with the finger
nail. Beans and peas are fresh only when the pods are green, plump, snap
crisply when broken, and have unshriveled stems. If the pods bend and
appear wilted, they are stale. Corn, peas, and beans are wholesome and
nutritious foods when thoroughly cooked and sufficiently masticated, but
they are almost indigestible unless the hull, or skin, of each pea,
bean, or grain of corn, be broken before being swallowed.
_RECIPES FOR CORN._
BAKED CORN.--Select nice fresh ears of tender corn of as nearly
equal size as possible. Open the husks and remove all the silk from the
corn; replace and tie the husks around the ears with a thread. Put the
corn in a hot oven, and bake thirty minutes or until tender. Remove the
husks before serving.
BAKED CORN NO. 2.--Scrape enough corn from the cob (as directed
below for Corn Pulp) to make one and a half quarts. Put into a baking
dish, season with salt if desired, add enough milk, part cream if
convenient, barely to cover the corn, and bake in a hot oven twenty-five
or thirty minutes.
BOILED GREEN CORN.--Remove the husks and every thread of the silk
fiber. Place in a kettle, the larger ears at the bottom, with sufficient
boiling water nearly to cover. Cover with the clean inner husks, and
cook from twenty to thirty minutes, according to the age of the corn;
too much cooking hardens it and detracts from its flavor. Try a kernel,
and when the milk has thickened, and a raw taste is no longer apparent,
it is sufficiently cooked. Green corn is said to be sweeter, boiled with
the inner husks on. For cooking in this way, strip off all outer husks,
and remove the silk, tying the inner husk around the ear with a bit of
thread, and boil. Remove from the kettle, place in a heated dish, cover
with a napkin and serve at once on the cob. Some recommend scoring or
splitting the corn by drawing a sharp knife through each row lengthwise.
This is a wise precaution against insufficient mastication.
STEWED CORN PULP.--Take six ears of green corn or enough to make a
pint of raw pulp; with a sharp knife cut a thin shaving from each row of
kernels or score each kernel, and with the back of the knife scrape out
the pulp, taking care to leave the hulls on the cob. Heat a cup and a
half of rich milk--part cream if it can be afforded--to boiling, add the
corn, cook twenty or thirty minutes; season with salt and a teaspoonful
of sugar if desired.
CORN CAKES.--To a pint of corn pulp add two well-beaten eggs and
two tablespoonfuls of flour; season with salt if desired, and brown on a
griddle. Canned corn finely chopped can be used, but two tablespoonfuls
of milk should be added, as the corn is less moist.
CORN PUDDING.--One quart of corn pulp prepared as for stewing, one
quart of milk, three eggs, and a little salt. Mix the corn with a pint
of the milk, and heat it to boiling. Break the eggs into the remainder
of the milk, and add it to the corn, turn all into an oiled pudding
dish, and bake slowly until the custard is well set.
ROASTED GREEN CORN.--Remove the husks and silk, and place the corn
before an open grate or in a wire broiler over hot coals until the
kernels burst open, or bury in hot ashes without removing the husks.
Score the grains, and serve from the cob.
STEWED GREEN CORN.--Cut the corn from the cob and with the back of
the knife scrape off all the pulp, being careful to leave the hull on
the cob. Put into a stewpan with half as much water as corn, cover
closely and stew gently until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently to
prevent the corn from sticking to the pan; add cream or milk to make the
requisite amount of juice, and season with salt if desired. A
teaspoonful of white sugar may be added if desired.
Cold boiled corn cut from the cob and stewed a few minutes in a little
milk, makes a very palatable dish.
SUMMER SUCCOTASH.--This maybe made by cooking equal quantities of
shelled beans and corn cut from the cob, separately until tender, and
then mixing them; or the beans may be cooked until nearly soft, an equal
quantity of shaved corn added, and the whole cooked fifteen or twenty
minutes or longer. Season with cream, and salt if desired.
