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RAISING PRICES-AND ITS EFFECTS!

POPULAR COOKERY.

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POPULAR COOKERY. Remarking on this useful feature of the International Ex- hibition in London, The Timet has the following sketch of the practical and instructive lectures which are given twice a day t- T^e crowded benches of the School of Cookery at the International Exhibition are a proof of the interest and novelty attaching to practical instructions in the preparation of food. Twice a day the female popula- tion of Great Britain are well scolded for their kitchen ignorance by an enthusiastic lecturer, who is listened to with a patience and humility which seems to en courage him in laying on his wholesome rebukes. Something is said to all classes. The fine lady is frightened by revelations of the shameful waste which goes on in her grand kitchen, and is reminded that her great grandmother, though not less a fine lady than herself, was wont to be up betimes in the morning and about her house, and made it her business to have every detaU of the kitchen and stillroom at her fingers' ends. The wife of the hard-worked professional man is shown how "that climax of all earthly ills, "The ioflamm^pon of his weekly bills," may be kept down, at the same time that the quantity and quality of the family meals are increased and bettered by the mistress's personal superintendence of her cook and kitchen. The bourgeoise housewife is no less upbraided for the sham gentility which leada her to teach her daughters how io play the piano instead of how to boil a potato. These South Kensington severities are attentively hearkened to, not only by rows of young women, but also by country clergymen, respectable mechanics, small tradesmen, &c., all of whom probably return home resolved to assert their right to well-cooked meals, whether the amount of housekeeping money be great or small. It is also to be hoped that no right-minded bachelor who has attended these lectures will ask a young lady to share his small house and income till he has satisfied himself that she knows how to cook, or, at least, how to teach a cook. A week ago the lecturer was preaching a crusade against cold mutton. The text was most attractive, and many a cook-maid anxious to improve herself came with her sixpence in her hani, and the eager inquiry, Are the 'ashes goin' on ? The lecturer's instructions are precise and simple, and are well illustrated by the attendant chef and his kitchenmaids, who prepare the different dishes before the eyes of the audience. Numbers of letters from grateful masters and mistresses bear witness to the improvement in the domestic bill of fare which may result from even one visit to the School. If, after hearing the discourse on hashes, for instance, a cook should still send to table tough chunfe of meat swimming in greasy, water or a thick floury mess, she would, indeed, deserve to be drummed out of her kitchen. How easy is it to prepare a really palatable and excellent richauffS of a yesterday's dinner! The gravy, having been carefully mixed, boiled, and strained, is allowed to get nearly cold before the nearly cut pieces of meat are put into the saucepan, there to simmer as slowly as may be. In- stead of the slices of flabby toast, which too often sicken the soul of the bread winner sitting down to his dinner faint with work and hunger, the dish should be garnished with symmetrical sippets which have been frizzled into crisp toast in a wire basket plunged into a saucepan of boiling lard. As economy is the burden of the lectures, the thrifty manager is duly reminded that the lard in which these sippets have been cooked may be used for other frying, but for nothing after it has been used for fish. The virtue of cleanliness, of an exquisite and dainty cleanliness, ranks higher in the code of kitchen morality than even economy, and is as absolutely a necsssity to good cooking as the very fire itself. This is well inculcated by the lecturer, and his forcible directions and advice and their practical illustration would surely impress even Sterne's "foolish, fat scullion," or the kitchen wench dull as the fat weed that rots on Lethe's wharf." It is truly enough pointed out that when we look round and observe the ranks from which the ordinary middle-class servant is re- cruited, her short-comings should cease to surprise us. It is no longer to the respectable farm- house or tradesmen's family that we can look for servants such as were the comfort of our ancestors' homes. Those young ladies now play the piano and dabble in 'ologies. Too large a proportion of servants of the day are taken from squalid homes, where there is but little food to be cooked and few household duties of any sort to be done. Girls from such homes as these require training to perform the common domestic duties. This training they can only at present acquire at the expense of their em- ployers, and it is no wilder that a clever, intelligent servant-girl is as rare as a blue bird or a talking tree. It is as unreasonable to expect a girl to cook without having been properly instructed as it would be to expect her to make a watch, and this School of Cookecy will, we hope, be the parent of many others. That the necessity of such establishments is felt may be inferred from the fact that the members of the Com- mittee have received from several manufacturing towns moat earnest applications to organize similar schools, and that not a few rich landowners have offered to support liberally any movement which will teash the working men's wives on their estates to cook food. It would almost seem as if we were at last rubbing our eyes and waking up to the knowledge that with all our riches we are an ill-fed nati n, and have but reaped half the advantages of our free trade until we learn how to use the materials it brings to our shores. Women in want of a mission cannot do better than first go and learn at South Kensington how to turn to profitable and palatable accoant common meat and vegetables, and then go and teach where it is least known this most useful knowledge.

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