WOMAN'S INSTITUTE LIBRARY OF COOKERY
FRUIT AND FRUIT DESSERTS
CANNING AND DRYING
JELLY MAKING, PRESERVING, AND PICKLING
THE PLANNING OF MEALS
WOMAN'S INSTITUTE OF DOMESTIC ARTS AND SCIENCES, Inc.
This volume, the fifth of the Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, deals with the varieties of fruits and the desserts that can be made from them, the canning and preserving of foods, the making of confections of every description, beverages and their place in the diet, and every phase of the planning of meals.
With fruits becoming less seasonal and more a daily food, an understanding of them is of great value to the housewife. In Fruit and Fruit Desserts, she first learns their place in the diet, their nature, composition, and food value. Then she proceeds with the preparation and serving of every variety of fruit. Included in this section also are fruit cocktails, those refreshing appetizers often used to introduce a special meal.
To understand how to preserve perishable foods in the seasons of plenty for the times when they are not obtainable is a valuable part of a housewife's knowledge. Canning and Drying deals with two ways of preserving foodstuffs, treating carefully the equipment needed and all the methods that can be employed and showing by means of excellent illustrations, one of them in natural colors, every part of the procedure followed. The fruits and vegetables that permit of canning, as well as certain meats and fish, are taken up in a systematic manner.
Jelly Making, Preserving, and Pickling continues a discussion of the home preservation of foods, showing how they can be kept for long periods of time not by sterilization, but with the aid of preservatives. Each one of these methods is treated as to its principles, equipment, and the procedure to be followed. After trying the numerous recipes given, the housewife will be able to show with pride the results of her efforts, for nothing adds more to the attractiveness and palatability of a meal than a choice jelly, conserve, marmalade, or jam.
Confections deals with that very delightful and fascinating part of cookery—confection making. Not only are home-made confections cheaper than commercially made ones, but they usually contain more wholesome materials, so it is to the housewife's advantage to familiarize herself with the making of this food. Recipes are given for all varieties of confections, including taffies, caramels, cream candies, and the confections related to them. Fondant making is treated in detail with illustrations showing every step and directions for making many unusual kinds.
Though beverages often receive only slight consideration, they are so necessary that the body cannot exist very long without them. In Beverages is discussed the relation of beverages to meals, the classes of beverages, and the preparation of those required by the human system, as well as the proper way to serve them. In addition to coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, and cereal beverages, fruit, soft, and nourishing drinks receive their share of attention.
To be a successful home maker, it is not enough for a housewife to know how to prepare food; she must also understand how to buy it, how to look after the household accounts, what constitutes correct diet for each member of her family, how to plan menus for her regular meals and for special occasions, and the essentials of good table service. All these things, and many more, she learns in The Planning of Meals, which completes this volume.
FRUIT AND FRUIT DESSERTS Fruit in the Diet Composition of Fruits Food Value of Fruits Preparing and Serving Fruits Blackberries Blueberries Cranberries Raspberries Strawberries Miscellaneous Berries Apples Apricots Cherries Grapes Peaches Pears Plums Quinces Rhubarb Grapefruit Lemons Oranges Miscellaneous Citrus Fruits Bananas Pineapples Miscellaneous Tropical Fruits Melons Fruit Cocktails Dates Figs Prunes Raisins Dried Apples, Apricots, and Peaches
CANNING AND DRYING Necessity for Preserving Foods Principles of Canning General Equipment for Canning Open-Kettle Method Cold-Pack Method Procedure in the One-Period Cold-Pack Method Procedure in the Fractional-Sterilization Method Steam-Pressure Methods Canning with Tin Cans Oven Method Preparation for Canning Directions for Canning Vegetables Directions for Canning Fruits Sirups for Canning Fruits Canning Meat and Fish Storing and Serving Canned Foods Scoring Canned Foods Principles of Drying Drying Methods Directions for Drying Vegetables and Fruits Storing and Cooking Dried Foods
JELLY MAKING, PRESERVING, AND PICKLING Value of Jellies, Preserves, and Pickles Principles of Jelly Making Equipment for Jelly Making Procedure in Jelly Making Scoring Jelly Recipes for Jelly Principles of Preserving Preserves Conserves Marmalades Jams Butters Principles of Pickling Recipes for Pickles Recipes for Relishes
CONFECTIONS Nature of Confections Composition of Confections Foundation Materials in Confections Flavorings Colorings Acids Food Materials Equipment for Confection Making Cooking the Mixture Pouring and Cooling the Mixture Finishing Candies Taffies and Similar Candies Caramels Fudge and Related Candies Fondant and Related Creams Miscellaneous Confections Serving Candy
BEVERAGES Nature and Classes of Beverages Water in Beverages Relation of Beverages to Meals Alcoholic Beverages Stimulating Beverages History and Production of Coffee Preparation of Coffee Serving Coffee History and Production of Tea Preparation of Tea Serving Tea Nature and Selection of Cocoa and Chocolate Preparation of Cocoa and Chocolate Serving Cocoa and Chocolate Cereal Beverages Ingredients for Fruit Beverages Preparation of Fruit Beverages Soft Drinks Nourishing Beverages
THE PLANNING OF MEALS Necessity for Careful Meal Planning Successful Marketing Keeping Household Accounts Factors Influencing Cost of Foods Economical Buying Suitability of Food Composition of Food Balancing the Diet Diet for Infants and Children Diet for the Family Proportion of Food Substances General Rules for Menu Making Card-File System for Menu Making Dinner Menus Luncheon Menus Breakfast Menus Menus for Special Occasions Table Service
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FRUIT AND FRUIT DESSERTS
FRUIT IN THE DIET
1. FRUIT, as is generally understood, is the fleshy, juicy product of some plant or tree which, when ripe, is suitable for use as food. Although some fruits are seedless, they generally contain the seeds of the plants or trees that produce them. Many fruits require cooking to make them palatable, others are never cooked, and still others may be cooked or eaten raw, as desired.
Fruits, because they are wholesome, appetizing, and attractive, occupy a valuable place in the diet. In fact, it is these qualities rather than their food value that accounts for the popularity of fruits among all people. In addition to causing fruits to appeal to the esthetic sense, their attractiveness serves another important purpose. It is said that Nature made them attractive in color, odor, and flavor in order that birds might be allured to attack them for food and, by spreading the seeds, assist in their propagation.
2. Fruits are gradually growing to be less seasonal and more a daily food, and are thus constantly becoming more prevalent in the diet. This condition may be attributed to the present rapid means of transportation and the excellent methods of cold storage that exist. Through these agencies it is possible to ship more or less perishable fruits long distances from their native localities and at times of the year other than the particular season in which they are at their best in the places where they are grown. Thus, fruits that were formerly considered a luxury may now be served regularly, even on the tables of persons having only moderate means.
The fact that fruits are being more extensively used every day is as it should be, for this food is entitled to an important place in the diet of all persons. So important is fruit in the diet that it must be looked on not as one of the things that may be taken or omitted as a person wishes without making any difference either way, but as a food to include in one form or another in nearly every meal. The child who is so young that it cannot take any solid food may have fruit juices included in its diet to decided advantage; but children who are slightly older and adults may take the fruits cooked or raw instead of in the form of juices.
3. As far as the composition of fruits is concerned, it is such that most fresh fruits are not particularly high in food value. However, they are characterized by other qualities that make up for what they lack in this respect; then, too, what they contain in the way of heat-producing or tissue-building material is easily digestible. Most fruits contain considerable acid, and this food substance makes them stimulating to the appetite. Advantage of this fact is taken when fruits are served at the beginning of a breakfast or when several of them are combined in a fruit cocktail and served before luncheon or dinner. This acid produces real stimulation in the stomach, resulting in a flow of gastric juice from the glands of the stomach walls. In addition, the delightful color, the fragrant odor, or the pleasant taste of fruit, although a mental effect, is just as real and just as valuable as the actual stimulation of the acids.
4. Many fruits are eaten raw, while others are cooked either because they require cooking to make them appetizing or because it is desired not to use them in their raw state. The cooking of fruits has a variety of effects on them, being sometimes advantageous and other times detrimental. The flavor is always changed by the application of heat, and in some cases the acid that fruit contains becomes stronger. On the other hand, the fibrous material, or cellulose, of fruits is softened by cooking and thus becomes more digestible. Then, too, the sugar that is usually added to fruits in their cooking increases their food value. Because of these facts, cooked fruits have considerable value and, like raw fruits, should have an important place in the diet. Those fruits which are dried and usually eaten raw, such as figs and dates, supply much nourishment in an easily digestible form.
5. The medicinal value of fruit has long been considered to be of importance, but this may be almost entirely disregarded, for, with the exception of the fact that most fruits are valuable as a laxative, there is nothing to consider. However, several fruits, such as blackberries and bananas, have an anti-laxative effect, and large quantities of these should for the most part be avoided, especially in the feeding of children.
6. In general, fruits are divided into two classes, namely, food fruits and flavor fruits. As their names imply, food fruits are valuable as food, whereas flavor fruits are those distinguished by a characteristic flavor. It should be remembered that the flavors, as well as the odors, of fruits, are due chiefly to what is known as their volatile, or ethereal, oils. Fruits in which these oils are very strong are often irritating to certain persons and cause distress of some sort after eating.
7. In this Section, it is the purpose to acquaint the housewife with the relative value and uses of the various kinds of fruit, to teach her the best methods of preparation, and to supply her with recipes that will encourage her to make greater use of this valuable food in her family's diet. In this discussion, however, the general classification of fruits is not followed. Instead, the various fruits are arranged alphabetically under the headings Berries, Non-Tropical Fruits, Citrus Fruits, Tropical Fruits, Melons, and Dried Fruits, in order to simplify matters. While it is hardly possible to use fruits too extensively, they must not be allowed to take the place of other more nourishing foods that are required by the body. Therefore, in order to make proper use of them, their value in the diet should not be overlooked.
