The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking Adapted to Domestic Use or Study in Classes
By Helen Stuart Campbell
6 Nov, 2018
FROM THE INTRODUCTION.......That room or toleration for another "cook-book" can exist in the public mind, will be denied at once, with all the vigor to be expected from a people overrun with cook-books, and only anxious to relegate the majority of th
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FROM THE INTRODUCTION.......That room or toleration for another "cook-book" can exist in the public mind, will be denied at once, with all the vigor to be expected from a people overrun with cook-books, and only anxious to relegate the majority of them to their proper place as trunk-linings and kindling-material. The minority, admirable in plan and execution, and elaborate enough to serve all republican purposes, are surely sufficient for all the needs that have been or may be. With Mrs. Cornelius and Miss Parloa, Marion Harland and Mrs. Whitney, and innumerable other trustworthy authorities, for all every-day purposes, and Mrs. Henderson for such festivity as we may at times desire to make, another word is not only superfluous but absurd; in fact, an outrage on common sense, not for one instant to be justified.
Such was my own attitude and such my language hardly a year ago; yet that short space of time has shown me, that, whether the public admit the claim, or no, one more cook-book MUST BE. And this is why:—
A year of somewhat exceptional experience—that involved in building up several cooking-schools in a new locality, demanding the most thorough and minute system to assure their success and permanence—showed the inadequacies of any existing hand-books, and the necessities to be met in making a new one. Thus the present book has a twofold character, and represents, not only the ordinary receipt or cook book, usable in any part of the country and covering all ordinary household needs, but covers the questions naturally arising in every lesson given, and ending in statements of the most necessary points in household science. There are large books designed to cover this ground, and excellent of their kind, but so cumbrous in form and execution as to daunt the average reader.
Miss Corson's "Cooking-School Text-Book" commended itself for its admirable plainness and fullness of detail, but was almost at once found impracticable as a system for my purposes; her dishes usually requiring the choicest that the best city market could afford, and taking for granted also a taste for French flavorings not yet common outside of our large cities, and to no great extent within them. To utilize to the best advantage the food-resources of whatever spot one might be in, to give information on a hundred points suggested by each lesson, yet having no place in the ordinary cook-book, in short, to teach household science as well as cooking, became my year's work; and it is that year's work which is incorporated in these pages. Beginning with Raleigh, N.C., and lessons given in a large school there, it included also a seven-months' course at the Deaf and Dumb Institute, and regular classes for ladies. Straight through, in those classes, it became my business to say, "This is no infallible system, warranted to give the whole art of cooking in twelve lessons. All I can do for you is to lay down clearly certain fixed principles; to show you how to economize thoroughly, yet get a better result than by the expenditure of perhaps much more material. Before our course ends, you will have had performed before you every essential operation in cooking, and will know, so far as I can make you know, prices, qualities, constituents, and physiological effects of every type of food. Beyond this, the work lies in your own hands." Less