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Leaves For Culinary Purposes

(Vaughan’s Vegetable Cook Book)

In addition to sweet and bitter herbs, we have many leaves available for

seasoning. The best known and most used are bay leaves, a leaf or two

in custards, rice, puddings and soups adds a delicate flavor and aroma.

A laurel leaf answers the same purpose. Bitter almond flavoring has a

substitute in fresh peach leaves which have a smell and taste of bitter

almond. Brew the leaves, fresh or dry, and use a teaspoonful or two of

the liquid. Use all these leaves stintedly as they are strongly

aromatic, and it is easy to get too much. The flowering currant gives a

flavor that is a compound of the red and black currant; gooseberry

leaves in the bottled fruit emphasize the flavor, and it is said keep

the fruit greener. A fresh geranium or lemon verbena leaf gives a

delightful odor and taste to jelly. A geranium leaf or two in the bottom

of a cake dish while the cake is baking will flavor the cake. Nasturtium

leaves and flowers find a place in sandwiches and salads. The common

syringa has an exact cucumber flavor and can be a substitute for

cucumber in salads or wherever that flavor is desired. Lemon and orange

leaves answer for the juice of their fruits. Horseradish and grape

leaves have use in pickles. Carrot, cucumber and celery leaves give the

respective flavors of their vegetables. Tender celery leaves can be

thoroughly dried and bottled for winter use. The use of leaves is an

economy for a household, and a source of great variety.

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