The cook is a very important personage in the house, and her duties vary considerably according to the number of servants kept and whether or not she has assistance given her from either a kitchenmaid, or " between-maid " (one who's time is divided between up and down stairs), or a charwoman, or a boot-boy.
If the help of a charwoman is given, she does the rough cleaning of the kitchen premises, leaving the cooking and the lighter cleaning for the cook. If a boot-boy is employed, he cleans the knives, boots, fills coal-scuttles, and sometimes cleans the windows as well. In the country this work is frequently done by the gardener or odd outdoor man.
Wages vary from 20 for a plain cook to about £40 per annum.
Beside the list of duties given below, the cook-general takes charge of the maid's bedroom, fills the coal-scuttles, washes up all the dining-room crockery, except glass and silver, answers the back door all day and the front door up to 12 o'clock.
With all this daily work and special cleaning it can be easily understood that she has only time to prepare, cook, and serve simple dishes. Anything specially elaborate is usually done by the mistress or daughters of the house.
Where only one other servant is kept it
Two maids kept, and a charwoman for half a day on Tuesdays and Fridays.