Break the heads into small pieces and boil ten or fifteen minutes in salt and water; remove from the water and drain carefully. When cold, place in a jar, and pour over it hot vinegar, in which has been scalded a liberal supply of whole cloves, pepper, allspice and white mustard. Tie the spices in a bag, and, on removing the vinegar from the fire, stir into each quart of it two teaspoonfuls of French mustard, and half a cup of white sugar. Cover tightly and be sure to have the vinegar cover the pickle.
PICKLED GREEN PEPPERS.
Take two dozen large, green, bell peppers, extract the seeds by cutting a slit in the side (so as to leave them whole). Make a strong brine and pour over them; let them stand twenty-four hours. Take them out of the brine, and soak them in water for a day and a night; now turn off this water and scald some vinegar, in which put a small piece of alum, and pour over them, letting them stand three days. Prepare a stuffing of two hard heads of white cabbage, chopped fine, seasoned slightly with salt and a cup of white mustard seed; mix it well and stuff the peppers hard and full; stitch up, place them in a stone jar, and pour over spiced vinegar scalding hot. Cover tightly.
GREEN PEPPER MANGOES.
Select firm, sound, green peppers, and add a few red ones as they are ornamental and look well upon the table. With a sharp knife remove the top, take out the seed, soak over night in salt water, then fill with chopped cabbage and green tomatoes, seasoned with salt, mustard seed and ground cloves. Sew on the top. Boil vinegar sufficient to cover them, with a cup of brown sugar, and pour over the mangoes. Do this three mornings, then seal.
CHOWCHOW. (Superior English Recipe.)
This excellent pickle is seldom made at home, as we can get the imported article so much better than it can be made from the usual recipes. This we vouch for being as near the genuine article as can be made: One quart of young, tiny cucumbers, not over two inches long, two quarts of very small white onions, two quarts of tender string beans, each one cut in halves, three quarts of green tomatoes, sliced and chopped very coarsely, two fresh heads of cauliflower, cut into small pieces, or two heads of white, hard cabbage.
After preparing these articles, put them in a stone jar, mix them together, sprinkling salt between them sparingly. Let them stand twenty-four hours, then drain off all the brine that has accumulated. Now put these vegetables in a preserving kettle over the fire, sprinkling through them an ounce of turmeric for coloring, six red peppers, chopped coarsely, four tablespoonfuls of mustard seed, two of celery seed, two of whole allspice, two of whole cloves, a coffee cup of sugar, and two-thirds of a teacup of best ground mixed mustard. Pour on enough of the best cider vinegar to cover the whole well; cover tightly and simmer all well until it is cooked all through and seems tender, watching and stirring it often. Put in bottles or glass jars. It grows better as it grows older, especially if sealed when hot.
Peel small onions until they are white. Scald them in salt and water until tender, then take them up, put them into wide-mouthed bottles, and pour over them hot spiced vinegar; when cold cork them close. Keep in a dry, dark place. A tablespoonful of sweet oil may be put in the bottles before the cork. The best sort of onions for pickling are the small white buttons.
Let the mangoes, or young musk-melons, lie in salt water, strong enough to bear an egg, for two weeks; then soak them in pure water for two days, changing the water two or three times; then remove the seeds and put the mangoes in a kettle, first a layer of grape leaves, then mangoes, and so on until all are in, covering the top with leaves; add a lump of alum the size of a hickory nut; pour vinegar over them and boil them ten or fifteen minutes; remove the leaves and let the pickles stand in this vinegar for a week; then stuff them with the following mixture: One pound of ginger soaked in brine for a day or two, and cut in slices, one ounce of black pepper, one of mace, one of allspice, one of turmeric, half a pound of garlic, soaked for a day or two in brine and then dried; one pint grated horse-radish, one of black mustard seed and one of white mustard seed; bruise all the spices and mix with a teacup of pure olive oil; to each mango add one teaspoonful of brown sugar; cut one solid head of cabbage fine; add one pint of small onions, a few small cucumbers and green tomatoes; lay them in brine a day and a night, then drain them well and add the imperfect mangoes chopped fine and the spices; mix thoroughly, stuff the mangoes and tie them; put them in a stone jar and pour over them the best cider vinegar; set them in a bright, dry place until they are canned. In a month add three pounds of brown sugar; if this is not sufficient, add more until agreeable to taste. This is for four dozen mangoes.
PICKLE OF RIPE CUCUMBERS.
This is a French recipe and is the most excellent of all the high-flavored condiments; it is made by sun-drying thirty old, full grown cucumbers, which have first been pared and split, had the seeds taken out, been salted and let stand twenty-four hours. The sun should be permitted to dry, not simply drain them. When they are moderately dry, wash them with vinegar and place them in layers in a jar, alternating them with a layer of horse-radish, mustard seed, garlic and onions for each layer of cucumbers. Boil in one quart of vinegar, one ounce of race ginger, half an ounce of allspice and the same of turmeric; when cool pour this over the cucumbers, tie up tightly and set away. This pickle requires several months to mature it, but is delicious when old, keeps admirably, and only a little is needed as a relish.
One gallon of oysters; wash them well in their own liquor; carefully clear away the particles of shell, then put them into a kettle, strain the liquor over them, add salt to your taste, let them just come to the boiling point, or until the edges curl up; then skim them out and lay in a dish to cool; put a sprig of mace and a little cold pepper and allow the liquor to boil some time, skimming it now and then so long as any skum rises. Pour it into a pan and let it cool. When perfectly cool, add a half pint of strong vinegar, place the oysters in a jar and pour the liquor over them.
RIPE CUCUMBER PICKLES. (Sweet.)
Pare and seed ripe cucumbers. Slice each cucumber lengthwise into four pieces, or cut it into fancy shapes, as preferred. Let them stand twenty-four hours covered with cold vinegar. Drain them; then put them into fresh vinegar, with two pounds of sugar and one ounce of cassia buds to one quart of vinegar, and a tablespoonful of salt. Boil all together twenty minutes. Cover them closely in a jar.
One peck of green tomatoes; eight large onions chopped fine, with one cup of salt well stirred in. Let it stand over night; in the morning drain off all the liquor. Now take two quarts of water and one of vinegar, boil all together twenty minutes. Drain all through a sieve or colander. Put it back into the kettle again; turn over it two quarts of vinegar, one pound of sugar, half a pound of white mustard seed, two tablespoonfuls of ground pepper, two of cinnamon, one of cloves, two of ginger, one of allspice, and half a teaspoonful of cayenne pepper. Boil all together fifteen minutes or until tender. Stir it often to prevent scorching. Seal in glass jars.
A most delicious accompaniment for any kind of meat or fish.
Mrs. St. Johns.
Pickled eggs are very easily prepared and most excellent as an accompaniment for cold meats. Boil quite hard three dozen eggs, drop in cold water and remove the shells, and pack them when entirely cold in a wide-mouthed jar, large enough to let them in or out without breaking. Take as much vinegar as you think will cover them entirely and boil it in white pepper, allspice, a little root ginger; pack them in stone or wide-mouthed glass jars, occasionally putting in a tablespoonful of white and black mustard seed mixed, a small piece of race ginger, garlic, if liked, horse-radish ungrated, whole cloves, and a very little allspice. Slice two of three green peppers, and add in very small quantities. They will be fit for use in eight or ten days.
AN ORNAMENTAL PICKLE.
Boil fresh eggs half an hour, then put them in cold water. Boil red beets until tender, peel and cut in dice form, and cover with vinegar, spiced; shell the eggs and drop into the pickle jar.
EAST INDIA PICKLE.
Lay in strong brine for two weeks, or until convenient to use them, small cucumbers, very small common white onions, snap beans, gherkins, hard white cabbage quartered, plums, peaches, pears, lemons, green tomatoes and anything else you may wish. When ready, take them out of the brine and simmer in pure water until tender enough to stick a straw through—if still too salt, soak in clear water; drain thoroughly and lay them in vinegar in which is dissolved one ounce of turmeric to the gallon. For five gallons of pickle, take two ounces of mace, two of cloves, two of cinnamon, two of allspice, two of celery seed, a quarter of a pound of white race ginger, cracked fine, half a pound of white mustard seed, half a pint of small red peppers, quarter of a pound of grated horse-radish, half a pint of flour mustard, two ounces of turmeric, half a pint of garlic, if you like; soak in two gallons of cider vinegar for two weeks, stirring daily. After the pickles have lain in the turmeric vinegar for a week, take them out and put in jars or casks, one layer of pickle and one of spice out of the vinegar, till all is used. If the turmeric vinegar is still good and strong, add it and the spiced vinegar. If the turmeric vinegar be much diluted do not use it, but add enough fresh to the spiced to cover the pickles; put it on the fire with a pound of brown sugar to each gallon; when boiling, pour over the pickle. Repeat this two or three times as your taste may direct.
Scald in salt water until tender cauliflower heads, small onions, peppers, cucumbers cut in dice, nasturtiums and green beans; then drain until dry and pack into wide-mouthed bottles. Boil in each pint of cider vinegar one tablespoonful of sugar, half a teaspoonful of salt and two tablespoonfuls of mustard; pour over the pickle and seal carefully. Other spices may be added if liked.
