IN order to have these foods a perfect success, care must be taken to have them well cooked. They are better if cooked in sealed cans, and under a high pressure of steam, as they will then be quite solid, and can be stewed without crumbling. The higher temperature used, and the longer they are cooked, the more solid the foods will be, and less starch and other ingredients will be required with the nuts. When it can be afforded, we advise getting a good steam-cooker, as better results can be obtained. The Ideal steam-cooker can not be too highly recommended. But they are very good if cooked in a common baking-powder can; or any can or pail will do which has straight sides and a tight cover, with an opening the full size of the can, so when the food is cold it can be easily taken out of the can. These foods may be cooked in a bag made of thick, firm white muslin, which should be well scalded before using, and when filled, tied with a stout twine. An economical way of obtaining sealed cans is to unsolder all the fruit and vegetable cans which you may purchase of your grocer, - unsoldering the little cap which covers the opening. This can be done with any hot iron. After the cans are cleansed, and filled with the nut mixture, the little cap can be soldered on again. Cans can not be used but once this way; but the contents will keep well if thoroughly cooked.
If an ordinary steamer is used, more time will be required for cooking, as it is not possible to get the ordinary steamer so tight but that some of the steam will escape. If these foods are to be kept for any length of time, they must be put into sealed cans, and cooked for about five hours.
They can be cooked in a double boiler, also in a covered kettle of water; if the can or pail is not sealed, too much water should not be used. The cover of the dish should be tied on or weighted, and the water should not be deep enough to cover the dish.
For those who desire a change, there is a wide field open before them; by using different kinds of nuts, and combining them with all the different kinds of grains, vegetables, and seasonings, hundreds of various foods can be made. A little effort and experience is all that is necessary.
Take 2 cups of raw nut butter or nut meal, add 1 cup of water, and salt to taste; beat with an egg beater for five minutes or more, then put into cans, and cook three or four hours. If 1 cup more of water and 1 cup of corn-starch are added, it will not be so rich and oily.
Take 2 cups of raw nut butter, 1 cup of water, salt to taste; add 4 heaping tablespoonfuls of corn-starch. Dissolve the starch in the water, and add the other ingredients; mix thoroughly, and beat well with a spoon for several minutes, then place in cans, and cook in a steam-cooker or steamer for three or four hours.
The corn-starch makes it more solid.
Take 2 cups of raw peanut butter, 1 cup of water, the white of 1 egg, and salt to taste. Add the water to the butter, a little at a time, until it is smooth. It should be thin enough to beat with an egg beater; if it is not, add more water, and beat for five minutes. Then take the white of 1 egg, and beat to a stiff froth; add it to the nut butter, and beat again for a few minutes; put it in cans, and cook for three hours.