FRESH. CANNED. SAUCE. JELLY. PRESERVES.
FRESH FRUITS, if thoroughly ripe, are more palatable and more healthful than if cooked They should be looked over and sorted carefully. Reserve the finest for immediate table use, and put aside the bruised and imperfect to be cooked as soon as possible. Unless positive decay has set in, they may be stewed, and utilized in various ways.
Do not wash unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, take a few at a time before hulling, put into a basin of water, and press down till they look clean; then the remainder, and then remove the hulls. Sprinkle with sugar just before serving. Serve with cream that has been on ice.
After looking over carefully (they are very apt to have small worms lurking in their midst), put into a preserve or berry-dish. Do not wash unless absolutely necessary. It is just as well to serve without sugar, as many persons like them with very little, or none at all. The cream and sugar may be passed at table.
Serve the same as raspberries.
A very delicate dish is made by pouring sweetened cream over sliced bananas; or they may be served whole.
Pare and cut in halves. Remove the pits. To preserve their freshness, prepare them just before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Ornament the edges of the dish with fresh peach-leaves, if they can be had. Serve in sauce-dishes, and pass the cream around in a pitcher.
Wipe very clean, and serve in a fruit-dish, either alone or with other fruit. The Bartlett is the best.
Fine, smoothed-skinned apples rubbed with a cloth till bright and glossy are ornamental to any fruit-dish, as well as a nice accompainment to a breakfast or dessert.
Cut the peel in quarters from the stem half way downward. Turn it outward, leaving the white orange in a little cap, from which it is easily taken. A pile of oranges prepared in this way makes a very handsome center-piece.
A layer of peeled and sliced oranges sprinkled with sugar. Alternate with a layer of thin slices of bananas sprinkled lightly with sugar. Set on ice.
Peel and slice oranges and place in alternate layers with pine-apple also peeled and sliced. Sprinkle each layer with sugar and grated cocoanut. The pine-apple may be omitted.
It is not necessary to dwell upon the beauty of grapes as a center-piece on a table, or their healthfulness and lusciousness. They can scarcely be served too often in their season. The Malaga, Delaware, and Concord are the favorites.
Pick off full clusters, removing every bruised one. Dip the end of the stem in sealing-wax, then wrap each bunch in tissue paper and pack in boxes in layers, with paper between. Close up the box and keep in a cool, dry room, and you are sure of success.
The London layers are the finest brand for the table.
Take large ripe cherries, apricots, plums, or grapes; if cherries, cut off half the stem; have in one dish some whites of eggs, well beaten, and in another some powdered sugar; take the fruit singly, and roll first in the egg and then in the sugar; lay them on a sheet of white paper, in a sieve, and set it on top of the stove or near the fire until the icing hardens.
Dip whole stems of currants into beaten whites of eggs.
Sift white sugar over them. Set near the stove to harden.
Melons are appropriate breakfast dishes as a first course, although they may be used as desserts at dinner with equal propriety. Do not serve melons with fruits. They should be fresh when eaten. In selecting, notice the stem if still on. If it breaks easily and looks fresh, it is a good indication of the ripeness and freshness of the melon. But if it adheres with the firmness of a rock the melon is unripe. Cantaloupes, muskmelons, and nutmegs are very similar.
Keep on ice till wanted. Put on a large platter and serve in crosswise slices, leaving the rind on.
Cut in lengthwise sections from the stem down, being careful to avoid giving the seeds with the melon. Pepper, salt, and sugar are used singly or collectively by different persons.
The long Jordan almonds and the broad Valencia almonds are most valued in commerce. A nut-cracker should be placed in the dish, unless the nuts are cracked beforehand.