DRIED CORN.--The sweet varieties of corn taken when young and
tender and properly dried, furnish an excellent material for nearly all
purposes to which green corn is put. Take green corn, just right for
eating, have it free from silk; cut the fleshy portion from the cob with
a sharp knife, then with the back of the knife gently press the
remaining pulp from the cob. Spread thinly on plates and put into an
oven hot enough to scald, not scorch it. Watch closely for a half hour
or more, turning and stirring frequently with a fork. When thus
thoroughly scalded, the corn may be left without further attention if
placed in a moderate oven, save an occasional stirring to prevent its
sticking to the plate, until the drying is complete, which ought to be
in about forty-eight hours; however, if one can spend the time to watch
closely and stir very frequently, the drying may be completed in a
single afternoon in a rather hot oven. Be careful that it does not
When needed for use, soak over night and cook in accordance with recipes
for Stewed Corn, Succotash, etc., pages 265, 234, only remembering to
allow a longer time.
_RECIPES FOR PEAS._
STEWED PEAS.--If from the garden, pick and shell the peas with
clean hands; if from the market, wash the pods before shelling, so that
the peas will not require washing, as they are much better without. When
shelled, put into a colander and sift out the fine particles and
undeveloped blossoms. If not of equal growth, sort the peas and put the
older ones to cook ten minutes before the others. Use a porcelain
kettle, with one half pint of boiling water for each quart of peas, if
young and tender; older ones, which require longer stewing, need more.
Cover closely, and simmer gently till tender. The time required for
young peas is from twenty-five to thirty minutes; older ones require
forty to fifty minutes. Serve without draining, season with salt and
enough sweet cream to make them as juicy as desired. If preferred, the
juice may be thickened with a little flour.
The peas may be purposely stewed in a larger quantity of water, and
served in their own juices thickened with a little flour and seasoned
_RECIPES FOR BEANS._
LIMA BEANS.--Lima beans are not good until they are full grown and
have turned white. Shell, wash, cover with boiling water, and cook about
one hour or until tender. Let the water nearly evaporate, and add milk
or cream thickened with a little flour. Season with salt to taste, boil
up once, and serve.
SHELLED BEANS.--Shell, wash, drop into boiling water sufficient to
cover, and cook until tender. Let the water boil nearly away, and serve
without draining. Season with thin cream, and salt if desired.
STRING BEANS.--Wash well in cold water. Remove the strong fiber, or
strings, as they are called, by paring both edges with a sharp knife;
few cooks do this thoroughly. Break off stems and points, carefully
rejecting any imperfect or diseased pods. Lay a handful evenly on a
board and cut them all at once into inch lengths. Put in a porcelain
kettle, cover with boiling water, and cook from one to three hours,
according to age and variety, testing frequently, as they should be
removed from the kettle just as soon as done. When very young and
tender, only water sufficient to keep them from burning will be needed.
When done, add a half cup of thin cream, and salt to taste. If the
quantity of juice is considerable, thicken with a little flour.
The onion belongs to a class of foods containing an acrid oil of a
strongly irritating character, on which account it cannot be considered
a wholesome food when eaten raw, as it so generally is. The essential
oil is, however, quite volatile, so that when cooked, after being first
parboiled in two or three waters, its irritating properties are largely
removed. The varieties grown in warm climates are much milder and
sweeter than those grown in colder countries. The onion is valuable for
flavoring purposes. It may also be boiled and served whole with a cream
sauce, or cut in quarters and prepared as directed for Scalloped
Turnips, page 242.
