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The Book of Household Management by Mrs. Isabella Beeton

Part 19 out of 34

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which present us with great anomalies. The roots of those which
are perennial contain, besides fecula, which is their base, a
resinous, acrid, and bitter principle. The fruits of this
family, however, have in general a sugary taste, and are more or
less dissolving and perfumed, as we find in the melons, gourds,
cucumbers, vegetable-marrows, and squashes. But these are
slightly laxative if partaken of largely. In tropical countries,
this order furnishes the inhabitants with a large portion of
their food, which, even in the most arid deserts and most barren
islands, is of the finest quality. In China, Cashmere, and
Persia, they are cultivated on the lakes on the floating
collections of weeds common in these localities. In India they
are everywhere abundant, either in a cultivated or wild state,
and the seeds of all the family are sweet and mucilaginous.


1114. INGREDIENTS.--3 large cucumbers, flour, butter, rather more than
1/2 pint of good brown gravy.

_Mode_.--Cut the cucumbers lengthwise the size of the dish they are
intended to be served in; empty them of the seeds, and put them into
boiling water with a little salt, and let them simmer for 5 minutes;
then take them out, place them in another stewpan, with the gravy, and
let them boil over a brisk fire until the cucumbers are tender. Should
these be bitter, add a lump of sugar; carefully dish them, skim the
sauce, pour over the cucumbers, and serve.

_Time_.--Altogether, 20 minutes.

_Average cost_, when cheapest, 1d. each.

_Sufficient_ for 3 or 4 persons.

_Seasonable_ in June, July, and August; but may be had, forced, from the
beginning of March.

THE CHATE.--This cucumber is a native of Egypt and Arabia, and
produces a fruit of almost the same substance as that of the
Melon. In Egypt it is esteemed by the upper class natives, as
well as by Europeans, as the most pleasant fruit they have.


1115. INGREDIENTS.--6 cucumbers, 3 moderate-sized onions, not quite 1
pint of white stock, cayenne and salt to taste, the yolks of 2 eggs, a
very little grated nutmeg.

_Mode_.--Pare and slice the cucumbers, take out the seeds, and cut the
onions into thin slices; put these both into a stewpan, with the stock,
and let them boil for 1/4 hour or longer, should the cucumbers be very
large. Beat up the yolks of 2 eggs; stir these into the sauce; add the
cayenne, salt, and grated nutmeg; bring it to the point of boiling, and
serve. Do not allow the sauce to boil, or it will curdle. This is a
favourite dish with lamb or mutton chops, rump-steaks, &c.

_Time_.--Altogether, 20 minutes.

_Average cost_, when cheapest, 4d. each.

_Sufficient_ for 6 or 7 persons.

_Seasonable_ in July, August, and September; but may be had, forced,
from the beginning of March.

THE MELON.--This is another species of the cucumber, and is
highly esteemed for its rich and delicious fruit. It was
introduced to this country from Jamaica, in 1570; since which
period it has continued to be cultivated. It was formerly called
the Musk Melon.


[Illustration: ENDIVE.]

1116. This vegetable, so beautiful in appearance, makes an excellent
addition to winter salad, when lettuces and other salad herbs are not
obtainable. It is usually placed in the centre of the dish, and looks
remarkably pretty with slices of beetroot, hard-boiled eggs, and curled
celery placed round it, so that the colours contrast nicely. In
preparing it, carefully wash and cleanse it free from insects, which are
generally found near the heart; remove any decayed or dead leaves, and
dry it thoroughly by shaking in a cloth. This vegetable may also be
served hot, stewed in cream, brown gravy, or butter; but when dressed
thus, the sauce it is stewed in should not be very highly seasoned, as
that would destroy and overpower the flavour of the vegetable.

_Average cost_, 1d. per head.

_Sufficient_,--1 head for a salad for 4 persons.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

ENDIVE.--This is the _C. endivium_ of science, and is much used
as a salad. It belongs to the family of the _Compositae_, with
Chicory, common Goats-beard, and others of the same genus.
Withering states, that before the stems of the common
Goats-beard shoot up the roots, boiled like asparagus, have the
same flavour, and are nearly as nutritious. We are also informed
by Villars that the children in Dauphine universally eat the
stems and leaves of the young plant before the flowers appear,
with great avidity. The fresh juice of these tender herbs is
said to be the best solvent of bile.


1117. INGREDIENTS.--6 heads of endive, salt and water, 1 pint of broth,
thickening of butter and flour, 1 tablespoonful of lemon-juice, a small
lump of sugar.

_Mode_.--Wash and free the endive thoroughly from insects, remove the
green part of the leaves, and put it into boiling water, slightly
salted. Let it remain for 10 minutes; then take it out, drain it till
there is no water remaining, and chop it very fine. Put it into a
stewpan with the broth; add a little salt and a lump of sugar, and boil
until the endive is perfectly tender. When done, which may be
ascertained by squeezing a piece between the thumb and finger, add a
thickening of butter and flour and the lemon-juice: let the sauce boil
up, and serve.

_Time_.--10 minutes to boil, 5 minutes to simmer in the broth.

_Average cost_, 1d. per head.

_Sufficient_ for 3 or 4 persons.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.


1118. INGREDIENTS.--6 heads of endive, 1 pint of broth, 3 oz. of fresh
butter; salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg to taste.

_Mode_.--Wash and boil the endive as in the preceding recipe; chop it
rather fine, and put into a stewpan with the broth; boil over a brisk
fire until the sauce is all reduced; then put in the butter, pepper,
salt, and grated nutmeg (the latter must be very sparingly used); mix
all well together, bring it to the boiling point, and serve very hot.

_Time_,--10 minutes to boil, 5 minutes to simmer in the broth.

_Average cost_, 1d. per head.

_Sufficient_ for 3 or 4 persons.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.


1119. INGREDIENTS.--1 quart of white haricot beans, 2 quarts of soft
water, 1 oz. of butter, 1 heaped tablespoonful of salt.

_Mode_.--Put the beans into cold water, and let them soak from 2 to 4
hours, according to their age; then put them into cold water, salted in
the above proportion, bring them to boil, and let them simmer very
slowly until tender; pour the water away from them, let them stand by
the side of the fire, with the lid of the saucepan partially off, to
allow the beans to dry; then add 1 oz. of butter and a seasoning of
pepper and salt. Shake the beans about for a minute or two, and serve:
do not stir them with a spoon, for fear of breaking them to pieces.

_Time_.--After the water boils, from 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

_Average cost_, 4d. per quart.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ in winter, when other vegetables are scarce.

_Note_.--Haricots blancs, when new and fresh, should be put into boiling
water, and do not require any soaking previous to dressing.

HARICOTS AND LENTILS.--Although these vegetables are not much
used in this country, yet in France, and other Catholic
countries, from their peculiar constituent properties, they form
an excellent substitute for animal food during Lent and _maigre_
days. At the time of the prevalence of the Roman religion in
this country, they were probably much more generally used than
at present. As reformations are often carried beyond necessity,
possibly lentils may have fallen into disuse, as an article of
diet amongst Protestants, for fear the use of them might be
considered a sign of popery.


1120. INGREDIENTS.--1 quart of white haricot beans, 1/4 lb. of fresh
butter, 1 tablespoonful of minced parsley, pepper and salt to taste, the
juice of 1/2 lemon.

[Illustration: HARICOT BEANS.]

_Mode_.--Should the beans be very dry, soak them for an hour or two in
cold water, and boil them until perfectly tender, as in the preceding
recipe. If the water should boil away, replenish it with a little more
cold, which makes the skin of the beans tender. Let them be very
thoroughly done; drain them well; then add to them the butter, minced
parsley, and a seasoning of pepper and salt. Keep moving the stewpan
over the fire without using a spoon, as this would break the beans; and,
when the various ingredients are well mixed with them, squeeze in the
lemon-juice, and serve very hot.

_Time_.--From 2 to 2-1/2 hours to boil the beans.

_Average cost_, 4d. per quart.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ in winter.

HARICOT BEANS.--This is the _haricot blanc_ of the French, and
is a native of India. It ripens readily, in dry summers, in most
parts of Britain, but its culture has hitherto been confined to
gardens in England; but in Germany and Switzerland it is grown
in fields. It is usually harvested by pulling up the plants,
which, being dried, are stacked and thrashed. The haulm is both
of little bulk and little use, but the seed is used in making
the esteemed French dish called haricot, with which it were well
if the working classes of this country were acquainted. There
is, perhaps, no other vegetable dish so cheap and easily cooked,
and, at the same time, so agreeable and nourishing. The beans
are boiled, and then mixed with a little fat or salt butter, and
a little milk or water and flour. From 3,840 parts of
kidney-bean Einholff obtained 1,805 parts of matter analogous to
starch, 351 of vegeto-animal matter, and 799 parts of mucilage.


1121. INGREDIENTS.--1 quart of white haricot beans, 4 middling-sized
onions, 1/4 pint of good brown gravy, pepper and salt to taste, a little

_Mode_.--Peel and mince the onions not too finely, and fry them in
butter of a light brown colour; dredge over them a little flour, and add
the gravy and a seasoning of pepper and salt. Have ready a pint of
haricot beans well boiled and drained; put them with the onions and
gravy, mix all well together, and serve very hot.

_Time_.--From 2 to 2-1/2 hours to boil the beans; 5 minutes to fry the

_Average cost_, 4d. per quart.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ in winter.


1122. This root, scraped, is always served with hot roast beef, and is
used for garnishing many kinds of boiled fish. Let the horseradish
remain in cold water for an hour; wash it well, and with a sharp knife
scrape it into very thin shreds, commencing from the thick end of the
root. Arrange some of it lightly in a small glass dish, and the
remainder use for garnishing the joint: it should be placed in tufts
round the border of the dish, with 1 or 2 bunches on the meat.

_Average cost_, 2d. per stick.

_Seasonable_ from October to June.

[Illustration: HORSERADISH.]

