1906 Kitchen

Excerpt from The Complete Home, 1906

kitchen plans 1907

THE KITCHEN
The old condition of “Queen-Anne-in-the-front-and-Mary-Ann-in-the-back” in the home furnishing, when the largest outlay of money and taste was put into the “front room” and the kitchen took the hindermost, has gradually given way before the fact that a woman is known, not by the drawing-room, but by the kitchen, she keeps. Given the requisite qualifications for the proper furnishing, care, and ordering of her kitchen, and it can usually be said of her with truth that she is mistress of the entire home-making and home-keeping situation. If any one room in the home was conceived solely for the relief of man’s estate, that room is the kitchen, and it has supplied the energy which has sent forth many a one to fight a winning battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil; and while it is, alas, too true that it is the rock upon which many a domestic ship has gone to pieces, it is the true foundation of the home and, therefore, of the nation. Wherefore let us first look well to our kitchens and then live up to them.

The Dining Room and the Kitchen
Vastness is not essential to the dining room. Under usual conditions we are not likely to seat more than a dozen persons at our table, and a dinner party exceeding that number is too large for common enjoyment. Connection with the kitchen should be convenient without having the proximity too obvious. City kitchens are now usually made just large enough to accommodate required paraphernalia and to afford sufficient freeway for the cook. Many families do no home baking, and where fruit and vegetables are preserved the basement is utilized. Compactness in the kitchen saves hundreds of steps in the course of a day, and though it is difficult for us to forget the spacious room thought necessary by our parents, we may well learn, for our own comfort, to profit by the modern reasoning that opposes waste space. Still, it is better to defy modern tendencies and even to pain the architect than that the faithful house-keeper who clings tenaciously to the old idea should be made miserable. Some persons feel perpetually cramped in a small room, whereas others only note the snugness of it.

THE PLAN
The kitchen of our grandmothers was a large, rambling affair, with numerous storerooms, closets, and pantries, the care of which involved a stupendous outlay of time and strength. But the demands of our modern and more strenuous life necessitate strict economy of both, and the result is a kitchen sufficiently large for all practical purposes, with every space utilized and everything convenient to the hand. The amount of woodwork is reduced to a minimum, since wood is a harboring place for insects and germs. Where it must be used it is of hard wood, or of pine painted and varnished, the varnish destroying those qualities in paint which are deleterious to health. The plumbing must be open, with no dark corners in which dust may hide. Odors from cooking pass out through a register in the chimney, and ventilation is afforded by transom and window. Blessed indeed is the kitchen with opposite windows, which insure a perfect circulation of air. So much for the general working plan.

[For the kitchen hard maple is found to serve well. One may not find it amiss to inquire into the merits and costs of composition and rubber tiling, but they are not essential to comfort and cleanliness. Here we are concerned with essentials; it is fully understood that we have our own permission to go farther afield in pursuit of more costly things if we choose. ]

LOCATION AND FINISH
For some reason best known to themselves architects almost invariably give to the kitchen the location with the least agreeable outlook, sun and scenery being seemingly designed for the exclusive use of living and dining rooms; whereas the housekeeper realizes the great value of the sun as an aid to sanitation and as a soul strengthener, and wishes that its beneficent influence might be shed over kitchen, cook, and cookery. But the frequent impossibility of this only increases the necessity for simulating sunshine within, and so we select cream white, warm, light grays or browns, Indian red, or bronze green—which is particularly good with oak woodwork—for walls and ceilings. Waterproof paper may be used, but is not particularly durable. Far better is the enameled paint, requiring three coats, or painted burlap. Or our thoughts may turn with longing to a white-tiled kitchen, with its air of spotless purity, but, too often, “beyond the reach of you and me.” Why not substitute for it the white marbled oilcloth which produces much the same effect, and can be smoothly fitted if a little glue is added to the paste with which it is put on? A combination of white woodwork with blue walls and ceiling is charming, particularly where the blue-enameled porcelain-lined cooking utensils are used, and the same idea can be carried out in the floor covering. White with yellow is also dainty. Calcimine is not desirable in the kitchen, as it cannot be cleaned and is, therefore, unsanitary. Two tablespoonfuls of kerosene added to the cleaning water will keep woodwork, walls, and ceilings fresh and glossy. A long-handled mopholder fitted with a coarse carriage sponge will facilitate the cleaning of the latter.

[For the kitchen, painted walls, which can be easily wiped off, and resist steam, are preferable to calcimine. Tiling halfway up will be found still better, but tiling paper, which costs more than painting, is scarcely to be chosen]

THE FLOOR
Despite the fact that we are enjoined to “look up, not down,” the floor seems to be the focal point to anyone entering the kitchen, and it becomes a source of pride or humiliation to the occupant according to its condition. A beautiful, snowy hardwood floor, “clean enough to eat on,” is a delight, but it has such an insatiable appetite for spots after the newness has worn off that it requires frequent scrubbing—twice a week at least—and on a dry day, if possible, with doors and windows opened during the operation, all of which means energy misapplied. To be sure, the new “colonial” cotton-rag rugs, woven in harmony with the general color scheme, protect the floor and help to relieve the strain of much standing, and can he washed and dried as satisfactorily as any piece of cotton cloth; while raw oil, applied with a soft cloth or a handful of waste every two months, will keep the floor in good condition. But the housekeeper who chooses the better part covers her floor with linoleum at comparatively small cost, a piece good both in quality and design selling at 60 cents a square yard. In this, too, the color idea can be carried out, the smaller designs being preferable. Neutral tints follow wood-carpeting designs, are neat, and less apt to soil than the lighter patterns. It is a wise plan in buying to allow enough linoleum for three smaller pieces to be placed before stove, table, and sink, thus saving wear and tear on the large piece. Thus covered, the floor is easily cleaned with a damp cloth. It must be thoroughly swept once a day, followed by a general dusting of the room, with brushings up between times.

