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Preparing And Serving Vegetables

( Originally Published 1918 )

Water and mineral matter in vegetables. How to prepare and serve uncooked vegetables—lettuce, cress, cabbage, etc. Cooking by moist heat. flow to boil, season, and serre beet tops,turnip tops, cabbage, sprouts, kale, spinach, mustard, or other vegetable greens.

SUBJECT MATTER

Water.—All fluids and tissues of the body contain large quantities of water, therefore water is regarded as one of the most important food-stuffs required by the body. Practically all foods contain some water. Fresh vegetables and fruits provide the body with a high percentage of water.

Water is a. valuable medium for cooking. As it heats, small bubbles are formed, which continually increase in number and size, but gradually disappear. Sometime before the boiling-point is reached, an occasional large bubble will rise to the surface and disappear. The water has then reached the simmering-point., 185°, a temperature frequently made use of in cooking_ When many bubbles form and break, causing a commotion on the surface of the water, the boiling-point, 212°, has been reached.

Mineral matter.-- Mineral matter is a second food-stuff that is needed by the body, but the amount required is very small. If a variety of food is used, there is generally sufficient mineral matter in the diet. Fruits and vegetables, especially fresh green vegetables, are comparatively rich in mineral matter. Mineral matter builds up the bones and certain tissues, such as the hair, teeth, and nails, and regulates the body processes by keeping the blood and digestive fluids in proper condition.

Green vegetables.-Green vegetables hold an important place in the diet, because they contain valuable mineral matter. They also contain a high percentage of water and considerable cellulose. With few exceptions they should be eaten raw, because the mineral salts, being soluble, are lost in the water in which they are cooked and because the cellulose serves its purpose best in the crisp form. Cabbage is rendered much more difficult of digestion by cooking. Spinach, beet tops, etc., are more palatable when cooked. The delicately flavoured vegetables should he boiled in a very small amount. of water, so that they need not be drained. Thus the mineral matter will be retained when the vegetables are served.

PRELIMINARY PLAN

There should be provided for the lesson (from the homes of the pupils or the school garden), some fresh vegetables in season ; one that can he cooked by boiling and one that can he served uncooked with a simple dressing.

One of the pupils should write the recipes on the black-board before the lesson hour.

RECIPES

Preparation of Fresh Green Vegetables

Wash the vegetables thoroughly, leaving them in cold water to crisp, if wilted. Keep coal until ready to serve, then arrange daintily, and dress with salt, vinegar, and oil as desired, or prepare a dressing as follows:

Cooked Dressing

1/2 tbsp. salt 1/2 tbsp. flour

1 tsp. mustard 1 egg or yolks of 2 eggs

1 1/2 tbsp. sugar 1 1/2 tbsp. melted butter

A few grains pepper 3/4 c. milk

1/4 c. vinegar

Mix the dry ingredients, add the egg slightly beaten and the butter and the milk. Cook over boiling water until the mixture thickens. Add the vinegar, stirring constantly. Strain and cool.

Recipe for Boiling and Seasoning Fresh Green Vegetables.

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 (14 teaspoon salt, 14 teaspoon pepper, and 1/ tablespoon butter to each cup of vegetable).

METHOD OF WORK

Discuss the heating of water and apply the facts to cooking. Have the pupils observe and describe the heating of water.

If a new tin sauce-pan or other bright tin vessel is at hand in which to heat the water, the changes which take place as the temperature increases will he more readily apparent., and the pupils will enjoy watching the process.

Discuss why one vegetable is to be cooked and another served uncooked.

Emphasize the cleaning of the vegetable, its structure, composition, and the effect of the boiling water upon it.

After the vegetable has been put on fo cook, discuss the method of seasoning or dressing the vegetable which is to be served uncooked, and have it prepared attractively to serve on the plates. Especial emphasis should be placed on the use and importance of fresh, green vegetables.

Continue the discussion of vegetables, letting the members of the class suggest others that may be prepared as salads or cooked in the manner being illustrated, and write the list on the black-board for the pupils to copy in their note-books.

When the cooked vegetable is tender, have it drained, seasoned, and served, and serve the uncooked vegetable at the same time.

When ready for serving, let the pupils arrange their plates and forks carefully, then let them all sit down except the two who pass the vegetables. Be sure that they at carefully and daintily.

Emphasize the careful washing of the dishes, etc., as in the previous day.

Vegetable Sauces
Vegetable Sauces
Proper Storage For Vegetables
A Guide to Growing, Storing and Preparing Vegetables

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Preparing And Serving Vegetables

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