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NATURE OF FRUITS
ADVANCE IN FRUIT CULTIVATION
8. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between vegetables and fruits. For instance, the tomato is in reality a fruit, but it is commonly used as a vegetable, and rhubarb is more of a vegetable than a fruit, but it is always used as a fruit. It can therefore be seen that the line between vegetables and fruits is not clearly drawn. It is well to remember that fruit is usually the edible pulpy mass covering the seeds of various plants and trees, and that it is generally cooked or eaten raw with sugar, whereas vegetables are seldom sweetened in cooking.
9. Great strides have been made in the cultivation of fruit. Many varieties that formerly grew wild are now commonly cultivated. Most of the cultivated fruits are superior to the same kind in the wild state, at least in size and appearance, but often there seems to be a loss of flavor. Through cultivation, some fruits that were almost inedible in their wild state on account of containing so many seeds have been made seedless. Also, through cross-cultivation, varieties of fruit different from what formerly existed have been obtained. An example of such fruit is the loganberry which is a cross between a red raspberry and a blackberry and retains many of the qualities of each. However, some small fruits, such as blueberries, or huckleberries, are still grown wild and marketed only from their wild source.
10. While fruit is usually improved by cultivation, there has been a tendency through this means to produce fruits that will stand up for long periods of time, so that they may be marketed at great distances from the place where they are grown. For instance, apples, especially those found in the market in the spring, and other fruits, which look very fine, will many times be found to have a tough skin and to be almost tasteless.
In general, fruits of delicate flavor and texture cannot be kept very long after they have ripened. To stand shipping, they must be picked in their green stage; then if they are kept in the right temperature they will ripen after picking. Bananas that are to be shipped a long distance are picked when perfectly green, but by the time the consumer buys them they are usually well ripened. In addition to bananas, a few other tropical fruits are shipped out of their native climates in small numbers and are sold at very high prices. However, many tropical fruits cannot be shipped to the Northern States because of their perishable nature.
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COMPOSITION AND FOOD VALUE OF FRUITS
COMPOSITION OF FRUITS
11. The composition of fruits is a matter of considerable importance, for on it the food value of the fruits depends. To a certain extent, the composition of all fruits is the same, but the varieties of this food differ in their food values almost as greatly as do vegetables. Many of them are extremely low in this respect, while a few of them are rather high. In order to determine the place that fruit should have in a meal, it is necessary to obtain a definite idea of the composition as well as the food value of the different varieties.
12. PROTEIN AND FAT IN FRUITS.—Such small quantities of protein and fat are contained in fruits that very little attention need be given to these substances. Exceptions are found in avocados, or alligator pears, and in ripe olives, both of which are high in fat. Then, too, there is a small amount of protein in grapes and some other fruits, but it is not sufficient to merit consideration.
13. CARBOHYDRATE IN FRUIT.—Whatever food value fruits may have, whether it be high or low, is due to the carbohydrate they contain. Some green fruits and bananas contain a very small amount of starch, but on the whole the carbohydrate of fruits is in the form of sugar and is in solution in the fruit juices. The chief form of this carbohydrate is known as levulose, or fruit sugar. However, glucose, another form of sugar, is also found in nearly all fruits, grapes and dried fruits, such as figs, raisins, etc., containing an unusually large amount. In addition, cane sugar is contained in the majority of fruits. Pectin is also a carbohydrate that is found in large quantities in some fruits, while in other fruits it is lacking. This substance is related to the gums and to cellulose. Although it is one of the carbohydrates from which no food value is derived, it is of considerable importance, because it is responsible for the jelly-making properties of fruits.
14. In fruits that are not fully matured, or, in other words, green fruits, the sugar has not developed to so great an extent as it has in perfectly ripe fruits. Consequently, such fruits are not so high in food value as they are when they become ripe. As is well known, it is the sugar of fruits that accounts for their sweet taste, for the sweeter the fruits, the more sugar and the less acid they contain. The quantity of this substance varies from 1 per cent. in lemons to 20 per cent. in some other fresh fruits, such as plums. In dried fruits, the amount of sugar is much higher, reaching as high as 60 per cent. or even more in such fruits as figs, dates, and raisins.
15. CELLULOSE IN FRUIT.—In fruits, as in vegetables, cellulose is found in varying quantities. The larger the quantity, the lower will be the food value of the fruit, except where the water has been evaporated, as in the case of dried fruits. The digestibility of this cellulose, however, is not worth considering, for, while it is possible that small amounts of very young and tender cellulose from fruits may be digested, on the whole this characteristic may be disregarded. The skins and seeds of fruits, as well as the coarse material that helps to make up the pulp, are known as refuse and are treated as such by the human digestive tract; but it is to this waste material, or cellulose, that the laxative quality of fruit is largely due.
In cases where there are digestive or intestinal troubles, it is often necessary to remove the cellulose before the fruit is eaten. The coarse material may be removed and that which is more tender may be broken up by pressing the fruit through a sieve or a strainer of some kind. The cooking of fruits is another means of making the cellulose in them more easily digested, for it softens, or disintegrates, the various particles of the indigestible material. When fruit is taken for its laxative effect and the irritation of the cellulose needs no consideration, the skins of the fruits may be eaten instead of being rejected. However, to avoid any trouble, they should be well chewed.
16. Minerals in Fruit.—All fruits contain a certain percentage of mineral salts. The quantity varies in the different kinds of fruits, but it averages about 1 per cent. These salts have the opposite effect on the blood from those found in meats and cereals, but they act in much the same way as the minerals of vegetables. In other words, they have a tendency to render the blood more alkaline and less acid. They are therefore one of the food constituents that help to make fruit valuable in the diet and should be retained as far as possible in its preparation. In fact, any method that results in a loss of minerals is not a good one to adopt in the preparation of fruits.
The minerals commonly found in fruits are iron, lime, sodium, magnesium, potash, and phosphorus. These are in solution in the fruit juices to a very great extent, and when the juices are extracted the minerals remain in them.
17. Acids in Fruit.—Some fruits contain only a small amount of acid, while others contain larger quantities. It is these acids, together with the sugar and the volatile oils of fruits, that constitute the entire flavor of this food. Most ripe fruits contain less acid than unripe ones, and cooked fruits are often higher in acid than the same fruits when raw.
Numerous kinds of acid are found in the different varieties of fruits. For example, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and a few other fruits belonging to the class known as citrus fruits contain citric acid; peaches, plums, apricots, and apples, malic acid; and grapes and many other fruits, tartaric acid.
COMPOSITION AND FOOD VALUE OF FRUITS
Food Value Fruit Water Protein Fat Carbo- Mineral per Pound, hydrate Matter in Calories - - - - - - Apples, fresh 84.6 .4 .5 14.2 .3 290 Apples, dried 28.1 1.6 2.2 66.1 2.0 1,350 Apricots, fresh 85.0 1.1 13.4 .5 270 Apricots, dried 29.4 4.7 1.0 62.5 2.4 1,290 Bananas 75.3 1.3 .6 22.0 .8 460 Blackberries 86.3 1.3 1.0 10.9 .5 270 Cherries 80.9 1.0 .8 16.7 .6 365 Cranberries 88.9 .4 .6 9.9 .2 215 Currants 85.0 1.5 12.8 .7 265 Dates 15.4 2.1 2.8 78.4 1.3 1,615 Figs, fresh 79.1 1.5 18.8 .6 380 Figs, dried 18.8 4.3 .3 74.2 2.4 1,475 Grapefruit 86.9 .8 .2 11.6 .5 240 Grapes 77.4 1.3 1.6 19.2 .5 450 Huckleberries 81.9 .6 .6 16.6 .3 345 Lemons 89.3 1.0 .7 8.5 .5 205 Muskmelons 89.5 .6 9.3 .6 185 Nectarines 82.9 .6 15.9 .6 305 Oranges 86.9 .8 .2 11.6 .5 240 Peaches 89.4 .7 .1 9.4 .4 190 Pears 84.4 .6 .5 14.1 .4 295 Persimmons 66.1 .8 .7 31.5 .9 630 Pineapple 89.3 .4 .3 9.7 .3 200 Plums 78.4 1.0 20.1 .5 395 Pomegranates 76.8 1.5 1.6 19.5 .6 460 Prunes, fresh 79.6 .9 18.9 .6 370 Prunes, dried 22.3 2.1 73.3 2.3 1,400 Raisins 14.6 2.6 3.3 76.1 3.4 1,605 Raspberries, red 85.8 1.0 12.6 .6 255 Raspberries, black 84.1 1.7 1.0 12.6 .6 310 Rhubarb 94.4 .6 .7 3.6 .7 105 Strawberries 90.4 1.0 .6 7.4 .6 180 Watermelon 92.4 .4 .2 6.7 .3 140 - - - - - -
18. The juice of fruits that contain very little sugar and a large quantity of acid, such as the lemon, may be used for the seasoning of food in much the same way that vinegar is used. It may also be diluted with other liquids and used for a beverage. Then, again, various kinds of fruit juices are subjected to a process of fermentation and, through the production of another acid, are made into vinegar and wines. When apples are treated in this way, the fermentation produces acetic acid and, in addition, a certain amount of alcohol. It is on this principle that the making of wines depends.
19. WATER IN FRUIT.—The water content of fresh fruits is very high, reaching 94 per cent. in some varieties. Dried fruits, on the other hand, contain much less water, their content being in some cases as low as 15 to 20 per cent. It naturally follows that the fruits low in water are high in food value, while those containing considerable water have in their composition less of the material that adds food value. The high percentage of water in fresh fruits, together with the acids they contain, accounts for the fact that these fruits are so refreshing. Fruits of this kind, in addition to having this refreshing quality, help to provide the necessary liquid in the diet.
20. TABLE SHOWING COMPOSITION AND FOOD VALUE OF FRUITS.—Just as fruits vary in their composition, so do they vary in their food value. This fact is clearly shown in Table I, which gives the percentage of food substances contained in different fruits and the food value per pound, in calories, that these fruits contain. As in the table showing the composition and food value of vegetables given in Vegetables, Part 1, the figures in this table are taken from Atwater's Table of American Food Materials and refer to the edible part of the material. Reference to Table I, as progress is made with the study of fruits and their preparation, will be of much assistance in learning the place that fruits occupy in the dietary.