THE WINDOWS
Kitchen windows must he washed once a week—oftener in fly time. A dainty valance, or sash curtains of muslin, dimity, or other summer wash goods, give an attractive and homey touch to the room. Each window should have a shade with a double fixture, fastened at the middle of the casement and adjusted upward and below from that point.

THE SINK
The sink, unless it is porcelain-lined, should be kept well painted and enameled, white being preferable to any color. Faucets can be kept bright by rubbing with whiting and alcohol, followed by a vigorous polishing with a bit of flannel. It surely cannot be necessary to suggest the dangers arising from an untidy sink in which refuse of various kinds—tea leaves, coffee grounds, vegetable parings, and the like—is allowed to accumulate. Unsanitary conditions about the sink not only are unsightly, but attract roaches and breed germs which are a menace to life and health. The rinsing water from coffee and tea pots and cooking utensils should be poured into the sink strainer, which catches the odds and ends of refuse and keeps them from clogging the drain pipe. Grease must never be poured into the sink, nor dish nor cleaning cloths used after they are worn enough to shed lint. Boiling water and ammonia should be poured down the drain pipe once a day, which treatment must be supplemented once a week with a dose of disinfectant—chloride of lime, copperas, or potash in boiling water. An occasional inspection by a plumber makes assurance doubly sure that the condition of the drain pipe is as it should be. All refuse ought to be burned at once or put into a covered garbage can and disposed of as soon as possible. The can itself must be scalded every day with sal soda water, thoroughly dried, and lined with thick, clean paper.

THE PANTRY
The same treatment accorded the kitchen in decoration and care must be bestowed also upon the pantry, which should be dry and well ventilated. After a thorough scrubbing with soap and water, with the aid of a dish mop rinse the shelves with boiling water, dry carefully, and cover with plain white paper, using the ornamental shelf paper for the edges. White table oilcloth makes a good covering, and comes specially prepared with a fancy border for that purpose. The convenient pantry is equipped with both shelves and drawers, the latter to contain the neatly folded piles of dish, glass, and hand towels, cheesecloth dusters, holders, and cleaning cloths. There are usually four shelves, the top one being reserved for articles of infrequent use. On the others are arranged the kitchen dishes, pans, and all utensils which do not hang, together with jars and cans containing food. Leave nothing in paper bags or boxes to attract insects, soil the shelves, and give a disorderly appearance to an otherwise tidy pantry. Glass fruit jars are desirable repositories for small dry groceries—tea, coffee, rice, tapioca, raisins, currants, and the like—though very dainty and serviceable covered porcelain jars in blue and white are made especially for this purpose, those of medium size costing 25 cents each, the smaller ones less, the larger more. Jars or cans of japanned tin, designed for like use, are less expensive, but also less attractive, and in the course of time are liable to rust, particularly in summer, or where the climate is at all damp. The shelves should be wiped off and regulated once a week, and crockery and utensils kept as bright and shining as plenty of soap and hot water can make them. The pantry requires special care during the summer, when dust and flies are prone to corrupt its spotlessness. A wall pocket hung on the door will be found a convenient dropping place for twine, scissors, and papers.

[In the kitchen and pantries the lights should be considered in detail so that all the various operations may be served. Shadowed sinks and ranges and dark pantries are not necessary where there is electric light.]

[Household linens must include, too, the 6 barred-linen kitchen towels at 10, 12, or 15 cents a yard, for drying silver and glass; and 6 heavier towels, either barred or crash, for china and other ware, at the same price, with 3 roller towels at 10 cents per yard]

THE REFRIGERATOR AND ITS CARE
The refrigerator may or may not stand in the pantry, according to convenience, or as there is sewer connection for it. Some authorities maintain that there is grave danger from sewer gas where the refrigerator is connected directly with the sewer, and that, therefore, the only safe way to dispose of the waste water is to catch it in a pan placed beneath the refrigerator, unless the house is so built that the waste pipe can be continued down into the cellar and there empty its contents into a sink. A good, zinc-lined refrigerator, interlined with charcoal, with a hundred-pound capacity, a removable ice pan, which facilitates cleaning, and three shelves, is to be had for $16.50. In selecting a refrigerator it is well to choose one of medium size, as a larger one entails waste of ice, while a smaller necessitates the placing near together of foods which should be kept apart, as butter and milk with fish, fruit, etc. If one cares to invest in the higher-priced refrigerators, of course those lined with tile, porcelain, or enamel are very desirable, as they are easily kept clean and do not absorb odors. But for the average income and use, a first-class zinc-lined refrigerator answers every purpose. It should be thoroughly cleansed, on the mornings when the ice is to be renewed, with hot sal soda water followed by a cold bath and a thorough drying. The drain pipe must not be overlooked, but given the same sal soda treatment, otherwise it becomes coated and a fruitful source of germs. If, after this has been done, a musty odor still clings about the refrigerator, remove the shelves and boil in the clothes boiler for twenty minutes. Pieces of charcoal placed in the corners of the refrigerator and frequently renewed will absorb much of the odor. Never place warm food in the refrigerator, nor food of any kind on the shelves, unless it is first placed on a plate or platter. It is economy to keep the ice chamber well filled, and all ice should be well washed before being placed therein. Some housekeepers cover the ice, with newspapers or carpet. This no doubt helps to preserve it, but it also keeps the cold from the food chambers. No food and nothing containing it should ever be placed directly on the ice.

