None to be peppered in the kitchen except tomatoes, mushrooms, etc.
Always prefer the mealy to the waxy tuber. If you like them very mealy, put them into cold water, boil up quickly, and give them a good shaking in the pot when done.
If mashed, they must not be a damp, firm paste. No milk or butter to be used.
They are excellent simply passed through a close wire sieve; and so are potato chips properly prepared, i.e., without a particle of grease sticking to them.
Potatoes boiled or baked in their skins have more flavour than when cooked after peeling.
French (string) beans should be carefully cleaned; no strings left adhering. Excellent cold, dressed with oil, vinegar (very little), salt, and pepper.
Cauliflower should be served with Hollandaise sauce (see page 69).
Stewed Cucumber, Chicory, Lettuce, and Celery are improved by a meat-stock sauce.
Green Peas, when really fresh, need only be simply boiled and served with a pat of fresh batter.
Another way, and an excellent one, is d la Frangaise, stewed in butter with a little onion or shallot.
Tomatoes, stewed, or cut in two and grilled.
Mushrooms are generally overcooked, and they then loose their delicate flavour. Never have any except perfectly fresh ones with pink gills.
Sir Henry Thompson tells us how to cook giant Asparagus. They should be cut of equal lengths and boiled, standing upwards with nearly two inches of the heads out of water, the steam sufficing to cook the heads ; boiling 80 or 40 minutes the stalks will be soft and succulent, and the heads will not drop off-only too often the case in the usual way of cooking them. I have found Sir Henry's advice to be most excellent.
Canned green corn requires 15 minutes gentle simmering with a little butter and cream. Can be procured at Jackson's, in Piccadilly.
Broad Beans when very small, no bigger than a marrowfat pea, are a most delicious dish, cooked with cream or milk parsley and a little butter. When full size they are coarse, harsh, and they have to be peeled, losing the best part, the skin, which has all the flavour.
Blanch 2 teacupsful of Italian rice, wash in cold water, then 2 tablespoons-ful of tomato sauce, a piece of butter, and cover with stock and a little salt. Boil 1/2 hour.
Bice with grated cheese.-Wash the rice as above, add a piece of glaze, 8 spoonsful of grated cheese, cover with stock, a little salt, and a piece of butter. Boil 1/2 hour.
While I condemn as a rule things out of season, whether fruit or vegetables (and I must say immature fruit gives very little pleasure or profit to anybody except the greengrocer), while I urge you to have vegetables only when in season, I must confess to a weakness for asparagus in mid-winter. Those sent over from France are very excellent. Well cooked and served on a napkin with a good Hollandaise sauce, served separately, they make a capital dish after the joint, if you do not mind the expense, though it may not exceed that of some very absurd and highly ornamented entree.
Since vegetables are used largely as garnishes, may I be permitted to enter a protest against the over-elaboration of these into fancy shapes ? The latter remind me almost unpleasantly of the necessity of many fingers handling our victuals, and I would rather be without the reminder. After all, not mentioning the wastefulness, it is only a pitiful attempt to charm the eye by the cook's attempts at sculpturesque ornamentation.
I hope you are too sensible and too straightforward to allow any such shams and any "dummies " whatever to appear at your table.