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Economy and Management of the Kitchen

In relation to the economy and management of the kitchen, I might suggest that the most essential thing is cleanliness in cooking, and also cleanliness with your person as well as in the keeping of the kitchen.

The hands of the cook should be always thoroughly cleansed before touching or handling anything pertaining to the cooking. Next there should never be anything wasted or thrown away that can be turned to account, either for your own family or some family in poor circumstances. Bread that has become hard can be used for toasting, or for stuffing and pudding. In warm weather any gravies or soups that are left from the preceding day should be boiled up and poured into clean pans. This is particularly necessary where vegetables have been added to the preparation, as it then so soon turns sour. In cooler weather, every other day will be often enough to warm up these things. In cooking, clear as you go; that is to say, do not allow a host of basins, plates, spoons, and other utensils, to accumulate on the dressers and tables whilst you are engaged in preparing the dinner. By a little management and forethought, much confusion may be saved in this way. It is as easy to put a thing in its place when it is done with, as it is to keep continually moving it to find room for fresh requisites. For instance, after making a pudding, the flour-tub, paste-board, and rolling-pin, should be put away, and any basins, spoons, etc., should be neatly packed up near the sink, to be washed when the proper time arrives. Neatness, order and method should be always observed.

Never let your stock of spices, salt, seasoning, herbs, etc., dwindle down so low that some day, in the midst of preparing a large dinner, you find yourself minus a very important ingredient, thereby causing much confusion and annoyance.


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The White House Cookbook (1887).

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