This section is from the book "Experimental Cookery From The Chemical And Physical Standpoint", by Belle Lowe. Also available from Amazon: Experimental cookery.
2a. To 1 1/3 cups of boiling distilled water add 1/4 cup of rice washed in distilled water. Add boiling distilled water during cooking if necessary. When the rice is tender remove about 1/2 of the cooked rice from the sauce pan and drain2b. To the rice remaining in the sauce pan from 2a, add 1/8 to 1/16 tea-spoon of soda. Cook 2 minutes, then drain.
3. Add half a white onion to 1 cup of boiling tap water. Cook until tender. Save the other half of the onion for 4.
4. Repeat 3, but use distilled water. Cook the same length of time as 3.
5. Repeat 3 and 4, using flowerlets of cauliflower or white cabbage. Results and conclusions.
Use 1/8und (56 grams) of cabbage, Brussels sprouts, or turnips cut into pieces. Onions can be used but they become milder with longer cooking. Add 1 pint of boiling water. Cook until tender.
A. Methods of cooking.
1. Cook in a covered vessel.
2. Cook in an uncovered vessel.
3. Blanch, i.e., pour off the water after cooking 5 minutes, add 1 cup of freshly boiled water, and finish cooking.
4. Cook in a steamer.
5. Cook in a steamer. Add 1 gram of ammonium carbonate per quart of water to the water in the lower part of the steamer.
6. Cook in a pressure cooker.
7. Cook in a fireless cooker.
8. Cook in a waterless cooker.
9. Cook in a distilling flask, catching the distillate in a flask held in ice water. Catch the distillate in 4 portions, changing the flask every 3 minutes. Do not count the time for the first distillate caught in the flask until the water in the distilling flask is boiling. Cork the flasks containing the distillate until the class is ready to taste and smell the distillate. Which is stronger, the first liquid that distils over or the last portion? Are any of the flavoring and aromatic substances of cabbage, turnips, and onions volatile?
Some of the distillate may be tested for sulfides by adding a few drops of lead acetate. Test the distillate with litmus.
Taste the cooking water and vegetable. In which case is the flavor of the vegetable best? Is blanching desirable? Do these experiments suggest any reason why the juice of most canned vegetables is stronger than that from the fresh vegetables? If you do not want to discard the water in which a strong-flavored vegetable is cooked, how would you cook the vegetable? How use the water? Test some of the cooking waters for sugar.
Time of cooking
Flavor of vegetable
Flavor of water
Flavor of distillate
Color of water
B. Time of cooking.
Use 1/4nd (112 grams) of shredded cabbage for each experiment. Should a difference be made in the time for winter and spring cabbage? Have the water boiling when the cabbage is added. The amount of water will need to be increased in each experiment as the time of cooking is increased.
1. Cook 5 to 7 minutes in a small quantity of water. Try to have nearly all the water evaporated at the end of the cooking period.
2. Repeat Bl, but cook 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Repeat Bl, but cook 25 to 30 minutes. Add boiling water if necessary to finish the cooking. Compare the flavor and color with those of the cabbage cooked a shorter period.
4. To a cup of boiling milk add 1/4 pound of finely shredded cabbage. Cook 5 to 7 minutes. Use a pan of at least a quart capacity, for milk boils over readily. Compare flavor and color with B1 and B2.
5. Repeat B4, but cook 15 minutes.
C. The quantity of water left at the end of the cooking period.
1. Repeat the first two experiments under B, but have about 3/8 cup of water left at the end of the cooking period. Drain and save cooking water. How does the quantity of water compare with the measure of the vegetable? Compare the flavor with that of vegetables from above experiments.
2. Repeat C1, but have about 3/4 cup of water left at the end of the cooking period. Compare the flavor of the cooking waters.
3. Repeat B and C with Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and white onions.
4. If the water you use is alkaline in reaction, repeat C1 or C2, using distilled water and cauliflower or white onions.
5. Cook 1/4 pound of peas, asparagus, carrots, or other vegetables until tender, (a) Have the water evaporated at end of cooking period, (b) Have about 3/8 cup of water left, (c) Have about 3/4 cup of water left, (d) Cook in 1 cup of milk.
Time of cooking
Quantity of water left
Results and conclusions.
What is the effect of long cooking on strong-flavored vegetables? Are some vegetables often over-cooked? Is cabbage sometimes cooked longer than 25 to 30 minutes? Name several strong-flavored vegetables. Do cabbage and cauliflower turn a brownish red unless cooked too long? Do onions become stronger in flavor with longer cooking? What length of time of cooking produces the best-flavored product for onions, cauliflower, and the other vegetables used? With which vegetables would you have considerable water left at the end of the cooking period? Would the age of the vegetable, that is, young or old carrots, turnips, etc., make any difference in the quantity of water that is desirable to be left at the end of the cooking period? With which would you evaporate the water? Would you increase the water proportionately for a larger quantity of vegetable? Do vegetables like cabbage and onions lose juice during cooking that adds to the cooking liquid? What is the percentage of water found in some common vegetables?
Is the flavor of the vegetables cooked in milk as strong as when cooked in water? Do any of the vegetables curdle the milk? Which ones? (See chapter on milk.)
What is the effect on the color of white vegetables of cooking in alkaline water? In distilled water?
To determine the comparative losses in cooking vegetables by different methods.