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THE COOK'S ORACLE.
DR. KITCHENER has greatly recog- of the picturesque ; or leaped double nised the genius of his name by sentences, and waded through metataking boldly the path to which it phors, in a grammatical steeple-chace points; disregarding all the usual se- with Colonel Thornton ; or turned liductions of life, he has kept his eye terary cuckoo, and gone sucking the steadily on the larder, the Mecca of eggs of other people's books, and his appetite; and has unravelled all making the woods of the world echo the mysteries and intricacies of celery with one solitary, complaining, resoup, and beef haricot, to the eyes of viewing note.” Such might be the a reading public. He has taken an Doctor's notion of a reply, to 'which extensive kitchen range over the whole we fancy we see him simmering with world of stews, and broils, and roasts, delight, and saying, “ No, Sir! I and comes home to the fireside (from have not meddled either with the which, indeed, his body has never curry of poetry, or the cold meat of departed) boiling over with know- prose. I have not wasted over the ledge-stored with curiosities of bone slow fire of the metaphysics, or cut and sinew-a made-up human dish up the mathematics into thin slices, of clov mace, curry, catsup, cay, I have not lost myself amongst the enne, and the like. He has sailed kick-shaws of fine scenery, or pamover all the soups; has touched at pered myself on the mock-turtle of all the quarters of the lamb; has metaphors. Neither have I dined at been, in short, round the stomach the table and the expense of other world, and returns a second Captain men's minds ! No, Sir. I have writCook! Dr. Kitchener has written a ten on cookery, on the kitchen, on book; and if he, good easy man, the solids, the substantials, Sir should think to surprise any friend Giles, the substantials !'” or acquaintance by slily asking, If it were not that critics are pro“ What book have I written ? he verbial for having no bowels, we would be sure to be astounded with should hesitate at entering the paraa successful reply, “ a book on dise of pies and puddings which Dr. Cookery." His name is above all Kitchener has opened to us; for the disguises. In the same way, a wor- steam of his rich sentences rises athy old gentleman of our acquaint- bout our senses like the odours of ance, who was wont to lead his vi- flowers around the imagination of a sitors around his
kitchen garden poet; and larded beef goes nigh to (the Doctor will prick up his ears at lord it over our bewildered appetites. this), which he had carefully and But being steady men, of sober and cunningly obscured with a laurel temperate habits, and used to privahedge, and who always said, with tions in the way of food, we shall an exulting tone, “ Now, you would not scruple at looking a leg of mutbe puzzled to say where the kitchen ton in the face, or shaking hands garden was situated ;' once met with a shoulder of veal. “Minced with a stony-hearted man, who re- collops” nothing daunt us; we brace morselessly answered, “ Not I! over our nerves, and are not overwhelmed that hedge, to be sure.” The Doctor with “ cockle catsup !" When Bays might expect you, in answer to his asks his friend, “How do you do when query, to say; “A book, Sir! Why, you write?" it would seem that he had perhaps you have plunged your whole the Cook's Oracle in his eye-for to soul into the ocean of an epic; or men of any mastication, never was rolled your mind, with the success of there a book that required more a. Sisyphus, up the hill of metaphy- training for a quiet and useful pesics; or played the sedate game of rusal. Cod's-head rises before you the mathematics, that Chinese puz- in all its glory! while the oysters rezle to English minds ! or gone a volve around it, in their firmament tour, with Dugald Stuart, in search of melted butter, like its well-ora
The Cook's Oracle : containing Receipts for plain Cookery, &c. the whole being the Result of actual Experiments, instituted in the Kitchen of a Physician. Iondon, Cone stable and Co. 1821.
dered satellites ! Moorgame, macka, stands much upon the order of his rel, muscles, fowls, eggs, and forcen going. But now, to avoid sinking meat-balls, start up in all directions, into the same trick, we will proceed and dance the hays in the imagina- without further preface to conduct tion. We should recommend those our readers through the maze of readers with whom dinner is a habit, pots, gridirons, and frying pans, not to venture on the Doctor's pages, which Dr. Kitchener has rendered a without seeing that their hunger, very poetical, or we should say, a like a ferocious house-dog, is care- very palatable amusement. fully tied up:
To read four pages The first preface tells us, inter with an unchained appetite, would alia, that he has worked all the culibring on dreadful dreams of being nary problems which his book condestroyed with spits, or drowned in tains, in his own kitchen; and that, mullagatawny soup, or of having after this warm experience, he did your tongue neatly smothered in your not venture to print a sauce, or a own brains, and, as Matthews says, stew, until he had read “ two huna lemon stuck in your mouth. We dred cookery books,” which, as he cannot but conceive that such read- says, “ he patiently pioneered ing, in such unprepared minds, would through, before he set about record have strange influences; and that ing the results of his own experithe dreams of persons would be ments !” We scarcely thought there dished up to suit the various palates. had been so many volumes written The school-girl would, like the on the Dutch oven. French goose,
« be persuaded to The first introduction begins thus : roast itself.”
