The aim of this book is to indicate how to serve dishes, and to entertain company at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as to give cooking receipts. Too many receipts are avoided, although quite enough are furnished for any practical cook-book. There are generally only two or three really good modes of cooking a material, and one becomes bewildered and discouraged in trying to select and practice from books which contain often from a thousand to three thousand receipts.
No claim is laid to originality. "Receipts which have not stood the test of time and experience are of but little worth." The author has willingly availed herself of the labors of others, and, having carefully compared existing works - adding here and subtracting there, as experience dictated - and having also pursued courses of study with cooking teachers in America and in Europe, she hopes that she has produced a simple and practical book, which will enable a family to live well and in good style, and, at the same time, with reasonable economy.
The absence from previous publications of reliable information as to the manner of serving meals has been noticed. Fortunately, the fashionable mode is one calculated to give the least anxiety and trouble to a hostess.
Care has been taken to show how it is possible with moderate means to keep a hospitable table, leaving each reader for herself to consider the manifold advantages of making home, so far as good living is concerned, comfortable and happy.
St. Louis, 1876,
M. F. H.