Most housekeepers experience more difficulty in canning and keeping
vegetables than fruit. This is frequently owing to lack of care to
secure perfect cans, covers, and rubbers, and to cook the vegetables
thoroughly. Whatever is to be canned must be cooked sufficiently to be
eaten, and must be boiling at the time it is put into the cans. Care as
to the cleanliness of the cans and their sterilization is also
important, and after the canning process is completed, all vegetables
put up in glass should be kept in a cool, dark place. The general
directions given for canning fruits should be followed in canning
CANNED CORN.--Select corn just ripe enough for table use, and
prepare as directed for stewed corn. It will require from twelve to
fifteen ears to fill sufficiently each quart can. To insure success, the
cans should be so full that when the corn is shrunken by the cooking,
the can will still be well filled. Pack the corn in the cans, working it
down closely by means of the small end of a potato masher, so the milk
will cover the corn and completely fill the can; heap a little more corn
loosely on the top, and screw the covers on sufficiently tight to
prevent water from getting into the can. Place the cans in a boiler, on
the bottom of which has been placed some straw or a rack; also take care
not to let the cans come in contact with each other, by wrapping each in
a cloth or by placing a chip between them. A double layer of cans may be
placed in the boiler, one on top of the other, if desirable, provided
there is some intervening substance. Fill the boiler with cold water so
as completely to cover the cans; place over the fire, bring gradually to
a boil, and keep boiling steadily for four hours. Remove the boiler from
the fire, and allow the cans to cool gradually, tightening the covers
frequently as they cool.
If the corn in the can shrinks, do not open to refill. If cooked
thoroughly, and due care is taken in other particulars, there need be no
failure. Wrap closely in brown paper, and put away in a dark, cool, dry
CANNED CORN AND TOMATOES.--Use about one third corn and two thirds
tomatoes, or in equal portions if preferred. Cook the tomatoes in a
double boiler for an hour and a half or longer; and in another double
boiler, when the tomatoes are nearly done, cook the corn in its own
juices until thoroughly done. Turn them together, heat to boiling, and
can at once.
CANNED PEAS.--Select peas which are fresh, young, and tender.
Shell, pack into perfect cans, shaking and filling as full as possible,
add sufficient cold water to fill them to overflowing, screw on the
covers, and cook and seal the same as directed for canning corn.
CANNED TOMATOES.--Tomatoes for canning should be freshly gathered,
ripe, but not at all softened.
As they are best cooked in their own juices, peel, slice, put into a
double boiler or a porcelain fruit-kettle set inside a dish filled with
boiling water, and cook from one to two hours. Cooked in the ordinary
way, great care will be required to keep the fruit from burning. When
thoroughly cooked--simple scalding will not do--put into cans, and be
sure that all air bubbles are expelled before sealing. Wrap in dark
brown paper, and put in a cool, dry, dark place.
CANNED TOMATOES NO. 2.--Cut the fruit into thick slices, let it
stand and drain until a large portion of the juice has drained off; then
pack solid in new or perfect cans. Allow them to stand a little time,
then again drain off the juice; fill up a second time with sliced
tomatoes, and screw on the top of the cans without the rubbers. Pack
into a wash boiler as directed for canning corn, and boil for two hours,
then put on the rubbers and seal. When cold, tighten the covers and put
STRING BEANS.--Select young and tender beans, string them, and cut
into pieces about one half inch in length. Pack the cans as full as
possible, and fill with water until every crevice between the beans is
full. Screw on the covers and can in the same manner as corn.
Shelled beans may be canned in the same way.
CANNED PUMPKIN AND SQUASH.--These fruits when canned are quite as
desirable for pies as the fresh material. The same general rules should
be followed as in canning other vegetables and fruits.
The word "vegetarian" is not derived from "vegetable," but from the
Latin, _homo vegetus_, meaning among the Romans a strong, robust,
thoroughly healthy man.
AN INTELLECTUAL FEAST.--Professor Louis Agassiz in his early manhood
visited Germany to consult Oken, the transcendentalist in zooelogical
classification. "After I had delivered to him my letter of
introduction," he once said to a friend, "Oken asked me to dine with
him, and you may suppose with what joy I accepted the invitation.
The dinner consisted only of potatoes, boiled and roasted; but it
was the best dinner I ever ate; for there was Oken. Never before
were such potatoes grown on this planet; for the mind of the man
seemed to enter into what we ate sociably together, and I devoured
his intellect while munching his potatoes."
Dr. Abernethy's recipe for using cucumbers: "Peel the cucumber,
slice it, pepper it, put vinegar to it, then throw it out the
A green son of the Emerald Isle was eating sweet corn from the cob
for the first time. He handed the cob to the waiter, and asked,
"Will you plaze put some more beans on my shtick?"
