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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/960

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HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

Time.—From 1 to 1½ hours to boil; 2 hours to bake. Average Cost, 2d. per lb. Sufficient for 4 or 5 persons. Seasonable from October to April.

Properties of the Onion.—The onion is possessed of a white, acrid, volatile oil, holding sulphur in solution, albumen, a quantity of uncrystallizable sugar, and mucilage, phosphoric acid, both free and combined lime, acetic acid, citrate of lime, and lignine. Of all the species of allium, the onion has the volatile principle in the greatest degree; and hence it is impossible to separate the scales of the root without the eyes being affected. The juice is sensibly acid, and is capable of being, by fermentation converted into vinegar, and mixed with water or dregs of beer yields by distillation an alcoholic liquor. Although used as a common esculent, onions are not suited to all stomachs; some persons cannot eat them either fried or roasted, whilst others prefer them boiled, which is the best way of using them, as by the process they then undergo they are deprived of their essential oil. Many people who cannot eat onions in a pie or stew, when they are put in raw, find them quite digestible if they are first scalded for a quarter of an hour. Anaemic persons, and those of a consumptive tendency, frequently evince a great liking for onions, and they prove a most useful food for such invalids.

1547.—ONIONS, SPANISH, BAKED (Another Method.)

Ingredients.—Spanish onions, brown sauce (see Sauces, No. 233), butter or fat, salt.

Method.—Peel the onions, put them into cold water, add a teaspoonful of salt, boil gently for ½ an hour, then strain. Have ready in a baking-dish some hot butter or hot fat, baste the onions well, place them in a moderate oven, and bake for 1½ hours, basting frequently. When done they should be well browned. Serve in a hot vegetable-dish with the sauce poured over them.

Time.—About 2 hours. Average Cost, from 2d. to 3d. per lb. Seasonable from October to April.

1548.—ONIONS, SPANISH, BOILED. (Fr.Oignons d'Espagne bouillis.)

Ingredients.—Spanish onions, white sauce (see Sauces, No. 223), salt and pepper.

Method.—Peel the onions, put them into cold water, bring to the boil, and strain. Have ready a saucepan of boiling water, add to it a teaspoonful of salt, put in the onions, and boil gently from 1½ to 2 hours, according to size. Or they may be steamed, in which case about ½ an hour longer must be allowed. Serve with the white sauce poured over them.

Time.—From 1¾ to 2¼ hours. Average Cost, 2d. to 3d. per lb. Seasonable from October to April.

1549.—ONIONS, SPANISH, STEWED. (Fr.Oignons au Jus.)

Ingredients.—4 or 5 medium-sized Spanish onions, 1 pint of brown stock or gravy.

Method.—Peel and trim the onions, cover them with cold water, bring to the boil, and strain. Select a stewpan large enough to allow