Vegetables may be classified according to flavor into those with strong juices, and those with mild juices.

Strong-Juiced Vegetables

Strong-juiced vegetables, such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, and turnips, should be washed in cold water and cooked until they are just tender, in boiling water in an uncovered kettle to allow the volatile oils to pass off in the steam. In this way the flavor is made more delicate, and the color is kept better. If strong-juiced vegetables are over-cooked, they become dark in color, strong in flavor, and may produce digestive disturbances.

Mild-Juiced Vegetables

Vegetables with mild juices, which include the greater number, should be washed in cold water and cooked in boiling water in a kettle with the cover ajar until they are soft.

Salt

If salt is added to the water in which vegetables are cooked, the flavor and color will be improved. Less mineral matter is dissolved out in cooking when salt is added at the beginning of the period than at the end. If the vegetables are wilted and likely to be tough, it may be better to add the salt just as they are done.

Soda

The use of soda in cooking vegetables is a questionable practice if it is employed in a larger amount than is necessary just to neutralize any acid of the vegetable and thus prevent loss of color in cooking. If used in this small amount, it accomplishes the purpose and does not make the vegetable water unfit for use in soups and sauces. It is thought that the vitamines of vegetables may be destroyed if heated in an alkaline solution; therefore, only a very small amount of soda should be used. For soaking and cooking dried legumes, however, 1/4 teaspoon of soda is recommended for each quart of water, to soften the water and the skins.

Blanching

Vegetables may be made more delicate in flavor if they are blanched. To blanch vegetables, they should be covered with boiling water and allowed to boil for 5 minutes. They may then be drained, rinsed in cold water, and cooked as usual. Since blanching causes a loss of a certain amount of the food substance, it is not recommended.

Losses In Cooking Vegetables

Boiling vegetables is a wasteful method of cooking them unless all the water is used in some way, such as in soups or sauces. Much of the nutrutive value, especially the mineral substances, is dissolved out by the water. In the average well-planned dietary, vegetables and fruits are depended on to furnish much of the mineral needed by the body; even though they may seem high in price compared with certain other foods, an effort is made to procure them. Therefore, a loss of these important mineral substances - iron, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium - through careless cooking should be avoided. The loss of iron in boiling spinach, for example, has been found to be as great as 50 per cent under certain conditions. The percentage of loss is increased by paring the vegetables or cutting them in small pieces and thus exposing more surface, before cooking them, and also by putting them on to cook in cold water.

If vegetables are to be boiled, therefore, plans should be made for using the water in which they are cooked. Unless all the water is to be used, they should be cooked with the skins on, they should not be cut in small pieces, and they should be put on to cook in boiling water.

Steaming vegetables effects a great saving over boiling them. However, the most economical method of cooking those vegetables that allow it, is to bake them.

Table XL. - Tubers, Roots, and Bulbs Served as Food

Vegetable

Part of plant used

Points in buying

Preparation

Cooking

Time for boiling and baking

Serving

Potatoes.....

Tuber

Choose smooth, medium-sized potatoes

Wash for baking or boiling. Scrape new potatoes. Pare if desired, for steaming. Drop into cold water

Rub with fat and bake in hot oven. Steam. Drop into boiling salted water and remove skins after cooking

Bake 40-50 min.

Boil 20-30 min.

Serve boiled or steamed potatoes plain with seasoning on table; or mash, season with butter, milk, salt, and pepper

Beats........

Root

Fresh green leaves with dirt clinging to roots

Cut tops 2 inches from root. Wash, but do not break skin

Drop into boiling water, and cook until tender. Add salt in last half hour. Drain and peel by-rubbing with a dry cloth

Young, 1 hr.

Old, 4-5 hrs.

Slice large beets. Season with salt, pepper, and butter

carrots .....

Root

Fresh green leaves and roots not too large

Wash, scrape, and drop into cold water

Drop into boiling salted water and cook until tender. Steam young carrots

20-60 min.

Season. Serve with green peas. Serve in a cream sauce

Sweet potatoes

Root

Choose good-sized smooth sweet potatoes

Wash or pare and drop into cold water

Bake. Steam. Drop into boiling salted water and cook until tender. Drain and remove skins if not already pared

Bake 30 min.

Boil 20-30 min.

Serve plain with seasoning, or candy by reheating in oven with a sirup or butter poured over them.

Onions ....

Bulb

Choose medium-sized onions

Cover with cold water and peel under water. Drop into cold water

Drop into boiling salted water, cook uncovered. For very strong onions, drain off the water after the first 5 min. and cover with fresh boiling, salted water

40-60 min.

Serve in a cream sauce or with butter and seasoning

* Tables XL to XLII were compiled by Anna M. East.

Table XLI. - Fruits of Plants Served as Food

Vegetable

Points in buying

Preparation

Cooking

Time for boiling

Serving

String beans

Pods brittle; on breaking, strings tender and beans small

Wash, string, and snap, or cut into short pieces

Drop into boiling water to cover, bring to boiling again; or steam. Cook covered until last 15 min. Add salt during last hour

Young beans 1 hr.

