Saturday, February 09, 2008

More Beeton Brilliance

Mrs. Beeton continues to teach us valuable lessons! Did you know, your morning calls should “be a short stay of 15 to 20 minutes” and that while you may remove your boa or neckerchief, you must not remove your shawl nor bonnet. Got that PinkGirl? Feather boa off, pink bonnet on.

And I shall never make the faux pas of asking for seconds of soup or fish, no matter how divine. “In doing so, part of the company may be kept waiting too long for the second course. When done, a little revenge is taken by looking at the awkward consumer of the second portion.” Oh Mrs. Beeton, you are wicked. Can I ask for a doggy bag?

When the finger glass is placed before me, I must remember to restrain myself from doing what “the French and other continentals” do, that is gargle. This is “a custom which no English gentlewoman should, in the slightest degree, imitate.”

The chapter on the Arrangement and Economy of the Kitchen has several tidbits to share as well. While adornment on the handle of pots and pans “might seem to be useless, we need to remember how much more natural it is for us all to be careful of the beautiful and costly, than of the plain and the cheap.” No wonder I take such good care of myself. Ha ha.

I am about to dive headlong into the food chapters – starting with soups! I shall keep you posted with more exciting finds!


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