For blueberry pickles, old jars which have lost their covers, or whose edges have been broken so that the covers will not fit tightly, serve an excellent purpose as these pickles must not be kept air-tight.
Pick over your berries, using only sound ones; fill your jars or wide-mouthed bottles to within an inch of the top, then pour in molasses enough to settle down into all the spaces; this cannot be done in a moment, as molasses does not run very freely. Only lazy people will feel obliged to stand by and watch its progress. As it settles, pour in more until the berries are covered. Then tie over the top a piece of cotton cloth to keep the flies and other insects out and set away in the preserve closet. Cheap molasses is good enough, and your pickles will soon be "sharp." Wild grapes may be pickled in the same manner.
PICKLED BUTTERNUTS AND WALNUTS.
These nuts are in the best state for pickling when the outside shell can be penetrated by the head of a pin. Scald them and rub off the outside skin, put them in a strong brine for six days, changing the water every other day, keeping them closely covered from the air. Then drain and wipe them (piercing each nut through in several places with a large needle) and prepare the pickle as follows: For a hundred large nuts, take of black pepper and ginger root each an ounce; and of cloves, mace and nutmeg, each a half ounce. Pound all the spices to powder and mix them well together, adding two large spoonfuls of mustard seed. Put the nuts into jars (having first stuck each of them through in several places with a large needle), strewing the powdered seasoning between every layer of nuts. Boil for five minutes a gallon of the very best cider vinegar and pour it boiling hot upon the nuts. Secure the jars closely with corks. You may begin to eat the nuts in a fortnight.
Ten pounds of watermelon rind boiled in pure water until tender; drain the water off, and make a syrup of two pounds of white sugar, one quart of vinegar, half an ounce of cloves, one ounce of cinnamon. The syrup to be poured over the rind boiling hot three days in succession.
SWEET PICKLE FOR FRUIT.
Most of the recipes for making a sweet pickle for fruit, such as cling-stone peaches, damsons, plums, cherries, apricots, etc., are so similar, that we give that which is most successfully used.
To every quart of fruit, allow a cup of white sugar and a large pint of good cider vinegar, adding half an ounce of stick cinnamon, one tablespoonful of whole cloves, the same of whole allspice. Let it come to a boil, and pour it hot over the fruit; repeat this two or three days in succession; then seal hot in glass jars if you wish to keep it for a long time.
The fruit, not the liquor, is to be eaten, and used the same as any pickle. Some confound this with "Spiced Fruit," which is not treated the same, one being a pickle, the other a spiced preserve boiled down thick.
Damsons and plums should be pricked with a needle, and peaches washed with a weak lye, and then rubbed with a coarse cloth to remove the fur.
Select small, sound ones, remove the blossom end, stick them with a fork, allow to each quart of pears one pint of cider vinegar and one cup of sugar, put in a teaspoonful allspice, cinnamon and cloves to boil with the vinegar; then add the pears and boil, and seal in jars.
Seven pounds of fruit, four pounds of sugar, one pint of good cider vinegar, one tablespoonful of ground cinnamon, one teaspoonful of cloves. Put into a kettle and boil until the fruit is soft; then skim out the fruit, putting it on dishes until the syrup is boiled down thick. Turn the fruit back into the syrup again, so as to heat it all through; then seal it hot in glass jars, and set it in a cool, dark place.
Any tart fruit may be put up in this way, and is considered a very good embellishment for cold meats.
Seven pounds of plums, one pint of cider vinegar, four pounds of sugar, two tablespoonfuls of broken cinnamon bark, half as much of whole cloves and the same of broken nutmeg; place these in a muslin bag and simmer them in a little vinegar and water for half an hour; then add it all to the vinegar and sugar, and bring to a boil; add the plums and boil carefully until they are cooked tender. Before cooking the plums they should be pierced with a darning needle several times; this will prevent the skins bursting while cooking.
Take the pulp from the grapes, preserving the skins. Boil the pulp and rub through a colander to get out the seeds; then add the skins to the strained pulp and boil with the sugar, vinegar and spices. To every seven pounds of grapes use four and one-half pounds of sugar, one pint of good vinegar. Spice quite highly with ground cloves and allspice, with a little cinnamon.
Select sound, large cherries, as large as you can get them; to every quart of cherries allow a large cupful of vinegar, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, a dozen whole cloves, and half a dozen blades of mace; put the vinegar and sugar on to heat with the spices; boil five minutes, turn out into a covered stoneware vessel; cover and let it get perfectly cold; pack the cherries into jars, and pour the vinegar over them when cold; cork tightly and set away; they are fit for use almost immediately.
Vegetables of all kinds should be thoroughly picked over, throwing out all decayed or unripe parts, then well washed in several waters. Most vegetables, when peeled, are better when laid in cold water a short time before cooking. When partly cooked a little salt should be thrown into the water in which they are boiled, and they should cook steadily after they are put on, not allowed to stop boiling or simmering until they are thoroughly done. Every sort of culinary vegetable is much better when freshly gathered and cooked as soon as possible, and, when done, thoroughly drained, and served immediately while hot.
Onions, cabbage, carrots and turnips should be cooked in a great deal of water, boiled only long enough to sufficiently cook them, and immediately drained. Longer boiling makes them insipid in taste, and with too little water they turn a dark color.
Potatoes rank first in importance in the vegetable line, and consequently should be properly served. It requires some little intelligence to cook even so simple and common a dish as boiled potatoes. In the first place, all defective or green ones should be cast out; a bad one will flavor a whole dish. If they are not uniform in size, they should be made so by cutting after they are peeled. The best part of a potato, or the most nutritious, is next to the skin, therefore they should be pared very thinly, if at all; then, if old, the cores should be cut out, thrown into cold water salted a little, and boiled until soft enough for a fork to pierce through easily; drain immediately, and replace the kettle on the fire with the cover partly removed, until they are completely dried. New potatoes should be put into boiling water, and when partly done salted a little. They should be prepared just in time for cooking by scraping off the thin outside skin. They require about twenty minutes to boil.
TO BOIL NEW POTATOES.
Do not have the potatoes dug long before they are dressed, as they are never good when they have been out of the ground for some time. Well wash them, rub off the skins with a coarse cloth, and put them in boiling water salted. 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 partly removed, and when the potatoes are thoroughly dry, put them in 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. They require twenty to thirty minutes to cook. Serve them hot and plain, or with melted butter over them.
Take the quantity needed, pare off the skins and lay them in cold water half an hour; then put them into a saucepan with a little salt; cover with water and boil them until done. Drain off the water and mash them fine with a potato masher. Have ready a piece of butter the size of an egg, melted in half a cup of boiling hot milk and a good pinch of salt; mix it well with the mashed potatoes until they are a smooth paste, taking care that they are not too wet. Put them into a vegetable dish, heaping them up and smooth over the top, put a small piece of butter on the top in the centre, and have dots of pepper here and there on the surface as large as a half dime.
Some prefer using a heavy fork or wire beater, instead of a potato masher, beating the potatoes quite light and heaping them up in the dish without smoothing over the top.
Mash them the same as the above, put them into a dish that they are to be served in, smooth over the top and brush over with the yolk of an egg, or spread on a bountiful supply of butter and dust well with flour. Set in the oven to brown; it will brown in fifteen minutes with a quick fire.
MASHED POTATOES. (Warmed Over.)
To two cupfuls of cold mashed potatoes add a half cupful of milk, a pinch of salt, a tablespoonful of butter, two tablespoonfuls of flour and two eggs beaten to a froth. Mix the whole until thoroughly light; then put into a pudding or vegetable dish, spread a little butter over the top and bake a golden brown. The quality depends upon very thoroughly beating the eggs before adding them, so that the potato will remain light and porous after baking, similar to sponge cake.
Prepare the potatoes as directed for mashed potato. While hot, shape in balls about the size of an egg. Have a tin sheet well buttered, and place the balls on it. As soon as all are done, brush over with beaten egg. Brown in the oven. When done, slip a knife under them and slide them upon a hot platter. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
POTATOES A LA CREME.
Heat a cupful of milk; stir in a heaping tablespoonful of butter cut up in as much flour. Stir until smooth and thick; pepper and salt, and add two cupfuls of cold boiled potatoes, sliced, and a little very finely chopped parsley. Shake over the fire until the potatoes are hot all through, and pour into a deep dish.
NEW POTATOES AND CREAM.
Wash and rub new potatoes with a coarse cloth or scrubbing-brush; drop into boiling water and boil briskly until done, and no more; press a potato against the side of the kettle with a fork; if done, it will yield to a gentle pressure; in a saucepan have ready some butter and cream, hot, but not boiling, a little green parsley, pepper and salt; drain the potatoes, add the mixture, put over hot water for a minute or two, and serve.
