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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/917

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811
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON VEGETABLES

the kitchen. They can be served up like Jerusalem artichokes. Maize, although it will hardly ripen in these islands, except in an exceptionally hot summer, can be cultivated in the southern counties and in sunny sheltered spots. It is a very graceful plant, and the cobs reach sufficient maturity to furnish the "green-pea" maize. Riper cobs are imported from the Continent and the Canaries. There are many hundred varieties of maize, the grains ranging from soft pulp of almost pure white, through different stages of yellow, to a blood red and a purple black. The most useful kinds are the sweet yellow. The grains when full-sized and just turning yellowish-green, may be removed from the cobs and treated like green peas, or the cobs may be stewed; when the grains have turned yellow and begin to harden, the cobs may be roasted, sprinkled with pepper and salt, and basted with oiled butter. Yams are very delicious; they grow to a large size, and are now imported from the West Indies. They may be roasted, or treated like artichokes. Custard apples also us in fine condition from the West Indies, and should be served in the same way as vegetable marrows. Egg plants (the much-prized bringauls of India) are imported from the Continent and the Canaries. They possess a delicate flavour, a large amount of nourishing substances, and may be cooked in many ways. Pumpkins might also be used more often by town dwellers, both for making purée soups on damp and bleak autumn days, and pies. In certain country districts the young shoots of hops are treated like asparagus with very satisfactory results. In Provence the midribs of beet leaves are peeled, dipped in egg batter, and fried. They make a dainty dish. So do the male flowers of the vegetable-marrows, stuffed with parboiled rice, mixed with a little cheese and shredded meat, and then stewed gently in gravy.