Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management/Chapter IV
THE KITCHENCHAPTER IV
Writers on Domestic Economy, etc.—There are few of those who have turned their attention to domestic economy and architecture, who have written on these important subjects with better effect than Sir Benjamin Thompson, an American chemist and physicist, better known as "Count Rumford," a title of nobility bestowed upon him by the King of Bavaria. He did not, however, go very deeply or fully into the design and construction of that part of the dwelling-house which is chiefly devoted to cookery purposes, when he declared that "the construction of a kitchen must always depend so much on local circumstances that general rules can hardly be given respecting it," and again that "the principles on which this construction ought in all cases to be made are simple and easy to be understood." These principles resolved themselves, in his estimation, into adequate room and convenience for the cook.
Definition of the term Kitchen.—The Anglo-Saxon cicen, the Danish Krökken, the German Küche, and the French Cuisine are all related to the Latin word coquere—to cook. The word kitchen probably dates from the end of the twelfth century, when the English language began to take concrete form. Chaucer, who died in 1400, makes use of the word in the "Canterbury Tales," the best example of the English language of that day. Shakespeare (1564–1616) speaks of the kitchen as a cook-room, clearly indicating its use in the sixteenth century; while Spenser (1552–1599) says the hostess
. . . "led her guests anone
Unto the kitchen room, ne spared for niceness none."
Here is undoubtedly meant a room in which the meal was to be served.
Requisites of a Good Kitchen.—That Count Rumford is perfectly right in his general, though somewhat broad premises, no one will be disposed to deny; nevertheless, the requisites of a good kitchen demand something more special than is here pointed out. It must be remembered that it is the great laboratory of every household, and that much of the family "weal or woe," as far as regards bodily health, depends upon the nature of the food prepared within its walls. In the construction and disposition of a kitchen, therefore, the following conditions should be secured.
- Convenience of distribution in its parts, with largeness of dimension.
- Excellence of light, height and ventilation.
- Easy of access, without passing through the house.
- Walls and location so arranged that the odours of cookery cannot spread about the house.
- Plenty of fuel and water, which, with the scullery, pantry and storeroom, should be so near the kitchen as to offer the smallest possible trouble in reaching them.
In addition to these important points, the equipment of the kitchen demands careful consideration. Under this term is comprised its fittings, fixtures, furniture, and the utensils that should be found in the kitchen itself and the adjacent back kitchen, or scullery, for household and culinary uses. It will be convenient to consider the first three items as forming one division of our subject, and the last as another; the portability of the various articles comprehended in the second division forming the chief point of distinction between them and those which find a place in the first.
THE FITTINGS, FIXTURES AND FURNITURE OF THE KITCHEN
The Fittings.—Under this title, let us glance briefly at the finish of the several surfaces within which the cubic space of the apartment itself is included: namely, the ceiling, the walls and the floor. There is more wear and tear and more injury from causes that tend to soil and disfigure in the kitchen than in any other part of the house, and care should therefore be taken to guard against the former as much as possible, and to render the effacement of the latter as easy and as speedy as possible.
- The Ceiling.—The most suitable ceiling is a plain, smoothly-plastered one, whether the kitchen is used solely for the purpose of cooking or, as is the case with the working-classes, as a combined kitchen and living room. It should be frequently whitewashed, for apart from the cleanliness, which is always desirable, the whiter the ceiling the greater will be its capacity to reflect light, and therefore to render the kitchen lighter.
- The Walls.—The walls of a kitchen used only for culinary purposes should be lined with white glazed tiles, or else have a high-tiled
STOVES AND COOKING RANGE.
1. Warming Stove.2. Continuous burning Anthracite Coal Warming Stove.
3. Kitchen Range.
1. Portable Range with Oven, fixed in front of grate.2. Portable Range
with Oven and Boiler, fixed in recess.
- The Floor.—Floor-coverings are very rarely found in kitchens devoted entirely to cookery. Oil-cloth and linoleum are the only materials which can possibly be used, and they are generally unnecessary. The substance forming the floor varies according to the locality. In the north of England large flags of smooth stone are cemented together to form a floor that is nice to walk upon and easily kept clean. In the Midlands the kitchen floor usually consists of unglazed red tiles, which present a clean and bright appearance; while on the east coast the floors are frequently laid with red or yellow bricks. Wooden floors and concrete floors may be seen in any part of the country, particularly in large establishments where these details in construction receive considerable attention. In middle-class households, where it is desirable to combine utility and comfort, good linoleum will be found the most serviceable and suitable floor-covering for the kitchen. The patterned varieties are preferable to those with plain surfaces, which quickly become disfigured by marks made by the furniture, etc.
Kitchen Fixtures.—The fixtures are the immovable articles attached to the walls of the kitchen. They vary considerably, but in large households where the kitchen is used simply for its legitimate purpose of cookery, they usually comprise cupboards fitted with shelves in which the cook keeps her stores and utensils; strips of wood provided with hooks for meat-covers, etc.; electric light or gas-fittings; electric bell indicator or ordinary bell-fittings; dresser, ventilators and a sink. The dresser is nearly always a movable article, but the upper part of it has to be firmly secured to the wall by strong "holdfasts," and it consequently becomes a fixture by agreement between tenant and tenant or tenant and landlord. The dresser is usually some six or seven feet long, and the upper part consists of four or five narrow grooved shelves, upon which are disposed plates and dishes. The broad shelf of the dresser, usually termed THE TOP, affords ample space for the accommodation of the soup-tureen, sauce-tureens and vegetable-dishes; while the drawers which run beneath form a convenient receptacle. The lower part forms an open recess from end to end, and has a shelf raised a few inches above the floor. This shelf is generally painted black, and forms a convenient place for large culinary utensils not in use.
A well-constructed sink is indispensable in a kitchen. Wooden sinks, lined with zinc, sinks made of stoneware, and sinks lined with well-cemented tiles are very serviceable, and easily kept clean. They should never be fixed in out-of-way corners, but should be easy of access for both cleaning and repairing. Whether the sink is in constant use or not, the pipe should be flushed at least once a day with hot soda and water. However some people prefer it excluded from the kitchen.
Every kitchen should be provided with some outlet for the hot foul air which rises to the top of the kitchen. The doors and windows may be used as a means of admitting fresh air, but an outlet at a higher level than the window is always necessary.
The kitchen range is always a fixture, but of so much importance that the subject will be treated separately.
What has been already said regarding kitchen fixtures applies equally to the kitchens in middle-class households, but not to the homes of the working-classes. Electric light and electric bell fittings are not often found there; properly-constructed sinks, efficient ventilation and convenient cupboards they have, or ought to have; and in many households a dresser is considered indispensable, but it is often a movable article of furniture, and will be described under that heading.
Kitchen Furniture.—In making selection for the kitchen with distempered walls and bare floor, strength and durability are the chief points to be considered. The centre table is the most important article of furniture; it should be as large as the kitchen will conveniently allow; and the usual form is oblong, with a drawer at each end. In one drawer the cook keeps knives and spoons, and in the other small utensils and implements in constant use, such as dariol-moulds, patty-pans, and cases containing cutters, larding-needles, etc. Modern tables are provided with a shelf underneath, which runs from end to end at a convenient height from the floor; and this arrangement is exceedingly useful in large kitchens, because it saves a great deal of going to and fro between the centre and side tables; and in small kitchens where the table space is limited the wide shelf forms a good substitute. The table should be made of good, well-seasoned deal or other white hard wood; the top must be smooth, without cracks, and substantial, and the legs perfectly plain and strong. No part of it should be painted, because frequent washing is a necessity, and half-worn paint soon presents a shabby appearance. On the other hand, well-scrubbed wood always looks clean and appropriate when surrounded by bare walls, uncovered floor and pots and pans. The table and one or two substantial chairs comprise the whole furniture. The meat-screen, chopping-block, jelly-stand, mortar, etc., all occupy space, but they are not there to furnish the kitchen.
There is a wide choice in tables specially adapted to the kitchens which fill the double office of Shakespeare's "cook room" and Spenser's "kitchen roome, ne spared for niceness none." Good, plain, firm substantial tables, either square or oblong, with turned legs in walnut or mahogany, or deal stained in imitation of these woods, may be had in sizes and prices to meet the requirements of all.
The term DRESSER was originally applied to a narrow side-table, on which meat was dressed or prepared for use. In modern phraseology the dresser is described as "a kind of kitchen sideboard with rows of shelves for plates, dishes, etc." It may have three drawers in the centre with a cupboard on either side; or the order may be reversed, and each cupboard be replaced by three drawers, with one cupboard in the centre.
In completing the equipment of the kitchen, the number and kind of articles necessary will be determined by its size, and the circumstances of those who occupy the house. Every one should set about the task of furnishing with a fixed determination to have nothing that is not good and serviceable, no matter how plain, in their homes. When means are limited, it is much better to buy what is strictly necessary, and add articles of an ornamental character by degrees.
The Kitchen Clock.—As the observance of time and adherence to punctuality are necessary in almost everything that is done in the kitchen, no kitchen can be regarded as being completely furnished without a clock. The best kind of clock is an eight-day dial, which requires winding up only once a week. An English eight-day clock with a 12-inch dial may be bought for 35s., but a good kitchen clock may be bought for about 6s. The best position for the clock is over the mantelpiece, as in some culinary operations it has to be frequently consulted, and the cook should be able to do this without turning away from the fireplace.
The last, but by far the most important of the kitchen requisites that we are called upon to consider is the apparatus which is used for cooking, heating water, etc., usually known as the kitchen range or kitchener, names which originally had a distinctive import, but which have lost much of their primary, and are now applied without much discrimination to cooking appliances of every kind, whether the fuel used be coal or gas. We will, however, for the sake of clearness, use the terms kitchen range, kitchener, and gas range or stove, to indicate three widely marked varieties of cooking apparatus: (1) the kitchen range, being taken to imply a range, either open or close, that is fixed in its place with brickwork, etc., and is therefore immovable; (2) the kitchener, a range that is entirely independent of all its surroundings, one which stands, usually raised on four low legs, on the hearth in the recess otherwise occupied by the kitchen range, movable in itself when necessary, but virtually a fixture through its weight and size; and (3) the gas range or stove, like the kitchener really movable, though virtually a fixture for the same reasons, but differing from the kitchener, not only in form and in the kind of fuel used, but also in the fact that it need not, like the kitchener, of necessity be placed on the hearth, that the chimney may be utilized as a means of escape for smoke and the various products of combustion, but may be placed in any part of the kitchen convenient for the purpose.
The Kitchen Range.—Kitchen ranges may be distinguished as close and open, the chief point of difference between them being in the construction of the fire-grate or box in which the fuel used for heating purposes is burnt. In the open range the fire-grate is uncovered at the top, and forms a cavity, enclosed by the boiler and oven at the sides and back, by a grating of close bars at the bottom, and by parallel horizontal bars, about one inch square in section, placed from one and a half to two inches apart in front. The fire in the open range, generally speaking, can be made larger or smaller at pleasure by means of a movable check attached to a notched bar which is fixed at right angles to its surface on one side of it, and moved backwards and forwards by means of a small cog-wheel, to a greater or less distance from the fixed side of the grate, as may be found necessary. In the close range the fire-chamber is inexpansive, closed in front either wholly or partially by an iron door, and covered in at the top by an iron plate, movable, and generally in two parts, namely, a circular plate, dropping into and filling an opening in a square plate, the size of the top of the fire box. At the back there is a fire-brick moulded into shape. Close ranges are now chiefly used, but open ranges are to be met with in the country and in some towns in the North and in houses that have been built for some years, and in which the open range that was originally fixed in the kitchen, still remains.