FOOD VALUE OF FRUITS
21. EFFECT OF RIPENESS ON FRUITS.—There is a very marked difference between ripe and green fruits as to their composition, flavor, texture, palatability, and digestibility. Green fruits, containing more acid than ripe ones, serve some purposes for which ripe fruits of the same variety cannot be used so well. For instance, a very much better jelly can be made from grapes that are not entirely ripe than from those which have completely ripened. Green fruits contain less sugar than do ripe ones, and so they are more sour to the taste. In some cases, the carbohydrate found in green fruits is partly in the form of starch, which in the process of development is changed to sugar. The cellulose of green fruits, especially that distributed throughout the pulp of the fruit itself, is usually tougher and harder than that which is found in the same fruit after it has ripened.
22. DIGESTIBILITY OF FRUITS.—The ripeness and freshness of fruits determine their digestibility to a great extent, but the peculiarities of each person have much to do with this matter. Many times a particular fruit will agree with almost every one but a few exceptional persons, and, for no apparent reason except their own peculiarities of digestion, it disagrees very badly with them. Abnormal conditions of the alimentary tract, however, cannot be taken into consideration in a general discussion on the digestibility of foods, for it is a subject that cannot be treated except from a dietetic standpoint. A safe rule to follow when a fruit is found to disagree with a person is to omit it from that person's diet. This need not prove a hardship, for the wide range, or variety, of fruits makes it possible to find one or more kinds that will agree with each person.
23. As has been explained, sugar is the food material from which the nutritive value of fruits is obtained. With the exception of a few predigested foods, manufactured in such a way that they can be digested easily, this sugar is probably the most easily digested form of food that can be obtained. This substance, being held in solution in the fruit juices, which are encased in a cellulose covering, depends to some extent for its digestion on the hardness of the cellulose. When this covering is old and hard or green and tough, as the case may be, it is difficult for the digestive juices to break through and attack the sugar contained inside. As this difficulty is not encountered when fruit is fresh and ripe, its freshness and ripeness become important factors in digestibility. Cooking is also an important factor because it softens the cellulose, but there are certain other changes made by cooking that must be taken into consideration as well.
24. EFFECT OF COOKING ON FRUIT.—Cooking affects fruits in numerous ways, depending on the condition of the fruit itself, the method used, and the length of time the heat is applied. When fruits are cooked in water or in a thin sirup, the cellulose becomes softened. On the other hand, if they are cooked in a heavy sirup, as, for instance, in the making of preserves, the cellulose becomes hardened and the fruit, instead of breaking up, remains whole or nearly so and becomes tough and hard in texture. The addition of quantities of sugar, as in the latter case, besides helping to keep the fruit whole, increases its food value.
25. Another change that usually takes place when fruit is cooked is in its flavor. This change is due either to an increase in the acid contained in the fruit or to a decrease in the amount of sugar. Some authorities believe that cooking increases the amount of acid, while others hold the view that, when fruit is cooked without removing the skins and seeds, the acid contained in the seeds and skins and not noticeable when the fruit is fresh, is released during the cooking. Such is undoubtedly the case with plums. The change that is brought about in the sugar by the cooking of fruits consists in changing the cane sugar into levulose and dextrose, which are not so sweet. This change accounts for the fact that some cooked fruits are less sweet than others, in spite of the fact that the acid does not seem to be increased.
26. In addition to producing certain changes in fruit, cooking, if done thoroughly, renders fruits sterile, as it does other foods; that is, it kills any bacteria that the fruits may contain. Advantage of this fact is taken when fruits are canned for future use. Although most persons prefer raw fruit to that which is cooked, there are some who object to eating this food raw, but who are not always certain as to the reason for their objection. Like other raw foods, fruits in their fresh state contain vitamines; that is, a substance that helps to keep the body in a healthy, normal condition. These are found to some extent in cooked fruits, but not in the same quantity as in raw ones; consequently, as much use as possible should be made of raw fruits in the diet.
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FRUITS AND THEIR PREPARATION AS FOOD
PREPARING AND SERVING
27. REQUIRED SANITARY CONDITIONS.—Since large quantities of fruits are eaten raw, it is necessary that they be handled in the most sanitary manner if disease from their use be prevented. However, they are often in an unsanitary condition when they reach the housewife. For instance, they become contaminated from the soiled hands of the persons who handle them, from the dirt deposited on them during their growth, from the fertilizer that may be used on the soil, from flies and other insects that may crawl over them, and from being stored, displayed, or sold in surroundings where they may be exposed to the dirt from streets and other contaminating sources. Because of the possibility of all these sources of contamination, it is essential that fruits that are not to be cooked be thoroughly washed before they are eaten. It is true that a certain amount of flavor or food material may be lost from the washing, but this is of little importance compared with the possibility of preventing disease.
28. WASHING FRUITS.—The manner of washing fruits depends largely on the nature of the fruit. Fruits that have a sticky surface, such as raisins, figs, and dates, usually have to be washed in several waters. Hard fruits, such as pears, apples, plums, etc., should be washed with running water. Berries and softer fruits require more careful procedure, it usually being advisable to pour them into a pan containing water and then, after stirring them around in the water until all dirt is removed, take them from the water, rather than pour the water from them. In any event, all fruits eaten raw should be properly washed.
29. SERVING FRUITS.—While the serving of fruits is a simple matter, it should be done in as dainty a way as possible, so as not to detract from their natural attractiveness. If the skins are to remain on the fruits while serving, a knife, preferably a fruit knife, should be served with them, and nothing smaller than a salad plate should be used. The carefully washed leaves of the fruit served make an attractive garnish. For instance, large, perfect strawberries with the stems on, when heaped on a plate garnished with strawberry leaves and served with a small dish of powdered sugar, are always attractive. Likewise, a bunch of grapes served on grape leaves never fails to attract.
A mixture of a number of fruits, such as peaches, pears, and plums, or, in winter, oranges, bananas, and apples, piled in a large bowl and passed after salad plates have been distributed, not only makes an excellent dessert, but permits the persons served to take their choice.
Fresh berries, sliced peaches, bananas, oranges, etc. may be served in sauce dishes, which should be placed on a service plate. They may be passed or served from a bowl by the hostess. Canned or stewed fruits may be served in the same way.
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NATURE AND CARE
30. BERRIES are among the most perishable fruits and begin to come into market early in the summer season. In most localities, the berry season begins with strawberries and ends with blackberries. Because the numerous varieties are somewhat juicy and soft and therefore extremely perishable, they will not stand shipping and storage for long periods of time. The quality of berries depends much on the nature of the season, as well as on the locality in which the berries are grown. If there is a good supply of rain, the berries will be very moist, containing a large amount of pulp in proportion to seeds and skins; but if the season is very dry, the berries are likely to be less moist and consequently less palatable. A general use of berries, and to almost every one the most important, is the making of jams, jellies, and preserves.
In the preparation of berries for the table, they should be handled as little as possible in order to prevent them from breaking up and losing their shape. After being purchased, they should be kept where it is cool until they are to be used. It is advisable not to wash them until just before serving, as the extra handling usually bruises them and causes them to spoil.
The different varieties of berries are here taken up in alphabetical order so as to make the matter easy for reference. Those of which extensive use is made contain one or more recipes that may be followed without any hesitation. In a few instances, as in the case of currants, recipes are not included, as the fruits are limited to only a few uses and directions for these occur elsewhere.
31. BLACKBERRIES come late in the summer season. Good varieties of cultivated blackberries, which are large in size and contain comparatively few seeds, are the best for use. However, in some localities, uncultivated blackberries grow in sufficient quantities to be useful for food. Blackberries are used extensively for jam, as they make an excellent kind that appeals to most persons. Their juice may be used for jelly, but if the berries are to be utilized most successfully in this way they must be picked before they are thoroughly ripe or some fruit that will supply an additional quantity of pectin may have to be combined with them. Fresh blackberries may be served for dessert with sugar and cream. Otherwise, the use of this fruit in desserts is not very extensive, except where the canned berries are used for pastry or pie or are eaten for sauce or where the jam is used in making up various dessert dishes.
Very little preparation is necessary in getting blackberries ready to serve. They should simply be looked over carefully, so that all imperfect ones and all foreign matter may be removed, and then washed in cold water.
32. BLACKBERRY SPONGE.—One of the few desserts made from fresh blackberries is that explained in the accompanying recipe and known as blackberry sponge. This is very delicious, for the berries are combined with cake and the combination then served with whipped cream.
BLACKBERRY SPONGE (Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 qt. blackberries 3/4 c. sugar 1 c. water 4 pieces plain loaf or sponge cake Whipped cream
Heat half of the berries with the sugar and the water until they are mushy. Then force the whole through a sieve. Cut the cake into cubes and put them into a bowl. Pour the juice and the blackberry pulp on the cake. Press the mixture down with a spoon until it is quite solid and set in the refrigerator or some other cold place to cool. Turn out of the bowl on a large plate, garnish with the remaining berries, heap with the whipped cream, and serve.
33. BLUEBERRIES, which are not cultivated, but grow in the wild state, are a many-seeded berry, blue or bluish-black in color. Huckleberries, although belonging to a different class, are commonly regarded as blueberries by many persons. Berries of this kind occur in many varieties. Some grow on low bushes close to the ground, others are found on taller bushes, and still others grow on very tall bushes. Again, some grow in dry ground in a mountainous region, others grow in a level, sandy soil, and other varieties succeed better on swampy soil. Berries of this class are not so perishable as most other berries, but in many localities they cannot be purchased at all, for, as a rule, they are used only in the immediate vicinity in which they grow.
Blueberries have small seeds and coarse, tough skins. They contain very little acid, but are excellent for pies and sauce. However, they will make jelly very well if there are a few partly ripe berries among them, and their flavor is improved if some fruit containing acid is added to them. To prepare them for use, whether they are to be served raw or cooked, look them over carefully in order that all green or spoiled ones are removed and then wash them well in cold water.
