American Cookery The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry, and Vegetables

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Excerpt PREFACE. As this treatise is calculated for the improvement of the rising generation of Females in America, the Lady of fashion and fortune will not be displeased, if many hints are suggested for the more general and universal knowledge of those females in this country, who by the loss of their parents, or other unfortunate circumstances, are reduced to the necessity of going into families in the line of domestics, or taking refuge with their friends or relations, and doing those things which are really essential to the perfecting them as good wives, and useful members of society. The orphan, tho' left to the care of virtuous guardians, will find it essentially necessary to have an opinion and determination of her own. The world, and the fashion thereof, is so variable, that old people cannot accommodate themselves to the various changes and fashions which daily occur; they will adhere to the fashion of their day, and will not surrender their attachments to the good old way—while the young and the gay, bend and conform readily to the taste of the times, and fancy of the hour. By having an opinion and determination, I would not be understood to mean an obstinate perseverance in trifles, which borders on obstinacy—by no means, but only an adherence to those rules and maxims which have flood the test of ages, and will forever establish the female character, a virtuous character—altho' they conform to the ruling taste of the age in cookery, dress, language, manners, &c. It must ever remain a check upon the poor solitary orphan, that while those females who have parents, or brothers, or riches, to defend their indiscretions, that the orphan must depend solely upon character. How immensely important, therefore, that every action, every word, every thought, be regulated by the strictest purity, and that every movement meet the approbation of the good and wise. The candor of the American Ladies is solicitously intreated by the Authoress, as she is circumscribed in her knowledge, this being an original work in this country. Should any future editions appear, she hopes to render it more valuable. [Illustration] DIRECTIONS for CATERING, or the procuring the best VIANDS, FISH, &c. How to choose Flesh. BEEF. The large stall fed ox beef is the best, it has a coarse open grain, and oily smoothness; dent it with your finger and it will immediately rise again; if old, it will be rough and spungy, and the dent remain. Cow Beef is less boned, and generally more tender and juicy than the ox, in America, which is used to labor. Of almost every species of Animals, Birds and Fishes, the female is the tenderest, the richest flavour'd, and among poultry the soonest fattened. Mutton, grass-fed, is good two or three years old. Lamb, if under six months is rich, and no danger of imposition; it may be known by its size, in distinguishing either. Veal, is soon lost—great care therefore is necessary in purchasing. Veal bro't to market in panniers, or in carriages, is to be prefered to that bro't in bags, and flouncing on a sweaty horse....
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