FURNISHING THE KITCHEN
And now, having cleaned and decorated our kitchen and pantry, and provided for the refrigeration and partial disposal of our food, suppose we turn our attention to the fascinating task of selecting the different parts of the machinery which turns out that finished masterpiece—a perfect meal—bearing in mind in the meantime that the saying, “Art is the expression of joy in one’s work,” applies to nothing more truly than to the art of cookery, and that no tools necessary to its perfect success nor to her comfort and convenience should be denied that master artist, the cook, be she mistress or maid.

THE STOVE
Of paramount importance is, of course, the stove, and what kind it shall be, whether gas, coal, or oil. Those of us who have grown accustomed to the immunity from those inevitable accompaniments of a coal range, ashes, soot, dust, and heat, afforded by the gas range, with its easily regulated broiler and oven, could hardly be persuaded to go back to first principles, as it were, and the coal range. But when this is necessary, either for warmth or because there is no gas connection in the house, one has a wide choice of first-class stoves and can hardly go astray in selecting one. Twenty-one dollars will buy a good, durable stove with all modern improvements and a large oven. A stove with the same capacity but manufactured under a world-famous name sells for $32, while between the two in price is one at $28. Two firms manufacture, in connection with their regular line of ranges, a three-plate gas stove which can be attached directly to the range, and sells for $6. A portable steel oven, covering two burners, for use on gas and oil stoves alike, adds to the convenience of the gas plate, and sells for $2. If a gas range is desired, an excellent one with a large oven, broiler, and all conveniences may be purchased for $18, one with a smaller oven for $15. It might be well to suggest in passing that a small oven is poor economy. Water backs, for both gas and coal ranges, are $3.50 each. Where gas is unobtainable a three-burner wickless oil-stove plate will be found to give very good satisfaction, and can be placed on the coal range or on a table or box. The range of the same capacity is $1 more, with an increase in price corresponding with the number of burners, until we have the five-burner stove at $11. To do away with the odor which is apt to result from the use of oil as fuel, remove the burners, boil in sal soda water, dry thoroughly, and return to the stove. In setting up a stove look carefully to it that the height is right, otherwise the cook’s back is sure to suffer. If too low, blocks can be placed under the legs to raise it to a comfortable height. A whisk broom hung near the stove is useful in removing crumbs, dust, etc., and keeping it tidy. A rack behind the stove, on which to hang the spoons and forks used in cooking, is a great convenience and a saving to the table top.

THE TABLE AND ITS CARE
The table should stand on casters and be placed in a good light as far from the stove as may be. The latest product of the manufacturer’s genius in this line contains two drawers—one spaced off into compartments for the different knives, forks, and spoons for kitchen use—a molding board, and three zinc-lined bins, one large one for wheat flour, and two smaller one for graham flour, corn meal, etc. When one considers the economy of steps between kitchen and pantry which it makes possible, its price, $6.75, is not large, while it obviates the necessity for purchasing bins and molding board. Our friend, the white table oilcloth, tacked smoothly in place, gives a dainty top which is easily kept clean with a damp cloth—another labor-saving device, which stands between cook and scrubbing brush. A zinc table cover is preferred by some housewives, as it absorbs no grease and is readily brightened with scouring soap and hot water. Separate zinc-covered table tops can be had for $1.50. The marble-topped table is not desirable, for, though it undoubtedly is an aid to the making of good pastry, it stains easily, dissolves in some acids, and clogs with oils. The easiest way to keep the table clean and neat is simply to—keep it so. When the mixing of cake, pudding, etc., is in process, a large bowl should be near at hand, and into it should go egg beater, spoons, and forks when the cook is through using them, after which they, with all other soiled utensils, should be carried to the sink, washed, dried, and put away. Never lay eggshells upon the table nor allow anything to dry on the utensils. If, as occasionally happens even in the best-regulated kitchens, one is baking in too great a hurry to observe all these precautions, a heavy paper spread on the table will catch all the droppings and can be rolled up and burned. Jars containing sugar, spices, etc., which have been in use, should be wiped with a damp cloth before returning to the pantry.

THE CHAIRS
The first aid to the cook should be at least one comfortable chair, neither a rocking chair nor one upholstered, both of which are out of place in the kitchen; but one low enough to rest in easily while shelling peas or doing some of the numerous tasks which do not require the use of the table. A chair of this kind has a cane seat and high back and can be purchased for $1.25, the other chair to be of the regulation kitchen style at 55 cents. The second aid is a 24-inch office stool at 85 cents, for use while washing dishes, preparing vegetables, etc. This sort of a stool is light, easily moved about, and means a great saving in strength. Though it has sometimes been dubbed a “nuisance” by the uninitiated, the woman who has learned its value finds it a very present help and wonders how she ever did without it.

