After washing and scraping the parsnips slice them about half of an inch thick. Put them in a Saucepan of boiling water Containing just enough to barely cook them; add a tablespoonful of butter, season with salt and pepper, then cover closely. Stew them until the water has cooked away, watching carefully and stirring often to prevent burning, until they are soft. When they are done they will be of a creamy light straw color and deliciously sweet, retaining all the goodness of the vegetable.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)