Of being on good terms with your cook, and of judicious criticism and praise-On studying the literature of cookery.
I hope you have now arrived at the conclusion that you ought not to be above taking a very close interest in cookery. And why, indeed, should you be above doing so ? Does not your health depend upon your getting properly cooked and inviting food ? Are you one of the favoured few who lead an out-of-door life and who take sufficient exercise to assimilate coarse fare ?
And you, dear madam, let me urge you to consider the importance of an attractive dinner table if you wish to keep your husband from his club. Be persuaded by me that a small-comparatively very small-amount of attention and study will assuredly accomplish success. Do not fear, having once trained your cook in your own sensible ways, that your time and trouble will be lost, for the tradition of good cooking, once established, will survive in your kitchen. Naturally, you and she have become better acquainted through a mutual interest in the art of cookery, and you are, I trust, on excellent terms with one another. You will never withhold praise from her, when praise is due, and you will never criticise her achievements without assigning good reasons for your remarks and without being able to set her on the right track. Do not doubt your ability to do so, for you will be surprised yourself how quickly you will learn, if you use your palate with intelligence, and if you read such works as Sir Henry Thompson's * admirable book on " Food and Feeding," Mr. Theodore Child's volume, "Delicate Dining," and A. Hayward's* "Art of Dining," with Gouffe's classical " Livre de Cuisine," as a work of reference whenever you happen to be in doubt. But, above all, you must give five minutes to Thackeray's chapter on "Great and Little Dinners " (" Mr. Brown's Letters to his Nephew ").
* Sir Henry Thompson, " Food and Feeding." F. Warne and Co. 1891.
± Theodore Child, " Delicate Dining." J. B. Osgood, Mcllvaine and Co. 1891.
* A. Hayward, "Art of Dining." J. Murray. 1883. J. Goufite, " Le Livre de Cuisine." Hachette and Co. 1888.