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Apples ............................... . All the year.
Apricots ................................ ..July 20 to August 20.
Bananas ................................ .All the year.
Blackberries ................................ ..July 1 to August 15.
Cherries ................................ .June 1 to July 15.
Currants, Red and White ................................. July 1 to August 15.
Figs, dried ................................ ..All the year.
Figs, bag ................................ October and November.
Gooseberries ................................ . July.
Grapes, Concord. ................................ . .August 20 to November 15.
" Malaga ................................ . November to March.
" California ................................ . December to March.
Grape Fruit ................................. October to July.
Green Gage Plums .................................. ..August 1 to September 15.
Huckleberries ................................. July and August.
Melons, Musk, Water, Cantaloupe ...July 15 to October 15.
Oranges ................................ ..December to May.
Peaches ............................... ..August and September.
Pears ............................... ...August and September.
Pineapples ............................... . .June to September.
Plums, Blue ............................... . September.
Quinces ..................................September, October, and November.
Rhubarb ................................ ..April to September.
Raspberries, Black and Red. .. . ..July and August.
Strawberries .............................. . ...May and June.
Tangerines .............................. . ..November to February.
The above table, of course, is only a rough outline, as seasons and localities vary so much. The tendency, too, is to extend the season of every fruit indefinitely, as transporting and refrigerating methods improve. Fruit out of season is always expensive, and often unripe and unsatisfactory. Fortunately, when it is at its best it is always abundant and at the lowest price.
Among the dried fruits may be mentioned Prunelles, Apricots, Apples, Blackberries, Cherries, Nectarines, Peaches, peeled and unpeeled, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Prunes, Figs, and Dates. Canned fruits which may be used for breakfast, with proper preparation, are Pears, Peaches, Apricots, Cherries, Plums, and Pineapples.
Dried fruits may be soaked over night in the water in which they are to be cooked, and simmered slowly, until they are tender, with little sugar or none at all. They may also be steamed, either with or without sugar, omitting the soaking, until tender enough for a straw to pierce. Combinations of dried fruits are often agreeable, and a few raisins will sometimes add a pleasant flavor.
Canned fruits intended for breakfast should be drained and very thoroughly rinsed in cold water, then allowed to stand for some hours in a cool place.
Many of the fruits, both dried and fresh, combine well with cereals. Care must be taken, however, to follow such acid fruits as Currants, Cherries, Oranges, and Grape Fruit, with meat or egg dishes, omitting the cereal, as the starch and acid are very likely to fight with each other when once inside, to the inconvenience of the non-combatant. A fruit which for any reason tastes "flat" can be instantly improved in flavor and tonic quality by a sprinkle of lemon juice.
Below are given different ways of preparing fruit for the breakfast table.
I. When served whole, apples should be carefully washed and rubbed to a high polish with a crash towel. Only perfect fruit should be served in this way, and green leaves in the fruit bowl are especially desirable. Fruit-knives are essential
II. Pare, quarter, and core good eating apples, removing all imperfections. Serve a few quarters on each plate, with or without sugar. A sprinkle of cinnamon or lemon juice will improve fruit which has little flavor. A grating of nutmeg may also be used.
III. ΐ la Condι. Pare, quarter, and core good cooking apples. Arrange in rows in an earthen baking-dish, sprinkle with powdered sugar and lemon juice, pour a little water into the baking-dish, and add a heaping tablespoonful of butter. Bake slowly, basting frequently with the apple-juice and melted butter. When tender, take out, drain, and cool, saving the juice. Serve with boiled rice or other cereal, using the juice instead of milk.
IV. ΐ la Cherbourg. Pare and core good cooking apples; halve or quarter if desired. Cook slowly in a thin syrup flavored with lemon-peel and a bit of ginger-root. Serve separately or with cereal.
V. ΐ la Fermiθre. Pare and core the apples and arrange in a well-buttered baking-dish. Sprinkle slightly with sugar and cinnamon; baste often with melted butter, and serve with boiled rice or other cereal, using the juice instead of milk.
VI. ΐ la Franηaise. Core and then peel tart apples. Put into cold water from half an inch to an inch in depth, sprinkle with sugar, cover tightly, and cook very slowly on the back part of the range till tender. Flavorings already noted may be added at pleasure. Skim out the apples, reduce the remaining syrup one-half by rapid boiling, pour over the apples, and cool. Serve cold, with or without cereal.
VII. ΐ la Ninon. Sprinkle baked apples with fleshly grated cocoanut on taking from the oven. Serve on a mound of boiled rice with the milk of the cocoanut.
VIII. ΐ la Rιligieuse. Core cooking apples; score the skin deeply in a circle all around the fruit. Sprinkle a little sugar in the cores, and dissolve a little currant jelly in the water used for the basting. Cook slowly, and baste once with melted butter. The peel is supposed to rise all around the apple, like a veil hence the name.
