It is of as much importance that the cook should know how to make a boat of good gravy for poultry, etc. as that it should be sent up of proper complexion, and nicely frothed.
We shall endeavor to introduce to her all the materials which give flavor in sauce which is the essence of soup, and intended to contain more relish in a tea-spoonful than the former does in a table-spoonful.
We hope to deserve as much praise from the economist as we do from the bon vivant; as we have taken great pains to introduce to him the methods of making substitutes for those ingredients, which are always expensive, and often not to be had at all. Many of these cheap articles are as savory and as salutary as the dearer ones, and those who have large families and limited incomes, will, no doubt, be glad to avail themselves of them.
The reader may rest assured, that whether he consults this book to diminish the expense or increase the pleasures of hospitality, lie will find all the information that was to be obtained up to 1832, communicated in the most unreserved and intelligible manner.
A great deal of the elegance of cookery depends upon the accompaniments to each dish being appropriate and well adapted to it.
We can assure our readers, no attention has been wanting on our part to render this department of the work worthy of their perusal; each receipt is the faithful narrative of actual and repeated experiments, and has received the most deliberate consideration before it was here presented to them. It is given in the most circumstantial manner, and not in the technical and mysterious language former writers on these subjects seem to have preferred; by which their directions are useless and unintelligible to all who have not regularly served an apprenticeship at the stove.
It will be to very little purpose that I have taken so much pains to teach how to manage roasts and boils, if a cook cannot or will not make the several sauces that are usually sent up with them.
We have, therefore, endeavored to give the plainest directions how to produce, with the least trouble and expense possible, all the various compositions the English kitchen affords; and hope to present such a wholesome and palatable variety as will suit all tastes and all pockets, so that a cook may give satisfaction in all families. The more combinations of this sort she is acquainted with, the better she will comprehend the management of every one of them.
The imagination of most cooks is so incessantly on the hunt for a relish, that they seem to think they cannot make sauce sufficiently savory without putting into it everything that ever was eaten; and supposing every addition must bean improvement, they frequently overpower the natural flavor of their plain sauces, by overloading them with salt and spices, etc.: but, remember, these will be deteriorated by any addition, save only just salt enough to awaken the palate.
On the contrary, of compound sauces; the ingredients should be so nicely proportioned, that no one be predominant; so that from the equal union of the combined flavors such a fine mellow mixture is produced, whose very novelty cannot fail of being acceptable to the persevering gourmand, if it has not pretensions to a permanent place at his table.
An ingenious cook will form as endless a variety of these compositions as a musician with his seven notes, or a painter with his colors; no part of her business offers so fair and frequent an opportunity to display her abilities: spices, herbs, etc. are often very absurdly and injudiciously jumbled to-gedier.
Why have clove and allspice, or mace and nutmeg, in the same sauce; or marjoram, thyme, and savory; or onions, leeks, eschalots, and garlic'? one will very well supply the place of the other, and the frugal cook may save something considerable by attending to this, to the advantage of her employers, and her own time and trouble.
See Sauces and Cullis for other important particulars.