Open Ranges.—The closed stove with its movable grate and many contrivances for the disposal and regulation of heat is an invention of recent years; but the open fire with some primitive arrangement for cooking above, or by the side of it, dates back to a remote age. In the peat districts on the east and west coasts of England, cooking is still carried on under what appear to us almost impossible conditions, i.e. by means of a peat fire, burning on a stone hearth, with a wide chimney above it. In nearly all the houses the back kitchen or scullery is provided with a brick oven, in which bread and joints of meat may be baked; but by reason of the cost of extra fuel, time and trouble entailed, the heating of this oven is a weekly, or at most, a bi-weekly occurrence, and on other days culinary operations are confined to the open kitchen fire. Vegetables and puddings are cooked in saucepans, or pots, as they are described in the local dialect, suspended over the fire; the means of suspension being a rigid bar of iron, fixed in the breast-wall of the chimney, and supplied with strong hooks of varying length, to allow the vessels to be raised or lowered to any height above the fire. All the culinary utensils are provided with half-circular handles, curved over the top like the handle of a kettle, but running from side to side instead of from back to front. They have also a large oval iron vessel, which they term a "hang-over oven," and use for baking pies, puddings and cakes. It has a depressed lid, like a braizing pan, which is filled with hot peat; and in this manner a steady, gentle heat is applied from above and below. A similar vessel, called a "kail-pot," was used by the ancient Egyptians for baking bread and cakes.
Before man's ingenuity had invented the chimney, the vessels were suspended from a tripod of three bars of iron or hard wood. One hook only could be inserted at the point where the rods were joined, and from this depended a large cauldron used for the various purposes of boiling and stewing. Cakes were baked and fish cooked in an open pan, which was probably the prototype of the North-country "griddle" or "girdle."
In pre-historic times, while the early Britons were subsisting mainly on milk, fruit, herbs and other products of the land, the ancient Druids built fires of wood on hearths formed of rough stones; and it has been supposed that the agreeable odour of the roasted flesh of the sacrificed animals first suggested their use as food; but until the year a.d. 61, when the Romans abolished Druidism by force, the inhabitants of Britain would not have dared to commit what would have been considered a terrible sacrilege.
There is no direct evidence of the fact, but it is highly probable that roasting in front of the fire was one of the improved methods of cooking introduced by the Normans in the eleventh century. Roasting spits were in general use in the fourteenth century. They were first turned by hand; but afterwards dogs were specially trained for the work which was executed by the dog keeping in motion a revolving cage in which he was enclosed. The smoke-jacks, which are still found in the kitchens of some old country-houses, were next introduced; these were turned by means of the smoke from the fire. The brass bottle-jack, still in use, is a mechanical contrivance, which, when wound up, revolves, carrying with it the joint of meat or whatever may be attached. The open range is said to have only one strong point in its favour, namely, that it will roast in front of the fire; but this one point is sufficient to recommend it for all time to those who use it. Nothing will ever induce the North-country people to discard their open ranges; although many supplement them with a gas stove, to make easier the cook's work as regards frying and sauce-making. As for the open ranges in the cottages, it is questionable whether they burn more coal than a close stove of the same capacity, for the careful housewife has various contrivances for reducing the consumption of fuel when the fire is not needed for roasting or baking purposes. Moreover, an oven heated from below is better adapted to the requirements of people who always have home-made bread and cakes; and who prefer baked hot-pots and meat stewed in an earthenware pot in the oven, to the more liquid and less savoury stews made in a saucepan. Apart from the question of economy, the well-constructed close ranges found in good kitchens have many strong points to recommend them; but their various adjustments to facilitate the disposal and regulation of heat, and the movable fire-box by which the consumption of fuel is controlled, are characteristic of this particular class of stoves, and are not found in the small close stoves supplied to artisan dwellings. And when the production of heat and the consumption of fuel cannot be controlled, a close stove may prove quite as wasteful as an open grate, and less satisfactory in other respects.
Close Fire Ranges.—There is little doubt that "close fire" ranges were at first mostly used in Devonshire for the convenience of the hotplate over the top for scalding milk to obtain clotted cream, open ranges being then used in London and other parts of the United Kingdom. Gradually the use of the open range was abandoned for the Leamington range, which at one time may be said to have had it all its own way; but now there are a variety of ranges, each claiming some special merit, and rendering it a matter of considerable difficulty to pick and choose between them. It may be said, however, that economy of fuel and cleanliness are the chief features of close ranges of all kinds, combined with efficiency of action, provided that the flues themselves, through which the smoke and soot pass off into the chimney, leaving considerable deposits in the passage, are kept perfectly clean.
Advantages claimed for Close Fire Ranges.—
- Many saucepans and vessels may be kept boiling at one time, and at the proper point of temperature.
- Saucepans and other vessels last double the time when used on the hot-plate of a closed stove.
- Saucepans and other vessels may be kept as clean outside as inside; there is consequently an immense saving of labour.
- The fact of the entire range being covered by a hot-plate and the fire not being exposed lessens the probability of having food smoked.
- The hot-plate is well adapted for an ironing stove when not in use for cookery purposes.
- Close ranges are usually provided with some simple contrivance which enables them to be converted into slow combustion stoves, whereby the fire may be kept burning all night with a very small consumption of fuel, an inestimable advantage when it is necessary to keep the water in the boiler hot.
- The best types may be easily converted into an open range when a cheerful fire is desired.
- The heat is easily regulated, and when provided with an adjustable fire-box may be directed by a simple movement to the upper or lower part of the oven as required.
How to clean a Close Range.—The oven door should be closed to keep out the soot, and the kitchen door and window closed to prevent the soot flying about, and then all the ashes and cinders should be removed. All the little knobs on a range not attached to dampers indicate the position of the flues, and each of the small doors must be opened ONE AT A TIME, and the soot swept down with a brush constructed for the purpose, with a long flexible handle and a head like a bottle-brush. The highest flue-door is located in the breast of the chimney, and the sweeping should commence there. Usually a considerable amount of soot is found lodged at the side of the oven; all this must be swept down and removed from the lowest soot door. After clearing away all the soot the ovens must be swept out and thoroughly washed with hot water and soda, to remove the grease; and when necessary, the grease should be removed by the same means from the top and front of the stove. The stove must be perfectly dry before applying the blacklead which will produce a more brilliant polish if moistened with turpentine instead of water. The steel mouldings should be cleaned with paraffin and emery powder, or when badly stained, with vinegar and bathbrick.
Construction of a Good Stove.—Both cooking-ranges and cooking-stoves are constructed of steel, malleable iron, wrought-iron and cast-iron. Of these, the cast-iron stoves are the least expensive; but they cannot be recommended, because they are liable to crack; they usually waste fuel, owing to imperfect construction, frequently smoke, and are frequently out of order. Well-constructed stoves made of malleable iron, wrought-iron or steel are usually air-tight, give more evenly-regulated heat, and are altogether better in many respects. Good stoves do not allow the gases and fumes of the coal, or the soot to invade the oven; and the fire-box and oven are protected from undue draughts which would affect the consumption of fuel or the temperature of the oven. No oven can satisfactorily roast and bake unless provided with a reversing damper by which the heat may be directed to the top or bottom of the oven as required. One or two of the best types have an adjustable fire-box, which may be lowered when an open fire is needed for roasting, or a good bottom heat for baking; or raised when a top heat is desired in the oven, or the hot-plate only required for boiling and frying purposes. They have also well-ventilated ovens, whereby the proper flavour of the materials cooked is retained; and fire-boxes fitted with vertical bars placed rather close together, but sufficiently narrow in section to allow anything to be properly cooked in front of the fire. There are many reliable firms who construct ranges on these principles; and the annexed list of prices is an average of those of three of the best makers. Ranges of corresponding size and quality of the respective firms are fairly uniform in price; but there is a wide difference in the cost of ranges of corresponding size made by individual firms, due chiefly to the expensive tiling and elaborate finish of the various details of some of the ranges, which improve their appearance but add nothing to their value in other respects. A good plain range, easily convertible into a close or open fire, fitted with an adjustable fire-box, plate rack, ventilating doors, reversing damper, patent cinder sifter, bright steel mouldings and bright steel bracket-shelves under the oven may be had at the following prices:—
|Wide.||High.||With one Oven.||With two Ovens.|
|3ft. 6 in.||4ft. 9 in.||£10100||£1200|
|4ft.||4ft. 9 in.||1200||1300|
|4ft. 6 in.||4ft. 9 in.||13100||1500|
|5ft.||4ft. 9 in.||1500||1600|
|5ft. 6 in.||5ft.||17100||1900|
1. Large Double Gas Oven with Hot Plate, suitable for large kitchen.2. Gas Oven with Hot Plate, for ordinary use.
Double Hot Plate, Frying Pan, Small Range, Radiator (Stove), Stewpan,
Radiator (Stove), Grill.
The Canadian Kitchener represents a more useful type of portable stove. The medium size costs from £4 10s. to £5 10s. The fire-box may be closed or opened as desired; and its great depth, combined with the narrow bars, greatly facilitates the process of roasting. These stoves are frequently used in rooms where temporary cooking accommodation is required; and when properly constructed and provided with a good draught they may be pronounced satisfactory in many respects.
The central ranges used in large kitchens are based on an altogether different principle. The flames from the burning coke or coal travel over the roof and down the sides of the oven into an underground flue, which runs to an outer wall, thence up the side of the building.
COOKING BY GAS, OIL, AND ELECTRICITY
Gas Stoves.—From the consideration of ranges in which cooking is performed by the combustion of solid fuel, it is necessary to turn to those in which gas is the fuel employed. Cooking by gas has been much on the increase in late years, the gas companies in various localities lending all the aid in their power to further it by supplying their customers with gas stoves, or ranges, at a low annual rental.
Cooking by Gas has much to recommend it. Gas kitcheners are compact, as no space has to be provided for furnace or ash-pit. They are cleanly, causing no dust or smoke, and consequently can be kept in perfect order with little trouble. And they are easily managed even by inexperienced girls. The mere turning on of one or more taps and the application of a lighted match to the burner or burners, sets the kitchener in working order, without loss of time. Thus there is economy, as fuel is only consumed when heat is actually required. Moreover, the requisite temperature can be speedily produced and kept under absolute control, an element of certainty which is of immense value to cook and housewife. As gas burners are provided for boilers, ovens, hot-plate and grills, each separately controlled, it is possible to prepare a large dinner on a gas kitchener with comfort, security and economy. Of late years great strides have been made in the design and construction of gas kitcheners, which now, with their enamelled ovens, and tops, wrought steel grilling bars, atmospheric burners and other improvements, have reached a high degree of perfection. With due care, it is impossible to spoil a dinner on a gas stove. Actual experiment has proved that meat and other food loses less weight, and retains more of its flavour when cooked by gas, than if cooked by coal. It has been shown that meat cooked in a coal-heated oven loses about 35 per cent, of its weight, in a gas oven only 25 per cent. This immense saving is no doubt due to the more evenly distributed and less fierce temperature.
It is essential that gas kitcheners should be kept scrupulously clean. The enamelled parts inside and out should be rubbed down when cold with a sponge or cloth dipped in warm water, and then wiped dry. The gas burners should be kept free from dust. Any grease on the kitchener should be carefully removed. If these precautions are taken and the burners properly lighted, all disagreeable odours will be avoided, and certainty of results ensured.
Advantages of Cooking by Gas.—There are many features to recommend cooking by gas, chief among which are—
- Cleanliness, and the readiness by which the fire can be lighted and extinguished, facilities which are conducive to economy, because the fire need only be maintained when it is required for cooking.
- It is economical in another respect, because meat cooked by gas has been found to lose less weight than when cooked in an oven heated by coal.
- The heat can be readily and instantly regulated, being concentrated precisely where required by means of the different burners, each of which is independent of the other.
- Gas stoves are especially useful in summer and in small households, where, during the greater part of the day, no fire is needed.
- Saucepans and other vessels may be kept as clean outside as inside.
- Cooking by gas is less heating, and consequently less tiring to the person employed, than cooking by a coal-range.