THE KITCHEN CABINET
Occasionally it happens that a house is built with such slight regard for pantry room that we are constrained to wonder if, at the last minute, the pantry was not tucked into a little space for which there was absolutely no other use, and there left to be a means of grace to the thrifty housewife, whose pride it is to see her pots and pans in orderly array and with plenty of room to shine in. At this point there comes to her rescue the kitchen cabinet, which not only relieves the congestion in the pantry, but adds in no small measure to the attractiveness of the kitchen. These cabinets come in the natural woods, and should, as nearly as possible, match the woodwork of the kitchen. Many have the satin finish which renders them impervious to grease, and all are fitted out with molding boards, shelves, cupboards, and drawers of various sizes. So convenient is a cabinet of this kind, and so economical of steps, that it might well be called “the complete housewife.” First and foremost, it accommodates the kitchen dishes, plates, platters, and saucers, standing on edge of course, with cups hanging from small hooks, and pitchers, bowls, etc., variously arranged. Then come the jars of spice, sugar, salt, tea, and coffee—all groceries, in fact, which are in most frequent use. Where the decorative design in both jars and dishes is carried out in the blue and white, with a utensil or two of the same coloring, the effect is truly charming, though this is, of course, a matter of individual taste. The cupboards are handy hiding places for the less ornamental bottles, brushes, etc., while the base, which is really nothing more nor less than a very complete kitchen table, usually has a shelf for kettles, stone jars, etc. A good cabinet can be had for $10, a more commodious one for $16, and so on. The cabinets without bases range from a tiny one, just large enough to hold six spice jars, at $1, to one, with five drawers, shelves, and cupboards with glass doors, for $6. Any price beyond this simply means elaboration of design without additional increase of capacity or convenience.

KITCHEN UTENSILS
In selecting dishes and cooking utensils it is well to remember that cheapness does not always spell economy, and that one buys not alone for the present, but for the future as well. Utensils which require scouring are not economical, either, for scouring is friction, and “friction means loss of energy.” Scouring has gone out with the heavy ironware which required it, in whose stead we have the pretty porcelain enamel ware and the less expensive agate ware, both of which need only a thorough washing in hot, soapy water, rinsing in boiling water, and careful drying. Ware of this kind helps to produce the kitchen restful, and so, indirectly, the cook rested. A well-cared-for kitchen is always more or less attractive, but why not make it rather more so than less? Taste and harmony add nothing to the expense of furnishing, and there is a certain dignity and inspiration, as well as satisfaction, in being able to “bring forth butter in a lordly dish.” Kitchen crockery is being rapidly supplanted by the porcelain enamel dishes, which, though rather more expensive in the beginning, are unbreakable, and so cheaper in the long run. They are even invading the domain of the faithful yellow mixing bowl and becoming decidedly popular therein, being light in weight and more easily handled. The complete equipment of the kitchen is a more costly operation than one is apt to imagine, individual items amounting comparatively to so little. But the sum total is usually a rather surprising figure. And so, remembering that Rome was not built in a day, carefully select those things which are really the essentials of every day, adding the useful non-essentials bit by bit. The size and number of utensils must be governed by the size of the family in which they are to be used. Never buy anything of copper for kitchen use, as the rust to which it is liable is a dangerous poison. There is one utensil only which is better to be of iron—the soup kettle—as it makes possible the slow simmering which is necessary for good soups and stews. It is not worth while to buy knives of anything but wrought steel, which are best cleaned with pumice stone. Cheesecloth for fish bags and strainers, and strong cotton for pudding bags must not be overlooked.

And so, with kitchen complete, artistic, and satisfactory in every detail, it remains but to emphasize two facts—that perfect cleanliness is absolutely essential to health, and that she who looketh well to the ways of her kitchen eateth not the bread of idleness.

The following list may be too extensive for some purposes, not suited to others, but out of it the new housekeeper can select what she thinks her establishment will need, and estimate the price of stocking her kitchen with those necessaries which make for good housekeeping:

