Softening of the fiber.
These rank in value as they do or do not retain the mineral and flavoring matters.
Cooking in a stew pan or kettle with so little water that it is almost boiled out at the end of the process, any remaining liquid being served with the vegetable. The best method for spinach, which can be cooked with no additional water, beyond that remaining on the leaves from the washing. The French use this method almost entirely, and with tender peas and carrots they omit water and use butter only. A substitute for this latter is a very small amount of water, with the addition of butterine or some good butter substitute.
Cooking in a large amount of boiling, salted water, the water to be drained off and thrown away. May be used with old beets of rank flavor, strong onions, old potatoes, or potatoes boiled with the skins on. A wasteful method.
A vegetable brush, a sharp knife, a chopper, a potato masher, a strainer, a colander, a stew pan, kettle or steamer, baking pan, baking dish, bean pot, frying pan or kettle.
Wash the vegetables, scrubbing the skin vegetables with a brush. Washing in several waters is important with spinach to remove all grit. Scrape off thin skins or pare off the thicker. Thick skins such as those of old beets are more easily removed after cooking. The outer covering must be removed in the case of peas, shell beans, and sweet corn. Pull or cut strings from string beans with great care. Discard all poor portions. Remove and throw away the inner pulp and seeds of old squashes and pumpkins. The whole of a tender summer squash is eatable.
When boiling salted water is used, allow one tablespoonful of salt to four quarts of Water. Steamed and stewed vegetables are salted and dressed with butter or butter substitute before serving. Butter is a better dressing for vegetables than white sauce. Where cream is available, nothing is so delicious. Use white sauce very sparingly with some escalloped vegetable for variety. Making a sauce adds to the labor of preparation, and the sauce hides the delicious flavor of a well-cooked vegetable. Some vegetables are mashed before serving; potatoes, turnip, squash, either boiled or baked.