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WHAT I KNOW
AND A FEW
AMELIA C. CLAY,
Copyrighted and Published, 1898,
By the Author.
In the interest of the
Women's Guild of Christ Church,
In its preparation many thanks are due to the women of the Guild and
other friends, who provided recipes, patiently listened to its reading, and
Many of the ideas in the article on ''Serving" were gathered from the
Boston Cooking School Magazine, than which there is no better authority,
and used by permission of the Editoi*, Mrs. Janet McKenzie Hill.
Ttrt^O COPIES BÂ£Ct.,tu.
To housekeepers who do their own work, and to
those who keep but one domestic, this little book is
dedicated, in all love and sympathy,
A, d, Li,
:X CONTENTS, ^
Method for the Week.
Washing- and Ironing-.
Hardwood Floors and Sweeping-.
Lamps, Kerosene, Gasoline and Gas.
Moths and Carpet Bug-s.
; for nothing lovelier can be found
In woman, than to study household good,
And good works In her husband to promote."
â€” ^[^ltl^)^\s I'(tr(((lisr Lost.
:X INTRODUCTION. :^i
IpOOD housekeeping- is comparatively a modern art.
^^ It is a mark of civilization. From the long- houses
/u of the Iroquois and the community structures of
' the Pueblos to our present methods of living-, is
a mighty stride, and still the human race is march-
ing on. Domestic science is being- taught in our
colleg-es and a knowledg-e of cooking- and bed making-
can be g-ained in many of our public schools. Edu-
cators everywhere are awakening" to the necessity of
a practical schooling- to accompany the theoretical.
Chicag-o has just appropriated twenty-five thousand
dollars ('98) for the teaching- of common household
arts in her public schools, and President Snyder of the
Ag-ricultural Colleg-e of Michig-an said at the meeting-
of the National Educational Society in Washington,
(summer of '98:) "Our present courses of study are
arrang-ed for the ten per cent, who expect to take
hisfher education. Would it not be better to reverse
this order and arrang-e our courses of study to satisfy
the ninety per cent, who will not be able to enter the
secondary schools nor the universit}'?"
It would seem that nothing- could be more sensible
than to use common tax money for the benefit of the
majority, securing- the g-reatest practical g-ood for the
g-reatest possible number. Those who teach the
foreig-n languages or drawing- or modeling- in clay or
follow the profession of music are the minority-, but
all, to accomplish anything- in a life-time must eat
and drink, and what we eat and drink and how pre-
pared is of more general consequence.
It has been said, "the kitchen is the work shop of
the house," but is it not rather the work shop of the
world, since all the muscle and bone and sinew and
blood that control every activity of the human race
depend for health and strength upon what is prepared
within its precinct?
No young- lady can be considered accomplished until
she has acquired the practical knowledg-e of every
household duty. She may not be oblig-ed to sweep
and cook and wash and iron continuously through
life, but she will make the better homekeeper, the
better hostess, the better all 'round woman for having-
learned them, and the chances are in favor of the
majority of the g-irls and many of the boys in our
public schools using this knowledge in detail, either
for their own comfort or for the comfort of others,
almost dail}^ in the course of a life-time. To hasten
the day of practical thing-s for the common people,
who really compose the foundation of a nation's
greatness, and incidental!}' to assist in a modest way
the homekeeper, this little work is issued by one who
has kept house over one and a half score years and
has tried to practice what she preaches; not, however,
without man}', many failures, but always with their
rich, compensating- experiences. Let no housekeeper
be discourag"ed who reads it. Nothing- can exist with-
out rules, and existence would be miserable indeed if
there were no exceptions to rules. Because "cleanli-
ness is next to godliness" no housekeeper is expected
to follow the members of a household around con-
tinually with a mop in one hand, a broom in the other
and a duster hanging to her girdle. No rule or set
of rules can go beyond the impregnable barriers which
untoward circumstances often erect, or rise above the
higher law of common sense in housekeeping, but all
educational methods require one to learn the rules
first and the exceptions later on.
METHOD FOR THE WEEK.
jSC METHOD FOR THE WEEK.
Order is the law of the universe. From the largest
heavenly body in its orbit. to the tiniest atom, each
obeys the law, and man or woman cannot improve on
the methods of the Creator.
Order should be the law of the household, not like
that of the Medes and Persians that never varied, but
g-eneral law moving- things along- its course like a
river, which, though at times swells and overflows, or
shrinks to a thread-like form in drought, still it con-
tinues on its way, moving everything in its correct
channel, which may be either broad or narrow as
circumstances permit. Certain days should be set
aside for certain kinds of work.