Construction of Gas Stoves.—The oven of a well-constructed gas stove is made either entirely of cellular cast iron and jacketed all over with slag wool, or it is made with a double casing with an intermediate hot-air jacket. This is necessary to prevent heat being conducted from the oven to the surrounding air. The gas-burners are not always inside the oven; when they are, the oven should have no bottom, or if it has, there must be some provision made for admitting atmospheric air to mingle with the gas. The mixture of air and gas produces a bluish light; when the light is yellow (while using the atmospheric burners) the stove is wrongly-constructed in this respect, or it has not been lit in a proper manner. The inside of the oven and the top of the stove should be lined with porcelain enamel, in order that it may be easily kept clean. The oven should be provided with some efficient means of ventilation, whereby the vitiated air may be carried away, and the mixed flavour which sometimes pervades different materials cooked in the same oven may be obviated. The best stoves are provided with a patent reversible grill which, when deflected downwards, may be used for grilling meat or toasting bread. The rings on the top of the stove should be provided with ATMOSPHERIC burners, which produce a blue flame, a mixture of gas and air, of higher heating power (with consumption of less gas) than the white flame produced by the LUMINOUS burners.
Gas Fires.—The great advantages of gas over coal fires consists in the complete absence of ashes and dirt; in the fact that a bright hot fire can be obtained at any moment, night or day; that the heat can be regulated at will, or the fire extinguished when not required; in dispensing with the necessity of carrying coal into, and ashes and refuse out of, the room; in the freedom of the atmosphere from dust, and the consequent saving in the matter of furniture dusting, curtain washing, etc. Against this must be reckoned the greater cost of gas fires as compared with coal for constant use; but, notwithstanding this, there are few persons who have once used a good gas fire that could be persuaded to return to the old method of heating. For bedrooms, and occasional using, a gas fire is always economical, as compared with coal; in fact, the expense and great trouble of coal fires for bedrooms render their use sometimes prohibitory, whereas a good hot gas fire can be obtained for half an hour, night and morning, at a cost of 6d. per week or less. In the sick-room a gas fire is simply invaluable; its steadiness, night and day, and the perfect control over the warmth of the room are far above the possibilities of any coal fire. In sudden emergencies the instant command of a good fire in the night is sometimes a matter of life or death. In the bronchial affections common in this country warmed air is frequently of the utmost importance, and this can be obtained in moderate sized rooms by a gas stove properly constructed, with a regularity and economy which cannot be approached by coal or coke. Where the family consists of only two or three persons, small but powerful open gas fires, with an oven over the fire to utilize the waste heat, will be found of the greatest value and economy, as they do away entirely with the dirt and labour of coal fires, and yet fill all the purposes of a small kitchen range. These are now to be procured from any gas Company, hired from them, or obtained by the hire purchase system.
Objections to Gas.—The objections to the use of gas as a fuel exist only where the wrong appliances are selected, or when no trouble is taken to learn their proper use. One of the most common causes of failure with gas fires is that they are purchased for use either where there is no flue or where the chimney has a down draught; in such cases as these the faults which cause the failure of a coal fire will be equally unfavourable to a gas fire. Burners used for gas cookers must be kept clear and in good condition; if choked with dirt and grease, they will be as unsatisfactory as burners used for lighting under the same conditions. Pans and kettles must be kept clean outside, or they make an unpleasant smell, and ovens must be kept clean inside for the same reason, and also for the sake of sweet flavours in the food.
Oil Stoves.—A well-constructed, cleanly kept and well-managed oil stove will cook food as well as any other stove of corresponding capacity; and with proper care there should be neither smoke nor odour from the flame. These stoves are sometimes a great convenience in places not within reach of gas. No flue is required for their use; and being small they can be easily conveyed from place to place. Cooking on an oil stove may be done 20 per cent, cheaper than by any other means; but unless the wicks are kept well-trimmed and the stoves properly managed, they emit a disagreeable smell and smoke. In a properly constructed stove there is not much danger from explosion, unless a light is, through carelessness, brought in contact with the oil.
Cooking by Electricity is now quite practicable, though for the present decidedly expensive. The heat is obtained from the ordinary electric lighting mains, the current being made to pass through wires coiled on iron or steel plates, and embedded in enamel, having the same ratio of expansion and retraction as the metal. In this way the plates of ovens, sides of boilers, hot-plates and corrugated grills can be heated. Stewpans and kettles are heated separately, these having double bottoms with the wires coiled between, and the current conveyed by flexible silk covered wires connected with a special fitting at the end of the handles. There is practically no loss of heat, as the electrical connexion is only made when cooking is in actual progress. The system also of course ensures freedom from dust and dirt, or undue radiatior in the kitchen. It may be mentioned that the King's yacht (constructed for her late Majesty, Queen Victoria) is fitted up with a complete electric kitchen outfit, including soup and coffee boilers, hot-plates, ovens, grills and hot closets. As some municipalities are now supplying the electric current in the daytime at as low a rate as 2d. per Board of Trade unit, it is probable that cooking by electricity is destined to undergo a rapid development.
Stewpans and Saucepans.—Stewpans and saucepans are usually, though not necessarily, circular in form, provided with a long handle, a lid or cover, and sometimes, in the smaller kinds, with a lip for the better and easier transference of its contents to another vessel. The term saucepan is applied indiscriminately to all kinds of saucepans and stewpans; but the name stewpan is generally used to denote the shallower pans with straight sides and flat long-handled covers; it should never be applied to an iron saucepan. Stewpans are made in copper; wrought steel; tin, enamelled inside and out; and iron. Saucepans are made in copper; brass; iron, tinned inside; iron, enamelled inside; block tin; tin, enamelled inside and outside. Stewpans generally have straight sides; but saucepans vary in shape, as shown in the illustrations. Their capacity and prices range as follows:—
|Copper Stewpans and Covers, Best quality||4||1||6s.|
|Wrought Steel Stewpans with Tin Covers, Best quality||4||1||3s.3d.|
|Cast-Iron with Block-Tin Covers, Best quality||4||1||1s.|
The prices and capacity of saucepans and other articles are taken from the illustrated catalogues and price lists of the best firms and stores in London. Enamelled saucepans are not often used in kitchens where much cooking is done. They are inexpensive but not very durable; they answer very well for boiling milk, but anything thickened with flour, if allowed to stand, quickly burns at the bottom. The wrought-steel saucepans are more expensive but decidedly cheaper in the end. They possess all the advantages of copper without any of its drawbacks; they are easily kept clean, anything cooked in them does not become discoloured, and thickened sauces may be simmered in them for hours without injury, if occasionally stirred. The insides of the saucepans require re-tinning occasionally; but when the tin wears off they are as harmless as before, being made of steel. Copper saucepans also are very durable; in fact they last a lifetime, and are an ornament to the kitchen when kept beautifully clean, as they should be; but this entails considerable labour, a point to be considered where few servants are kept. Copper utensils should be frequently examined and re-tinned as soon as the linings begin to show signs of wear. One of the objections to the use of copper for culinary purposes is its liability to become coated with verdigris, or copper-rust, under careless or unskilful hands—verdigris being a poison imparting its deadly properties to any food cooked in a vessel that is tainted with it.
Boiler or Boiling Pot.—In large families this utensil comes into almost daily requisition. It is used for boiling large joints, hams, puddings, etc., and is usually made of iron. Boilers may be had in cast iron, tinned inside, to hold from 3 gallons to 7 gallons, at from 4s. 9d. to 10s., according to size; in wrought iron, with bright cover, to hold from 4 gallons to 12 gallons, from 12s. to 26s.
The Digester.—This utensil is a kind of stock-pot, made of iron, having a lid which fits closely into a groove at the top of it. No steam escapes, therefore, by the lid; and it is only through the valve at the top of the cover that the superfluous steam passes off. It is a very valuable utensil, inasmuch as by using it a larger quantity of wholesome and nourishing food may be obtained at much cheaper rates than is possible without it, and when bones are boiled in it its action will extract every nutritive particle from them, leaving nothing but the inorganic part of the bones. This utensil, when in use, should not be placed over a fierce fire, as that would injure the quality of the preparation; for whatever is cooked must be done by a slow and gradual process, the liquid being just kept at the simmering point. These digesters are made in all sizes, and may be obtained to hold from 4 quarts to 16 quarts. The prices of digesters vary according to capacity, namely, to hold 4 quarts, 3s. 9d.; 6 quarts, 5s.; 8 quarts, 6s.; 10 quarts, 7s.; 12 quarts, 8s.; and 16 quarts, 10s. 6d.
The Stock-pot.—This article is used in the preparation of stock, which forms the foundation of soups, gravies, etc. Stock-pots are made in copper, wrought steel or iron. Copper stock-pots to hold 8 quarts, fitted with tap and strainer, are supplied in a good quality for about 42s. 6d. The price of a stock-pot, of corresponding capacity, in wrought steel would be 20s. 9d. with tap and strainer, and 12s. 3d. without these conveniences. They may also be obtained in wrought iron and earthenware, the latter being specially suited to small households, because a smaller amount of heat is required to keep the contents at simmering point and the stock-pot need not be emptied every day. The tap and strainer add about 30 per cent, to the cost of a stock-pot, but the advantage of being able to draw off the stock from the bottom, leaving the fat and the bones, vegetables and other solids behind, is well worth the additional outlay.
The Braising Pan.—This vessel is employed in a culinary process, termed braising or braizing. In shape it may be either round or oval, with a depressed lid in which hot charcoal is placed, whereby the meat is cooked between two slow fires. This method is said to develop more fully the flavours of materials cooked; also to decrease the loss of strength and flavour by evaporation; it is largely practised in France. In England the braising-pan is frequently placed in the oven instead of under charcoal, the latter article as a fuel being but seldom used.
The Double or Milk Saucepan.—This is, on a small scale, what the BAIN-MARIE is on a larger scale. The smaller saucepan fitting into the larger one is either lined with enamel or made of earthenware. The double saucepan is especially useful for making porridge and gruel, and boiling custards and milk. It may also be usefully employed in cooking tapioca, sago, semolina and other farinaceous substances, when the oven is being used for other purposes, and is too hot for the long, gentle process of cooking they require. When an egg is added to any of these preparations, it should be mixed in just before the pudding is put into the oven to brown. The double saucepan is supplied in four sizes, known as Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and sold respectively at 3s. 3d., 3s. 9d., 4s. 9d. and 6s. 6d. The lower saucepan is made of block tin, and when in use should be half filled with water, which must be replaced as it boils away, otherwise the upper saucepan is liable to crack.
Steamers.—These articles consist of a cylinder of tin, tinned iron or copper, made to fit into the top of a saucepan and to carry the saucepan cover as its lid. The lower or saucepan portion varies in capacity from 6 to 14 pints, and the entire appliance is sold from 2s. 6d. to 4s. 3d., according to size. Larger kinds, containing from 6 to 12 quarts, may also be obtained. Steamers are chiefly used in cooking potatoes and puddings, especially those containing meat or fruit. When the potatoes are sufficiently cooked, the water in the saucepan should be poured off and the steamer replaced. The heat from the saucepan below quickly causes the moisture remaining in the potatoes and the steamer itself to evaporate, thus converting the latter into a DRY HOT CLOSET, in which the cooking of the potatoes is completed. Even when boiled, potatoes are more floury when the water is drained off, and the cooking completed this way. It is possible to place one steamer above another, and, indeed, some steam-cookery vessels are constructed to carry four or six steamers, a contrivance being provided to prevent steam from one department invading another.