THE HORSERADISH.--This belongs to the tribe _Alyssidae_, and is
highly stimulant and exciting to the stomach. It has been
recommended in chronic rheumatism, palsy, dropsical complaints,
and in cases of enfeebled digestion. Its principal use, however,
is as a condiment to promote appetite and excite the digestive
organs. The horseradish contains sulphur to the extent of thirty
per cent, in the number of its elements; and it is to the
presence of this quality that the metal vessels in which the
radish is sometimes distilled, are turned into a black colour.
It is one of the most powerful excitants and antiscorbutics we
have, and forms the basis of several medical preparations, in
the form of wines, tinctures, and syrups.


1123. These form one of the principal ingredients to summer salads;
should be nicely blanched, and be eaten young. They are seldom served in
any other way, but may be stewed and sent to table in a good brown gravy
flavoured with lemon-juice. In preparing them for a salad, carefully
wash them free from dirt, pick off all the decayed and outer leaves, and
dry them thoroughly by shaking them in a cloth. Cut off the stalks, and
either halve or cut the lettuces into small pieces. The manner of
cutting them up entirely depends on the salad for which they are
intended. In France the lettuces are sometimes merely wiped with a cloth
and not washed, the cooks there declaring that the act of washing them
injuriously affects the pleasant crispness of the plant: in this case
scrupulous attention must be paid to each leaf, and the grit thoroughly
wiped away.

_Average cost_, when cheapest, 1d. each.

_Sufficient_.--Allow 2 lettuces for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ from March to the end of August, but may be had all the

[Illustration: LETTUCE.]

THE LETTUCE.--All the varieties of the garden lettuce have
originated from the _Lactuca sativa_ of science, which has never
yet been found in a wild state. Hence it may be concluded that
it is merely another form of some species, changed through the
effects of cultivation. In its young state, the lettuce forms a
well-known and wholesome salad, containing a bland pellucid
juice, with little taste or smell, and having a cooling and
soothing influence on the system. This arises from the large
quantities of water and mucilage it contains, and not from any
narcotic principle which it is supposed to possess. During the
period of flowering, it abounds in a peculiar milky juice, which
flows from the stem when wounded, and which has been found to be
possessed of decided medicinal properties.


(A Breakfast, Luncheon, or Supper Dish.)

1124. INGREDIENTS.--16 to 20 mushroom-flaps, butter, pepper to taste.

_Mode_.--For this mode of cooking, the mushroom flaps are better than
the buttons, and should not be too large. Cut off a portion of the
stalk, peel the top, and wipe the mushrooms carefully with a piece of
flannel and a little fine salt. Put them into a tin baking-dish, with a
very small piece of butter placed on each mushroom; sprinkle over a
little pepper, and let them bake for about 20 minutes, or longer should
the mushrooms be very large. Have ready a _very hot_ dish, pile the
mushrooms high in the centre, pour the gravy round, and send them to
table quickly, with very _hot_ plates.

_Time_.--20 minutes; large mushrooms, 1/2 hour.

_Average cost_, 1d. each for large mushroom-flaps.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Meadow mushrooms in September and October; cultivated
mushrooms may be had at any time.

FUNGI.--These are common parasitical plants, originating in the
production of copious filamentous threads, called the mycelium,
or spawn. Rounded tubers appear on the mycelium; some of these
enlarge rapidly, burst an outer covering, which is left at the
base, and protrude a thick stalk, bearing at its summit a
rounded body, which in a short time expands into the pileus or
cap. The gills, which occupy its lower surface, consist of
parallel plates, bearing naked sporules over their whole
surface. Some of the cells, which are visible by the microscope,
produce four small cells at their free summit, apparently by
germination and constriction. These are the sporules, and this
is the development of the Agarics.


(A Breakfast, Luncheon, or Supper Dish.)

1125. INGREDIENTS.--Mushroom-flaps, pepper and salt to taste, butter,

[Illustration: BROILED MUSHROOMS.]

_Mode_.--Cleanse the mushrooms by wiping them with a piece of flannel
and a little salt; cut off a portion of the stalk, and peel the tops:
broil them over a clear fire, turning them once, and arrange them on a
very hot dish. Put a small piece of butter on each mushroom, season with
pepper and salt, and squeeze over them a few drops of lemon-juice. Place
the dish before the fire, and when the butter is melted, serve very hot
and quickly. Moderate-sized flaps are better suited to this mode of
cooking than the buttons: the latter are better in stews.

_Time_.--10 minutes for medium-sized mushrooms.

_Average cost_, 1d. each for large mushrooms.

_Sufficient_.--Allow 3 or 4 mushrooms to each person.

_Seasonable_.--Meadow mushrooms in September and October; cultivated
mushrooms may be had at any time.

[Illustration: MUSHROOMS.]

VARIETIES OF THE MUSHROOM.--The common mushroom found in our
pastures is the _Agaricus campestris_ of science, and another
edible British species is _A. Georgii;_ but _A. primulus_ is
affirmed to be the most delicious mushroom. The morel is
_Morchella esculenta_, and _Tuber cibarium_ is the common
truffle. There is in New Zealand a long fungus, which grows from
the head of a caterpillar, and which forms a horn, as it were,
and is called _Sphaeria Robertsii_.


1126. INGREDIENTS.--To each quart of mushrooms, allow 3 oz. of butter,
pepper and salt to taste, the juice of 1 lemon, clarified butter.

_Mode_.--Peel the mushrooms, put them into cold water, with a little
lemon-juice; take them out and _dry_ them very carefully in a cloth. Put
the butter into a stewpan capable of holding the mushrooms; when it is
melted, add the mushrooms, lemon-juice, and a seasoning of pepper and
salt; draw them down over a slow fire, and let them remain until their
liquor is boiled away, and they have become quite dry, but be careful in
not allowing them to stick to the bottom of the stewpan. When done, put
them into pots, and pour over the top clarified butter. If wanted for
immediate use, they will keep good a few days without being covered
over. To re-warm them, put the mushrooms into a stewpan, strain the
butter from them, and they will be ready for use.

_Average cost_, 1d. each.

_Seasonable_.--Meadow mushrooms in September and October; cultivated
mushrooms may be had at any time.

LOCALITIES OF THE MUSHROOM.--Mushrooms are to be met with in
pastures, woods, and marshes, but are very capricious and
uncertain in their places of growth, multitudes being obtained
in one season where few or none were to be found in the
preceding. They sometimes grow solitary, but more frequently
they are gregarious, and rise in a regular circular form. Many
species are employed by man as food; but, generally speaking,
they are difficult of digestion, and by no means very
nourishing. Many of them are also of suspicious qualities.
Little reliance can be placed either on their taste, smell, or
colour, as much depends on the situation in which they vegetate;
and even the same plant, it is affirmed, may be innocent when
young, but become noxious when advanced in age.


1127. INGREDIENTS.--1 pint mushroom-buttons, 3 oz. of fresh butter,
white pepper and salt to taste, lemon-juice, 1 teaspoonful of flour,
cream or milk, 1 teaspoonful of grated nutmeg.

_Mode_.--Cut off the ends of the stalks, and pare neatly a pint of
mushroom-buttons; put them into a basin of water, with a little
lemon-juice, as they are done. When all are prepared, take them from the
water with the hands, to avoid the sediment, and put them into a stewpan
with the fresh butter, white pepper, salt, and the juice of 1/2 lemon;
cover the pan closely, and let the mushrooms stew gently from 20 to 25
minutes; then thicken the butter with the above proportion of flour, add
gradually sufficient cream, or cream and milk, to make the sauce of a
proper consistency, and put in the grated nutmeg. If the mushrooms are
not perfectly tender, stew them for 5 minutes longer, remove every
particle of butter which may be floating on the top, and serve.

_Time_.--1/2 hour. _Average cost_, from 9d. to 2s. per pint.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Meadow mushrooms in September and October.

TO PROCURE MUSHROOMS.--In order to obtain mushrooms at all
seasons, several methods of propagation have been had recourse
to. It is said that, in some parts of Italy, a species of stone
is used for this purpose, which is described as being of two
different kinds; the one is found in the chalk hills near
Naples, and has a white, porous, stalactical appearance; the
other is a hardened turf from some volcanic mountains near
Florence. These stones are kept in cellars, and occasionally
moistened with water which has been used in the washing of
mushrooms, and are thus supplied with their minute seeds. In
this country, gardeners provide themselves with what is called
_spawn_, either from the old manure of cucumber-beds, or
purchase it from those whose business it is to propagate it.
When thus procured, it is usually made up for sale in quadrils,
consisting of numerous white fibrous roots, having a strong
smell of mushrooms. This is planted in rows, in a dry situation,
and carefully attended to for five or six weeks, when the bed
begins to produce, and continues to do so for several months.


1128. INGREDIENTS.--1 pint of mushroom-buttons, 1 pint of brown gravy
No. 436, 1/4 teaspoonful of grated nutmeg, cayenne and salt to taste.

_Mode_.--Make a pint of brown gravy by recipe 436; cut nearly all the
stalks away from the mushrooms and peel the tops; put them into a
stewpan, with the gravy, and simmer them gently from 20 minutes to 1/2
hour. Add the nutmeg and a seasoning of cayenne and salt, and serve very

_Time_.--20 minutes to 1/2 hour.

_Average cost_, 9d. to 2s. per pint.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Meadow mushrooms in September and October.

ANALYSIS OF FUNGI.--The fungi have been examined chemically with
much care, both by MM. Bracannot and Vauquelin, who designate
the insoluble spongy matter by the name of fungin, and the
soluble portion is found to contain the bolotic and the fungic


1129. INGREDIENTS.--4 or 5 Spanish onions, salt, and water.

_Mode_.--Put the onions, with their skins on, into a saucepan of boiling
water slightly salted, and let them boil quickly for an hour. Then take
them out, wipe them thoroughly, wrap each one in a piece of paper
separately, and bake them in a moderate oven for 2 hours, or longer,
should the onions be very large. They may be served in their skins, and
eaten with a piece of cold butter and a seasoning of pepper and salt; or
they may be peeled, and a good brown gravy poured over them.

_Time_.--1 hour to boil, 2 hours to bake.

_Average cost_, medium-sized, 2d. each.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ from September to January.

