My Mother's Cook Book

My Mother's Cook Book

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Excerpt from My Mother's Cook Book: A Series of Practical Lessons in the Art of Cooking

The question that will very naturally be asked in connection with our volume is: "Why is such a work required at all?"

Is there not already an abundance of books devoted to and exhausting the various branches of the subject, from the monograph which discusses all the points and possibilities of cold mutton to the "complete housewife," whose "common sense" suggestions and elaborate instructions range over all possible topics, from the currying of a lobster to the management of a husband?

To such a criticism we should reply that cookery is now accepted as both a science and an art. As a science it is of course subject to all the laws of natural development, while as an art it can also lay claim to the privileges of continued inspiration, and the disciples of to-day need not admit that all wisdom has died with the prophets who have taught in the past. In sober earnest, there has been during the past few years a much more general recognition of the fact that the work of cooking, upon which depends so much of the comfort, and in fact the happiness of existence, cannot be successfully carried on at hap-hazard or in a "hit or miss" fashion. The interests imperilled are too serious and the results of failures too grave. It requires and demands careful, persistent study, and should utilize also all possible ingenuity and creative power that can be pressed into service.

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