27 October 2009

Cantaloup to Cabbage

Mrs. Philip Martineau is another writer we have featured before. Sometimes referred to as Alice Martineau, she was considered to be quite the hostess by those that knew her and after constantly being asked for simple recipes , she embarked on a series of cookbooks to explain her cooking. After her fist cookery book, Caviare to Candy, (The one Alice Martineau book I am missing. Torn up copies abound at a rather high price, but I am holding out for a copy with the J. Gower Parks jacket. He just loves, naked, cherubic cooks roaming around through the food, but I digress…) Mrs. Martineau concerned herself with the vegetable kingdom in her book Cantaloup to Cabbage. It is a cooking abecedary taking us from Alligator Pears to Watercress Soup.

The book is filled with tips of the day, perhaps not as helpful as they were deemed to be at the time.
"All vegetables should be drained immediately after cooking and not allowed to stand in the saucepan a moment."

"Looking back to one’s own childhood, it is surprising to see the amount of vegetables thought necessary for a child today. Not only the pressed juice of cooked spinach, but the juice of certain uncooked tender vegetables, as well as orange juice and tomato juice."
I am rather fond of her section on artichokes. Here are two examples:

Artichokes (Jerusalem)

The original name for these was Girasole, of which Jerusalem is a corruption. They are most nutritious and tasty and are much neglected. Peel the tubers and blanch them in cold water. Boil in salted milk and water (to keep the colour white) and never let them stand in the saucepan. They should take about twenty minutes of fast boiling to cook and must not be squashy. Drain quickly and serve with Béchamel sauce or cream sauce flavored with mace, or with curry sauce and a boarder of rice, or with brown sauce and grated cheese, with a cheese sauce or au gratin, like celery, and in many such ways.

Mrs. Martineau is ADAMANT that those vegetables never sit in a saucepan.
Artichokes, Roast

Peel, and roast them under the meat as you would a potato.
Simple enough. And you can feed them to those children who seem to need vegetables these days. Check out her other book, More Caviare to Candy featuring Parks' naked cherubs riding the fish entrée.

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