The slightly acid juice of the cucumber is disagreeable to many delicate stomachs, and this is drawn out largely by this method of preparing them. We have been taught that cucumbers should be crisp and firm, and that if wilted or soft they were not suitable to serve. But I have eaten them frequently during the last season, prepared as below, and found them delicious and less likely to remind me of their presence in my internal economy than when served in our way.
This method also enables one to use cucumbers that are older than we generally like to have them, as the seeds which are the objectionable part when the fruit is too ripe, are not served.
Pare the cucumbers, and then cut them in half-inch slices. Then pare each slice as thinly as possible from the outside to the seed part, making a long, thin, curling strip. Cover them with cold water and add one round teaspoon of salt for each cucumber. Let them soak until soft, from one to two hours. Then drain off the water and squeeze them in a soft cloth until quite dry. Toss them up in a salad bowl and dress with cayenne, oil, and vinegar, and serve very cold.
Have the celery nicely cleaned and crisped by keeping it in a damp napkin on the ice until just before ready to use. Then cut it into thin crescent-shaped slices. With a silver knife pare and core some mildly tart apples, cut into eighths or narrower, if very large apples are used, and then cut across the sections into thin slices. Use equal parts of celery and apple. Mix in sufficient mayonnaise dressing to hold the pieces together. Arrange crisp cup-shaped lettuce leaves on a pretty shallow dish, put a portion of the mixture on each leaf, dot the top with a teaspoon of the mayonnaise, and serve quickly. Do not pare the apple until ready to put the mixture together. A simple French dressing may be used if preferred, and by many would be thought more suitable for a dinner salad.
No. 2. - Whip one cup of thick well-chilled cream, with an egg-beater or fork until thick, then add gradually sufficient lemon juice to thin it slightly, and season with half a teaspoonful of celery salt and a spoonful of paprika. Use a thin-skinned tart apple. Wipe, quarter, and core without paring, divide again lengthwise into two or three pieces, then slice very thin. For two cups of the apple use one cup of fine cut celery. Moisten with the cream dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange in a shallow glass dish and garnish with green celery tips and crescents of the red apples.
Prepare the apple and celery as directed in the first recipe. Shell, parboil, and skin the large French chestnuts. Boil twelve minutes, or until soft, but not broken. Drain, and when cool cut them into thin slices. Use one cup of each measured after slicing. Season highly with a French dressing, and keep in a cold place. Serve in a salad bowl surrounded with crisp lettuce.