Monday is proverbially the washing day, Tuesday
ironing day, Wednesday should be devoted to the
family baking and the cleaning of the kitchen. A
long handled duster should be used on that dust
catcher the kitchen stovepipe, as well as on every
projecting ledge and often on the walls, then the
kitchen floor should be swept and scrubbed. A scrub
brush and cloth in hand is preferable to a mop, but if
a mop is used the base board will need cleaning with
new suds and cloth after the floor has been washed.
Thursday should be sweeping and dusting day
throughout the house; very often this will be finished
in the forenoon, leaving the afternoon for the family
mending or any other purpose.
Friday may be cleaning day outside of the kitchen.
Washing hardwood floors and windows and closet
floors and stoops and cleaning- silver come under this
Saturday must be baking- day again and washing
kitchen floor for Sunday. Ev'erything that can be
done on Saturday for the next day should be done,
like shelling- peas, etc.
Man}^ deserts, especially in summer, are fine made
the daj^ before and placed in a cool cellar or on the ice.
X COOKING. JSC
It has been jokingly said that "the way to a man's
heart is throug-h his stomach," and it has been inti-
mated also, that after the Easter bonnet season is
passed and the ice cream season is here, that the same
avenue will lead to a woman's heart. Only the other
day I heard an amiable young- woman remark that the
meanest thing a man ever did is to go into an ice
cream parlor and sit and eat alone, so possibly there is
more reality about this matter than food for joking.
Christ fed the multitude repeatedly, which proves
that this method of reaching the human heart was
thoroughly understood by the Master; and eating- and
drinking- one with another has been considered from
time immemorial an indication of existing- bonds of
affection between the parties. There are many excel-
lent g-uides to cooking- to be procured now-a-days.
There are Mrs. Rorer's, and the "White House." and
all the old standard cook books, and "Table Talk,"
and the Boston Cooking- School Mag-azine, and last
but by no means least comes Miss Colling-'s "Popular
Dishes," which is full of valuable recipes from cover
It is not my purpose to emulate any of these, but to
say a few thing-s that are, possibly, not told in cook
Perhaps your family likes corn beef, always save
the water in which it was boiled. Pick out 3^our own
piece of beef for corning while it is fresh and g-et your
meat man to put it into the brine, leaving- it one day
for every pound or thereabout; when broug-ht home
and washed put it in a kettle and cover it with cold
water and bring- to a boil, then pour the water off for
boiling- the veg-etables in, cover the corn beef with
hot water and cook moderately until thoroughly done.
Whatever of the meat is left from dinner place in this
liquid and set in a cool place over night. In the
morning, remove the fat and the meat and use the
liquid from time to time as you would use soup stock,
only you will have to use a larger quantity. One way
to prepare it is to boil it with a little bag of spices,
place a couple slices of lemon in each individual soup
dish, mash them slightly with a wooden masher and
strain the hot liquid over them. No other soup has
the peculiar flavor of this. The liquid also makes a
fine soup mixed wuth canned tomatoes. An ingenious
cook can find many ways of using it; flavored with
onions and other vegetables and little bits of left over
gravies it becomes quite recherche.
No bones from meat should ever be thrown away,
but all washed and placed in a small, heavy canvas
bag, laid on a stone and broken into pieces with
hatchet or hammer, then removed to a kettle and
boiled half an hour and strained for. the foundation of
soups. Often nothing need be added but flavoring,
as it will be rich enoug-h from the marrow and juices
of the bones.
Cream soups can be made in short order in summer
which does away with hours of fire-keeping- and the
consequent calling- in of the flies. Save all fats, even
from smoked meats. When a quantity has accumu-
lated place it in a kettle with one-half its bulk in
water and add a tablespoonful powdered borax for
every three pounds fat or thereabout; boil ten or fifteen
minutes, watch it at first that it does not boil over,
set it away in a cold place and when hardened run a
knife around the edg-e of the fat and turn the cake
upside down on a smooth surface, scrape off the black
for soap g-rease and the remainder will be fit for any
use. If you want it still whiter repeat the process.
The water remaining- in it should be boiled away
a: recipes. -X
'White Bread.â€” (Two Loaves.)
Boil two midling- sized potatoes in water enoug"h to
cover them; when done remove from kettle and mash
throug-h a sieve. Add to these a level teaspoon ful
salt, a tablespoon sug-ar and three tablespoons sifted
flour. Pour boiling- hot over these 1>^ cups of the
water in which the potatoes were boiled and mix
thoroughly. When lukewarm add a half cup of water
in which a yeast cake has been soaked and crushed.
