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The rules for cooking vegetables are very simple, and easily remembered. All vegetables, with the exception of old potatoes, are put into boiling water. Green vegetables must be boiled with the lid off the saucepan, as the steam would discolour them, and the water must boil, not simmer. Salt is added, in the proportion of one tablespoonful to every two quarts of water. If the water is very hard, it may be necessary to add a little piece of soda. The lime in hard water discolours green vegetables, and the use of soda is to throw this down. Do not, however, use soda, unless obliged, as too much of it will destroy, to some extent, the flavour of the vegetables. Peas must be boiled gently, as rapid boiling would break their skins. Haricot beans must be boiled gently, for the same reason. Root vegetables take longer to cook than fresh ones. Old potatoes must be put into warm water, as they require gradual cooking, and must be boiled gently, until tender. With that exception, all the others must be put into boiling water. Carrots, turnips, and parsnips are generally cooked with the meat with which they are served, as their flavour is thereby improved.


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The Skilful Cook (1905).

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