The Turbot Kettle and Salmon Kettle.—This variety of fish-kettle is arranged to suit the shape of the fish from which it takes its name. It is shallow, very broad, and is fitted inside with a drainer similar to that in other fish-kettles. Turbot-kettles are usually supplied in three sizes known as small, middle and large. These sizes, in block-tin, strong, are supplied at 11s., 13s. and 18s. 9d. The salmon kettle is a long, narrow utensil, like the fish-kettle, but the cover has a handle at each end instead of one only in the middle. They are made in copper, with draining plates, in sizes from 20 inches to 30 inches in length
The Fish Pan, or Kettle.—This utensil is fitted with a drainer inside, which is lifted when the fish is sufficiently cooked. The drainer is then laid across the kettle, and the fish lifted on to the dish with the fish-slice—a perforated plate attached to a long handle, sold at 1s., 1s. 3d. and 1s. 6d., according to size. Fish kettles are longer than they are wide, and are made either with handles at the side, or with a swing handle, like that of a pail. The former is the more convenient shape, on account of the facility which the two handles at the ends afford for putting the kettle on the range or taking it off. Prices range from 3s. 6d. to 9s. for kettles in strong block-tin plate, and from 15s. to 42s. for iron kettles. Copper fish kettles, from 16 inches to 22 inches, are supplied at prices ranging from 45s. to 85s. The mackerel-kettle, or saucepan, which will serve as a fish-kettle for all long fish, such as whiting, haddock, etc., and for soles and small plaice, is an elongated saucepan, with cover, and having a long handle on one side and an iron looped handle opposite to it on the other side. It is made in three sizes, sold respectively at 3s., 4s. and 5s.
Fish Fryer and Drainer.—This is an admirable contrivance for frying fish, by using which an experienced cook is much more likely to insure success and send a dish of fried fish properly to table. It is in shape not unlike a preserving-pan fitted with a closely-made wire drainer; and in this the fish is placed and lowered into the heated fat. As in frying fish it is necessary to have a large amount of fat, the depth of this kettle gives it a considerable superiority over the ordinary frying-pan. There is, besides, very little danger of the fish breaking, for being lifted up on the drainer when done, it is easily dished. Cooked in this manner the fish does not require turning, as the fat quite covers it, and of course browns it on both sides at once. The greasy moisture, too, is more effectually got rid of. Fat-pans with drainers may be obtained from a good ironmonger at the following prices:—
Extra Strong Copper, with Drainer:—
£1 16 0£2 0 0£2 5 0£2 8 0£2 14 0
Strong Wrought Steel:—
11s.11s. 6d.13s.15s.16s. 6d.18s. 6d.£1 0 0
Wire Vegetable Strainer.—This useful article consists of a wire frame, round which thinner wire is coiled and fastened. It is made to fit inside a stewpan or saucepan, and thus forms a convenient utensil in which to boil vegetables and to lift them at once out of the water; or for frying whitebait, or parsley or sliced vegetables for soups, etc. They are made in sizes from 6 inches to 10 inches in diameter, and sold at prices from 2s. 3d. to 5s., according to size.
The Frying-pan.—This article is so well known that it is only necessary to mention shapes, sizes and prices. They may be had either round or oval in form, with shelving sides; the round pans being made in sizes ranging from 71⁄2 inches to 9 inches at top, at prices varying from 9d. to 1s. 2d. The oval pans, which are more commonly used, are made in sizes from 111⁄2 inches to 15 inches in length, and are supplied from 1s. to 2s.
The Omelet Pan.—This pan is a variety of the frying-pan, and generally made circular in form, but shallower than the frying-pan, for convenience in turning pancakes, omelets, etc. These pans are made in bright polished wrought iron, raised in one piece, from 6 inches to 10 inches in diameter, and sold from 5s. to 8s. 3d. Bowl omelet pans for soufflé omelets, are made 8 inches, 9 inches and 10 inches in diameter, and sold at 7s., 8s. and 9s. each. Copper omelet pans, with burnished iron handles, range from 61⁄2 inches to 16 inches in diameter, and are sold from 5s. to 11s. each. Pans of the same material, with rounded or bowl bottoms for soufflés, are made 8 inches, 81⁄2 inches and 9 inches in diameter, and sold at 9s. 6d., 10s. 6d. and 11s. 6d. each.
The Fricandeau or Cutlet Pan.—This is another variety of the frying-pan. It is made with upright sides, from 7 inches to 14 inches in diameter, at prices ranging from 21s. to 68s., according to size when made of copper; but iron or steel pans are also made, especially in the intermediate sizes, from 10 to 12 inches in diameter, which are cheaper. The sauté pan is not so deep as the cutlet pan, and has no cover, and differs only from the omelet pan in having its handle more raised above the edge of the pan. It is made in sizes ranging from 7 inches to 14 inches in diameter, and sold at prices ranging from 6s. 6d. to 20s. A few sizes, 8 inches, 9 inches and 10 inches in diameter, and made extra deep and furnished with covers like the fricandeau-pan, are sold at 21s., 25s. and 30s. respectively.
Bain-Marie Pan and Stewpans, etc.—The bain-marie is not used so much in England as it deserves to be, and is only to be found in large establishments. In serving a large dinner it is a most useful and indeed necessary article. The pan is filled with boiling water and stands on the hot-plate of the range or kitchener. The saucepans containing the sauces, gravies, entrées, etc., stand in the water, and the bain-marie keeps their contents at a proper heat without any risk of burning or loss of flavour. If the hour of dinner is uncertain in any establishment, no means of preserving the warmth and flavour of the dishes to be served is so sure and harmless as the employment of the bain-marie. Prices vary according to the number of stew-pans required. Each set comprises the bain-marie pan, 1 glazepot, 1 soup-pot, and from 4 to 12 stewpans in sizes ranging from 3 inches to 51⁄2 inches. A complete set of 7 strong, well-made tin stewpans, 1 glazepot and 1 soup-pot, in a bain-marie pan of wrought steel, may be obtained for £2. Or, the same number of utensils in wrought steel, fitted in a bain-marie pan, 16 x 121⁄2 inches, would cost £3 13s.; and in the best quality of copper £6. Larger sizes may be bought at a corresponding increase in price.
Warren's Cooking Pot is a vessel in three divisions, in which meat and vegetables may be cooked at the same time, but in separate compartments. The peculiarity of the process consists in cooking without the viands coming in contact with water or steam; the meat, kept from water entirely, is cooked in an inner cylinder, the outer one containing the water, being kept at boiling point. The food thus prepared is cooked in its own vapour, and none of its nutritious properties are wasted. These utensils are also convenient where cooking space is limited, and economical when cooking by gas, because one ring of burners would serve instead of two or three. The price of the round saucepan is from 7s. 9d. to 20s., and the smaller size in the oval cooking pot costs 21s.
The Bottle-jack.—The action of this familiar piece of kitchen furniture, so called from its resemblance to an ordinary glass bottle, is so well known that very little explanation is needed. When the joint is hooked on, the jack requires winding up, an operation which must be repeated once or twice during the time the meat is cooking. A bottle-jack complete, capable of carrying a joint of 20 lbs., may be had for 6s. 9d. This bottle-jack is large enough for ordinary family use; but larger sizes, to carry from 25 to 70 lbs. may be had from 8s. 6d. to 20s. In cases of necessity it may be dispensed with, and a suspender formed of a skein of worsted, knotted here and there throughout its length, used instead.
Meat Screen.—When the meat is roasting a meat-screen should be placed in front of the fire, to concentrate and reflect the radiated heat as much as possible. It is made of tin, 3 feet in width, and costs 12s. 9d. to 15s. 3d. Round screens known as bottle-jack screens, having bands at the top, from which the bottle-jack is suspended, and a dripping-pan in the bottom, are sold in three sizes, varying in price, according to stoutness of make, as follows: No. 1, from 12s. 6d. to 26s.; No. 2, from 15s. 9d. to 25s.; and No. 3, from 19s. 6d. to 30s.
The Dripping-pan.—This is a receptacle for the droppings of fat and gravy from the roast meat. In some cases it forms an integral part of the meat screen, but when it is separate from it, it is supported on an iron stand. The pan is arranged with a well in the centre, covered with a lid, and round this well is a series of small holes, which allow the dripping to pass into the well free from cinders or ashes. When the meat is basted, the lid of the well is lifted up. The basting-ladle used to apply the dripping to the meat is half covered over at the top with a piece of metal perforated with small holes, so that should a small piece of cinder get into the ladle it will lodge there and not fall on the meat. Dripping-pans of block tin, with wells, are made in four sizes, ranging in price from 2s. to 3s. 6d. Wrought iron stands for these dripping-pans cost from 3s. to 4s., and basting ladles from 1s. to 2s. Extra strong wrought iron dripping-pans with wells, and mounted on wrought iron legs, range in size from 2 feet 6 inches to 4 feet in length, and cost from 33s. to 90s., according to size. Strong wrought iron basting ladles to accompany these appliances are made in three sizes, namely, 4, 4½ and 5 inches in diameter, costing 7s. 6d. 8s. 6d. and 10s. 6d. respectively.
Double Baking-pan and Stand.—Closely akin to the dripping-pan used in open-fire roasting is the double baking-pan and stand used in ranges and kitcheners for baking meat, poultry, etc. These are usually supplied with ranges and kitcheners when first purchased; but sometimes it is necessary to renew them. The lower pan contains water which may be added through the opening in the lower right-hand corner, made by a depression in the inner pan; the perforated shield or hood, covering the opposite corner being used for pouring off the dripping. These pans are supplied in oblong form, from 13 inches to 18 inches in length, at prices ranging from 3s. 9d. to 7s. 6d.; or square, from 12 inches to 16 inches, from 4s. to 7s. It may be added that single pans are supplied in the above sizes, oblong, from 1s. 2d. to 2s.; and square, from 1s. 4d. to 2s.
The Gridiron.—This utensil, which in its ordinary form consists of a frame supported on four short legs, one at each corner, and with round bars from front to back, and a handle at the back of the frame, is used for broiling purposes of all kinds. The round bar gridiron is made with from 8 to 12 bars, according to size, and is sold at from 10d. to 1s. 3d.
Hanging Gridiron.—The hanging gridiron consists of a double frame, similar in form to the bed or platform of the ordinary gridiron. Below the frames is a small trough or pan, in which the dripping or gravy running from the meat is caught, and above, the centre bars in each frame project upwards, forming the means of keeping the frames together when the meat is placed between them, by a wire ring, square in form, that is slipped over them. The hanging gridiron is suspended before the fire, on bars fastened to hooks, which slip over the top bar of the range. Hooks are attached to the inner frame to take slices of bacon, chops, steaks, etc., when placed between the frames, and to keep them in a proper position. These gridirons are made of wrought iron with from 8 to 12 bars, and are sold at 3s. 6d. and 5s. each, according to size.
American Grip Broiler and Toaster.—This grilling utensil is most useful and desirable for broiling steaks, chops, fish, etc. It is made of polished steel, with perforation in both plates, having their edges turned inwards. Thus it may be turned over on the fire without the escape and consequent loss of any of the fat or gravy coming from the meat, etc., the basting process being self-acting, and the flavour of the meat, etc., being fully retained. The perforations being turned inwards, grip the meat or fish firmly, and prevent any motion from one part of the pan to another. By frequent turning the gravy, etc., is distributed over the upper surface of the meat or fish, while the under side is being acted on by the heat, and thus uniform tenderness and juiciness of the food that is being cooked is insured. It is suitable for use in the openings on the top of a cooking range or kitchener, or on the hot-plate of a close fire range or over the open fire, and it may be used as a bread toaster on the hot-plate or in front of the fire. It is made in two sizes, namely, 9 inches in diameter, sold at 2s., and 10 inches, at 2s. 6d.
Dutch Oven.—The Dutch oven, or bacon broiler or toaster, is made in different shapes, but the principle and purpose of each is precisely the same, and consists of a flat bottom with triangular sides rising from it at each end. The bottom is fitted with a shallow dripping-pan, over which, with the ends inserted near the top of each triangular sidepiece, is a bar with hooks arranged at regular intervals. On the external surface of each side is a handle, by which the utensil may be placed on or removed from the plate hanger, which consists of a sliding plate on two bars, terminating in hooks in front, to hang on the bars of the range. Attached to the sides of the Dutch oven at the very apex of each, is a cover, or flap, which, in consequence of being fixed on a swivel, may be used on either side. The advantage of this reversible cover is that by turning the utensil round on the plate hanger and reversing the flap, each side of the meat or bacon that is being cooked can be presented to the fire quickly, without turning it on the hooks. Prices vary according to size; one 10 inches long, and fitted with four or five hooks, would cost 2s. 6d.; 12 inches, 2s. 9d.; 14 inches, 3s. 6d.
