20 JULY 1878, Page 24

Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery. (Cassell and Co.)—We are inclined to

think that this should stand, if not at the head of English cookery- books, anyhow in a very high place among them. We cannot, indeed, pretend to estimate the value, in point of practicability, economy, or delicacy of result, of the "9,000 recipes" which form the main part of this volume. But the system on which the information is arranged seems to be sound and convenient, and the information, where we have tested it, to be of good quality. The introduction, discussing the "principles" on which we should eat and drink, or rather cater for the eating and drinking wants of others, is more easily appreciated. We have glanced through it, and find it sensible and to the point. Some- times, perhaps, we may find ourselves differing in opinion, but that is to be expected. Quot homines, tot yustus. We may doubt whether any wine ought to be iced, and even feel sure that none should be reduced to a temperature as low " as a degree or two above freezing-point." Apart from the question of taste, there is digestion to be considered. Any weak stomach would be temporarily paralysed in its action by the

introduction of a pint (and the writer thinks that a bottle between two is a fair allowance) of nearly freezing liquid. Perhaps a word or two about the " wholesomes " would not have been superfluous. In a com- parison between dry and sweet champagne, it would have been useful to tell the reader that the dry is far more digestible. But these and

such-like things, even if it is worth while to point them out, are not to be counted even as blemishes on a most carefully constructed and useful volume.—Dinners at Home : How to Order, Cook, and Serve Thew. By Spot. (Kerby and Endean.)—This is a useful little book, intended, we learn from the preface, for the "good plain cook," who, it is hoped, will be educated by it into the high status of a " good " cook. These are not the author's words, but we take this to be about his meaning, expressed in the technical words which all who have the misfortune of having to hire cooks will understand. Useful the book will undoubtedly be ; the author must forgive us for hinting that it sometimes seems to be a trifle extravagant. Any competent person, however, will find it comparatively easy to retrench superfluities.