A very neat and serviceable table mat is made of white wire, as represented in cut. Nothing has been devised that is better, more durable, and at the same time so cheap. It answers the purpose admirably, and is within the reach of all.
The best and safest utensils for cooking are made of iron simply, or of iron porcelain lined. Tin lined vessels, when only partly filled, often become so much heated that the tin is oxydized and mingles with the food, and is an irritant poison. The new "granite" ware is coming into favor, and if made by a proper process is good and safe. Brass is very objectionable if there is any acid in food to be cooked.
This simple contrivance slips over the gas burner, and furnishes a secure stand on which to set a cup or tea pot, when it will heat in a few moments. It is invaluable in a sick room or nursery in a house where gas is used, and when gas is not used there are substitutes for the same purpose which burn alcohol.
Many vegetables are much better when stewed than when boiled in actual contact with water. Cabbage, with salt sprinkled among the leaves is more quickly cooked and is much more delicate than when boiled. The same is true of puddings, particularly plum puddings, and for chickens, potatoes, rice, and indeed for nearly every thing usually immersed in water. The outer kettle is partly filled with boiling water, the article to be cooked is placed in the perforated pan and set in the other and a close-fitting cover placed over both.
- No kitchen is complete without a long bench, two and a half feet wide, and of a proper height for comfort in washing, on which there is room for two or three tubs on washing days. Of course, a wringer is a necessity, and it is always best to get a good one. A cheap wringer soon becomes worthless. The rollers twist off, and it goes to pieces generally, while a good one, properly taken care of, lasts a long time. Washing machines are more doubtful, but there are a few worthy of a place in the kitchen, especially when the women folk are not strong.
- There ought always to be an iron-ware closet, with deep shelves, in the kitchen, where iron-ware can be kept out of the dust. For china, glass and silver, if such a luxury is known, a corner cupboard with glass doors is a pretty article of furniture, and takes very little available room. Drawers for napkins and table-cloths and for the children's bibs and aprons are also in order.
- The cut represents the old-fashioned Dutch oven, an iron kettle with a heavy tight-fitting iron lid. This is often used for outdoor cooking, and during the war the soldiers were delighted to get possession of one of these ovens to bake their pork and beans in or their corn bread or "pone."' The oven was lowered into the ground level with the top and the lid covered with live coals. There is no oven which bakes pork and beans and imparts the same delicious flavor, especially when the appetite has been sharpened by out-door work or sport and a moderate degree of fasting.