With kitchen in order, tools ready, and food materials at hand, we are ready for the actual food preparation. A distinction is to be made between cookery and cooking. Cookery includes all the steps necessary to produce the finished product, while cooking is the actual application of heat, only one step of the whole process, though, indeed, one of the most important and difficult. The order of procedure in food preparation is as follows :

See first that the stove is ready (Chapter IV (Food Preparation, The Principles And Technique)). Then comes the choice and study of the recipe or the method of cooking. The word "recipe" is from a Latin word meaning "take." Follow this advice and "take" or bring together on the work table whatever materials are needed. Decide upon the necessary utensils, and place them conveniently near. As you gather the materials together you will measure and weigh the exact amounts. Do this before you begin the putting together or mixing. Sometimes instead of mixing, the necessary process is paring, or scraping, or cutting, each with its own best way. Then follows the application of heat. Some foods are then served at once, others must be carefully put away after cooling. Or again, there is no application of heat, for instance, when the freezing temperature is used in ice cream; or in a salad, or fruit preparation where cooling in the refrigerator is the next step. The technique of preparing a meal and serving will be found in Chapter XVI (Preparation Of Meals And Table Service).