The Young Wife's Cook Book will be found to contain a carefully prepared system of cooking, comprising receipts for preparing everything suitable to go on any one's table, as well as for preparing good and tempting dishes from cold meats, vegetables, and puddings, which may be served with all the warmth and appetizing appearance of the original dish. Every housekeeper must be aware that no previous book upon cooking has been given containing satisfactory information upon this point. That this subject is important, will be recognized when we think that there are none but the families and houses of the wealthiest who do not, as a general rule, have roasts, as well as other eatables, sent to the table twice and even thrice. How much more acceptable, then, to our luxurious American taste, would be a warm, savory dinner, prepared from these materials, than the everlasting "cold shoulder."
We give also to our readers numerous receipts for preparing for the table the secondary parts of animals - such as the heart, liver, tripe, feet, etc., and compounding from these usually cheap portions many dishes which will rival the great joints, and win the suffrages of those who are tired of the endless succession of beef, mutton and chicken.
It has been thought advisable, therefore, to give in this work a collection of plain and useful receipts, selected from family MSS., having been tried and vouched for by those from whom they have been obtained. It is also enriched by the contributions of many foreign friends, who have given us the opportunity of verifying the saying that America has no national cuisine, but assimilates to herself the experience of every nation, to prepare the abundance of riches that a kind Providence has showered upon us.
We recommend, particularly to young housekeepers, a profound study of our Housewifery department. The hints are not only invaluable, but have been well tried and their worth ascertained. Indeed, the contents of our whole book are entirely new, and useful information will be found upon each and every page, tending to simplify labor, and to increase the comforts of any one's home.
Though it is not desirable, in this enlightened age, that ladies should, like their great-grandmothers, devote themselves exclusively to household duties, yet a thorough knowledge of domestic management is not incompatible with the cultivation of the mind, or the practice of those accomplishments which adorn the sex. On the contrary, this knowledge encourages them to all the studios and pursuits which tend to make home happy. The useful instruction so necessary to attain this great aim of life is rarely supplied at school, or at home, to girls at that early age when the mind is ductile, and the frame active; and consequently, in mature years, the attempt to acquire new habits is frequently irksome and mortifying.
Let every young wife and mother remember her serious responsibility, and take care that the husband and the children find their home to be truly the haven of refuge from temptation - the calm resting place from labor and care - and the bright and cheerful abode of comfort. Good sense, good humor, and good principles are the female spells that diffuse cheerfulness and peace around the hearth of the poor as well as the rich man. Intellectual attainments, and brilliant accomplishments, are agreeable fireside companions; but any woman, if she earnestly determines to do her duty faithfully and pleasantly, may make her humble fireside as happy to her husband, children, and friends, as the brilliant drawing-room. In the management of a household, as well as in the regulation of the human mind, it is attention to the smaller daily duties which forms the sum of usefulness and happiness.
Domestic comfort may be equally attained by all classes - provided, always, that the expenditure does not exceed the means, and that cheerful exertions are used to make the best of the means.
The mistress of a family should always remember, that the welfare and good management of the house depend on the eye of the superior - and consequently that nothing is too trifling for her notice whereby waste may be avoided.
If a lady has never been accustomed, while single, to think of family management, let her not on that account fear that she cannot attain the art.
It is certainly desirable to proportion the style of living as well to the fortune, as to the position in society; but if the two cannot be made to agree, justice demands the sacrifice of such appendages to station as are inconsistent with the means.
The expenditure must be carefully considered, and retrenchment made on such articles as will least affect the comfort of her family. Every woman who earnestly sets about it, may live within the means. An excellent common-sense maxim in household management, as well as in important affairs, is, "Begin nothing without steadily looking to the end."
A prudent housekeeper will always provide in time everything that is actually wanted; but will never be tempted to buy what is not wanted, and then try to find a use for it.
She should never allow hurry or bustle to be the practice of the household, or nothing will be well done.
It is unnecessary for any woman to say she has not time to perform some important duty. A due arrangement and economy of time leaves opportunity for all things needful.
Economy is an arrangement of order of things to produce a certain result. Therefore, no economy can be so important as the economy of time, the most precious possession of man.
A little reflection in the morning will enable mistress or servant to make due arrangements for the employment of the day before her, so that not one moment shall be misspent - the important duties to be performed at regular and stated periods; the lesser occupations to be introduced to fill up the disengaged spaces.
In the pursuits of the mistress of a family there may be, however, unavoidable interruptions - visitors; unforeseen domestic affairs; or accidents. But for these a well-regulated mind is ever prepared. Idle visits ors must and will infest the homes of the industrious, but the time need not be wholly lost. A piece of needlework, knitting, or even some simple household occupation may be carried on without offence to the visitors, and may, on the contrary, afford them a very useful lesson.
On the mutual duties of servants and employers, we may say, that, in general, moderate demands and judicious forbearance produce respectful obedience. Servants should always remember that their services are only the just payment for their wages and support, and should scrupulously render them. But the attachment of a servant to a family can only be bought by mildness, forbearance and kind words - to them.