34. PRESSED BLUEBERRY PUDDING.—A delicious pudding can be made by combining blueberries with slices of bread. The accompanying recipe gives directions for pudding of this kind.
PRESSED BLUEBERRY PUDDING (Sufficient to Serve Eight)
1 qt. blueberries 1 c. water 1/2 c. sugar 8 slices bread Whipped cream
Put the blueberries, water, and sugar into a saucepan and boil for a few minutes. Put four of the slices of bread, which should be cut about 1/2 inch thick, in the bottom of a square pan. Pour one-half of the blueberries and the juice over the bread, and put the four remaining slices of bread on top of the berries. Pour the rest of the blueberries and juice over the bread. Place another square pan over the top and weight it down so as to press the pudding. Then set the pudding in the refrigerator until it is cool. Cut into squares, remove from the pan, and serve with sweetened whipped cream.
35. BLUEBERRY PUDDING.—A baking-powder-biscuit dough baked with blueberries makes a very appetizing dessert. To serve with a pudding of this kind, a cream or a hard sauce should be made.
BLUEBERRY PUDDING (Sufficient to Serve Six)
Baking-powder-biscuit dough 1 qt. blueberries 1/2 c. sugar
Make a rather thin baking-powder-biscuit mixture. Spread a layer of this in the bottom of a square pan and cover it with a layer of the blueberries. Pour 1/4 cupful of the sugar over the berries and then cover with another layer of the dough. Over this, pour the remainder of the berries and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over all. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut into squares, and serve with cream or hard sauce.
36. CRANBERRIES grow wild in many localities, but most persons who use them buy them in the market as a cultivated fruit. Their season begins in the fall and lasts until early spring, and during this time they can usually be obtained in the market. They contain considerable acid and consequently require a great deal of sugar to make them sufficiently sweet to be palatable. They are more often served as an accompaniment to a dinner course, especially with turkey or other poultry, than eaten as a sauce. At times they are used in the making of muffins, pudding, and various kinds of pastry.
One of the advantages of cranberries is that they keep very well in the raw state. However, before they are cooked, they should be looked over carefully, freed of any stems, foreign material, and spoiled berries, and then washed thoroughly in cold water.
37. CRANBERRY SAUCE.—One can hardly imagine a turkey dinner without cranberry sauce as one of the accompaniments; but it may be served when meats other than turkey are used. In fact, because of its tart flavor, it forms a most appetizing addition to any meal.
CRANBERRY SAUCE (Sufficient to Serve Six)
1-1/2 c. water 2 c. sugar 4 c. cranberries
Add the water to the cranberries and place over the fire to cook in a closely covered kettle. As soon as the skins of the berries have cracked, add the sugar. Cook slowly for a few minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the fire and cool before serving.
38. CRANBERRY JELLY.—If the cranberries are preferred without the skins, cranberry jelly should be tried. When cool, this solidifies and may be served in attractive ways.
CRANBERRY JELLY (Sufficient to Serve Six)
2 c. water 1 qt. cranberries 2 c. sugar
Pour the water over the cranberries and cook them for 10 or 15 minutes. Then mash them through a sieve or a colander with a wooden potato masher. Add the sugar to the mashed cranberries. Return to the heat and cook for 5 to 8 minutes longer. Turn into a mold and cool.
39. RASPBERRIES come in two general varieties, which are commonly known as red and black. There are many species of each kind, and all of them are much favored, as they are delicious fruit. As a raw fruit, raspberries have their most satisfactory use, but they may be made into several excellent desserts and they are also much used for canning and preserving. They are a perishable fruit and so do not keep well. Because of their softness, they have to be washed very carefully to prevent them from breaking or becoming mushy.
40. RED-RASPBERRY WHIP.—No more dainty dessert can be made than raspberry whip, which is explained in the accompanying recipe. Cake that is not very rich, such as ladyfingers or sponge cake, makes a very good accompaniment for this dessert.
RED-RASPBERRY WHIP (Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 qt. raspberries 1 c. powdered sugar 2 egg whites
Put the raspberries, sugar, and egg whites into a bowl. Mash the berries before starting to whip. Beat the mixture with an egg whip until it is reduced to a pulpy mass and is stiff and fluffy. Pile lightly into a bowl, chill, and serve with ladyfingers or sponge cake.
41. RASPBERRY SHORTCAKE.—Either black or red raspberries make a delicious shortcake when combined with a cake or a biscuit mixture. Directions for making such a shortcake are given in the accompanying recipe.
RASPBERRY SHORTCAKE (Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 qt. raspberries 1 c. sugar Biscuit or plain-cake dough
Mash or chop the berries, as preferred, and add the sugar to them. Bake the biscuit or plain-cake dough in a single, thick layer, and when it has been removed from the pan split it into halves with a sharp knife. Spread half the berries between the two pieces of biscuit or cake and the remaining half on top. Cut into pieces of the desired size and serve with plain or whipped cream.
42. STRAWBERRIES are perhaps more popular than any other kind of berry. They are reddish in color, have a somewhat acid flavor, and range in size from 1/2 inch to 2 inches in diameter. Strawberries are much used for jams and preserves; they may also be used for making a delicious jelly, but as they lack pectin this ingredient must be supplied. These berries are eaten fresh to a great extent, but are also much used for pastry making and for various kinds of dessert; in fact, there is practically no limit to the number of recipes that may be given for strawberries. Before they are used in any way, they should be washed thoroughly in cold water and then their hulls should be removed.
43. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE.—For strawberry shortcake, either a biscuit or a plain-cake mixture may be used, some persons preferring the one and other persons the other. This may be made in a large cake, as shown in Fig. 1, and then cut into pieces, or it may be made into individual cakes, as Fig. 2 shows. Whichever plan is followed, the cakes are split in the same way and the crushed berries inserted between the halves. This dish may be made more attractive in appearance if a few of the finest berries are saved and used as a garniture.
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE (Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 qt. strawberries 1 c. sugar Biscuit or plain cake dough
Mash or chop the berries, add the sugar to them, and let them stand until the sugar has dissolved. Bake the biscuit or plain-cake dough in a single thick layer or, if desired, bake it in individual cakes, cutting the biscuit dough with a cookie cutter and putting the cake mixture in muffin pans. Remove from the pan, cut in two with a sharp knife, and spread half of the berries over the lower piece. Set the upper piece on the berries. In the case of the large cake, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and then on this arrange a number of the largest and finest of the berries, as Fig. 1 shows, as a garniture. Cut in pieces of the desired size and serve with or without either plain or whipped cream. In preparing the individual cakes, spread a spoonful or two of the crushed berries over the top, as Fig. 2 shows, and serve with whipped cream.
44. STRAWBERRY WHIP.—Strawberries may be used instead of raspberries in the recipe for red-raspberry whip. When prepared in this way and served with fresh cake, strawberries make a very appetizing dessert.
45. OTHER STRAWBERRY DESSERTS.—If it is desired to serve strawberries just with sugar, they can be made attractive with very little effort. Garnish a plate with some of the strawberry leaves and on them place a few fine large strawberries that have been washed but have not had the hulls removed. Serve a small dish of powdered sugar with the strawberries, so that they may be dipped into the sugar and eaten by holding the hull of the berry in the fingers. Strawberries crushed with sugar and served with blanc mange or custard also make a very delicious dessert.
46. CURRANTS come in three varieties—red, white, and black. They are not often eaten fresh, but are generally utilized for making jellies, jams, and preserves, or for pastry and pies. When they are to be used for jelly, it is not necessary to pick them from the stems, as they may be washed and cooked on their stems. Some varieties of currants are dried and these are used extensively in the making of cakes, cookies, etc. The usefulness of this fruit as a food is not so great as many others. No recipes are given for it because of its little use in the fresh form.
47. GOOSEBERRIES, like currants, are somewhat limited in their variety of uses, being seldom used except for jelly, preserves, and pies. Before gooseberries are ripe they are light green in color and rather sour in taste, but as they ripen the amount of acid they contain decreases, so that they become sweet in flavor and change to brownish-purple. Green gooseberries are often canned for pies, and when in this state or when partly ripe they are also made up into many kinds of preserves and jelly. In their preparation for these uses, both the stems and the blossom ends should be removed. As a rule, berries of this kind keep very well and stand considerable handling because their outside skin is very tough.
48. LOGANBERRIES are a fruit produced by crossing a variety of red raspberries with a species of blackberry. They are not very common, but are an excellent berry and are well liked by those who can obtain them. They may be used for any purpose for which either raspberries or blackberries are used. Therefore, in the recipes given for these two kinds of berries, loganberries may be substituted whenever they can be obtained.
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NATURE AND USE
49. Besides the berries that have just been described, there are a large number of fruits that are grown in temperate climates and are therefore regarded as NON-TROPICAL FRUITS. Extensive use is made of these fruits in the regions in which they are grown or in places that are within easy shipping distances of the source of supply. All of them have a protective covering, or skin, and consequently keep for long periods of time if they are not too ripe when picked. Those which contain the highest percentage of water are the most perishable.
50. APPLES, of which there are at least a thousand varieties, are probably the best known of the non-tropical fruits. Some apples mature early in the summer, while others do not ripen until late in the fall. The late apples can be kept during the entire winter if they are properly stored, but the summer varieties must generally be used immediately, as they do not have good keeping qualities. In each locality in which apples are grown, a few varieties seem to be especially popular and are used to the exclusion of others. Some apples are good for one purpose and some for another. For instance, many that are excellent if eaten raw are not good for cooking purposes, and others that cook well are not suitable for eating. It is therefore a good idea for the housewife to become familiar with the varieties of apples raised in her community and to learn the use to which each kind can be put to advantage.
Apples of all kinds may be prepared in a large variety of ways. They are much used for sauce, pie, and numerous desserts, as well as for jelly and, with various fruit mixtures, for jams and preserves. The juice of apples, which upon being extracted is known as cider, is used in a number of ways, but its most important use is in the manufacture of vinegar.