Peel good-sized potatoes, and slice them as evenly as possible. Drop them into ice-water; have a kettle of very hot lard, as for cakes; put a few at a time into a towel and shake, to dry the moisture out of them, and then drop them into the boiling lard. Stir them occasionally, and when of a light brown take them out with a skimmer, and they will be crisp and not greasy. Sprinkle salt over them while hot.
FRIED RAW POTATOES.
Peel half a dozen medium-sized potatoes very evenly, cut them in slices as thin as an egg-shell, and be sure to cut them from the breadth, not the length, of the potato. Put a tablespoonful each of butter and sweet lard into the frying pan, and as soon as it boils add the sliced potatoes, sprinkling over them salt and pepper to season them. Cover them with a tight-fitting lid, and let the steam partly cook them; then remove it, and let them fry a bright gold color, shaking and turning them carefully, so as to brown equally. Serve very hot.
Fried, cold cooked potatoes may be fried by the same recipe, only slice them a little thicker.
Remark.—Boiled or steamed potatoes chopped up or sliced while they are yet warm never fry so successfully as when cold.
SCALLOPED POTATOES. (Kentucky Style.)
Peel and slice raw potatoes thin, the same as for frying. Butter an earthen dish, put in a layer of potatoes, and season with salt, pepper, butter, a bit of onion chopped fine, if liked; sprinkle a little flour. Now put another layer of potatoes and the seasoning. Continue in this way till the dish is filled. Just before putting into the oven, pour a quart of hot milk over. Bake three-quarters of an hour.
Cold boiled potatoes may be cooked the same. It requires less time to bake them; they are delicious either way. If the onion is disliked it can be omitted.
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 in a steamer. Place the steamer over a saucepan of boiling water, and steam the potatoes from twenty to forty minutes, according to the size and sort. When the fork goes easily through them, they are done; then take them up, dish and serve very quickly.
Choose some mealy potatoes that will boil exceedingly white; pare them and cook them well, but not so as to be watery; drain them, and mash and season them well. Put in the saucepan in which they were dressed, so as to keep them as hot as possible; then press them through a wire sieve into the dish in which they are to be served; strew a little fine salt upon them previous to sending them to table. French cooks also add a small quantity of pounded loaf sugar while they are being mashed.
HASTY COOKED POTATOES.
Wash and peel some potatoes; cut them into slices of about a quarter of an inch in thickness; throw them into boiling salted water, and, if of good quality, they will be done in about ten minutes.
Strain off the water, put the potatoes into a hot dish, chop them slightly, add pepper, salt, and a few small pieces of fresh butter, and serve without loss of time.
FAVORITE WARMED POTATOES.
The potatoes should be boiled whole with the skins on in plenty of water, well salted, and are much better for being boiled the day before needed. Care should be taken that they are not over cooked. Strip off the skins (not pare them with a knife) and slice them nearly a quarter of an inch thick. Place them in a chopping-bowl and sprinkle over them sufficient salt and pepper to season them well; chop them all one way, then turn the chopping-bowl half way around and chop across them, cutting them into little square pieces the shape of dice. About twenty-five minutes before serving time, place on the stove a saucepan (or any suitable dish) containing a piece of butter the size of an egg; when it begins to melt and run over the bottom of the dish, put in a cup of rich sweet milk. When this boils up put in the chopped potatoes; there should be about a quart of them; stir them a little so that they become moistened through with the milk; then cover and place them on the back of the stove, or in a moderate oven, where they will heat through gradually. When heated through, stir carefully from the bottom with a spoon and cover tightly again. Keep hot until ready to serve. Baked potatoes are very good warmed in this manner.
Cut cold raw potatoes into shavings, cubes, or any small shape; throw them, a few at a time, into boiling fat and toss them about with a knife until they are a uniform light brown; drain and season with salt and pepper. Fat is never hot enough while bubbling—when it is ready it is still and smoking, but should never burn.
Take eight or ten good-sized cold boiled potatoes, slice them end-wise, then crosswise, making them like dice in small squares. When you are ready to cook them, heat some butter or good drippings in a frying pan; fry in it one small onion (chopped fine) until it begins to change color and look yellow. Now put in your potatoes, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, stir well and cook about five minutes, taking care that you do not break them. They must not brown. Just before taking up stir in a tablespoonful of minced parsley. Drain dry by shaking in a heated colander. Serve very hot.
Pare and slice the potatoes thin; cut them if you like in small fillets about a quarter of an inch square, and as long as the potato will admit; keep them in cold water until wanted, then drop them into boiling lard; when nearly done, take them out with a skimmer and drain them, boil up the lard again, drop the potatoes back and fry till done; this operation causes the fillets to swell up and puff.
POTATO CROQUETTES. No. 1.
Wash, peel and put four large potatoes in cold water, with a pinch of salt, and set them over a brisk fire; when they are done pour off all the water and mash them. Take another saucepan, and put in it ten tablespoonfuls of milk and a lump of butter half the size of an egg; put it over a brisk fire; as soon as the milk comes to a boil, pour the potatoes into it, and stir them very fast with a wooden spoon; when thoroughly mixed, take them from the fire and put them on a dish. Take a tablespoonful and roll it in a clean towel, making it oval in shape; dip it in a well-beaten egg, and then in bread crumbs, and drop it in hot drippings or lard. Proceed in this manner till all the potato is used, four potatoes making six croquettes. Fry them a light brown all over, turning them gently as may be necessary. When they are done, lay them on brown paper or a hair sieve, to drain off all fat; then serve on a napkin.
POTATO CROQUETTES. No. 2.
Take two cups of cold mashed potatoes, season with a pinch of salt, pepper and a tablespoonful of butter. Beat up the whites of two eggs, and work all together thoroughly; make it into small balls slightly flattened, dip them in the beaten yolks of the eggs, then roll either in flour or cracker crumbs; fry the same as fish-balls.
POTATOES A LA DELMONICO.
Cut the potatoes with a vegetable cutter into small balls about the size of a marble; put them into a stewpan with plenty of butter and a good sprinkling of salt; keep the saucepan covered, and shake occasionally until they are quite done, which will be in about an hour.
FRIED POTATOES WITH EGGS.
Slice cold boiled potatoes and fry in good butter until brown; beat up one or two eggs, and stir into them just as you dish them for the table; do not leave them a moment on the fire after the eggs are in, for if they harden they are not half so nice; one egg is enough for three or four persons, unless they are very fond of potatoes; if they are, have plenty and put in two.
Potatoes are either baked in their jackets or peeled; in either case they should not be exposed to a fierce heat, which is wasteful, inasmuch as thereby a great deal of vegetable is scorched and rendered uneatable. They should be frequently turned while being baked and kept from touching each other in the oven or dish. When done in their skins, be particular to wash and brush them before baking them. If convenient, they may be baked in wood-ashes, or in a Dutch oven in front of the fire. When pared they should be baked in a dish and fat of some kind added to prevent their outsides from becoming burnt; they are ordinarily baked thus as an accessory to baked meat.
Never serve potatoes, boiled or baked whole, in a closely covered dish. They become sodden and clammy. Cover with a folded napkin that allows the steam to escape, or absorbs the moisture. They should be served promptly when done and require about three-quarters of an hour to one hour to bake them, if of a good size.
BROWNED POTATOES WITH A ROAST. No. 1.
About three-quarters of an hour before taking up your roasts, peel middling-sized potatoes, boil them until partly done, then arrange them in the roasting-pan around the roast, basting them with the drippings at the same time you do the meat, browning them evenly. Serve hot with the meat. Many cooks partly boil the potatoes before putting around the roast. New potatoes are very good cooked around a roast.
BROWNED POTATOES WITH A ROAST. No. 2.
Peel, cook and mash the required quantity, adding while hot a little chopped onion, pepper and salt; form it into small oval balls and dredge them with flour; then place around the meat about twenty minutes before it is taken from the oven. When nicely browned, drain dry and serve hot with the meat.
Boiled, steamed and baked the same as Irish potatoes; generally cooked with their jackets on. Cold sweet potatoes may be cut in slices across or lengthwise, and fried as common potatoes; or may be cut in half and served cold.
Boiled sweet potatoes are very nice. Boil until partly done, peel them and bake brown, basting them with butter or beef drippings several times. Served hot. They should be a nice brown.
BAKED SWEET POTATOES.
Wash and scrape them, split them lengthwise. Steam or boil them until nearly done. Drain, and put them in a baking dish, placing over them lumps of butter, pepper and salt; sprinkle thickly with sugar, and bake in the oven to a nice brown.
Hubbard squash is nice cooked in the same manner.
The white silver-skins are the best species. To boil them peel off the outside, cut off the ends, put them into cold water, and into a stewpan and let them scald two minutes; then turn off that water, pour on cold water salted a little, and boil slowly till tender, which will be in thirty or forty minutes, according to their size; when done drain them quite dry, pour a little melted butter over them, sprinkle them with pepper and salt and serve hot.
An excellent way to peel onions so as not to affect the eyes is to take a pan full of water and hold and peel them under the water.
Cook the same as boiled onions, and, when quite done, turn off all the water; add a teacupful of milk, a piece of butter the size of an egg, pepper and salt to taste, a tablespoonful of flour stirred to a cream; let all boil up once and serve in a vegetable dish hot.