Whip all thoroughly and place it in a temperature of
75 deg-rees. All this can be done at noon. Just before
bed-time add \}4 cups water and flour to make a mid-
ling- stiff batter and set over nig^ht in a warm place.
In the morning- add a piece of butter the size of an
egg and mould with flour, not too stiff. Let it rise to
double its orig"inal size then mould into loaves and let
rise ag-ain and bake 30 or 40 minutes.
The secret of lig-lit bread is to keep it in a warm,
even temperature. If bread becomes chilled in any
stag-e of its making- it is ruined. In winter the flour
to be used, especially in the morning-, should be kept
in a warm place over nig-ht. To have g-ood bread in
winter make a constant summer temperature for it
every minute until it reaches the oven. There is no
care too g-reat, no material too g-bod for bread.
Steam Corn Bread.
1^ cups flour, l}^ cups corn meal, 1}^ cups milk
(slightly sour), ^ cup molasses, 1 teaspoon soda.
Steam three hours. Sweet milk or even water can be
used instead of sour milk if necessary. Baking- powder
tins will make pretty shaped loaves and fit nicely into
the steamer. Do not fill them but a little over half
full. Never jar the steamer nor remove cover while
Breakfast I^oaf.â€” (Mrs. Ketchum's.)
1 tablespoon butter, 1 pint flour, 1 cup molasses not
quite full, 1 teaspoon soda, pinch salt. Mix with cold
water to thickness of cake batter and stir in 1 pint of
huckleberries. Bake in gem tins or a loaf.
j^unday Morning: Mackerel.
Put to soak skin side up in plenty of water Satur-
day noon. Before bed-time turn this water off and
put on fresh. In the morning- put it, if possible, in a
round bottom kettle, cover with plenty of cold water
and boil ten minutes. Drain off the water, slide the
mackerel on to a hot platter, scrape off and remove all
black skin and turn the platter on a slant and pour
plenty of hot water over it from the tea kettle to re-
move any remaining- pieces of skin, drain water from
the platter and wipe with a clean cloth the platter
around the fish until it is dry and clean.
While the fish is coming- to a boil, mix two table-
spoons butter with one level tablespoon flour and melt
in frying- pan, pour boiling- water over this, stiring-
all the while until it reaches the thickness of drawn
butter. Pour this hot over the fish, set in the oven
two or three minutes and serve. If the fish is small
do not soak it so long-.
Breakfast Disk.â€” (Miss Emma Keeney's. )
3 slices toast," 3 eg-gs â€” boil the eg-g-s hard, chop the
whites and cream them with 2 tablespoons butter, 1
teaspoon flour and 4 tablespoons water. Lav the
toast on a hot platter, place the creamed whites on
top and sift over them the 3'olks after pressing- them
throug-h a potato masher. The creamed whites must
not run. They can be seasoned with cayenne to taste.
Spiced Beef.â€” (To Serve Cold.)
[Mrs. Breeton's Household Management.]
14 lbs. of thick flank or rump of beef, ^ lb. coarse
sug-ar, 1 oz. saltpeter, % lb. ground allspice, 1 lb.
common salt. Rub the sug-ar well into the beef and
let it lay for twelve hours in a larg-e crock or marble-
ized kettle, then rub it with the saltpeter and allspice
and let it remain for another twelve hours, then rub
in the salt. Turn it daily in the liquor thus formed
for a fortnig-ht, then soak it a few hours in water,
dry with a cloth and roast in a covered roaster, with a
little water in the bottom, for four hours. Turn once
or twice during- roasting*.
This is a favorite English method.
Cream Chick. en.â€” (Mrs. E. I. Waldby's.)
1 chicken, 1 can mushrooms, 4 sweet breads, 1 quart
cream, 2 large tablespoons butter, 2>^ tablespoons
flour. Put cream in double boiler and heat, rub flour
and butter tog-ether and stir it into the hot cream, add
a little onion juice and a sprinkling- of nutmeg-. Pre-
pare chicken and sweet breads in half-inch cubes as
for salad, add all to the hot cream, season hig-hly with
black pepper and salt and a pinch of red pepper; pour
all into a baking- dish, cover with bread crumbs and
little bits of butter and bake slowly^ half an hour.
Brown the top slig-htly.
Cream Macaroni ^witli Clieese.â€” (Miss Colling's.)
