This section is from the book "Economical Cookery", by Marion Harris Neil. Also available from Amazon: Economical Cookery (1918).
"Pray you, take note of it."
Food is said to be steamed when it is cooked by moist heat in the vapor arising from boiling water. Steaming is the most gradual of all the methods of cooking, and though this necessitates the use of more fuel, yet, as many different articles of food can be steamed over one utensil containing boiling water, it is really economical, and is largely adopted in hotels, hospitals, etc. There must be plenty of steam, or the process will not be a success. The gradual heat renders the food more digestible, hence its special value for invalid cookery.
None of the nutritious elements of fish, meat, fruit, or vegetables are lost in the water, thus all foods retain their full flavor and food value. Small pieces of meat or fish may be steamed in a jar placed in a saucepan of boiling water, or even on a plate placed on the top of a saucepan of boiling water.
"One sip of this Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight Beyond the bliss of dreams."
Under this heading are classed all liquids such as tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, water, mineral waters, and other liquors, which are consumed more for the purpose of quenching thirst than relieving hunger. The chief constituent of them all is water, and their nutritive properties vary considerably. Few beverages are satisfactory as food, but their consumption is necessary to life to replace the water excreted by the body in the performance of its various functions, as a solvent of food, to keep the albumens absorbed in a state of solution, and to regulate the temperature of the body. Water forms sixty per cent, of the weight of the human body and requires about fifty ounces each day, either alone or combined in food. For the physiological purposes referred to, pure water is the best beverage.
3 pounds rhubarb Boiling water 6 lemons
1 cup (1/2 pt.) grape juice
Wash and cut rhubarb in small pieces, place in granite saucepan, and barely cover with water. Cook until tender, drain through a colander, add strained juice of lemons, oranges, and grapefruit, and add grape juice. Measure juice and add one third its weight in sugar. Bring juice and sugar to boiling point, cool, and bottle. Keep in refrigerator. Reduce with water at serving time.
7 pounds lump sugar 2 eggs
6 cups (1 1/2 qts.) water
4 tablespoons orange-flower water
4 drops vanilla extract
Put sugar into a saucepan, break in eggs with shells, stir in water gradually, set over fire and boil, take off scum until only a light froth rises. Strain, and when cool add orange-flower water and vanilla, bottle, and cork tight to keep.
One wineglass of this in a tumbler of ice water is very refreshing. Slice of lemon, or orange, or pineapple may be added to it, also a glass of wine.