A French physician styles spinach, _le balai de l'estomac_ (broom of
An ox is satisfied with the pasture of an acre or two; one wood
suffices for several elephants. Man alone supports himself by the
pillage of the whole earth and sea. What? Has Nature indeed given us
so insatiable a stomach, while she has given us so insignificant
bodies? No; it is not the hunger of our stomachs, but insatiable
covetousness which costs so much.--_Seneca._
The oftener we go to the vegetable world for our food, the oftener
we go to the first and therefore the cheapest source of supply. The
tendencies of all advanced scholars in thrift should be to find out
plans for feeding all the community, as far as possible, direct from
the lap of earth; to impress science into our service so that she
may prepare the choicest viands minus the necessity of making a
lower animal the living laboratory for the sake of what is just a
little higher than cannibal propensities.
_--Dr. B.W. Richardson._
A VOICE FROM THE CORN.
I was made to be eaten, not to be drank,
To be husked in a barn, not soaked in a tank;
I come as a blessing when put in a mill,
As a blight and a curse when run through a still.
Make me up into loaves, and your children are fed;
But made into drink, I will starve them instead.
In bread I'm a servant the eater shall rule,
In drink I'm a master, the drinker a fool.
Then remember my warning; my strength I'll employ,
If eaten, to strengthen, if drunk, to destroy.
Soup is an easily made, economical, and when properly prepared from
healthful and nutritious material, very wholesome article of diet,
deserving of much more general use than is commonly accorded it.
In general, when soup is mentioned, some preparation of meat and bones
is supposed to be meant; but we shall treat in this chapter of a quite
different class of soups, viz., those prepared from the grains, legumes,
and vegetables, without the previous preparation of a "stock." Soups of
this character are in every way equal, and in many points superior to
those made from meat and bones. If we compare the two, we shall find
that soups made from the grains and legumes rank much higher in
nutritive value than do meat soups. For the preparation of the latter,
one pound of meat and bones, in about equal proportion, is required for
each quart of soup. In the bone, there is little or no nourishment, it
being valuable simply for the gelatine it contains, which gives
consistency to the soup; so in reality there is only one half pound of
material containing nutriment, for the quart of soup. Suppose, in
comparison we take a pea soup. One half pound of peas will be amply
enough for a quart. As we take an equal amount of material as basis for
each soup, we can easily determine their relative value by comparing the
amount of nutritive material contained in peas with that of beef, the
most commonly used material for meat soups. As will be seen by reference
to the table of food analyses on page 486, peas contain 87.3 parts
nutritive material, while lean beef contains only 28 parts in one
hundred. Thus the pea soup contains more than three times as much
nourishment as does the beef soup.
Soups prepared from grains and legumes are no more expensive than meat
soups, and many kinds cost much less, while they have the added
advantage of requiring less time and no more labor to prepare.
The greater bulk of all meat soups is water, holding in solution the
essence of meat, the nutritive value of which is of very doubtful
When properly prepared, the solid matter which enters into the
composition of vegetable soups, is so broken up in the process of
cooking, that it is more easily digested than in any other form.
Taken hot at the beginning of a meal, soup stimulates the flow of the
digestive juices, and on account of the bulk, brings a sense of satiety
before an excessive quantity of food has been taken.
In preparing soups from grains, legumes, and vegetables, the material
should be first cooked in the ordinary manner, using as small an amount
of water as practicable, so as the more thoroughly to disintegrate or
break it up. If the material be legumes or grains, the cooking should be
slow and prolonged. The purpose to be attained in the cooking of all
foods is the partial digestion of the food elements; and in general,
with these foods, the more slowly (if continuous) the cooking is done,
the more completely will this be brought about.
When the material is cooked, the next step is to make it homogeneous
throughout, and to remove any skins or cellulose material it may
contain. To do this, it should be put through a colander. The kind of
colander depends upon the material. Peas and beans require a fine
colander, since the skins, of which we are seeking to rid them, would
easily go through a coarse one. To aid in this sifting process, if the
material be at all dry, a small quantity of liquid may be added from
time to time. When the colander process is complete, a sufficient amount
of milk or other liquid may be added to make the whole of the
consistency of rather thick cream.