Toast Grid.—The toast grid for toasting bread is a utensil used for toasting bread on the hot-plate of a range; but if the front of an open-fire range be large enough, and the heat sufficient, it may be used there with equal convenience and facility. It consists of two frames covered with wire, between which the bread is placed; the frames are supplied with wire handles, which can be held together with a sliding ring. These grids are sold at 1s. 3d. and 1s. 9d.
UTENSILS AUXILIARY TO COOKING.
Auxiliary Utensils.—To describe everything that it is possible to introduce into the kitchen for use therein is neither practicable nor desirable. From the thousand and one articles, however, that might be enumerated, some few may be selected that hold a prominent place either from the frequency with which they are brought into use, or from the obvious necessity that exists for having them at hand when required.
Weights and Scales.—Our list of utensils may well start with this most important article or series of articles, as a good set of weights and scales is absolutely necessary to every cook. The cook should bear in mind always to put the weights away in their respective places after they have been used, and to keep the scales in thorough order. In weighing butter, lard, or anything that is of a greasy nature, a piece of paper should be placed in the scale before putting in the substance to be weighed. By doing this much labour will be saved. There are many reliable kinds of weighing machines, but the ordinary shop scales and weights still remain the most popular, and the price of a set of weights and scales, with weights sufficient to weigh from ¼ oz. to 14 lbs., is 18s. 6d., and to weigh 28 lbs., 22s. 6d. Spring balances to weigh up to 200 lbs. cost about 11s. and will often be found a great convenience.
Mincing Machine.—This time- and labour-saving invention is almost indispensable in elaborate culinary preparations. The intending purchaser has a wide choice as regards price, size and variety in form. Although the principle is practically the same in all machines, they differ in many respects some doing their work more thoroughly than others, besides being more easily adjusted and kept clean. The "American Two-Roller Mincer" is to be highly recommended in this respect, because the rollers are lined with enamel, and the knives so arranged that they may be easily cleaned. These machines are made in several sizes in two qualities, and may be procured at any ironmonger's, and cost from 9s. 6d. to 12s. 6d. Ordinary mincing machines may be obtained at from 4s. 3d. Mincing machines answer admirably for quenelle meat, rissoles, etc., where the meat is mixed with other ingredients; but meat to be served as collops or mince is better cut by hand, as the particles of meat must be separate for these dishes, not crushed into a fine mass. Suet may be more quickly and satisfactorily chopped on a board or in a bowl than by a mincing machine, for, no matter how much flour is mixed with it, the suet sticks to the blades of the knives and forms itself into a compact mass. There are, however, chopping machines in which the knife acts on the material on the same principle as chopping by hand. They are not generally used in small households, but in large kitchens where much chopping of this description has to be done, they are most useful.
Brawn Tin.—This utensil is invaluable in preparing brawn or collard head. It is a tin cylinder placed on a foot or stand, into which the superfluous gravy escapes when the meat is placed in the cylinder and put under pressure. For this purpose the bottom of the cylinder consists of a movable perforated plate. The cylinder is not soldered along the junction of the ends of the metal of which it is composed, but the ends overlap, and are movable, one over the other, to a certain extent. By this means the cylinder is rendered expansive and will expand from 6½ inches in diameter to 8 inches. It is sold at 4s. 6d.
Tongue or Brawn Presser.—This article may be used for making either brawn or collard head, like the brawn tin last described; or it may be used for compressing boiled tongue into a round, in which shape it is most conveniently sent to table, and moreover ensures an equal distribution of the fat and lean, which is not the case if the tongue be sent up unpressed, when the greater part of the fat in the root of the tongue is sent away uneaten. There is a perforated plate at the bottom through which the gravy escapes, and a flat plate acted on by a powerful screw at the top, by which the contents of the presser are squeezed to flatness. A good presser may be bought for 4s. 6d.
Rotary Bread Grater.—This machine grates or crumbles the bread without leaving a particle of waste, and will do a small quantity. The crumbs made by this process are much finer than when made on an ordinary bread grater. This grater is only made in one size and quality; the price complete is 5s. 6d.
The ordinary bread grater has smaller perforated plates attached to the side for grating nutmeg, ginger, etc., and is supplied at prices ranging from 6d., according to size.
Steak Tongs.—When meat is being broiled or grilled, to prevent the juices of the steak from being lost by pricking the meat with a fork, in turning it about on the gridiron, steak tongs are brought into requisition for handling the steaks during the process. By making use of these the gravy is kept in the meat. These are supplied at prices ranging from 2s. upwards. A cutlet bat is sometimes used for beating cutlets, chops, etc.; steaks, if beaten, are beaten with the rolling-pin.
The Meat Chopper is used for chopping and disjointing bones. Their price varies from 1s. 6d. to 2s., according to size. Meat choppers have wood handles. Steel cleavers have handles of steel, that is to say, blade and handle are made all in one piece. They are sold at from 3s. 6d. to 4s. 6d., according to size.
Meat Saw.—A meat saw is used for sawing bones in places where a chopper is not available. For instance, this utensil would come into requisition where a knuckle of ham is required to be severed from the thick end. The meat would first be cut all round down to the bone with a sharp knife, and the bone would then be sawn through. Good meat saws are sold at from 2s. 6d.
Cook's Knife.—The knives generally used by cooks are made very pointed at the end; and for cookery purposes the slightly convex blades are preferable to those of ordinary shape. They are made 6 inches, 7 inches, 8 inches, 9 inches, 10 inches, 11 inches and 12 inches in length, and cost in the best quality from 2s. to 4s. each, according to length of blade; and from 10d. to 1s. 10d. in the second quality. Both varieties have plain ebony handles. Cook's forks are made to match the knives; they are larger and stronger than ordinary forks, and, therefore, better suited for lifting masses of meat, etc., out of a saucepan. Prices vary from 1s. to 2s. each, according to length of prong; the average and most convenient size cost about 2s. or 2s. 6d,
French Chopping Knife.—The chopping knife is similar in shape to the cook's knife but of much stronger make. It may be had in two sizes, each made in two qualities, and costing respectively 3s. or 3s. 9d., with blades measuring 9 inches and 6s. or 6s. 6d., with blades 2 inches longer.
Mincing Knife.—A knife for chopping suet or mincemeat on a wooden board. As it is made with a firm wooden handle, the hand does not become so tired as when using an ordinary knife on a board; and the chopping is accomplished in a much shorter time. These implements should be kept sharp, and should be ground occasionally. There is also a knife half-circular in form used for chopping materials in a wooden bowl. A good mincing knife in either form is supplied at 1s. 9d.
Chopping Bowl and Board.—For chopping suet, meat, etc., with the half-circular knife a wooden bowl should be provided. They are made from 10 inches to 16 inches in diameter, the smallest size being 1s. 6d.; but that is too small to be generally useful, a more convenient size is the bowl measuring 13 inches, supplied at 4s. A chopping board costs about 2s.
Colander.—This useful article comes into daily requisition. The most convenient and strongest form is that of a round tin basin with handles, perforated at the bottom and round the sides with small holes. It is used for straining vegetables, these being poured into the colander when they are cooked, and allowed to remain for a minute or two until all the water is drained from them, when they are dished. Colanders, or cullenders, as the word is sometimes spelt, are made in four sizes, supplied in tin at from 1s. 3d. to 2s. 6d. each, according to size. They are also to be had in strong tin enamelled inside and outside from 1s., according to size. They possess all the advantages of cleanliness, freedom from rust, etc., of perforated earthenware basins, without their liability to be cracked or broken.
Pestle and Mortar.—Pestles and mortars are made of iron, brass, marble and Wedgwood ware. Those of marble or Wedgwood ware are decidedly to be preferred, as they can be easily kept clean. This utensil is used for pounding sugar, spices and other ingredients required in many preparations of the culinary art. Potted meat is first cooked, minced and then pounded in a mortar; and many farces must be pounded before they can be rubbed through a sieve. Pestles and mortars in composition, are made in sizes ranging from 7 inches to 10 inches, taking the diameter of the top of the mortar, and are sold at from 1s. 4d. to 3s. 3d., according to size. These prices include pestles. Marble mortars range in size from 10 inches to 14 inches, and in price from 4s. 6d. to 9s. 3d. Pestles of hardwood, to be used with these mortars, cost from 2s. upwards, according to size.
Preserving Pans.—Jams, jellies, marmalades and preserves are made in these utensils, which should be kept scrupulously clean, and well examined before being used. Copper preserving pans range in size from 11 inches to 18 inches in diameter, in capacity from 5 quarts to 21 quarts, and in price from 14s. to 29s. Preserving pans in enamelled cast iron are sold at from 3s. 6d. upwards, according to size.
Vegetable Cutters.—Vegetables are cut into fanciful shapes, by means of these little cutters. Stewed steaks and such dishes, in which vegetables form an important addition, are much improved in appearance by having these shaped. The price of a box of assorted vegetable cutters ranges from 2s. 3d. to 4s. 6d. Fancy cutters are sold at 2d. to 6d. each. These cutters can be made useful in ornamenting pastry, or cutters especially made for pastry can be had at 3d. each, or in boxes from 1s. 6d. to 2s., according to make.
Vegetable Scoop.—This implement is used for cutting vegetables into small, pea-shaped forms. It is supplied at a cost of 6d.
Cucumber Slice.—For shredding cucumbers into the thinnest possible slices, a little machine is often used. It is made of wood, with a steel knife running across the centre, and sold at 2s. After the cucumber is pared it should be held upright, and worked backwards and forwards on the knife, being borne sufficiently hard to make an impression on the cucumber.
Paste-Board and Rolling Pin.—Paste-boards of average size, made of well-seasoned deal, with clamped ends, are supplied at 2s. 6d. or 3s. 6d. When not in use they should be kept in a clean dry place, otherwise they may become mildewed, and the stains thus caused are indelible. Rolling-pins are made in two shapes, convex, that is, tapering towards each end, and perfectly straight. The shaped ones may be very dexterously employed by a skilful cook in shaping pastry and dough; but novices in this branch of the culinary art should select a straight rolling-pin. Both shapes are supplied at from 4d. to 1s., according to size, and the quality of the wood. The best qualities are made from well-seasoned Indian boxwood; a rolling pin of this description, measuring 18 inches in length, costs 2s. 3d.
Sieves.—Sieves, both hair and wire, are made in various sizes, but they are inconvenient unless large enough to fit easily over large basins, into which soup is usually sieved or strained. The hair sieves are used principally for vegetable purées and other substances of a sufficiently fine soft nature to allow them to be readily passed through. Some of the fibre of meat, after being well pounded, may be rubbed through a hair sieve, but with a considerable expenditure of time and strength, therefore a fine wire sieve is usually selected for this purpose. A fine wire sieve is also used in making breadcrumbs. Sieves of suitable size and mesh for ordinary purposes may be had for 6d. to 1s. 2d.
Paste Jaggers.—These are used for trimming and cutting pastry. The little wheel at the end of the jagger is made to revolve, and is used for marking pastry which has to be divided after it is baked. The price of a jagger is from 6d. to 1s. 6d.
Coffee and Pepper Mills.—Patent improved mills for grinding coffee, pepper, spice, etc., may be had to fix permanently to the wall, or temporarily to the kitchen table or dressers. They are provided with a regulating screw, to grind fine or coarse, as may be desired. They are made in four sizes, and cost from 3s. to 9s. each.
Wire Dish Cover.—This is an article belonging strictly to the larder, and is intended for covering over meat, pastry, etc., to protect it from flies and dust. It is a most necessary addition to the larder, especially in summer time. These covers are made in sizes ranging from 10 inches to 20 inches in length, and sold at prices rising from 1s, 3d. to 4s. 3d., according to size. Round plate covers in the same material are supplied at from 1s. 3d. Wire meat safes, japanned, 16 in., 18 in., 20 in., 22 in. and 24 in. square, are supplied at from 20s. Wooden meat safes, with panels of perforated zinc, 24 in., 27 in. and 30 in. square, are sold at from 9s. 6d.
