Yet, valuable as it may be in all these foregoing respects, Cookery has something more to recommend it, which gives it precedence before everything else in education; and though this is saying a great deal, I shall endeavour to demonstrate that it is perfectly true. I have already shown that Cookery is of superlative benefit, both in ensuring health and in acting as a preventive against habits of intemperance. But it is as a medium for training that Cookery is at its very best; for it is in reality an art; indeed, it is a master art. At the same time, also, it is a science - the science of applied chemistry. There are no other elements of education which thus blend "within themselves these two factors - the practical and the scientific.
To commence with, Cookery requires accuracy. The instructions given with any recipe are sufficient to show this. They tell you to take so much of each thing, to proceed in a certain way, and even what time to take in the cooking. It also calls for attention to detail. Carelessness in Cookery is just one of the rocks on which disaster occurs. An English duke, an ambassador at Paris, was desirous of giving the corps diplomatique the treat of a real English plum pudding. The fullest directions were given to his chef - all, indeed, with the exception of mentioning the pudding-cloth. When the eventful time arrived for its appearance, to his dismay several stately cooks appeared, each carrying a tureen of dark-looking fluid. The omission of the pudding-cloth was fatal. Cleanliness is another of the cardinal virtues of Cookery. The very thought of anything else would be repulsive. By the way, that fine old saying, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness," does not come from the Scriptures, as many suppose, but from one of John "Wesley's sermons.
Cookery also exacts punctuality - for have we not Brillat-Savarin's dictum that of all the qualities necessary for a cook the most indispensable is punctuality ? If any important matter connected with the process of Cookery be not attended to at the exact moment it is required, nothing can afterwards rectify it. A little delay in attending to this thing, or a little delay in attending to that thing, and whatever is being cooked is irretrievably spoiled. And, moreover, it is not to be forgotten that Cookery is of signal benefit in inculcating the advantages of a wise economy. With proper Cookery nothing should be allowed to go to waste, nothing should be thrown away, unless it be absolutely useless. There should be good housewifery; everything, even the veriest scraps, may be turned to the best account. The stock pot will absorb many nutritious and wholesome odds and ends, which would otherwise be consigned to the dirt-box. The loss that actually takes place in many kitchens is without the shadow of an excuse; sometimes the best part of a cold joint is deliberately cast aside.