51. APPLE SAUCE.—When apple sauce is to be made, apples that are somewhat sour and that will cook soft easily should be selected. This is a dessert that can be made all during the winter when it is often difficult to obtain other fruits fresh. It is usually served when roast pork is the main dish of a meal, but is just as appetizing when served with other foods.
APPLE SAUCE (Sufficient to Serve Six)
10 medium-sized apples 1/2 c. water 1 c. sugar
Wash the apples, cut them in quarters, remove the cores, and, if desired, peel them. Put them into a saucepan, add the water, and allow them to cook until they are very soft. If the apples are inclined to be dry, a little more water may be necessary. When done, force them through a colander or a sieve, add the sugar to the pulp, and return to the stove. Cook until the sugar is completely dissolved and, if necessary, until the apple sauce is slightly thickened, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat, and season with lemon peel cut fine, cinnamon, or nutmeg.
If there are apples in supply that do not cook well for apple sauce, they may be peeled, quartered, and cored, and cooked with the sugar and water. Then, instead of being forced through a sieve, they should be allowed to remain in pieces in the sirup.
52. PORCUPINE APPLES.—A pleasing change in the way of an apple dessert may be had by making porcupine apples.
PORCUPINE APPLES (Sufficient to Serve Six)
6 large apples 1 c. sugar 1 c. water 2 doz. almonds Currant jelly
Wash, core, and pare the apples. Make a sirup by bringing the sugar and water to the boiling point. Put the apples into the sirup, cook on one side for several minutes, and then turn and cook on the other side. Do not allow the apples to cook completely in the sirup, but when they are still hard remove them and continue to boil the sirup down. Set the apples in a shallow pan, stick the almonds, which should be blanched, into them so that they will project like porcupine quills, sprinkle them with sugar, and bake in the oven until they are soft and the almonds slightly brown. Remove from the oven, fill the center of each with currant jelly, pour the juice over them, and serve.
53. BAKED APPLES.—Nothing is more palatable than baked apples if a juicy, sour variety can be secured.
BAKED APPLES (Sufficient to Serve Six)
6 medium-sized sour apples 1/2 c. brown sugar 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1 Tb. butter 1/2 c. water
Wash and core the apples, place them in a baking dish, and fill the centers with the brown sugar mixed with the cinnamon. Put a small piece of butter on top of each apple, pour the water in the bottom of the pan, set in the oven, and bake until the apples are soft. Baste frequently with the juice that collects in the bottom of the pan. Serve hot or cold, as desired.
Apples baked in this way may be improved in flavor by serving grape juice over them. Heat the grape juice, and then, if the apples are to be served hot, pour about 2 tablespoonfuls over each apple just before serving. In case the apples are to be served cold, pour the hot grape juice over them and then allow them to cool.
54. MAPLE APPLES.—Apples cooked in maple sirup have a very pleasing flavor. The sirup that remains in the pan is poured over the apples when they are served.
MAPLE APPLES (Sufficient to Serve Six)
6 medium-sized apples 1 c. maple sirup
Wash, peel, and core the apples. Bring the maple sirup to the boiling point in a saucepan. Drop the apples into the hot sirup, cook first on one side, and then turn and cook on the other. As soon as they become soft, remove from the sirup, pour the sirup over them, and serve.
55. STEAMED APPLES.—If it is desired to retain the color in apples that have red skins, they should be steamed instead of baked, for the color is lost in baking. Prepare apples that are to be steamed by washing them and removing the cores. Place the apples in a pan with a perforated bottom, put this over a pan of boiling water, cover closely, and steam until they are soft. Serve in any desired way. They will be found to be delicious in flavor and attractive in appearance.
56. APRICOTS, in appearance, are a cross between peaches and plums. They are grown extensively in the western part of the United States, but they can be grown in any climate where peaches and plums are raised. As they contain considerable acid, they require a large quantity of sugar when they are cooked with their skins and seeds. They are used most frequently for canning, but they make excellent marmalades and jams. They are also dried in large quantities and, in this form, make delicious desserts.
57. APRICOT SOUFFLE.—No more attractive as well as delicious dessert can be prepared than apricot souffle, which is illustrated in Fig. 3. The apricots are just tart enough to give it a very pleasing flavor.
APRICOT SOUFFLE (Sufficient to Serve Six)
2 Tb. butter 4 Tb. flour 1/3 c. sugar Pinch of salt 1 c. scalded milk 3 eggs 1/2 tsp. vanilla 1 can apricots
Melt the butter, add the flour, sugar, and salt, and stir in the hot milk. Bring this mixture to the boiling point. Separate the yolks and whites of the eggs. Beat the yolks until they are thick and lemon-colored, and then pour the hot mixture over them, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from curding. Beat the whites until they are stiff, fold them into the mixture, and add the vanilla. Place the apricots without juice in a layer on the bottom of the buttered baking dish, pour the mixture over them, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes in a hot oven, when it should be baked through and slightly brown on top and should appear as in Fig. 3. Remove from the oven and serve with the sirup from the apricots. Whipped cream may also be added if desired.
58. CHERRIES come in numerous varieties, some of which are sweet and others sour. The method of using them in cookery depends largely on the kind of cherry that is to be used. Any of the varieties may be canned with varying quantities of sugar and then used for sauce. They also make excellent preserves, especially the sour varieties. However, they do not contain pectin in sufficient quantity for jelly, so that when cherry jelly is desired, other fruit or material containing pectin must be used with the cherries. When purchased in the market, cherries usually have their stems on. They should be washed before the stems are removed. The seeds may be taken out by hand or by means of cherry seeders made especially for this purpose.
59. CHERRY FRITTERS.—Something different in the way of dessert can be had by making cherry fritters according to the accompanying recipe.
CHERRY FRITTERS (Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 c. flour 2 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 2 Tb. sugar 1/2 c. milk 1 egg 2 Tb. butter 1/2 c. cherries cut into halves
Mix and sift the dry ingredients, add the milk and egg, and beat all together well. Add the melted butter and fold in the cherries. Drop by spoonfuls into hot fat and fry until brown. Remove from the fat, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve.
60. GRAPES are a fruit extensively cultivated both for eating and for the making of wines and raisins. Although found in many varieties, they naturally divide themselves into two general classes: those which retain their skins, such as the Malaga, Tokay, Muscat, Cornichon, Emperor, etc., and those which slip out of their skins easily, such as the Concord, Niagara, Delaware, Catawba, etc.
Grapes are much used as a fresh fruit. When they are to be used in this way, the bunches should be put into a colander and washed thoroughly by running cold water over them. Then all the imperfect ones should be removed and the grapes kept cool until they are to be served. Clean grape leaves make an attractive garnish for the individual plates or the serving dish on which the grapes are placed. Grapes are also used extensively for making jelly and grape juice, a beverage that is well liked.
61. It will be found that through proper care grapes can be kept a long time in the fall after they are removed from the vines, provided perfect bunches are obtained and they are picked before they have become too ripe. To preserve such grapes, dip the ends of the stems into melted sealing wax in order to prevent the evaporation of moisture through the stems. Then, in a cool, dry place, lay the bunches out on racks in a single layer, taking care not to crush nor bruise them.
62. UNFERMENTED GRAPE JUICE WITH WATER.—Grape juice may be made either with or without water. That in which water is used in the making usually requires no diluting when it is served as a beverage. Concord grapes are perhaps used more commonly for the making of grape juice than any other variety, but other kinds, particularly Catawbas and Niagaras, may be used as well.
UNFERMENTED GRAPE JUICE WITH WATER
12 qt. grapes 2 qt. water 4 lb. sugar
Wash the grapes and remove them from the stems. Put them with the water into a preserving kettle, and heat gradually until the skins of the grapes burst. Dip off as much juice as possible, and put it into a jelly bag. Continue to heat and dip off the juice in this way until the pulp is comparatively dry. Then add a little more water to the pulp and put it in the bag to drip. When all the juice has dripped through the bag, pour it back into the preserving kettle, add the sugar, and bring to the boiling point. Stir frequently, so that the sugar will be well dissolved. Pour into jars or bottles, seal, and sterilize by cooking for about 5 minutes in hot water that nearly covers the bottles. Any large receptacle that will hold sufficient water may be used as a sterilizer.
63. UNFERMENTED GRAPE JUICE WITHOUT WATER.—When grape juice is made without water, it is both thick and rich. Consequently, it should usually be diluted with water when it is served as a beverage.
UNFERMENTED GRAPE JUICE WITHOUT WATER
12 qt. grapes 3 lb. sugar
Wash the grapes, remove them from the stems, and put them into a preserving kettle. Heat very slowly and mash with a spoon, so that enough juice will be pressed out and thus prevent the grapes from scorching. Remove the juice as it forms and put it into a jelly bag. When all of it has been taken from the grapes and strained through the jelly bag, strain the pulp and put all the juice into a preserving kettle, add the sugar, and bring to the boiling point. Pour into bottles or jars, seal, and sterilize in a water bath for about 5 minutes.
64. PEACHES may be divided into two general classes: those having a yellow skin and those having a white skin. In each of these classes are found both clingstone and freestone peaches; that is, peaches whose pulp adheres tightly to the seed, or stone, and those in which the pulp can be separated easily from the stone. When peaches are purchased for canning or for any use in which it is necessary to remove the seeds, freestones should be selected. Clingstones may be used when the stones are allowed to remain in the fruit, as in pickled peaches, and for jams, preserves, or butters, in which small pieces may be used or the entire peach mashed. Whether to select yellow or white peaches, however, is merely a matter of taste, as some persons prefer one kind and some the other.
65. Peaches are not satisfactory for jelly making, because they do not contain pectin. However, the juice of peaches makes a very good sirup if it is sweetened and cooked until it is thick. Such sirup is really just as delicious as maple sirup with griddle cakes. Peaches are used to a large extent for canning and are also made into preserves, jams, and butters. In addition, they are much used without cooking, for they are favored by most persons. When they are to be served whole, they should be washed and then wiped with a damp cloth to remove the fuzz. The skins may be removed by blanching the peaches in boiling water or peeling them with a sharp knife. If they are then sliced or cut in any desirable way and served with cream and sugar, they make a delicious dessert.
