Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Better Home Management?
I've been finding I haven't enough time to fit in everything I want to do so decided to look at some of my Home Management books for some tips. I know a few months ago one of the magazines had an article about such books and I made a mental note to look at mine ...
As ever these have been picked up for pennies at the car boot - I was drawn to this one with its wonderful adverts at the beginning and end of the book. Love the way these ads set the books in their own time frame.
I remember my mum's mangle being kept in a cupboard at the bottom of the washer and being intrigued as to the way it worked - to the extent that I still carry the scar from testing it by putting my finger into it...
Not sure about this being a safe way of drying your washing!
Time to fly round the house on your broomstick?
This book gives great illustrations of how to design your rooms, buy furniture and cope with your movable gas (yes gas) washing machine which you trundle across the kitchen to the sink...
This scruffy looking edition is great fun giving lots of useful information. This must be the one which inspired the magazine title " First kill your turtle" as yes,it says that turtle soup must be made from freshly killed turtles.
Great info re bed bugs which can live for a year without food and travel great distances. It suggests using a blow lamp against them! Make your own fly papers by smearing stiff paper with treacle - no advise re the resulting influx of wasps.
This one reminded me of one of the two Fat Ladies who often said that recipes used to be called receipts. This book is proof giving recipes for delicacies such as potted head, dumb cake (for Christmas eve apparently) and roast cygnet (which I thought was illegal)
This picture shows the sort of delight you might find as you flick through - a long cherished recipe tucked into the pages which has probably been hidden for years.
Mrs Beeton was a 20p find and I intend using it as the basis of my future housekeeping. "A mistress can assist her servant in her work, and lighten it for her, without having to perform offices uncongenial and distasteful to a woman of education and refinement". Oh how I yearn not to have to perform offices uncongenial and distasteful!
Mrs B argues with herself as to the best time to start spring cleaning and urges that it should be undertaken after the last fire of winter on March 25th. But then again in "these more degenerate days" many don't begin to turn the house "out of the windows" until May (and that written a hundred years ago!). The rules were incredibly strict and each household seemed to need at least a cook and a housemaid. Mine certainly needs both. Along with a gardener and an odd job man.
So just to prick your consciences - have you cleaned your looking glass lately?
Simply sponge the surface with equal parts of gin and water, dust with powder blue and rub off with an old silk handkerchief.
Can somebody pass me the gin please?