In France various honors are awarded to cooks. Accomplished chefs de cuisine are by compliment called cordon-bleu, which is an ancient and princely order. A successful culinary production takes the name of the inventor, and by it his fame often lasts longer than that of many men who have achieved positions in the learned professions. Cooking is there esteemed a service of especial merit, hence France ranks all nations in gastronomy.

Although definite honors are not conferred on cooks elsewhere, good cooking is everywhere appreciated, and there is no reason why it should not be the rule instead of the exception. In large establishments it may be said to prevail, but in many moderate households the daily fare is of a quality which satisfies no other sense than that of hunger, the hygienic requirements and esthetic possibilities being quite unknown or disregarded. This is what Savarin designates as feeding, in contradistinction to dining.

The author believes that the women of to-day, because of their higher education, have a better understanding of domestic duties; that hygiene, economy, system, and methods are better understood and more generally practised. Children are not only more sensibly clothed, but they are more wholesomely fed, and households are directed with more intelligent care.

It is hoped that this book will inculcate a desire to learn the simple principles of cooking for the benefits which such knowledge will give, and that it will be of material assistance to any woman who wishes to establish and maintain a well-ordered cuisine. Receipts are given for simple and inexpensive as well as elaborate and costly dishes, and they are intended to be of use to the inexperienced as well as to the trained cook. The rules are given in precise language, with definite measurement and time, so that no supervision by the mistress will be required for any receipt given the cook.

At the head of each chapter are given the general rules for the dishes included in that class. Economy, practicability, and the resources of the average kitchen have been constantly borne in mind.

The illustrations, it is believed, will aid materially in serving dishes, as they complete and demonstrate the receipts. Many of them are given to attract attention to very simple dishes, which might be selected as suited to one's convenience, but which might otherwise be overlooked in a hasty perusal of the text. The pictures are from photographs of dishes, many of which are not too difficult for a novice to undertake.

The author has fortunately been able to secure from Susan Coolidge a number of receipts of New England dishes; also a few distinctively Southern dishes from an equally experienced Southern housekeeper. These, she hopes, will enable many who have strayed from home to enjoy again the dishes associated with other times and places.

Much care has been taken to give a complete alphabetical index, so that anything in the book can be quickly found, even if the ordinary classification is not understood.

The chapters on etiquette, serving, etc., are meant to aid those young housekeepers who, from lack of observation or experience, find themselves at a loss to remember small details when the responsibility of an entertainment falls upon them for the first time.

The author, in speaking of this book to friends, has had various questions asked and suggestions given, by which she has endeavored to profit. Some of the questions have been the following:

"Have you given receipts suitable for a family of two or three?"

"Have you given expedients, so if articles called for in the receipts are not at hand others may be substituted?"

"Is your book only for rich people?"

"Is it not a mistake to use French names, which many do not understand?" etc., etc.

In deference to the last suggestion, she has explained the meaning of certain classes of dishes known only by the French names, and which would lose character if translated. A souffle, for instance, has no special significance when called "inflated," but the word souffle defines the class of dishes which are inflated, and is so generally understood that it is almost an Anglicized word.

The terms Souffles, Pates, Timbales, Hors-d'oeuvres, Entrees, etc., are as distinctive as Stews, Hashes, Creams, etc.; hence there seems no other way than to learn the culinary nomenclature as one partakes of the dishes.

The author strongly urges the trial of new dishes, and breaking away from the routine of habit. The preparation of so-called fancy dishes is very simple. A little attention given to ornamentation and garnishing, making dishes attractive in appearance as well as taste, will raise the standard of cooking without necessarily increasing the expense.