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Hand-Book of Practical Cookery for Ladies and Professional Cooks   By: (1818-1874)

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First Page:

HAND BOOK

OF

PRACTICAL COOKERY,

FOR

LADIES AND PROFESSIONAL COOKS.

CONTAINING

THE WHOLE SCIENCE AND ART OF PREPARING HUMAN FOOD.

BY

PIERRE BLOT,

PROFESSOR OF GASTRONOMY, AND FOUNDER OF THE NEW YORK COOKING ACADEMY.

"If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land."

NEW YORK: D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, 1, 3, and 5 BOND STREET. 1884.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by

D. APPLETON & CO.,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

PREFACE.

Food is the most important of our wants; we cannot exist without it. The man who does not use his brain to select and prepare his food, is not above the brutes that take it in its raw state. It is to the physique what education is to the mind, coarse or refined. Good and well prepared food beautifies the physique the same as a good and well directed education beautifies the mind. A cook book is like a book on chemistry, it cannot be used to any advantage if theory is not blended with practice. It must also be written according to the natural products and climate of the country in which it is to be used, and with a perfect knowledge of the properties of the different articles of food and condiments.

Like many other books, it is not the size that makes it practical; we could have made this one twice as large as it is, without having added a single receipt to it, by only having given separate ones for pieces of meat, birds, fishes, etc., that are of the same kind and prepared alike. All cook books written by mere compilers, besides giving the same receipt several times, recommend the most absurd mixtures as being the best and of the "latest French style."

Although cookery has made more progress within two or three years, in this country as well as in Europe, than it had since 1830, and although all our receipts are complete, practical, wholesome, and in accordance with progress, still they are simple. Our aim has been to enable every housekeeper and professional cook, no matter how inexperienced they may be, to prepare any kind of food in the best and most wholesome way, with economy, celerity, and taste; and also to serve a dinner in as orderly a manner as any steward can do.

We did not intend to make a book, such as that of CARĂˆME, which cannot be used at all except by cooks of very wealthy families, and with which one cannot make a dinner costing less than twenty dollars a head. Such a book is to housekeepers or plain cooks what a Latin dictionary is to a person of merely elementary education.

If we give so many different ways of preparing the same article of food, it is not with a view to complicate cookery, but people's taste is in food as in dress, differing not only in the selection of colors, but also in shape; therefore, by our variety of dishes and our different styles of decorating them; by the ease that they can be prepared in the cheapest as well as in the most costly way, we think we have met all wants and all tastes. The wealthy, as well as those in limited circumstances, can use our receipts with the same advantage.

Our division of cookery and the system of arranging bills of fare , contained in these pages, solve that great and perplexing question, especially for ladies, how to arrange a bill of fare for every season, to suit any number of guests, at a greater or less expense, as they may desire. Every one knows that money alone cannot make good dishes; however good the raw materials may be, they require proper preparations before being palatable and wholesome.

TO HOUSEKEEPERS AND COOKS.

A cook book cannot be used like a dictionary; a receipt is like a rule of grammar: to comprehend it thoroughly, it is indispensable to understand others. The author, therefore, earnestly recommends to his readers to begin by perusing carefully the directions, etc., at the beginning of the book, and also the explanations given on and heading the different articles of food, before attempting the preparation of a dish for the first time... Continue reading book >>




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