PINE-APPLE, TINNED.—Pine-apples are preserved in tins whole, and are very superior in flavour to those which are sold cheap on barrows, which are more rotten than ripe. They require very little ornamenting, but the top is greatly improved by placing a red cherry in the centre, and cutting eight strips of green angelica like spikes, reaching from the cherry to the edge of the pine-apple. They should be cut in exact lengths, so as not to overlap. The top of the pine-apple looks like a green star with a red centre.
PEARS, TINNED.—Tinned pears are exceedingly nice in flavour, but the drawback to them is their appearance. They look like pale and rather dirty wax, while the syrup with which they are surrounded resembles the water in which potatoes have been over-boiled. The prettiest way of sending them to table is as follows:—Take, say a teacupful of rice, wash it very carefully, boil it, and let it get dry and cold. Take the syrup from the pears and taste it, and if not sweet enough add some powdered sugar. Put the rice in a glass dish, and make a very small well in the centre, and pour all the syrup into this, so that it soaks into the rice at the bottom of the dish without affecting the appearance of the surface. In the meantime, place the pears themselves on a dish, and let the syrup drain off them, and if you can let them stand for an hour or two to let them dry all the better. Now, with an ordinary brush, paint these waxy-looking pears a bright red with a little cochineal, and place these half-pears on the white rice, slanting, with the thick part downwards and the stalk end uppermost. Cut a few sticks of green angelica about an inch and a half long and of the thickness of the ordinary stalk of a pear, and stick one of these into the stalk end of each pear. The red pear, with the green stalk resting on the snow-white bed of rice, looks very pretty. A little chopped angelica can be sprinkled over the white rice, like chopped parsley.
FRUITS, BOTTLED.—When apricots and peaches are preserved in bottles, they can be treated exactly in a similar manner to those preserved in tins. It will be found advisable, however, to taste the syrup in the bottle, as it will be often found that it requires the addition of a little more sugar. Ordinary bottled fruits, such as gooseberries, currants, raspberries, rhubarb, damsons, cranberries, etc., can be used for making fruit pies, or they can be sent to table simply as stewed fruit. In this case some whipped cream on the top is a very great improvement. Another very nice way of sending these bottled fruits to table is to fill a border made with rice, as described in Chapter III.
JELLIES (VEGETARIAN) AND JAMS.