1 dozen individual jelly molds…………………… $0.60
1 griddle……………………………………… .35
1 small funnel…………………………………. .03
1 large funnel…………………………………. .06
1 gas toaster………………………………….. .55
1 coal toaster…………………………………. .08
1 gas broiler………………………………….. .65
1 coal broiler…………………………………. .32
1 six-quart iron soup kettle…………………….. 1.50
1 skimmer……………………………………… .14
1 small ladle………………………………….. .09
1 porcelain enamel dipper……………………….. .40
1 porcelain enamel sink strainer…………………. .40
1 towel rack…………………………………… .10
1 clock……………………………………….. 1.00
1 purée sieve, with pestle………………………. .18
2 galvanized iron refrigerator pans………………. .50
1 dozen dish towels…………………………….. 1.20
6 dishcloths…………………………………… .30
1 set of scales………………………………… .95
1 vegetable slicer……………………………… .25
2 butter paddles……………………………….. .12
1 can opener…………………………………… .08
1 potato ricer…………………………………. .25
1 apple corer………………………………….. .05
1 chopping bowl………………………………… .15
1 tea kettle…………………………………… 1.05
1 ice pick…………………………………….. .12
1 pair scissors………………………………… .23
1 scrub brush………………………………….. .20
1 sink brush…………………………………… .08
1 mop handle…………………………………… .38
1 oil can……………………………………… .35
1 whisk broom………………………………….. .15
1 small porcelain enamel pitcher…………………. .26
1 two-quart porcelain enamel pitcher……………… .55
1 cake turner………………………………….. .08
1 porcelain enamel wash basin……………………. .28
1 potato scoop…………………………………. .18
1 towel roller…………………………………. .10
1 rolling-pin………………………………….. .15
1 four-quart porcelain enamel saucepan, with cover…. .57
1 eight-quart porcelain enamel bread bowl…………. .72
1 gravy strainer……………………………….. .18
1 nutmeg grater………………………………… .09
1 spatula……………………………………… .25
1 egg beater…………………………………… .10
1 dish mop…………………………………….. .05
2 iron baking pans……………………………… .20
1 collander……………………………………. .35
1 ten-inch porcelain enamel bowl…………………. .35
2 eight-inch porcelain enamel bowls………………. .48
3 five-inch porcelain enamel bowls……………….. .33
1 fryer and basket……………………………… 1.50
4 bread pans…………………………………… .60
1 two-quart double boiler……………………….. .95
2 dish pans (agate)…………………………….. 1.10
1 omelet pan…………………………………… .10
1 porcelain enamel teapot……………………….. .65
1 porcelain enamel coffeepot…………………….. .85
6 porcelain enamel plates……………………….. .78
1 porcelain enamel platter………………………. .40
1 porcelain enamel platter (small)……………….. .35
6 porcelain enamel cups and saucers………………. 1.14
Dredging boxes for salt, pepper, and flour………… .35
3 pie tins. …………………………………… .12
1 galvanized iron garbage can, with cover…………. .50
1 large dripping pan……………………………. .17
1 small dripping pan……………………………. .15
1 lemon squeezer……………………………….. .05
1 molding board………………………………… .40
4 layer-cake tins………………………………. .16
2 porcelain sugar jars………………………….. .50
6 porcelain spice jars………………………….. .60
1 half-pint tin cup…………………………….. .05
1 six-quart milk pan……………………………. .23
1 four-quart milk pan…………………………… .17
3 wrought-steel knives………………………….. .48
3 wrought-steel forks…………………………… .48
1 egg spoon……………………………………. .08
1 dozen muffin rings……………………………. .46
1 biscuit pan………………………………….. .25
1 round fluted cake tin…………………………. .12
2 basting spoons……………………………….. .24
6 kitchen knives……………………………….. .50
6 kitchen forks………………………………… .50
6 kitchen teaspoons…………………………….. .48
3 kitchen tablespoons…………………………… .15
3 asbestos mats………………………………… .15
1 chopping knife……………………………….. .20
1 wire dishcloth……………………………….. .12
1 flour scoop………………………………….. .19
1 sugar scoop………………………………….. .10
1 meat grinder…………………………………. 1.50
1 soap shaker………………………………….. .10
1 flour sifter…………………………………. .25
1 coffee mill………………………………….. .50
2 measuring cups……………………………….. .15
1 meat fork……………………………………. .09
1 larding needle……………………………….. .10
2 brooms………………………………………. .60
1 long-handled hair broom……………………….. 1.45
1 dustpan……………………………………… .12
1 scouring box…………………………………. .50
1 draining rack………………………………… .10
1 bread knife………………………………….. .25
1 cake knife…………………………………… .20
1 meat knife ………………………………….. .55
1 peeling knife………………………………… .10
1 bread box……………………………………. .70
1 cake box…………………………………….. .70
1 three-quart porcelain enamel saucepan…………… .36
1 oblong loaf-cake tin………………………….. .15
1 jelly mold…………………………………… .30
1 wooden spoon…………………………………. .05
1 salt box…………………………………….. .25
1 pepper box…………………………………… .10
1 graduated quart measure……………………….. .16
3 small vegetable brushes……………………….. .15
1 dozen glass fruit jars………………………… .60
2 two-quart porcelain enamel saucepans……………. 1.00
1 grater………………………………………. .18
1 paper scrub pail……………………………… .25
2 two-quart agate pans………………………….. .36

DRESS AND PERSONAL NEATNESS
Issue an edict against frowzy pompadours and “frizzes,” pointing out the necessity for having smooth, neat hair, particularly in the kitchen.

1906 TABLE FURNISHINGS
The mistress no doubt has a housewifely taste for receipts, and may, perhaps, find the following formula of service to her in her home-making:

DINING-ROOM CHEER
One set of fine, spotless table linen sprinkled—not too thickly—with pretty glass, china, and silver, and well lightened with brightness tempered to the right consistency not to dazzle. To this add a few sunny faces, some good conversation spiced with gayety—the unpalatable, distasteful portions having been previously eliminated. Then quietly and by degrees add food which has been carefully and daintily prepared and arranged. Over all scatter little flecks of kindliness and courtesy till an inward glow is produced, and keep at this point from half an hour to an hour, or longer.

This receipt may be depended upon to give satisfaction under any and all conditions, and is compounded of ingredients which exemplary home makers have always at hand. If conscientiously followed failure is impossible. “Its use is a good habit.”