Use the large Spanish onion, as best for this purpose; wash them clean, but do not peel, and put into a saucepan with slightly salted water; boil an hour, replacing the water with more boiling hot as it evaporates; turn off the water and lay the onions on a cloth to dry them well; roll each one in a piece of buttered tissue paper, twisting it at the top to keep it on, and bake in a slow oven about an hour, or until tender all through; peel them; place in a deep dish and brown slightly, basting well with butter for fifteen minutes; season with salt and pepper and pour some melted butter over them.
Peel, slice and fry them brown in equal quantities of butter and lard or nice drippings; cover until partly soft, remove the cover and brown them; salt and pepper.
Take eight or ten onions of good size, slice them and boil until tender. Lay them in a baking-dish, put in bread crumbs, butter in small bits, pepper and salt, between each layer until the dish is full, putting bread crumbs last; add milk or cream until full. Bake twenty minutes or half an hour.
A little onion is not an injurious article of food, as many believe. A judicious use of plants of the onion family is quite as important a factor in successful cookery as salt and pepper. When carefully concealed by manipulation in food, it affords zest and enjoyment to many who could not otherwise taste of it were its presence known. A great many successful compounds derive their excellence from the partly concealed flavor of the onion, which imparts a delicate appetizing aroma highly prized by epicures.
When cleaned and washed, drop them into boiling water, into which you have put salt and a teaspoonful of flour, or a slice of bread; boil till tender; take off, drain and dish them; serve with a sauce spread over and made with melted butter, salt, pepper, grated nutmeg, chopped parsley and vinegar.
Another way is to make a white sauce (see SAUCES) and when the cauliflowers are dished as above, turn the white sauce over, and serve warm. They may also be served in the same way with a milk, cream, or tomato sauce, or with brown butter.
It is a very good plan to loosen the leaves of a head of cauliflower and let lie, the top downward, in a pan of cold salt water, to remove any insects that might be hidden between them.
Boil the cauliflower till about half done. Mix two tablespoonfuls of flour with two yolks of eggs, then add water enough to make a rather thin paste; add salt to taste; the two whites are beaten till stiff, and then mixed with the yolks, flour and water. Dip each branch of the cauliflower into the mixture, and fry them in hot fat. When done, take them off with a skimmer, turn into a colander, dust salt all over and serve warm. Asparagus, celery, egg-plant, oyster plant are all fine when fried in this manner.
Great care is requisite in cleaning a cabbage for boiling, as it frequently harbors numerous insects. The large drumhead cabbage requires an hour to boil; the green savory cabbage will boil in twenty minutes. Add considerable salt to the water when boiling. Do not let a cabbage boil too long—by a long boiling it becomes watery. Remove it from the water into a colander to drain and serve with drawn butter, or butter poured over it.
Red cabbage is used for slaw, as is also the white winter cabbage. For directions to prepare these varieties, see articles SLAW and SOURCROUT.
CABBAGE WITH CREAM.
Remove the outer leaves from a solid, small-sized head of cabbage, and cut the remainder as fine as for slaw. Have on the fire a spider or deep skillet, and when it is hot put in the cut cabbage, pouring over it right away a pint of boiling water. Cover closely and allow it to cook rapidly for ten minutes. Drain off the water and add half a pint of new milk, or part milk and cream; when it boils, stir in a large teaspoonful of either wheat or rice flour moistened with milk; add salt and pepper, and as soon as it comes to a boil, serve. Those who find slaw and other dishes prepared from cabbage indigestible will not complain of this.
Take a sound, solid cabbage, and with a large sharp knife shave it very fine. Put it in a saucepan, pour in half a teacupful of water, or just enough to keep it from burning; cover it very tightly, so as to confine the steam; watch it closely, add a little water now and then, until it begins to be tender; then put into it a large tablespoonful of butter; salt and pepper to taste, dish it hot. If you prefer to give it a tart taste, just before taking from the fire add a third of a cup of good vinegar.
Boil a firm white cabbage fifteen minutes, changing the water then for more from the boiling tea-kettle. When tender, drain and set aside until perfectly cold. Chop fine and add two beaten eggs, a tablespoonful of butter, pepper, salt, three tablespoonfuls of rich milk or cream. Stir all well together, and bake in a buttered pudding-dish until brown. Serve very hot. This dish resembles cauliflower and is very digestible and palatable.
Place in a frying pan an ounce of butter and heat it boiling hot. Then take cold boiled cabbage chopped fine, or cabbage hot, cooked the same as steamed cabbage, put it into the hot butter and fry a light brown, adding two tablespoonfuls of vinegar. Very good.
FRENCH WAY OF COOKING CABBAGE.
Chop cold boiled white cabbage and let it drain till perfectly dry: stir in some melted butter to taste; pepper, salt and four tablespoonfuls of cream; after it is heated through add two well-beaten eggs; then turn the mixture into a buttered frying pan, stirring until it is very hot and becomes a delicate brown on the under side. Place a hot dish over the pan, which must be reversed when turned out to be served.
Barrels having held wine or vinegar are used to prepare sourcrout in. It is better, however, to have a special barrel for the purpose. Strasburg, as well as all Alsace, has a well-acquired fame for preparing the cabbages. They slice very white and firm cabbages in fine shreds with a machine made for the purpose. At the bottom of a small barrel they place a layer of coarse salt and alternately layers of cabbage and salt, being careful to have one of salt on the top. As each layer of cabbage is added, it must be pressed down by a large and heavy pestle and fresh layers are added as soon as the juice floats on the surface. The cabbage must be seasoned with a few grains of coriander, juniper berries, etc. When the barrel is full it must be put in a dry cellar, covered with a cloth, under a plank, and on this heavy weights are placed. At the end of a few days it will begin to ferment, during which time the pickle must be drawn off and replaced by fresh, until the liquor becomes clear. This should be done every day. Renew the cloth and wash the cover, put the weights back and let stand for a month. By that time the sourcrout will be ready for use. Care must be taken to let the least possible air enter the sourcrout and to have the cover perfectly clean. Each time the barrel has to be opened it must be properly closed again. These precautions must not be neglected.
This is often fried in the same manner as fried cabbage, excepting it is first boiled until soft in just water enough to cook it, then fry and add vinegar.
TO BOIL RICE.
Pick over the rice carefully, wash it in warm water, rubbing it between the hands, rinsing it in several waters, then let it remain in cold water until ready to be cooked. Have a saucepan of water slightly salted; when it is boiling hard, pour off the cold water from the rice, and sprinkle it in the boiling water by degrees, so as to keep the particles separated. Boil it steadily for twenty minutes, then take it off from the fire and drain off all the water. Place the saucepan with the lid partly off, on the back part of the stove, where it is only moderately warm, to allow the rice to dry. The moisture will pass off and each grain of rice will be separated, so that if shaken the grains will fall apart. This is the true way of serving rice as a vegetable and is the mode of cooking it in the Southern States where it is raised.
Wash, scrape and split them. Put them into a pot of boiling water; add a little salt, and boil them till quite tender, which will be in from two to three hours, according to their size. Dry them in a cloth when done and pour melted butter or white sauce (see SAUCES) over them in the dish. Serve them up with any sort of boiled meat or with salt cod.
Parsnips are very good baked or stewed with meat.
Boil tender in a little hot water salted; scrape, cut into long slices, dredge with flour; fry in hot lard or dripping, or in butter and lard mixed; fry quite brown. Drain off fat and serve.
Parsnips may be boiled and mashed the same as potatoes.
After washing and scraping the parsnips slice them about half of an inch thick. Put them in a saucepan of boiling water containing just enough to barely cook them; add a tablespoonful of butter, season with salt and pepper, then cover closely. Stew them until the water has cooked away, watching carefully and stirring often to prevent burning, until they are soft. When they are done they will be of a creamy light straw color and deliciously sweet, retaining all the goodness of the vegetable.
Boil four or five parsnips; when tender take off the skin and mash them fine; add to them a teaspoonful of wheat flour and a beaten egg; put a tablespoonful of lard or beef drippings in a frying pan over the fire, add to it a saltspoonful of salt; when boiling hot put in the parsnips; make it in small cakes with a spoon; when one side is a delicate brown turn the other; when both are done take them on a dish, put a very little of the fat in which they were fried over and serve hot. These resemble very nearly the taste of the salsify or oyster plant, and will generally be preferred.
Boil tender, scrape and slice lengthwise. Put over the fire with two tablespoonfuls of butter, pepper and salt and a little minced parsley. Shake until the mixture boils. Dish the parsnips, add to the sauce three tablespoonfuls of cream or milk in which has been stirred a quarter of a spoonful of flour. Boil once and pour over the parsnips.
Pour boiling water over a dozen sound ripe tomatoes; let them remain for a few moments; then peel off the skins, slice them and put them over the fire in a well-lined tin or granite-ware saucepan. Stew them about twenty minutes, then add a tablespoonful of butter, salt and pepper to taste; let them stew fifteen minutes longer and serve hot. Some prefer to thicken tomatoes with a little grated bread, adding a teaspoonful of sugar; and others who like the flavor of onion chop up one and add while stewing; then again, some add as much green corn as there are tomatoes.
