This is not a cookery book. It makes no attempt to replace a good one; it is rather an effort to fill up the gap between you and your household oracle, whether she be one of those exasperating old friends who maddened our mother with their vagueness, or the newer and better lights of our own generation, the latest and best of all being a lady as well known for her novels as for her works on domestic economy—one more proof, if proof were needed, of the truth I endeavor to set forth—if somewhat tediously forgive me—in this little book: that cooking and cultivation are by no means antagonistic. Who does not remember with affectionate admiration Charlotte Bronté taking the eyes out of the potatoes stealthily, for fear of hurting the feelings of her purblind old servant; or Margaret Fuller shelling peas?
tory, and did not hide his poverty. One of the gentlemen, as they parted, slipped a five-pound note into his hand, and his need of it was so great that he did not obey the prompting of his pride, but accepted it.
A few days later he was sent for to a great house, and learned on his arrival that the young gentleman he had obliged at the tavern had spoken so highly of his salad that they begged him to do the same thing again. A very handsome sum was tendered him on his departure, and afterwards he had frequent calls on his skill, until it became the fashion to have salads prepared by d'Aubigny, who became a well-known character in London, and was called "the fashionable salad-maker." In a few years he amassed a large fortune by this means, and was in such request that his carriage would drive from house to house, carrying him and his various condiments--for he took with him everything that could give variety to his concoctions--from one place, where his services were needed, to another.
A fascinatingly literary look at late 19th-century home cooking from a strong advocate. While the author asserts that it is not a cookbook, she gives very detailed (for her time) recipes and descriptions of her techniques, interspersed with exhortations on why every society lady should know how to cook, and quotations on food and literature drawn from a variety of authors to back up her points. And what foodie could not be intrigued by such recipes as "Kreuznach horns," "cromesquis of lamb" and "Mephistophelian sauce"?
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