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

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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l8o                                        VEGETABLES.
1-2 gallon of water allow i heaped tablespoonful of salt. Choose potatoes of equal size for this: the Utah potatoes are the best; peel them, take out all the eyes and specks, and as they are peeled throw them into cold water, just enough to cover them, with salt in the above proportion, and let them boil gently till tender; ascertain , when they are done by thrusting a fork in them, and take up the moment they feel soft through, for if they are left in the water after­wards they become waxy or watery. Drain away the water, put the sauce pan by the side of the fire with the lid partially uncovered to allow the steam to escape, and let the potatoes get thoroughly dry, and do not allow them to get burnt. Their superfluous moisture will evaporate, and the potatoes, if of a good sort, should be perfectly mealy and dry. Potatoes vary so much in quality and size that it is difficult to give the exact time for boiling; they should be atten tively watched and probed with a fork to ascertain when they are cooked. Send them to the table quickly and very hot, and with an opening in the cover of the dish, that a portion of the steam may evaporate, and not fall back on the potatoes. Utah and moderate-sized old potatoes 15 to 20 minutes after the water boils; large ones from 1-2 hour to 35 minutes. Seasonable all the year round, but the new potatoes are the best. To keep them hot after draining them, have cloth for the purpose (either flannel or cotton), fold it and put it on the top of them, keep the sauce pan lid partially uncovered. This will absorb the moisture and keep them hot without spoiling. In Ireland they are boiled with the skins on them, and are best sent to the table so ; but they should be thoroughly washed and rubbed with a brush or coarse cloth before you cook them.
To Steam Potatoes.—Pare them and throw them into cold wa­ter as they are peeled, then put them into a steamer, place the steamer over a sauce pan of boiling water and steam the potatoes from 20 to 40 minutes, according to the size and sort; when a fork goes easily through them they are done, then take them up, dish, and serve very quickly; 20 to 40 minutes; 2 large potatoes to each per­son.
To Boiu Old Potatoes.—Small and large potatoes should not be put to cook at the same time; common sense would suggest this. Boil old potatoes by the foregoing receipt; Have a coarse cloth ready, and as each potato is lifted from the kettle squeeze it in a cor­ner of the cloth, slip the skin off, and they will be dry and beauti­fully mealy. Serve with melted butter on a hot dull. Old pota­toes are good baked with their skin on and served with cold but­ter.
Sweet Potato Balls.—First boil the potatoes, then carefully mash the farinaceous part. Boil in the meantime 2 cups of milk,