Advice to Cooks

a good cook wastes nothingThis past weekend I found the perfect birthday gift for my dear friend Sarah. The Thermo-Spoon, in its original package and still containing the illustrated recipe book, looked as if it had never been used in the thirty-some-odd years since it was marketed. I don’t know why ~ according to the instructions, as you stir your pot of soup or pudding the handy thermometer on the tip kicks into action. What a tool! Every home should have one.

Unfortunately it did not work when we tried it out at her party, but it got me thinking about cooking. So here’s a few tips from the Household Guide for all you kitchen-gadget-loving people like me.

1902: Advice to Cooks

Importance of Cooking. No matter how large the establishment, no person holds a more important part than the cook, for with her rests not only the comfort, but the health of those she serves, and we would warn all cooks not to make light of their responsibilities, but to study diligently the tastes and wishes of all those for whom they have to prepare food.

Cleanliness. A dirty kitchen is a disgrace, both to mistress and maid, and cleanliness is a most essential ingredient in the art of cooking. It takes no longer to have a clean and orderly kitchen than an untidy and dirty one, for the time that is spent in keeping it in good order is saved when cooking operations are going on and everything is clean and it its place.

Dress. When at your work, dress suitably; wear short, plain clothes, well-fitting boots, and large aprons with bibs, of which every cook and kitchen maid should have a good supply, and you will be comfortable as you never can be with long dresses, small aprons, and slipshod shoes, the latter being most trying in a warm kitchen.

Kitchen Supplies. Do not let your stock of pepper, salt, spices, seasonings, etc., dwindle so low that there is danger, in the midst of preparing dinner, that you find yourself minus some very important ingredient, thereby causing much confusion and annoyance.

~ ~ ~

Golden Rules for the Kitchen.

Without cleanliness and punctuality good cooking is impossible.
Leave nothing dirty; clean and clear as you go.
A time for everything and everything in time.
A good cook wastes nothing.
An hour lost in the morning has to be run after all day.
Haste without hurry saves worry, fuss and flurry.
Stew boiled is stew spoiled.
Strong fire for roasting.
Clear fire for broiling.
Wash vegetable in three waters.
Boil fish quickly, meat slowly.

Source: Jefferis, Prof. B. G. The Household Guide, or Domestic Cyclopedia. Atlanta, Ga.: J. L. Nichols & Co., 1902.
~ pp. 403-04 ~