As this is essentially a cookery book for housewives and not for chefs and restaurants, I am giving you some simple and inexpensive light entrees, which can figure as the first course in a luncheon menu, or as an entree for an informal dinner or for the family dinner. Vegetables served as a separate course, like in France, make a very good entree, and it is a pity that this custom is not more generally adopted in England. Peas, beans, new carrots and even the homely cabbage (when properly served with butter and cream) and a host of other vegetables, deserve a better fate than being sodden with " gravy " and eaten on the same plate as the meat. I have always thought this custom of mixing several things on the same plate somewhat barbaric and very reminiscent of the dog's dinner. Try, for instance, this first recipe, and you can judge for yourself whether Petits Pois a la Frangaise are not worthy of an unsullied plate.
1 1/2 pints of young shelled peas, 1 lettuce, 3 or 4 pickling onions, 3 ozs. of butter, salt, pepper and sugar.
Put the shelled peas in either an iron saucepan or in an earthenware casserole—whichever utensil is used should be thick, as otherwise the peas are likely to " catch." It should also have a close-fitting lid. Add 3 ozs. of butter, in several pieces, the lettuce, well washed and the outer leaves removed, the pickling onions, 1 tablespoon of sugar, salt and pepper. Cover closely. Bring to the boil, and simmer till the peas are quite tender, which usually takes about an hour, or sometimes longer, if the peas are not young and absolutely fresh. If cooked in an earthenware casserole, serve them in this, with the lettuce and onions.