THIS BOOK is gotten up to meet the wants of young housekeepers who wish to use plain practical methods of keeping house in such manner that they do not spend all or even one-half their days in the kitchen; who wish to manage their household so sensibly that the feeling of drudgery is removed, and they can be "chief cook and bottle washer" if necessary, yet meet with a smile the husband coming for meals.
And for the "tired out" housekeeper who spends so much time planning and executing the family cooking and the serving of varied and elaborate meals, that she has no time to devote to the so-called recreations of life, frequently feeling obliged to give up everything to prevent a "complete nervous breakdown."
If your children hear constant talk regarding food and its preparation, unless they learn better later on, they will most likely consider eating the chief thing in life. While every one must eat, let each one endeavor to make the preparation and the partaking of the daily meals a pleasure to the cook, and the manager of the cook. For unless a house is run on one or two "flat wheels" (as the streetcar men express it), there must be a manager. This book is also a plea for "the simple life" in a sensible way.
We are independent beings, and we must decide our course for ourselves. If any of these things appeal to your thinking selves, use and enjoy them. If not, just ignore them, but, do not dictate as to the right or wrong of your neighbor's using them. You remember Epictetus said "Does a man bathe quickly? do not say that he bathes badly, but that he bathes quickly. For unless you perfectly understand the principle from which he acts, how do you know whether he is acting wrong." The aim in this book is not to present an immense variety of recipes, but a number of good, plain, wholesome dishes; with directions for using and not wasting ingredients. The housekeeper need not be what is termed "stingy," but it is criminal to waste, and statistics prove that no other nation is so prodigal as the American. So let the women, the rulers of the house, see to it that they are doing their part in benefiting mankind. "Charity begins at home." Attend to yours.