[Illustration: ONION.]

THE GENUS ALLIUM.--The Onion, like the Leek, Garlic, and Shalot,
belongs to the genus _Allium_, which is a numerous species of
vegetable; and every one of them possesses, more or less, a
volatile and acrid penetrating principle, pricking the thin
transparent membrane of the eyelids; and all are very similar in
their properties. In the whole of them the bulb is the most
active part, and any one of them may supply the place of the
other; for they are all irritant, excitant, and vesicant. With
many, the onion is a very great favourite, and is considered an
extremely nutritive vegetable. The Spanish kind is frequently
taken for supper, it being simply boiled, and then seasoned with
salt, pepper, and butter. Some dredge on a little flour, but
many prefer it without this.


1130. INGREDIENTS.--1/2 lb. of onions, 1/3 pint of water, 1/2 lb. of
moist sugar, 1/3 pint of vinegar.

_Mode_.--Peel and chop the onions fine, and put them into a stewpan (not
tinned), with the water; let them boil for 5 minutes, then add the
sugar, and simmer gently until the mixture becomes nearly black and
throws out bubbles of smoke. Have ready the above proportion of boiling
vinegar, strain the liquor gradually to it, and keep stirring with a
wooden spoon until it is well incorporated. When cold, bottle for use.

_Time_.--Altogether, 1 hour.

PROPERTIES OF THE ONION.--The onion is possessed of a white,
acrid, volatile oil, holding sulphur in solution, albumen, a
good deal of uncrystallizable sugar and mucilage; phosphoric
acid, both free and combined with lime; acetic acid, citrate of
lime, and lignine. Of all the species of allium, the onion has
the volatile principle in the greatest degree; and hence it is
impossible to separate the scales of the root without the eyes
being affected. The juice is sensibly acid, and is capable of
being, by fermentation, converted into vinegar, and, mixed with
water or the dregs of beer, yields, by distillation, an
alcoholic liquor. Although used as a common esculent, onions are
not suited to all stomachs; there are some who cannot eat them
either fried or roasted, whilst others prefer them boiled, which
is the best way of using them, as, by the process they then
undergo, they are deprived of their essential oil. The pulp of
roasted onions, with oil, forms an excellent anodyne and
emollient poultice to suppurating tumours.


1131--INGREDIENTS.--5 or 6 Spanish onions, 1 pint of good broth or

_Mode_.--Peel the onions, taking care not to cut away too much of the
tops or tails, or they would then fall to pieces; put them into a
stewpan capable of holding them at the bottom without piling them one on
the top of another; add the broth or gravy, and simmer _very gently_
until the onions are perfectly tender. Dish them, pour the gravy round,
and serve. Instead of using broth, Spanish onions may be stewed with a
large piece of butter: they must be done very gradually over a slow fire
or hot-plate, and will produce plenty of gravy.

_Time_.--To stew in gravy, 2 hours, or longer if very large.

_Average cost_.--medium-sized, 2d. each.

_Sufficient_ for 6 or 7 persons.

_Seasonable_ from September to January.

_Note_.--Stewed Spanish onions are a favourite accompaniment to roast
shoulder of mutton.

ORIGIN OF THE ONION.--This vegetable is thought to have
originally come from India, through Egypt, where it became an
object of worship. Thence it was transmitted to Greece, thence
to Italy, and ultimately it was distributed throughout Europe,
in almost every part of which it has, from time immemorial, been
cultivated. In warm climates it is found to be less acrid and
much sweeter than in colder latitudes; and in Spain it is not at
all unusual to see a peasant munching an onion, as an Englishman
would an apple. Spanish onions, which are imported to this
country during the winter months, are, when properly roasted,
perfectly sweet, and equal to many preserves.


1132. INGREDIENTS.--Parsnips; to each gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt.

_Mode_.--Wash the parsnips, scrape them thoroughly, and, with the point
of the knife, remove any black specks about them, and, should they be
very large, cut the thick part into quarters. Put them into a saucepan
of boiling water salted in the above proportion, boil them rapidly until
tender, which may be ascertained by thrusting a fork in them; take them
up, drain them, and serve in a vegetable-dish. This vegetable is usually
served with salt fish, boiled pork, or boiled beef: when sent to table
with the latter, a few should be placed alternately with carrots round
the dish, as a garnish.

_Time_.--Large parsnips, 1 to 1-1/2 hour; small ones, 1/2 to 1 hour.

_Average cost_, 1d. each.

_Sufficient_.--Allow 1 for each person.

_Seasonable_ from October to May.

[Illustration: THE PARSNIP.]

THE PARSNIP.--This vegetable is found wild in meadows all over
Europe, and, in England, is met with very frequently on dry
banks in a chalky soil. In its wild state, the root is white,
mucilaginous, aromatic, and sweet, with some degree of acrimony:
when old, it has been known to cause vertigo. Willis relates
that a whole family fell into delirium from having eaten of its
roots, and cattle never touch it in its wild state. In domestic
economy the parsnip is much used, and is found to be a highly
nutritious vegetable. In times of scarcity, an excellent bread
has been made from the roots, and they also furnish an excellent
wine, resembling the malmsey of Madeira and the Canaries: a
spirit is also obtained from them in as great quantities as from
carrots. The composition of the parsnip-root has been found to
be 79.4 of water, 0.9 starch and fibre, 6.1 gum, 5.5 sugar, and
2.1 of albumen.


1133. INGREDIENTS.--Green peas; to each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1
_small_ teaspoonful of moist sugar, 1 heaped tablespoonful of salt.

_Mode_.--This delicious vegetable, to be eaten in perfection, should be
young, and not _gathered_ or _shelled_ long before it is dressed. Shell
the peas, wash them well in cold water, and drain them; then put them
into a saucepan with plenty of _fast-boiling_ water, to which salt and
_moist sugar_ have been added in the above proportion; let them boil
quickly over a brisk fire, with the lid of the saucepan uncovered, and
be careful that the smoke does not draw in. When tender, pour them into
a colander; put them into a hot vegetable-dish, and quite in the centre
of the peas place a piece of butter, the size of a walnut. Many cooks
boil a small bunch of mint _with_ the _peas_, or garnish them with it,
by boiling a few sprigs in a saucepan by themselves. Should the peas be
very old, and difficult to boil a good colour, a very tiny piece of soda
may be thrown in the water previous to putting them in; but this must be
very sparingly used, as it causes the peas, when boiled, to have a
smashed and broken appearance. With young peas, there is not the
slightest occasion to use it.

_Time_.--Young peas, 10 to 15 minutes; the large sorts, such as
marrowfats, &c., 18 to 24 minutes; old peas, 1/2 hour.

_Average cost_, when cheapest, 6d. per peck; when first in season, 1s.
to 1s. 6d. per peck.

_Sufficient_.--Allow 1 peck of unshelled peas for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ from June to the end of August.

ORIGIN OF THE PEA.--All the varieties of garden peas which are
cultivated have originated from the _Pisum sativum_, a native of
the south of Europe; and field peas are varieties of _Pisum
arvense_. The Everlasting Pea is _Lathyrus latifolius_, an old
favourite in flower-gardens. It is said to yield an abundance of
honey to bees, which are remarkably fond of it. In this country
the pea has been grown from time immemorial; but its culture
seems to have diminished since the more general introduction of
herbage, plants, and roots.


1134. INGREDIENTS.--2 quarts of green peas, 3 oz. of fresh butter, a
bunch of parsley, 6 green onions, flour, a small lump of sugar, 1/2
teaspoonful of salt, a teaspoonful of flour.

_Mode_.--Shell sufficient fresh-gathered peas to fill 2 quarts; put them
into cold water, with the above proportion of butter, and stir them
about until they are well covered with the butter; drain them in a
colander, and put them in a stewpan, with the parsley and onions; dredge
over them a little flour, stir the peas well, and moisten them with
boiling water; boil them quickly over a large fire for 20 minutes, or
until there is no liquor remaining. Dip a small lump of sugar into some
water, that it may soon melt; put it with the peas, to which add 1/2
teaspoonful of salt. Take a piece of butter the size of a walnut, work
it together with a teaspoonful of flour; and add this to the peas, which
should be boiling when it is put in. Keep shaking the stewpan, and, when
the peas are nicely thickened, dress them high in the dish, and serve.

_Time_.--Altogether, 3/4 hour. _Average cost_, 6d. per peck.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ from June to the end of August.

VARIETIES OF THE PEA.--The varieties of the Pea are numerous;
but they may be divided into two classes--those grown for the
ripened seed, and those grown for gathering in a green state.
The culture of the latter is chiefly confined to the
neighbourhoods of large towns, and may be considered as in part
rather to belong to the operations of the gardener than to those
of the agriculturist. The grey varieties are the early grey, the
late grey, and the purple grey; to which some add the
Marlborough grey and the horn grey. The white varieties grown in
fields are the pearl, early Charlton, golden hotspur, the common
white, or Suffolk, and other Suffolk varieties.


1135. INGREDIENTS.--1 quart of peas, 1 Lettuce, 1 onion, 2 oz. of
butter, pepper and salt to taste, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoonful of powdered

_Mode_.--Shell the peas, and cut the onion and lettuce into slices; put
these into a stewpan, with the butter, pepper, and salt, but with no
more water than that which hangs round the lettuce from washing. Stew
the whole very gently for rather more than 1 hour; then stir to it a
well-beaten egg, and about 1/2 teaspoonful of powdered sugar. When the
peas, &c., are nicely thickened, serve but, after the egg is added, do
not allow them to boil.

_Time_.--1-1/4 hour. _Average cost_, 6d. per peck.

_Sufficient_ for 3 or 4 persons.

_Seasonable_ from June to the end of August.

