You must permit me to offer a word of explanation and of apology in inviting your attention to this pamphlet. It is based upon the supposition of no school and no traditions of good cooking. Now these do exist in the great centres from New York to California, and even perfect cooking can be found in places remote from capital towns, in Louisiana, Maryland, and Long Island, because of the tradition having been kept alive through gene-rations. But, alas, " messy " cooking has of late years crept in to an alarming extent, and it is against this that I am warning you; hence, I feel justified in presenting to you an extreme view of the existing state of things, a caricature, perhaps, but still true enough as regards the great majority of Anglo-Saxon feeders.
To you, familiar as you are with the broiler, the grill, and the chafing dish, I need hardly whisper: Do not fry or bake meats; but I wish to preach simplicity, and to inspire you with the desire of studying this important subject more or less yourself, instead of leaving everything to jour excellent and well-paid cook.
As to the variety I urge, it will prove a much easier task for you than for your British cousin, because you have everything he possesses except the sole, and you have an enormous variety besides, unless it be perhaps an occasional canvas-back, or a dish of terrapin that found its way across, the gift of a friend.
The Gaul has the advantage of you in the matter of truffles-I do not admit goose livers, because, if you chose, you could have as good as ever were reared in Alsace; you have only to stuff your bird with Indian corn in the Alsatian fashion, if the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would let you.
On the other hand, neither Gaul nor Briton can boast the glorious variety of food offered by the American Continent-variety so great that entrees become comparatively an easy question to solve. I do not feel the need of a made dish, secundum artem, if you give me a soft shell crab; and who would want a salmi of game, if you give him a grass-plover or a canvas-back ? The hard crab in mid-winter is, by the way, a shellfish unapproached by any in Europe, and contains (I mean the female) the richest, sweetest, and most digestible fat I know.
The tiny clam, raw or stewed, is also an advantage you have over your cousins, but it is only in the knowledge of its excellence, because the clam (and the soft clam, too) exist in abundance on the coast of Ireland and Scotland, only the natives would rather starve than eat them.
The only source of danger with you is that you will but too often be tempted to have vegetables or fruit out of season and when not fully matured. I know you do not mind what the cost may be, provided you have a primeur to set before your guests, but I maintain a good sound Newtown pippin is better than strawberries tasting of straw.
Your larder is so bounteously filled with good things of all kinds that you may succeed with only a moderate amount of judgment and care on your part in putting a good dinner before your friends, and I hope the very few principles I attempt to lay down may enable you to produce your most excellent victuals in a simple and, notwithstanding the simplicity, in their most succulent form,
Rice cakes. Buckwheat cakes.
But no syrup.
Hot corn bread.
Besides oysters, Little-neck Clams. Soups, Chicken with fresh Okra.
Green peppers, stuffed. „ „ with Tomato Sauce.