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article number 750
article date 03-07-2019
copyright 2019 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
1918 Vegetable Dishes Part 1, Basic and Simple Veggies Made Right
by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 1918

From the 1918 Metropolitan Life Cookbook for "Healthful Eating"

EDITOR’S NOTE: The article is decorated with ads from 1918 Ladies’ Home Journal and McClure’s Magazines.


Vegetables should form a large part of our daily diet. They contain water and mineral matter and also health-promoting vitamins. In addition, they contain woody fibres or cellulose which stimulate the intestines.


Wash thoroughly. Pare, peel or scrape, if skins must be removed.

Skins should be left on to keep in all the food value possible.

Beets must never be peeled before cooking.

Soak in cold water until ready to cook.

Cook in freshly boiling salted water until tender.

Allow 1 teaspoon salt to 1 quart of water.

Use as little water as is possible without burning, except for strong flavored vegetables like cabbage and turnips. These should be cooked uncovered in a large quantity of water.

Greens like spinach and kale, need only the water which clings to them from washing.

To preserve the color of green vegetables, cook uncovered.

Water in which vegetables have been cooked is called vegetable stock and should never be thrown away, but used in soups and sauces.

Winter vegetables should be kept in a cool, dark, dry place.

Fresh vegetables may be washed and kept on ice in a clean piece of cloth.

Time for cooking vegetables varies with the age of the vegetables and the hardness of the water. Test them by pricking with a fork.

Never add soda to vegetables as it has a tendency to destroy the vitamins.

GENERAL TABLE FOR COOKING VEGETABLES: Special Directions, Time for Cooking, How to Serve

― Asparagus: Tough lower ends cut off. Cook 15 to 30 minutes. Serve on toast with drawn butler or other sauce.

― Beets (old) : Cook unpeeled. Cook 1 to 4 hours. Serve with butter.

― Beets (young) : Cook unpeeled. Cook 20 to 30. Serve with vinegar.

― Green Beans: Remove strings and cut in 1 inch lengths. Cook 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with butter.

― Brussel Sprouts: Remove wilted or yellow leaves. Soak in salt cold water for an hour. Cook 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with butter or any sauce.

― Cabbage: Cut small head of cabbage into 4 parts. Soak in cold, salt water. Cook 15 to 30 minutes. Serve with butter or cream sauce.

― Carrots: Scrape, do not peel. Cut in slices or cubes, if large or old. Cook 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with butter or cream sauce.

― Cauliflower: Remove green leaves and thick stalk. Soak head down in cold water containing teaspoonful of salt and teaspoonful of vinegar. Serve with butter or cream sauce.

― Celery: Remove leaves. Scrape stalk. Cut in 3-inch pieces. Cook 30 minutes. Serve with butter or cream sauce, or see dedicated recipe.

― Cucumbers: Peel and cut in thick slices. Cook 15 minutes. Serve with butter or flour and butter sauce.

― Corn (on cob) : Remove husks and silk. Cook 15 to 20 minutes. Wrap in napkin.

― Eggplant: See dedicated recipe.

― Mushrooms: See dedicated recipe.

― Onions: Peel and cut off roots. Cook 20 to 40 minutes. Serve with butter or cream sauce, or see dedicated recipes.

― Okra: See dedicated recipe.

― Parsnips: Wash and boil and then scrape off the skins. Cut in slices. Cook 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with butter or cream sauce.

― Peas: Shell and boil slowly. Add salt when nearly done. Cook 15 to 30 minutes. Serve with butter or a little milk, or see dedicated recipe.

― Potatoes: Scrape when old and cook with skins on when young. Cook 25 to 30 minutes. See dedicated recipes.

― Spinach: Wash thoroughly in 5 or 6 waters. Use very little water in cooking. Cook 15 o 20 minutes. Chop and
serve with butter and a little vinegar, if desired, or with cream sauce.

― Squash (summer) : Peel and cut (if the squash is very old, the seeds should be removed). Cook 15 to 30 minutes Mash, with salt, pepper and butter.

― Squash (winter) : May be served as summer squash, only always remove seeds and stringy portion. Cook 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Mashed. See dedicated recipe.

― Tomatoes: Peel and cut in pieces. Cook 20 to 30 minutes. Add sugar, or salt and pepper, or see dedicated recipes.

― Turnips: Peel and slice. Mash with wooden masher when done. Cook 40 to 50 minutes. Mash, with butter, salt and pepper, or see dedicated recipe.

― Lima Beans: Boil gently and add salt when they are nearly done. Cook 15 to 30 minutes. Serve with butter.

High Value for Your Money! Campbell’s vegetable Soup. It supplies practically every element essential to a properly balanced diet. 21 kinds 12¢ a can. Campbell’s Soups . Look For the Red-and-White Label.

Basic Recipes

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Tough lower ends should be cut off. Cook in deep saucepan standing upright. The steam will cook the tender tips while the hard stalks will be cooked in the boiling water.

Or break into 1 inch pieces, cooking tip parts first and adding the tender tips the last 15 minutes.

Serve on toast with drawn butter or with white or Hollandaise sauce.

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Most vegetables may be served buttered.

After they are boiled and drained, they should be returned to the stove and the butter and seasoning added.

The pan should be well shaken so the butter will coat the vegetables.