IX. Baked. Peel or not, as preferred. Sprinkle with melted butter and sugar, baste now and then with hot water, and serve separately or with cereal.
X. Baked, with Bananas. Core, draw a peeled and scraped banana through each core, trimming the ends off even, and bake slowly, basting with hot water, melted butter, and lemon juice. The apples may be peeled if desired. Serve separately, or with cereal.
XI. Baked, with Cereal. Pare or not, as preferred, but core. Fill the centres with left-over cooked cereal and bake slowly. Butter, lemon juice, or any flavoring recommended before can be used to advantage. Any quartered apples, baked or stewed, can be covered with any preferred cereal, and served with sugar and cream.
XII. Baked, with Cherries. Core the apples, fill the centres with pitted cherries, either sour or sweet, bake carefully, basting with syrup and melted butter. The apples may be peeled or not. Take up carefully, and serve separately, or with cereal.
XIII. Baked, with Currants. Fill the centres with currants, red or white, and use plenty of sugar. Baste with hot water or melted butter. May be served with cereal if enough sugar is used in baking.
XIV. Baked, with Dates. Wash and stone dates, fill the cores of apples with them, sprinkle with powdered sugar and bake, besting with butter, lemon juice, and hot water. The apples may be peeled or not.
XV. Baked, with Figs. Wash the figs carefully, and pack into the cores of apples. Bake, basting with lemon syrup and melted butter. Serve separately or with cereal.
XVI. Baked, with Gooseberries. Cap and stem a handful of gooseberries. Fill the cores of large, firm apples with them, using plenty of sugar. Baste with melted butter and hot water. May be served with cereal if plenty of sugar is used in cooking.
XVII. Baked, with Prunes. Select tart apples, and peel or not, as preferred. Core and fill the centres with stewed prunes, stoned and drained. Bake slowly, basting with the prune juice, or with lemon juice, melted butter, spiced syrup, or hot water containing grated lemon-peel and a teaspoonful of sherry. Two or three cloves may be stuck into each apple, and removed after the apples are cold. Serve, very cold, with cream; separately, or with a cereal.
XVIII. Baked, with Quinces. Fill the cores of sweet apples with bits of quince and plenty of sugar. Bake slowly, basting with melted butter and syrup. Serve separately or with cereal.
XIX. Baked, with Spice. Select very sour apples, and peel or not, as preferred. Core, and stuff the cavities with brown sugar, putting two whole cloves into each apple. Baste with hot water containing a bit of grated lemon-peel and a teaspoonful of sherry, putting a teaspoonful of butter into the liquor as it forms in the dish. Bake slowly, covered, until the apples are very tender. Serve separately or with a cereal. Cinnamon, or nutmeg, or a blade of mace may be used instead of the cloves.
XX. Boiled. Boil slowly in a saucepan with as little water as possible. Do not peel. When tender, lift out, add sugar to the water in which they were boiled; reduce half by rapid boiling, pour over the apples, and let cool. Currant-juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, or a suspicion of clove may be added to the syrup if the apples lack flavor.
XXI. Coddled. Core, cut in halves, but do not peel. Lay in the bottom of an earthen dish, sprinkle lightly with sugar, add a little water, and cook very slowly on the top of the stove until tender.
XXII. Crusts. Cut stale bread in circle, lay half of a peeled and cored apple on each piece. Bake carefully, basting with melted butter and a little lemon juice if desired. When the apples are done, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and take from the oven. Serve either hot or cold.
XXIII. Dried. Soak over night in water to cover, after washing thoroughly; cook slowly until soft, sweeten, and flavor with lemon. Raisins, dates, figs, or other dried fruits may be added at pleasure.
XXIV. Fried Core, but do not pare. If very juicy, dredge with flour and fry slowly in hot fat till tender. They are served with pork, or, sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon, with cereals.
XXV. Glazed. Core tart apples. Fin the centres with cinnamon, sugar, bits of butter, and a raisin or two. Bake slowly, basting with lemon-syrup. When nearly done, brush with the beaten white of egg and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve separately or with cereal.
XXVI. In Bloom. Cook pared red apples in any preferred way, and stew the skin separately, in a little water, until the color is extracted. The tiniest bit of red vegetable coloring maybe needed. Strain this liquid, and pour it over the apples when done. Or, add currant jelly to color the water in which the apples are boiled, or to the water for basting pared baked apples.
XXVII. In Casserole. Arrange good cooking apples in an earthen casserole. Cover with a thin syrup made of brown sugar, add a little spice and a bit of orange or lemon-peel. Bake, very slowly, tightly covered. Serve cold from the casserole.