[Illustration: GREEN PEA.]

sweet-pea forms a fine covering to a trellis, or lattice-work in
a flower-garden. Its gay and fragrant flowers, with its rambling
habit, render it peculiarly adapted for such a purpose. The
wood-pea, or heath-pea, is found in the heaths of Scotland, and
the Highlanders of that country are extremely partial to them,
and dry and chew them to give a greater relish to their whiskey.
They also regard them as good against chest complaints, and say
that by the use of them they are enabled to withstand hunger and
thirst for a long time. The peas have a sweet taste, somewhat
like the root of liquorice, and, when boiled, have an agreeable
flavour, and are nutritive. In times of scarcity they have
served as an article of food. When well boiled, a fork will pass
through them; and, slightly dried, they are roasted, and in
Holland and Flanders served up like chestnuts.


1136. INGREDIENTS.--Potatoes.


_Mode_.--Choose large potatoes, as much of a size as possible; wash them
in lukewarm water, and scrub them well, for the browned skin of a baked
potato is by many persons considered the better part of it. Put them
into a moderate oven, and bake them for about 2 hours, turning them
three or four times whilst they are cooking. Serve them in a napkin
immediately they are done, as, if kept a long time in the oven, they
have a shrivelled appearance. Potatoes may also be roasted before the
fire, in an American oven; but when thus cooked, they must be done very
slowly. Do not forget to send to table with them a piece of cold butter.

_Time_.--Large potatoes, in a hot oven 1-1/2 hour to 2 hours; in a cool
oven, 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

_Average cost_, 4s. per bushel.

_Sufficient_.--Allow 2 to each person.

_Seasonable_ all the year, but not good just before and whilst new
potatoes are in season.

POTATO-SUGAR.--This sugary substance, found in the tubers of
potatoes, is obtained in the form of syrup or treacle, and has
not yet been crystallized. It resembles the sugar of grapes,
has a very sweet taste, and may be used for making sweetmeats,
and as a substitute for honey. Sixty pounds of potatoes,
yielding eight pounds of dry starch, will produce seven and a
half pounds of sugar. In Russia it is extensively made, as
good, though of less consistency than the treacle obtained from
cane-sugar. A spirit is also distilled from the tubers, which
resembles brandy, but is milder, and has a flavour as if it were
charged with the odour of violets or raspberries. In France
this manufacture is carried on pretty extensively, and five
hundred pounds of the tubers will produce twelve quarts of
spirit, the pulp being given to cattle.


1137. INGREDIENTS.--10 or 12 potatoes; to each 1/2 gallon of water allow
1 heaped tablespoonful of salt.

_Mode_.--Choose potatoes of an equal size, pare them, take out all the
eyes and specks, and as they are peeled, throw them into cold water. Put
them into a saucepan, with sufficient cold water to cover them, with
salt in the above proportion, and let them boil gently until tender.
Ascertain when they are done by thrusting a fork in them, and take them
up the moment they feel soft through; for if they are left in the water
afterwards, they become waxy or watery. Drain away the water, put the
saucepan by the side of the fire, with the lid partially uncovered, to
allow the steam to escape, and let the potatoes get thoroughly dry, and
do not allow them to get burnt. Their superfluous moisture will
evaporate, and the potatoes, if a good sort, should be perfectly mealy
and dry. Potatoes vary so much in quality and size, that it is difficult
to give the exact time for boiling; they should be attentively watched,
and probed with a fork, to ascertain when they are cooked. Send them to
table quickly, and very hot, and with an opening in the cover of the
dish, that a portion of the steam may evaporate, and not fall back on
the potatoes.

_Time_.--Moderate-sized old potatoes, 15 to 20 minutes after the water
boils; large ones, 1/2 hour to 35 minutes.

_Average cost_, 4s. per bushel.

_Sufficient_ for 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ all the year, but not good just before and whilst new
potatoes are in season.

_Note_.--To keep potatoes hot, after draining the water from them, put a
folded cloth or flannel (kept for the purpose) on the top of them,
keeping the saucepan-lid partially uncovered. This will absorb the
moisture, and keep them hot some time without spoiling.

THE POTATO.--The potato belongs to the family of the
_Solanaceae_, the greater number of which inhabit the tropics,
and the remainder are distributed over the temperate regions of
both hemispheres, but do not extend to the arctic and antarctic
zones. The whole of the family are suspicious; a great number
are narcotic, and many are deleterious. The roots partake of the
properties of the plants, and are sometimes even more active.
The tubercles of such as produce them, are amylaceous and
nutritive, as in those of the potato. The leaves are generally
narcotic; but they lose this principle in boiling, as is the
case with the _Solanum nigrum_, which are used as a vegetable
when cooked.


1138. INGREDIENTS.--10 or 12 potatoes; to each 1/2 gallon of water,
allow 1 heaped tablespoonful of salt.

_Mode_.--To obtain this wholesome and delicious vegetable cooked in
perfection, it should be boiled and sent to table with the skin on. In
Ireland, where, perhaps, the cooking of potatoes is better understood
than in any country, they are always served so. Wash the potatoes well,
and if necessary, use a clean scrubbing-brush to remove the dirt from
them; and if possible, choose the potatoes so that they may all be as
nearly the same size as possible. When thoroughly cleansed, fill the
saucepan half full with them, and just cover the potatoes with cold
water, salted in the above proportion: they are more quickly boiled with
a small quantity of water, and, besides, are more savoury than when
drowned in it. Bring them to boil, then draw the pan to the side of the
fire, and let them simmer gently until tender. Ascertain when they are
done by probing them with a fork; then pour off the water, uncover the
saucepan, and let the potatoes dry by the side of the fire, taking care
not to let them burn. Peel them quickly, put them in a very hot
vegetable-dish, either with or without a napkin, and serve very quickly.
After potatoes are cooked, they should never be entirely covered up, as
the steam, instead of escaping, falls down on them, and makes them
watery and insipid. In Ireland they are usually served up with the skins
on, and a small plate is placed by the side of each guest.

_Time_.--Moderate-sized potatoes, with their skins on, 20 to 25 minutes
after the water boils; large potatoes, 25 minutes to 3/4 hour, or
longer; 5 minutes to dry them.

_Average cost_, 4s. per bushel. Sufficient for 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ all the year, but not good just before and whilst new
potatoes are in season.

ANALYSIS OF THE POTATO.--Next to the cereals, the potato is the
most valuable plant for the production of human food. Its
tubers, according to analysis conducted by Mr. Fromberg, in the
laboratory of the Agricultural Chemical Association in Scotland,
contain the following ingredients:--75.52 per cent. of water,
15.72 starch, O.55 dextrine, 3.3 of impure saccharine matter,
and 3.25 of fibre with coagulated albumen. In a dried state the
tuber contains 64.2 per cent, of starch, 2.25 of dextrine, 13.47
of impure saccharine matter, 5.77 of caseine, gluten, and
albumen, 1 of fatty matter, and 13.31 of fibre with coagulated


1139. INGREDIENTS.--Potatoes; to each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt.

_Mode_.--Do not have the potatoes dug long before they are dressed, as
they are never good when they have been out of the ground some time.
Well wash them, rub off the skins with a coarse cloth, and put them into
_boiling_ water salted in the above proportion. Let them boil until
tender; try them with a fork, and when done, pour the water away from
them; let them stand by the side of the fire with the lid of the
saucepan partially uncovered, and when the potatoes are thoroughly dry,
put them into a hot vegetable-dish, with a piece of butter the size of a
walnut; pile the potatoes over this, and serve. If the potatoes are too
old to have the skins rubbed off, boil them in their jackets; drain,
peel, and serve them as above, with a piece of butter placed in the
midst of them.

_Time_.--1/4 to 1/2 hour, according to the size.

_Average cost_, in full season, 1d. per lb.

_Sufficient_.--Allow 3 lbs. for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ in May and June, but may be had, forced, in March.

POTATO STARCH.--This fecula has a beautiful white crystalline
appearance, and is inodorous, soft to the touch, insoluble in
cold, but readily soluble in boiling water. It is on this starch
that the nutritive properties of the tubers depend. As an
aliment, it is well adapted for invalids and persons of delicate
constitution. It may be used in the form of arrow-root, and
eaten with milk or sugar. For pastry of all kinds it is more
light and easier of digestion than that made with flour of
wheat. In confectionery it serves to form creams and jellies,
and in cookery may be used to thicken soups and sauces. It
accommodates itself to the chest and stomach of children, for
whom it is well adapted; and it is an aliment that cannot be too
generally used, as much on account of its wholesomeness as its
cheapness, and the ease with which it is kept, which are equal,
if not superior, to all the much-vaunted exotic feculae; as,
salep, tapioca, sago, and arrow-root.


1140. INGREDIENTS.--Potatoes; boiling water.

_Mode_.--This mode of cooking potatoes is now much in vogue,
particularly where they are wanted on a large scale, it being so very
convenient. Pare the potatoes, throw them into cold water as they are
peeled, then put them into a steamer. Place the steamer over a saucepan
of boiling water, and steam the potatoes from 20 to 40 minutes,
according to the size and sort. When a fork goes easily through them,
they are done; then take them up, dish, and serve very quickly.

_Time_.--20 to 40 minutes. _Average cost_, 4s. per bushel.

_Sufficient_.--Allow 2 large potatoes to each person.

_Seasonable_ all the year, but not so good whilst new potatoes are in

USES OF THE POTATO.--Potatoes boiled and beaten along with sour
milk form a sort of cheese, which is made in Saxony; and, when
kept in close vessels, may be preserved for several years. It is
generally supposed that the water in which potatoes are boiled
is injurious; and as instances are recorded where cattle having
drunk it were seriously affected, it may be well to err on the
safe side, and avoid its use for any alimentary purpose.
Potatoes which have been exposed to the air and become green,
are very unwholesome. Cadet de Vaux asserts that potatoes will
clean linen as well as soap; and it is well known that the
berries of the _S. saponaceum_ are used in Peru for the same


1141. INGREDIENTS.--The remains of cold potatoes; to every lb. allow 2
tablespoonfuls of flour, 2 ditto of minced onions, 1 oz. of butter,

_Mode_.--Mash the potatoes with a fork until perfectly free from lumps;
stir in the other ingredients, and add sufficient milk to moisten them
well; press the potatoes into a mould, and bake in a moderate oven until
nicely brown, which will be in from 20 minutes to 1/2 hour. Turn them
out of the mould, and serve.