The indolent man would “ steep a fortnight," and even
The following receipts are not a mere
marrowless collection of shreds, and patchthen not be fit for use. The lover
es, and cuttings, and pastings ;-—but a bona would dream that his heart was fide register of practical facts,-accumu. overdone. The author would be lated by a perseverance not to be subdued, roasted alive in his own quills, and or evaporated, by the igniferous terrors of basted with cold ink. It were an a roasting fire in the dog-days,-in defiendless task to follow this specula- ance of the odoriferous and calefacient retion; and, indeed, we are keeping pellents, of roasting,— boiling,-frying, our readers too long without the Land broiling :--moreover, the author has meal to which we have taken the submitted to a labour no preceding Cookliberty of inviting them. The dins ery Book-maker, perhaps, ever attempted ner « bell invites
to encounter-having eaten each receipt,
before he set it down in his book. it is done.
The book, the Cook's Oracle, opens We should like to see the Doctor, with a preface, as other books occa- we confess, after this extraordinary sionally do; but " there the likeness statement. To have superintended ends ;” for it continues with a whole the agitations of the pot,--to have bunch of introductions, treating of hung affectionately over a revolving cooks, and invitations to dinner, calf's heart,—to have patiently witand refusals, and “ friendly advice," nessed the noisy marriage of bubble and weights and measures, and then and squeak,-to have coolly inveswe get fairly launched on the sea of tigated the mystery of a haricot,boiling, broiling, roasting, stewing, appears within the compass of any and again return and cast, anchor given old lady or gentleman, whose among the vegetables. It is impos- frame could stand the fire, and whose sible to say where the book begins; soul could rule the roast. But to it is a heap of initiatory chapters-á have eaten the substantials of 440 parcel of graces before meat-a bunch closely printed pages, is “ a thing to of heads,—the asparagus of literature. read of, not to tell.” It calls for a You are not troubled with “ man of iron interior, a man “ alieni last words of Mr. Baxter,” but are appetens, sui profusus.” It demands delighted, and re-delighted, with the rival of time; an edar rerum ! more first words of Dr. Kitchener. The Doctor does not tell us how he He makes several starts, like a rest- travelled from gridiron to frying-pan less race-horse, before he fairly gets from frying-pan to Duch ovenupon the second course; or rather, from Dutch oven to spit—from spit like Lady Macbeth's dinner party, he to pot-from pot to fork : he leaves VOL. IV.
us to guess at his progress. We the fire that stops her way out, the unweapresume he ate his way, page by ried goose is kept in ;* she will fall to drink page, through fish, flesh, fowl, and the water to quench her thirst, and cool vegetable ; he would have left us her heart, and all her body, and the apple dead among the soups and gravies.
sauce will make her dung, and cleanse and Had a whole army of martyrs ac
empty her. And when she roasteth, and companied him on this Russian re
consumes inwardly, always wet her head
and heart with a wet sponge ; and when treat of the appetite, we should have you see her giddy with running, and begin found them strewing the way; and to stumble, her heart wants moisture, and him alone, the Napoleon of the task, she is roasted enough. Take her up, set living and fattening at the end of the her before your guests, and she will cry as journey. The introduction goes on you cut off any part from her, and will be very learnedly, descanting upon almost eaten up before she be dead : it is Shakspeare, Descartes, Dr. Johnson, mighty pleasant to behold !!!" See Wecker's Mrs. Glasse, Professor Bradley, Py- Secrets of Nature, in folio, London, 1660, thagoras, Miss Seward, and other pp. 148, 309. persons equally illustrious. The Doc- The next chapter, or introduction, tor's chief aim is to prove, we be- (for we are not within forty spits lieve, that cookery is the most laud- length of the cookery directions yet!) able pursuit, and the most plea- is entitled “ Invitations to Dinner; surable amusement of life. Much and commences thus : depends on the age of your domes
In " the affairs of the mouth," the tics; for we are told, that “ it is a good maxim to select servants not
strictest punctuality is indispensable ;-the
gastronomer ought to be as accurate an obyounger than thirty.” Is it so?
gerver of time, as the astronomer. The Youth “ thou art shamed !" This first least delay produces fatal and irreparable introduction concludes with a long misfortunes. eulogy upon the Doctor's “laborious stove work;" and upon the spirit, is dangerous, as mammas say to their
It appearing, therefore, that delay temper, and ability, with which he daughters on certain occasions, the has dressed his book. The Doctor Doctor directs that “the diningappends to this introduction, a chap- room should be furnished with a goodter called “Culinary Curiosities,” in going clock.” He then speaks of which he gives the following recipe food® well done, when it is done, for persuading a goose to roast it- which leads to certain learned senself.” We must say it out-horrors tences upon indigestion. The sad all the horrors we ever read of.