TO PEEL TOMATOES.
Put the tomatoes into a frying basket and plunge them into hot water for three or four minutes. Drain and peel. Another way is to place them in a flat baking-tin and set them in a hot oven about five minutes; this loosens the skins so that they readily slip off.
Butter the sides and bottom of a pudding-dish. Put a layer of bread crumbs in the bottom; on them put a layer of sliced tomatoes; sprinkle with salt, pepper and some bits of butter, and a very little white sugar. Then repeat with another layer of crumbs, another of tomato and seasoning until full, having the top layer of slices of tomato, with bits of butter on each. Bake covered until well cooked through; remove the cover and brown quickly.
STUFFED BAKED TOMATOES.
From the blossom end of a dozen tomatoes—smooth, ripe and solid—cut a thin slice and with a small spoon scoop out the pulp without breaking the rind surrounding it; chop a small head of cabbage and a good-sized onion fine and mix with them fine bread crumbs and the pulp; season with pepper, salt and sugar and add a cup of sweet cream; when all is well mixed, fill the tomato shells, replace the slices and place the tomatoes in a buttered baking-dish, cut ends up and put in the pan just enough water to keep from burning; drop a small lump of butter on each tomato and bake half an hour or so, till well done; place another bit of butter on each and serve in same dish. Very fine.
Another stuffing which is considered quite fine. Cut a slice from the stem of each and scoop out the soft pulp. Mince one small onion and fry it slightly; add a gill of hot water, the tomato pulp and two ounces of cold veal or chicken chopped fine, simmer slowly and season with salt and pepper. Stir into the pan cracker dust or bread crumbs enough to absorb the moisture; take off from the fire and let it cool; stuff the tomatoes with this mass, sprinkle dry crumbs over the top; add a small piece of butter to the top of each and bake until slightly browned on top.
BAKED TOMATOES. (Plain.)
Peel and slice quarter of an inch thick; place in layers in a pudding-dish, seasoning each layer with salt, pepper, butter and a very little white sugar. Cover with a lid or large plate and bake half an hour. Remove the lid and brown for fifteen minutes. Just before taking from the oven pour over the top three or four tablespoonfuls of whipped cream with melted butter.
TO PREPARE TOMATOES. (Raw.)
Carefully remove the peelings. Only perfectly ripe tomatoes should ever be eaten raw and if ripe the skins easily peel off. Scalding injures the flavor. Slice them and sprinkle generously with salt, more sparingly with black pepper, and to a dish holding one quart, add a light tablespoonful of sugar to give a piquant zest to the whole. Lastly, add a gill of best cider vinegar; although, if you would have a dish yet better suited to please an epicurean palate, you may add a teaspoonful of made mustard and two tablespoonfuls of rich sweet cream.
FRIED AND BROILED TOMATOES.
Cut firm, large, ripe tomatoes into thick slices, rather more than a quarter of an inch thick. Season with salt and pepper, dredge well with flour, or roll in egg and crumbs, and fry them brown on both sides evenly, in hot butter and lard mixed. Or, prepare them the same as for frying, broiling on a well-greased gridiron, seasoning afterward the same as beefsteak. A good accompaniment to steak. Or, having prepared the following sauce, a pint of milk, a tablespoonful of flour and one beaten egg, salt, pepper and a very little mace; cream an ounce of butter, whisk into it the milk and let it simmer until it thickens; pour the sauce on a hot side-dish and arrange the tomatoes in the centre.
Remove the skins from a dozen tomatoes; cut them up in a saucepan; add a little butter, pepper and salt; when sufficiently boiled, beat up five or six eggs and just before you serve turn them into the saucepan with the tomatoes, and stir one way for two minutes, allowing them time to be done thoroughly.
CUCUMBER A LA CREME.
Peel and cut into slices (lengthwise) some fine cucumbers. Boil them until soft; salt to taste, and serve with delicate cream sauce. For Tomato Salad, see SALADS, also for Raw Cucumbers.
Pare them and cut lengthwise in very thick slices; wipe them dry with a cloth; sprinkle with salt and pepper, dredge with flour, and fry in lard and butter, a tablespoonful of each mixed. Brown both sides and serve warm.
GREEN CORN, BOILED.
This should be cooked on the same day it is gathered; it loses its sweetness in a few hours and must be artificially supplied. Strip off the husks, pick out all the silk and put it in boiling water; if not entirely fresh, add a tablespoonful of sugar to the water, but no salt; boil twenty minutes, fast, and serve; or you may cut it from the cob, put in plenty of butter and a little salt, and serve in a covered vegetable dish. The corn is much sweeter when cooked with the husks on, but requires longer time to boil. Will generally boil in twenty minutes.
Green corn left over from dinner makes a nice breakfast dish, prepared as follows: Cut the corn from the cob, and put into a bowl with a cup of milk to every cup of corn, a half cup of flour, one egg, a pinch of salt, and a little butter. Mix well into a thick batter, and fry in small cakes in very hot butter. Serve with plenty of butter and powdered sugar.
This is a Virginia dish. Scrape the substance out of twelve ears of tender, green, uncooked corn (it is better scraped than grated, as you do not get those husky particles which you cannot avoid with a grater); add yolks and whites, beaten separately, of four eggs, a teaspoonful of sugar, the same of flour mixed in a tablespoonful of butter, a small quantity of salt and pepper, and one pint of milk. Bake about half or three-quarters of an hour.
Take a dozen ears of green sweet corn, very tender and juicy; cut off the kernels, cutting with a large sharp knife from the top of the cob down; then scrape the cob. Put the corn in a saucepan over the fire with just enough water to make it cook without burning; boil about twenty minutes, then add a teacupful of milk or cream, a tablespoonful of cold butter, and season with pepper and salt. Boil ten minutes longer and dish up hot in a vegetable dish. The corn would be much sweeter if the scraped cobs were boiled first in the water that the corn is cooked in.
Many like corn cooked in this manner, putting half corn and half tomatoes; either way is very good.
Cut the corn off the cob, taking care not to bring off any of the husk with it and to have the grains as separate as possible. Fry in a little butter—just enough to keep it from sticking to the pan; stir very often. When nicely browned, add salt and pepper and a little rich cream. Do not set it near the stove after the cream is added, as it will be apt to turn. This makes a nice dinner or breakfast dish.
ROASTED GREEN CORN.
Strip off all the husk from green corn and roast it on a gridiron over a bright fire of coals, turning it as one side is done. Or, if a wood fire is used, make a place clean in front of the fire, lay the corn down, turn it when one side is done; serve with salt and butter.
Take a pint of fresh shelled Lima beans, or any large fresh beans, put them in a pot with cold water, rather more than will cover them. Scrape the kernels from twelve ears of young sweet corn; put the cobs in with the beans, boiling from half to three-quarters of an hour. Now take out the cobs and put in the scraped corn; boil again fifteen minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste, a piece of butter the size of an egg and half a cup of cream. Serve hot.
Take fresh, purple egg-plants of a middling size; cut them in slices a quarter of an inch thick, and soak them for half an hour in cold water, with a teaspoonful of salt in it. Have ready some cracker or bread crumbs and one beaten egg; drain off the water from the slices, lay them on a napkin, dip them in the crumbs and then in the egg, put another coat of crumbs on them and fry them in butter to a light brown. The frying pan must be hot before the slices are put in—they will fry in ten minutes.
You may pare them before you put them into the frying pan, or you may pull off the skins when you take them up. You must not remove them from the water until you are ready to cook them, as the air will turn them black.
Cut the egg-plant in two; scrape out all the inside and put it in a saucepan with a little minced ham; cover with water and boil until soft; drain off the water; add two tablespoonfuls of grated crumbs, a tablespoonful of butter, half a minced onion, salt and pepper; stuff each half of the hull with the mixture; add a small lump of butter to each and bake fifteen minutes. Minced veal or chicken in the place of ham, is equally as good and many prefer it.
Break off the end that grew to the vine, drawing off at the same time the string upon the edge; repeat the same process from the other end; cut them with a sharp knife into pieces half an inch long, and boil them in just enough water to cover them. They usually require one hour's boiling; but this depends upon their age and freshness. After they have boiled until tender and the water boiled nearly out, add pepper and salt, a tablespoonful of butter and a half a cup of cream; if you have not the cream add more butter.
Many prefer to drain them before adding the seasoning; in that case they lose the real goodness of the vegetable.
LIMA AND KIDNEY BEANS.
These beans should be put into boiling water, a little more than enough to cover them, and boiled till tender—from half an hour to two hours; serve with butter and salt upon them.
These beans are in season from the last of July to the last of September. There are several other varieties of beans used as summer vegetables, which are cooked as above.
For Baked Beans, see PORK AND BEANS.
This is stewed the same as green corn, by boiling, adding cream, butter, salt and pepper.
