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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/72

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HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

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