Knife Tray, Plate Basket and Plate Carrier.—A knife tray should be provided for keeping close at hand all knives in daily use. The wicker tray, lined with tin, sold at 2s. 9d. to 3s. 9d., according to size, is very easily washed, and will always appear clean and in nice order, if properly looked after. Japanned trays, equally cleanly and serviceable, may be had, single, with round corners, at from 2s. to 7s.; double, with square corners, from 2s. 6d. to 8s. Wicker plate baskets, for spoons, forks, etc., lined with baize, are supplied in four sizes from 2s. 6d. to 5s. each; and wicker plate carriers for dinner plates, unlined, at 4s., or lined with tin, 6s. The tin, if japanned, costs 10s. 6d. A wicker basket for the reception of plates that have been used and removed from table, with loose wicker lining and lined with tin, is supplied in three sizes at 4s. to 6s. 6d.
Baking Dish.—Many housewives prefer for family pies and puddings a baking dish made of tin, which may be covered with a wire grating, so that it may be used for baking meat and potatoes, the latter being placed in the dish and the meat on the wire grating. Seamless baking-pans, in all forms, oblong, square, round and oval, may be had in sizes ranging from 4 to 20 inches, at prices from 5d. to 4s. each, according to size.
Tartlet Pans.—The trimmings of pastry rolled out, laid in a tartlet pan, and baked, form the foundation of open tarts. The pans are made in all sizes, from 6 inches to 12 inches in length, with plain or fluted edges, at prices ranging from 2d. to 1s. 6d., according to size and shape.
Patty-pans.—These are made of tin, and used for cheese-cakes, little tarts, mince-pies, etc. Some are fluted and some plain, and they are manufactured in all sizes and of different shapes, both oval and round. The price of a dozen patty-pans, in tin, ranges from 2d. upwards, according to size and shape.
Raised Pie Mould.—The moulds in which raised pies are made open at the side, with loose bottom plates. They are usually, though not necessarily, oval in shape; they are made from 6 inches to 11 inches in length; and the smallest size is supplied in strong tin at 2s. to 3s.
Border Mould.—This mould measures 7 inches in length, 2 1⁄2 inches in height; its capacity is 11⁄2 pints, and its price in copper, lined with pure tin, 8s. Very effective designs may now be obtained in strong tin from 10d. upwards.
Coffee and Tea Canisters, etc.—Japanned tin is the metal of which canisters for tea and coffee are composed. The flavour of the tea and the aroma of the coffee may be preserved by keeping them in tin canisters. The prices of these canisters, to hold from 2 oz. to 6 lb., range from 6d. to 3s., according to size. Among other boxes, made in tin and japanned, for the reception of articles of daily use and consumption may be named Seasoning Boxes, at 3s., 3s. 6d. and 4s. 6d., according to size; Spice Boxes at 2s., 2s. 6d. and 3s., according to size; Sugar Boxes, square in shape, with division, in five sizes without drawer to receive pounded sugar dropping from divisions through perforated bottom, from 2s. 9d. to 9s. 6d.; or in three sizes with drawers, from 6s. 6d. to 10s. Round Sugar Canisters, holding from 1 lb. to 6 lb., are sold at from 8d. to 4s. 6d., according to size; and Flour Bins, bright tin inside and japanned blue with black hoops outside, ranging in capacity from 1 gallon to 3 bushels, are supplied at from 3s. 6d. to 28s., according to size.
Hot-water Dish.—In cold weather such joints as venison, a haunch, saddle or leg of mutton should always be served on a hot-water dish, as they are so liable to chill. This dish is arranged with a double bottom which is filled with very hot water just before the joint is sent to table, and so keeps that and the gravy hot. Although an article of this description can scarcely be ranked as a kitchen utensil, still the utility of it is obvious. Hot-water dishes may be had, made entirely of metal, of various sizes from 21s. upwards, or in nickel, electro-plated, at higher prices. Hot-water plates range in price from 1s. 6d. upwards.
Gravy Strainer.—One of these is absolutely indispensable. One variety is like an inverted cone with the pointed end cut off, having a handle attached to it, and a plate perforated with very fine holes, or piece of wire netting, at the bottom, below which is a rim on which it stands. It is made in three sizes, with fine or coarse bottom, sold at 1s. 6d., 1s. 9d. and 2s. each, according to size. Another kind is made in the form of a cone; but this, of course, will not stand by itself, terminating as it does in a point. It is made in three sizes, with fine or coarse netting, sold at 10d. to 2s. 6d., according to size.
Egg Poacher.—When eggs are much used in a family, an egg poacher forms a desirable addition to the utensils of the kitchen. These are made in different forms, the ordinary poacher being in the form of a circular tin plate, with three or four depressions, to contain the eggs, and with an upright handle rising from the centre. The plate is supported by feet, on which it stands when lowered into the saucepan. Poachers for three eggs are sold for 1s. 4d.; for four eggs at 1s. 11d.
Cask Stand.—For beer it is desirable to have a stand by which the cask may be raised or lowered without shaking its contents. The lever cask stand will be found most useful for this purpose. This stand is, perhaps, the best that has yet been produced, its action being very simple and easy to understand. The price of stand for a 9-gallon cask is 6s.; for an 18-gallon cask, 8s.
Beer Tap.—The best kind of tap for home use is the brass syphon beer tap, which requires no vent-peg, and is fitted with a protector in front, to receive the blows of the mallet in tapping a cask. The protector may be unscrewed to clean the syphon tube when it is in the cask. Another improvement consists in the self-acting tube being brought down close to the mouth of the jug, glass or vessel into which the beer is drawn. Directions for keeping the tap in order are given to the purchaser. This tap is sold at 3s. 6d.
The Corrugated Kettle.—The chief feature of this kettle is the fluted form of the bottom, which not only adds considerably to its strength, but increases the heating surface about 20 per cent., thereby causing the water to boil in a very much shorter time than in an ordinary flat-bottomed kettle. The peculiar form of this kettle, both as regards the fluted bottom and dome top, renders it especially suitable for use on gas or petroleum stoves or spirit lamps. This kettle is made in polished steel in nine sizes, holding from 1 to 12 pints, and sold at prices ranging from 1s. 6d. to 4s. 3d., according to size. It is also made in polished copper or brass in the four smaller sizes, from 1 to 3 pints, sold at from 5s. to 7s. 6d. with ordinary handle. In the five larger sizes, holding from 4 to 12 pints, it is made in polished copper with turned handle and spout, and sold at prices ranging from 8s. to 18s.
Coffee-pot.—When well made, coffee, perhaps, is the most delicious and refreshing of all the infusions that are made for household use, but the goodness of coffee very often depends on the construction of the vessel in which it is made, and it is most desirable to use one in which the aromatic oil of the berry developed in the process of roasting is not driven off by boiling, on the one hand, which invariably spoils coffee, and not made sufficiently perceptible by the endeavour to make it at too low a temperature, which is too often the case. In one of the Patent Coffee Cans either contingency is happily avoided by the peculiar construction of this coffee-pot, in which the coffee, when making, is surrounded by a jacket of boiling water, and thus kept at such a temperature that the valuable principle in which the aroma lies is not driven off, but gradually and continuously brought out, thus increasing to a wonderful extent the flavour and fragrance of the drink. By means of this utensil coffee can be made to perfection in so short a time as two minutes, which shows how easy and rapid the process is when performed by means of this utensil. They are kept in various sizes, and made of various materials, and vary in price from 5s. 6d. upwards.
Freezing Machines.—Ice is now so much used at English tables that it has become a necessary of household economy, and dessert ices follow summer dinners as a matter of course. Dessert ices are, by modern invention and ingenuity, placed within the reach of most housekeepers, and it is easy to make ices by one of the patent freezing machines, which afford a quick, economical and most simple method of freezing. Two ices, or an ice and an ice pudding can be made at the same time by these machines. The mixture to be iced is placed in the tubes or cylinders; outside these tubes rough ice and salt are placed, the ice being pounded, and the salt and a little water added; the piston is then worked up and down. This movement produces a constant change and agitation of the ice and salt, which is compelled to pass round and round the agitator. Two stirrers are attached to the piston, and work at the same time with it; these "stirrers" go up and down inside the cylinders, and stir up and mix the cream or water mixture undergoing the freezing process. This agitation of the cream, etc., is necessary to prevent the future ice from being lumpy and snowy. When the freezing is complete the stirrers are taken out of the cylinders, and the ice pressed down firmly by a presser; this moulds it to the form of the cylinder. It is set by keeping it still in the machine for a short time longer, still working the piston up and down; it is then turned out, beautifully iced and moulded. The same ice and salt which freezes the dessert ices will afterwards freeze a block of pure water ice, or may be used to cool wine.
These freezing machines are made in oak, and are supplied in three sizes, Nos. 1, 2 and 3, to freeze and mould 1, 2 and 3 pints respectively, at £2 10s., £3 5s., and £3 15s. These are to be used with ice and salt only.Refrigerators are very necessary in a household, as they ensure both comfort and economy, and, indeed, promote good health in the summer. They consist essentially of cupboards or chests, lined with zinc, and kept cool by ice. The ice receptacle, however, should have no connexion with the storage part, as the food should be kept in a cold, dry atmosphere. A properly-made refrigerator consists of a wood cupboard or chest, lined inside with zinc, and having a tight fitting door; between the zinc lining and wood casing there should be a layer of insulating material, such as thick felt (the cheapest), or better, asbestos, or its artificial substitute, slag-wool. This insulating layer prevents loss by too rapid dissipation of the cold by contact with the hotter outside
Mayonnaise Mixer, Mincer, Asparagus Dish. Masher and Strainer, Egg Boiler, Table Hot Plate, Hot Water Dish, Gas Grilling Stove, Cream Freezer.
1. Chafing Dish Pan. 2. Chafing Dish Stand and Lamp 3. Double Boiler of Chafing Dish. 4. Jelly Mould. 5. Meat Slice. 6. Whisk. 7. Chafing Dish complete. 8. Colander. 9. Dutch Oven. 10. Spice Box.
air. The ice chamber should also be lined with zinc, and be placed at the top or back of the chest, a waste pipe being provided for draining away the water, which may be stored in another zinc receptacle under the chest, and used as an ice bath for bottles of liquors, etc. Ice quickly melts if surrounded by water or air, therefore keep the ice chest closed and well drained. If you have a piece of ice but no proper receptacle for it, you may keep it for a long time even in summer if you wrap it in a blanket and place it in a dark, dry place. Unless you are quite sure of the purity of ice, never mix it with food or beverages; cool down to the required temperature by surrounding the vessels in which the food or beverage is contained with a mixture of pounded ice and salt. An ice closet, or refrigerator, should not be kept in a kitchen; place it in the larder, at all events well away from the direct sunlight; choose the darkest corner. The interior should be kept scrupulously clean.