[From "Popular Dishes."]
Break }( lb. of macaroni into pieces about one inch
long, drop into two quarts of boiling salted water and
boil about twenty minutes. While it is boiling grate
% ]b. of cheese. Also make a cream sauce. Place
half a pint of milk in a double boiler, rub together
one rounding tablespoonful each of butter and flour,
add to the milk when boiling and stir about two
minutes. Add ^ a teaspoonful of salt and a speck of
cayenne. When the macaroni is tender, drain it, and
add it to the cream sauce, stir until mixed, add the
grated cheese and stir until dissolved.
Everybod}^ likes this method of preparing- macaroni
and cheese. â€” Author.
Cliicag^o Cheese Balls.
Whites 3 eggs beaten stiff, Xy'z cups grated cheese,
salt and cayenne to taste, make into balls size of a
walnut, dip in <^^^ and then in fine cracker crumbs,
fry quickly in hot fat and serve immediately while hot.
These are fine served with lettuce salad made with
Salad Dressing:.â€” (Mrs. D. C. Clark's.)
The well beaten yolks of 5 eggs, 2 even teaspoons
ground mustard, 2 even teaspoons salt, 1 even tea-
spoon sygar, 5 tablespoons vinegar, Yz cup melted
butter, sprinkling of red pepper. Mix yolks and
vinegar thoroughly, now mix solids by running
them through a sieve two or three times, now mix
solids and liquids thoroughly and strain through a
sieve; mash th(^ lutnps in the bottom of the strainer
and pour all through again. Repeat until all goes
through the strainer easil3\ Now cook it in double
boiler, stirring all the time until stiff, but not too stiff.
Remove from the stove and while it is hot add the
half tea cup melted butter, pouring it in slowl}^ in a
fine thread-like stream, and stirring the dressing hard
all the time. If made with all this care it will be
smooth and fine, but if there are any lumps in it, run
it or press it through a strainer while hot. Before
using mix it with equal parts of sweet cream, (thick
cream if possible.) If this salad dressing is put into
glass cans while hot, and about a quarter inch of
vinegar poured over it when cold, it will keep a year
or more. Screw the top of the can on tight. It can
be made while eg-g-s and butter are cheap. Every
time you make a white cake use the yolks for salad
Corn Sal^d,â€” (Mrs. Miller's.)
Boil the corn and cut from the cob by cutting" each
row of corn down the middle with a sharp knife and
then scraping- each row. This is the only way to cut
corn, as it leaves the outside skin on the cob and g-ives
the best for eating-. When cold have equal parts of
celery cut in half inch cubes, and corn. Mix just be-
fore serving- either with French dressing-, mayonnaise
or boiled dressing, as preferred, and serve on lettuce
leaves. Canned corn may be used for this in winter.
Other veg-etables or apples can be used in place of corn
if desired. If apples are used choose tart, firm grained
ones; as soon as they are pared and cut into half-inch
cubes throw them into cold water, then lay them out
on cloths to dry before mixing-, put more cloths on
top and press g-ently down to g-et the water from them.
Mix this salad just before using-. This is the famous
Waldorf salad that appeared in ''Table Talk" Janu-
ary, 1895. Mayonnaise was orig-inally used for it,
but boiled dressing can be used if preferred.
Corn Omelette.â€” (Mrs. E. I. Waldby's.)
18 ears corn, 1 pint sweet milk, 2)^ tablespoons
flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 slight tea-
spoon black pepper, 6 eggs, 2 tablespoons butter.
Grate the end of the kernels and scrape with the back
of the knife; add sugar, salt, pepper and flour; now
whip the yolks and add, then the milk, and beaten
whites; put in well greased dish, cover with bits of
butter and bake three-quarters of an hour.
Oermaii Cream Pie.
By permission of Miss Colling-, I copy her recipe for
German Cream Pie from "Popular Dishes." This pie
has none of the lard pie crust and in consequence
recommends itself to the most delicate stomach. Since
using- this pie crust in my family "no other need
apply," and I use it for tart pies also, making- it on a
jelly tin with a removable bottom:
1>^ cups flour, Yz cup butter, 2 tablespoons g-ranu-
lated sugar, 2 eg-gs.
1 pint cream or milk, yolks 6 eg-g-s, 6 tablespoons
g-ranulated sugar, 2 rounding- tablespoons flour, 1 tea-
Whites 6 egg's, 6 tablespoons granulated sug-ar, a
few drops vanilla.
