Butter must be kept in the dryest and coldest place you can find, in vessels of either stone, earthen, or wood, and never in tin.
Lard and Drippings must be kept in a dry, cold place, and should not be salted. Usually the cellar is the best place for them. Earthen or stone jars are the best to store them in.
Salt must be kept in the dryest place that can be found. Hock salt is the best for table-salt. It should be washed, dried, pounded, sifted, and stored in a glass jar, and covered close. It is common to find it growing damp in the salt-stands for the table. It should then be set by the fire to dry, and afterward be reduced to fine powder again. Few things are more disagreeable than coarse or damp salt on a table.
Vinegar is best made of wine or cider. Buy a keg or half-barrel of it, and set it in the cellar, and then keep a supply for the casters in a bottle in the kitchen. If too strong, it eats the pickles. Much manufactured vinegar is sold that ruins pickles, and is unhealthful.
Pickles never must be kept in glazed ware, as the vinegar forms a poisonous compound with the glazing.
Oil must be kept in the cellar. Whiter-strained must be got in cold weather, as the summer-strained will not burn except in warm weather. Those who use kerosene oil should never trust it with heedless servants or children. Never fill lamps with it at night, nor allow servants to kindle fire with it, or to fill a lamp with it when lighted. Inquire for the safest pattern of lamps, and learn all the dangers to be avoided, and the cautions needful in the use of this most dangerous explosive oil. Neglect this caution, and you probably will be a sorrowful mourner all your life for the sufferings or death of some dear friend.
Molasses, if bought by the barrel or half-barrel, should be kept in the cellar. If bought in small quantities, it should be kept in a demijohn. No vessel should be corked or bunged, if filled with molasses, as it will swell and burst the vessel, or run over.
Hard Soap should be bought by large quantity, and laid to harden on a shelf in a very dry place. It is much more economical to buy hard than soft soap, as those who use soft soap are very apt to waste it in using it, as they can not do with hard soap.
Starch it is best to buy by a large quantity. It comes very nicely put up in papers, a pound or two in each paper, and packed in a box. The high-priced starch is cheapest in the end.
Indigo is not always good. When a good lot is found by trial, it is best to get enough for a year or two, and store it in a tight tin box.
Coffee it is best to buy by the bag, as it improves by keeping. Let it hang in the bag in a dry place, and it loses its rank smell and taste. It is poor economy to buy ground coffee, as it often has other articles mixed, and loses flavor by keeping after it is ground.
Tea. if bought by the box, is several cents a pound cheaper than by small quantities. If well put up in boxes lined with lead, it keeps perfectly; but put up in paper, it soon loses its flavor. It therefore should, if in small quantities, be put up in glass or tin, and shut tight.
Soda should be bought in small quantities, then powdered, sifted, and kept tight corked in a large-mouth glass bottle. It grows damp if exposed to the air, and then can not be used properly.
Raisins should not be bought in large quantities, as they are injured by time. It is best to buy the small boxes.
Lemon and Orange Peel should be dried, pounded, and set up in corked glass jars.
Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Mace, and Allspice should be pounded fine, and corked tight in small glass bottles, with mouths large en6ugh for a junk-bottle cork, and then put in a tight tin box, made for the purpose. Or they can be put in small tin boxes with tight covers. Essences are as good as spices.
Sweet Herbs should be dried, the stalks thrown away, and the rest be kept in corked large-mouth bottles, or small tin boxes.
Cream Tartar, Citric and Tartaric Acids, Bicarbonate of Soda, and Essences should be kept in corked glass jars. Sal volatile must be kept in a large-mouth bottle, with a ground-glass stopper to make it air-tight. Use cold water in dissolving it. It must be powdered.
Preserves and Jellies should be kept in glass or stone, in a cool, dry place, well sealed, or tied with bladder covers. If properly made and thus put up, they never will ferment. If it is difficult to find a cool, dry place, pack the jars in a box, and fill the interstices with sand, very thoroughly dried. It is best to put jellies in tumblers, or small glass jars, so as to open only a small quantity at a time.
The most easy way of keeping Hams perfectly is to wrap and tie them in paper, and pack them in boxes or barrels with ashes. The ashes must fill all interstices, but must not touch the hams, as it absorbs the fat. It keeps them sweet, and protects from all kinds of insects.
After smoked beef or hams are cut, hang them in a coarse linen bag in the cellar, and tie it up to keep out flies.
Keep Cheese in a cool, dry place, and after it is cut, wrap it in a linen cloth, and keep it in a tight tin box.
Keep Bread in a tin covered box, and it will keep fresh and good longer than if left exposed to the air.
Cake also should be kept in a tight tin box. Tin boxes made with covers like trunks, with handles at the ends, are best for bread and cake.
Smoked herring keep in the cellar.
Codfish is improved by changing it, once in a while, back and forth from garret to cellar. Some dislike to have it in the house anywhere.