XXVIII. In Crumbs. Cut strips of stale bread to fit stone custard-cups. Dip in milk, and arrange in the moulds. Fill the centres with apple sauce, cover with a circle of the bread, and steam thirty minutes. Serve cold, with cream.
XXIX. In Rice-Cups. Line buttered custard cups with cold boiled rice. Fill the centres with apple sauce or cooked quartered apples, mildly tart rather than sweet. Cover with more of the rice. Steam half an hour and let cool in the cups. Turn out on chilled plates and serve with cream. Cream may be used with any cooked apple, if the Secretary of the Interior files no objections. Cereals, other than rice, left over, can be used in the same way. A wreath of cooked apple quarters around the base of each individual mould is a dainty and acceptable garnish.
XXX. Jellied. Cut tart apples in halves, core, place in buttered baking-dish, skin side down, measure the water and add enough barely to cover; add twice as much sugar as water, cover and boil slowly till the apples are tender. Skim out, drain, boil the syrup rapidly till reduced one half; pour over the apples and let cool. Flavorings referred to before can be added to the syrup if desired.
XXXI. Mock Pineapple. Arrange alternate slices of sweet apples and oranges, peeled, on a chilled plate, one above the other. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, pour over the orange-juice and serve immediately.
XXXII. Sauce. Peel, quarter, and core quick-cooking apples. Sweeten slightly, and when very tender, rub through a sieve and let cool. Any flavoring recommended before may be used.
XXXIII. Snow. Peel white-fleshed, firm apples, grate quickly on a coarse grater, and serve in roughly piled heaps on small plates immediately. Use sugar or not.
XXXIV. Southern, Fried. Core and cut in thick slices, but do not peel. Dip in egg and crumbs and fry in ham or bacon fat and serve with those meats.
XXXV. Stewed. Pare, core, and halve large cooking-apples. Put into an earthen dish, cover with water, sprinkle with sugar, cover tightly, and cook slowly. If flat in taste, sprinkle with lemon juice, cinnamon, or nutmeg.
XXXVI. Stewed with Dates. Add washed and stoned dates to stewed apples when partially cooked, and finish cooking. Dried apricots, fresh or dried cherries, rhubarb, figs, plums, dried peaches, pears, or quinces, may be used in the same way.
XXXVII. Stewed with Rice. Boil rice as usual in boiling water, adding a little salt. When partly done, add pared, cored, and quartered quick-cooking apples. Finish cooking. Serve very cold with cream and sugar. Flavorings noted above may be added at discretion.
I. Wipe with a dry cloth and serve with fruit-knives. A green leaf on each plate is a dainty fruit doily.
II. Canned. Drain, rinse in cold water, arrange on plates, and let stand several hours before serving. Sugar or not, as desired. Save the syrup to flavor syrup for pancakes, or to use for puddings, fritters, etc.
III. Dried. Soak over night, cook very slowly in the water in which they were soaked, adding very little sugar. Serve with cereal, or separately.
IV. Sauce. Cook as above, and rub the fruit through a sieve. The canned, drained, and freshened fruit may be used in the mine way.
I. Serve in the skins with fruit-knives, one to each person.
II. Skin and scrape and serve immediately. People who cannot ordinarily eat bananas usually find them harmless when the tough, stringy pulp is scraped off.
III. Baked. Bake without peeling, basting with hot water and melted butter occasionally. Let cool in the skins.
IV. Baked. Skin, scrape, and bake, basting with lemon juice and melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.
V. Au naturel. Slice into saucers, sprinkle with lemon juice and sugar.
VI. With Sugar and Cream. Slice, sprinkle with powdered sugar, pour cream over, and serve at once.
VII. With Oranges. Slice, add an equal quantity of sliced oranges, and sprinkle with sugar.
VIII. With Cereal. Slice fresh bananas into a saucer, sprinkle with sugar, cover with boiled rice or with any preferred cereal.
IX. Equally good with sliced peaches.
Serve with powdered sugar, with or without cream. A tablespoonful of cracked ice in a saucer of berries is appreciated on a hot morning.
See Green Gages.
I. Serve very cold, with the stems on. A dainty way is to lay the cherries upon a bed of cracked ice, and serve with powdered sugar in individual dishes.
II. Pit the cherries, saving the juice, and serve in saucers with sugar and plenty of cracked ice.
III. Iced. Beat the white of an egg to a foam. Dip each cherry into it, then roll in powdered sugar, and set on a platter in the refrigerator. Must be prepared overnight.
IV. Crusts. Butter rounds of stale bread, spread with pitted cherries and their juice, sprinkle with sugar, and bake. Serve very cold.
Serve in cracked ice with plenty of sugar. These are also served iced, and on crusts. See Cherries III. and IV.