66. STEWED PEACHES.—Fresh stewed peaches make a very desirable dessert to serve with simple cake or cookies. Children may very readily eat such dessert without danger of digestive disturbances. Adding a tablespoonful of butter to the hot stewed peaches and then serving them over freshly made toast makes a delightful breakfast dish. The cooked peaches may also be run through a sieve, reheated with a little flour or corn starch to thicken them slightly, and then served hot on buttered toast.
STEWED PEACHES (Sufficient to Serve Eight)
1-1/2 qt. peaches 1 lb. sugar 1 c. water
Peel the peaches, cut into halves, and remove the seeds. Put the sugar and water over the fire to cook in a saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Add the peaches and cook until they may be easily pierced with a fork.
67. BAKED PEACHES.—When peaches are to be baked, select large firm ones. Wash them thoroughly and cut them into halves, removing the stones. Place the peaches in a shallow pan, fill the cavities with sugar, and dot the top of each half with butter. Set in the oven and bake until the peaches become soft. Serve hot or cold, either with or without cream, as desired.
68. PEARS, like apples, come in summer and winter varieties. The summer varieties must be utilized during the summer and early fall or must be canned at this time to preserve them for future use. Winter pears, however, may be stored, for they keep like apples. A number of the small varieties of pears are much used for pickling. Pears are most valuable when they are canned and used for sauce. They cannot be used for jelly, because they do not contain sufficient acid nor pectin. The juice from canned pears, because of its mild flavor, is often found to be valuable in the feeding of invalids or persons who have gastric troubles. It is usually advisable to pick pears before they are entirely ripe, for then they may be kept for a considerable length of time and will ripen slowly.
69. BAKED PEARS.—Although pears are rather mild in flavor, they are delicious when baked if lemon is added. Wash thoroughly pears that are to be baked, cut them into halves, and remove the cores. Place them in a shallow pan, fill the holes in the center with sugar, dot with butter, and place a thin slice of lemon over each piece. Pour a few spoonfuls of water into the pan, set in the oven, and bake until the pears can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and serve hot or cold.
70. PLUMS are among the very strong acid fruits. Some varieties of them seem to be more tart after they are cooked than before, but, as already explained, this condition is due to the fact that the acid contained in the skin and around the seeds is liberated during the cooking. This fruit, of which there are numerous varieties, is generally used for canning, preserving, etc. It does not make jelly successfully in all cases unless some material containing pectin is added. Very firm plums may have the skins removed by blanching if it seems advisable to take them off.
71. STEWED PLUMS.—Because of the many varieties of plums with their varying degrees of acidity, it is difficult to make a recipe with a quantity of sugar that will suit all kinds. The recipe given here is suitable for medium sour plums, such as egg plums and the common red and yellow varieties. Damsons and green gages will probably require more sugar, while prune plums may require less.
STEWED PLUMS (Sufficient to Serve Eight)
1-1/2 qt. plums 1 lb. sugar 3/4 c. water
Wash the plums and prick each one two or three times with a fork. Bring the sugar and water to the boiling point and, when rapidly boiling, add the plums. Cook until they are tender, remove from the fire, cool, and serve.
72. QUINCES are one of the non-perishable fruits. They mature late in the fall and may be kept during the winter in much the same way as apples. While quinces are not used so extensively as most other fruits, there are many uses to which they may be put and much can be done with a small quantity. For instance, various kinds of preserves and marmalades may be made entirely of quinces or of a combination of quinces and some other fruit. They also make excellent jelly. As their flavor is very strong, a small quantity of quince pulp used with apples or some other fruit will give the typical flavor of quinces. When combined with sweet apples, they make a very delicious sauce.
The skin of quinces is covered with a thick fuzz, which can be removed by wiping the fruit with a damp cloth. A point that should be remembered about quinces is that they are extremely hard and require long cooking to make them tender and palatable.
73. STEWED QUINCES AND APPLES.—The combination of quinces and apples is very delicious. Sweet apples, which are difficult to use as a cooked fruit because of a lack of flavor, may be combined very satisfactorily with quinces, for the quinces impart a certain amount of their strong flavor to the bland apples and thus the flavor of both is improved.
STEWED QUINCES AND APPLES (Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 qt. sweet apples 1 pt. quinces 1 lb. sugar 1 c. water
Wash, peel, core, and quarter the fruit. Add the sugar to the water and place over the fire until it conies to a rapid boil. Then add the quinces and cook until they are partly softened. Add the sweet apples and continue the cooking until both are tender. Remove from the fire, cool, and serve.
74. RHUBARB is in reality not a fruit, but it is always considered as such because it is cooked with sugar and served as a fruit. It has the advantage of coming early in the spring before there are many fruits in the market. As it contains a large quantity of oxalic acid, it is very sour and must be cooked with considerable sugar to become palatable, the addition of which makes the food value of cooked rhubarb very high. Rhubarb is much used for pies and is frequently canned for sauce. It is also used as a cheap filler with a more expensive fruit in the making of marmalades, conserves, and jams.
The stems of some varieties of rhubarb are characterized by a great deal of red color, while others are entirely green. The red rhubarb makes a more attractive dish when it is cooked and served than the green, but it has no better flavor. The outside of the stem has a skin that may be removed by catching hold of it at one end with a knife and stripping it off the remainder of the stem. It is not necessary to remove the skin from young and tender rhubarb, but it is often an advantage to remove it from rhubarb that is old. It should be remembered that the stems of rhubarb contain considerable water and so require very little liquid in their cooking.
75. STEWED RHUBARB.—Two methods of stewing rhubarb are in practice, the one to select depending on the way it is preferred. In one method, which keeps the pieces whole, the sugar and water are brought to the boiling point before the rhubarb is added, while in the other, the rhubarb is cooked with water until it is soft and the sugar then added.
STEWED RHUBARB (Sufficient to Serve Six)
2 c. sugar 1/2 c. water 1 qt. cut rhubarb
Mix the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boiling point. Wash the stems of the rhubarb and cut into inch lengths. Add the rhubarb to the sirup and cook until it is tender enough to be pierced with a fork. If desired, a flavoring of lemon peel may be added. Turn into a dish, allow to cool, and serve.
If the other method is preferred, cook the rhubarb with the water until it is soft and then add the sugar.
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76. Fruits that contain citric acid are grouped together and are known as CITRUS FRUITS. All of these are similar in structure, although they differ in size, as will be observed from Fig. 4. Here the citrus fruits most commonly used are illustrated, the large one in the center being a grapefruit; the two to the left, oranges; the two to the right, lemons; and the two in the front, tangerines.
All varieties of these fruits are tropical or semitropical and are shipped to the North in boxes that contain various numbers, the number that can be packed in a box depending on the size of the fruit. The south, southeastern, and western parts of the United States supply practically all of these fruits that are found in the northern markets. They stand storage well and keep for long periods of time if they are packed before they are too ripe. These characteristics, together with the fact that they are at their prime at different times in different localities, make it possible to market such fruits during the entire year, although they are much better at certain seasons than at others.
77. The majority of citrus fruits contain a fair amount of sugar and a great deal of water; consequently, they are very juicy and refreshing. A few of them, however, such as lemons and limes, contain very little sugar and considerable acid and are therefore extremely sour. In the use of such varieties, sugar must be added to make them palatable.
The greatest use made of citrus fruits is that of serving them raw. However, they are also used in the making of marmalades, conserves, and such confections as candied fruits. Then, too, the juice of a number of them, such as lemons, oranges, and limes, makes very refreshing beverages, so these varieties are much used for this purpose.
78. Grapefruit, also known as shaddock, is a large, pale-yellow fruit belonging to the citrus group. One variety, known as the pomelo, is the kind that is commonly found in the market. It is slightly flattened on both the blossom and stem ends.
Grapefruit has a typical flavor and a slightly bitter taste and contains neither a great deal of sugar nor a large amount of acid. Because of its refreshing, somewhat acid pulp and juice, it is highly prized as a fruit to be eaten at breakfast or as an appetizer for a fruit cocktail. It is also much used in the making of fruit salads.
79. SELECTION OF GRAPEFRUIT.—Grapefruit should be selected with care in order that fruit of good quality may be obtained. Some persons think that to be good grapefruit should be large, but it should be remembered that size is not the factor by which to judge the quality. The fruit should be heavy for its size and the skin should be fine-grained and even. Coarse-grained skin, as a rule, is thick and indicates that the pulp is rather pithy and without juice.
80. PREPARATION OF GRAPEFRUIT.—Different ways of serving grapefruit are in practice, and it is well that these be understood. This is generally considered a rather difficult fruit to eat, but if care is exercised in its preparation for the table it can be eaten with comfort. For preparing grapefruit, a narrow, sharp-bladed paring knife may be used. As is well known, a grapefruit is always cut apart half way between the stem and the blossom ends and a half served to each person.
81. One method of preparing grapefruit consists in cutting the skin in such a way that the seeds can be taken out and the pulp then easily removed with a spoon. To prepare it in this way, cut the grapefruit into halves, and then, with a sharp knife, cut around the pithy core in the center, cutting off the smallest possible end of each of the sections. With this done, remove the seeds, which will be found firmly lodged near the core and which can be readily pushed out with the point of the knife. Then cut down each side of the skin between the sections so as to separate the pulp from the skin. Around the edge next to the outside skin, cut the pulp in each section with a single jab of the knife, taking care not to cut the skin between the sections. The entire pulp of each section, which will be found to be loose on both sides and ends if the cutting is correctly done, can then be readily removed with a spoon.
