Page:Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management (Part 1).djvu/68

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44
HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

in his general, though somewhat broad premises, no one will be disposed to deny; nevertheless, the requisites of a good kitchen demand something more special than is here pointed out. It must be remembered that it is the great laboratory of every household, and that much of the family "weal or woe," as far as regards bodily health, depends upon the nature of the food prepared within its walls. In the construction and disposition of a kitchen, therefore, the following conditions should be secured.

  1. Convenience of distribution in its parts, with largeness of dimension.
  2. Excellence of light, height and ventilation.
  3. Easy of access, without passing through the house.
  4. Walls and location so arranged that the odours of cookery cannot spread about the house.
  5. Plenty of fuel and water, which, with the scullery, pantry and storeroom, should be so near the kitchen as to offer the smallest possible trouble in reaching them.

In addition to these important points, the equipment of the kitchen demands careful consideration. Under this term is comprised its fittings, fixtures, furniture, and the utensils that should be found in the kitchen itself and the adjacent back kitchen, or scullery, for household and culinary uses. It will be convenient to consider the first three items as forming one division of our subject, and the last as another; the portability of the various articles comprehended in the second division forming the chief point of distinction between them and those which find a place in the first.

THE FITTINGS, FIXTURES AND FURNITURE OF THE KITCHEN

The Fittings.—Under this title, let us glance briefly at the finish of the several surfaces within which the cubic space of the apartment itself is included: namely, the ceiling, the walls and the floor. There is more wear and tear and more injury from causes that tend to soil and disfigure in the kitchen than in any other part of the house, and care should therefore be taken to guard against the former as much as possible, and to render the effacement of the latter as easy and as speedy as possible.

  1. The Ceiling.—The most suitable ceiling is a plain, smoothly-plastered one, whether the kitchen is used solely for the purpose of cooking or, as is the case with the working-classes, as a combined kitchen and living room. It should be frequently whitewashed, for apart from the cleanliness, which is always desirable, the whiter the ceiling the greater will be its capacity to reflect light, and therefore to render the kitchen lighter.
  2. The Walls.—The walls of a kitchen used only for culinary purposes should be lined with white glazed tiles, or else have a high-tiled