The question of teaching cookery in the public schools has lately been much considered in England, and arrangements have been made by which the object can be effected. The National Training School for Cookery has been for some time in successful operation, and is now prepared to supply teachers qualified to instruct in this novel branch of school learning. The course pursued at present is for a number of the inhabitants of several adjoining school districts to form by subscription a fund sufficient to guarantee a certain rate of payment to the teacher. Sometimes a young lady of the locality is first sent to the Training School to take a course of instruction there, sufficient to qualify her for a teacher. At other times a teacher already qualified is obtained from the Training School.
The teacher gives one lesson a week in each school to a class of girls whose parents are willing to pay a small fee for this advantage. She may also, in addition, form classes of ladies who desire to improve their knowledge of cookery, and who, pay a higher fee for the more elaborate instruction they receive. In this way a great number of persons are benefited, and the instructress receives an income which may be sufficient; but, if not, it is supplemented from the subscription fund in the hands of the committee. Sometimes a separate school or class specially for cookery is established.
A writer in one of the London papers gives an interesting account of such a school, which has been opened in that city for teaching the children of the poorer classes the simple elements of cookery, and to enable them to prepare cheap and savory dishes for the sick and invalid. About fifteen girls attend— all that the room will accommodate. They pay threepence a lesson, and get besides a dinner of their own cooking. The school is held every Saturday, from ten to four. The pupils first go to market, a few of the girls in turn accompanying the teacher, to learn how to select the articles of food, and to judge of their quality and the proper price to pay for them. On their return, the proper modes of cooking the articles are briefly explained, and a written receipt is given to each girl, who is required to work from it. The teacher, of course, superintends the whole, pointing out defects, and taking care that the pupils are made to understand the virtues of forethought, neatness, and good management. There are usually visitors present, often the clergymen and other members of the committee, who all sit down with the pupils to the dinner which has thus been prepared. After this satisfactory part of the duty has been performed, four of the girls in turn are appointed to wash the dishes and make everything tidy.