STEWED SALSIFY OR OYSTER-PLANT.
Wash the roots and scrape off their skins, throwing them, as you do so, into cold water, for exposure to the air causes them to immediately turn dark. Then cut crosswise into little thin slices; throw into fresh water, enough to cover; add a little salt and stew in a covered vessel until tender, or about one hour. Pour off a little of the water, add a small lump of butter, a little pepper, and a gill of sweet cream and a teaspoonful of flour stirred to a paste. Boil up and serve hot.
Salsify may be simply boiled and melted butter turned over them.
Stew the salsify as usual till very tender; then with the back of a spoon or a potato jammer mash it very fine. Beat up an egg, add a teacupful of milk, a little flour, butter and seasoning of pepper and salt. Make into little cakes, and fry a light brown in boiling lard.
Select small-sized, smooth roots. They should be carefully washed, but not cut before boiling, as the juice will escape and the sweetness of the vegetable be impaired, leaving it white and hard. Put them into boiling water, and boil them until tender, which requires often from one to two hours. Do not probe them, but press them with the finger to ascertain if they are sufficiently done. When satisfied of this, take them up, and put them into a pan of cold water, and slip off the outside. Cut them into thin slices, and while hot season with butter, salt, a little pepper and very sharp vinegar.
Beets retain their sugary, delicate flavor to perfection if they are baked instead of boiled. Turn them frequently while in the oven, using a knife, as the fork allows the juice to run out. When done remove the skin, and serve with butter, salt and pepper on the slices.
Boil them first and then scrape and slice them. Put them into a stewpan with a piece of butter rolled in flour, some boiled onion and parsley chopped fine, and a little vinegar, salt and pepper. Set the pan on the fire, and let the beets stew for a quarter of an hour.
This grows in the shape of pods, and is of a gelatinous character, much used for soup, and is also pickled; it may be boiled as follows: Put the young and tender pods of long white okra in salted boiling water in granite, porcelain or a tin-lined saucepan—as contact with Iron will discolor it; boil fifteen minutes; remove the stems, and serve with butter, pepper, salt and vinegar if preferred.
Scrape the stems of the asparagus lightly, but very clean; throw them into cold water and when they are all scraped and very clean, tie them in bunches of equal size; cut the large ends evenly, that the stems may be all of the same length, and put the asparagus into plenty of boiling water, well salted. While it is boiling, cut several slices of bread half an inch thick, pare off the crust and toast it a delicate brown on both sides. When the stalks of the asparagus are tender (it will usually cook in twenty to forty minutes) lift it out directly, or it will lose both its color and flavor and will also be liable to break; dip the toast quickly into the liquor in which it was boiled and dish the vegetable upon it, the heads all lying one way. Pour over white sauce, or melted butter.
ASPARAGUS WITH EGGS.
Boil a bunch of asparagus twenty minutes; cut off the tender tops and lay them in a deep-pie plate, buttering, salting and peppering well. Beat up four eggs, the yolks and whites separately to a stiff froth; add two tablespoonfuls of milk or cream, a tablespoonful of warm butter, pepper and salt to taste. Pour evenly over the asparagus mixture. Bake eight minutes or until the eggs are set. Very good.
Shell the peas and wash in cold water. Put in boiling water just enough to cover them well and keep them from burning; boil from twenty minutes to half an hour, when the liquor should be nearly boiled out; season with pepper and salt and a good allowance of butter; serve very hot.
This is a very much better way than cooking in a larger quantity of water and draining off the liquor, as that diminishes the sweetness, and much of the fine flavor of the peas is lost. The salt should never be put in the peas before they are tender, unless very young, as it tends to harden them.
STEWED GREEN PEAS.
Into a saucepan of boiling water put two or three pints of young green peas and when nearly done and tender drain in a colander dry; then melt two ounces of butter in two of flour; stir well and boil five minutes longer; should the pods be quite clean and fresh boil them first in the water, remove and put in the peas. The Germans prepare a very palatable dish of sweet young pods alone by simply stirring in a little butter with some savory herbs.
SQUASHES, OR CYMBLINGS.
The green or summer squash is best when the outside is beginning to turn yellow, as it is then less watery and insipid than when younger. Wash them, cut them into pieces and take out the seeds. Boil them about three-quarters of an hour, or till quite tender. When done, drain and squeeze them well till you have pressed out all the water; mash them with a little butter, pepper and salt. Then put the squash thus prepared into a stewpan, set it on hot coals and stir it very frequently till it becomes dry. Take care not to let it burn.
Summer squash is very nice steamed, then prepared the same as boiled.
BOILED WINTER SQUASH.
This is much finer than the summer squash. It is fit to eat in August, and, in a dry warm place, can be kept well all winter. The color is a very bright yellow. Pare it, take out the seeds, cut it in pieces, and stew it slowly till quite soft in a very little water. Afterwards drain, squeeze and press it well; then mash it with a very little butter, pepper and salt. They will boil in from twenty to forty minutes.
BAKED WINTER SQUASH.
Cut open the squash, take out the seeds and without paring cut it up into large pieces; put the pieces on tins or in a dripping-pan, place in a moderately hot oven and bake about an hour. When done, peel and mash like mashed potatoes, or serve the pieces hot on a dish, to be eaten warm with butter like sweet potatoes. It retains its sweetness much better baked this way than when boiled.
Chop rather coarsely the remains of vegetables left from a boiled dinner, such as cabbage, parsnips, potatoes, etc.; sprinkle over them a little pepper, place in a saucepan or frying pan over the fire; put in a piece of butter the size of a hickory nut; when it begins to melt, tip the dish so as to oil the bottom and around the sides; then put in the chopped vegetables, pour in a spoonful or two of hot water from the tea-kettle, cover quickly so as to keep in the steam. When heated thoroughly take off the cover and stir occasionally until well cooked. Serve hot. Persons fond of vegetables will relish this dish very much.
It should be cooked so as to retain its bright green color and not sent to table, as it so often is, of a dull brown or olive color; to retain its fresh appearance, do not cover the vessel while it is cooking.
Spinach requires dose examination and picking, as insects are frequently found among it and it is often gritty. Wash it through three or four waters. Then drain it and put it in boiling water. Fifteen to twenty minutes is generally sufficient time to boil spinach. Be careful to remove the scum. When it is quite tender, take it up, and drain and squeeze it well. Chop it fine, and put it into a saucepan with a piece of butter and a little pepper and salt. Set it on the fire and let it stew five minutes, stirring it all the time, until quite dry. Turn it into a vegetable dish, shape it into a mound, slice some hard-boiled eggs and lay around the top.
About a peck of greens are enough for a mess for a family of six, such as dandelions, cowslips, burdock, chicory and other greens. All greens should be carefully examined, the tough ones thrown out, then be thoroughly washed through several waters until they are entirely free from sand. The addition of a handful of salt to each pan of water used in washing the greens will free them from insects and worms, especially if after the last watering they are allowed to stand in salted water for a half hour or longer. When ready to boil the greens, put them into a large pot half full of boiling water, with a handful of salt, and boil them steadily until the stalks are tender; this will be in from five to twenty minutes, according to the maturity of the greens; but remember that long-continued boiling wastes the tender substances of the leaves, and so diminishes both the bulk and the nourishment of the dish; for this reason it is best to cut away any tough stalks before beginning to cook the greens. As soon as they are tender drain them in a colander, chop them a little and return them to the fire long enough to season them with salt, pepper and butter; vinegar may be added if it is liked; the greens should be served as soon as they are hot.
All kinds of greens can be cooked in this manner.
Wash and scrape the carrots and divide them into strips; put them into a stewpan with water enough to cover them; add a spoonful of salt and let them boil slowly until tender; then drain and replace them in the pan, with two tablespoons of butter rolled in flour, shake over a little pepper and salt, then add enough cream or milk to moisten the whole; let it come to a boil and serve hot.
Scrape and wash them; cook them tender in boiling water salted slightly. Drain well and mash them. Work in a good piece of butter and season with pepper and salt. Heap up on a vegetable dish and serve hot.
Carrots are also good simply boiled in salted water and dished up hot with melted butter over them.
Turnips are boiled plain with or without meat, also mashed like potatoes and stewed like parsnips. They should always be served hot. They require from forty minutes to an hour to cook.
See stewed pumpkin for pie. Cook the same, then after stewing season the same as mashed potatoes. Pumpkin is good baked in the same manner as baked winter squash.
Ingredients.—Six heads of endive, salt and water, one pint of broth, thickening of butter and flour, one 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 ten 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.—Ten minutes to boil, five minutes to simmer in the broth.
Prepare them the same as for stewing. Place them in a baking-pan in a moderate oven. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and chopped parsley. Cook in the oven fifteen minutes, baste with butter. Arrange on a dish and pour the gravy over them. Serve with sauce made by heating a cup of cream, two ounces of butter, a tablespoonful of chopped parsley, a little cayenne pepper, salt, a tablespoonful of white sauce and two tablespoonfuls of lemon juice. Put in a saucepan and set on the fire. Stir until thick, but do not let boil. Mushrooms are very nice placed on slices of well-buttered toast when set into the oven to bake. They cook in about fifteen minutes.
