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General Remarks

All vegetables should be well picked and washed. A very little salt should always be thrown into the water in which they are boiled. A steady regular fire should be kept up, and they should never for a moment be allowed to stop boiling or simmering till they are thoroughly done. Every sort of vegetable should be cooked till tender, as if the least hard or under-done they are both unpalatable and unwholesome. The practice of putting pearl-ash in the pot to improve the colour of green vegetables should be strictly forbidden, as it destroys the flavour, and either renders them flat and insipid, or communicates a very disagreeable taste of its own.

Every sort of culinary vegetable is infinitely best when fresh from the garden, and gathered as short a time as possible before it is cooked. They should all be laid in a pan of cold water for a while previous to boiling.

When done, they should be carefully drained before they go to table, or they will be washy all through, and leave puddles of discoloured water in the bottoms of the dishes, to the disgust of the company and the discredit of the cook.


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Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches (1840).

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