STEWED CELERY.—Cut the tender inner parts of celery heads into pieces about a finger long. The outer and more fibrous stalks may be saved to season soups. Put in a stewpan, and add sufficient water to cover; then cover the pan closely, and set it where it will just simmer for an hour, or until the celery is perfectly tender. When cooked, add a pint of rich milk, part cream if you have it, salt to taste, and when boiling, stir in a tablespoon of flour rubbed smooth in a little milk. Boil up once and serve.
STEWED CELERY NO. 2.—Cut the white part of fine heads of celery into small pieces, blanch in boiling water, turn into a colander, and drain. Heat a cup and a half of milk to boiling in a stewpan; add the celery, and stew gently until tender. Remove the celery with a skimmer, and stir into the milk the beaten yolks of two eggs and one half cup of cream. Cook until thickened; pour over the celery, and serve.
CELERY WITH TOMATO SAUCE.—Prepare the celery as in the preceding recipe, and cook until tender in a small quantity of boiling water. Drain in a colander, and for three cups of stewed celery prepare a sauce with a pint of strained stewed tomato, heated to boiling and thickened with a tablespoonful of flour rubbed smooth in a little cold water. If desired, add a half cup of thin cream. Turn over the celery, and serve hot.
CELERY AND POTATO HASH.—To three cups of cold boiled or baked potato, chopped rather fine, add one cup of cooked celery, minced. Put season. Heat to boiling, tossing and stirring so that the whole will be heated throughout, and serve hot.
DESCRIPTION.—The asparagus is a native of Europe, and in its wild state is a sea-coast plant. The young shoots form the edible portion. The plant was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who not only used it as a table delicacy but considered it very useful in the treatment of internal diseases. Roman cooks provided themselves with a supply of the vegetable for winter use by cutting fine heads and drying them. When wanted, they were put into hot water and gently cooked.
The asparagus is remarkable as containing a crystalline alkaloid called asparagin, which is thought to possess diuretic properties.
PREPARATION AND COOKING.—Select fresh and tender asparagus. Those versed in its cultivation, assert that it should be cut at least three times a week, and barely to the ground. If it is necessary to keep the bunches for some time before cooking, stand them, tops uppermost, in water about one half inch deep, in the cellar or other cool place. Clean each stalk separately by swashing back and forth in a pan of cold water till perfectly free from sand, then break off all the tough portions, cut in equal lengths, tie in bunches of half a dozen or more with soft tape, drop into boiling water barely sufficient to cover, and simmer gently until perfectly tender.