Time, twenty-one minutes. Button mushrooms, salt to taste, a little butter rolled in flour, two tablespoonfuls of cream or the yolk of one egg. Choose buttons of uniform size. Wipe them clean and white with a wet flannel; put them in a stewpan with a little water and let them stew very gently for a quarter of an hour. Add salt to taste, work in a little flour and butter, to make the liquor about as thick as cream, and let it boil for five minutes. When you are ready to dish it up, stir in two tablespoonfuls of cream or the yolk of an egg; stir it over the fire for a minute, but do not let it boil, and serve. Stewed button mushrooms are very nice, either in fish stews or ragouts, or served apart to eat with fish. Another way of doing them is to stew them in milk and water (after they are rubbed white), add to them a little veal gravy, mace and salt and thicken the gravy with cream or the yolks of eggs.
Mushrooms can be cooked in the same manner as the recipes for oysters, either stewed, fried, broiled, or as a soup. They are also used to flavor sauces, catsups, meat gravies, game and soups.
Canned mushrooms may be served with good effect with game and even with beefsteak if prepared in this way: Open the can and pour off every drop of the liquid found there; let the mushrooms drain, then put them in a saucepan with a little cream and butter, pepper and salt; let them simmer gently for from five to ten minutes, and when the meat is on the platter pour the mushrooms over it. If served with steak, that should be very tender and be broiled, never in any case fried.
MUSHROOMS FOR WINTER USE.
Wash and wipe free from grit the small fresh button mushrooms. Put into a frying pan a quarter of a pound of the very best butter. Add to it two whole cloves, a saltspoonful of salt and a tablespoonful of lemon juice. When hot add a quart of the small mushrooms, toss them about in the butter for a moment only, then put them in jars; fill the top of each jar with an inch or two of the butter and let it cool. Keep the jars in a cool place, and when the butter is quite firm add a top layer of salt. Cover to keep out dust.
The best mushrooms grow on uplands or in high open fields, where the air is pure.
The truffle belongs to the family of the mushrooms; they are used principally in this country as a condiment for boned turkey and chicken, scrambled eggs, fillets of beef, game and fish. When mixed in due proportion, they add a peculiar zest and flavor to sauces that cannot be found in any other plant in the vegetable kingdom.
ITALIAN STYLE OF DRESSING TRUFFLES.
Ten truffles, a quarter of a pint of salad oil, pepper and salt to taste, one tablespoonful of minced parsley, a very little finely minced garlic, two blades of pounded mace, one tablespoonful of lemon juice.
After cleansing and brushing the truffles, cut them into thin slices and put them in a baking-dish, on a seasoning of oil or butter, 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 the table very hot.
TRUFFLES AU NATUREL.
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.
MACARONI A LA ITALIENNE.
Divide a quarter of a pound of macaroni into four-inch pieces. Simmer fifteen minutes in plenty of boiling water, salted. Drain. Put the macaroni into a saucepan and turn over it a strong soup stock, enough to prevent burning. Strew over it an ounce of grated cheese; when the cheese is melted, dish. Put alternate layers of macaroni and cheese, then turn over the soup stock and bake half an hour.
MACARONI AND CHEESE.
Break half a pound of macaroni into pieces an inch or two long; cook it in boiling water, enough to cover it well; put in a good teaspoonful of salt; let it boil about twenty minutes. Drain it well and then put a layer in the bottom of a well-buttered pudding-dish; upon this some grated cheese and small pieces of butter, a bit of salt, then more macaroni, and so on, filling the dish; sprinkle the top layer with a thick layer of cracker crumbs. Pour over the whole a teacupful of cream or milk. Set it in the oven and bake half an hour. It should be nicely browned on top. Serve in the same dish in which it was baked with a clean napkin pinned around it.
TIMBALE OF MACARONI.
Break in very short lengths small macaroni (vermicelli, spaghetti, tagliarini). Let it be rather overdone; dress it with butter and grated cheese; then work into it one or two eggs, according to quantity. Butter and bread crumb a plain mold, and when the macaroni is nearly cold fill the mold with it, pressing it well down and leaving a hollow in the centre, into which place a well-flavored mince of meat, poultry or game; then fill up the mold with more macaroni, pressed well down. Bake in a moderately heated oven, turn out and serve.
MACARONI A LA CREME.
Boil one-quarter of a pound of macaroni in plenty of hot water, salted, until tender; put half a pint of milk in a double boiler, and when it boils stir into it a mixture of two tablespoonfuls of butter and one of flour. Add two tablespoonfuls of cream, a little white and cayenne pepper; salt to taste, and from one-quarter to one-half a pound of grated cheese, according to taste. Drain and dish the macaroni; pour the boiling sauce over it and serve immediately.
MACARONI AND TOMATO SAUCE.
Divide half a pound of macaroni into four-inch pieces, put it into boiling salted water enough to cover it; boil from fifteen to twenty minutes then drain; arrange it neatly on a hot dish and pour tomato sauce over it, and serve immediately while hot. See SAUCES for tomato sauce.
BUTTER AND CHEESE
TO MAKE BUTTER.
Thoroughly scald the churn, then cool well with ice or spring water. Now pour in the thick cream; churn fast at first, then, as the butter forms, more slowly; always with perfect regularity; in warm weather, pour a little cold water into the churn, should the butter form slowly; in the winter, if the cream is too cold, add a little warm water to bring it to the proper temperature. When the butter has "come", rinse the sides of the churn down with cold water and take the butter up with a perforated dasher or a wooden ladle, turning it dexterously just below the surface of the buttermilk to catch every stray bit; have ready some very cold water in a deep wooden tray; and into this plunge the dasher when you draw it from the churn; the butter will float off, leaving the dasher free. When you have collected all the butter, gather behind a wooden butter ladle and drain off the water, squeezing and pressing the butter with the ladle; then pour on more cold water and work the butter with the ladle to get the milk out, drain off the water, sprinkle salt over the butter—a tablespoonful to a pound; work it in a little and set in a cool place for an hour to harden, then work and knead it until not another drop of water exudes, and the butter is perfectly smooth, and close in texture and polish; then with the ladle make up into rolls, little balls, stamped pats, etc.
The churn, dasher, tray and ladle should be well scalded before using, so that the butter will not stick to them, and then cooled with very cold water.
When you skim cream into your cream jar, stir it well into what is already there, so that it may all sour alike; and no fresh cream should be put with it within twelve hours before churning, or the butter will not come quickly; and perhaps, not at all.
Butter is indispensable in almost all culinary preparations. Good fresh butter, used in moderation, is easily digested; it is softening, nutritious and fattening, and is far more easily digested than any other of the oleaginous substances sometimes used in its place.
TO MAKE BUTTER QUICKLY.
Immediately after the cow is milked, strain the milk into clean pans, and set it over a moderate fire until it is scalding hot; do not let it boil; then set it aside; when it is cold, skim off the cream; the milk will still be fit for any ordinary use; when you have enough cream put it into a clean earthen basin; beat it with a wooden spoon until the butter is made, which will not be long; then take it from the milk and work it with a little cold water, until it is free from milk; then drain off the water, put a small tablespoonful of fine salt to each pound of butter and work it in. A small teaspoonful of fine white sugar, worked in with the salt, will be found an improvement—sugar is a great preservative. Make the butter in a roll; cover it with a bit of muslin and keep it in a cool place. A reliable recipe.
A BRINE TO PRESERVE BUTTER.
First work your butter into small rolls, wrapping each one carefully in a clean muslin cloth, tying them up with a string. Make a brine, say three gallons, having it strong enough of salt to bear up an egg; add half a teacupful of pure, white sugar, and one tablespoonful of saltpetre; boil the brine, and when cold strain it carefully. Pour it over the rolls so as to more than cover them, as this excludes the air. Place a weight over all to keep the rolls under the surface.
PUTTING UP BUTTER TO KEEP.
Take of the best pure common salt two quarts, one ounce of white sugar and one of saltpetre; pulverize them together completely. Work the butter well, then thoroughly work in an ounce of this mixture to every pound of butter. The butter is to be made into half-pound rolls, and put into the following brine—to three gallons of brine strong enough to bear an egg, add a quarter of a pound of white sugar.
Orange Co., N. Y. Style
CURDS AND CREAM.
One gallon of milk will make a moderate dish. Put one spoonful of prepared rennet to each quart of milk, and when you find that it has become curd, tie it loosely in a thin cloth and hang it to drain; do not wring or press the cloth; when drained, put the curd into a mug and set in cool water, which must be frequently changed (a refrigerator saves this trouble). When you dish it, if there is whey in the mug, lie it gently out without pressing the curd; lay it on a deep dish, and pour fresh cream over it; have powdered loaf-sugar to eat with it; also hand the nutmeg grater.
Prepared rennet can be had at almost any druggist's, and at a reasonable price.
NEW JERSEY CREAM CHEESE.
