“THE FIRST DUTY of the mistress after breakfast is to give her orders for the day, and she naturally begins with the cook.
ON ENTERING THE KITCHEN, invariably say, “Good morning, cook” (a courtesy much appreciated below stairs), go into the larder—do not give a mere glance, careless or nervous, as the case may be, but examine every article there; never let anything that displeases your neat eye pass: it is much easier to correct as you go along, than to overburden a maid with directions or reprimands. Do not allow any shy fear of strangers, as new servants of course are, to interfere with the careful discharge of your duties as a wife and mistress of the household. Look in the bread-pan and see that there is no waste. After all joints a good basin of dripping ought to be in the larder.
IN ORDERING DINNER it is best to write down what you intend having; for instance, one o’clock dinner, “Cold beef, potatoes, greens, apple pudding;” six (seven or eight) o’clock dinner, “Julienne soup, fish, roast fowl, gravy, bread sauce, boiled bacon, browned potatoes, spinach, plum tart, custard pudding. Another good result from writing down the dinner; it keeps both mistress and cook up to the mark in seeing that every proper accompaniment to a dish is served with it.”
The first edition of Mrs. Beeton’s book was published when she was only twenty-five. Unfortunately, she died before for turning thirty. To read more about her eventful life, see Kathryn Hughes, The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton (New York: Knopf, 2006). Firestone Library TX140.B4 H84 2006