May be served from the basket. This, of course, applies only to the more expensive varieties, which are clean. The ordinary dried fig of commerce must be washed many times, and is usually sweet enough without adding more sugar.
II. Steamed. Set a plate of figs in a steamer over boiling water until plump and soft, then set away to cool.
III. Stewed. Clean, soak, and cook slowly till tender in a little water. Skim out, drain, sweeten the syrup slightly, reduce one half, pour over the figs, and cool. A bit of vanilla or wine may be added to the syrup.
IV. With Cereal. Cover a saucer of steamed or stewed figs with any preferred cereal. Serve with cream if desired.
V. In Rice Cups. See Apples XXIX.
VI. In Crumbs. See Apples XXVIII.
These berries must be stewed in order to be acceptable. The fruit, after stewing, may be rubbed through a sieve fine enough to keep back the seeds, or it may be baked on crusts. See Cherries IV.
This luscious fruit is at its best when served fresh from the vines, with the bloom still on. Never wash a bunch of grapes if it can be avoided. Serve with grape scissors to cut the bunches apart. People who fear appendicitis may have the grapes squeezed from the skins and the seeds afterwards removed. They are very nice this way, with sugar and pounded ice.
A good grapefruit will have dark spots, a skin which seems thin, will be firm to the touch, and heavy for its size. To serve, cut crosswise, and remove the white, bitter pulp which is in the core, and separate the sections. Fill the core with sugar and serve cold. A little rum or kirsch may be added just before serving, but, as George Ade said, "A good girl needs no help," and it is equally true of a good grapefruit. If anybody knows why it is called grapefruit, please write to the author of this book in care of the publishers.
Serve as they come, with the bloom on, or peel, pit, and serve with cracked ice and powdered sugar.
Look the fruit over carefully. Nothing pleases a fly so much as to die and be mistaken for a huckleberry. Serve with cracked ice, with sugar or cream, or both.
Keep on ice till the last moment. Cut crosswise, take out the seeds with a spoon, and put a cube of ice in each half. Green leaves on the plate are a dainty touch.
Serve with fruit-knives, or in halves with spoons either the orange-spoon which comes for that purpose, or a very heavy teaspoon. Another way is to remove the peel, except a strip an inch wide at the equator, cut at a division line and straighten out the peel, taking care not to break off the sections. Or, the fruit may be peeled, sliced, and served on plats with sugar.
Wipe with a dry cloth and serve with fruit-knives. Or, if you think much of your breakfast napkins, peel and cut just before serving, as they discolor quickly. Serve with cracked ice, or with cream. Hard peaches may be baked, as apples are, and served cold with cream. Stewed peaches may be served on crusts.
Serve as they come, with fruit-knives. Hard pears may be baked or stewed according to directions previously given.
Peel, cut out the eyes, and shred from the core with a silver fork. Sprinkle with sugar and keep on ice some hours before serving. Pineapple is the only fruit known to have a distinct digestive value, and it works most readily on starches. It combines pleasantly with bananas.
These are soaked, and boiled in the water in which they are soaked, with the addition of a very little sugar. Dried apricots, blackberries, cherries, nectarines, and prunes are cooked in the same way. They may also be steamed and afterwards sprinkled with sugar.
These are no longer despised since the price has gone up, and the more expensive kinds are well worth having. A bit of lemon-peel or spice may flavor the syrup acceptably, and they are especially healthful in combination with cereals, according to recipes previously given.
Peel, stuff the cores with sugar, and bake according to directions given for apples. A little lemon may be used in the syrup for basting.
These delicious berries should not be washed unless absolutely necessary, nor should they be insulted with sugar and cream. If very sour, strawberries may be dipped in powdered sugar. Large, fine ones are served with the stems and hulls on. Raspberries, if ripe, seldom need sugar. Cracked ice is a pleasing accompaniment.
I. Peel, cut into inch-lengths, and stew with plenty of sugar. Serve cold.
II. Cut, but do not peel, boil five minutes, then change the water and cook slowly with plenty of sugar till done.
III. Baked. Do not peel. Cut into inch-pieces, put into a buttered baking-dish or stone jar, sprinkle plentifully with sugar, and bake slowly. It will be a rich red in color.
IV. Cook on crusts. See Cherries IV.
V. Add a handful of seeded raisins to rhubarb cooked in any of the above ways when it is about half done. Figs, dates, and other dried fruits, used with rhubarb, make a combination pleasing to some.
Like muskmelon, watermelon must be very thoroughly chilled. Serve in slices from a platter or on individual plates, removing the rind before serving, if desired; or cut the melon in half, slice off the lower end so that it may stand firmly, and serve the pulp from the shell with a silver spoon. Ice pounded to snow is a pleasant addition to any fruit, when the thermometer is ninety-five or six in the shade.