_Time_.--20 minutes to 1/2 hour.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

POTATO BREAD.--The manner in which this is made is very simple.
The adhesive tendency of the flour of the potato acts against
its being baked or kneaded without being mixed with wheaten
flour or meal; it may, however, be made into cakes in the
following manner:--A small wooden frame, nearly square, is laid
on a pan like a frying-pan and is grooved, and so constructed
that, by means of a presser or lid introduced into the groove,
the cake is at once fashioned, according to the dimensions of
the mould. The frame containing the farina may be almost
immediately withdrawn after the mould is formed upon the pan;
because, from the consistency imparted to the incipient cake by
the heat, it will speedily admit of being safely handled: it
must not, however, be fried too hastily. It will then eat very
palatably, and might from time to time be soaked for puddings,
like tapioca, or might be used like the cassada-cake, for, when
well buttered and toasted, it will be found an excellent
accompaniment to breakfast. In Scotland, cold boiled potatoes
are frequently squeezed up and mixed with flour or oatmeal, and
an excellent cake, or _scon_, obtained.

FRIED POTATOES (French Fashion).

1142. INGREDIENTS.--Potatoes, hot butter or clarified dripping, salt.

_Mode_.--Peel and cut the potatoes into thin slices, as nearly the same
size as possible; make some butter or dripping quite hot in a
frying-pan; put in the potatoes, and fry them on both sides of a nice
brown. When they are crisp and done, take them up, place them on a cloth
before the fire to drain the grease from them, and serve very hot, after
sprinkling them with salt. These are delicious with rump-steak, and, in
France, are frequently served thus as a breakfast dish. The remains of
cold potatoes may also be sliced and fried by the above recipe, but the
slices must be cut a little thicker.

_Time_.--Sliced raw potatoes, 5 minutes; cooked potatoes, 5 minutes.

_Average cost_, 4s. per bushel.

_Sufficient_,--6 sliced potatoes for 3 persons.

_Seasonable_ at any time.


1143. INGREDIENTS.--8 to 10 middling-sized potatoes, 3 oz. of butter, 2
tablespoonfuls of flour, 1/2 pint of broth, 2 tablespoonfuls of vinegar.

_Mode_.--Put the butter and flour into a stewpan; stir over the fire
until the butter is of a nice brown colour, and add the broth and
vinegar; peel and cut the potatoes into long thin slices, lay them in
the gravy, and let them simmer gently until tender, which will be in
from 10 to 15 minutes, and serve very hot. A laurel-leaf simmered with
the potatoes is an improvement.

_Time_.--10 to 15 minutes.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

PRESERVING POTATOES.--In general, potatoes are stored or
preserved in pits, cellars, pies, or camps; but, whatever mode
is adopted, it is essential that the tubers be perfectly dry;
otherwise, they will surely rot; and a few rotten potatoes will
contaminate a whole mass. The pie, as it is called, consists of
a trench, lined and covered with straw; the potatoes in it being
piled in the shape of a house roof, to the height of about three
feet. The camps are shallow pits, filled and ridged up in a
similar manner, covered up with the excavated mould of the pit.
In Russia and Canada, the potato is preserved in boxes, in
houses or cellars, heated, when necessary, to a temperature one
or two degrees above the freezing-point, by stoves. To keep
potatoes for a considerable time, the best way is to place them
in thin layers on a platform suspended in an ice-cellar: there,
the temperature being always below that of active vegetation,
they will not sprout; while, not being above one or two degrees
below the freezing-point, the tubers will not be frostbitten.
Another mode is to scoop out the eyes with a very small scoop,
and keep the roots buried in earth; a third mode is to destroy
the vital principle, by kiln-drying, steaming, or scalding; a
fourth is to bury them so deep in dry soil, that no change of
temperature will reach them; and thus, being without air, they
will remain upwards of a year without vegetating.


1144. INGREDIENTS.--Potatoes, salt and water; to every 6 potatoes allow
1 tablespoonful of minced parsley, 2 oz. of butter, pepper and salt to
taste, 4 tablespoonfuls of gravy, 2 tablespoonfuls of lemon-juice.

_Mode_.--Wash the potatoes clean, and boil them in salt and water by
recipe No. 1138; when they are done, drain them, let them cool; then
peel and cut the potatoes into thick slices: if these are too thin, they
would break in the sauce. Put the butter into a stewpan with the pepper,
salt, gravy, and parsley; mix these ingredients well together, put in
the potatoes, shake them two or three times, that they may be well
covered with the sauce, and, when quite hot through, squeeze in the
lemon-juice, and serve.

_Time_.--1/2 to 3/4 hour to boil the potatoes; 10 minutes for them to
heat in the sauce.

_Average cost_, 4s. per bushel.

_Sufficient_ for 3 persons. _Seasonable_ all the year.


1145. INGREDIENTS.--Potatoes; to every lb. of mashed potatoes allow 1
oz. of butter, 2 tablespoonfuls of milk, salt to taste.

_Mode_.--Boil the potatoes in their skins; when done, drain them, and
let them get thoroughly dry by the side of the fire; then peel them,
and, as they are peeled, put them into a clean saucepan, and with a
large fork beat them to a light paste; add butter, milk, and salt in the
above proportion, and stir all the ingredients well over the fire. When
thoroughly hot, dish them lightly, and draw the fork backwards over the
potatoes to make the surface rough, and serve. When dressed in this
manner, they may be browned at the top with a salamander, or before the
fire. Some cooks press the potatoes into moulds, then turn them out, and
brown them in the oven: this is a pretty mode of serving, but it makes
them heavy. In whatever way they are sent to table, care must be taken
to have them quite free from lumps.

_Time_.--From 1/2 to 3/4 hour to boil the potatoes.

_Average cost_, 4s. per bushel.

_Sufficient_,--1 lb. of mashed potatoes for 3 persons.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

PUREE DE POMMES DE TERRE, or, Very Thin-mashed Potatoes.

1146. INGREDIENTS.--To every lb. of mashed potatoes allow 1/4 pint of
good broth or stock, 2 oz. of butter.

_Mode_.--Boil the potatoes, well drain them, and pound them smoothly in
a mortar, or beat them up with a fork; add the stock or broth, and rub
the potatoes through a sieve. Put the puree into a very clean saucepan
with the butter; stir it well over the fire until thoroughly hot, and it
will then be ready to serve. A puree should be rather thinner than
mashed potatoes, and is a delicious accompaniment to delicately broiled
mutton cutlets. Cream or milk may be substituted for the broth when the
latter is not at hand. A casserole of potatoes, which is often used for
ragouts instead of rice, is made by mashing potatoes rather thickly,
placing them on a dish, and making an opening in the centre. After
having browned the potatoes in the oven, the dish should be wiped clean,
and the ragout or fricassee poured in.

_Time_.--About 1/2 hour to boil the potatoes; 6 or 7 minutes to warm the

_Average cost_, 4s. per bushel.

_Sufficient_.--Allow 1 lb. of cooked potatoes for 3 persons.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

[Illustration: SWEET POTATO.]

VARIETIES OF THE POTATO.--These are very numerous. "They
differ," says an authority, "in their leaves and bulk of haulm;
in the colour of the skin of the tubers; in the colour of the
interior, compared with that of the skin; in the time of
ripening; in being farinaceous, glutinous, or watery; in tasting
agreeably or disagreeably; in cooking readily or tediously; in
the length of the subterraneous _stolones_ to which the tubers
are attached; in blossoming or not blossoming; and finally, in
the soil which they prefer." The earliest varieties grown in
fields are,--the Early Kidney, the Nonsuch, the Early Shaw, and
the Early Champion. This last is the most generally cultivated
round London: it is both mealy and hardy. The sweet potato is
but rarely eaten in Britain; but in America it is often served
at table, and is there very highly esteemed.


1147. INGREDIENTS.--Mashed potatoes, salt and pepper to taste; when
liked, a very little minced parsley, egg, and bread crumbs.

[Illustration: POTATO RISSOLES.]

_Mode_.--Boil and mash the potatoes by recipe No. 1145; add a seasoning
of pepper and salt, and, when liked, a little minced parsley. Roll the
potatoes into small balls, cover them with egg and bread crumbs, and fry
in hot lard for about 10 minutes; let them drain before the fire, dish
them on a napkin, and serve.

_Time_,--10 minutes to fry the rissoles.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Note_.--The flavour of these rissoles may be very much increased by
adding finely-minced tongue or ham, or even chopped onions, when these
are liked.

QUALITIES OF POTATOES.--In making a choice from the many
varieties of potatoes which are everywhere found, the best way
is to get a sample and taste them, and then fix upon the kind
which best pleases your palate. The Shaw is one of the most
esteemed of the early potatoes for field culture; and the Kidney
and Bread-fruit are also good sorts. The Lancashire Pink is also
a good potato, and is much cultivated in the neighbourhood of
Liverpool. As late or long-keeping potatoes, the Tartan or
Red-apple stands very high in favour.


1148. INGREDIENTS.--Potatoes, salt, and water.

_Mode_.--Choose large white potatoes, as free from spots as possible;
boil them in their skins in salt and water until perfectly tender; drain
and _dry them thoroughly_ by the side of the fire, and peel them. Put a
hot dish before the fire, rub the potatoes through a coarse sieve on to
this dish; do not touch them afterwards, or the flakes will fall, and
serve as hot as possible.

_Time_.--1/2 to 3/4 hour to boil the potatoes.

_Average cost_, 4s. per bushel.

_Sufficient_,--6 potatoes for 3 persons.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

THE POTATO AS AN ARTICLE OF HUMAN FOOD.--This valuable esculent,
next to wheat, is of the greatest importance in the eye of the
political economist. From no other crop that can be cultivated
does the public derive so much benefit; and it has been
demonstrated that an acre of potatoes will feed double the
number of people that can be fed from an acre of wheat.


1149. INGREDIENTS.--Salsify; to each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt, 1 oz. of butter, 2 tablespoonfuls of lemon-juice.

