Chap. XVI. – Dressing Vegetables, Eggs, Cheese, &c., pp.381-389.

[Dressing Veg, Eggs, Cheese, &c. Contents]

Observations on Boiling Vegetables.

   ALL vegetables should be cut at an early hour, before the sun grows hot, and laid in a cool place; they should be thoroughly examined for fear of insects and worms, cleaned by plunging in quantities of water, but not broken or squeezed, nor allowed to lie long in water, which blanches away their sweetness and gives them an exceeding nauseous smell in a few hours. With the exception of spinage, they should be boiled briskly in an open vessel with plenty of water and a little salt, and dished the moment they are done enough, which preserves their lively green. Boil vegetables in pure spring water, nor ever adopt the pernicious practice of greening them with any thing more than may be obtained by care and cleanliness. Vegetables newly cut boil much sooner than those that have lain long, and are greatly superior in flavour. 


   Great attention to cleanliness is requisite in boiling this delicate vegetable, as the least dust adheres to the flower and spoils it; boil it in milk and water, soften but do not overboil it; serve while the green is brisk; put no salt in the water. 


   Cut off the hard bottom of each stock, pick off the green leaves and boil till tender in pure spring water and a little salt; or, if you chuse, break them in pieces, tie the tender stems in small bunches and boil them; serve with beat butter


   Scrape the roots clean and white, pick and wash it well, tie it in small bunches and boil till tender; it should not be overboiled; dish with the tops in the middle of the dish, and serve with beat butter in a tureen. 


   Pick and wash it carefully, boil in pure water with a little salt; squeeze out the water, put in a bit of butter, a little pepper and salt; mash it fine, beat it well over the fire, dish and smooth it on the top; serve with or without poached eggs laid over, as suits you. 


Stew it with salt, without water, till tender, then serve with beat butter or mash, as directed above. 


   Boil them briskly in plenty of salt and water; either serve them whole or mash as ordered for spinage. They require to be well boiled being a strong vegetable; serve with butter in a tureen. 

Savoy and Curled Greens.

   The first requires to be slit in two, and both, when to be served with meat, should be boiled in its liquor after it is drawn; the meat may be kept hot over boiling water. 


They may be mashed as spinage and served hot. 


Are most delicate when young, newly pulled and shelled. Boil them quickly in salt and water, but do not quite take off the crisp; have a piece of butter, with pepper and salt, in their proper dish; throw them into a cullender, then into the dish, turn them gently up to mix them with the butter, cover and serve them. 


Are very delicate when young; peel the skin quite off, boil till tender, set them neatly on the dish and pour beat butter over; or mash with butter, pepper, and salt. 

Yellow Turnips.

   Take off the skins and boil them very tender with a good large carrot; strain and mash them very fine with the red of the carrot, butter, salt and pepper; dish, smooth the top and serve them. Or, butter a melon shape, fill, and then turn it out for a corner dish. They eat well with beef or mutton steaks. А very excellent soup is made by adding either a roast beef or marrow bone, when boiling the roots, or mashing them as above and reducing them to a proper thinness with weak stock of any kind. The real yellow Swedish turnip is a most valuable and palatable root, being both a cure and an antidote for scorbutic complaints. 


Are dressed exactly as young turnips. 


Require much care to free them from insects; put them a minute very near a strong fire, beat and shake them well, and they will drop out in numbers; plunge in cold water and then boil them till the leaves come easily off; serve with melted butter in a tureen. 


   Clean them very carefully, pack them in a pot, with the large ones at the bottom; put a large spoonful of salt and pour boiling water over; when ready drain off the water and dry them well over the fire, peel and serve them hot; but they are most delicate in their skins. 


Pare and throw a little salt over, and stew them without water. 


Wash a few of the largest potatoes, dry them well, and either roast them in a baker’s, or Dutch oven, before the fire; eat them out of their coat, like an egg, with butter, pepper, and salt. 

Mashed Potatoes.

   Follow the directions for turnips and cabbages. 


   Boil a sugar loaf cabbage till tender, have a few potatoes pared and stewed, drain the cabbage and beat both together very fine with butter, pepper, and salt; make it very hot, smooth the top and serve it; it eats well either with or without butcher meat. This is an Irish dish. 

Poached Eggs

Should be done in a pan, for the purpose, with a tin slip bottom; break the eggs into a tea saucer, observing not to cut the whites with the shells; let the water boil, put in saucer and all, and turn it gently from below them; in one minute they are done; draw up the slip bottom, lay them over a dish of spinage, or serve in cups, and eat with salt, pepper, and vinegar. 


