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Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Emory Women Writers Resource Project

The Gentlewoman's Companion: or, A Guide to the Female Sex, an electronic edition

by Hannah Woolley [Woolley, Hannah, fl. 1670]

date: 1675
source publisher: Printed by A. Maxwell for Edward Thomas
collection: Early Modern through the 18th Century

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Instructions for such who desire to be absolute Cookmaids in good and great houses.

It is a commonthing now-adays for Cookmaids to ask great Wages, although they are conscious to themselves of their inability of performing almost any thing; which as it is unconscionable so to do, so in the end it will prove disgraceful to them: I shall therefore tell you what in reason may be required from you, and what justly you ought to perform.

Your skill will chiefly consist in dressing all sorts of Meat, both Fish, flesh and Fowl, all manner of Baked-meats, all kind of Sawces, and which are most proper for every sort of Dish, and be curious in garnishing your Dishes, and making all manner of Pickles, of all which I have treated of before, as you will find it in the Chapter | | 213 of my Instructions for young Ladies and Gentlewomen in the Art of Cookery, wherein you may be supplyed with the Customary and a lamode ways of dressing all sorts of Meat.

And as you must know how to dress Meat well, so you must know how to save what is left of that you have dressed, of which you may make both handsome and toothsome Dishes again, to the saving of your Masters purse, and the credit of his Table.

Be as saving as you can, and cleanly about every thing; see also that your Kitchen be kept clean, and all thigns scoured in due time; your Larders also and Cupboards, that there be no bits or meat or bread lye about them to spoil and stink.

That your Meat taint not for want of good Salting.

That you keep good hours for your Meals else you put an house quite out of order; do not cover to have the Kitchin-stuff for your vails, but rather ask the more wages, for that may make you an ill Haswife of your Masters-goods, and teach you to be a thief, for you will be apt to put that which goes into the tried suet into your pot.

Lay not all your Wages on your back, but lay up something against sickness, and an hundred other Casualties; assure your self, it is more commendable for one of your profession to go decent and clean, than gaudily fine.

Take this in part of that good counsel I could give you, had I time; which if you follow, the greatest benefit will be your own at last.

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