[Illustration: Chinese Soup Strainer.]
If the material is now cold, it must be reheated, and the salt, if any
is to be used, added. The quantity of salt will depend somewhat upon the
taste of the consumer; but in general, one half teaspoonful to the pint
of soup will be an ample supply. If any particular flavor, as of onion
or celery, is desired, it may be imparted to the soup by adding to it a
slice of onion or a few stalks of celery, allowing them to remain during
the reheating. By the time the soup is well heated, it will be
delicately flavored, and the pieces of onion or celery may be removed
with a fork or a skimmer. It is better, in general, to cook the soup all
that is needed before flavoring, since if allowed to boil, all delicate
flavors are apt to be lost by evaporation. When reheated, add to the
soup a quantity of cream as seasoning, in the proportion of one cup of
thin cream for every quart or three pints of soup.
To avoid the possibility of any lumps or fragments in the soup, pour it
again through a colander or a Chinese soup strainer into the soup
tureen, and serve. It is well to take the precaution first to heat the
strainer and tureen, that the soup be not cooled during the process.
If it is desired to have the soup especially light and nice, beat or
whip the cream before adding, or beat the hot soup with an egg beater
for a few minutes after adding the cream. The well-beaten yolk of an egg
for every quart or three pints of soup, will answer as a very fair
substitute for cream in potato, rice, and similar soups. It should not
be added to the body of the soup, but a cupful of the hot soup may be
turned slowly onto the egg, stirring all the time, in order to mix it
well without curdling, and then the cupful stirred into the whole. Soups
made from legumes are excellent without cream.
The consistency of the soup when done should be about that of single
cream, and equal throughout, containing no lumps or fragments of
material. If it is too thick, it may be easily diluted with hot milk or
water; if too thin, it will require the addition of more material, or
may be thickened with a little flour or cornstarch rubbed to a cream
with a small quantity of milk, used in the proportion of one
tablespoonful for a quart of soup,--heaping, if flour; scant, if
cornstarch,--and remembering always to boil the soup five or ten minutes
after the flour is added, that there may be no raw taste.
The addition of the flour or cornstarch gives a smoothness to their
consistency which is especially desirable for some soups. A few
spoonfuls of cooked oatmeal or cracked wheat, added and rubbed through
the colander with the other material, is valuable for the same purpose.
Browned flour prepared by spreading a cupful thinly on shallow tins, and
placing in a moderately hot oven, stirring frequently until lightly and
evenly browned, is excellent to use both for thickening and flavoring
If whole grains, macaroni, vermicelli, or shredded vegetables are to be
used in the soup, cook them separately, and add to the soup just before
The nutritive value of soup depends of course upon its ingredients, and
these should be so chosen and combined as to produce the best possible
food from the material employed. Milk is a valuable factor in the
preparation of soups. With such vegetables as potatoes, parsnips, and
others of the class composed largely of starch, and containing but a
small proportion of the nitrogenous food elements, its use is especially
important as an addition to their food value, as also to their
palatableness. Very good soups may, however, be made from legumes, if
carefully cooked with water only.
Soups offer a most economical way of making use of the "left-over"
fragments which might otherwise be consigned to the refuse bucket. A
pint of cold mashed potatoes, a cupful of stewed beans, a spoonful or
two of boiled rice, stewed tomatoes, or other bits of vegetables and
grains, are quite as good for soup purposes as fresh material, provided
they have been preserved fresh and sweet. To insure this it is always
best to put them away in clean dishes; if retained in the dish from
which they were served, the thin smears and small crumbs on the sides
which spoil much sooner than the larger portion, will help to spoil the
rest. One may find some difficulty in rubbing them through the colander
unless they are first moistened. Measure the cold food, and then
determine how much liquid will be needed, and add a part of this before
attempting to put through the colander.
It is difficult to give specific directions for making soups of
fragments, as the remnants to be utilized will vary so much in character
as to make such inapplicable, but the recipes given for combination
soups will perhaps serve as an aid in this direction. Where a sufficient
amount of one kind of food is left over to form the basis of a soup or
to serve as a seasoning, it can be used in every way the same as fresh
material. When, however, there is but a little of various odds and ends,
the general rule to be observed is to combine only such materials as
harmonize in taste.
