STEAMED SQUASH.—Prepare the squash, and steam until tender. Mash and season as for baked squash.
DESCRIPTION.—When our forefathers came to this country, they found the pumpkin growing in the Indian cornfields, and at once made use of it. Although as food it did not supply what its handsome exterior promised, yet in the absence of other fruits and relishes, of which the exigencies of a new country deprived them, they soon found the pumpkin quite palatable; and the taste, cultivated through necessity, has been handed down through generations, until the pumpkin stewed and baked in pies, has become an established favorite.
BAKED PUMPKIN.—Wash the pumpkin well on the outside, divide into quarters if small, into sixths or eighths if large; remove the seeds but not the rind. Bake as directed for squash. Serve in the rind, dishing it out by spoonfuls.
STEWED PUMPKIN.—Select a good, ripe pumpkin, and cut in halves; remove the seeds, slice halfway around, pare, cut into inch pieces, put over the fire in a kettle containing a small quantity of boiling water, and stew gently, stirring frequently until it breaks to pieces. Cool, rub through a colander, and place where it will just simmer, but not burn, until the water is all evaporated and the pumpkin dry. Pumpkin for pies is much richer baked like squash, and rubbed through a colander after the skin has been removed.
DRIED PUMPKIN.—Pumpkin may be dried and kept for future use. The best way is first to cut and stew the pumpkin, then spread on plates, and dry quickly in the oven. Dried in this manner, it is easily softened, when needed, by soaking in a small quantity of water, and is considered nearly as good as that freshly stewed.
DESCRIPTION.—The tomato, or “love apple,” as it was called in the early part of the century, is a native of South America and Mexico. It was formerly regarded as poisonous, and though often planted and prized as a curiosity in the flower garden, it has only within the last half century come to be considered as a wholesome article of diet. Botanically, it is allied to the potato. It is an acid fruit, largely composed of water, and hence of low nutritive value; but it is justly esteemed as a relish, and is very serviceable to the cook in the preparation of soups and various mixed dishes.
PREPARATION AND COOKING.—Tomatoes to be served in an uncooked state should be perfectly ripe and fresh. The medium-sized, smooth ones are the best. To peel, pour scalding water over them; let them remain for half a minute, plunge into cold water, allow them to cool, when the skins can be easily rubbed off. Tomatoes should always be cooked in porcelain or granite ware; iron makes them look dark, and being slightly acid in character, they are not wholesome cooked in tin vessels.