Older 2-3

Season with butter and pepper, and serve without draining.

Corn..........

Silk brown, ear well filled with kernels which give sweet milky juice when broken. Use as soon as possible after picking

Husk and carefully remove all silk

Drop into boiling water to cover, bring rapidly to boiling; or steam. Cook covered. Corn is done when the juice is set. Add no salt

5-15 min.

Serve with butter and salt, or cut from cob, season, and re-heat in milk.

Peas ........

Pods green and brittle, peas small and green. Use as soon as possible after gathered

Wash pods and shell.

Drop into boiling water just to cover. Cover and let boil, or steam. Add salt during last 15 min., and remove cover to let water boil down

30-40 min.

Season and serve without draining, or drain

Squash ............

Choose summer squash which are light yellow, and shell of which can be broken by finger nail. Choose winter squash having no soft spots

Wash, cut in pieces, and pare summer squash. Break winter squash with hatchet. Remove seeds

Steam over boiling water, or bake in hot oven

Steam 30-40 min. Bake 1-2 hrs.

Mash and season with salt,pepper, and butter. Season and serve in shell, or scoop out. mash, season, and serve.

Tomatoes

Should be firm, smooth, of even color, no bruised or green spots

To peel, pour boiling water over them, and let stand 1 minute to loosen skin. Pour off hot water, cool with cold, and peel

Simmer in their own -juice and season; or cut in halves with skin on and broil

15-20 min.

Season with salt, pepper, and butter, or with sugar. Serve broiled tomatoes well seasoned, on toast squares

Table XLII. - Leaves, Stems, Flowers of Plants Served as Food

Vegetable

Part of plant used

Points in buying

Preparation

Cooking

Time for boiling

Serving

Asparagus . . .

Stem

Freshly cut green stalks. Wrap in damp cloth until used

Cut off stalks in bunch as far down as they are brittle. Untie, wash, and re-tie in bunches of serving size

Stand heads up in deep kettle. Pour on boiling salted water nearly to cover. Steam. Cook covered

45 min.

Drain and butter, or serve on toast with melted butter poured over

Cabbage .......

Leaves

Pick out heavy-heads. Keep in cool cellar

Remove outer leaves. Soak in salted water head down for 30 minutes to draw out insects. Quarter, and cut out stalk

Drop into rapidly boiling salted water. Cook uncovered, drain as soon as tender

20 min.

Season with salt, pepper, and butter, or serve with a cream sauce

Spinach......

Leaves

Choose spinach with leaves fresh and dirty rather than shiny

Cut off roots, stems, and poor leaves. Wash by lifting from one pan of water to another till free from sand

Place in kettle with no water. Allow to heat gradually, then cook in its own juice, or steam. If old, cook in boiling salted water, covered; drain, chop and reheat

25 min.

Season with salt, pepper, and butter and serve with vinegar

Cauliflower. . .

Stem and flower

Choose white heads with fresh green leaves

Cut off end of stalk. Soak 30 min. in cold salt water, head down

Place head up in kettle, and pour on boiling salted water to cover; or steam. Cook with cover off

20-30 min.

Season with salt, pepper, and butter, or separate and serve in cream sauce. Leaves may be served as garnish at first meal, then chopped and warmed over in white sauce

Table XLIII. - Vegetables in Season in Region about Ithaca, New York

Vegetable

Jan.

Feb.

Mch.

Apr.

May

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Asparagus

-

-

Beans, string

-

-

-

Beans, lima

-

-

Beans, pole lima

-

-

Beets

-

-

-

-

Brussels sprouts...........

-

-

Cabbage

-

-

-

-

-

Carrot

-

-

-

-

-

Cauliflower...............

-

-

-

Celery...................

-

-

-

-

Corn.....................

-

-

-

-

Cucumber; ................

-

-

-

To frost

Eggplant.................

-

-

-

To frost

Endive...................

-

-

-

-

-

Kale.....................

-

-

-

Kohlrabi.................

-

-

-

Lettuce..................

-

-

-

-

-

Okra.....................

-

-

Onion, green

-

-

-

Table XLIII.-Vegetables in Season in Region about Ithaca, New York-Cont'd

Vegetable

Jan.

Feb.

Mch.

Apr.

May

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Onion, mature

-

-

Parsley

-

-

-

-

-

-

Parsnips

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Peas, green...............

-

-

-

-

-

Peas, sugar...............

-

-

-

Potatoes

-

-

-

-

Potatoes, sweet...........

-

Pumpkin.................

-

-

Radish...................

-

-

-

-

-

-

Rhubarb

-

-

-

Rutabaga turnip

-

-

-

-

Salsify...................

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Squash

-

-

-

Spinach

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Swiss chard

-

-

-

-

-

Tomato..................

-

-

-

Turnip

-

-

-

-