82. In another method of preparing this fruit for the table, all the skin inside of the fruit is removed and nothing but the pulp is left. This method, which is illustrated in Figs. 5 to 10, inclusive, requires a little more time and care than the previous one, but the result justifies the effort. After cutting the grapefruit into halves, remove the seeds with a sharp knife, as shown in Fig. 5. Then, with the same knife, cut the grapefruit from the skin all the way around the edge, as in Fig. 6; also, cut down each side of the skin between the sections, so as to separate the pulp from the skin, as in Fig. 7. With the pulp loosened, insert a pair of scissors along the outside edge, as in Fig. 8, and make a slanting cut toward the core.
Then, as in Fig. 9, cut the core loose from the outside skin. Repeat this operation for each section. If the cutting has been properly done, the core and skin enclosing the sections may be lifted out of the grapefruit, and, as shown in Fig. 10, will then be in the form of a many-pointed star. As only the pulp remains in the outside skin, the grapefruit can be eaten without difficulty.
83. SERVING GRAPEFRUIT.—When grapefruit has been properly ripened, it is rather sweet, so that many persons prefer it without sugar; but when sugar is desired, the fruit is very much more delicious if it is prepared some time before it is to be served, the sugar added to it, and the fruit placed in a cool place. If this is done in the evening and the grapefruit is served for breakfast, a large amount of very delicious juice will have collected through the night. At any rate, grapefruit is best if it is sweetened long enough before it is served to give the sugar a chance to penetrate.
84. LEMONS are a citrus fruit raised in tropical regions. They are shipped to other climates in cases that hold from 180 to 540, depending on the size of the lemons, 300 to the case being a medium and commonly used size. Their quality is judged like that of grapefruit; that is, by their weight, the texture of their skin, and their general color and shape.
Lemons contain very little sugar, but they are characterized by a large amount of acid. Because of this fact, their juice is used to season foods in much the same way as vinegar is used. In fact, their chief uses are in making desserts and in seasoning such foods as custards, pudding sauces, etc. However, their juice is also much used in the making of beverages, such as lemonade and fruit punch.
85. ORANGES belong to the group of citrus fruits, but they differ from both lemons and grapefruit in that they contain more sugar and less acid. Two kinds of oranges supply the demands for this fruit, Florida and California oranges. Florida oranges have a skin more the color of lemons and grapefruit and contain seeds, but they are considered to be the finest both as to flavor and quality. California oranges, which have a bright-yellow or orange skin, are seedless and are known as navel oranges. As soon as the Florida season ends, the California season begins; consequently, the market season for this fruit is a lengthy one. The russet of oranges is caused by the bite of an insect on the skin. To be shipped, oranges are packed in cases that will contain from 48 to 400 to the case.
Probably no citrus fruit is used so extensively as oranges. Because of their refreshing subacid flavor, they are much eaten in their fresh state, both alone and in combination with other foods in numerous salads and desserts.
86. PREPARATION OF ORANGES.—Several attractive ways of preparing oranges for the table when they are to be eaten raw are shown in Fig. 11.
To prepare them in the way shown at the left, cut the orange into two parts, cutting half way between the stem and blossom ends, and loosen the pulp in each half in the manner explained in Art. 81 for the preparation of grapefruit. Then the pulp may be eaten from the orange with a spoon.
If an orange is to be eaten in sections, the skin may be cut from the stem to the blossom end about six times and then loosened from the one end and turned in toward the orange in the manner shown in the central figure of the group. It will then be easy to remove the skin.
Sometimes it is desired to serve sliced oranges, as shown at the right. To prepare oranges in this way, remove the skin from the orange, cut it in halves lengthwise, and then slice it in thin slices crosswise. Arrange the slices on a plate and serve as desired.
87. When oranges are to be used for salads, or for any purpose in which merely the pulp is desired, as, for instance, orange custard, all the skin between the sections must be removed, as it makes any warm mixture bitter. To secure the pulp without any of the skin, first peel the orange, as shown in Fig. 12, in the same way an apple is peeled, beginning at one end and peeling around and around deeply enough to remove with the skin all the white pithy material under it. If the knife is a sharp one and the peeling is carefully done, there will be little waste of the pulp. When the orange is entirely peeled, cut each section from the skin by passing the knife as closely as possible between the pulp and the skin, as shown in Fig. 13. The sections thus obtained may be used whole or cut into pieces of any desired size.
MISCELLANEOUS CITRUS FRUITS
88. In addition to grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, the three principal varieties of citrus fruits, this group also includes kumquats, limes, mandarins, and tangerines. These fruits are not of so much importance in the diet as the other varieties, but when they are used as foods they have a food value about equal to that of apples the same in size. They are not in such common use as the citrus fruits already discussed, but it is well for every housewife to know what they are and to what use they can be put.
89. KUMQUATS are an acid fruit resembling oranges in color but being about the size and shape of small plums. They are used principally for the making of marmalades and jams, and in this use both the skin and the pulp are included.
90. LIMES look like small lemons. They are very sour and do not contain sugar in any quantity. They are valued chiefly for their juice, which is utilized in the making of drinks, confections, etc.
91. MANDARINS and TANGERINES are really varieties of oranges and are used in much the same way. They have a very sweet flavor. Their skin does not cling so closely as the skin of oranges. For this reason they are known as glove oranges and are very easily peeled.
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92. Besides the citrus fruits, which may also be regarded as tropical fruits because they grow in tropical regions, there are a number of other fruits that may be conveniently grouped under the heading Tropical Fruits. The best known of these are bananas and pineapples, but numerous others, such as avocados, guavas, nectarines, pomegranates, tamarinds, and mangoes, are also raised in the tropical countries and should be included in this class. The majority of these fruits stand shipment well, but if they are to be shipped to far distant places they must be picked before they become too ripe and must be packed well. As bananas and pineapples are used more extensively than the other tropical fruits, they are discussed here in greater detail; however, enough information is given about the others to enable the housewife to become familiar with them.
93. BANANAS are a tropical fruit that have become very popular with the people in the North. As they are usually picked and shipped green and then ripened by a process of heating when they are ready to be put on the market, it is possible to obtain them in a very good condition. It should be remembered, however, that they are not ripe enough to eat until all the green color has left the skin. The stem of the bunch may be green, but the bananas themselves should be perfectly yellow. Black spots, which are sometimes found on the skins, indicate overripeness or bruises. When the spots come from overripeness, however, they do not injure the quality of the fruit, unless there are a great many of them; in fact, many persons consider that bananas are better when the skins are black than at any other time.
94. Just under the skin of the banana is some pithy material that clings to the outside of the fruit and that has a pungent, disagreeable taste. This objectionable taste may be done away with by scraping the surface of the banana slightly, as shown in Fig. 14, after the skin is removed.
The strong, typical flavor that characterizes bananas is due to the volatile oil they contain. It is this oil that causes bananas to disagree with some persons. The common yellow variety has a milder flavor than red bananas and certain other kinds and, consequently, is more popular. If the oil of bananas does not prove irritating, much use should be made of this fruit, because its food value is high, being about double that of apples and oranges.
95. Bananas are eaten raw more often than in any other way, but many persons find cooked bananas very agreeable. Then, too, it is sometimes claimed that cooked bananas are more digestible than raw ones because of the starch that bananas contain. However, this argument may be discounted, for a well-ripened banana contains such a small quantity of starch that no consideration need be given to it.
96. BAKED BANANAS.—If bananas are to be cooked, they can be made very appetizing by baking them with a sirup made of vinegar, sugar, and butter. When prepared in this way, they should be cut in two lengthwise, and then baked in a shallow pan, as Fig. 15 shows.
BAKED BANANAS (Sufficient to Serve Six)
6 bananas 2 Tb. butter 1/3 c. sugar 3 Tb. vinegar
Remove the skins from the bananas, scrape the surface as in Fig. 14, and cut them in half lengthwise. Arrange the halves in a shallow pan. Melt the butter and mix it with the sugar and the vinegar. Pour a spoonful of the mixture over each banana and then set the pan in the oven. Bake in a slow oven for about 20 minutes, basting frequently with the remainder of the sirup during the baking. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
97. Banana Fritters.—Delicious fritters can be made with bananas as a foundation. The accompanying recipe, if carefully followed, will result in a dish that will be appetizing, especially to those who are fond of this fruit.
BANANA FRITTERS (Sufficient to Serve Six)
4 bananas 1 Tb. lemon juice 1/2 c. flour 2 Tb. sugar 1/4 tsp. salt 1/3 c. milk 1 egg 1 Tb. butter, melted Powdered sugar
Remove the skins from the bananas, scrape them, and cut them once lengthwise and once crosswise. Sprinkle the pieces with the lemon juice. Make a batter by mixing and sifting the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in the milk gradually, and add the yolk of the beaten egg and the melted butter. Lastly, fold in the beaten egg white. Sprinkle the bananas with powdered sugar, dip them into the batter, and fry in deep fat until brown. Sprinkle again with powdered sugar and serve.
98. Pineapples are grown in the southern part of the United States, on the islands off the southeastern coast, and in Hawaii. They vary in size according to the age of the plants. It requires from 18 to 20 months for the fruit to develop, and the plants yield only four or five crops. Much of this fruit is canned where it is grown, but as it is covered with a heavy skin it will tolerate shipping long distances very well. It is shipped to the market in cases that contain from 24 to 48 pineapples to the case. Usually, for a few weeks during the summer, the price of fresh pineapples is reasonable enough to warrant canning them.
99. The food value of pineapples is slightly lower than that of oranges and apples. However, pineapples have a great deal of flavor, and for this reason they are very valuable in the making of desserts, preserves, marmalades, and beverages of various kinds. It is said that the combination of pineapple and lemon will flavor a greater amount of food than any other fruit combined. Another characteristic of pineapples is that they contain a ferment that acts upon protein material and therefore is sometimes thought to aid considerably in the digestion of food. The probabilities are that this ferment really produces very little action in the stomach, but its effect upon protein material can readily be observed by attempting to use raw pineapple in the making of a gelatine dessert. If the pineapple is put in raw, the gelatine will not solidify; but if the pineapple is heated sufficiently to kill this ferment, it has no effect whatsoever upon the gelatine.