Filters.—Absolutely pure water is not to be found in nature, for even rain (natural distillation, resulting from condensation following on evaporation of sea, lake, river and soil surface water by the sun-rays) absorbs gases and dust as it descends through the various atmospheric strata. Lake, river and spring waters contain gases, earthy salts and organic matter. The salts are not to be feared unless present in large quantities, but the presence of organic matter, if not always dangerous, should give rise to suspicion. Organic matter in water is usually the result of decomposition, and whether of vegetable or animal origin is nearly always unwholesome; but too often such organic matter may comprise chemical poisons or the so-called poison secreting specific, or pathogenic, microbes. To get rid of superfluous earthy salts (more especially lime and magnesia) and organic matter, various methods of purification are adopted. Water supplied to towns by companies or municipalities is usually filtered through extensive and deep beds of sand gravel and other materials. Sometimes the water is first run into tanks, chemicals added, and the superabundant lime allowed to deposit before the water is run on the filters. Domestic filters are constructed on much the same principle, the water being made to pass through layers of sand, charcoal, spongy iron, porous earthenware or patent compositions. Charcoal and iron are believed to have a chemical as well as a mechanical influence, as they absorb oxygen and part with it, and also absorb deleterious gases. The varieties and styles of filters differ so widely that it is almost impossible to give prices. A domestic filter may be made by thoroughly charring the inside of an oaken cask (this is best done by burning spirits of wine in it), then placing curved porous tiles at the bottom, covering this with a layer of carefully cleansed gravel, upon the top of which should be a finer gravel, and finally sand or coarsely ground charcoal. The danger of all filters is that they soon get foul if constantly used, and then water passed through them is only contaminated. There are tubes composed of siliceous infusorial earths, which are very compact, but allow water introduced into them slowly to percolate. The only way to obtain absolutely pure water is to use a still, in which water is evaporated by heat, and the steam being caught and condensed by cold is obtained in the form of liquid water. But this water is of a "dead" character, having no oxygen, and if exposed to the air quickly absorbs atmospheric gases and dust. For practical purposes, if water has to be purified, the best plan is to boil it. This not only destroys living germs and their spores, but splits up organic matter and causes the earthy salts to be deposited in the form of slime or "fur." The kettle has the advantage of being available both for home and outdoor use—for instance on country excursions, when very often water of doubtful character is alone to be procured.
Washing and Wringing Machines.—In large establishments where there is a laundry these do not enter into "The Arrangement and Economy of the Kitchen," but in smaller ones they often of necessity form part of the furniture. The price of a small one is from 20s to 90s.
Washing machines are daily becoming more general in private families, and needless to say washing at home, if practicable, is a great economy.
Fireproof Earthenware Cooking Appliances and Casserole Pots are benefits which we owe to Continental chefs. For many purposes they are not to be surpassed. They are light, cleanly, impart no flavour to the most delicate of viands, quick in use, and may, for the most part, be sent up to table with their contents direct from the kitchener. Among other purposes fireproof earthenware vessels are excellent for cooking "œufs sur le plat," or fried eggs, scrambled eggs, stewed and baked tomatoes, joints of meat "au daube," that is, stewed with rich gravy and vegetables. These are all dishes which would be spoilt in colour and flavour if iron saucepans were used. Moreover, as this ware is decidedly ornamental, they only require to be taken from the oven or hot plate, placed on a dish and sent to the dining-room.
Enamelled Ware is now much used, both for cooking and other kitchen utensils. As a rule these consist of rather thin sheets of steel, or iron, stamped out into different shapes, and then coated inside and out with fireproof enamel; the coat used for the outside generally being blue, and that for the inside white. The advantages of enamelled ware are that it is clean, acid-proof and does not injure the colour or flavour of any article cooked and placed within it. Vessels of this ware are especially useful for making sauces, boiling milk, farinaceous puddings and stewing fruit. These utensils are also easily cleaned. But it is necessary to buy good quality articles, as in the cheaper classes the enamel is often thin, inferior and contaminated with arsenic. Inferior enamel is apt to chip, and this is dangerous, as the particles are as sharp as glass and capable of causing serious digestive troubles. Moreover, if the enamel is chipped or badly cracked, all the advantages of enamelling are neutralized, as the foods come into direct contact with the metal, and further act on the under part of the enamel. This ware should always be properly seasoned before use. Fill to the brim with boiling water, add a good allowance of soda and allow to get cool, then wash thoroughly in very hot soap suds. Enamelled metal ware should never be placed in the oven or on a stove, unless it contains a liquid or some fat, otherwise the enamel will crack.
Aluminium is a metal existing largely in clay. It is only within recent years that it has been able to be extracted economically and in sufficient quantities for commercial purposes. Its chief characteristics are its extreme lightness, its resistance to the action of most acids and atmospheric influences, and the ease with which it forms most useful alloys. In its natural condition it is of a dullish silver hue. Aluminium cooking and kitchen utensils are now either stamped out of sheet metal or moulded. Their extreme lightness makes stewpans, frying-pans and bain-maries of this metal most handy in the kitchen, and the fact that the juices of vegetables and fruits, etc., do not act upon it, gives aluminium a considerable advantage over copper. The metal heats quickly and retains its heat for a long time. It requires some care in cleaning. As yet aluminium kitchen ware is somewhat expensive, but when its merits are more widely recognized, and it comes into more general use, prices are likely to fall.
The Chafing Dish is a very ancient utensil, much used by our ancestors and then gradually neglected. But it has come into fashion again, largely through a revival of its use in America. The chafing dish is a deep metal pan, with sloping sides, and provided with a domed cover, which fits in the circular rim of a metal tripod. On the stand of the tripod beneath the dish a spirit lamp is placed. In some instances the dish is heated by electricity. As a rule these articles are highly ornamental, and are meant to be used on the table or sideboard; they are usually brought into requisition at breakfast, luncheon and supper, and are undoubtedly most serviceable in households where only a few servants are kept, as by their aid dainty little dishes such as fried or scrambled eggs, omelettes, stewed kidneys, broiled tomatoes, welch rarebit or cheese fondu, and similar preparations can be speedily prepared at the early morning meal, or at a late supper "after the theatre." For dwellers in flats the chafing dish is almost indispensable.
Complete List of Domestic Utensils.—Here we must bring our notices of utensils that find a place in most kitchens to a close, omitting many articles of less importance not likely to be called so frequently into use. Everything necessary for a family, whether large or small, is included in the following complete specifications of domestic utensils, which will show at a glance the articles required for the kitchens of families, ranging from those for whom a small cottage affords sufficient accommodation to those who have an income large enough to warrant the occupation of a mansion. For a mansion, whose many guests are ever coming and going, and where a large number of domestics are kept, a great number of articles will be required, and these are set forth in specification No. I. In specification No. II everything is included that is necessary for culinary operations in a family whose head is possessed of ample means. Specification No. III includes those articles which should be found in comparatively small houses; whilst in specification No. IV such things only are enumerated as are indispensable to a family possessed of a small income, and moving in a comparatively humble sphere of life.
Specifications and Estimates for Outfit of Kitchens.—The following specifications and estimates, it may be said, have been carefully prepared. They are exclusive of tinnery and brushes. Each specification is complete in itself, and any of the articles mentioned may be had singly at the same prices.
SPECIFICATION No. I.
This Specification is complete and suitable for any Mansion.
|8||Copper Stewpans, assorted sizes||5||12||6|
|1||Copper Stock Pot, 10 galls., with tap and Drainer||5||18||6|
|1||Copper Bain marie, 11 vessels||7||7||0|
|2||Copper Sauté or Cutlet Pans||1||7||6|
|1||Copper Braizing Pan with Fire Cover, 18. in.||4||4||0|
|1||Copper Egg Bowl||0||18||6|
|1||Copper Sugar Boiler||0||15||0|
|1||Copper Preserving Pan||1||16||0|
|2||Copper Jelly Moulds||1||1||6|
|2||Copper Charlotte Moulds, 2 pt., 3s. 6d., 2¾, 4s. 6d.||0||8||0|
|12||Copper Dariol Moulds, 2 in.||0||9||6|
|12||Copper Fancy Entrée Cups, assorted||0||12||0|
|2||Copper Conical Gravy Strainers||0||17||6|
|1||Copper Soup Ladle||0||4||6|
|2||Copper D Slices||0||10||0|
|2||Copper Dish-up Spoons||0||10||0|
|1||Copper Dish up, perforated||0||4||6|
|2||Copper Omelette Pans||0||15||9|
|2||Copper Baking Plates||1||2||6|
|1||Oval Wrought iron Fat Pan and Drainer||0||19||6|
|1||Oblong Wrought-steel Dripping Pan with Well, on iron legs||2||8||6|
|1||Basting Ladle for ditto||0||10||6|
|2||Large Wood Meat Screens with Hot Closet||9||12||6|
|1||Steel Cutlet Bat||0||4||6|
|1||Cast-steel Meat Saw||0||4||6|
|1||Cast-steel Cutlet Saw||0||3||6|
|2||Set Skewers, 9d.,1s.,1s.6d||0||3||3|
|1||Case Larding Needles||0||2||6|
|1||Cook's Bone Knife||0||5||6|
|2||Root Knives, 1s.||0||2||0|
|2||Steel Dish-up Forks with Guard||0||3||6|
|1||Salamandar and Stand||0||9||6|
|1||Pair Steak Tongs||0||3||6|
|1||Fluted Bar Gridiron||0||3||6|
|1||Oval Iron Fry Pan||0||2||6|
|6||Tinned Iron Saucepans||0||13||6|
|2||Ditto with steamer, 6 qt., 5s.; 8 qt., 6s. 6d.||0||11||6|
|1||Best Wrought-iron Tea Kettle||0||10||6|
|1||Copper Bottom Tin-Body Range Kettle||0||2||6|
|1||6 Gal. Oval Wrought-steel Boiling Pot||1||10||0|
|2||Strong Wire Fry Baskets, 2s. 6d., 3s. 6d.||0||6||0|
|1||Strong Tin Fish Kettle, Copper Bottom||0||10||6|
|1||Strong Tin Turbot Kettle, Copper Bottom||1||5||0|
|1||Marble Slab for Pastry||0||10||6|
|1||Box Pastry Cutters, each Round and Fluted||0||5||0|
|1||Box Assorted Fancy Cutters||0||2||0|
|1||Box Vegetable Cutters||0||3||6|
|1||Salad Basket (wire)||0||3||6|
|1||Patent Bread Grater||0||2||6|
|12||Assorted Iron Spoons||0||5||6|
|1||Block Tin Soup Ladle||0||1||9|
|1||Flour and Sugar Dredge||0||2||6|
|2||Pepper Boxes, 4d. each||0||0||8|
|3||Steel Vegtable Scoops, wood handles||0||3||6|
|1||Raised Pie Mould||0||5||6|
|1||Dozen Tartlette Tins||0||1||6|
|3||Dozen Round Pattypans, fluted||0||1||0|
|2||Wire Egg Whisks, strong, 1s. 3d., 1s. 9d.||0||3||0|
|1||Pewter Ice Pot, with Cover||1||1||0|
|1||Pail for ditto, Oak||0||7||6|
|2||Pewter Ice Pudding Moulds 10s. 6d., 15s.||1||5||6|
|12||Pewter Ice Dessert Moulds||0||18||6|
|1||Marble Mortar, 14 in||0||15||0|
|1||Lignum Vitae Pestle for do.||0||4||6|
|1||Best "Quality" Knife machine on high stand, clean 4 knives & carver||3||17||6|
|1||Spice Box, Block Tin||0||10||6|
|1||Mincing Machine, Vitrified Enamel||1||1||0|
|1||Set Registered Scales and Weights, to weigh 28 lb.||1||5||6|
|12||Tinned Meat Hooks||0||1||0|
|3||Galvanized Pails, 1s. 6d.||0||4||6|
|1||Coal Hod, Zinc lined||0||4||6|
|1||Set Kitchen Fire Irons||0||6||6|
|1||Tin Coffee Pot, 3s. 6d., 1 Tin Tea Pot, 3s. 6d.||0||7||0|
|1||Coffee Mill, Steel||0||16||6|
|3||Japanned Trays, Strong||0||7||6|
|1||Jelly Bag and Stand||0||10||6|
|1||Set Tea, Coffee, and Sugar Canisters||1||1||0|
|4||Hair Sieves, best||0||11||6|
|2||Brass Wire Sieves||0||7||0|
|1||Rolling Pin, hard wood||0||1||6|
|1||Set Stove Brushes||0||3||6|
|1||Set Shoe Brushes||0||6||6|
|1||Hair Broom and handle||0||4||6|
|1||Bass or Yard Broom and handle||0||2||6|
SPECIFICATION No. II.
