Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Some Interesting Reading

Today, when hunting for an old recipe, my family pulled out our White House Cookbook. 603 pages long, it was originally printed in 1887, and reprinted as an expanded version in 1899. Hence, it has recipes and other information you’ll find nowhere else. Sometimes that is a good thing, as a perusal of the last chapters of the book shows. Maybe you’ll be amused by some of the miscellaneous material like I was.

The menus for a Wednesday in August:

Breakfast--Fresh pears, cracked wheat, brain cutlets, meat omelet, lyonnaise potatoes, huckleberry griddle-cakes, wheat bread, coffee

Luncheon--Broiled salmon, sliced pressed lamb, tomatoes with mayonnaise, French bread, sponge cake, blackberries and cream, iced tea

Dinner--cream of spinach soup, fried chicken รก la Italienne, tomato sauce, boiled sweet potatoes, stuffed egg plant, green corn boiled, young onions, rice pudding, peaches and cream, walnut cake, coffee

“Health suggestions”:

How to Keep Well--Don’t sleep in a draught. Don’t go to bed with cold feet. Don’t stand over hot-air registers. Don’t eat what you do not need, just to save it. Don’t try to get cool too quickly after exercising. Don’t sleep in a room without ventilation of some kind. Don’t stuff a cold lest you should be next obliged to starve a fever. Don’t sit in a damp or chilly room without a fire. Don’t try to get along without flannel underclothing in winter.

Leanness is caused generally by lack of power in the digestive organs to digest and assimilate the fat-producing elements of food. First restore digestion, take, plenty of sleep, drink all the water the stomach will bear in the morning on rising, take moderate exercise in the open air, eat oatmeal, cracked wheat, graham mush, baked sweet apples, roasted and boiled beef, cultivate jolly people, and bathe daily.

Relief from asthma--Sufferers from asthma should get a muskrat skin and wear it over their lungs with the fur side next to the body. It will bring certain relief.

“Miscellaneous Recipes”:

To Remove Stains from Marble--Mix together one-half pound of soda, one-half pound of soft soap, and one pound of whiting. Boil them until they become as thick as paste, and let it cool. Before it is quite cold, spread it over the surface of the marble and leave it at least a whole day. Use soft water to wash it off, and rub it well with soft cloths. For a black marble, nothing is better than spirits of turpentine.

“Toilet Recipes, Items”:

For Dandruff--Take glycerine four ounces, tincture of cantharides five ounces, bay rum four ounces, water two ounces. Mix, and apply once a day and rub well down the scalp.

“Articles Required for the Kitchen”:

Among the 130+ necessary items listed are:

2 sweeping brooms and 1 dust-pan
2 cake pans, two sizes
4 bread pans
1 lemon squeezer
1 dozen patty pans, and the same number of tartlet pans
1 large tin pail and 1 wooden pail
4 milk pans, 1 milk strainer
1 flour sifter
2 jelly molds, two sizes
1 meat saw
1 clock
2 frying pans or spiders, two sizes
1 stove, 1 coal shovel
1 kitchen table, 2 kitchen chairs 8 dozen clothes pins
1 clothes wringer

And last but not least, “Measure and weights in ordinary use among housekeepers”:

2 wine-glasses equal one gill or half a cup

Now how come I didn’t know that? :o)

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