A small boy who wanted to make a good impression once took his little
sweetheart to an ice cream parlor. After he had vainly searched the list
of edibles for something within his means, he whispered to the waiter,
"Say, Mister, what you got that looks tony an' tastes nice for nineteen
This is precisely the predicament in which many thousand people are
today. Like the boy, they have skinny purses, voracious appetites and
mighty yearnings to make the best possible impression within their
means. Perhaps having been "invited out," they learn by actual
demonstration that the herbs are culinary magicians which convert cheap
cuts and "scraps" into toothsome dainties. They are thus aroused to the
fact that by using herbs they can afford to play host and hostess to a
larger number of hungry and envious friends than ever before.
Maybe it is mainly due to these yearnings and to the memories of
mother's and grandmother's famous dishes that so many inquiries
concerning the propagation, cultivation, curing and uses of culinary
herbs are asked of authorities on gardening and cookery; and maybe it is
because no one has really loved the herbs enough to publish a book on
the subject. That herbs are easy to grow I can abundantly attest, for I
have grown them all. I can also bear ample witness to the fact that they
reduce the cost of high living, if by that phrase is meant pleasing the
palate without offending the purse.
For instance, a few days ago a friend paid twenty cents for soup beef,
and five cents for "soup greens." The addition of salt, pepper and other
ingredients brought the initial cost up to twenty-nine cents. This made
enough soup for ten or twelve liberal servings. The lean meat removed
from the soup was minced and mixed with not more than ten cents' worth
of diced potatoes, stale bread crumbs, milk, seasoning and herbs before
being baked as a supper dish for five people, who by their bland smiles
and "scotch plates" attested that the viands both looked "tony" and
I am glad to acknowledge my thanks to Mr. N. R. Graves of Rochester, N.
Y., and Prof. R. L. Watts of the Pennsylvania State Agricultural
College, for the photographic illustrations, and to Mr. B. F.
Williamson, the Orange Judd Co.'s artist, for the pen and ink drawings
which add so much to the value, attractiveness and interest of these
If this book shall instill or awaken in its readers the wholesome though
"cupboard" love that the culinary herbs deserve both as permanent
residents of the garden and as masters of the kitchen, it will have
accomplished the object for which it was written.