   Break six eggs, beat them a little, and season with salt, pepper, and chopt parsley, grate a bit of bacon ham and mix all together; put a good piece of butter into a frying pan, when it froths pour in the omelet, make it a pretty brown, lay it on the dish, and hold a salamander or very hot smoothing iron over, a minute or two to firm it, then roll or double it over; reserve a few spoonfuls of the mixture, fry them brown and garnish with stars of bacon, omelet and curled parsley. 

A Plain Omelet

Is made as above, without ham or parsley. 

Cottar’s Eggs with Broccoli.

   Boil two or three heads of broccoli, keeping them a pretty green; beat or break six eggs till the yolks and whites are well mixed; melt a piece of butter as cool as possible in a small goblet, and season with pepper and salt; pour in the eggs and keep stirring till they are pretty thick and all the raw appearance gone; place a toast soaked in cream in the middle of the dish, lay round the eggs, place the best heads of broccoli in the middle, break the others in stems and plant them round; garnish the edges with green sprigs of any kind, and serve it. It answers well for a side or corner dish at supper; the appearance is much improved by using cauliflowers in place of broccoli. 


   Soak the crumb of French penny loaf in cream, grate three ounces parmasan, or cheese as like to it as you can get, three ounces of fresh butter, and the yolks of five eggs; beat all very fine in a mortar, have the whites whipt quite stiff, mix all well and bake them a fine brown into spunge biscuit shapes, or long shapes made of paper. A dish of maccaroni eats well served with ramakins. 


   Toast a few slices of bread, butter them or not as you chuse, beat a piece of very rich cheese in a mortar with pepper and mustard, put a layer over the bread and brown them in a Dutch oven. 


Dust with pepper and toast the cheese on one side, lay it thick over the slices of bread, then toast it on the other side; let every one add mustard to their taste, as the fire spoils it. 

Potatoe Cheese.

   Pound eight ounces boiled and peeled potatoes, one ounce butter, four ounces good fat cheese, the yolks of two eggs, or a little cream, pepper, and salt; put them in patty, or scallop pans, bake them a good brown in a quick oven, or in a Dutch one before the fire; serve with butter in a sauce boat. 

Maccaroni with Cheese.

   Boil four ounces maccaroni till quite tender, and lay it on a sieve to drain; put it into a stewpan with a gill of cream and a bit of butter rolled with flour; let it boil a few minutes, then pour it into a dish; put a layer of this and parmasan cheese alternately, then glaze the top before the fire; serve it hot. To make it richer boil the maccaroni in veal stock. 

To Dress Sago.

   To one ounce of sago take a pint (mutchkin) of water, put them in a pan over the fire and carefully stir till it grows thick; three table spoonfuls of wine, flavour it with lemon grate or peel, a little of the juice and sugar. 


   Mix half an ounce with a pint (mutchkin) of water, stir it over the fire till it is as thick as chocolate; season it with rose or orange flower water, wine, lemon grate or juice, and sugar to your taste. 

Arrow Root.

   Boil two gills of water with grated nutmeg and sugar, then mix a spoonful of arrow root smooth with a little cold water, as if making starch; then, by degrees, stir it into the water and boil it one minute, adding a glass of sherry or a little brandy; when made with beef of veal stock, it is very nourishing. 


   Wash and let it soak in water nearly half a day, simmer it on the fire till it appears clear, season it with lemon, wine, sugar, and nutmeg, to your taste. 

To make Maccaroni and Vermicelli.

   Make a very stiff paste with flour and eggs, work it very smooth and roll it out thin in large sheets; strew a little flour above and under each sheet to keep it from the table; when rolled out, lay all the sheets above each other, fold them longways, and, with a sharp knife, cut it in narrow strips; whilst one cuts let another turn down the strips and hang them over rods previously placed for drying them, or scatter it on a cloth on the floor; when dry, pack it in a box for use. 

   Vermicelli is made in like manner, rolled out in very thin sheets, and when nearly dry cut in narrow strips with a sharp knife; it twists up like worms as it drys. 


The paste may be made weaker and forced through a small split sieve like threads. 

   Maccaroni may be made the one day and used the other. A paste made with a pound of flour, a little salt, four beat eggs, and one gill lukewarm water answers very well. Maccaroni made according to the above method, is by many preferred to the Italian. 

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