Soups prepared from the grains, legumes, and vegetables, are so largely
composed of food material that it is important that they be retained in
the mouth long enough for proper insalivation; and in order to insure
this, it is well to serve with the soup _croutons_, prepared by cutting
stale bread into small squares or cubes, and browning thoroughly in a
moderate oven. Put a spoonful or two of the _croutons_ in each plate,
and turn the hot soup over them. This plan also serves another
purpose,--that of providing a means whereby the left-over bits of stale
bread may be utilized to advantage.
ASPARAGUS SOUP.--Wash two bunches of fresh asparagus carefully, and
cut into small pieces. Put to cook in a quart of boiling water, and
simmer gently till perfectly tender, when there should remain about a
pint of the liquor. Turn into a colander, and rub all through except the
hard portion. To a pint of asparagus mixture add salt and one cup of
thin cream and a pint of milk; boil up for a few minutes, and serve.
BAKED BEAN SOUP.--Soak a half pint of white beans over night. In
the morning turn off the water, and place them in an earthen dish with
two or two and one half quarts of boiling water; cover and let them
simmer in a moderate oven four or five hours. Also soak over night a
tablespoonful of pearl tapioca in sufficient water to cover. When the
beans are soft, rub through a colander, after which add the soaked
tapioca, and salt if desired; also as much powdered thyme as can be
taken on the point of a penknife and sufficient water to make the soup
of proper consistency if the water has mostly evaporated. Return to the
oven, and cook one half hour longer. A little cream may be added just
BEAN AND CORN SOUP.--Cold boiled or stewed corn and cold baked
beans form the basis of this soup. Take one pint of each, rub through a
colander, add a slice of onion, three cups of boiling water or milk, and
boil for ten minutes. Turn through the colander a second time to remove
the onion and any lumps or skins which may remain. Season with salt and
a half cup of cream. If preferred, the onion may be omitted.
BEAN AND HOMINY SOUP.--Soak separately in cold water over night a
cupful each of dry beans and hominy. In the morning, boil them together
till both are perfectly tender and broken to pieces. Rub through a
colander, and add sufficient milk to make three pints. Season with salt,
and stir in a cup of whipped cream just before serving. Cold beans and
hominy may be utilized for this soup.
BEAN AND POTATO SOUP.--Soak a half pint of dry white beans over
night; in the morning drain and put to cook in boiling water. When
tender, rub through a colander. Prepare sliced potato sufficient to make
one quart, cook in as small a quantity of water as possible, rub
through a colander, and add to the beans. Add milk or water sufficient
to make two quarts, and as much prepared thyme as can be taken on the
point of a penknife, with salt to season. Boil for a few minutes, add a
teacup of thin cream, and serve.
BEAN AND TOMATO SOUP.--Take one pint of boiled or a little less of
mashed beans, one pint of stewed tomatoes, and rub together through a
colander. Add salt, a cup of thin cream, one half a cup of nicely
steamed rice, and sufficient boiling water to make a soup of the proper
consistency. Reheat and serve.
BLACK BEAN SOUP.--Soak a pint of black beans over night in cold
water. When ready to cook, put into two and one half quarts of fresh
water, which should be boiling, and simmer until completely dissolved,
adding more boiling water from time to time if needed. There should be
about two quarts of all when done. Rub through a colander, add salt, a
half cup of cream, and reheat. When hot, turn through a soup strainer,
add two or more teaspoonfuls of lemon juice, and serve.
BLACK BEAN SOUP NO. 2.--Soak a pint of black beans in water over
night. Cook in boiling water until tender, then rub through a colander.
Add sufficient boiling water to make about two quarts in all. Add salt,
and one half a small onion cut in slices to flavor. Turn into a double
boiler and reheat. When sufficiently flavored, remove the onion with a
skimmer, thicken the soup with two teaspoonfuls of browned flour, turn
through the soup strainer and serve. If desired, a half cup of cream may
be added, and the onion flavor omitted.
