The savoriness of a dish can often be much enhanced by adding a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, of mushroom or tomato catsup, of kitchen bouquet, by a few celery seeds, a bay-leaf, or a sprig of some dried herb. A little tarragon vinegar or a few capers will often much improve a salad.
Some cooks feel they are called upon to do fancy cooking if expected to use a bay-leaf or an almond; others feel a receipt is extravagant or impracticable if it calls for anything in the line of flavors beyond salt and pepper, lemon juice, vanilla, or raisins; but there is no more extravagance in using different condiments than in using always the same, or those which from habit have established themselves in the favor of every housekeeper. None of the condiments are expensive, and so little is used at a time that one bottle-ful lasts a long time. All the flavoring extracts are the same price, and the expense of a few almonds is only nominal, therefore it is a pity not to have a variety of such articles in the dresser, and give variety to dishes by at least the very simple means of changing flavors. A cottage pudding with a little shredded orange peel, nuts, or cocoanut in it, or with a chocolate, wine, or meringue sauce, will be an agreeable change from the plain pudding with hard sauce. The same may be said of a corn-starch or a rice pudding, of a custard, and of many other things.