Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Common Sense in the 1800's

Crispy air and azure skies, High above, a white cloud flies, Bright as newly fallen snow. Oh the joy to those who know October! ~Joseph Pullman Porter

Today I'm sharing tips from "Common Sense in the Household: A Manual of Practical Housewifery" by Marion Harland, which was printed in 1871 and reprinted by Oxmoor House in 1985.

TEA: The bane of tea in many households is unboiled water. It can never extract the flavor as it should, although it steeps for hours. The kettle should not only steam, but bubble and puff in a hard boil before you add water from it to the tea leaves. Boiling after the tea is made injures the flavor, either by deadening or making it rank and "herby".

Milk tea for children: 1 pint fresh milk and the same of boiling water. Sweeten to taste.

Milk Toast: Toast 1/2 inch thick bread. Dip each slice, as it comes from the toaster, in boiling water; butter, salt lightly,and lay in a deep covered dish. Have ready in a saucepan enough boiling milk to cover all well. When your slices are packed salt this very lightly; melt in it a bit of butter and pour over them. Cover closely sand let it stand five minutes before using it. It is excellent when made of Graham bread. This is a good dish for a family tea as well as for invalids.

SUNDRIES: This recipe is included for Cologne Water. I'm going to guess the alcohol is something like we use now for linen waters and that type of thing, which is 80% vodka. You can also substitute Everclear for the alcohol. A drachm or dram as you'll see it written, is a unit of apothecary weight equal to an eighth of an ounce or 75 drops.

Cologne Water No. 1

1 drachm oil of lavender
1 drachm oil of bergamot
2 drachm oil of lemon
2 drachm oil of rosemary
50 drops tincture of musk
8 drops oil of cinnamon
8 drops oil of cloves
1 pint alcohol

Cologne Water No. 2

60 drops oil of lavender
60 drops oil of bergamot
60 drops oil of lemon
60 drops orange-flower water
1 pint alcohol

Cork and shake well.

We have an entire section dedicated to tea time on OFL:

I hope your day is stress free. ~Brenda

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