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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1715

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With the exception of potatoes and asparagus, plainly dressed vegetables are rarely served. The numerous vegetable preparations are known under the name of GenĂ¼se, and many of them are altogether unknown to us. The German cuisine includes many original methods of dressing potatoes. French beans are usually boiled, sauteed, and served with a rich brown gravy. Both white and red cabbage are shredded finely, tossed in butter or lard until partially cooked, and afterwards stewed very gently in a small amount of rich stock. The German and Austrian asparagus is somewhat different from the English and the French, a considerable portion of the stem being edible, although this may be in some measure due to the removal of the stringy fibres from the stalks before cooking.

German housewives exercise as much care in preserving vegetables for winter use as in preparing them for the table. French beans and scarlet runners are closely packed in jars: potatoes, turnips, and other root plants are carefully packed in sand in a cool cellar, and if not allowed to touch each other may be kept for months. The Germans, like the French, would not consider a dinner complete without soup: no matter how humble the meal may be, soup nearly always forms a part of it. They have, besides the ordinary meat and vegetable soup, a sweet milk soup thickened with flour and flavoured with apples, almond soup, chocolate soup, wine soup flavoured with vine loaves, potato soup flavoured with prunes or apples, and a variety of fruit soups altogether unknown to us. Of beef soups they have no less than 8 varieties, the most popular kind being thickened with bread and flavoured with caraway seeds.

Puddings are not much in vogue in Germany: in fact, a boiled pudding is seldom seen, and baked ones are almost unknown. Their plainer kind of sweets consist chiefly of boiled custard or a mixture of cake or bread and fruit, invariably served cold in special china dishes. Of creams, jellies, ice-puddings and ices they have an almost endless variety, and in this particular branch of cookery they may be said to excel. Fruit pies and tarts, such as we have here, are altogether unknown in Germany, but instead of these they have many curiously prepared sweets and innumerable fancy cakes not included in the English cuisine, such as "Sandtorte," "Gugelhopf," "Waffeln," "Krachtorte," etc. Their bread also comprises many kinds, from the nourishing black bread, "Schwarz brod" or "Pumpernickel," to the delicious little fancy breads. They have also milk rolls in great varieties, the stringel, long sticks and long twists, the surface of these being usually sprinkled with coarse salt, or a mixture of salt and caraway seeds.

Fruit of every kind is both cheap and plentiful, and usually of excellent quality. Every housewife understands the art of preserving fruit in jars, bottles, or tins for winter use, but curiously enough they seldom make it into jam.