disregard of dinner-hours generally How to roast and eat a goose alive.- observed meets with his most serious "Take a goose, or
a duck, or some such displeasure and rebuke; but to relively creature, (but a goose is best of all fuse an invitation to dinner is the cafor this purpose), pull off all her feathers, pital crime, for which there is appaonly the head and neck must be spared :
be spared : rently no capital punishment. then make a fire round about her, not too close to her, that the smoke do not choke Nothing can be more disobliging than a her, and that the fire may not burn her too
refusal which is not grounded on some very soon ; nor too far off, that she may not es- strong and unavoidable cause, except not cape free; within the circle of the fire let coming at the appointed hour; according to there be set small cups and pots full of the laws of conviviality, a certificate from water, wherein salt and boney are mingled ;
a sheriff's officer, a doctor, or an underand let there be set also chargers full of taker, are the only pleas which are admis. sodden apples, cut into small pieces in the sible. The duties which invitation imposes, dish. The goose must be all larded, and do not fall only on the persons invited, but basted over with butter, to make her the like all other social duties, are reciprocal. more fit to be eaten, and may roast the better : put then fire about her, but do not
If you should, therefore, fortunately make too much haste, when as you see her happen to be arrested, or have had the begin to roast ; for by walking about, and good luck to fracture a limb; or if, flying here and there, being cooped in by better than all, you should have taken
• This cook of a goose, or goose of a cook, which ever it may be, strangely reminds us of the Doctor's own intense and enthusiastie bustle among the butter-boats. We fancy we see him, and not the goose, “ walking about, and tying here and there, being cooped in by the fire." By this time, we should suppose, he must be about “ roasted enough.”
a box in that awful theatre at which following, to be sure, is a little susall must be present once and for picious. « Enter into all their plans ever ; you may be pardoned refusing of economy, and endeavour to make the invitation of some tiresome friend the most of every thing, as well for to take a chop: but there is no other your own honour as your master's excuse, no other available excuse, profit." This, without the note, would for absenting yourself; no mental be unexceptionable ; but the Doctor inaptitude will save you. Late quotes from Dr. Trusler (all the Doce comers are thus rebuked :
tors are redolent of servants!) as There are some, who seldom keep an ap
follows:-" I am persuaded, that no pointment;-we can assure them they as
servant ever saved her master sixseldom “ 'scape without whipping”_and pence, but she found it in the end in exciting those murmurs which inevitably
her own pocket.", L" Have the dust proceed from the best regulated stomachs, removed," says Dr. Kitchener, “re-when they are empty and impatient to bé gularly every fortnight!”. What filled.
dust ? -Not that, we trust, which Doctor's care; but he resolutely, and of soot has its dire evils; for “ many Carving is the next subject of the people are often entreated to “ come
down with.” - The accumulation somewhat vehemently, protests against your wielding the king of good dinners have been spoiled, and knives at any other table than your soot falling:"-thus the Doctor, very
many houses burned down, by the own; thus for ever excluding an author from the luxuries of table anato
properly, puts the greater evil first. my. After giving an erudite passage when the contents of
« Give notice to your employers
coal from the “ Almanach des Gourmands, the Doctor wanders into anecdote, Diminished! We should be glad
cellar are diminished to a chaldron." and becomes facetious after the follow- to hear when our cellars had increased ing recipe.
to this stock. There is no hope then for I once heard a gentle hint on this sub- those chamber-gentlemen who fritter ject given to a blue-mould fancier, who, by away their lives by sack or bushel ! looking too long at a Stilton cheese, was at Dr. Kitchener is rather abstruse and last completely overcome by his eye excit- particular in another of his direcing his appetite, till it became quite ungo- tions : -" The best rule for marketing, vernable and unconscious of every thing is to pay ready money for every but the mity object of his contemplation ; he began to pick out in no small portions,
thing." This is a good rule with the the primest parts his eye could select from elect:-but, is there no luxury in a the centre of the cheese.
baker's bill? Are butchers' reckonThe good-natured founder of the feast, ings nothing ? Is there no virtue in highly amused at the ecstacies each morsel a milk-tally? We cannot help thinkcreated in its passage over the palate of the ing that tick was a great invention, enraptured Gourmand, thus encouraged the and gives many a man a dinner that perseverance of his guest—“ Cut away, my would otherwise go unfed. dear sir, cut away, use no ceremony, I The chapter on weights and meapray :-I hope you will pick out all the
sures is short, but deeply interesting best of my cheese--the rind and the rotten
and intense. There is an episode will do very well for my wife and family!!"