100. SELECTING PINEAPPLES.—When pineapples are to be selected, care should be exercised to see that they are ripe. The most certain way of determining this fact is to pull out the center leaves of each pineapple that is chosen. As shown in Fig. 16, grasp the pineapple with one hand and then with the other pull out, one at a time, several of the center leaves of the tuft at the top. If the fruit is ripe a sharp jerk will usually remove each leaf readily, but the harder the leaves pull, the greener the pineapple is.
An overripe pineapple is just as unsatisfactory as one that is not ripe enough. When a pineapple becomes too ripe, rotten spots begin to develop around the base. Such spots can be easily detected by the discoloration of the skin and such a pineapple should not be selected.
101. PREPARATION OF PINEAPPLE.—Some persons consider pineapple a difficult fruit to prepare, but no trouble will be experienced if the method illustrated in Figs. 17 to 19 is followed. Place the pineapple on a hard surface, such as a wooden cutting board, and with a large sharp knife cut off the tuft of leaves at the top. Then, as shown in Fig. 17, cut the pineapple into 1/2-inch slices crosswise of the head. When the entire pineapple has been sliced, peel each slice with a sharp paring knife, as in Fig. 18. With the peeling removed, it will be observed that each slice contains a number of eyes. Remove these with the point of a knife, as Fig. 19 shows. After cutting out the core from the center of each slice, the slices may be allowed to remain whole or may be cut into pieces of any desirable size or shape. Pineapple prepared in this way is ready either for canning or for desserts in which it is used fresh.
102. PINEAPPLE PUDDING.—One of the most satisfactory desserts made from pineapple is the pudding given here. It is in reality a corn-starch pudding in which grated pineapple is used for the flavoring.
PINEAPPLE PUDDING (Sufficient to Serve Six)
2-1/2 c. scalded milk 1/3 c. corn starch 1/2 c. sugar 1/4 tsp. salt 1/4 c. cold milk 1-1/2 c. grated pineapple, canned or fresh 2 egg whites
Scald the milk by heating it over the fire in a double boiler. Mix the corn starch, sugar, and salt, and dissolve in the cold milk. Add to the scalded milk in the double boiler and cook for about 15 or 20 minutes. Remove from the fire and add the grated pineapple from which all juice has been drained. Then fold in the whites of the eggs beaten stiff. Pour into molds previously dipped in cold water, allow to cool, and serve with cream.
MISCELLANEOUS TROPICAL FRUITS
103. AVOCADOS.—The avocado, which is also known as the alligator pear, is a large pear-shaped, pulpy fruit raised principally in the West Indies. It has a purplish-brown skin and contains just one very large seed in the center. The flesh contains considerable fat, and so the food value of this fruit is rather high, being fully twice as great as a like quantity of apples or oranges.
This fruit, which is gaining in popularity in the Northern States, is very perishable and does not stand shipment well. As a rule, it reaches the northern market green and is ripened after its arrival. It is an expensive fruit and is used almost entirely for salads. As its flavor is somewhat peculiar, a taste for it must usually be cultivated.
104. GUAVAS.—The guava is a tropical fruit that is extensively grown in the southern part of the United States. Guavas come in two varieties: red guava, which resembles the apple, and white guava, which resembles the pear. The fruit, which has a pleasant acid pulp, is characterized by a more or less peculiar flavor for which a liking must be cultivated. It can be canned and preserved in much the same way as peaches are.
Because guavas are very perishable, they cannot be shipped to northern markets, but various products are made from them and sent to every market. Preserved and pickled guavas and confections made from what is known as guava paste are common, but guava jelly made from the pulp is probably the best known product.
105. NECTARINES.—The tropical fruit called the nectarine is really a variety of peach, but it differs from the common peach in that it has a smooth, waxy skin. Also, the flesh of the nectarine is firmer and has a stronger flavor than that of the peach. Nectarines are not shipped to the northern markets to any extent, but they are canned in exactly the same way as peaches are and can be secured in this form.
106. PERSIMMONS.—The persimmon is a semitropical plum-like fruit, globular in shape and an orange-red or yellow in color. It comes in many varieties, but few of them find their way into the northern markets. The Japanese persimmon, which resembles a tomato in color, is the variety most frequently purchased. Persimmons are characterized by a great deal of very pungent acid, which has a puckery effect until the fruit is made sweet and edible by exposure to the frost. In localities where they are plentiful, persimmons are extensively used and are preserved for use during the winter season.
107. POMEGRANATES.—The pomegranate is about as large as a full-sized apple and has a hard reddish-yellow rind. Most varieties contain many seeds and a comparatively small amount of red edible pulp. Pomegranates of various kinds are grown in the southern part of the United States and in other warm climates. They are used extensively in the localities where they are grown and are much enjoyed by persons who learn to care for their flavor. A cooling drink made from their pulp finds much favor.
108. TAMARINDS AND MANGOES.—Although tamarinds and mangoes are practically unknown outside of tropical countries, they are considered to be very delicious fruits and are used extensively in their native localities.
The tamarind consists of a brown-shelled pod that contains a brown acid pulp and from three to ten seeds. This fruit has various uses in medicine and cookery and is found very satisfactory for a cooling beverage.
Mangoes vary greatly in size, shape, flavor, and color. Some varieties are large, fleshy, and luscious, while others are small and stringy and have a peculiar flavor.
109. CANTALOUPES AND MUSKMELONS.—The variety of melons known as muskmelons consists of a juicy, edible fruit that is characterized by a globular shape and a ribbed surface. Cantaloupes are a variety of muskmelons, but the distinction between them is sometimes difficult to understand. For the most part, these names are used interchangeably with reference to melons.
Considerable variation occurs in this fruit. Some cantaloupes and muskmelons are large and others are small; some have pink or yellow flesh and others have white or light-green flesh. All the variations of color and size are found between these two extremes. The flesh of these fruits contains considerable water; therefore, their food value is not high, being only a little over half as much as that of apples.
110. If melons suitable for the table are desired, they should be selected with care. To be just at the right stage, the blossom end of the melon should be a trifle soft when pressed with the fingers. If it is very soft, the melon is perhaps too ripe; but if it does not give with pressure, the melon is too green.
111. Various ways of serving muskmelons and cantaloupes are in practice. When they are to be served plain as a breakfast food or a luncheon dessert, cut them crosswise into halves, or, if they are large, divide them into sections lengthwise. With the melons cut in the desired way, remove all the seeds and keep the melons on ice until they are to be served. The pulp of the melon may also be cut from the rind and then diced and used in the making of fruit salads. Again, the pulp may be partly scraped out of the melon and the rinds then filled with fruit mixtures and served with a salad dressing for a salad or with fruit juices for a cocktail. The pulp that is scraped out may be diced and used in the fruit mixture, and what is left in the rind may be eaten after the contents have been eaten.
112. CASABA MELONS.—The variety of melons known as casaba, or honeydew, melons are a cross between a cucumber and a cantaloupe. They have white flesh and a rind that is smoother than the rind of cantaloupes. Melons of this kind are raised in the western part of the United States, but as they stand shipment very well, they can usually be obtained in the market in other regions. They are much enjoyed by those who are fond of this class of fruit. Their particular advantage is that they come later in the season than cantaloupes and muskmelons, and thus can be obtained for the table long after these other fruits are out of season. Casaba melons may be served in the same ways as cantaloupes.
113. WATERMELONS.—A very well-known type of melon is the watermelon. It is grown principally in warm climates of the Southern States, as the season in the North is not sufficiently long to allow it to develop. This is a large fruit, having a smooth green skin that is often mottled or striped, and a pinkish pulp containing many seeds and having a sweet, watery juice. The large amount of water contained in this fruit makes its food value very low, it being lower in this respect than muskmelons and cantaloupes. The volatile oil it contains, which is responsible for its flavor, proves irritating to some persons who eat it.
114. Watermelon is delicious when it is served ice cold. Therefore, before it is served, it should be kept on ice for a sufficient time to allow it to become thoroughly cold. Then it may be cut in any desirable way. If it is cut in slices, the slices should be trimmed so that only the pink pulp that is edible is served, the green rind being discarded. As an appetizer, watermelon is delicious when cut into pieces and served in a cocktail glass with fresh mint chopped fine and sprinkled over the top. Small pieces of watermelon cut with a French vegetable cutter make a very attractive garnish for fruit salads and other fruit mixtures.
115. Cocktails made of a combination of fruits are often served as the first course of a meal, usually a luncheon or a dinner, to precede the soup course. In warm weather, they are an excellent substitute for heavy cocktails made of lobster or crab, and they may even be used to replace the soup course. The fruits used for this purpose should be the more acid ones, for the acids and flavors are intended to serve as an appetizer, or the same purpose for which the hot and highly seasoned soups are taken. Therefore, they are seldom made sweet and are not taken for their food value. Besides being refreshing appetizers, they afford a hostess an opportunity to carry out a certain color scheme in a meal. Many kinds of fruit may be combined into cocktails, but directions for the cocktails that are usually made are here given. Fruit cocktails should always be served ice cold.
116. GRAPEFRUIT COCKTAIL.—The cocktail here explained may be served in stemmed glasses or in the shells of the grapefruit. If the fruit shells are to be used, the grapefruit should be cut into two parts, half way between the blossom and the stem ends, the fruit removed, and the edges of the shell then notched. This plan of serving a cocktail should be adopted only when small grapefruits are used, for if the shells are large more fruit will have to be used than is agreeable for a cocktail.
GRAPEFRUIT COCKTAIL (Sufficient to Serve Six)
2 grapefruits 2 oranges 1 c. diced pineapple, fresh or canned Powdered sugar
Remove the pulp from the grapefruits and oranges in the manner previously explained. However, if the grapefruit shells are to be used for serving the cocktail, the grapefruit should be cut in half and the pulp then taken out of the skin with a sharp knife. With the sections of pulp removed, cut each one into several pieces. Add the diced pineapple to the other fruits, mix together well and set on ice until thoroughly chilled. Put in cocktail glasses or grapefruit shells, pour a spoonful or two of orange juice over each serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar, garnish with a cherry, and serve ice cold.