STOCKING THE CHINA CUPBOARD
Of its component parts the more substantial ones are perhaps the most easily acquired; not in hit-or-miss, anything-to-get-it-done fashion, but with a view to carrying out some definite idea of table adornment, which is quite the most charming part of the home building. Dishes are more or less mixed up with poesy, which is full of “flowing bowls,” “enchanted cups,” “dishes for the gods,” “flagons of ale,” and other appetizing suggestions; and it would be rather a good thing to keep the poetry in mind during the fitting out, that there may be nothing aggressively cheap nor loudly assertive, but each piece harmoniously congenial to its fellows. There need be no hurry—that is one of the delights o’ it—and the shopping may mean only “looking,” for the good buyer believes that many dishes are to be examined but few chosen—a meat set here, a salad set there, a piece of cut glass somewhere else—here a little and there a little, with time to get acquainted with and enjoy each added treasure as it comes. It is a rare experience, this stocking the china cupboard; one likely to be prolonged through one’s entire housekeeping experience, thanks be!

THE GROUNDWORK
There is so much exquisitely patterned and inexpensive china, glass, and porcelain turned out these days that one cannot wander very far afield in buying unless she gets lost among the intricacies of castors—pickle and otherwise—ironstone china, colored and imitation cut glass, and butter dishes with domelike covers. Probably the persons who invented these have gone to join hands with the perpetrator of the red tablecloth. May their works soon follow them! Complete sets of dishes are giving way to the character and diversity imparted to the table by odd pieces and sets for different courses. However, a pretty, inexpensive set of porcelain or china—something which will bear acquaintance, and of some easily replaced standard pattern—is a good beginning, for one rarely starts out with a full equipment of fine china, and even so, there should be something stronger to bear the heaviest brunt of wear. All complete sets contain one hundred and seven pieces, and include one dozen each of dinner, breakfast, tea, soup, and butter plates, and cups and saucers of medium size, three platters of various sizes, vegetable dishes, covered and coverless, and a gravy boat. Tureen, sugar bowl, and cream pitcher, and after-dinner coffees are not included, but may be ordered extra.

The choice in everyday sets lies between plain white—preferably the French china, known as Haviland, which can be bought for $35—and the blue-and-white English porcelain of different makes—Copeland, Trenton, etc., a desirable set of which costs $15 and higher. All-white is entirely blameless from the standpoint of good taste, and has a dainty fineness in the Haviland of which one rarely tires, while it never clashes with anything else on the table. It is so infinitely preferable to cheap, gaudy decorations, so sincerely and honestly what it seems to be, that it has a certain self-respecting quality which one cannot help but admire. Blue-and-white has an attraction which has never died since it had its birth in the original Delft, which is copied so extensively now in Japan and China. And though the porcelain is but an imitation, it is a clever one, and one which leaves little to be desired in decorative value and general effect. The design may strike one at first as being a little heavy, but it improves on acquaintance, and it has been very aptly said that the fact of its having survived enthusiasm should vouch for its worth. Porcelain has a good glaze which does not readily crack or break. Advancing in the scale of cost and fineness, we come to that most beautiful of all chinas—the gold-and-white—which can be had at from $50 a set up to as high as $1,500. The gilding is in coin gold, the effect of richness tempered with chastity being carried through all grades in varying intensity. It “expresses itself beyond expression,” and is an honor to any table.

COURSE SETS
When it comes to the purchase of course sets, different tastes can find instant gratification in numberless colorings and designs. Overdecoration and large floral devices must be avoided, but any delicately expressed pattern is good, and here again the gold-and-white seems to fulfill all demands. Soup, salad, tea, butter, and other plates can be had in china from 30 cents apiece up. Articles of this kind, in a standard pattern, may be bought one or two at a time, and added to as ability permits until the set is completed. Any unusual design runs through two years, after which it can be obtained only from the factory. A dozen of each is a good number to aim at, for there will be many occasions which will call out one’s whole dish brigade and keep it actively engaged. The old joke about having to wash dishes between courses, and sending the ice cream afloat on a warm plate, really loses its amusing aspect when it becomes an actual experience. Unless the mistress prefers to serve her soup at the table, a tureen is not a necessity, but if used, it must match the soup plates. It is a somewhat fluctuating fashion, out at present. Soup plates are not the great flaring affairs of yore. They either follow the old shape, much reduced, or are in the nature of a large sauce dish. The meat set of platters, plates, and vegetable dishes comes into play at all meals, tea plates can be put to a variety of uses—in fact, many dishes supplement one another at a saving of expense and numbers. If one has a handsome glass bowl sufficiently large, a special salad bowl is not an essential, but a china bowl demands plates to match. Hand-painted china, in sets or odd pieces, is pretty—sometimes—if artistically designed and perfectly executed, but a little goes a long way. Don’t be the innocent victim of some well-meaning relative with the china-painting bee. Gently but firmly refuse to sacrifice the beauty of your table to family ties; they ought to be able to stand the strain, but your table cannot.

