Wash the vegetables carefully and put them on to cook in boiling water. Delicately flavoured vegetables (spinach, celery, fresh peas, etc.) will require but little water, and that should be allowed to boil away at the last. If spinach is stirred constantly, no water need be added. Starchy vegetables should be completely covered with water, and strongly flavoured vegetables (as turnips, onions, cabbage, and cauliflower) should be cooked in water at simmering temperature.
After the vegetables have cooked for a few minutes, salt should be added, one teaspoonful to each quart of water. Cook the vegetable until it can be easily pierced with a fork. Let the water boil away at the last. If it is necessary to drain, do so as soon as the vegetable is tender. Season with salt, pepper, and butter (1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 tablespoon butter to each cup of vegetable).
Note. The water in which the vegetables are cooked should be saved for soups and sauces, as it contains most of the valuable mineral matter.