_Mode_.--Scrape the roots gently, so as to strip them only of their
outside peel; cut them into pieces about 4 inches long, and, as they are
peeled, throw them into water with which has been mixed a little
lemon-juice, to prevent their discolouring. Put them into boiling water,
with salt, butter, and lemon-juice in the above proportion, and let them
boil rapidly until tender; try them with a fork; and, when it penetrates
easily, they are done. Drain the salsify, and serve with a good white
sauce or French melted butter.

_Time_.--30 to 50 minutes. _Seasonable_ in winter.

_Note_.--This vegetable may be also boiled, sliced, and fried in batter
of a nice brown. When crisp and a good colour, they should be served
with fried parsley in the centre of the dish, and a little fine salt
sprinkled over the salsify.

SALSIFY.--This esculent is, for the sake of its roots,
cultivated in gardens. It belongs to the Composite class of
flowers, which is the most extensive family in the vegetable
kingdom. This family is not only one of the most natural and
most uniform in structure, but there is also a great similarity
existing in the properties of the plants of which it is
composed. Generally speaking, all composite flowers are tonic or
stimulant in their medical virtues.


1150. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt.

[Illustration: BOILED SEA-KALE.]

_Mode_.--Well wash the kale, cut away any wormeaten pieces, and tie it
into small bunches; put it into _boiling_ water, salted in the above
proportion, and let it boil quickly until tender. Take it out, drain,
untie the bunches, and serve with plain melted butter or white sauce, a
little of which may be poured over the kale. Sea-kale may also be
parboiled and stewed in good brown gravy: it will then take about 1/2
hour altogether.

_Time_.--15 minutes; when liked very thoroughly done, allow an extra 5

_Average cost_, in full season, 9d. per basket.

_Sufficient_.--Allow 12 heads for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ from February to June.

[Illustration: SEA-KALE.]

SEA-KALE.--This plant belongs to the Asparagus tribe, and grows
on seashores, especially in the West of England, and in the
neighbourhood of Dublin. Although it is now in very general use,
it did not come into repute till 1794. It is easily cultivated,
and is esteemed as one of the most valuable esculents indigenous
to Britain. As a vegetable, it is stimulating to the appetite,
easily digestible, and nutritious. It is so light that the most
delicate organizations may readily eat it. The flowers form a
favourite resort for bees, as their petals contain a great
amount of saccharine matter.


1151. INGREDIENTS.--2 heads of celery, 1 pint of French beans, lettuce,
and endive.

[Illustration: FRENCH BEANS.]

[Illustration: CHERVIL.]

_Mode_.--Boil the celery and beans separately until tender, and cut the
celery into pieces about 2 inches long. Put these into a salad-bowl or
dish; pour over either of the sauces No. 506, 507, or 508, and garnish
the dish with a little lettuce finely chopped, blanched endive, or a few
tufts of boiled cauliflower. This composition, if less agreeable than
vegetables in their raw state, is more wholesome; for salads, however
they may be compounded, when eaten uncooked, prove to some people
indigestible. Tarragon, chervil, burnet, and boiled onion, may be added
to the above salad with advantage, as also slices of cold meat, poultry,
or fish.

_Seasonable_ from July to October.

ACETARIOUS VEGETABLES.--By the term Acetarious vegetables, is
expressed a numerous class of plants, of various culture and
habit, which are principally used as salads, pickles, and
condiments. They are to be considered rather as articles of
comparative luxury than as ordinary food, and are more desirable
for their coolness, or their agreeable flavour, than for their
nutritive powers.

CAULIFLOWER.--The cauliflower is less indigestible than the
cabbage; it possesses a most agreeable flavour, and is
sufficiently delicate to be served at the tables of the wealthy.
It is a wholesome vegetable, but should be eaten moderately, as
it induces flatulence. Persons of weak constitutions and
delicate stomachs should abstain from cauliflower as much as
possible. They may be prepared in a variety of ways; and, in
selecting them, the whitest should be chosen; those tinged with
green or yellow being of indifferent quality.


1152. INGREDIENTS.--3 lettuces, 2 handfuls of mustard-and-cress, 10
young radishes, a few slices of cucumber.

[Illustration: SALAD IN BOWL.]

_Mode_.--Let the herbs be as fresh as possible for a salad, and, if at
all stale or dead-looking, let them lie in water for an hour or two,
which will very much refresh them. Wash and carefully pick them over,
remove any decayed or wormeaten leaves, and drain them thoroughly by
swinging them gently in a clean cloth. With a silver knife, cut the
lettuces into small pieces, and the radishes and cucumbers into thin
slices; arrange all these ingredients lightly on a dish, with the
mustard-and-cress, and pour under, but not over the salad, either of the
sauces No. 506, 507, or 508, and do not stir it up until it is to be
eaten. It may be garnished with hard-boiled eggs, cut in slices, sliced
cucumbers, nasturtiums, cut vegetable-flowers, and many other things
that taste will always suggest to make a pretty and elegant dish. In
making a good salad, care must be taken to have the herbs freshly
gathered, and _thoroughly drained_ before the sauce is added to them, or
it will be watery and thin. Young spring onions, cut small, are by many
persons considered an improvement to salads; but, before these are
added, the cook should always consult the taste of her employer. Slices
of cold meat or poultry added to a salad make a convenient and
quickly-made summer luncheon-dish; or cold fish, flaked, will also be
found exceedingly nice, mixed with it.

_Average cost_, 9d. for a salad for 5 or 6 persons; but more expensive
when the herbs are forced.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ from May to September.

CUCUMBERS.--The cucumber is refreshing, but neither nutritious
nor digestible, and should be excluded from the regimen of the
delicate. There are various modes of preparing cucumbers. When
gathered young, they are called gherkins: these, pickled, are
much used in seasonings.

[Illustration: CUCUMBER-SLICE.]

RADISHES.--This is the common name given to the root of the
_Raphanus satious_, one of the varieties of the cultivated
horseradish. There are red and white radishes; and the French
have also what they call violet and black ones, of which the
black are the larger. Radishes are composed of nearly the same
constituents as turnips, that is to say, mostly fibre and
nitrogen; and, being generally eaten raw, it is on the last of
these that their flavour depends. They do not agree with people,
except those who are in good health, and have active digestive
powers; for they are difficult of digestion, and cause
flatulency and wind, and are the cause of headaches when eaten
to excess. Besides being eaten raw, they are sometimes, but
rarely, boiled; and they also serve as a pretty garnish for
salads. In China, the radish may be found growing naturally,
without cultivation; and may be occasionally met with in England
as a weed, in similar places to where the wild turnip grows; it,
however, thrives best in the garden, and the ground it likes
best is a deep open loam, or a well-manured sandy soil.

[Illustration: TURNIP RADISHES.]

[Illustration: LONG RADISHES.]


1153. INGREDIENTS.--Endive, mustard-and-cress, boiled beetroot, 3 or 4
hard-boiled eggs, celery.

_Mode_.--The above ingredients form the principal constituents of a
winter salad, and may be converted into a very pretty dish, by nicely
contrasting the various colours, and by tastefully garnishing it. Shred
the celery into thin pieces, after having carefully washed and cut away
all wormeaten pieces; cleanse the endive and mustard-and-cress free from
grit, and arrange these high in the centre of a salad-bowl or dish;
garnish with the hard-boiled eggs and beetroot, both of which should be
cut in slices; and pour into the dish, but not over the salad, either of
the sauces No. 506, 507, or 508. Never dress a salad long before it is
required for table, as, by standing, it loses its freshness and pretty
crisp and light appearance; the sauce, however, may always be prepared a
few hours beforehand, and when required for use, the herbs laid lightly
over it.

_Average cost_, 9d. for a salad for 5 or 6 persons.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ from the end of September to March.

SALADS.--Salads are raw vegetables, of which, among us, the
lettuce is the most generally used; several others, however,
such as cresses, celery, onions, beetroot, &c., are occasionally
employed. As vegetables eaten in a raw state are apt to ferment
on the stomach, and as they have very little stimulative power
upon that organ, they are usually dressed with some condiments,
such as pepper, vinegar, salt, mustard, and oil. Respecting the
use of these, medical men disagree, especially in reference to
oil, which is condemned by some and recommended by others.


1154. INGREDIENTS.--10 or 12 cold boiled potatoes, 4 tablespoonfuls of
tarragon or plain vinegar, 6 tablespoonfuls of salad-oil, pepper and
salt to taste, 1 teaspoonful of minced parsley.

_Mode_.--Cut the potatoes into slices about 1/2 inch in thickness; put
these into a salad-bowl with oil and vinegar in the above proportion;
season with pepper, salt, and a teaspoonful of minced parsley; stir the
salad well, that all the ingredients may be thoroughly incorporated, and
it is ready to serve. This should be made two or three hours before it
is wanted for table. Anchovies, olives, or pickles may be added to this
salad, as also slices of cold beef, fowl, or turkey.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

CHICKEN SALAD.--(See No. 931.)

GROUSE SALAD.--(See No. 1020.)

LOBSTER SALAD.--(See No. 272.)

TO BOIL SPINACH (English Mode).

1155. INGREDIENTS.--2 pailfuls of spinach, 2 heaped tablespoonfuls of
salt, 1 oz. of butter, pepper to taste.


_Mode_.--Pick the spinach carefully, and see that no stalks or weeds are
left amongst it; wash it in several waters, and, to prevent it being
gritty, act in the following manner:--Have ready two large pans or tubs
filled with water; put the spinach into one of these, and thoroughly
wash it; then, _with the hands_, take out the spinach, and put it into
the _other tub_ of water (by this means all the grit will be left at the
bottom of the tub); wash it again, and, should it not be perfectly free
from dirt, repeat the process. Put it into a very large saucepan, with
about 1/2 pint of water, just sufficient to keep the spinach from
burning, and the above proportion of salt. Press it down frequently with
a wooden spoon, that it may be done equally; and when it has boiled for
rather more than 10 minutes, or until it is perfectly tender, drain it
in a colander, squeeze it quite dry, and chop it finely. Put the spinach
into a clean stewpan, with the butter and a seasoning of pepper; stir
the whole over the fire until quite hot; then put it on a hot dish, and
garnish with sippets of toasted bread.

