The Jewish Manual/Front matter
Printed by MELDOLA, CAHN, & CO.
18, St. Mary Axe, City.
Among the numerous works on Culinary Science already in circulation, there have been none which afford the slightest insight to the Cookery of the Hebrew kitchen.
Replete as many of these are with information on various important points, they are completely valueless to the Jewish housekeeper, not only on account of prohibited articles and combinations being assumed to be necessary ingredients of nearly every dish, but from the entire absence of all the receipts peculiar to the Jewish people. This deficiency, which has been so frequently the cause of inconvenience and complaint, we have endeavoured in the present little volume to supply. And in taking upon ourselves the responsibility of introducing it to the notice of our readers, we have been actuated by the hope that it will prove of some practical utility to those for whose benefit it is more particularly designed.
It has been our earnest desire to simplify as much as possible the directions given regarding the rudiments of the art, and to render the receipts which follow, clear, easy, and concise. Our collection will be found to contain all the best receipts, hitherto bequeathed only by memory or manuscript, from one generation to another of the Jewish nation, as well as those which come under the denomination of plain English dishes; and also such French ones as are now in general use at all refined modern tables. A careful attention has been paid to accuracy and economy in the proportions named, and the receipts may be perfectly depended upon, as we have had the chief part of them tested in our own kitchen and under our own surveillance.
All difficult and expensive modes of cookery have been purposely omitted, as more properly belonging to the province of the confectioner, and foreign to the intention of this little work; the object of which is, to guide the young Jewish housekeeper in the luxury and economy of "The Table," on which so much of the pleasure of social intercourse depends.
The various acquirements, which in the present day are deemed essential to female education, rarely leave much time or inclination for the humble study of household affairs; and it not unfrequently happens, that the mistress of a family understands little more concerning the dinner table over which she presides, than the graceful arrangement of the flowers which adorn it; thus she is incompetent to direct her servant, upon whose inferior judgment and taste she is obliged to depend. She is continually subjected to impositions from her ignorance of what is required for the dishes she selects, while a lavish extravagance, or parsimonious monotony betrays her utter inexperience in all the minute yet indispensible details of elegant hospitality.
However, there are happily so many highly accomplished and intellectual women, whose example proves the compatability of uniting the cultivation of talents with domestic pursuits, that it would be superfluous and presumptuous were we here to urge the propriety and importance of acquiring habits of usefulness and household knowledge, further than to observe that it is the unfailing attribute of a superior mind to turn its attention occasionally to the lesser objects of life, aware how greatly they contribute to its harmony and its happiness.
The Cuisine of a woman of refinement, like her dress or her furniture, is distinguished, not for its costliness and profusion, but for a pervading air of graceful originality. She is quite sensible of the regard due to the reigning fashion of the day, but her own tasteful discrimination is always perceptible. She instinctively avoids every thing that is hackneyed, vulgar, and common place, and uniformly succeeds in pleasing by the judicious novelties she introduces.
We hope, therefore, that this unpretending little work may not prove wholly unacceptable, even to those ladies who are not of the Hebrew persuasion, as it will serve as a sequel to the books on cookery previously in their possession, and be the medium of presenting them with numerous receipts for rare and exquisite compositions, which if uncommemorated by the genius of Vatêl, Ude, or Carême, are delicious enough not only to gratify the lovers of good cheer generally, but to merit the unqualified approbation of the most fastidious epicures.
We ought, perhaps, to apologize for the apparent incongruity of connecting the "Toilet" with the "Kitchen;" but the receipts and suggestions comprised in the Second Part of the work before us, will not, we trust, be considered misplaced in a volume addressed exclusively to the ladies.
Many of the receipts are for articles in common use, but which, with proper directions, are prepared with greater economy and in a superior manner at home; the others are all original receipts, many of them extremely ancient, and given to us by a person who can vouch for their efficacy firom personal experience and observation.
We must now conclude our preliminary remarks, but cannot take leave of our patient readers without availing ourselves of the opportunity our editorial capacity affords, to express our hope, that with all its faults and deficiencies "The Jewish Manual" may prove to them a useful assistant, and be fortunate enough to meet with their lenient, kind, and favourable consideration.