Choice cookery is not intended for households that have to study economy, except where economy is a relative term; where, perhaps, the housekeeper could easily spend a dollar for the materials of a luxury, but could not spare the four or five dollars a caterer would charge.
Many families enjoy giving little dinners, or otherwise exercising hospitality, but are debarred from doing so by the fact that anything beyond the ordinary daily fare has to be ordered in, or an expensive extra cook engaged. And although we may regret that hospitality should ever be dependent on fine cooking, we have to take things as they are. It is not every hostess who loves simplicity that dares to practise it.
It was to help the women who wish to know at a glance what is newest and best in modern cookery that these chapters were written for Harper’s Bazar, and are now gathered into a book. It is hoped by the writer that the copious details and simplification of different matters will enable those who have already achieved success in the plainer branches of cookery to venture further, and realize for themselves that it is only the “first step that costs.” – Summary by the Preface
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