Suitable for Good Class Houses.
|6||Copper Stewpans, assorted sizes||5||10||0|
|1||Copper Stock Pot, 4 galls., with tap and drainer||3||5||0|
|1||Copper Sauté Pan||0||10||6|
|1||Copper Sugar Boiler||0||10||6|
|1||Copper Egg Bowl||0||15||0|
|1||Copper Preserving Pan||1||4||0|
|2||Copper Jelly Moulds||0||17||6|
|1||Dozen Copper Dariol Moulds||0||9||6|
|½||Dozen Copper Fancy Entrée Cups||0||6||0|
|1||Only Copper Charlotte Mould. 2 pt.||0||3||6|
|1||Only Copper Conical Gravy Strainer||0||8||9|
|1||Only Copper Omelette Pan||0||7||6|
|1||Copper D Slice||0||5||0|
|1||Oval Wrought-iron Fat Pan and drainer||0||15||0|
|1||Wrought-iron Dripping pan with Well and on Iron legs||2||2||6|
|1||Wrought Ladle for ditto||0||8||6|
|1||Wooden Meat Screen, circular corners and Hot Closet||4||7||6|
|1||Brass Bottle Jack and Crane Complete||0||14||6|
|1||Set Skewers, each 9d. 1s.||0||1||9|
|1||Case Larding Needles||0||2||6|
|1||Cooks' Bone Knife||0||5||6|
|2||Root Knives, 1s.||0||2||0|
|2||Dish-up Forks with Guard||0||3||6|
|1||Salamander and Stand||0||7||6|
|1||Pair Steak Tongs||0||2||6|
|1||Fluted Bar Gridiron||0||3||6|
|1||Strong Wire Hanging Gridiron||0||3||6|
|1||Oval Iron Fry Pan||0||2||3|
|4||Iron Saucepans, assorted||0||9||0|
|1||2 gall, ditto, with steamer||0||6||0|
|1||Cast-iron Oval Boiling Pot||0||7||6|
|1||Oval Wrought-iron Tea Kettle||0||8||6|
|1||Copper-bottom, Tin-body Well Kettle||0||5||6|
|1||Strong Tin Colander||0||3||9|
|1||Strong Tin Fish Kettle, Copper Bottom||0||8||6|
|1||Strong Fish Kettle, Tin Bottom||0||4||11|
|1||Box Paste Cutters, Round||0||2||0|
|1||Box Paste Cutters, Fluted||0||2||0|
|1||Box Fancy Cutters||0||2||0|
|1||Japanned Spice Box||0||4||6|
|12||Assorted Iron Spoons||0||6||0|
|1||Box Vegetable Cutters||0||2||9|
|1||Strong Tin Soup Ladle||0||1||6|
|1||each Flour and Sugar Dredge, 1s. 3d.||0||2||6|
|24||Patty Pans fluted||0||0||8|
|1||Strong Wire Egg Whisk||0||1||6|
|1||Pewter Freezing Pot||0||17||6|
|1||Oak Pail for ditto||0||6||6|
|1||Pewter Ice Pudding Mould||0||10||6|
|6||Pewter Ice Dessert Moulds||0||9||0|
|1||Lignum Vitae Pestle||0||3||6|
|1||Set Best Scales and Weights 14 lb.||0||18||6|
|1||Knife Machine on High Stand, 3 knives and carver||2||15||6|
|1||Brass Wire Sieve||0||3||6|
|1||Jelly Bag and Stand||0||8||6|
|1||Coffee Mill, Steel||0||12||6|
|1||Set Kitchen Irons||0||4||6|
|1||Zinc-lined Coal Hod||0||4||6|
|1||Tin Coffee Pot||0||3||6|
|1||Tin Tea Pot||0||3||6|
|2||Japanned Trays, Strong||0||5||0|
|1||Set Tea, Coffee, and Sugar Canisters||0||17||6|
|1||Rolling Pin, hardwood||0||1||6|
|1||Paste Board, hardwood||0||4||6|
|1||Set Stove Brushes||0||2||11|
|1||Set Shoe Brushes||0||5||6|
|1||Hair Broom and Handle||0||3||11|
|1||Bass or Yard Broom and Handle||0||2||6|
SPECIFICATION No. III.
Suitable for Middle-Class Houses.
1. Tart Pans. 2. Patty Pans. 3. Raised Pie Mould. 4. Paste Jagger. 5. Fancy Vegetable Cutters and Case. 6. Vegetable Scoops. 7. Paste Board and Pin. 8. Plain Charlotte Pudding Mould. 9. Gridiron. 10. Mangle or Wringer. 11. Tin-lined Wicker Knife Basket. 12. Coffee Canister. 13. Bread Grater.
Composition for Cleaning and Polishing, Ammonia Soap, Kleenall, Extract of Soap, Metal Polish, Berlin Black, Walnut Varnish Stain, Metal Polish, Oak Varnish Stain, Brunswick Black, Best White Paint, Safety Matches, Soluble Soft Soap, Non-Mercurial Plate Powder, Black Meltonian Cream, Gishurstine, Floor Polish, Ronuk, Blacking, Black Lead, Wax Polish, Blue, Superior Blacking, Grate Polish, Nugget Black Polish, Knife Polish, Nugget Brown Polish, Spiritine.
|4||Sanitary Steel Saucepans, assorted||0||16||0|
|1||Sanitary Steel Stock Pot, 3 galls.||0||18||3|
|2||Tinned Iron Saucepans||0||4||6|
|1||10 pt. ditto, with steamer||0||4||0|
|1||Oval Boiling Pot, 3 galls.||0||4||9|
|1||Preserving Pan, Copper||0||16||6|
|1||Sanitary Steel Sauté Pan||0||3||0|
|1||Sanitary Steel Omelette Pan||0||2||6|
|1||Brass Bottle Jack and Crane||0||8||6|
|1||Block Tin Fish Kettle||0||5||11|
|1||Knife Machine, to clean 3 knives and carvers||1||5||6|
|1||Dish-up Fork with Guard||0||1||9|
|1||Fluted Hanging Gridiron||0||2||6|
|1||Strong Wire Hanging Gridiron||0||2||0|
|1||Set Best Scales and Weights 14 lb.||0||9||6|
|1||Iron Frying Pan||0||2||0|
|1||Tin Kettle, Copper Bottom||0||3||3|
|1||Double Oven Pan||0||4||6|
|12||Tin Dariol Moulds||0||1||6|
|1||Box Plain and Fluted Pastry Cutters||0||3||0|
|24||Patty Pans, plain||0||0||6|
|1||Set Skewers, 6d., 9d.||0||1||3|
|1||Wire Toast Fork||0||0||6|
|2||Gravy Strainers, flat and conical||0||2||4|
|1||Wire Egg Whisk||0||1||0|
|1||Composition Mortar and Pestle||0||3||3|
|1||Wire Fry Basket||0||2||0|
|1||Fish Frying Pan with Wire Drainer||0||3||11|
|6||Iron Spoons, assorted||0||1||6|
|1||Tinned Wire Sieve||0||2||6|
|1||Baking Plate, oblong||0||1||11|
|1||Flour Bin, Japanned||0||4||9|
|2||Each Tea, Coffee and Sugar Canisters||0||9||0|
|1||Gallon Oval Wash-up Pan||0||3||0|
|2||Wire Dish Covers, 1s. 6d., 2.||0||3||6|
|3||Enamelled Pie Dishes||0||2||6|
|3||Enamelled Pudding Basins||0||2||0|
|1||Enamelled Water Ewer, 8 pint||0||2||6|
|1||Set Kitchen Fire Irons||0||3||3|
|1||Set Stove Brushes||0||2||9|
|1||Set Shoe Brushes||0||4||6|
|1||Hair Broom and Handle||0||3||0|
|1||Bass or Yard Broom||0||2||0|
SPECIFICATION No. IV.
Suitable for very small Houses.
|3||Tinned Iron Saucepans||0||6||0|
|1||Tinned ditto, with steamer||0||3||6|
|1||Tinned Oval Boiling Pot, 3 galls||0||4||9|
|2||Enamelled Steel Saucepans||0||2||0|
|1||Frying Pan, iron||0||1||9|
|1||Yorkshire Pudding Tin||0||0||8|
|1||Hanging Wire Gridiron||0||1||6|
|1||Tea, Coffee, and Sugar Canister||0||4||6|
|1||Flour Bin, Japanned||0||3||2|
|2||Enamelled Pie Dishes||0||1||6|
|3||Enamelled Pudding Basin||0||1||1|
|1||Enamelled Jug, 3 pint||0||0||11|
|1||Enamelled Preserving Pan||0||5||6|
|1||Patent Steamer Cooker, 4 vessels||0||10||4|
|1||Pestle and Mortar||0||2||11|
|1||Galvanized Oval Washing-up Pan||0||2||2|
|1||Spring Balance Family Scales, 20 lb.||0||4||11|
|1||Knife Machine, "Servants Friend"||0||13||3|
|1||Set Stove Brushes||0||1||11½|
|1||Set Boot Brushes||0||3||6|
|1||Hair Broom and Handle||0||2||6|
|1||Bass or Yard Broom and Handle||0||1||6|
Turnery and Brushes, etc.—To render the information given here as complete as possible, lists are appended: (1) of the various articles usually comprehended under the general term "Turnery," with brushes; and (2) of numerous sundries of which it is always desirable to know the price. As it is impossible to give prices where many sizes of the same article are on sale, the minimum only has been stated, preceded by the word "from."
TURNERY (Best London Make) and BRUSHES.
1. Bread Cutter. 2. Coffee Roaster. 3. Carpet Sweeper. 4. Wringer and Mangle. 5. Knife Cleaner. 6. Spice Box.
|Butter Prints, in Case||„||0||0||9|
|Knife Trays, Mahogany||„||0||3||9|
|Knife Trays, Oak||„||0||2||6|
|Knife Trays, Wicker||„||0||4||6|
|Knife Trays, Japanned, Single.||„||0||2||0|
|Knife Trays, Japanned, Double.||„||0||5||6|
|Plate Baskets, Wicker||„||0||2||6|
|Meat Safes, Wooden, Zinc Panels||„||0||17||6|
|Meat Safes, Japanned Wire||„||1||0||0|
|Jelly Bags, Wood Stand for||each||0||4||6|
|Housemaid's Box, Deal||„||0||2||9|
|Wicker Plate Carriers||„||0||8||0|
|Cask Stand, Patent||„||0||7||6|
|Stands for Trays—|
|Best Boxwood Churns||from||1||5||0|
|Flour Tubs, Barrel Shape||,,||2||6||0|
|Oak Tubs, Round||,,||0||2||6|
|Oak Tubs, Oval||,,||0||4||0|
|House Pails, Wood||,,||0||4||0|
|Door Scrapers, with Stove Brushes||,||0||12||11|
|Curtain or Bed Brooms||,,||0||2||0|
|Banister Brushes, Single||,,||0||1||0|
|Banister Stair Carpet||,,||0||1||9|
|Shoe Brushes, per set of 3||,,||0||4||6|
|Boxes for Stove Brushes||each||0||1||9|
|Black Lead. Best||per lb.||0||0||8|
|Bellows, fancy pattern||,,||0||4||0|
|Butter Dishes, Carved||,,||0||1||0|
|Butlers' Aprons, Green Baize||,,||0||5||6|
|Butlers' Apron, Red Leather||,,||0||9||0|
|Buff Leather Kinife-boards||,,||0||4||3|
|Dinner Mats. set of 8||,,||0||8||9|
|Emery Powder||per pkt.||0||0||6|
|Do. with jointed pole||,,||0||2||8|
|House Flannels||per yd.||0||0||8|
|Hair Sieves, double bottoms||,,||0||2||0|
|Marrow Scoops, Ivory||,,||0||2||0|
|Mops for Jugs||,,||0||0||3|
|Napkin Rings, Bone or Ivory||,,||0||1||0|
|Polishing Paste||per box||0||0||6|
|Putty Powder||per pkt.||0||0||5|
|Sieves (Hair, Wire, etc.)||,,||0||0||7|
|Salad Spoons and Forks||,,||0||0||6|
|Turks' Heads with jointed Poles||,,||0||3||9|
|Urn Powder||per box||0||1||0|