ODD PIECES
Japanese and Chinese ware is steadily gaining in favor—another instance in which imitation is permissible, for the “real thing” is undoubtedly costly. The quaint conceits in creams and sugars, chocolate pots, bonbon dishes, and plates, with their storks and chrysanthemums, their almond-eyed damsels and mandarins, are always interesting. The fad of odd cups and saucers is fast developing into a fixed fashion, and a good one, which is a particular boon to the giver of gifts on Christmas and other anniversaries when “presents endear absents.” Pretty styles in all sizes of different French, German, and English makes can be found at 50 cents and up, with special reductions at sale times. Larger plates, to accommodate both the slice of bread and the butter ball, have taken the place of the tiny butter plate, and should properly match the meat set. A touch of gold with any china decoration gives it a certain character and richness. The chop platter—among the nice-to-haves and bought as an odd piece—belongs in the lightning change category, for it may serve us our chops and peas during the first course, our molded jelly salad during the second, and our brick of ice cream or other dessert during the third. The range in price is from $1 up to $5 and $6 for the choicest designs. Then there are berry sets of a bowl and six saucers, both being turned to account for different uses, and costing in Haviland as low as $1.75. And there must be some small bowls or large sauce dishes for breakfast use, if our housewife is cereally inclined, and a china tile or two on little legs to go under the coffee and tea pots. The china pudding dish, with its tray and its heat-proof baking pan, is a pretty and convenient accessory, saving the bother of veiling the crackled complexion of the ordinary baking dish with a napkin, These cannot be had for less than $3.50 and are made in silver also, minus the tray and plus a cover. The teapot, true symbol of hospitality, has come down from the high estate to which it was formerly created, and is a fat, squatty affair now. Dainty sets of teapot, cream, and sugar matching—a nobby little outfit—are to be had for $2, in gold-and-white, $3, etc. There are after-dinner coffee sets, too. Needless to say there must not be even the slightest acquaintance between fine china or porcelain and the hot oven if you value their glaze.

Photo, above: Wedgwood pottery, and silver of antique design.

SILVER AND PLATE
Of the purchase of silver there is little to say. Unless her friends have been very generous in their gifts of solid ware, the mistress usually acquires it a little at a time, contenting herself with the plated for general use. Here the souvenir fork or spoon frequently steps into the breach, but in default of any other, good shining plated ware presents just as good an appearance as the solid and serves every purpose until the plate begins to show wear, when it should be renewed without delay. The plainer the pattern the better. Medium-sized knives and forks of the best Rogers triple plate sell for $7 a dozen, teas for 10 cents less, fruit knives for $3. Teaspoons in the dainty Seville pattern, with only a beaded trimming around the handle, are $4 a dozen, dessert spoons $3.25 a half dozen, and tablespoons $3.75. A gravy ladle costs $1.25. The infinite variety of odd forks and spoons for various uses is best acquired with the other solid silver. Plated ware ought never to serve acids nor top salt shakers, since both acid, and salt when damp, corrode the plating. Solid salt and pepper shakers can be had as low as $1 a pair, cut glass with solid tops for $1 and $1.50. If individual salt dishes are used, they must be accompanied by tiny solid salt spoons at 35 cents apiece and up. Very nice though not altogether necessary accompaniments of the bread-and-butter plates are the individual butter knives at $10 a dozen.

If steel-bladed knives are preferred to silver, the medium size, with composition handles of celluloid and rubber, are $4.50 a dozen, with accompanying forks with silver-plated tines at $7.50. The carving knife, broad, long, and strong, with its fork, good steel both, can be had for $2.75, with a game knife, its blade short and pointed and its handle long, with its fork, $2.50.

GLASS
Cut glass is another of the can-do-withouts, except, perhaps, the carafe, now used instead of the old-fashioned water pitcher, at $3, $3.50, etc.; cruets for vinegar and oil, simply cut and in good style, for as low as $1.50 each; and the finger bowls, one for each person. The last, of thin crystal and perfectly plain save for a sunburst of cutting underneath, are $3 a dozen, with others more elaborate, and costly in proportion. Tumblers, thin, dainty, and delightful, cut a little at the bottom, are $1.50 a dozen, and far pleasanter to drink from than their elaborately cut and artistic brethren. Occasionally a pretty little olive dish can be picked up for as low as $1.50 or $2, but rather perfect and inoffensive plainness than imitation cut, cheap, crude, and clumsy. The American cut glass is considered the choicest. Side by side with it, and preferred by many as being less ostentatious, is the beautiful Bohemian glass, with its exquisite traceries in gold and delicate colors. Only in this glass is color permissible, and then principally in receptacles for flowers. There is reason to believe that it was from a Bohemian glass plate the King of Hearts stole the tarts on a certain memorable occasion, and if so, one can readily understand why the temptation was so irresistible to him.

Photo, above: A collection of eighteenth-century cut glass.

ARRANGEMENT
To put all our pretty things on the table in such a way that the result shall be a height of daintiness, grace, and symmetry is seemingly a simple matter, but the trick of good taste and a mathematical eye are both involved in it. The manner of setting and serving the table varies somewhat with each meal, but a few suggestions apply to all alike. The center of the table must be exactly under the chandelier, and covered with the pretty centerpiece with its dish of ferns, a vase of posies, or a potted plant in a white crinkled tissue-paper pinafore. Nothing else has the decorative value of the table posy, however simple, which seems to breathe out some of its outdoor life and freshness, and should never be omitted. Twenty inches must be allowed for each cover, or place, to give elbow room, and all that belongs to it should be accurately and evenly placed. At the right go the knives—sharp edges in—and spoons, with open bowls up, in the order in which they are to be used, beginning at the right. At the points of the knives stands the water glass. At the left are arranged the forks, tines up, also in the order of use, beginning at the left, with the butter plate, on which rests the butter knife, a little above the forks. The napkin—which should be folded four times in ironing and never tortured into fantastic shapes, restaurant fashion—lies either at the left of the forks or on the plate at the center of the cover. If many spoons are to be used, the soup spoon alone rests beside the knife, with the others above the plate. Individual salt cellars go above the plates, shakers at the sides or corners of the table, within easy reach, and one carafe is usually allowed for every three or four people. Carving cloths are laid before the plates are put on, with the carving knife at the right, the fork at the left. Water is poured, butter passed, and bread arranged on the table just before the meal is served. Extra dishes and the plates for use during the different courses stand in readiness on a little side table, silver and glass alone being appropriate to the sideboard.

