DATE PUDDING.—Turn a cup of hot milk over two cups of stale bread crumbs, and soak until softened; add one half cup of cream and one cup of chopped and stoned dates. Mix all thoroughly together. Put in a china dish and steam for three hours. Serve hot with lemon sauce.
RICE BALLS.—Steam one cup of rice till tender. Wring pudding cloths about ten inches square out of hot water, and spread the rice one third of an inch over the cloth. Put a stoned peach or apricot from which the skin has been removed, in the center, filling the cavity in each half of the fruit with rice. Draw up the cloth until the rice smoothly envelops the fruit, tie, and steam ten or fifteen minutes. Remove the cloth carefully, turn out into saucers, and serve with sauce made from peach of apricot juice. Easy-cooking tart apples may also be used. Steam them thirty minutes, and serve with sugar and cream.
STEAMED BREAD CUSTARD.—Cut stale bread in slices, removing hard crusts. Oil a deep pudding mold, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with Zante currants; over these place a layer of the slices of bread, sprinkled with currants; add several layers, sprinkling each with the currants in the same manner. Cover with a custard made by beating together three or four eggs, three tablespoonfuls of sugar, and one quart of milk. Put the pudding in a cool place for three hours; at the end of that time, steam one and a quarter hours. Serve with mock cream flavored with vanilla. Apple marmalade may be used to spread between the slices in place of currants, if preferred.
STEAMED FIG PUDDING.—Moisten two cupfuls of finely grated Graham bread crumbs with half a cup of thin sweet cream. Mix into it a heaping cupful of finely chopped fresh figs, and a quarter of a cup of sugar. Add lastly a cup of sweet milk. Turn all into a pudding dish, and steam about two and one half hours. Serve as soon as done, with a little cream for dressing, or with orange or lemon sauce.
So much has been said and written about the dietetic evils of these articles that their very names have been almost synonymous with indigestion and dyspepsia. That they are prolific causes of this dire malady cannot be denied, and it is doubtless due to two reasons; first, because they are generally compounded of ingredients which are in themselves unwholesome, and rendered doubly so by their combination; and secondly, because tastes have become so perverted that an excess of these articles is consumed in preference to more simple and nutritious food.
As has been elsewhere remarked, foods containing an excess of fat, as do most pastries and many varieties of cake, are exceedingly difficult of digestion, the fat undergoing in the stomach no changes which answer to the digestion of other elements of food, and its presence interferes with the action of the gastric juice upon other elements. In consequence, digestion proceeds very slowly, if at all, and the delay often occasions fermentative and putrefactive changes in the entire contents of the stomach.