THE housekeeper who is wise in her day and generation sees to it that the dishes she prepares are attractive in appearance and interesting in flavor. Flat-tasting food, prosaically served, is one of the chief causes of malnutrition so common among the adults and children of today. The following list will suggest some of the general supplies every cook should have who wants to place palatable, appetizing dishes before her family.
Onion flavor (salt or extract), celery flavor (salt or extract), Worcestershire sauce, catsup or chili sauce, Kitchen Bouquet, salad dressing, pimientos (Spanish sweet pepper), meat extracts (page 4), and the usual spices and herbs (including bay-leaf and thyme) are indispensable. In addition, prepared mustard, horseradish, capers, chutneys, curry powder, chopped green relish, canned or dried mushrooms or mushroom powder will be most useful.
Besides a generous supply of flavoring extracts, all or part of the following will be of use; shelled nuts, salted nuts, peanut butter, olives and pickles (page 3), dates and raisins, maraschino cherries, marshmallows, maple sirup (or extract), ginger (crytallized and preserved), coffee extract or powder, peppermint candies, candied fruits.
Milk (condensed, evaporated or dried), egg powder, shortening, gelatine and jelly powders, rennet or junket tablets, powdered and brown sugar and such staples as coconut, cocoa, chocolate and cornstarch.
As lettuce, cabbage, green pepper, parsley, watercress, celery, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes—one or more of these on hand will increase the possibilities of quick catering. They must of course be used before they deteriorate, and a new supply purchased to take their place.
Certain articles frequently used in cooking can be prepared in free moments and packed away in bottles or glass jars, ready for immediate use in emergencies. Among these are: bread or cracker crumbs; grated cheese; dried parsley; chopped nuts; a mixture of cinnamon (1 tablespoon) and sugar (2 tablespoons) ; dates pitted and cut into pieces; ginger, figs and raisins cut into small pieces; caramel sirup; sugar sirup (see page 13).
Note:—Catsups, pickles, sauces and salad dressing used wherever possible simplify the process of seasoning as they are already highly seasoned.