BRAN STOCK.--For every quart of stock desired, boil a cup of good
wheat bran in three pints of water for two or three hours or until
reduced one third. This stock may be made the base of a variety of
palatable and nutritious soups by flavoring with different vegetables
and seasoning with salt and cream. An excellent soup may be prepared by
flavoring the stock with celery, or by the addition of a quantity of
strained stewed tomato sufficient to disguise the taste of the stock. It
is also valuable in giving consistence to soups, in the preparation of
some of which it may be advantageously used in place of other liquid.
BROWN SOUP.--Simmer together two pints of sliced potatoes and one
third as much of the thin brown shavings (not thicker than a silver
dime) from the top of a loaf of whole-wheat bread, in one quart of
water. The crust must not be burned or blackened, and must not include
any of the soft portion of the loaf. When the potatoes are tender, mash
all through a colander. Flavor with a cup of strained, stewed tomatoes,
a little salt, and return to the fire; when hot, add a half cup of
cream, and boiling water to make the soup of proper consistency, and
serve at once. If care has been taken to prepare the crust as directed,
this soup will have a brown color and a fine, pungent flavor exceedingly
pleasant to the taste.
CANNED GREEN PEA SOUP.--Rub a can of green peas through a colander
to remove the skins. Add a pint of milk and heat to boiling. If too
thin, thicken with a little flour rubbed smooth in a very little cold
milk. Season with salt and a half cup of cream. A small teaspoonful of
white sugar may be added if desired.
Green peas, instead of canned, may be used when procurable. When they
have become a little too hard to serve alone, they can be used for soup,
if thoroughly cooked.
CANNED CORN SOUP.--Open a can of green corn, turn it into a
granite-ware dish, and thoroughly mash with a potato-masher until each
kernel is broken, then rub through a colander to remove the skins. Add
sufficient rich milk to make the soup of the desired consistency, about
one half pint for each pint can of corn will be needed. Season with
salt, reheat, and serve. If preferred, a larger quantity of milk and
some cream may be used, and the soup, when reheated, thickened with a
little corn starch or flour. It may be turned through the colander a
second time or not, as preferred.
CARROT SOUP.--For a quart of soup, slice one large carrot and boil
in a small quantity of water for two hours or longer, then rub it
through a colander, add a quart of rich milk, and salt to season.
Reheat, and when boiling, thicken with two teaspoonfuls of flour rubbed
smooth in a little cold milk.
CELERY SOUP.--Chop quite fine enough fresh, crisp celery to make a
pint, and cook it until tender in a very little boiling water. When
done, heat three cupfuls of rich milk, part cream if it can be afforded,
to boiling, add the celery, salt to season, and thicken the whole with a
tablespoonful of flour rubbed smooth in a little cold milk; or add to
the milk before heating a cupful of mashed potato, turn through a
colander to remove lumps, reheat, add salt and the celery, and serve.
CELERY SOUP NO. 2.--Cook in a double boiler a cupful of cracked
wheat in three pints of water for three or four hours. Rub the wheat
through a colander, add a cup of rich milk, and if needed, a little
boiling water, and a small head of celery cut in finger lengths. Boil
all together for fifteen or twenty minutes, until well flavored, remove
the celery with a fork, add salt, and serve with or without the
hard-boiled yolk of an egg in each soup plate.
CHESTNUT SOUP.--Shell and blanch a pint of Italian chestnuts, as
directed on page 215, and cook in boiling milk until tender. Rub the
nuts through a colander, add salt and sufficient milk and cream to make
a soup of the proper consistency, reheat and serve.
COMBINATION SOUP.--This soup is prepared from material already
cooked, and requires two cups of cracked wheat, one and one half cups of
Lima beans, one half cup of black beans, and one cup of stewed tomato.