First scald the quantity of milk desired; let it cool a little, then add the rennet; the directions for quantity are given on the packages of "Prepared Rennet." When the curd is formed, take it out on a ladle without breaking it; lay it on a thin cloth held by two persons; dash a ladleful of water over each ladleful of curd, to separate the curd; hang it up to drain the water off, and then put it under a light press for one hour; cut the curd with a thread into small pieces; lay a cloth between each two, and press for an hour; take them out, rub them with fine salt, let them lie on a board for an hour, and wash them in cold water; let them lie to drain, and in a day or two the skin will look dry; put some sweet grass under and over them, and they will soon ripen.
Put a pan of sour or loppered milk on the stove or range where it is not too hot; let it scald until the whey rises to the top (be careful that it does not boil, or the curd will become hard and tough). Place a clean doth or towel over a sieve and pour this whey and curd into it, living it covered to drain two or three hours; then put it into a dish and chop it fine with a spoon, adding a teaspoonful of salt, a tablespoonful of butter and enough sweet cream to make the cheese the consistency of putty. With your hands make it into little balls flattened. Keep it in a cool place. Many like it made rather thin with cream, serving it in a deep dish. You may make this cheese of sweet milk by forming the curd with prepared rennet.
Slip is bonny-clabber without its acidity, and so delicate is its flavor that many persons like it just as well as ice cream. It is prepared thus:—Make a quart of milk moderately warm; then stir into it one large spoonful of the preparation called rennet; set it by, and when cool again it will be as stiff as jelly. It should be made only a few hours before it is to be used, or it will be tough and watery; in summer set the dish on ice after it has jellied. It must be served with powdered sugar, nutmeg and cream.
Melt an ounce of butter and whisk into it a pint of boiled milk. Dissolve two tablespoonfuls of flour in a gill of cold milk, add it to the boiled milk and let it cool. Beat the yolks of four eggs with a heaping teaspoonful of salt, half a teaspoonful of pepper and five ounces of grated cheese. Whip the whites of the eggs and add them, pour the mixture into a deep tin lined with buttered paper, and allow for the rising, say four inches. Bake twenty minutes and serve the moment it leaves the oven.
Melt an ounce of butter in a saucepan; mix smoothly with it one ounce of flour, a pinch of salt and cayenne and a quarter of a pint of milk; simmer the mixture gently over the fire, stirring it all the time, till it is as thick as melted butter, stir into it about three ounces of finely-grated parmesan, or any good cheese. Turn it into a basin and mix with it the yolks of two well-beaten eggs. Whisk three whites to a solid froth, and just before the souffle is baked put them into it, and pour the mixture into a small round tin. It should be only half filled, as the fondu will rise very high. Pin a napkin around the dish in which it is baked, and serve the moment it is baked. It would be well to have a metal cover strongly heated. Time twenty minutes. Sufficient for six persons.
Any person who is fond of cheese could not fail to favor this recipe.
Take three slices of bread well-buttered, first cutting off the brown outside crust. Grate fine a quarter of a pound of any kind of good cheese; lay the bread in layers in a buttered baking-dish, sprinkle over it the grated cheese, some salt and pepper to taste. Mix four well-beaten eggs with three cups of milk; pour it over the bread and cheese. Bake it in a hot oven as you would cook a bread pudding. This makes an ample dish for four people.
Take the remains or odd pieces of any light puff paste left from pies or tarts; gather up the pieces of paste, roll it out evenly, and sprinkle it with grated cheese of a nice flavor. Fold the paste in three, roll it out again, and sprinkle more cheese over; fold the paste, roll it out, and with a paste-cutter shape it in any way that may be desired. Bake the ramakins in a brisk oven from ten to fifteen minutes; dish them on a hot napkin and serve quickly. The appearance of this dish may be very much improved by brushing the ramakins over with yolk of egg before they are placed in the oven. Where expense is not objected to, parmesan is the best kind of cheese to use for making this dish.
Very nice with a cup of coffee for a lunch.
CAYENNE CHEESE STRAWS.
A quarter of a pound of flour, two ounces butter, two ounces grated parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt and a few grains of cayenne pepper. Mix into a paste with the yolk of an egg. Roll out to the thickness of a silver quarter, about four or five inches long; cut into strips about a third of an inch wide, twist them as you would a paper spill and lay them on a baking-sheet slightly floured. Bake in a moderate oven until crisp, but they must not be the least brown. If put away in a tin these straws will keep a long time. Serve cold, piled tastefully on a glass dish. You can make the straws of remnants of puff pastry, rolling in the grated cheese.
CHEESE CREAM TOAST.
Stale bread may be served as follows: Toast the slices and cover them slightly with grated cheese; make a cream for ten slices out of a pint of milk and two tablespoonfuls of plain flour. The milk should be boiling, and the flour mixed in a little cold water before stirring in. When the cream is nicely cooked, season with salt and butter; set the toast and cheese in the oven for three or four minutes and then pour the cream over them.
Grate three ounces of dry cheese and mix it with the yolks of two eggs, put four ounces of grated bread and three of butter; beat the whole together in a mortar with a dessertspoonful of made mustard, a little salt and some pepper; toast some slices of bread, cut off the outside crust, cut it in shapes and spread the paste thick upon them, and put them in the oven, let them become hot and slightly browned, serve hot as possible.
EGGS AND OMELETS.
There are so many ways of cooking and dressing eggs, that it seems unnecessary for the ordinary family to use those that are not the most practical.
To ascertain the freshness of an egg, hold it between your thumb and forefinger in a horizontal position, with a strong light in front of you. The fresh egg will have a clear appearance, both upper and lower sides being the same. The stale egg will have a clear appearance at the lower side, while the upper side will exhibit a dark or cloudy appearance.
Another test is to put them in a pan of cold water; those that are the first to sink are the freshest; the stale will rise and float on top; or, if the large end turns up in the water, they are not fresh. The best time for preserving eggs is from July to September.
TO PRESERVE EGGS.
There are several recipes for preserving eggs and we give first one which we know to be effectual, keeping them fresh from August until Spring. Take a piece of quick-lime as large as a good-sized lemon and two teacupfuls of salt; put it into a large vessel and slack it with a gallon of boiling water. It will boil and bubble until thick as cream; when it is cold, pour off the top, which will be perfectly clear. Drain off this liquor, and pour it over your eggs; see that the liquor more than covers them. A stone jar is the most convenient—one that holds about six quarts.
Another manner of preserving eggs is to pack them in a jar with layers of salt between, the large end of the egg downward, with a thick layer of salt at the top; cover tightly and set in a cool place.
Some put them in a wire basket or a piece of mosquito net and dip them in boiling water half a minute; then pack in sawdust. Still another manner is to dissolve a cheap article of gum arabic, about as thin as muscilage, and brush over each egg with it; then pack in powdered charcoal; set in a cool, dark place.
Eggs can be kept for some time by smearing the shells with butter or lard; then packed in plenty of bran or sawdust, the eggs not allowed to touch one another; or coat the eggs with melted paraffine.
Eggs for boiling cannot be too fresh, or boiled too soon after they are laid; but rather a longer time should be allowed for boiling a new-laid egg than for one that is three or four days old. Have ready a saucepan of boiling water; put the eggs into it gently with a spoon, letting the spoon touch the bottom of the saucepan before it is withdrawn, that the egg may not fall and consequently crack. For those who like eggs lightly boiled, three minutes will be found sufficient; three and three-quarters to four minutes will be ample time to set the white nicely; and if liked hard, six or seven minutes will not be found too long. Should the eggs be unusually large, as those of black Spanish fowls sometimes are, allow an extra half minute for them. Eggs for salad should be boiled for ten or fifteen minutes, and should be placed in a basin of cold water for a few minutes to shrink the meat from the shell; they should then be rolled on the table with the hand and the shell will peel off easily.
SOFT BOILED EGGS.
When properly cooked eggs are done evenly through, like any other food. This result may be obtained by putting the eggs into a dish with a cover, or a tin pail, and then pouring upon them boiling water—two quarts or more to a dozen of eggs—and cover and set them away where they will keep hot and not boil for ten to twelve minutes. The heat of the water cooks the eggs slowly, evenly and sufficiently, leaving the centre or yolk harder than the white, and the egg tastes as much richer and nicer as a fresh egg is nicer than a stale egg.
Hard-boil twelve eggs; slice them thin in rings; in the bottom of a large well-buttered baking-dish place a layer of grated bread crumbs, then one of eggs; cover with bits of butter and sprinkle with pepper and salt. Continue thus to blend these ingredients until the dish is full; be sure, though, that the crumbs cover the eggs upon top. Over the whole pour a large teacupful of sweet cream or milk and brown nicely in a moderately heated oven.
Set into the oven until quite hot a common white dish large enough to hold the number of eggs to be cooked, allowing plenty of room for each. Melt in it a small piece of butter, and breaking the eggs carefully in a saucer, one at a time, slip them into the hot dish; sprinkle over them a small quantity of pepper and salt and allow them to cook four or five minutes. Adding a tablespoonful of cream for every two eggs, when the eggs are first slipped in, is a great improvement.