_Time_.--10 to 15 minutes to boil the spinach, 5 minutes to warm with
the butter.

_Average cost_ for the above quantity, 8d.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Spring spinach from March to July; winter spinach from
November to March.

_Note_.--Grated nutmeg, pounded mace, or lemon-juice may also be added
to enrich the flavour; and poached eggs are also frequently served with
spinach: they should be placed on the top of it, and it should be
garnished with sippets of toasted bread.--See coloured plate U.

VARIETIES OF SPINACH.--These comprise the Strawberry spinach,
which, under that name, was wont to be grown in our
flower-gardens; the Good King Harry, the Garden Oracle, the
Prickly, and the Round, are the varieties commonly used. The
Oracle is a hardy sort, much esteemed in France, and is a native
of Tartary, introduced in 1548. The common spinach has its
leaves round, and is softer and more succulent than any of the
Brassica tribe.


1156. INGREDIENTS.--2 pailfuls of spinach, 2 tablespoonfuls of salt, 2
oz. of butter, 8 tablespoonfuls of cream, 1 small teaspoonful of pounded
sugar, a very little grated nutmeg.

_Mode_.--Boil and drain the spinach as in recipe No. 1155; chop it
finely, and put it into a stewpan with the butter; stir over a gentle
fire, and, when the butter has dried away, add the remaining
ingredients, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Previously to adding the
cream, boil it first, in case it should curdle. Serve on a hot dish, and
garnish either with sippets of toasted bread or leaves of puff-paste.

_Time_.--10 to 15 minutes to boil the spinach; 10 minutes to stew with
the cream.

_Average cost_ for the above quantity, 8d.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Spring spinach from March to July; winter spinach from
November to March.

[Illustration: SPINACH.]

SPINACH.--This is a Persian plant. It has been cultivated in our
gardens about two hundred years, and is the most wholesome of
vegetables. It is not very nutritious, but is very easily
digested. It is very light and laxative. Wonderful properties
have been ascribed to spinach. It is an excellent vegetable, and
very beneficial to health. Plainly dressed, it is a resource for
the poor; prepared luxuriantly, it is a choice dish for the

SPINACH.--This vegetable belongs to a sub-order of the
_Salsolaceae_, or saltworts, and is classified under the head of
_Spirolobeae_, with leaves shaped like worms, and of a succulent
kind. In its geographical distribution it is commonly found in
extratropical and temperate regions, where they grow as weeds in
waste places, and among rubbish, and in marshes by the seashore.
In the tropics the order is rarely found. Many of them are used
as potherbs, and some of them are emetic and vermifuge in their
medicinal properties.


1157. INGREDIENTS.--2 pailfuls of spinach, 2 tablespoonfuls of salt, 2
oz. of butter, 1 teaspoonful of flour, 8 tablespoonfuls of good gravy;
when liked, a very little grated nutmeg.

_Mode_.--Pick, wash, and boil the spinach, as in recipe No. 1155, and
when quite tender, drain and squeeze it perfectly dry from the water
that hangs about it. Chop it very fine, put the butter into a stewpan,
and lay the spinach over that; stir it over a gentle fire, and dredge in
the flour. Add the gravy, and let it boil _quickly_ for a few minutes,
that it may not discolour. When the flavour of nutmeg is liked, grate
some to the spinach, and when thoroughly hot, and the gravy has dried
away a little, serve. Garnish the dish with sippets of toasted bread.

_Time_.--10 to 15 minutes to boil the spinach; 10 minutes to simmer in
the gravy.

_Average cost_ for the above quantity, 8d.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_.--Spring spinach from March to July; winter spinach from
October to February.

_Note_.--For an entremets or second-course dish, spinach, dressed by the
above recipe may be pressed into a hot mould; it should then be turned
out quickly, and served very hot.



1158. INGREDIENTS.--8 or 10 tomatoes, pepper and salt to taste, 2 oz. of
butter, bread crumbs.

_Mode_.--Take off the stalks from the tomatoes; cut them into thick
slices, and put them into a deep baking-dish; add a plentiful seasoning
of pepper and salt, and butter in the above proportion; cover the whole
with bread crumbs; drop over these a little clarified butter; bake in a
moderate oven from 20 minutes to 1/2 hour, and serve very hot. This
vegetable, dressed as above, is an exceedingly nice accompaniment to all
kinds of roast meat. The tomatoes, instead of being cut in slices, may
be baked whole; but they will take rather longer time to cook.

_Time_.--20 minutes to 1/2 hour.

_Average cost_, in full season, 9d. per basket.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_ in August, September, and October; but may be had, forced,
much earlier.

[Illustration: THE TOMATO.]

TOMATOES.--The Tomato is a native of tropical countries, but is
now cultivated considerably both in France and England. Its skin
is of a brilliant red, and its flavour, which is somewhat sour,
has become of immense importance in the culinary art. It is used
both fresh and preserved. When eaten fresh, it is served as an
_entremets_; but its principal use is in sauce and gravy; its
flavour stimulates the appetite, and is almost universally
approved. The Tomato is a wholesome fruit, and digests easily.
From July to September, they gather the tomatoes green in
France, not breaking them away from the stalk; they are then
hung, head downwards, in a dry and not too cold place; and there
they ripen.


(See No. 529.)

[Illustration: STEWED TOMATOES.]



1159. INGREDIENTS.--8 tomatoes, pepper and salt to taste, 2 oz. of
butter, 2 tablespoonfuls of vinegar.

_Mode_.--Slice the tomatoes into a _lined_ saucepan; season them with
pepper and salt, and place small pieces of butter on them. Cover the lid
down closely, and stew from 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes are
perfectly tender; add the vinegar, stir two or three times, and serve
with any kind of roast meat, with which they will be found a delicious

_Time_.--20 to 25 minutes.

_Average cost_, in full season, 9d. per basket.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ from August to October; but may be had, forced, much

ANALYSIS OF THE TOMATO.--The fruit of the love-apple is the only
part used as an esculent, and it has been found to contain a
particular acid, a volatile oil, a brown, very fragrant
extracto-resinous matter, a vegeto-mineral matter,
muco-saccharine, some salts, and, in all probability, an
alkaloid. The whole plant has a disagreeable odour, and its
juice, subjected to the action of the fire, emits a vapour so
powerful as to cause vertigo and vomiting.


1160. INGREDIENTS.--8 tomatoes, about 1/2 pint of good gravy, thickening
of butter and flour, cayenne and salt to taste.

_Mode_.--Take out the stalks of the tomatoes; put them into a wide
stewpan, pour over them the above proportion of good brown gravy, and
stew gently until they are tender, occasionally _carefully_ turning
them, that they may be equally done. Thicken the gravy with a little
butter and flour worked together on a plate; let it just boil up after
the thickening is added, and serve. If it be at hand, these should be
served on a silver or plated vegetable-dish.

_Time_.--20 to 25 minutes, very gentle stewing.

_Average cost_, in full season, 9d. per basket.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ in August, September, and October; but maybe had, forced,
much earlier.

THE TOMATO, OR LOVE-APPLE.--This vegetable is a native of Mexico
and South America, but is also found in the East Indies, where
it is supposed to have been introduced by the Spaniards. In this
country it is much more cultivated than it formerly was; and the
more the community becomes acquainted with the many agreeable
forms in which the fruit can be prepared, the more widely will
its cultivation be extended. For ketchup, soups, and sauces, it
is equally applicable, and the unripe fruit makes one of the
best pickles.


1161. INGREDIENTS.--Truffles, buttered paper.

_Mode_.--Select some fine truffles; cleanse them, by washing them in
several waters with a brush, until not a particle of sand or grit
remains on them; wrap each truffle in buttered paper, and bake in a hot
oven for quite an hour; take off the paper, wipe the truffles, and serve
them in a hot napkin.

_Time_.--1 hour. _Average cost_.--Not often bought in this country.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

[Illustration: TRUFFLES.]

THE COMMON TRUFFLE.--This is the _Tuber cibarium_ of science,
and belongs to that numerous class of esculent fungi
distinguished from other vegetables not only by the singularity
of their forms, but by their chemical composition. Upon
analysis, they are found not only to contain the usual
components of the vegetable kingdom, such as carbon, oxygen, and
hydrogen, but likewise a large proportion of nitrogen; from
which they approach more nearly to the nature of animal flesh.
It was long ago observed by Dr. Darwin, that all the mushrooms
cooked at our tables, as well as those used for ketchup,
possessed an animal flavour; and soup enriched by mushrooms only
has sometimes been supposed to contain meat.


1162. INGREDIENTS.--12 fine black truffles, a few slices of fat bacon, 1
carrot, 1 turnip, 2 onions, a bunch of savoury herbs, including parsley,
1 bay-leaf, 2 cloves, 1 blade of pounded mace, 2 glasses of champagne,
1/2 pint of stock.

_Mode_.--Carefully select the truffles, reject those that have a musty
smell, and wash them well with a brush, in cold water only, until
perfectly clean. Put the bacon into a stewpan, with the truffles and the
remaining ingredients; simmer these gently for an hour, and let the
whole cool in the stewpan. When to be served, rewarm them, and drain
them on a clean cloth; then arrange them on a delicately white napkin,
that it may contrast as strongly as possible with the truffles, and
serve. The trimmings of truffles are used to flavour gravies, stock,
sauces, &c.; and are an excellent addition to ragouts, made dishes of
fowl, &c.

