Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1912

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much fear of the modern cook following the example of Vatel, the unfortunate chef to Louis XVI, who in despair took his life because the fish had not arrived in time for the royal table.

Arranging Menus.—A complete dinner consists of eight courses (if the "entremets," which include dressed vegetables, sweets, and savouries, be considered as one course) arranged in the following order:—

Hors d'œuvre,

In recent years hors d'œuvre have rapidly gained favour, and nearly always appear on elaborate menus, but they are not often included in a simple dinner. The term hors d'ceuvre is now applied exclusively to such cold trifles as oysters, sardines, anchovies, fillets of herring, prawns, olives, and radishes served as a relish or appetizer at the commencement of a dinner; but it originally extended to rissoles, croquettes, oyster-patties, and such things a previous generation classed as "side-dishes," which are now served as light entrees. When the term hors d'œuvre appears after the fish, as it does in many old bills of fare, it refers to this class of dishes, rather than to the savoury appetizers now in vogue. The hors d'œuvre dishes are frequently placed on the plates before the guests enter the dining-room; and in many of the best public dining-rooms the visitor is supplied with a variety of hors d'œuvre with which to stimulate his appetite whilst the dinner is in course of preparation.

Soups.—The world of cooks, like the renowned master chefs Careme and the Marquis de Cussey, are divided in their opinion of the importance of the course, which the culinary artist Francatelli described as the "prelude" to a dinner. The disciples of the first-named chef, who considered soup "the soul of the dinner," fully appreciate the advantage of letting the first course be one likely to give the guests a pleasurable anticipation of what is to follow. When the number does not exceed twelve, one soup alone is necessary, and with but few exceptions clear soup is given preference to, being more generally appreciated than a thick soup. When two soups are served, one should be clear and the other a thick soup, cream or puree, and in such cases the clear soup should be served first and be placed first on the menu. If either of the latter consists of vegetables, the clear soup must contain no vegetable garnish. According to the same rule, if a puree of chicken or hare be served, neither chicken nor hare must appear in