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• 1/2 head cabbage
• 1 1/2 cups White Sauce (below)
• 1/4teaspoon pepper
• 1/2 cup bread crumbs
• 1 teaspoon salt

Soak and wash half a head of firm cabbage in salted water. Then boil cabbage. Allow to cook and cut fine. Into a well greased baking dish put a layer of well seasoned cabbage (salt, pepper), a layer of white sauce, and continue making layers until all of the ingredients are used. Put well buttered bread crumbs over top of the mixture. Bake (covered) until the mixture is bubbling hot. Then remove cover and brown.

Any vegetable or a combination of vegetables can be used this way.

― White Sauces (repeated from article "1918 Meats Part 1: Meats Overview, Stuffing and Sauces . . . " ―

- I -
• 1 cup milk
• 1 tablespoon flour
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

- II -
• 1 cup milk
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

- III -
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon salt

Melt butter in saucepan, then add flour, stirring till mixture becomes foamy, but not brown. Add milk, continue stirring to insure smoothness, cook till thickened. Season.

White Sauce I is used in preparation of creamed vegetables. II is used in cream soups and scalloped dishes. III is that usually used for croquettes.

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• 1 cup diced celery
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 2 teaspoons finely chopped green pepper
• 1/3 cup canned tomatoes
• 1/2 cup boiling water
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Put celery in saucepan with boiling water and boil 10 minutes or until tender.

Melt butter, add onion, salt and pepper, and cook slowly 5 minutes and stir in the tomatoes.

Add celery and cook the entire mixture 10 to 15 minutes longer.

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To a pint of cooked corn add a pint of cooked and seasoned shelled lima beans. Serve buttered or in milk.

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• 1 can corn
• 2 eggs
• 2 tablespoons melted butter
• 1 pint scalded milk
• 1 medium-sized green pepper
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Chop pepper, mix ingredients in order given, pour into buttered pudding dish, and bake slowly till firm. Fresh corn cut from the cob may be used in the same manner.

Can You Eat Corn on the Cob? Can You Eat Beefsteak? If soft, mushy food is to be your diet, and if faulty digestion is to mar your old age, you will have only yourself to blame.

Visit your dentist twice a year and brush your teeth regularly night and morning with Pebeco Tooth Paste. Lehn & Fink, Manufacturing Chemists, 136 William Street, New York.

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Peel an eggplant, cut in thin slices, sprinkle with salt and pile on a plate.

Cover with weight to extract the juice and let stand for 14 hours, or soak in brine for same time.

Dredge with flour and fry slowly until crisp and brown, or dip in egg and crumbs, fry.

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• 1 eggplant
• 1 cup crumbs
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/2 tablespoon onion
• 1 egg
• Seasoning

Cook eggplant 15 minutes in enough boiling salted water to cover.

Cut a slice from top and with a spoon remove pulp, taking care not to work too close to skin.

Chop pulp, add soft stale bread crumbs. Melt butter, add finely chopped onion, and cook 5 minutes. Add to chopped pulp and bread, season with pepper and salt, and, if necessary, moisten with a little water.

Cook 5 minutes, cool slightly, and add 1 beaten egg.

Refill shell with mixture and bake 40 minutes at 350°F.

Cooked rice or macaroni may be substituted for crumbs. Chopped meat may be added.

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Wash and stem mushrooms. Remove the peeling if it seems tough.

Melt in a saucepan about 2 tablespoonfuls butter for every 1/2 pound of mushrooms.

Add mushrooms, cover tightly and cook over a low fire 10 minutes.

Dredge lightly with flour, season with salt and pepper and cover with thin cream. Cook 5 minutes longer and serve on toast.

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Peel the onions and cut off the roots, dropping into cold water as fast as they are peeled.

Drain from the cold water and put in a stewpan with boiling water to cover generously.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart of water. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, with the cover partly off the saucepan.

Drain off water and cover onions with hot, sweet milk (1 quart of onions will require 1 pint of milk). Simmer for 1/2 hour.

Thicken sauce with 1 tablespoon butter, combined with 1 level tablespoon flour. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of white pepper.

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• 1 quart peas
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 head lettuce, the heart
• 1 small onion
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1/4 cup water

Put all ingredients into a stewpan; cover, and place over the fire and cook for 5 minutes, tossing the vegetables several times.

Now draw the pan back where the contents will simmer slowly for 1/2 hour.

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Cut off top of small Hubbard squash, remove seeds and stringy portion, place in pan and steam or bake about 2 hours until tender.

Remove pulp from shell, keeping large shell intact.

Put pulp through ricer, season with salt, pepper and butter, and 2 tablespoons of cream. If desired, a little sugar or molasses may also be added.

Return to shell.

Smooth surface to a dome shape and score with knife.

Brush over with milk and egg, add specks of butter, then place in oven a few minutes.

Serve on a folded napkin on individual plates, or on chop plates. Part of second squash is needed to make a full shell.

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Chop cooked and drained turnips into rather large pieces. Return to the stewpan, and for:
• 1 1/2 pints of turnips, add:
• 1 teaspoon of salt,
• 1/4 teaspoon of pepper,
• 1 tablespoon of butter and
• 4 tablespoons of water.

Cook over a very hot fire until the turnips have absorbed all the seasonings. Serve at once.

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