Sift the flour, add to it the sugar and butter; cut
the butter well into the flour, then with the hands
rub until all lumps are removed. Now add the egg-s
beaten just enough to mix thoroughly, stir and work
to a smooth paste. Divide into halves, form into balls
and flatten out (one at a time) on the board. Now,
roll gently and carefully, keeping just as round as
possible, until, when you place the tin in which it is
to be baked (which should be a layer cake tin) in the
centre, there will be a border about one-half inch all
around. Now, with a knife carefully cut away this
border; place the centre in the tin, pressing it out to
the edge if it shrinks while transfering it to the pan;
moisten around the edge with a pastry brush dipped
into eg-g- (a teaspoonful may be reserved for the pur-
pose) and then lay the paste which has been trimmed
off, around the edge for a border. This gives it the
appearance of a very large tart with a very small
border. Bake in a moderate oven until a good brown,
watching carefully, and prick with a fork if they rise
in the centre. While they are baking, put the milk
into a double boiler, beat the yolks until light, add
the sugar then the flour, and stir into the boiling milk;
stir until thick, remove from the fire, add the vanilla
and when the crusts are baked turn them out of the
pan and place upon the reversed bottom in order to
have a perfectly flat surface. Now, put in as much
of the filling as the crusts will hold. Make the
meringue by beating the whites very stiff and adding
the sugar b}' degrees, just cutting it in, not beating
it any after sugar is added; add the vanilla and put
on top of the pies, making a border first and filling in
the centre after the border is complete. Place in a
warm oven until a delicate brown. This must be
served on the tin on which it is finished or very care-
fully removed to a glass cake stand, as the surface
must be perfectly level.
Lremon Raisin Pie,â€” (Mrs. Trowbridge's.)
1 cup raisins, stoned and chopped, 1 lemon, 1 cup
cold water, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 table-
spoons butter, 2 eggs. Save the white of one egg for
the top. Put water and strained lemon juice and half
the grated peel in marble dish and boil, add sugar,
flour wet with a little cold water, butter and raisins
and whip the two yolks and one white very hard and
add and whip again. Add to top the white beaten to
froth with a little sugar. Bake in under crust.
Cottas:e Cheese-Cake Pie.â€” (Mrs. Hambleton's.)
4 cakes or 1>4 cups cottag-e cheese, 4 eg-g-s, jolks and
whites beaten tog-ether, ^ pint milk, Y-z tea cup melted
butter, juice of 1 lemon and the g-rated rind of 2, >^
cup sug-ar, nutmeg- to taste, sprinkle cinnamon on top.
Mix all ingredients and put in lemons just before
baking-. This will make two pies. Bake in under
crust with no upper.
Potato Pie.â€” (Mrs. F. W. Clay's.)
1 cup sug-ar, 1^ cups cold water, juice of a fine,
larg-e lemon and half the g-rated outside peel, 1 raw
potato the size of a larg-e lemon. Have ready all the
ing-redients, measured, grate the potato over an
earthen dish, g-rate the lemon on the same g-rater and
rinse all off the g-rater with the cup and half water,
add sug-ar and juice of lemon. Bake with upper and
under crust. The potato should be put in water after
it is pared to preserve its whiteness.
Adrian Mince meat.
3>^ lbs. raw chopped lean beef, 1>^ lbs. raw chopped
suet, 10 lbs. unpared apples, cored and chopped, 3 lbs.
seedless raisins, 2 lbs. currants, 2 orang-es, chopped,
2 lemons, chopped, ^ cup boiled cider, 1 cup molasses,
3 lbs. dark brown sug-ar, 1 gallon sweet cider, 2 table-
spoons salt, spices to taste. Boil two hours slowly
and can. Fruit juice and fruit can be added if desired.
Puddingf.â€” (Mrs. Geo. Morey's.)
\y2 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons flour, 3 table-
spoons sugar, 6 ^gg^ and 1 pint sweet milk. Boil
flour and sugar in the milk, add butter, let cool. Beat
eg-g-s separately and add. Set all in a pan of hot
water and bake half an hour. Serve with whipped
cream, or if preferred, a lemon sauce.
1 cup sug-ar, 2 cups hot water, juice 1 lemon, 1
heaping- tablespoon flour, a piece of butter size of
walnut. Wet the flour with a little cold water. Boil
sugar and water together, add flour and butter,
whipping all the time. Remove from stove and add
lemon juice. A very little of the outside peel can be
grated in if desired.
Crumb Pudding.â€” (Mrs. Rial Clay's.)
I pint bread crumbs rolled fine and browned in the