As the health of a family depends more upon the quality of their food than upon any other cause whatever, it is a public benefaction to give good advice upon this subject. That this advice may be most widely beneficial, it should have reference to the material and the preparation of food; and in both these respects, regard should be had to economy. The rich, who are able to provide the most choice and expensive articles of diet, frequently fail in having them prepared for the table in an agreeable and healthful manner; and the poor, and even those in moderate circumstances, are not only not generally well informed as to healthful and nutritious articles of food, which may be purchased at moderate expense, but when procured, they more generally err in the healthful preparation of them, mistaking high seasoning and rich mixtures for delicious and wholesome food. It is to aid the family in procuring iv and preparing their food according to their means, and with a view to elegance, taste, and health, that the authoress of this book has been induced to publish these receipts and the accompanying advice and reflections. She does this at the solicitation of many heads of families, and with the confidence of knowledge founded on long personal experience. This is the only source of reliable knowledge on the subject of procuring and preparing healthful food, in good taste, and with elegance and economy. But proper materials may be obtained for food, and the cook may understand how to prepare them; yet she will fail if she does not have the kitchen furnished with proper articles for culinary purposes. Each of these articles should be kept in its proper place, and scrupulously clean, while every thing should be done with exactness, and at the proper time. The authoress has the greatest confidence that the circulation of this book will promote elegance and comfort in wealthy families, and economy and health in families of moderate means.