Hello everyone. I’m coming off of a hectic week. My local writer’s group, the NOLA STARs, held their annual conference this past weekend (had a great time!), and since I was co-chair of the event I’ve been head’s-down busy for the past several days. (Side note – fellow filly Tracy Garrett was there so we had fun catching up with each other).
Anyway, I’m using this as an excuse to cheat a little. Rather than drafting something original, I’m going to give you an excerpt form a 1902 cookbook titled Crumbs From Everybody’s Table. This cookbook was compiled by Mrs. R.L.Porter and Mrs. H.S.Ball for the ladies of St. Paul’s Guild of Salinas, CA.
The dedication of this book is one I particularly love: DEDICATED To those plucky Housekeepers who master their own work instead of letting it master them.
The excerpt I want to give you is not recipes but is instead taken from a section of household hints titled Things Well Worth Knowing.
- To keep celery two weeks, roll it in a brown bag, then in a towel, and store n a cool place. Before serving, place celery in a pan of ice-cool water for one hour
- To restore curdled mayonnaise, place a tablespoon of butter in a round-bottomed pan and gradually work in the mayonnaise.
- To prevent cracking and chipping of new enameled cooking utensils, keep the insides greased with butter.
- To clean bottles, decanters, and glass jugs, cut a lemon into small pieces, put into the glass container with a little water, and shake vigorously. A slice of potato may be substituted for the lemon.
- To prevent glass from breaking when pouring hot water into glassware, first put in a silver spoon or fork, and then pour the liquid. Allow the silver to remain in the glassware for a few minutes.
- To ensure the best textured baked potato, leave the skin on and cut off a small piece at the end before placing in the oven. When done, take the potato out with a cloth and pres all the sides well with hands
- To prevent scalded milk form curdling, add a pinch of soda before cooking
- To get rid of a fish bone stuck in the throat, immediately swallow a raw egg
- To remove wine stains, pour boiling water on the splotch before it has time to dry, and then let it remain in boiling water for a few minutes.
- To clean zinc, use a piece of soft flannel moistened with kerosene. To clean badly tarnished brass, rub it with salt and vinegar, or oxalic acid. Wash with soap and water and then polish brass vigorously.
- To freshen the air in a room, place half an ounce of spirits of lavender and a lump of salt of ammonia in a wide-mouthed jar and leave uncovered
- To fix the colors in cotton goods, use salt. Dissolve a pint of salt in 4 gallons of water and soak the garments for an hour. The water must be kept cold.
I hope you enjoyed this little peek into the ingenuity of the housekeeper of yesteryear.