The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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manner, they may be browned on top with a salamander or before the fire. Some cooks press the potatoes into moulds, then turn them out and brown them in the oven ; this is a pretty mode of serving, but it makes them heavy. In whatever way they are sent to table care must be taken to have them free from lumps. From 1-2 to 3-4 hour to boil the potatoes.
Mock Potatoes.—Boil a number of small potatoes, squeeze them in a cloth to dry them, then peel and mash them while hot to free them from lumps; then press them with the hands into the form of potatoes, put a cloth over them to keep them from browning, and put them a moment in a stove before serving, then send them hot—pouring melted butter over them—to table. No one could detect them from the true potato; so you can have them as large or as small and as uniform as you may wish. They are beau­tiful when served.
Chinese Way of Cooking Rice.—Take a clean stew-pan with a closely-fitting top, then take a clean piece of white muslin large enough to cover over the top of the pan and hang down inside nearly to, but not in contact, with the bottom. Into the sack so formed place the rice, pour over 2 cupfuls water, and put over the top of the stew-pan, so as to hold up the muslin inside, and fit tightly all around. Place the pan over a slow fire, and the steam generated from the water will cook the rice. Each grain, it is stated, will come out ol the boiler as dry and distinct as if just taken from the hull. More water may be poured into the pan if necessary, but only sufficient to keep up the steam until the rice is cooked. The pan must not be so hot as to cause the steam to throw off the lid.
Spinach.—Pick, wash, blanch and chop 2 lbs. of spinach; put in a 3-quart stew-pan 1 oz. of butter, 3-4 oz. of flour and 1 pinch of salt; stir over the fire for 3 minutes; put in the spinach and stir well for 5 minutes; moisten with 1 gill of broth and stir 2 minutes; then add 2 more gills of broth, stirring for five min­utes more. Take the spinach from the fire, add 1 oz. butter; stir until it is well melted and mixed ; put the spinach on a dish; then take a slice of bread 1-2 inch thick, cut in 1 1-2 inch triangu­lar pieces; melt 1 oz. of butter in a small stew-pan; skim it when melted; put in the pieces of bread, fry and toss them until of alight brown color; drain and place them around the spinach, and serve. Milk may be used instead of broth, in the proportion of spinach. Garnish with nasturtium leaves, flowers and buds.
Spinach with Sugar.—The spinach is prepared as above, using milk instead of broth, and adding 1-2 oz. of pounded sugar.
Spinach Plainly Dressed.—Boil for 1-2 hour in clear water; put a small lump of soda or saleratus in the water if you wish it a beau-