For the young housekeeper, beginning with little or no knowledge, but eager to do and know the right thing, not alone for kitchen but for the home as a whole, the list of topics touched upon in Part I. became essential. That much of the knowledge compressed there should have been gained at home, is at once admitted: but, unfortunately, few homes give it; and the aim has been to cover the ground concisely yet clearly and attractively. As to Part II., it does not profess to be the whole art of cooking, but merely the line of receipts most needed in the average family, North or South. Each receipt has been tested personally by the writer, often many times; and each one is given so minutely that failure is well-nigh impossible, if the directions are intelligently followed. A few distinctively Southern dishes are included, but the ground covered has drawn from all sources; the series of excellent and elaborate manuals by well-known authors having contributed here and there, but the majority of rules being, as before said, the result of years of personal experiment, or drawn from old family receipt-books.
To facilitate the work of the teacher, however, a scheme of lessons is given at the end, covering all that can well be taught in the ordinary school year: each lesson is given with page references to the receipts employed, while a shorter and more compact course is outlined for the use of classes for ladies. A list of topics is also given for school use; it having been found to add greatly to the interest of the course to write each week the story of some ingredient in the lesson for the day, while a set of questions, to be used at periodical intervals, fixes details, and insures a certain knowledge of what progress has been made. The course covers the chemistry and physiology of food, as well as an outline of household science in general, and may serve as a text-book wherever such study is introduced. It is hoped that this presentation of the subject will lessen the labor necessary in this new field, though no text-book can fully take the place of personal enthusiastic work.
That training is imperatively demanded for rich and poor alike, is now unquestioned; but the mere taking a course of cooking-lessons alone does not meet the need in full. The present book aims to fill a place hitherto unoccupied; and precisely the line of work indicated there has been found the only practical method in a year’s successful organization of schools at various points. Whether used at home with growing girls, in cooking-clubs, in schools, or in private classes, it is hoped that the system outlined and the authorities referred to will stimulate interest, and open up a new field of work to many who have doubted if the food question had any interest beyond the day’s need, and who have failed to see that nothing ministering to the best life and thought of this wonderful human body could ever by any chance be rightfully called “common or unclean.” We are but on the threshold of the new science. If these pages make the way even a little plainer, the author will have accomplished her full purpose, and will know that in spite of appearances there is “room for one more.”