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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/126

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Name. In Season. Best & Cheapest Average Price.
Apples All the year Oct. to Dec. 2d. to 6d. per lb.
Apricots June to Sept. August 1s.6d. to 3s.
Bullaces Autumn October 2d. to 3s. per lb.
Cherries June to Aug. July 4d. to 8d. per lb.
Currants July to Sept. August 4d. to 8d. per lb.
Damsons Sept. and Oct. October 1d. to 4d. per lb.
Figs ,, ,, 2s. to 3s. per doz.
Gooseberries July to Sept. August 4d. to 8d. per qt.
,, (Green) May to July June 2d. to 6d. per qt.
Grapes (Foreign). All the year Autumn 4d. to 1s. per lb.
,, (Hothouse) Sept. to Nov. October 1s. and upwards.
Greengages Aug. and Sept. August 3d. to 8d. per lb.
Medlars Oct. to Jan. Oct. and Nov. 4d. to 8d. per lb.
Melons June to Nov. October 9d. to 5s. each.
Nectarines Sept. and Oct. October 2s. to 6s. per doz.
Oranges All the year Winter From 4d. per doz.
Peaches Sept. and Oct. October 4s. to 8s. per doz.
Pears Oct. to March Oct. and Nov. 1d. to 6d. each.
Plums Aug. to Oct. Sept. and Oct. 2d. to 6d. per lb.
Quinces Sept. and Oct. October 2s. to 3s. per doz.
Rhubarb Jan. to May March and April 4d. to 8d. bundle.
Strawberries June to Sept. July 4d. to 1s. per lb.

Dried Vegetables and Fruits.—We have long known such dried fruits as raisins and currants, prunes, dates and figs, and pippins. These useful pudding and dessert fruits are now more abundant than ever, and as a rule prices are moderate. Within recent years other fruits have been added to the list, and we now have dried apple rings, apricots, etc. These apple rings and apricots reach us chiefly from America and Australia, where they are dried in large quantities in specially constructed ovens. They are used for pies and tarts, or may be served stewed. Before cooking, place the required quantity of dried fruit in a colander, and allow tepid water to run over them in order to remove dust. Then place in a bowl and cover with water and allow to soak. When soft, place in an enamelled pan and stew gently, adding more water if desired. If intended for a pie, stew for a quarter of an hour, then place in piedish, add sugar, place crust on, and bake. If to be used as a compote, only add the sugar a few minutes before removing from the fire. If sugar is added too soon, it is apt to turn to caramel and harden the fruit.

Recently vegetables in great variety have been treated by the desiccating process, that is, cut in pieces, and exposed to a more or less quick heat, to remove the water. The vegetables are afterwards packed loosely or compressed. They retain their colour and flavour, and only require soaking before being cooked. These dried vegetables are chiefly to be recommended for use on board ship, for travellers, or for the store cupboards of housewives. Unquestionably fresh vegetables are to be preferred, whenever obtainable.