THE butler's pantry should be equipped with :
A receptacle for soiled table linen is necessary. A hamper is best, if there is sufficient space ; if not, a bag hung on the door is convenient. It is unwise to place soiled table linen in a drawer, as the odor of food which clings to it is an invitation to mice. A towel rack is essential. If the arrangement of the pantry does not permit the use of a rack which stands upon the floor, have one screwed to the wall, high enough and in such a position that one's head would not be likely to brush against towels hanging on it.
A useful article is a gas, hot-water, or electric heater for heating dishes and for keeping food hot. Dishes heated for the table in this way are less liable to breakage than if they are sent to the kitchen; then, too, the cook needs all the space she has at her disposal. A waitress should bear in mind that hot food should be served hot, and that heated plates and serving dishes are necessary to accomplish this. Yet china should be put into an oven only moderately heated.
Certain cold dishes, such as ices and salads, should be served as cold as possible, and the chilling of plates and serving dishes assists in presenting them at the right temperature. The ideal pantry should con- tain a small ice-box for table butter, cream, and salad ingredients.
The best arrangement for the keeping of table linen is to have in the pantry a linen-closet with shelves ; but, this convenience lacking, table linen should be arranged neatly in drawers lined with white paper. It is well to keep table-cloths in a drawer by themselves. Fine cloths keep in much better condition and make a better appearance upon the table, if ironed with one central fold and then rolled. Rolls for the purpose may be bought, or satisfactory ones can be made of many thicknesses of heavy paper. Never fold centerpieces ; keep flat or rolled. Arrange napkins in piles, according to size and design.
Arrange china and glass conveniently and tastefully. Hang cups on hooks which come for the purpose, as space is thus economized, and the handles are less liable to be broken. For the protection of choice china, "plate savers" (round pieces of cotton flannel) may be laid between the plates, as they are piled. This lessens the danger of scratching and nicking.
THE PANTRY SINK
Keep the pantry sink in good condition and polish the faucets often. Once a week, pour down the pipe or sink drain a strong solution of sal-soda or cop- peras. The former is preferable, as copperas stains. Potash shouldTable Service peras. The former is preferable, as copperas stains. Potash should never be used, as in combination with the grease collected in the pipe, it tends to make soap, thus clogging the pipe. Sal-soda is the safest and best cleansing agent, and the proportion of one cup of sal-soda to five quarts of hot water is generally satisfactory.
Sort dishes before beginning to wash. See that they are well cleaned, either by using a rubber scraper which comes for the purpose, or by wiping with paper napkins, which should be burned immediately. Be careful to drain all tea and coffee grounds from cups and pots. If the silver is collected and put into a pitcher of water, the washing of it is simplified, and it is kept by itself as it should be.
Two dish-pans, one for the washing of dishes and one for hot rinsing water, make the best arrangement, if there is sufficient space for them.
Never leave soap in the dish-pan. Make the water soapy by using the soap-shaker. Dishes should be washed in groups, beginning with those least soiled. Wash and wipe one group of dishes before beginning another. A few dishes only should be put into the dish-pan at a time. When choice dishes are to be washed, it is a good plan to lay in the bottom of the dish-pan or pantry sink a folded Turkish towel; then, if a treasured piece of china slips from the hand, it falls on a soft substance. There is also a rubber device which slips over the end of the faucet, and lessens the liability of nicking dishes.
Wash the glasses first, previously rinsing in cold water any glass which may have contained milk. Under no condition should a cloudy glass appear upon the table.
Delicate glass and china cannot be exposed to extremes of heat and cold without risk of breakage. The water in which fine china is washed should not be too hot. Glass and china which are decorated with gold should never be put into scalding water or washed with strong soap, for soap will eat off even pure gold. When two tumblers or glass dishes stick together so that there is danger of breakage in getting them apart, put cold water into the inner one and hold the outer one in warm water, and they will separate at once. For washing cut glass, use a soft brush and, after wiping, place each piece on a soft, dry towel. This precaution is necessary for dishes of a deeply cut pattern, as the towel absorbs any moisture which cannot be reached in wiping.
A great deal of expensive glass is broken through ignorance. Most breakages result from taking a dish out of a warm closet or room and immediately placing in it something cold. If one tempers a cut glass dish before using, the coldest substance may be put into it without danger. To temper cut glass, pour tepid water into the dish, then a little cold water, next a few small pieces of ice, and then more pieces of ice, until the temperature of the dish gradually approaches that of the substance it is to contain.
Never allow handles of pearl, ivory, or bone to stand, even for a moment, in water. Neglect of this precaution tends to discolor and loosen the handles. After the blades of steel knives are washed, scour with Bath brick or emery-board.
Silver tarnished by egg should be cleaned as soon as it is washed, never left until silver-cleaning time.
Wash water pitchers after each meal. If carafes are used, they should be washed thoroughly twice a week. Any sediment may be removed by using a good soap powder and a small dish-mop. These mops come in varying sizes for articles which have small openings, such as carafes, bottles, vases, etc. Wash the outside of the carafes with a small, stiff brush. Cruets, mustard jars, and salt dishes should be kept scrupulously clean. Diluted ammonia is the effectual agent in the cleaning of vinegar cruets.
DIRECTIONS FOR THE CARE OF SILVER
Silver, if washed in plenty of soap and hot water and rubbed dry with soft, clean towels each time it is used, need not be cleaned oftener than once a month. To clean silver, wash in hot suds and wipe dry. The addition of borax softens the water; a good proportion to use is one teaspoonful of borax to two quarts of water. A silver-cleaning paste or soap, bought of a reliable dealer, is the most satisfactory cleansing agent. Either one should be applied with a soft cloth, the silver wiped with a clean, soft cloth, and polished with chamois. A soft brush will be required for engraved, grooved, or chased work. Silver cleaning-pans are liked by many, as the silver is cleaned quickly and easily ; but great caution should be exercised in their use and they should not be employed for the cleaning of plated ware. The cleaning-pans give most gratifying results when used for solid silver which has become badly tarnished from lack of use.
Silver should never be wrapped in bleached flannel, as the sulphur which has been used in bleaching will tarnish it. Unbleached cotton flannel or a French tissue paper which is grass-bleached is best. A small piece of camphor gum placed with silver when it is put away will help to prevent tarnish. Rubber must not be left near gold or silver. Rubber bands around boxes in which silver is kept will cause the metal to tarnish, owing to the sulphur in the rubber.
Acids clean brasses readily but cause them to tarnish quickly. As nearly all patented preparations contain acids, the cleaning should be followed by an application of whiting, which will neutralize the action of the acid and preserve the surface from corrosion. One can buy a brass polish giving satisfactory results, or salt and vinegar may be used, if care is taken to wash the article afterward in hot water, then to polish with whiting and finish polishing with a soft, dry towel. Brass and copper articles, after being perfectly cleaned, retain their brightness a long time when left in a dry atmosphere, but when exposed to dampness, tarnish quickly ; at the seashore, therefore, a good treatment, after cleaning, is a thin coating of white shellac, which excludes the air and keeps brasses bright under unfavorable conditions.