That room or toleration for another "cook-book" can exist in the public mind, will be denied at once, with all the vigor to be expected from a people overrun with cook-books, and only anxious to relegate the majority of them to their proper place as trunk-linings and kindling-material. The minority, admirable in plan and execution, and elaborate enough to serve all republican purposes, are surely sufficient for all the needs that have been or may be. With Mrs. Cornelius and Miss Parloa, Marion Harland and Mrs. Whitney, and innumerable other trustworthy authorities, for all every-day purposes, and Mrs. Henderson for such festivity as we may at times desire to make, another word is not only superfluous but absurd; in fact, an outrage on common sense, not for one instant to be justified.
Such was my own attitude and such my language hardly a year ago; yet that short space of time has shown me, that, whether the public admit the claim, or no, one more cook-book MUST BE. And this is why:—
A year of somewhat exceptional experience—that involved in building up several cooking-schools in a new locality, demanding the most thorough and minute system to assure their success and permanence—showed the inadequacies of any existing hand-books, and the necessities to be met in making a new one. Thus the present book has a twofold character, and represents, not only the ordinary receipt or cook book, usable in any part of the country and covering all ordinary household needs, but covers the questions naturally arising in every lesson given, and ending in statements of the most necessary points in household science. There are large books designed to cover this ground, and excellent of their kind, but so cumbrous in form and execution as to daunt the average reader.