This section is from the book "Mrs. Rorer's Vegetable Cookery And Meat Substitutes", by Sarah Tyson Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Mrs. Rorer's Vegetable Cookery And Meat Substitutes.......
During the summer months substitute fruits for heavy desserts like puddings and custards. To have them wholesome and easy of digestion, serve plain, ripe and uncooked.
- strawberries and raspberries - must be handled as lightly as possible. If the strawberries are at all sandy, put them, before stemming, into a wire basket or colander, and dip them up and down in a pan of cold water. Drain, stem, and serve at once.
In almost every community one may get appropriate greens with which to decorate or garnish the fruit dish. Ferns and mountain laurel make dainty garnishes for peaches or mixed fruits.
For breakfast, or the first course at luncheon, strawberries are served with the stems. Arrange them around a tablespoonful of powdered sugar on a pretty plate. To eat, simply take a strawberry by the stem end, dip it in the sugar and bite it off.
All fruits contain a sufficient amount of sugar, that is, according to Nature's way of doing things. If they are too sour to eat without sugar, let them alone. Sugar has no influence whatever on acid; it enters the stomach as sugar, and the acid as acid. Ripe unsweetened fruits are very healthful. With sugar they are very liable to ferment and produce intestinal indigestion. Fruits are principally digested in the small intestines.
Fruit juices are blood purifiers, provided they are eaten raw without sugar. Cooking kills the natural ferments. This is especially true of pineapple; eaten raw, it digests albuminoids; when cooked it in no way aids digestion - in fact it is then indigestable and useless. It has no food value,
Cantaloupes should be thoroughly washed and chilled before cutting. Serve a half to each person, carefully removing the seeds without bruising the flesh of the cantaloupe.
This is made by filling half of a cantaloupe with a good-sized portion of vanilla ice cream. Decorate the ice cream with whipped cream and send at once to the table.
Select large ripe gooseberries. Wash them and put them in a kettle, allowing one cup of sugar to each two cups of gooseberries. Add just enough water to prevent scorching, cover, bring to boiling-point, and boil until the gooseberries pop. Press them through a colander and they are ready to use. Serve with mock duck or goose.
One of the nicest ways to serve oranges is to remove the yellow rind and then carefully take off every particle of the white skin. The rind may be saved for conserving. With a sharp knife, cut down one side of each carpel, cut around and up on the other side, taking out the carpel without one particle of white skin. Serve cold in a pretty glass dish.
Wash the rhubarb and cut into lengths of one inch; do not peel it. To each quart of these pieces allow a half pint of water and a half pint of sugar. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boiling-point. The rhubarb, if it is tender and young, should be perfectly soft as soon as it is thoroughly heated. Take it from the fire and stand it away to cool.
Remember that rhubarb contains oxalic acid and cannot be used in very large quantities.