Rub the material together through a colander, adding, if needed, a
little hot water to facilitate the sifting. Add boiling water to thin to
the proper consistency, season with salt and if it can be afforded a
little sweet cream,--the soup is, however, very palatable without the
COMBINATION SOUP NO. 2.--Take three and one half cups of mashed
(Scotch) peas, one cup each of cooked rice, oatmeal, and hominy, and two
cups of stewed tomato. Rub the material through a colander, add boiling
water to thin to the proper consistency, season with salt, reheat, and
add, just before serving, two cups of cooked macaroni. If preferred, a
cup of cream may be used in place of the tomato, or both may be omitted.
ANOTHER.--One half cup of cold mashed potato, one cup each of
cooked pearl wheat, barley and dried peas. Rub all through a colander,
add boiling milk to thin to the proper consistency, season with salt and
a half cup of cream.
ANOTHER.--Take three cups of cooked oatmeal, two of mashed white
beans, and one of stewed tomato. Rub the ingredients through a colander,
add boiling milk to thin to the proper consistency, season with salt and
a little cream.
CREAM PEA SOUP.--Soak three fourths of a pint of dried Scotch peas
over night in a quart of water. In the morning put to cook in boiling
water, cover closely and let them simmer gently four or five hours, or
until the peas are very tender and well disintegrated; then rub through
a colander to remove the skins. If the peas are very dry, add a little
water or milk occasionally, to moisten them and facilitate the sifting.
Just before the peas are done, prepare potatoes enough to make a pint
and a half, after being cut in thin slices. Cook the potatoes until
tender in a small amount of water, and rub them through a colander. Add
the potatoes thus prepared to the sifted peas, and milk enough to make
three and one half pints in all. Return to the fire, and add a small
head of celery cut finger lengths, and let the whole simmer together ten
or fifteen minutes, until flavored. Remove the celery with a fork, add
salt and a cup of thin cream. This should make about two quarts of soup.
If preferred, the peas may be cooked without soaking. It will, however,
require a little longer time.
CREAM BARLEY SOUP.--Wash a cup of pearl barley, drain and simmer
slowly in two quarts of water for four or five hours, adding boiling
water from time to time as needed. When the barley is tender, strain off
the liquor, of which there should be about three pints; add to it a
portion of the cooked barley grains, salt, and a cup of whipped cream,
and serve. If preferred, the beaten yolk of an egg may be used instead
GREEN CORN SOUP.--Take six well-filled ears of tender green corn.
Run a sharp knife down the rows and split each grain; then with the back
of a knife, scraping from the large to the small end of the ear, press
out the pulp, leaving the hulls on the cob. Break the cobs if long, put
them in cold water sufficient to cover, and boil half an hour. Strain
off the water, of which there should be at least one pint. Put the corn
water on again, and when boiling add the corn pulp, and cook fifteen
minutes, or until the raw taste is destroyed. Rub through a rather
coarse colander, add salt and a pint of hot unskimmed milk; if too thin,
thicken with a little cornstarch or flour, boil up, and serve. If
preferred, a teaspoonful of sugar may be added to the soup. A small
quantity of cooked macaroni, cut in rings, makes a very pretty and
palatable addition to the soup. The soup is also excellent flavored with
GREEN PEA SOUP.--Gently simmer two quarts of shelled peas in
sufficient water to cook, leaving almost no juice when tender. Rub
through a colander, moistening if necessary with a little cold milk. Add
to the sifted peas an equal quantity of rich milk and a small onion cut
in halves. Boil all together five or ten minutes until the soup is
delicately flavored, then remove the onion with a skimmer; add salt if
desired, and serve. If preferred, a half cup of thin cream may be added
just before serving. Celery may be used in place of the onion, or both
may be omitted.
GREEN BEAN SOUP.--Prepare a quart of fresh string beans by pulling
off ends and strings and breaking into small pieces. Boil in a small
quantity of water. If the beans are fresh and young, three pints will be
sufficient; if wilted or quite old, more will be needed, as they will
require longer cooking. There should be about a teacupful and a half of
liquid left when the beans are perfectly tender and boiled in pieces.
Rub through a colander, return to the kettle, and for each cup of the
bean pulp add salt, a cup and a half of unskimmed milk; boil together
for a few minutes, thicken with a little flour, and serve. The quart of