Probably no country possesses a better or more varied supply of vegetables than Great Britain, yet it is only comparatively lately that we have rid ourselves of the accusation that the only garden produce we eat is potatoes, and even these we do not cook successfully.

Now, however, the art of dressing vegetables has made steady and marked progress in this country, and probably equals, if not rivals, the skill of the Swiss, Italian, and German nations, who for so long have, in this matter, been so far ahead of us.

Vegetables in general should be cooked as soon as possible after being cut, and eaten directly they are cooked. Most cooks err through cooking vegetables too soon for dinner and then having to keep them hot, thus often spoiling both flavour and appearance.

Cleaning Vegetables. - All varieties, such as cabbage, spinach, sprouts, cauliflowers, celery, etc., need to be thoroughly washed, not only to remove insects, but also grit. But avoid soaking vegetables in water when it is not necessary. Much discomfort to the cook may be prevented, without the smallest ill-effects to the vegetables, if tepid instead of absolutely cold water is used for washing them.

Hard and Soft Water. - Whenever possible, cook vegetables in perfectly clean rainwater. Hard water spoils the colour, but the injudicious use of soda, which is commonly added to soften the water, ruins the flavour and causes young and tender vegetables to almost melt away in the water. A safe rule is to cook vegetables of all kinds in boiling water, and plenty of it, especially with those that consist of

Seeds - e.g.,

peas.

Leaves ,,

cabbage.

Pods ,,

French beans.

Stalks ,,

asparagus.

The water in which root vegetables have been cooked should be saved for adding to broths, sauces, etc., as it will contain much of their nutritive qualities and flavour. Water in which the class of vegetables known as "greens" have been boiled is not. however, fit for use.