_Time_.--1 hour. _Average cost_.--Not often bought in this country.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

THE TRUFFLE.--The Truffle belongs to the family of the Mushroom.
It is certain that the truffle must possess, equally with other
plants, organs of reproduction; yet, notwithstanding all the
efforts of art and science, it has been impossible to subject it
to a regular culture. Truffles grow at a considerable depth
under the earth, never appearing on the surface. They are found
in many parts of France: those of Perigord Magny are the most
esteemed for their odour. There are three varieties of the
species,--the black, the red, and the white: the latter are of
little value. The red are very rare, and their use is
restricted. The black has the highest repute, and its
consumption is enormous. When the peasantry go to gather
truffles, they take a pig with them to scent out the spot where
they grow. When that is found, the pig turns up the surface with
his snout, and the men then dig until they find the truffles.
Good truffles are easily distinguished by their agreeable
perfume; they should be light in proportion to their size, and
elastic when pressed by the finger. To have them in perfection,
they should be quite fresh, as their aroma is considerably
diminished by any conserving process. Truffles are stimulating
and beating. Weak stomachs digest them with difficulty. Some of
the culinary uses to which they are subjected render them more
digestible; but they should always be eaten sparingly. Their
chief use is in seasoning and garnitures. In short, a professor
has said, "Meats with truffles are the most distinguished dishes
that opulence can offer to the epicure." The Truffle grows in
clusters, some inches below the surface of the soil, and is of
an irregular globular form. Those which grow wild in England are
about the size of a hen's egg, and have no roots. As there is
nothing to indicate the places where they are, dogs have been
trained to discriminate their scent, by which they are
discovered. Hogs are very fond of them, and frequently lead to
their being found, from their rutting up the ground in search of


1163. INGREDIENTS.--10 truffles, 1/4 pint of salad-oil, pepper and salt
to taste, 1 tablespoonful of minced parsley, a very little finely-minced
garlic, 2 blades of pounded mace, 1 tablespoonful of lemon-juice.

_Mode_.--After cleansing and brushing the truffles, cut them into thin
slices, and put them in a baking-dish, on a seasoning of oil, pepper,
salt, parsley, garlic, and mace in the above proportion. Bake them for
nearly an hour, and, just before serving, add the lemon-juice, and send
them to table very hot.

_Time_.--Nearly 1 hour.

_Average cost_.--Not often bought in this country.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

WHERE TRUFFLES ARE FOUND.--In this country, the common truffle
is found on the downs of Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Kent; and
they abound in dry light soils, and more especially in oak and
chestnut forests. In France they are plentiful, and many are
imported from the south of that country and Italy, where they
are much larger and in greater perfection: they lose, however,
much of their flavour by drying. Truffles have in England been
tried to be propagated artificially, but without success.


1164. INGREDIENTS.--10 truffles, 1 tablespoonful of minced parsley, 1
minced shalot, salt and pepper to taste, 2 oz. of butter, 2
tablespoonfuls of good brown gravy, the juice of 1/2 lemon, cayenne to

_Mode_.--Wash the truffles and cut them into slices about the size of a
penny-piece; put them into a saute pan, with the parsley, shalot, salt,
pepper, and 1 oz. of butter; stir them over the fire, that they may all
be equally done, which will be in about 10 minutes, and drain off some
of the butter; then add a little more fresh butter, 2 tablespoonfuls of
good gravy, the juice of 1/2 lemon, and a little cayenne; stir over the
fire until the whole is on the point of boiling, when serve.

_Time_.--Altogether, 20 minutes.

_Average cost_.--Not often bought in this country.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

USES OF THE TRUFFLE.--Like the Morel, truffles are seldom eaten
alone, but are much used in gravies, soups, and ragouts. They
are likewise dried for the winter months, and, when reduced to
powder, form a useful culinary ingredient; they, however, have
many virtues attributed to them which they do not possess. Their
wholesomeness is, perhaps, questionable, and they should be
eaten with moderation.


1165. INGREDIENTS.--Turnips; to each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt.

_Mode_.--Pare the turnips, and, should they be very large, divide them
into quarters; but, unless this is the case, let them be cooked whole.
Put them into a saucepan of boiling water, salted in the above
proportion, and let them boil gently until tender. Try them with a fork,
and, when done, take them up in a colander; let them thoroughly drain,
and serve. Boiled turnips are usually sent to table with boiled mutton,
but are infinitely nicer when mashed than served whole: unless nice and
young, they are scarcely worth the trouble of dressing plainly as above.

_Time_.--Old turnips, 3/4 to 1-1/4 hour; young ones, about 18 to 20

_Average cost_, 4d. per bunch.

_Sufficient_.--Allow a bunch of 12 turnips for 5 or 6 persons.

_Seasonable_.--May be had all the year; but in spring only useful for
flavouring gravies, &c.

[Illustration: TURNIPS.]

THE TURNIP.--This vegetable is the _Brassica Rapa_ of science,
and grows wild in England, but cannot be brought exactly to
resemble what it becomes in a cultivated state. It is said to
have been originally introduced from Hanover, and forms an
excellent culinary vegetable, much used all over Europe, where
it is either eaten alone or mashed and cooked in soups and
stews. They do not thrive in a hot climate; for in India they,
and many more of our garden vegetables, lose their flavour and
become comparatively tasteless. The Swede is the largest
variety, but it is too coarse for the table.


1166. INGREDIENTS.--10 or 12 large turnips; to each 1/2 gallon of water
allow 1 heaped tablespoonful of salt, 2 oz. of butter, cayenne or white
pepper to taste.

_Mode_.--Pare the turnips, quarter them, and put them into boiling
water, salted in the above proportion; boil them until tender; then
drain them in a colander, and squeeze them as dry as possible by
pressing them with the back of a large plate. When quite free from
water, rub the turnips with a wooden spoon through the colander, and put
them into a very clean saucepan; add the butter, white pepper, or
cayenne, and, if necessary, a little salt. Keep stirring them over the
fire until the butter is well mixed with them, and the turnips are
thoroughly hot; dish, and serve. A little cream or milk added after the
turnips are pressed through the colander, is an improvement to both the
colour and flavour of this vegetable.

_Time_.--From 1/2 to 3/4 hour to boil the turnips; 10 minutes to warm
them through.

_Average cost_, 4d. per bunch.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_.--May be had all the year; but in spring only good for
flavouring gravies.

VEGETABLES REDUCED TO PUREE.--Persons in the flower of youth,
having healthy stomachs, and leading active lives, may eat all
sorts of vegetables, without inconvenience, save, of course, in
excess. The digestive functions possess great energy during the
period of youth: the body, to develop itself, needs nourishment.
Physical exercise gives an appetite, which it is necessary to
satisfy, and vegetables cannot resist the vigorous action of the
gastric organs. As old proverb says, "At twenty one can digest
iron." But for aged persons, the sedentary, or the delicate, it
is quite otherwise. Then the gastric power has considerably
diminished, the digestive organs have lost their energy, the
process of digestion is consequently slower, and the least
excess at table is followed by derangement of the stomach for
several days. Those who generally digest vegetables with
difficulty, should eat them reduced to a pulp or puree, that is
to say, with their skins and tough fibres removed. Subjected to
this process, vegetables which, when entire, would create
flatulence and wind, are then comparatively harmless. Experience
has established the rule, that nourishment is not complete
without the alliance of meat with vegetables. We would also add,
that the regime most favourable to health is found in variety:
variety pleases the senses, monotony is disagreeable. The eye is
fatigued by looking always on one object, the ear by listening
to one sound, and the palate by tasting one flavour. It is the
same with the stomach: consequently, variety of food is one of
the essentials for securing good digestion.


1167. INGREDIENTS.--8 large turnips, 3 oz. of butter, pepper and salt to
taste, rather more than 1/2 pint of weak stock or broth, 1 tablespoonful
of flour.

_Mode_.--Make the butter hot in a stewpan, lay in the turnips, after
having pared and cut them into dice, and season them with pepper and
salt. Toss them over the fire for a few minutes, then add the broth, and
simmer the whole gently till the turnips are tender. Brown the above
proportion of flour with a little butter; add this to the turnips, let
them simmer another 5 minutes, and serve. Boiled mutton is usually sent
to table with this vegetable, and may be cooked with the turnips by
placing it in the midst of them: the meat would then be very delicious,
as, there being so little liquid with the turnips, it would almost be
steamed, and consequently very tender.

_Time_.--20 minutes. _Average cost_, 4d. per bunch.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

_Seasonable_.--May be had all the year.

TURNIPS.--Good turnips are delicate in texture, firm, and sweet.
The best sorts contain a sweet juicy mucilage, uniting with the
aroma a slightly acid quality, which is completely neutralized
in cooking. The turnip is prepared in a variety of ways. Ducks
stuffed with turnips have been highly appreciated. It is useful
in the regimen of persons afflicted with chronic visceral
irritations. The turnip only creates flatulency when it is soft,
porous, and stringy. It is then, consequently, bad.


(An Entremets, or to be served with the Second Course as a Side-dish.)

1168. INGREDIENTS.--7 or 8 turnips, 1 oz. of butter, 1/2 pint of white
sauce, No. 538 or 539.

_Mode_.--Peel and cut the turnips in the shape of pears or marbles; boil
them in salt and water, to which has been added a little butter, until
tender; then take them out, drain, arrange them on a dish, and pour over
the white sauce made by recipe No. 538 or 539, and to which has been
added a small lump of sugar. In winter, when other vegetables are
scarce, this will be found a very good and pretty-looking dish: when
approved, a little mustard may be added to the sauce.

_Time_.--About 3/4 hour to boil the turnips.

_Average cost_, 4d. per bunch.

_Sufficient_ for 1 side-dish. _Seasonable_ in winter.

THE FRENCH NAVET.--This is a variety of the turnip; but, instead
of being globular, has more the shape of the carrot. Its flavour
being excellent, it is much esteemed on the Continent for soups
and made dishes. Two or three of them will impart as much
flavour as a dozen of the common turnips will. Accordingly, when
stewed in gravy, they are greatly relished. This flavour resides
in the rind, which is not cut off, but scraped. This variety was
once grown in England, but now it is rarely found in our
gardens, though highly deserving of a place there. It is of a
yellowish-white colour, and is sometimes imported to the London


1169. INGREDIENTS.--To each 1/2 gallon of water, allow 1 heaped
tablespoonful of salt; turnip-greens.

_Mode_.--Wash the greens well in two or three waters, and pick off all
the decayed and dead leaves; tie them in small bunches, and put them
into plenty of boiling water, salted in the above proportion. Keep them
boiling quickly, with the lid of the saucepan uncovered, and when
tender, pour them into a colander; let them drain, arrange them in a
vegetable-dish, remove the string that the greens were tied with, and

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