upon trough nutmeg-graters that There is something so serene and would do the water-gruel generation simple in the above little story, that good to hear. we recommend it to persons after And now the book begins to boil. dinner, in preference to those highly The reader is told that meat takes seasoned and spicy jests, which Mr. twenty minutes to the pound; and Joseph Miller has potted for the use that block-tin saucepans are the best. of posterity,
We can fish out little else, except a The next introduction contains long and rather skilful calculation of “ Friendly Advice to Cooks and other the manner in which meat jockeys Servants;" but we cannot help think- itself, and reduces its weight in the ing that Dr. Swift has in some degree cooking. Buckle and Sam Chiffney forestalled our own good Doctor in are nothing to “ a leg of mutton with this department of literature ; al- the shank bone taken out;” and it though, perhaps, Dr. Kitchener is perhaps might not be amiss if the the most sober of counsellors. The Newmarket profession were to con
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sider how far it would be practicable then make it warm and wipe it out with a to substitute the cauldron for the clean cloth. blanket, and thus reduce by steam. Broiling follows. We really begin We should suppose a young gentle- to be enacting this sort of cookery man, with half an hour's boiling, ourselves, from the vigour and spirit would ride somewhere about feather- with which we have rushed along weight.
in the company of Dr. Kitchener. Baking is dismissed in a page and Broiling is the poetry of cooking. a half.
We are sorry to find that The lyre-like shape of the instrument some joints, when fallen into poverty on which it is performed, and the ando decay, are quite unworthy of brisk and pleasant sounds that arise credit: “When baking a joint of momentarily, are rather musical poor meat, before it has been half than culinary. We are transported baked, I have seen it (what?) start at the thought to that golden gridiron from the bone, and shrivel up scarcely in the beef-steak club, which seems to be believed."
to confine the white cook in his bumRoasting is the next object of Dr. ing cage, which generates wit, whim, Kitchener's anxious care; and if this and song, for hours together, and chapter be generally read, we shall pleasantly blends the fanciful and not be surprised to see people in fu- the substantial in one laughing and ture roasting their meat before their robust harmony. doors, and in their areas; for the The Doctor is profound on the sube
ject of vegetables. And when we
consider the importance of it, we are Roasting should be done in the open air, not surprised to hear him earnestly to ventilate the meat from its own fumes, exclaim, “ I should as soon think of and by the radiant heat, of a clear glowing roasting an animal alive, as of boiling fire,-otherwise it is in fact baked - the machines the economical grate-makers call
a vegetable after it is dead." No one roasters, are in plain English, ovens.
will question that the one is quite as
pardonable as the other. Our readers The Doctor then proceeds, not be cannot be too particular in looking ing content with telling you how to to their brocoli and potatoes. cook your victuals, to advise carefully as to the best method of cook
This branch of cookery, requires the ing the fire. “ The fire that is but
most vigilant attention. just sufficient to receive the noble long over the fire,—they lose all their beau
If vegetables are a minute or two too sirloin, will parch_up a lighter joint;" ty and flavour. which is plainly a translation into the
If not thoroughly boiled tender, they are cook's own particular language of tremendously indigestible, and much more “ temper the wind to the shorn lamb." troublesome during their residence in the The chapter does not conclude with- stomach, than under-done meats. out observing that “ every body knows the advantage of slow boiling dressing fish, and of compounding
We pass over the rudiments of slow roasting is equally important." This is an axiom.
broths and soups, except with reFrying is a very graceful and lively better for not being fresh, and that
marking, that a turbot is said to be species of cooking, though yielding perhaps, in its vivacity and music, to form the basis of broth.”
“ lean juicy beef, mutton, or veal, broiling-but of this more anon. We
Gravies and sauces are not neglectare sorry to find the Doctor endea
ed. The Doctor writesvouring to take away from the origin-. ality of frying, classing it unkindly However “ les pompeuses Bagatelles de with the inferior sorts of boiling la Cuisine Masquée" may tickle the fancy calling it, in fact, the mere corpulence of demi-connoisseurs, who leaving the subof boiling.
stance, to pursue the shadow,--prefer won
derful and whimsical metamorphoses, and A fryingpan should be about four things extravagantly expensive to those inches deep, with a perfectly flat and thick which are intrinsically excellent,- in whose bottom, twelve inches long, and nine broad mouth-mutton can hardly hope for a wel. --with perpendicular sides, and must be come, unless accompanied by Venison half filled with fat: good frying is in fact sauce—or a rabbit any chance for a race - boiling in fat. To make sure that the pan down the red lane, without assuming the is quite clean, rub a little fat over it--and form of a frog or å spider ;0r pork, with..