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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/65

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41
THE COOK

requisites. For instance, after making a pudding, the flour tub, paste-board, and rolling pin should be put away, and any basins, spoons, etc., taken to the scullery, neatly packed up near the sink, to be washed when the proper time arrives.

Economy.—Never waste or throw away anything that can be turned to account. In warm weather any gravies or soups that have been left from the preceding day should boiled up and poured into clean pans. Full directions with regard to stock pots, digesters and other economies of the kitchen will be found in a later chapter.

Go early every morning to your larder (which, like the kitchen, ought to be kept perfectly clean and neat), and while changing plates, looking to your bread pan (which should always be emptied and wiped out every morning), take notice if there is anything not likely to keep, and acquaint your mistress with the fact. It is better if there is a spare cupboard in the kitchen to keep any baked pastry there, and thus preserve its crispness.

Kitchen Supplies.—Do not let your stock of pepper, salt, spices, seasonings, herbs, etc., dwindle so low that there is danger of finding yourself minus some very important ingredient, the lack of which may cause much confusion and annoyance. Think of all you require when your mistress sees you in the morning, that she may give out any necessary stores. If you live in the country have your vegetables gathered from the garden at an early hour, so that there is ample time to get rid of caterpillars, etc., which is an easy task if the greens are allowed to soak in salt and water an hour or two.

Punctuality.—This is an indispensable quality in a cook. When there is a large dinner to prepare get all you can done the day before or early on the morning of the day. This will save a great deal of time and enable you, with good management, to send up your dinner in good time and style.

Cleansing of Cooking Utensils.—This is one of the cook's most important duties, and one that should never be neglected or put off from one day to another. When you have washed your saucepans, fish kettle, etc., stand them before the fire for a few minutes to get thoroughly dry inside before putting away. They should then be put in a dry place in order to escape rust. Put some water into them directly they are done with, if they have to stand some time before they are washed. Soups or gravies should never be allowed to stand all night in saucepans. Frying pans should be cleaned (if black inside) with a crust of bread, and washed with hot water and soda. It is a good plan to have a knife kept especially for peeling onions, but where this is not done the one used should be thoroughly cleaned. If the tin has worn off copper utensils, have it immediately replaced. Clean your coppers with turpentine and fine brick dust, or waste lemon skins and sand, rubbed on with flannel, and polish them with a leather and a little dry brick dust. Clean tins with soap and whiting, rubbing on with a soft rag or