DUTIES OF THE WAITRESS
The maid stands behind the master or mistress to serve the plate of meat, the bowl of soup, and so on, taking it on her tray and placing it with her right hand from the right of the person served. All plates are placed by the waitress, while she serves all vegetables, sauces, etc., from the left, holding the dish on her tray or, if it be a heavy one, in her hand, within easy reach. Soiled dishes she removes from the right with her right hand, placing them on her tray one at a time, platter and serving dishes first, then individual dishes and silver until everything belonging to the course has been removed. Crumbs are taken up from the left with a crumb knife or napkin, never with a brush. Many housekeepers prefer to dismiss the maid after the main part of the meal is served, ringing for her when her services are necessary, thus insuring a greater privacy during the charmed hour, and affording an opportunity for those little thoughtful attentions when each serves his neighbor as himself.

THE BREAKFAST TABLE
The breakfast table is usually laid with centerpiece and plate doilies these days, and it may not be ill-timed to suggest that every effort be made to have this meal cheery and attractive, for it is, alas, too often suggestive of funeral baked meats and left-over megrims from the night before. If fruit is to be served, followed by a cereal and a meat or other heavier course, each place is provided with a fruit plate with its doily and knife, a breakfast knife and fork, a dessert spoon, two teaspoons, and a finger bowl. The fruit should be on the table when the family assemble, with the cups and saucers and other accompaniments of the coffee service arranged before the mistress’s place. Warm sauce dishes for the cereal and warm plates for the course which follows it must be in readiness.

LUNCHEON
Luncheon is the simplest, daintiest, most informal meal of the day—just a little halting place between breakfast and dinner, where one’s pretty china comes out strongly. The setting of the doily-spread table follows the usual arrangement. Everything necessary for serving tea is placed at the head of the table, with the meat or other substantial dish at the opposite end. Most of the food is placed on the table before the meal is announced, and as there are usually but two courses the plates are changed only once. The only difference between luncheon and tea being the hour of serving, the same rules govern both. The lunch cloth or the hemstitched linen strips may be used instead of the place doilies.


DINNER

Dinner is a more solemn matter. On goes our immaculate tablecloth now, over a thick pad, its one crease exactly in the middle of the table, and all wrinkles and unevennesses made smooth and straight. Centerpiece and posy go squarely—or roundly—in the center, with silver, salts, and carving set arranged as usual. The butter plate is frequently omitted from this meal, an oblong slice of bread, a dinner roll, or a bread stick being placed between the folds of each napkin, or on the butter plate, if used, with the butter ball and knife. If soup is to be served, the spoon is placed at the right of the knives. There is a preference for the use of a “service plate” at this meal—the plate which is at each place when dinner is announced, and is not removed until the first hot course after the soup—but this is usually dispensed with when there is but one servant. Proper cutlery for carving has its place before the carver, the carving cloth being removed before dessert. If black coffee is served as the last course, the after-dinner coffee spoons are placed in the saucers before serving. Finger bowls appear the last thing.

THE FORMAL DINNER
The formal dinner follows the general idea and arrangement of the family dinner, with considerable elaboration. Out come our dress-up table linen, china, glass, and silver, and we add certain festive touches in the way of vines and cut flowers loosely and gracefully disposed in glass or silver bowls and vases. At the four sides of the centerpiece go the dainty glass candlesticks, which cost 35 cents apiece, coming up to 91 cents with the candle lamp, candle, mica chimney, and shade complete, the shade matching the flowers in color. The lesser light which thus rules the night casts a witching glamour over the table, shadowing imperfections, softening features, warming heart cockles, and loosening tongues. Yellow is always good, green cool in summer, red heavy, and pink of the right shades genial. Lace and ribbon have been banished from the table as being inconsistent with simplicity, but a small bunch of flowers or a single flower at each place gives a pretty touch. The water glass is moved over to the top of the plate now, to make room for the wine glasses which are grouped above the knives. The oyster fork is placed at the right of the soup spoon, the fish fork at the left of the other forks. Overmuch silver savors of ostentation; therefore, if many courses are to be served, the sherbet spoon may go above the plate, the other extra silver to be supplied from the side table when needed. Fancy dishes containing olives, salted nuts, and confections are arranged on the table, all other dishes being served from the kitchen or side table. It being taken for granted that the food is properly seasoned, no condiments are on the table. Place cards rest on the napkins.

THE FORMAL LUNCHEON
The formal luncheon table closely follows the formal dinner table, except that place doilies are used instead of the tablecloth. The bouillon spoon replaces the soup spoon, and other changes in the silver may be necessitated by the lighter character of the food served. The room may be darkened and candles used if the hostess so elect. If additional light is required at either dinner or luncheon, it should come through shades harmonizing with the candle shades, and hung not higher than the heads of the guests.