nent and to become of immense advantage to the community. But no important step of advancement can be taken in this direction without a wide diffusion of its advantages; whatever has been gained by English experience is ours as well as theirs. One of the fruits of the establishment of the London Training-School is that we have at last got a hand-book of cookery upon the right method, and which, if used as it can be everywhere, will be certain to elevate this hitherto neglected branch of domestic economy. The claims of this work upon American households are so important, and so clearly presented by the editor in her preface to the American edition, that we cannot better serve the interested readers of the Monthly than by quoting the main portions of the statement:
"The present work on cookery appeared in England under the title of 'The Official Hand-Book of the National Training-School for Cookery,' and it contains the lessons on the preparation of food which were practised in that institution. It has been reprinted in this country with some slight revision, for the use of American families, because of its superior merits as a cookbook to be consulted in the ordinary way, and also because it is the plainest, simplest, and most perfect guide to self-education in the kitchen that has yet appeared. In this respect it represents a very marked advance in an important domestic art hitherto much neglected.
"A glance at its contents will show the ground it covers, and how fully it meets the general wants. The dishes for which it provides have been selected with an unusual degree of care and judgment. They have been chosen to meet the needs of well-to-do families, and also those of more moderate means, who must observe a strict economy. Provision is made for an ample and varied diet, and for meals of a simple and frugal character. Receipts are given for an excellent variety of soups, for cooking many kinds of fish in different ways, for the preparation of meats, poultry, game, and vegetables, and for a choice selection of entrées, souffles, puddings, jellies, and creams. Besides the courses of a well-ordered dinner, there are directions for making rolls, biscuits, bread, and numerous dishes for breakfast and tea, together with a most valuable set of directions how to prepare food for the sick. The aim has been to meet the wants of the great mass of people who are not rich enough to abandon their kitchen to the management of professional cooks, and who must keep a careful eye to expense. But, while the costly refinements of artistic and decorative cookery are avoided, there has been a constant reference to the simple requirements of good taste in the preparation of food for the table.
"But the especial merit of this volume, and the character by which it stands alone among cook-books, is the superior method it offers of teaching the art of practical cookery. It is at this vital point that all our current cook-books break down; they make no provision for getting a knowledge of this subject in any systematic way. So much in them is vague, so much taken for granted, and so much is loose, careless, and misleading, in their receipts, that they are good for nothing to teach beginners, good for nothing as guides to successful practice, and only of use to those who already know enough to supply their deficiencies and protect themselves against their errors. In fact, the hand-book required to teach cookery effectually cannot be made by any single person in the usual manner, but it must be itself a product of such teaching.
"The present volume originated in this way, and embodies a tried and successful method of making good practical cooks. The lessons given in the following pages came from a training-kitchen for pupils of all grades, and the directions of its receipts are so minute, explicit, distinct, and complete, that they may be followed with ease by every person of common-sense who has the slightest desire to learn. They are the results of long and careful practice in teaching beginners how to cook, and have grown out of exercises often repeated with a view of making them as perfect as possible. It is commonly regarded as a good thing in a cook-book that its compiler has tested some of its receipts, and points out the troubles and failures likely to occur in early trials. But the completeness of the instructions in this work was attained through the stupidities, blunders, mistakes, questionings, and