The double boiler is the best utensil for the preparation of sauces and gravies, since it facilitates even cooking and renders them less liable to become scorched. The inner cup should be placed on the top of the range until the sauce has become thickened, as in the cooking of grains, and afterwards placed in the outer boiler to continue the cooking as long as needed.
Cream gravies for vegetables may be delicately flavored with celery, by steeping a few bits of celery in the milk for a few minutes, and removing with a fork before adding the thickening. Sauces for puddings may be similarly flavored, by steeping cocoanut or bits of orange or lemon rind in the milk.
BROWN SAUCE.—Heat a pint of thin cream, and when boiling, add half a teaspoonful of salt and a tablespoonful of flour browned in the oven as directed on page 274, and rubbed to a smooth paste with a little cold milk. Allow it to boil rapidly, stirring constantly until thickened; then cook more slowly, in a double boiler, for five or ten minutes. If desired, the milk may be flavored with onion before adding the flour. This makes a good dressing for potatoes.
CREAM OR WHITE SAUCE.—Heat a pint of rich milk, part cream if it can be afforded, to boiling, and stir into it one tablespoonful of flour previously rubbed smooth in a little milk. Season with salt, and cook in a double boiler five or ten minutes, stirring frequently that no lumps be formed. If lumps are found in the sauce, turn it quickly through a fine, hot colander into the dish in which it is to be served.
CELERY SAUCE.—Cut half a dozen stalks of celery into finger-lengths, and simmer in milk for ten or fifteen minutes. Skim out the celery, add a little cream to the milk, salt to taste, and thicken with flour as for white sauce. This is very nice for potatoes and for toast.